Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13

“[P]ersuasion is accomplished by creeping into the confidence of those you would lead.”

--Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; image from


Dissent Channel: Contradictory Objectives for the USAID/Pakistan Program (courtesy WK)


US facing disappointments in battling Taliban in Pakistan - Jim Kouri,

Examiner.com: "[T]he U.S. embassy in Pakistan has had no Washington-supported, comprehensive plan to combat terrorism and close the terrorist safe haven in the FATA. In 2006, the embassy, in conjunction with Defense, State, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and in cooperation with the government of Pakistan, began an effort to focus more attention on other key elements of national power, such as development assistance and public diplomacy, to address U.S. goals in the FATA. However, according to counterterrorism experts, this does not yet constitute a comprehensive plan." Image from

The U.S. Department of State tells Muslims that they only have a future if they learn English: "The West’s campaign to promote English is fracturing Afghanistan" - Matthew J. Nasuti, kabulpress.org: "Westerners rationalize their promotion [of the English language] by arguing that learning English is beneficial for all Afghans. However, it is only beneficial because Western officials are too lazy to learn Dari and Pashto. … In the web site http://www.usingenglish.com/, in the section entitled: 'Teaching English in Afghanistan' it states: '[Afghans] need to be exposed to the modern world through media and the Internet[.]' It goes on to state that learning English will 'bring meaningful changes into the lives of Afghans.' The rhetoric being employed is similar to that which the West has been using for centuries to justify its colonization of 'backward' cultures. ... U.S. Department of State, on 12/14/06, published its 'U.S. National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication.' It concludes that 'English language teaching is a priority program and should be expanded. Learning English provides a skill that helps young people improve their lives and job prospects, and helps counter extremism by opening a window to a wider world of knowledge.'"

Public Diplomacy VS. Siberia & Fat Barbies – daviddross, ReWritable Russia. Ex-USSR. Media. Politics. Education. Exchange:

"Prior to the visit of Ms. Clinton to Russia, the State Department blog asked its readers a simple question: 'What is the most important issue facing the US-Russia relationship?'. … Well, I am not a politician and not a diplomat. I just travel between USA and Russia a lot. To be honest, it’s the cold war or mafia which concern REAL people of these two countries. But it’s those casual iconic stereotypes we need to be working on as a priority. So, my answer to the question of the Dipnote’s blog would be: The most important issue facing the US-Russia (or, if you are a Russian citizen – Russia-USA relationship) is the public diplomacy [PD] issue. I believe the more PDs, the better the relationship." Image from

Journal: Public Diplomacy & Social Networking: State to award grants to increase social networking in the Middle East, North Africa - Gautham Nagesh, posted at Public Intelligence Blog: "The State Department recently unveiled a pilot program that will award up to $5 million in grants to expand the use of social networking technologies in the Middle East with the goal of increasing citizen engagement and civic participation. In an announcement released on Sept. 25, the department said it will award five organizations between $500,000 and $2.5 million to expand the availability of social networking and new media capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa. The program is sponsored by the Middle East Partnership Initiative, part of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department. Phi Beta Iota: On balance, positive. More positive would be a global initiative to give away cell phones and free connectivity to the five billion poor starting in India and China."

Knowmad Technologies Brings Leading Edge Web Solutions to Clients - press release, Carolina Newswire: "Knowmad Technologies President William McKee, Vice President Diona Kidd, and Web Developer Tessa Harmon were featured presenters at the 2009 WebGUI Users Conference, where they shared their expertise with developers, integration specialists, Web solutions

providers and software users from around the globe. … In addition to their well-attended workshops, the trio attended various sessions on leading edge technology and applications, including a case study of America.gov public diplomacy Web site for the Department of State. 'It was interesting to learn how the US government uses WebGUI to power over 300 sites in 36 different languages. With the WebGUI Content engine, the government converted its slow and difficult-to-maintain Web sites into user-friendly ones with a simple interface that was easily customized and regularly updated,' says McKee. 'We learned a tremendous amount from the other presenters at this conference that has enabled us to offer additional solutions to our clients, including on-site social networking.'” Image from

Nigeria produces 1,200 films yearly – Adesanya - next: "Head of the US Mission in Nigeria, Anthony Eterno, said that the US was using movies as a tool of public diplomacy to reach out to Nigerians. Mr. Eterno, who noted that Nigeria's Nollywood was progressing in a way that it did not need the assistance of the US, said that film production could aid a country's economic growth and cultural integration."

Comment on: Ambassador (ret.) William Rugh’s commentary “Enabling Public Diplomacy Field Officers to do Their Jobs” - From: Thomas K. Pickering, former Ambassador to the United Nations, Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria and Jordan; former Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Department of State; Henry E. Catto, former Director of the United States Information Agency (USIA), former Ambassador to the United Kingdom; David I. Hitchcock, 35 years with USIA, Senior FSO, Senior Associate with Center for Strategic and International Studies; Stanley M. Silverman, 47 years with USIA, former Comptroller of the Agency and State-USIA Merger Advisor; Fred A. Coffey Jr., 37 years with USIA, Senior Public Affairs Officer, Professor at the National War College - American Diplomacy:

"What is needed most is an integrated public diplomacy structure, with clear authority and supervision from the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, who should be the 'director' of all public diplomacy budgets, personnel and operations, and should participate in assignments, training and officer evaluations." Image from

Rebooting Brand America - Marian Salzman, Euro RSCG PR Campaign: "In my last post, I wrote about the state of Brand America. I asked experts for their views, and the prognosis wasn’t great—American bravado and swagger seem to have done the brand some harm. The good news: The marketing and PR community has many suggestions for rebooting Brand America. Here’s some of their advice. Keith Reinhard, president of Business for Diplomatic Action and chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide [says, inter alia]: … 2. Develop an overall public diplomacy strategy for Brand America. U.S. public diplomacy programs are currently not coordinated across government agencies and have no focused message or coherent strategy. The president should call on private-sector talent to develop a 'campaign strategy' for public diplomacy just as he did for his presidential camp."

Guest Post: Foreign Based Reporters in America are an Underutilized Public Diplomacy Resource - Mitchell Polman,

MountainRunner.us: "From a public diplomacy standpoint, the foreign journalists working in Washington are underutilized. The State Department needs to work on developing ways to bolster the ability of foreign journalists to get the most out of their U.S. experience." Image from

Guest Post: "Brand America" back on top - Simon Anholt, MountainRunner.us: “I'm still in shock: America, which has languished at around seventh place since the survey [Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI)], was launched, has suddenly shot up to first place overall - and not just in the perceptions one or two countries. … Looking more closely at the data, it's clear that much of the uplift comes as much from improved international opinions of the American people themselves as from improved opinions of their government. … Clearly, President Obama's Nobel Prize represents an accurate expression of international views of the man and his role in the world." Simon Anholt is an independent policy advisor to numerous governments on matters of national identity and reputation. He is also a member of the UK Foreign Office's Public Diplomacy Board. His website is http://www.simonanholt.com/.

Super Public Diplomacy
- Ren's Micro Diplomacy: "The 99 [‘superheroes are seen as global ambassadors for a tolerant Islam’]: How the Private Sector Can Succeed in Public Diplomacy,’ a lecture sponsored by the Dubai School of Government, was held yesterday.

This especially piqued my interest given I just finished a case study analyzing 'Hi' magazine, a defunct DoS creation aimed at Arab youth (I’ll post the study once my professor grades it). They could have learned a thing or two from the popularity of 'The 99'." Image from

World Figures to Attend Nato Security Conference in Bratislava - SK Today: "A conference entitled 'New Challenges, Better Capabilities' will take place as an accompanying event to the NATO Defence Ministers Meeting in Bratislava. … It has been organised by the Slovak Atlantic Commission in co-operation with the Slovak Defence and Foreign Affairs ministries and the NATO Public Diplomacy Division."

Kinnock scrapped as Europe minister: Glynys Kinnock loses Europe portfolio - Alex Stevenson, politics.co.uk: "Glenys Kinnock has been replaced as Europe minister after just months in the job. … The Europe portfolio goes to Chris Bryant, the Foreign Office's parliamentary undersecretary of state. His existing responsibilities include South America, the Olympics and public diplomacy."

Another jazz musician inspired by Conover on VOA - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "Polish-born percussionist Les Blachut: 'My parents knew I wanted to be a musician when I (being less than 1 year old) hit the keys of a piano and they couldn't get me off of it.

I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician when I heard jazz on Willis Conover's The Voice of America short wave radio broadcast. The first thing I heard was Charlie Parker's unreleased take of 'Parker's Mood,' and that is still one of my most favorite recordings.'" All About Jazz, 12 October 2009. Posted: 12 Oct 2009. Signing Conover image from

Monday Monday – Kimberly, Suzhettes...tales of a wandering Mormon: "I was able to attend Teresa's class on public diplomacy in the European Union and loved it! We had a great discussion about Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, and the Israel-Palestinian conflict in relation to the EU. Really interesting. Teresa is a visiting professor from Spain, and I appreciate the perspective that she brings."

FSOT Test Prep: Pro/Con - Ren's Micro Diplomacy:

"Yahoo groups has an excellent Foreign Service Written Exam listserv, but I don’t normally read every digest I get in my inbox. Today, however, I found an excellent tip to check out ProCon. Topics range from 'Is drinking milk healthy for humans' to 'How practical is nuclear power now and for the future.' It seems like an efficient way to study up on subjects that may not be in your repertoire." Image from


No peace, no prize
- Cal Thomas, Washington Times: "For all I care, the Nobel committee could have given its useless (except for the money) prize to Homer Simpson. Like President Obama, Homer has done nothing to earn it, though he may be the only character who has been on TV more than the president."

A Nobel for Us - Richard Cohen, Washington Post: "On behalf of the American people,

and as expressed in a blog post by Harold Meyerson, I accept the Nobel Peace Prize. We are proudly sending Barack Obama to collect it." Image from

Obama And The Nobel Peace Prize - Hady Amr and Steven W. Barnes, Daily News, Egypt: The Nobel Committee, in awarding the Peace Prize to Obama, has at once underscored both the tremendous importance of the mindset and language of dialogue that he exemplifies, along with a deep desire to see the translation of these words into deeds. And in this respect, President Obama, the Nobel Committee, and people of all faiths around the world have a lot in common.

Maybe the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama Wasn’t a Blunder- Patricia Lee Sharpe, Whirled View: The award for Obama has everything to do with aspiration—an aspiration for solutions to a world racked by violence and brutality.

To Catch a Looter - Roger Atwood, New York Times: As United States troops begin withdrawing from Iraq, we should take stock of the staggering damage that Iraq’s ancient archeological sites have suffered from looting over the last few years.

Grassroots organizing — where local officials, police officers and archaeologists join forces with local residents — is the best way to combat looting and protect sites from being swallowed up by the illicit antiquities trade. Image: Vase from Uruk (Warka) Ancient Near EastIraq Museum of Archeology, Baghdad

A 'Necessary' War? The president and Congress, distracted, have left a void – Peggy Noonam, Wall Street Journal: One senses Afghanistan has been waiting in the president's parlor. Now that's he's focused, and deliberating, why not include the public?


A Marine tells a villager: "We are here to kick the Taliban out. Why are you not helping us?"

"What can we provide for you?" the villager says. "You have planes, tanks and guns. What do we have? We're simple people. . . . If you can't win, how can we?"

--Dialogue from PBS’s “Obama’s War”; image from

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