Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 3


"There was a joke in the readings told by a Pakistani cab driver, whose country had been ranked the most corrupt the previous year but slid down a spot to number two - when asked about it, he replied, 'no, we’re still number one, we simply paid off the Nigerians to take the top spot.'”

--Paul Rockower, blogger extraordinaire & Public Diplomacy Graduate Student, USC; image from

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

“Obama Bounce” Not Enough To Capture Olympics - Helle Dale, The Foundry, Heritage Foundation: "President Obama and Mrs. Obama have done it again — demonstrating, that is, that personal appeal only goes only so far when it comes to public diplomacy and international relations. The couple just about blew the Danish media away with their emotional and personal appeals for the 2016 Olympics to come to Chicago.

'Top Grades for Obama' read the headline in the daily paper Berlingske Tidende, whose reporter had interviewed a communication expert who commended the duo for a synchronized performance of extraordinary elegance and eloquence. 'They get a 10 on a scale of 1-10,' he said. President Obama spoke about his commitment as both president of the United States, and a sports fan. And Mrs.Obama brought up the case of her father, afflicted with multiple sclerosis, for whom sports remain a passion. And yet, again, the appealing presidential couple achieved absolutely nothing. Chicago was eliminated in the very first round of voting, and the two cities remaining in the final round of selection were Rio and Madrid — of which Rio came away the winner." Image from

Did anti-Americanism kill Chicago’s Olympic bid? Some blame former president Bush. Rush Limbaugh says it's Obama's fault. But IOC President Rogge’s dream of a South American Olympic games is a more likely reason - Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor

An ideology-friendly guide to the Iran Negotiations - Daniel W. Drezner, Foreign Policy: "[Comment] by zjin on Fri, 10/02/2009 - 1:21pm … Iran news is so behind the curve now. Today's hot deal is if the Chicago's 1st-round loss breaks the myth of Obama's soft power in the world. Does it change the prospect of the public diplomacy championed by Obama? If Obama cannot even deliver IOC for his home state to pass the 1st round, what are his odds of delivering Iran, Afpak, climate change, international NUKE disarm, and mideast peace?"

The hawks are circling: Talk about Iran's nuclear weapons sounds eerily familiar. It's time to end the Bush-era bellicosity - George Galloway, guardian.co.uk: "Most media reaction, including the BBC's, to news that Iran had revealed a second facility was ominously reminiscent of their mendacious complicity over Iraq. … The testing by Iran of a missile within its borders was treated as if the Kaiser had ordered a Zeppelin over Edwardian London. On full parade was Britain's post-empire arrogance, which treats a sophisticated state as an errant child in need of a good slap from an authoritarian parent. But the hubris of six years ago, when US neocons debated which to attack next – Syria or Iran – while imagining they had already pacified Afghanistan and Iraq, was largely absent from Washington; though not, it should be noted, from Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, who have been like bellicose understudies for Bush and Blair. Throughout this year they and Gordon Brown have ratcheted up confrontation with Iran just as President Obama sought public diplomacy."

October surprise in US-Iran relations - JKR Sothy:

"Reciprocating the warm signals from Washington, [Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr] Mottaki in an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations reiterated Iran's readiness for comprehensive and constructive dialogue, while making it clear that Tehran's intention at the Geneva talks was to defend the country's nuclear rights. 'Our intention is also to see if there is a change of behavior on the part of the Obama administration and if we can detect evidence of a new behavior away from the hegemonic mindset and toward mutual respect,' Mottaki said, adding that the threat of sanctions could 'ruin opportunities for cooperation'. Mottaki's presence in the US has been a major plus for US-Iran diplomacy, by allowing Iran to complement its moves at the negotiation table in Geneva with Mottaki's string of interviews to the US media, meant to bolster Iran's public diplomacy." Image from


Zardari makes gains in opinion poll at Sharif's expense - Peninsula On-line: "While President Asif Zardari made some gains in his approval rating over the past six months, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s popularity suffered in the same period, according to the findings of an opinion poll. The survey, conducted by the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI), a pro-democracy group financed by the US government,

also said an overwhelming majority of Pakistani people continued to reject the US as a partner to fight militancy in their country. … According to the poll, 80 per cent of the respondents said they were opposed to US assistance in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism, a 19 percentage-point increase since the last survey conducted by the institute in March. … In order to improve American standing in Pakistan, the special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, had ordered an overhaul of the public diplomacy programmes and was sending several seasoned diplomats to bolster the embassy, a senior American official told the NYT. … The new effort includes spending about $30m on educational and cultural exchanges between the two countries, and providing more Fulbright scholarships for Pakistanis to study at American universities." Image from

Pakistan committed to fighting militants, foreign minister insists: Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on a diplomacy tour of the U.S., says his country's government and security establishment, often accused of links to extremists, need more military resources - Bruce Wallace, Los Angeles Times: "Pakistan's foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, is on a public diplomacy tour of the United States, arguing that the Obama administration will lose credibility if it pulls back in its war against the Afghanistan insurgency." See also.

Did White House coordinate timing of missile decision with Kremlin? – [Ted Lipien], Blogger News Network: "Bloggers and Russian experts in the US have been trying to find out whether the Obama White House coordinated with the Kremlin the timing of the missile shield decision that deeply offended people in Poland and produced biting commentaries in the US. …

A State Department official, who was asked to explain how such a public diplomacy disaster could have happened, refused to comment and suggested that these questions should be directed to the White House." Image from Wikipedia, "The Soviet Invasion of Poland."

Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative: John Lewis Bill to Congress - Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies: "We should support this new bill in Congress… Representative John Lewis (D-GA) introduced on Friday HR 3328, the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative, focusing on peace and nonviolence in global conflict resolution. The initiative is intended to be comprised of educational, scholarly, and professional exchange programs, including an annual public diplomacy forum for scholars from the United States and India, as well as professional development training for government employees and exchange opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students."

The Savior Strategy - Joshua Meah, RealClearWorld - The Compass Blog:

"The crisis in Indonesia following a recent earthquake presents a critical opportunity for the international community to win 'hearts and minds.' Of course, these 'hearts and minds' are probably not viewed as immediately strategically important by various heads of state, because there is no current level of actively aggressive military engagement in the region; however, smart public diplomacy is based on confidence-building initiatives that take place during peace time as well as war time. Public diplomacy built on the ethos of humanitarianism has already been proven as an effective means to gain global trust. For example, immigration trends toward the United States have for decades reflected a belief by people worldwide that the U.S. was the 'promised land.' Moreover, effective public diplomacy comes with many other attractive 'soft power' benefits. And the public diplomacy benefits to be reaped from a successful relief effort in Indonesia are likely quite large." Image from

Somalia shuts off VOA FM relays; Puntland bans VOA reporters - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Big concert in Cuba: Progress or propaganda? - Chicago Tribune, Bradenton Herald: "Half a million Cubans turned out recently for a free 'Peace Without Borders' concert at Havana’s Revolution Square … . A recent congressional committee report suggests that 'a steady series of gradual measures' would nudge Cuba toward democracy more effectively than insisting that certain conditions be met before a dialogue begins. Cultural exchanges

such as [the 'Peace Without Borders'] Juanes concert — and a possible tour by the New York Philharmonic — are steps in that direction." Image from

Winning Hearts And Minds – A New Approach - gautic01, Världsinbördeskriget: "A new anthology edited by Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon of Washington DCs Institute of World Politics (Cultural Intelligence for Winning the Peace). The essays address questions like the military utility of understanding adversary culture; factoring in culture as the challenges of asymmetric conflict is factored in; the need to address the constantly changing nature of culture and much more. Dr. Pilon has in earlier writings pointed out that Americans often assumed that the democratic system and their motives required no special rhetorical defense. The result had been, so Pilon, an ineffective public diplomacy. A typical aspect of the problem is that the United States did very late appreciate the importance of radio for public diplomacy and strategic communication. The Communist regime in Moscow did and Nazi Germany. The United States was the last of the democracies that used international broadcasting in its foreign outreach. It was also the last of the major powers to promote its culture abroad. It was not until 1953 that an agency for global communication was established. Since 9/11 a well orchestrated strategic communications policy was needed but seemingly lacking."

Political and Strategic Implications of NATO Enlargement – Frabizio W. Luciolli, L'Occidentale:



"Although 50% of the population in Montenegro acknowledges the positive relation between NATO membership, economic growth, and political stability, only 35% supports NATO accession while approximately 70% is in favor of EU membership: a low figure compared to other NATO candidate countries that calls for an adequate information and public diplomacy plan." Map of Montenegro from

“Five to Rule them All” – Book Event at World Affairs Council by Professor David Bosco - Vinay Orekondy, Citizens for Global Solutions Blog: "Last night, I attended a book launch hosted by the World Affairs Council. The book is entitled 'Five to Rule Them All', and is a historical narrative of the Security Council and in particular the relationship of the five permanent members (United Kingdom, France, Russia, United States and China). He told us about the role that the Security Council has played over the years, in particular its role as a place for public diplomacy. In the early years of the Council, there had been significant media attention, and it would be a place for Cold War nations to shape world public opinion through public fights. In more recent years, the Security Council has taken on a more 'behind closed doors' feel, with less media attention and with most agreements taking place before the public session."

A cautionary note on partnership in Public Diplomacy - Wandren PD: "A testing ground for new possibilities: The current vogue for conducting Public Diplomacy through ‘partnerships’ and the movement in theory on collaborative/collective action can create some difficult challenges in practice. For those who conduct Public Diplomacy in partnership with BAE Systems [British Aerospace],

the announcement that BAE Systems faces prosecution over bribery allegations, while as yet unproven, creates awkward questions. … The example of the partnership between BAE Systems and the British Council demonstrates the real risk which Public Diplomacy organisations can face in expanding their engagement in partnerships. Ironically, it was the British Council’s advisory board meeting in 2007 The Meaning of Partnership which posed many of the pertinent points for consideration when any PD organisation begins to consider partnership." See also. Image from

Addressing the Public Diplomacy Challenge – William Kiehl, My PD Blog: "In an earlier blog I mentioned that I had some solutions to two big problems. Here is one of he solutions as presented in my recent article in the Foreign Service Journal (October 2009): http://www.pdworldwide.com/Publications.html"

That’s so LA – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "I had been busy doing a literature review for my PubD Africa class on economic predation by so-called rebel movements who in essence are just large organized crime syndicates.

I posed the question in the discussion I led in class about what public diplomacy can do to mitigate the plunder of economic resources by gangster states. The answer stemmed from last year’s Transnational Security class on the role of the organization Transparency International and their efforts in naming-and-shaming." Image from

Awards Announced In "Social And Behavioral Dimensions Of National Security, Conflict And Cooperation" Competition - War on Terrorism: "The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the awards for a joint NSF/DoD research solicitation. … The following proposals were funded under the 2009 'Social and Behavioral Dimensions of National Security, Conflict and Cooperation' competition and totalled approximately $8 million: … [among them] Geoffrey Wiseman (University of Southern California) – 'Engaging Intensely Adversarial States: The Strategic Limits and Potential of Public Diplomacy in U.S. National Security Policy.'"

Goodwill Ambassador Wyclef Jean brings Reforestation to Haiti through Timberland Endorsement – posted by David J. Wright, Goodwill Ambassadors of the World: "We are very glad we have interactive relationships with good social promoters like the PRNewswire for working to publicize stories involving goodwill and public diplomacy."

RELATED ITEMS

Nobody Likes Us? Who Cares? - John R. Miller, New York Times:

The United States’ standing in the world has always been relatively low and that overall negative trend is unaffected by the fact that much of the world celebrated the election of President Obama, or by polls indicating that at least some Europeans are pleased with Mr. Obama’s leadership. Public opinion, it seems, is driven less by current events or decisions than by a deep resentment of America’s powerful status. Image from

U.S. Review of Battle Disaster Sways Strategy on Afghanistan - Thom Shanker, New York Times: The new commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, is pressing hard for a full-fledged commitment to a style of counterinsurgency that rests on winning over the people of Afghanistan even more than killing militants.

Cut and walk? - Tony Blankley, Washington Times: The president has three choices: (1) Cut and run,

(2) cut and walk or (3) stay and fight with enough troops. Either Option No. 1 or No. 3 may be justifiable based on hard-headed thinking. No. 2 is an evasion of reality and would sinfully sacrifice American troops for no good purpose. Image from

The Coming Failure On Iran - Jackson Diehl, Washington Post: For the next few months we'll keep hearing about negotiations, sanctions and possibly Israeli military action as ways to stop an Iranian bomb. By far the best chance for a breakthrough lies in a victory by the Iranian opposition over the current regime. If that doesn't happen, it may soon get harder to disguise the hollowness of Western policy.

Negotiating With Tehran - Editorial, New York Times:

The United States and its partners must push Iran to open all of its declared nuclear facilities and allow inspectors to interview any Iranian scientist they choose to — the only way to figure out what else Iran may be hiding. The leading powers must also be ready to impose tough sanctions if Iran resists or if negotiations go nowhere. Image from

Can sanctions 'cripple' Iran? - Clifford D. May, Washington Times: If sanctions prove ineffective, at least we will know for certain that only two options remain. The first is bad: the use of force by the United States or, more likely, Israel. The second is worse: watching passively for the second time in less than a hundred years as fanatical and ruthless tyrants acquire the capabilities to match their clearly stated intentions.

Despite State Propaganda, Independent Media 'Most Trusted' in Belarus - Volha Birukova, Ground Report: Belarusian independent media tops the charts in terms of public trust, ranking higher than state outlets, but lower than the president himself, a recent IISEPS (Independent Institute of Social-Economic and Political Studies, NICEPI -- in Belarussian version, web-site http://www.iiseps.org/) think-tank opinion poll said. This means that a handful of private newspapers are more effective than the entire state propaganda machine. But after 15 years in power, Lukashenka is still the most influential news and opinion maker in this country with a population of 10 million. Below image from


Manipulating the Mind - Part One-Public Relations and Propaganda - Definitions - phuket, Public Relations: Definitions Public Relations: In its proper sense means public relations, "does a good job well publicized". Operate in other words, the work of a person in public relations is the good things you do, the valuable product, the good work and your good qualities about the other unknown. It just does not happen by itself, it must be constantly promoted. It is therefore an important and necessary function of business, groups and Individuals, including you! Propaganda: This is the art form to creating and influencing the opinions and ideas of others to a particular person or group. The difference is that the objective is to promote propaganda, not necessarily the truth.

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