Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 20

“a cobra among garter snakes.”

--The recently deceased Alexander M. Haig Jr., according George H. W. Bush’s national security aide, Donald P. Gregg, when Mr. Bush was vice president and General Haig Secretary of State; Haig image from; garter snake image from


Secretary Clinton, on Arabic channels, talks about Iran - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Hillary Clinton has a "quite frank" meeting with Al Jazeera management - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

The Evolution of Revolution - Joshua S. Fouts, The Imagination Age:

"The Carnegie Council's Policy Innovations Magazine just published a new commentary by Rita J. King exploring broadly, the current State Department-funded technology delegation to Russia and whether 'social media is the new jazz' (including quotes from John Perry Barlow) as a partial response to a recent Wall Street Journal essay by Evgeny Morozov. ... From the essay: 'Can a group of dedicated tech-focused Americans make a difference in Russia? Absolutely, and not just because they are encouraging more people around the world to use Facebook and Twitter.'" Image from article. Via JSF.

Secretary Vilsack remarks at USDA Outlook Conference - press release, Secretary Vilsack: "You have to understand and appreciate that every community, every nation, is different. ... Within USDA [US Department of Agriculture], we have to have a different approach for each of the nations along that continuum. That is part of what we have been doing in the past year, to devise and develop that kind of strategy. It is also recognizing that things are a little different in the trade world. It used to be that it was about tariffs. It still is, to a certain extent, but it is not as much about tariffs. It is now about the sanitary and technical issues that are raised by countries to make it either easier or more difficult for trade to occur,

which means that we at USDA have to be engaged and involved in providing technical assistance to countries so that they understand and appreciate our sophisticated approaches... . So public diplomacy is part of our new approach. We have to focus on a rules-based and science-based system, but we also have to create new opportunities for empowering other nations in other parts of the world to assist us in carrying this message. It cannot just simply be a message carried by the United States. And so you look for countries in Africa and Asia and South America who are embracing this science, who explain to the friends and neighbors in their part of the world the benefits of it." Vilsack image from

General: Marine air presence on Okinawa vitals - David Allen, Stars and Stripes: "LtGen Keith Stalder, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific discusse[d] the US-Japan Alliance as the Cornerstone of Security in the Asia Pacific. This event took place on February 17, 2010 at the Tokyo American Center, the public diplomacy outreach platform of the US Embassy in Tokyo, Japan."

With Cubans getting more of what they want to watch, can Radio/TV Martí compete? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting:

"US international broadcasting is a confederation of separate, sometimes competing operations. Radio/TV Marti has not, until recently, made use of the news resources of VOA, and has no plans (that I know of) to use news reports from RFE/RL, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra, or Radio Sawa. These news resources of US international broadcasting will have to come together in a era in which even Cuban broadcasting is at least somewhat competitive. The continued need for US international broadcasting to Cuba is discussed in the previous post." Image from

The City Is Full of Dizzy People”: Iran and Jamming – Alex Belida, VOA News Blog: "VOA signals to some places like Iran are jammed from time to time. We obviously don’t approve as jamming violates the notion of the free flow of information. Jamming is wrong. And if authorities anywhere knowingly endanger their citizens' health through jamming, that is clearly wrong, too."

"President of Alhurra Television" will "preside over" (ring?) NASDAQ closing bell - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

BBG confirmations in March? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

VOA music people in the news - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Celebrity Diplomacy [podcast] – Posted at International relations+: "The USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School and the Norman Lear Center are proud to host a workshop on Celebrity Diplomacy, which will explore the intersecting themes of the UN celebrity programs, the "soft power" of Hollywood celebrities, and public diplomacy.

The workshop will commence with a panel discussion on the effectiveness and value of celebrity diplomacy, and will be followed by a roundtable focusing on the role of the agents, advisers and administrators who work with and advise celebrities behind the scenes." Image from

What Else is New? - David Bernstein, The Volokh Conspiracy: "[Comment by
Chris Travers: "I’m not endorsing some 'vast American Jewish conspiracy,' although I do think that the U.S. trends too mindlessly pro-Israel to be helpful as a mediator or aid to diplomacy. Rather, simple election-cycle imperatives mean that attention and focus changes. There are narrow windows of opportunity for presidential administrations to tackle the issues and engage in public diplomacy, before presidents have to run for office again, or before they have to focus on congressional political imperatives. It’s a recurring theme throughout the history of U.S. diplomatic involvement in the Israel-Pal conflict."

The Global Impact of Brown v. Board of Education: Use of the ruling in Cold War foreign relations - Matt Armstrong, "To those who think public diplomacy is something that is simply done outside America's borders or that cultural relations does not have a direct impact on foreign relations, I strongly recommend Mary Dudziak's Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy.

Dudziak documents the impact of domestic policies in the global ideological struggle to US-domestic interventions by the State Department and USIA to affect domestic policies and practices." Image from

The many difficulties faced by Malaysia do not preclude us from learning from its experience - Henry B Jeffrey, letter to the editor, Stabroek News: “Malaysia is a role model in power-sharing and countries like Iraq can learn from the concept adopted by the ruling party coalition National Front (BN). … The BN’s formula of power-sharing, which has guaranteed peace and stability in Malaysia for decades, could serve as useful experience for the Iraqi government, US Under-Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes said. Meanwhile, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, after meeting with Hughes, told reporters that Malaysia had been invited to participate in international dialogues to share its experience on the power-sharing concept. (Xinhua, 2005)"

Israel Launches PR Campaign; Seeks To Involve Citizens – mediabistro: "Israel launched a PR campaign this week to boost the country's image abroad. Consisting of a new Web site, an advertising campaign and direct grassroots outreach to Israelis, the campaign aims to have them spread the word themselves about 'the beautiful Israel you know,' a spokesperson told the Associated Press. ... Israelis seem open to supporting a campaign of some sort.

In a poll conducted by the Israeli Ministry for Public Diplomacy, 85% said 'yes,' when asked if they would want to help represent Israel when they were abroad." Image from

Dracu-fictions and Brand Romania - Anikó Imre and Alice Bardan – Flow TV: "Nation-branding as a field of research emerged in the 1990s at the intersection of marketing and public diplomacy; and focuses on how state governments, hand in hand with corporations and marketing agencies, manage their country’s image in the global marketplace. ... Here we examine one ... disadvantaged case ... , that of 'brand Romania.' We focus on a significant obstacle to Romania’s reinvention as a competitive brand: American and Western European films’ and television programs’ recent, renewed investment in the interlinked legacies of Count Dracula, the terror of Transylvania, and of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, a modern-day vampire, whose oppressive reign ended in his bloody execution in December 1989.

Image from article: 'As is well-known, the ‘Kazakh’ scenes of Sasha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary were filmed in the Romanian Gypsy village of Glod.'"


US reveals of its concern over anti-US propaganda in Sri Lanka - Asian Tribune:

The US Ambassador in Sri Lanka has expressed her concern about that reports inimical to the bilateral relationship carried by some sections of the Sri Lanka media. In the meantime, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister has pointed out of the misinformation concerning alleged moves involving the United States, aimed at undermining the leadership of President Rajapaksa, and destabilising his Government. US Ambassador Ms. Patricia Butenis when she met Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama pointed out that United States maintains that no room should be left for the creation of impressions that this reportage has any support extended by official sources. Sri Lanka image from

North Korea's official propaganda promotes idea of racial purity and moral superiority, scholar says - Cathy Cockrell, UC Berkeley: North Korean propaganda is rife with left-wing-sounding terminology such as "the masses" and "revolution." But don't be misled by the official rhetoric or the nation's branding as a socialist republic, says scholar Bryan Myers. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is not the last bastion of Marxist Leninism or of Confucian patriarchy, as it is often characterized. Rather, it's guided by a paranoid ideology of race-based nationalism,

holding that the Korean people are inherently purer than all others. Myers argued — as he does in his recently published book, The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters (Melville House, 2010) — that the nation's race-based ideology has its roots in Japanese fascism. Image from article

Conspiracies, propaganda top agenda at Islam summit: 'Media War' - Joseph Brean, National Post: At a conference about the "Media War on Islam" on Sunday night at a Toronto-area Islamic centre, the Christmas Day underwear bomber was described as the tool of an Israeli plot; Barack Obama was referred to as "Mr. Black Man"; al-Qaeda was called "the figment of the imagination of the West"; and a video was shown that mocked 9/11 by putting the Muppet Show logo over slow-motion footage of the second plane's impact, with screams of terror for audio.

Soviet posters causing a stir - Russia Today: “Everything for the front line, all for the victory!” One of this year’s first exhibitions dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Soviet victory in WWII has opened at Moscow’s Central House of Artists. Over 50 World War II-era propaganda posters encouraging Red Army soldiers and all Soviet citizens to resist Germany’s invasion and urging people to stand up against Nazism are on display till March 14. Created by the Leningrad artists in 1942-43,

it seems that many of the posters haven’t lost their universal appeal and still produce a strong emotional, as well as visual impact. A fusion of realism and brutal psychologism, Soviet political posters were one of the most powerful and effective means of propaganda from 1919 onwards. Image from article

Movie About Nazi Propaganda Film Booed in Berlin - Dave Graham, ABC News: A film about the making of one of Nazi Germany's most notorious anti-Semitic propaganda films was booed on Thursday during a screening at the Berlin Film Festival. Sections of the audience jeered and hissed at the premiere of "Jud Suess -- Film ohne Gewissen" ("Jew Suess -- film without conscience"), which chronicles the making of its 1940 namesake "Jud Suess," a film still largely banned in Germany. Blending fact with fiction, the two-hour movie casts Austrian actor Tobias Moretti as the Austrian Ferdinand Marian who is trapped by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels (Moritz Bleibtreu) into accepting a film acting role that would haunt him for the remainder of his career. Ahead of its first screening, critics had accused the film of distorting history with its depiction of how Marian ended up playing the role of the wily Jewish businessman Joseph Suess Oppenheimer in the original movie.


Mardi Gras 2010: girl in "Creole Wild West Indians" parade - Boing Boing

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