Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26

"America is now the place where barbarism reigns supreme."

--Patrice Higonnet, summarizing the view of Marc Fumaroli, author of "Paris-New York et retour"; cited in Times Literary Supplement (October 23, 2009), p. 3; image from


A) Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication George Washington University

B) Dr. PRopaganda


All things Hillary: A Day in the Life of Secretary Hillary Rodham - Sarah, All things Hillary: “On Sept. 16, PARADE's Leslie H. Gelb spent an action-packed 24 hours following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through the ordinary paces of her day at the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, D.C. From formal ceremonies to top-level security meetings. They created a photo essay documenting a typical workday in the life of Madame Secretary.

... 4:30 p.m. - ... Clinton quickly reviews her notes in the elevator on her way to a meeting with Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale and Special Representative Richard Holbrooke. 4:40 p.m. - McHale and Holbrooke describe a practical way to counter Taliban propaganda and enhance America's image in Pakistan. Their approach turns on two key facts: that 50% of Pakistanis are illiterate and that 60% of them are under age 30. The idea: reach them through radio, cellphones, and cable TV. Clinton approves and orders swift action.” Image from article

Information that will not meet columnist's preconceptions about USIB - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "Al Kamen [Washington Post columnist], who relegates US international broadcasting to mere 'public diplomacy,' apparently thinks that the purpose of international broadcasting is to send content that supports US policies and condemns the terrorists and other adversaries. Such an international broadcasting effort would not have many listeners, because audiences are actually seeking reliable and comprehensive news. Some of that news might meet the preconceptions of the 'crazies,' but, in the long term, credible news is not helpful to terrorists."

Toward a New Public Diplomacy [Review of Philip Seib, editor. Toward a New Public Diplomacy: Redirecting U.S. Foreign Policy] - John Brown, Notes and Essays: "[T]he main message of the book -- that PD is in deep trouble and needs to be redirected -- has been the subject of dozens of reports and countless other publications in recent years, including by some of the distinguished authors of this volume.

So, despite its editor’s claim that it is a reappraisal, Redirecting U.S. Foreign Policy is, even from a strictly academic perspective, quite unoriginal, containing as it does oft-repeated litanies proclaimed by pundits since 9/11." Image from

CSIET Conference – Rita Golden Gelman, Birth of a Movement -- Let's Get Global: “I learned a lot. The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel exists to 'identify, promote and support international youth exchange programs.' There were sessions entitled Advocacy & Federal Budget Updates, US Department of State J Visa Session, New Oversight Initiatives for Grant Programs. Those of you who know me can imagine the glaze that settled over my eyes during those meetings, though the ones I attended were impressively managed and professionally conducted and certainly relevant to people who run exchange programs. I have nothing but admiration for the programs that have to deal with such things, and relief that I decided that LGG [Let’s Get global] would promote intercultural activities but not run programs. There were sessions that dealt with how to manage crises and how to go about screening host families. There were some recent unfortunate incidents in the high school exchange world of incoming foreign students that everyone wanted to discuss …. and the conference focused a number of sessions on dealing with problems.

I left those discussions happy once again that LGG had chosen not to run a program. CSIET deals mostly with high school academic exchange programs. Let’s Get Global is focusing mostly on encouraging young people to have Gap Year experiences during the year between high school and the next phase of life, but LGG’s campaign will help everybody who was at the conference by increasing interest in intercultural experiences. Our campaign will benefit outgoing, incoming, short-term, long-term, academic, service, and every other kind of program. ... Judith McHale, Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs gave a luncheon talk." Gelman image from

A brief synopsis of the week that was – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Tuesday Pub D Lat Am we discussed the public diplomacy carried out by Mexico in trying to get NAFTA passed. It was an interesting case of Mexico using diplomacy, lobbying and public diplomacy to get the trade deal online. ... Thursday there was an interesting CPD lecture by Daniel Volman of the African Security Research Project on Africom and African security. ... My Thursday Africa day continued with my PubD Africa class, where we discussed Congo, the role of women in conflict zones and the differences between IDPs (Internally-Displaced Persons) and refugees, and what that means for Africa. ... This week we discussed Niche diplomacy and what constitutes a Middle Power (see under: Public Diplomacy Magazine) [.] We went over some interesting readings from the week on Singapore and as a Middle Powers, as well as the usual suspects (Canada, Norway, Australia). We also looked the role of diffuse versus discreet in middy pd and niche diplomacy. The most interesting revelation from the class was the notion that rogue states were middle powers gone bad."

Diplomacy Monitor – Pereira, International Relations: "Diplomacy Monitor is a free Internet-based tool to monitor diplomacy documents (communiqu├ęs, official statements, interview transcripts, etc.) published in various diplomacy-related websites, including official sources from governments (head of state websites, consulates, foreign ministries) all over the world. It is maintained by the St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.

The Diplomacy Monitor addresses the emerging Internet-based public diplomacy, whereby the growing number of governments embraces the power of internet to communicate with public worldwide." Image from

We like to be in ... [Review of Barry Seldes, Leonard Bernstein: The political life of an American musician]; no link - Stephen Brown, Times Literary Supplement (October 23, 2009), p. 13: "In more sophisticated corners of the American government, there was a growing realization that to gain friends among the future movers and shakers of the world the United States had to promote art with bite and substance. ... So the United States Information Agency found itself promoting a Russian tour for Bernstein at the same time as the Passport Office under J. Edgar Hoover's sway was attempting to deny him the passport he would need to get there." On United States Information Agency, see.

SHOCK!HORROR!NEXT! CBC Radio News Abducted by Aliens - John M, "When I hit 'sleep' on the old clock radio for 7AM ADT I got what sounded like a blast of FOX as rendered by a gang of interns from Oral Roberts U. It’s as if James K. Glassman and a commando unit consisting of old Bush public diplomacy types had invaded Toronto and taken anyone who’d been in the UK for more than 3 months (or could distinguish among more than 4 flavours of vowel) to the basement and shot them."

F. Gunther Eyck – Obituaries, Washington Post: In 1960, he joined the United States Information Agency (USIA) and worked in its Office of Research, mainly on Western European affairs, until 1982. Via LB.


Think before surging - Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post:

The theory that "it's 40,000 troops or no counterinsurgency" is absurd. The crucial judgments that have to be made involve what the troops will do and how much of Afghanistan to cover. Image from

Counter-terrorism gains Local militia critical in fighting insurgents - Michael Sheehan, Washington Times: in Afghanistan, we have continually moved the "goal posts" of our counter-terrorism success in the name of a counterinsurgency campaign. The initial objective of kicking out al Qaeda has now morphed into an ambitious program of "reinventing Afghanistan" as a modern state. We have gotten ourselves bogged down into a complex insurgent war that the Taliban can sustain at some level almost indefinitely, even though they have no real prospects of actually winning.

A resilient Baghdad on a day of horror – David Ignatius, Washington Post: “[M]y Iraqi friends were surprisingly upbeat

about the future, even after Sunday's terrible bombings.” Image from

Pakistan tells India: stop propaganda - Nirupama Subramanian, The Hindu

Negative propaganda on Tibet should be halted - Silvia Marchetti, Xinhua, The negative propaganda on Tibet was fueled by the Dalai Lama and must be halted at once, President of the Italy-China Foundation Cesare Romiti said Friday.


"Dorothy's house in Kansas was picked up by a twister and deposited in Munchkinland. She and the Munchkins made their introductions. By way of her orb, Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, fluttered in.

Glinda smiled at Dorothy and asked, 'Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?'

Dorothy responded, 'If you please, I am a reliable source of news, but I also advocate the policies of the United States.'

Glinda's smile remained, but her blue eyes went cold, and slight furrows appeared on her forehead. The Munchkins had seen this look before, on rare occasions. They stepped back and cowered.

'Perhaps you can go to the Emerald City and ask the great and wonderful Wizard of Oz to find you an unambiguous mission,' Glinda hissed.

Just then, an explosion and flume of black smoke revealed the Wicked Witch of the West.

No further action by the Munchkins was required, as they were already conveniently cowering.

Glinda looked over to the Wicked Witch of the West and said, 'Why not throw one of your fireballs to hurry Dorothy along to the Emerald City?'

And with that, Glinda, boarding her orb, turned to the Munchkins. 'Goodbye, my dears. I must go now and listen to the BBC.'"

--Kim Andrew Elliott; image from

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