Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19

"And therefore I choose partnership and I choose – to put aside being a child of the Cold war – I choose to move beyond the rhetoric and the propaganda that came from my government and yours."

--Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at a Town Hall Meeting at Moscow State University (October 14, 2009); see also; image from


New media expert George Clack to speak at PDAA November meeting. Reserve your place now at. George Clack, former head of the State Department’s publications office, will tell about the potential of new Internet-based digital media on the conduct of public diplomacy at the November 4 luncheon meeting of the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association. The event takesplace at the Woman’s National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C.


PsyDip: Psychological Diplomacy: Where psychology and diplomacy meet


State Department Judgments Based on Ambiguous Diplomatic Reports from its Overseas Posts – Official Probes Reveal - Daya Gamage, Asian Tribune: "The U.S. State Department significantly lacks expertise, diplomatic and intelligence tools. Inadequate developed techniques to propel its overseas diplomatic missions for wider reach to engage with diverse community leaders and communities in the periphery. Insufficient language skills to make its Foreign Service Officers (FSO) to interact with host country indigenous population.

The Department is filling inexperienced junior officers in senior public diplomacy positions who lack requisite experience and expertise to perform effectively. Having assessed the above scenario, a major investigative report – Genocide Prevention Task Force - co-authored by much respected former secretary of state Madeline Albright and former secretary of defense William Cohen released in December 2008 and now with the Obama administration for study noted: 'When our diplomatic and intelligence reporting from the post is inadequate, analysts in Washington are left to make judgments from ambiguous and frequently conflicting information and assessments.'”

We regret to inform you we don’t know what we’re doing - Craig Hayden, Intermap: "[R]ight now, the opportunities for public diplomacy to capitalize on the energy of the Obama presidency are swirling in the bowl, so to speak. … [T]he U.S. government doesn’t appear to have a solid handle on what it is doing for public diplomacy and strategic communication. At least at a coordinated, strategic level. And this is, needless to say, a problem. What the U.S. government appears to have are well-trained, passionate, and intelligent people doing public diplomacy and strategic communication. At a 'tactical' or 'grass-roots' level, this is a positive development."

Lane Change Needed in the Climate Change Debate – John Matel, World-Wide-Matel:

"We talked about the public diplomacy surrounding climate change at the Public Diplomacy Symposium at Syracuse University. … [M]y anticipated joy at rhetorical victories in the public diplomacy game is mitigated by the anxiety I feel as someone concerned about the real environment." Image from

International Architecture is HereVox: "The architects of today's International Architecture in Virtual Worlds panel hosted by the US Department of State in Second Life explored both the global and local implications of their shift to Second Life as a tool for professional design and education." Below image from article

DB Bailey & the Sea LionsProkofy’s posterous: "Even with all their quirks, these meetings organized by Public Diplomacy Island are good quick methods to get out a lot of ideas, concepts, builds, people and their resumes, etc. Sea lion sounds also available... Visit Annenberg (187, 106, 26)"

Smarmy Little Chat-Marm from the State Department - Second Thoughts: "Here's a lesson in Public Diplomacy -- for the State Department itself. Read the chat [in Second Life] to see how this unbelievably smarmy obnoxious little creep with a little power in the Obama Administration now behaves like a total ass. … I suggested that people who work for the State Department, if they don't want to be seen like FBI agents trying to steer public meetings under the guise of pretending they're something else (the U.S. has a long and sordid history in that regard) should IDENTIFY THEMSELVES."

The harrowing work of Radio Free Iraq - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

The Kerry-Lugar fiascoThe News, Pakistan:

"The [Kerry-Lugar] bill became a crisis for both the PPP government and US policy makers. It was a classic example of flawed decision-making on both sides. On the Pakistani side, it was a matter of poor judgment of its own national mood and country’s vital interests. The major civilian and military stakeholders in the country, including the parliament, opposition and the army were either kept in the dark or were misinformed about the contents of the bill. On the American side, it was yet another blatant example of closing their eyes to history, playing games with Pakistan’s weak and crumbling democracy, exploiting its vulnerable leadership, and extremely poor public diplomacy in the face of growing anti-Americanism." Image from

Government now takes credit for KLB fiasco - Shaheen Sehbai, The News, Pakistan: "In a Machiavellian twist to the massive outburst of public scorn over the Kerry-Lugar Bill, the publicists of the PPP government are now taking the credit for the universal hue and cry in Pakistan and have officially told the Pakistan embassies around the world to use it 'as a positive sign of democratic pluralism,' whatever that means. … The Information Ministry backgrounder states that the print media for over a week carried stories on the bill on their front pages, triggering a debate among various stakeholders. The contents of the bill dominated talk-shows of the private and state-owned media of Pakistan. … 'It also provided a canvas produced by the public diplomacy to articulate the state policy in consultation with the stakeholders on Pakistanís political, economic and strategic interests,' the ministry memo says. … Then the background memo makes a very honest admission. It says: 'The public diplomacy pressure emboldened our leaders to extract through intense and protracted diplomatic parleys, an explanatory statement from the US, to mute impact of the harsh language of the original bill.'”

Uneasy Engagement: At Book Fair, a Subplot About Chinese Rights- Steven Erlanger and Jonathan Ansfield, New York Times: "As China extends its economic reach, it has also increased efforts to promote its culture, or 'soft power,' to counter Western influence and improve its image in the wider world. Yet if Chinese goods are accepted everywhere, its arts and literature, embattled at home after decades of censorship and state control, are proving harder for the government to export. After years of delicate preparations, China was the 'honored guest' this past week at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest and most influential book trade event, based on the number of publishers represented.

But what Beijing hoped would be a celebration of its cultural achievements turned into a tug of war between control and free speech, as much a showcase for Chinese dissidents as the state’s approved writers.… Since 2004, China has pursued what it calls its 'going out' policy on the cultural front, trying to square its economic influence and new status as a global power, while trying to defuse criticism on issues like Tibet, Taiwan and human rights. There have been yearlong cultural exchanges with many countries; the opening of hundreds of language teaching centers known as Confucius Institutes; new foreign-language services from official media like Xinhua and CCTV; and new interest in foreign platforms like the Kennedy Center and the Europalia festival in Brussels." Image (from article): A visitor at China's display at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Wednesday.

'Israel is inventive, moving and spiritual, not just about conflict'- E.B. Solomont, Jerusalem Post: "On a recent afternoon, Joël Lion, the new spokesman and consul for media affairs at the Israeli Consulate in the Big Apple, was juggling a day full of meetings, visiting dignitaries who wanted press, and a New York reporter waiting in his office, when his cellphone rang bearing troubling news. … The office was recently split between hasbara (public diplomacy) activities and media relations, with Lion heading up the latter. He said he would embrace the technology strategy initiated by his predecessor. 'It's branding Israel, and branding Israel is a process,' he said, describing a desire to change people's perception of the Jewish state as a place defined by conflict. 'Israel must be something else,' he said. 'Israel is something inventive. Israel is something moving. Israel is something spiritual. Israel is not only conflict.'"

Kadima MK calls for Cast Lead probe - Rebecca Anna Stoil and Jpost.Com Staff, Jerusalem Post: "From within the coalition Government Services Minister Michael Eitan (Likud) leveled veiled criticism at the prime minister [Binyamin Netanyahu], saying public diplomacy starts with deeds.

'It's impossible to explain when you do nothing. The right actions must be performed in order to achieve diplomatic goals,' he said. 'But on the other hand, we must remember that public relations, good as they may be, come only after we can ensure the security of Israeli citizens and the country's existence.'" Image from

Israel’s Dangerously Battered Image - Patrick Seale, "In international politics, image counts. A country’s reputation, the aura it projects, the esteem in which its leaders are held – these are as important as its armed services in providing protection for its citizens. Most politicians know that ‘soft power’, skilfully used, can be at least as effective as blood-drenched ‘hard power’. This is a lesson Israel appears to have forgotten."

What Kind Of Work Is Done Exactly At The U.[S]. Embassy’s And How Could Someone Get A Job At One? - Get me a job "I am thinking of international business or international relations as my major…what kind of diplomacy work is done at Embassy’s and how could one apply for a job at one? Also, what does it take to work at an Embassy, not just the qualifications but how is the lifestyle? Do you live at the actual Embassy? … One Response to 'What Kind Of Work Is Done Exactly At The U.s. Embassy’s And How Could Someone Get A Job At One?'

Curious1 says: October 19, 2009 at 9:48 am People could write volumes in response. Generally though, an embassy is like any other multi-national company, with many departments ranging from human resources and security to public diplomacy. The types of positions you are referring to are filled through the US Department of State." Image from


The danger of Obama's dithering: His foreign policy brings to mind Jimmy Carter, or perhaps Ethelred the Unready - John R. Bolton, Taken together, weakness and indecisiveness have proved historically to be a toxic combination for America's global interests. That is exactly the combination we now see under President Obama.

An intermediate option - Stephen J. Solarz and Michael O'Hanlon, Washington Times: There is one way in which Afghanistan and Vietnam are similar: We cannot succeed without a viable domestic partner.

Right now Mr. Karzai's government is not measuring up, and so we must use every tool at our disposal to push, prod and cajole him to a higher standard of effectiveness. Stephen J. Solarz is a former Democratic member of the House of Representatives from New York. Michael E. O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Image from

Europe's angst over Afghanistan: Allies have a question: Will Obama walk away? - Jackson Diehl, Washington Post: No, Norwegian Nobel Committee, this is not George W. Bush but Barack Obama, the president lionized for favoring harmonious collaboration with the rest of the world. It's fair to say that Obama has tried harder than Bush to coordinate policy with U.S. allies. But his deliberations on Afghanistan are demonstrating how some fundamentals of being a superpower never really change. For example, when you're supplying 70 percent of the troops for a war and doing 90 percent of the fighting, your allies may just have to cool their heels while you decide whether to escalate, hold steady or blow up your strategy.

Israel, the U.S. and the Goldstone Report: Joining the U.N. Human Rights Council was a mistake Obama should correct – John Bolton, Wall Street Journal

Worldwide ebb: Now that everybody and his mother is on Facebook, is it time to look for the next big thing in social networking?- Monica Hesse, Washington Post:

One year into Facebook's unchallenged social networking domination -- three years ago this month from its availability to the general public -- and suddenly people are beginning to speculate about its demise. Image from

Soviet Anti-Christian Propaganda - Jake Knotts, ChernigovBlog: Poster.

Impromptu Propaganda Poster Week, Day 3! - Hitler Getting Punched: A Blog about Hitler Getting Punched:

Man, say what you will about the Russkies, they had kickass propaganda posters back in the day. Image from article

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