Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 17

"Public diplomacy is currently the best form of diplomacy."

--Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ph.D in transportation engineering and planning; image from

"'Social Media Heterosis' (hybrid vigor in the social media space)"

--According to tech PR/social media consultant Alan Weinkrantz, one of @jeffpulver's goals of creating and producing the #140conf events


Peace Prize for Obama, Cuts for Iranian Reformers - Helle Dale, Heritage Foundation: "As reported by Kenneth Timmerman in, the Obama administration has actually cut funding in support of pro-democracy activists. For all those, who want to see regime change in Iran, preferably by peaceful means,

this is a deeply troubling development that sends the wrong signals to the world about American priorities and values. In terms of public diplomacy, this country is now signaling that dealing with autocratic regimes is more important than supporting the rights of the people they oppress. It is a complete reversal of the efforts made by the Bush administration to help develop civil society within Iran." Image from

My IVLP trip: A journey from illusions to realities - Partners In Public Diplomacy: A Blog from the Participants of the Ivlp Program 2009 Organized by Department of State: "Freedom of faith, freedom of expression, respect of individual rights, kindness, friendliness and warm welcomes, these were the realities of the American society I have experienced throughout the United States."

A new way to talk to Pakistan – The Boston Globe - Leah Farrall, All Things Counter Terrorism: "[A] suggestion would be to put a memo out to those in the broader public diplomacy sphere that regardless of whether the saying 'holding you nose'

is an accepted turn of phase in the America lexicon it is CULTURALLY offensive to use it in the context of South Asians (even if not meant that way). In fact it should just be scrapped altogether." Image from

Quickie: Could UBL be on Twitter? - Domani Spero, Diplopundit: "The State Department’s Jared Cohen spoke to NPR’s Scott Simon from Mexico City, where he has been this week for the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit. I don’t know what Jared Cohen’s official title is but his official bio says 'he is responsible for counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, the Persian Gulf, Public Diplomacy, Muslim world outreach, new technology and eMedia, and Youth issues.'”

Cookiemonster is my savior; Ozymandias Diplomacy – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Tuesday was Pub D Lat Am, on Central America in the age of Reagan. … We touched on messages of weakness and strength we send, and the difficulty of enforcing the dogmas we hold. We had a very interesting discussion on pd messages, big and small. It was my week to present, and I gave a literature review of Peter van Ham's piece on public diplomacy and Pax Americana. I will post my review, but I named my lecture ' Ozymandias diplomacy.' …

The article was on the American 'liberal empire' and the public diplomacy therein. My point was that imperial hubris ends up crumbled in the sands." Image from

Secret sites in the USA - On Web Culture: "I had never heard of Al-Hurra, the USA’s government-funded 'public diplomacy' TV station broadcasting 24 hours to the world with Arabic sub-titles. The station is strictly prohibited by law from showing in the USA."

Low-key Senate hearing on international broadcasting - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "[B]oth RFE/RL and VOA aggressively report on domestic events in Afghanistan and, thus, despite finite budgets and scarce resources, duplicate one another. Nothing about that was asked at this tame hearing, attended by only three senators."

RFE/RL's executive editor cautions against "multiplication of human rights" - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "I don't think this was meant to convey the official position of RFE/RL."

VOA Special English celebrates 50th anniversary - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Women and Global Development Forum: The Next Movement: Women Entrepreneurs Driving Global Economic Growth - The Chicago Council on Global Affairs: "Please join Dina Powell for a discussion on why educating women and girls is one of the best strategies to propel economic growth, and to learn how 10,000 Women has already begun impacting women around the world.

Dina Habib Powell serves as global head of Corporate Engagement, which is comprised of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, Community TeamWorks, 10,000 Women, and Goldman Sachs Gives. She joined Goldman Sachs as a managing director in 2007. Previously, she served as assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs and as deputy undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs." Powell image from article


How Much Does the Pentagon Spend on Overseas Propaganda? Who Knows? - Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov: "If Congress does approve $626 million for the Pentagon’s secretive Information Operations program, that amount would represent a dramatic increase over what was spent just two years ago. The 2007 budget was $244.6 million.

The Defense Department intends to get every dollar it can out of Congress for the propaganda campaigns, and it is enlisting help from the State Department to lobby lawmakers. See also. Image from

Kremlin Rules: From Hillary Clinton, straight talk on democracy in Russia – Editorial, Washington Post

Cripple Iran to save it: Millions of the regime's political opponents would back sanctions that helped remove the ruling clique

- John P. Hannah, What about military action? A few Iranians -- especially in private -- suggest that a bombing campaign that spared civilians while destroying Iran's nuclear installations as well as targets associated with the regime's most repressive elements -- the Revolutionary Guard and Basij militia -- might well accelerate the theocracy's final unraveling at the hands of an already boiling population. Image: Insult to Injury: Hogan Gorman laments the travesty of U.S. healthcare in Hot Cripple.

U.S. Is Main Foe In North Korea's 'History' Lessons - Louisa Lim, NPR: The chasm between North Korea and the U.S. sometimes seems insurmountable, especially on questions of history -- and the way it's portrayed in North Korea's propaganda.

Canada dismisses reported Taliban bribes as propaganda - Agence France-Presse,

Obama poster artist admits error - AP, USA Today: Artist Shepard Fairey,

who designed the famous Obama "HOPE" poster, admitted Friday that he didn't use the Associated Press photo he originally claimed his work was based on but instead used a picture the news organization had claimed was his source. Image from article


Neighbors thought dead man's body was part of Halloween display:

The body of Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed, 75, an apparent suicide, sat decomposing on his Marina del Rey balcony for days because neighbors thought the lifeless figure was a dummy and didn't call police
- Seema Mehta and Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times; image from


"In the New Yorker's 'Shouts and Murmurs,' Ellis Weiner writes up a pitch-perfect parody of a certain kind of manic social-media-expert publishing marketdroid (thankfully, not any of the absolutely wonderful marketing people at my publishers are like this!):

'To start: Do you blog? If not, get in touch with Kris and Christopher from our online department, although at this point I think only Christopher is left. I'll be out of the office from tomorrow until Monday, but when I get back I'll ask him if he spoke to you. We use CopyBuoy via Hoster Broaster, because it streams really easily into a Plaxo/LinkedIn yak-fest meld. When you register, click 'Endless,' and under 'Contacts' just list everyone you've ever met. It would be great if you could post at least six hundred words every day until further notice.

If you already have a blog, make sure you spray-feed your URL in niblets open-face to the skein. We like Reddit bites (they're better than Delicious), because they max out the wiki snarls of RSS feeds, which means less jamming at the Google scaffold. Then just Digg your uploads in a viral spiral to your social networks via an FB/MS interlink torrent. You may have gotten the blast e-mail from Jason Zepp, your acquiring editor, saying that people who do this sort of thing will go to Hell, but just ignore it.'"

From Boing Boing; image from

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