Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 26-28

"The Russian and the Bulgarian find a 20-ruble bill, while walking in the street. The Russian, all excited, suggests, 'Let's share it as brothers would!' The Bulgarian replies, 'No, thanks. I'd rather share it equally.'"

-- A Soviet joke about the "special relationship" that existed between the USSR and Bulgaria; cited in Lena, Global Chaos; image from


'Mr. Trololo' Reflects On His Internet Success: 'Pleased...But Not Surprised' (via MP)


Roots of Russian Anti-Americanism - "Helle Dale and Dr. Ariel Cohen, both senior research fellows at The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies and Davis Institute, as well as Daniel Kimmage, a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute, agreed that the Russian government uses anti-Americanism to create an external enemy, to unite domestic support, and to bolster the authoritarian regime. Moscow also uses anti-Americanism to create negative global public opinion for the US, bolster a common adversary with China, Iran, Venezuela and other anti-Western regimes, thus promoting a model of the multi-polar world. ...

Unlike Russia, the US doesn’t need to create misleading documentaries or engage in propaganda, yet the Obama presidency failed to provide a comprehensive public diplomacy policy and leadership, Cohen said." Image from

The grand gala, feel better show called a dialogue - Shaheen Sehbai, The News International - "WASHINGTON: While at the Pakistan Day reception at the embassy building, the foreign and defence ministers arrived quietly and mingled with the large crowd, it were the wailing sirens and a large Pak-US welcome party at the embassy gate that welcomed the Army Chief General Kayani, who was as stoic and unsmiling as ever (probably he was missing his chain smoking). All cameras, men and women rushed towards him, Pakistanis and Americans, who were plenty in numbers wanted a handshake. ... The presence of Americans, in hordes, was a sign and a message that they have started to invest more in public image building or public diplomacy as it is called. An informed participant whispered in my ears that Washington was ready to spend $100 million for improving its image in Pakistan. But only changing cameras will not do the job, she said."

With Obamacare Passed, Will Obama Turn His Focus to Foreign Policy? - "For the recent Iranian new year, President Obama attempted to renew engagement with Iran on the nuclear issue by stating in another video message to the Iranian people that 'our offer of comprehensive diplomatic contacts and dialogue [still] stands.' But in response, Iranian President Ahmadinejad rebuked his overture, promising to 'continue our work faster and with more decisiveness,' undoubtedly pointing toward its nuclear ambitions. Obama’s public diplomacy effort once again failed to persuade Iran from halting its nuclear ambitions, yet he appears to have no other tactic prepared." Image from

Obama Considers Health Care Reform Important Agenda of Presidency - Current Affairs, Socio-Economic Issues, Current Events, News - NewsDawn:

"Despite the fact that President Obama has cancelled his scheduled visit to Australia and Indonesia and absorbed the embarrassment in public diplomacy by staying back in Washington to lobby the lawmakers, he still could not convince 34 Democrat lawmakers to change their minds and support his health care reform bill. The fact that President Obama has such a narrow victory in getting his health care bill passed by the Congress has reflected the reality that his health care reform plan does not reflect the views of the majority US citizens."

Racial slurs, Death threats on Congressmen: Violence, Intimidation, Enter US Politics – Daya Gamage, Asian Tribune: "Can the United States advocate non-violent political process in Third World nations – democratic or otherwise - after the entire nation witnessed death threats to U.S. Congressmen, vandalizing Democratic Party political offices, racial slurs on Black Congressmen who were civil rights leaders in the sixties, intimidation of political opponents, spiting on a Black Congressman while entering the Congress Hall past few days following the historic legislation that overhauled the nation’s healthcare which was overdue six to eight decades? ... With the revival of racial politics, racial epithets, death threats to lawmakers especially the Blacks, moving away from peaceful dissention has made this nation in the eyes of the world a blood sprinkled nation. If allowed this process to continue, spearheaded by the right-wing Republican Party operatives who serve the Wall Street ignoring the sentiments of the Main Street, can the United States lecture to the Global Community on issues such as human rights, peaceful agitation and tolerance of political dissention? Can the public diplomacy arm of the United States – U.S. State Department – continue to advocate racial harmony, the importance of political dissent and democratic governance to the Third World developing nations."

VOL. VI NO. 5, February 26-March 11, 2010 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media:

McHale’s Strategy Sparks Debate After Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale presented the Obama administration’s public diplomacy roadmap at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pundits are critical that her plan simply mirrors those of her predecessors.

New Media: A Force for Good or Evil? A Facebook user calling himself 'Allah,' posted a controversial page on the internet, sparking debate over freedom of speech and internet censorship. However, a recent series at the University of California at Berkley portrayed the positive impact that the internet has on Muslim communities worldwide.

New PD Posts Posit Progress The Department of State recently announced the creation of several new senior positions for its public diplomacy team in an attempt to improve America’s global engagement campaign. However, some believe that the lack of clear define security objectives remain a clear obstacle in doing so. Below image from

The Future of Public Diplomacy A new caucus on the Hill, headed by Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Mac Thornberry (R-TX) aims at addressing America’s global engagement by suggesting a better communication between Pentagon and State Department in drafting strategic communication and public diplomacy strategies.

Obama’s Outreach to the Muslim World in Upheaval Critics in the Middle East are disillusioned with President Obama's agenda in the region, which they believe has yielded no results. Citing the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Arabs and Muslims alike question the president's motives on the heels of Obama's visit to Jakarta.

Yemen Censures Two Major Pan-Arab Media Networks The Yemeni government suspended the operations of Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya satellite news agencies. The suspension came at the heel of the agencies’ coverage of recent protests. The action has been viewed by many as repressive towards the press and has drawn condemnation from various sources in Yemen, the Arab world, and elsewhere.

To Build or Not to Build? The recent debacles over the approval of new settlements construction is bringing a cool off in US-Israeli relations as some ponder in America if the close relationship between both countries may actually be a danger to US strategic and national security interests.

This Week in Internet Censorship According to a study conducted by Reporters Without Borders, internet censorship is at an all-time high in countries ruled by authoritarian regimes. The struggle against censorship is evident in Egypt, where the trials of bloggers Wael Abbas and Ahmed Mostafa have drawn international attention.

A New Dawn for Democracy in the Middle East Experts discuss the implications of the findings from the Asda'a Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, focusing on the future of democracy in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the 2010 Parliamentary Elections in Iraq sheds light on the harsh realities of democracy building in the region.

Middle East is Auspicious for Media Investments The Middle East has been identified as being among the fastest growing markets for the multi-billion audio visual and media industries despite the troubling economic environment last year. "

In Defense of Culture - Laura McGinnis, ManIC: "U.S. public diplomacy remains underfunded, particularly in comparison to the nation's military budget. And many foreign embassies, consulates and libraries are still difficult to access. Of course, security concerns prevent these locations from being fully accessible to all people at all times, but greater openness could improve the balance between security and effectiveness. Improving information flows, particularly those related to Internet freedom, is an issue of increasing importance to USPD, and one which has been frequently in the news this year. ...

Judith McHale's recently published PD strategy acknowledges the importance of personal connections, and recommends the following tactics for improving people-to-people relationships. ... But the framework, for all its strengths, doesn't emphasize the importance of collaborative partnership with other countries. ... [I]nteraction and dialogue, an essential element of PD ... is largely absent from McHale's framework." Image from

Metzgar’s work looks at public diplomacy’s influence - Jessica Haney, School of Journalism, Indiana University: "Studies show that Kenya has a more favorable view of the United States than even the United States does. Barack Obama’s presidency may have contributed to the elevated American image worldwide, but this may be a product of America’s strategic public diplomacy. Assistant professor Emily Metzgar presented her research on public diplomacy in the American context … . Public diplomacy is like traditional diplomacy in that it attempts to manage an international environment through engagement with a foreign nation, as Metzgar explained, but public diplomacy is not always official or governmental. Public diplomacy entails a two-way exchange of information and a mutual understanding between countries. … There is frustration with the government on its public diplomacy strategies because, as Metzgar said, there is a lack of data on the effectiveness of the international broadcasts. 'I suspect that the real numbers are disturbingly low,' said Metzgar."

Strategic communication: "public affairs on steroids" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting:

[I]f the BBG elements are subject to the synchronization, coordination, and prioritization stressed in the document [White House 1055], they would not be very good examples of a free and independent press. ... Audience research that focuses on U.S. strategic needs rather than on audience needs is not very strategic." Image from

BBC Hindi covers highway construction in India, but it's the end of the road for VOA Hindi - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

"Dramatic drop in access" to VOA in Ethiopia – Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, delivers a personal message and discusses the strategy for 2009 in a brief video - "America needs travel now more than ever to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and further the vital public diplomacy interests of the United States, said Caroline Beteta, CEO of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, who will serve as National Chair of the U.S. Travel Association for 2009."

China's growing 'soft power' has been largely unnoticed - Xiaoxiong Yi, Marietta Times: "While recent attention in the West has focused on the rise of China's hard, economic, and military power, the rise of China's 'soft power,'

an important aspect of the increasingly sophisticated Chinese foreign policy, has gone largely unnoticed. China is using economic aid and cooperation, trade and financial incentives, cultural and educational exchanges, and other techniques - to appeal to its neighbors and court the world. ... Serious challenges from China are now reducing America's influence internationally. The United States has to wake up and focus on the task of rediscovering how to be a smart power again. An over-militarized foreign policy has undercut America's international influence. Today, military spending totals more than a half-trillion dollar annually, while the State Department's budget is less than $36 billion. Washington has to commit more money and energy to an important 'soft dimension' of smart power - American public diplomacy. But a public diplomacy by trained diplomat would only be a diplomacy on steroids. ... [W]e will need to find and fund more young people who are committed to traditional American ideals and willing to work with and for the interests of people around the world." Image from

Getting smart with public diplomacy - People’s Daily online: "In modern times, public diplomacy is becoming increasingly important. Governments of countries worldwide attach great importance to public diplomacy to promote their soft power and influence. The upcoming Shanghai World Expo, with exhibitions from 240 countries and regions, will be a platform for various countries to carry out public diplomacy and self-promotion. ... Implementing artful public diplomacy needs good understanding of reliability, the status and role of self criticism, as well as the role of 'civil society' in the process of implementing soft power. What we need to pay more attention is that public diplomacy which appears to be propaganda weakens soft power. And soft power should be built on the foundation of the understanding of other people's ideas, because the best public diplomacy should be always bidirectional."

China's Public Diplomacy: Have You Ever Tried to Call the Chinese Embassy? – John Brown, Huffington Post: "China, far more than most countries, is striving to represent itself overseas as a soft-power, user-friendly country 'into' PD. Scholars such as Joshua Kurlantzick have written authoritatively about such issues. But have you, ordinary citizen like myself, ever tried to touch base with the Communist Chinese Embassy in Washington? Its website is, to put it charitably, under construction. If you click on the all-important part of any website, 'contact us,' you get the following message: 'Sorry, the webpage you browsed has been deleted!.'

I did find a phone number on the site -- only one number, for a humongous, recently-built embassy. ... The number (if you're patient enough finally to discover it at the bottom of the embassy's website) is (202) 328-2500. I tried calling this number for some three hours, but it was constantly busy." Image from

Japan's 'ambassadors of cute' - Mark Ellwood - Financial Times: "One of the more colourful off-piste events at New York fashion week last month was Tokyo Fashion Festa, a celebration of Japanese design held at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The main event was a fashion show in which doll-like models showcasing 'Lolita fashion' – the frilly, eccentric, comic-book-character style beloved by young girls in Japan but rarely seen overseas – took to the catwalk. The entire event was hosted by a petite Japanese star, Misako Aoki, a nurse, part-time model, icon of the Lolita aesthetic and newly appointed government official. Her title? Ambassador of Cute. ...

Though the ambassador concept may seem as cute and gimmicky as the women appear, there’s a strategic savvy behind [their] appointment. 'The objective is to promote an understanding of Japan, a better image, or the correct image,' says Takeshi Akahori, director of the public diplomacy department at Tokyo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 'It’s to show we’re a pretty liberal society where people can express themselves, and that’s not the cliché idea of Japan. Japan is a free society, where people can choose what they like. Our figures show that between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of new Japanese language learning is based on a liking for Japanese pop culture.' Put another way, the girls are an embodiment of 'smart power', the diplomatic tactic often mentioned by Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, as an alternative to the hard power of military brawn. As if a cross between Paris Hilton and Pamela Harriman, Aoki and her colleagues have country-hopped on a mission to promote Japanese pop culture, specifically kawaii, a slippery term, that 'is close to the notion of ‘cute’ in English.'" Image from

Diplomacy in ruins: Australia's ability to have its voice heard overseas has been dangerously compromised - Alex Oliver, Andrew Shearer - The Australian: "Just over a year ago the Lowy Institute released a report by a panel of experts calling for increased investment in diplomacy to resuscitate Australia's ailing diplomatic infrastructure. As the panel pointed out, Australia has the fifth lowest number of embassies and missions of all 30 nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. ... The panel advocated investing in language skills (particularly vital East Asian languages), better resourcing, a more strategic, less piecemeal approach to public diplomacy and a more co-ordinated approach to policy across the many government departments and agencies that operate in the international arena."

Rejuvenating the diplomats - Hamish Mcdonald, Sydney Morning Herald:

"The rising powers all have different kinds of power, China in manufacturing, India in intellectual services, Russia in energy resources, Europe in 'soft' power. Middle powers like Canada and Australia have less relative clout, so must use their 'brand' more effectively, as Canada did in achieving agreements on the International Criminal Court, landmines, blood diamonds and child soldiers. The method is what Copeland [Canadian scholar of diplomacy Daryl] Copeland calls 'guerilla diplomacy' (the title of his new book) or extending what is often called 'public diplomacy' to achieve a favourable turn in public opinion in foreign countries." Image from

Palestinian, Israeli journalists meet in Tel Aviv - Ben Hartman, Jerusalem Post: "A delegation of Palestinian journalists from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank toured Tel Aviv on Thursday, as part of an initiative to build bridges between the Arab media and their peers in Israel. ... The trip was arranged by the non-profit Israel advocacy group 'The Israel Project,' whose Web site describes the group as 'an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace.' Shimrit Meir, senior advisor for the Israel Project’s Arab Media Program, said ... she was very pleased with how the outing turned out. 'It was exactly what we wanted. We didn’t want them to come for some hard-core hasbara [public diplomacy] meeting, with briefings from Israeli officials. We wanted them to be able to meet Avichai as well as Israeli journalists. Also, we wanted them to have the opportunity to come to Israel, get out of Gaza and see the other side in a quiet, peaceful way.'”

Understand Hebrew : *Hasbara*: Soft power, Pro-Israel Propaganda, explanation... - alquds43, Media Lens Message Board: "Hasbara, also spelt hasbarah, is a noun that literally means 'explanation'. The term has been used by the State of Israel and by supporters of Israel to describe their efforts to explain Israeli government policies, and to promote Israel to the world at large.

Meaning of the term [:] While hasbara literally means 'explanation', its exact import in its current usage is debated. Gideon Meir has said that there is no 'real, precise' translation of the word hasbara to English or any other language, and has characterized it as public diplomacy, an action undertaken by all governments around the world with the growing importance of what Harvard professor Joseph Nye termed soft power. Gary Rosenblatt describes it as 'advocacy'. Nathan Guttman has characterized hasbara as 'pro-Israel propaganda,' while Avi Hyman has said 'while propaganda strives to highlight the positive aspects of one side of a conflict, hasbara seeks to explain actions, whether or not they are justified.'" Image from

RE: Atta Mills: What Are Re-branding? - Mathias Alagbo, Ghana News: "Kindly permit me a space to react to the article titled- Atta Mills: What are Re-Branding? As published on your website on Tuesday, 16 March 2010. In the said article, the author Mr. Prah, instead of displaying candor and intelligence in his writing to promote a proper hallenging discourse, sounded more like a mischievous politician whose only interest is to paint black and create panic, confusion, lack of trust and render as in his words, disastrous and chaotic, The ‘Brand Ghana Office’ project instituted by His Excellency President John Evans Atta Mills. .... Country branding is not in any way a positive spin or propaganda as he [Prah] tried to paint it but rather involves the act of harmonizing all channels of national expression as varied as acts and policies of government, values and behaviours of the Citizenry, education, culture, sports, public health, taxation, public diplomacy, build and feel of settlements, promotion of export and investment and infrastructure development."

Obama Announces 15 Recess Appointments - Jay Newton-Small, Time: ‎"President Barack Obama today announced his intention to make 15 recess appointments, signaling his frustration with the Senate's foot dragging. ... [Among them is] Eric L. Hirschhorn:

Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration and head of the Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce Eric Hirschhorn, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Winston & Strawn LLP, long has been active in the areas of international law, litigation, and professional responsibility. ... [W]hile a member of President Jimmy Carter's reorganization project staff (1977-80), he worked on reorganizing the government's international trade, public diplomacy, and foreign assistance mechanisms." Hirshchorn Image from

B, E, G, C, A, D, F - The New Diplomacy 2010: A reflective group blog by some of the students on the New Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University: [Students' entries pertaining to Public Diplomacy]


Preservation by Design: Safeguarding the World's Cultural Heritage Opens at Meridian International Center March 20, 2010 - May 16, 2010 - press release, PR Newswire: "Meridian International Center and California-based Global Heritage Fund announce the opening of an international photographic exhibition, Preservation by Design: Safeguarding the World's Cultural Heritage on Saturday, March 20, 2010. The 77 images, which have never been seen by the general public, contain works by talented local photographers living in or near archaeological and cultural sites in China, Colombia, India, Peru, and Turkey. Photographs from Cambodia and Libya, drawn from the Global Heritage Fund archives, were taken by GHF field staff intimately familiar with these locales and the difficulties the sites face. ... Meridian International Center has built global partnerships through leadership exchanges and international collaboration for 50 years. Its Art for Cultural Diplomacy program organizes high-quality exhibitions as educational tools to share aspects of other cultures with audiences in the United States and elements of American culture with people abroad."

This Isn't Your Parents' Cultural Diplomacy - Tala Mohebi, Huffington Post:

"The value of a cultural diplomacy program can only be gauged by its ability to engage with foreign audiences and adapt to their means of communicating in meaningful ways. Nigeria and Japan, as two of countless countries that can be selected for their innovative programs, have proven yet again that the role of culture in public dialogue cannot be overvalued." Image from

Chasing the Dragon: Will India Catch Up with China? - Merinews: "The book 'Chasing the Dragon: Will India Catch Up with China?' seeks to compare the economic diverse systems of India and China. The main aim of this comparative analysis is to chalk out lessons from Chinese story for India. ... It is not a new thing to study India and China, but where this work stands distinct is how authors study the intricacies of working of different economic models and where does the performance in each sector place the two nations. ... However, any good analysis can’t escape the changing dynamics of the world. Aspects of green agenda, pandemics, ethical work practises, gender equity, and soft power like cultural diplomacy rarely find space in the revised edition."

Shanghai Expo Promotional Campaign held in MOA - Philippine Star: "A two-day promotional campaign to introduce the World Expo 2010 to be held in Shanghai to people of the Philippines was held at the Mall of Asia in Manila of the Philippines on Saturday, attracting 1,000 people. The event, 'World Expo Tourism Promotional Campaign in 100 cities of the World', was jointly organized by the Cultural Office of Chinese Embassy in Philippines,

the China National Tourist Office in Singapore for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and Federation of Philipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce. ... In his speech, [Philippine Foreign Affairs Under-Secretary] Franklin Ebdalin said, events such as these are essential in cultural diplomacy, which serves to foster political and economic diplomacy." Image from

Feasting on Asean's best - Sherma E. Benosa, Manila Times: "The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Festival of Arts (AFA) was like a great feast of Asean culture and soul that promised—and delivered—a spectacular show. Attending it felt like going to a feast expecting to partake of a rich and delicious fare and going home completely stuffed, perfectly satisfied, and thoroughly impressed with the bountiful offerings. Not only did the festival showcase outstanding performances from select performers from each of the 10 member-countries of the Asean, it also underscored the rich, diverse, and pulsating cultures in the region via songs produced using indigenous musical instruments, and plays and dances that were reflective of the participating countries’ cultures. … Commenting on the AFA, Cecile Guidote Alvarez, executive director of the NCCA [The Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts], said that the festival showcased 'a rich panorama of Asean culture where we can dynamically apply as a force for education, an engine for economic growth, an asset of our national pride, and a vehicle for cultural diplomacy for partnership and peace.'”

Issue 20: Bazaar now available - E-Flux: "The Bidoun Bazaar begins with the cover: a Swarovski crystal-studded portrait by Farhad Moshiri, the Andy Warhol of the Arab of world, who is profiled by editor Negar Azimi inside. ... In 'Arabia on the Turkey,' Adam John Waterman tells the tale of Elkader, Iowa, a small farm town named for an early nineteenth-century Algerian revolutionary — and a pawn in the great game of cultural diplomacy even today."

Dr Shireen Hunter -

"Examples of [Dr. Hunter's] Lecturing and Presentations: ... Speaking for USIA and Public Diplomacy (State Department), in Algeria, Armenia, Egypt, Germany, India, Israel, Kuwait, Poland, Spain." Hunter image from


Diplomacy 2.0 - Kenneth Weisbrode, Those who assume that the obsolescent diplomacy of the twentieth century – as it is described by today’s global network enthusiasts – was conducted entirely behind closed doors by elites have got their history wrong. We need only read the contemporary press accounts of any major international conference during this period to realize how important various pressure groups – not only the press, but also “peace activists,” bankers, industrialists, labor unions, religious organizations, and countless others – were in nearly all of these instances. Indeed, diplomats have long been some of the most proficient social networkers and connectors. And they have long confronted multiple agendas and constituencies, from those clamoring to influence the League of Nations’ disarmament conferences of the 1930’s to those wielding the megaphones in Copenhagen in December. The challenge today is to channel such passions into results.

Ambassadorships for sale - Carol Felsenthal, The Hill:

Obama is no worse than his predecessors [in selecting political appointees as ambassadors] — the tradition dates back to Andrew Jackson — but Obama promised he’d aim for more professional and fewer political appointees. Instead his numbers line up with his George W. Bush’s — approximately 70 percent professionally trained diplomats and 30 percent political appointees. ... The U.S. is the only major power that chooses its ambassador this way, and sometimes the practice rattles old friends. Via LB. Image from

Osama tape has intelligence officials fuming Jeff Stein, SpyTalk, Washington Post: U.S. counterterrorism officials seemed to have a hard time making up their minds on how to respond to Osama bin Laden’s latest tape. Terrorism experts said on the record that bin Laden’s message was less a real threat that an exercise in personal and political propaganda.

Why control of the web could mean control of you - Asavin Wattanajantra, Inquirer: Governments have always tried to control their citizens. It's a simple truth that those in authority want to have control of the people’s hearts, minds and allegiances. In propaganda those in power have had a tool with which they could shape what people think and feel. From Nazi imagery and film used in 1930s and 40s Germany to modern day spin we see so often in the newspapers, it's everywhere. But the advent of the web has changed everything. In terms of propaganda it has broken the ability of governments around the world to conduct massive large-scale propaganda campaigns which could control swaths of people. "The web is the ultimate propaganda machine, but not for governments," said Professor Phil Taylor,

of the Institute of Communication Studies at the University of Leeds. "Governments don't use the web very well." China's fight with Google over the censorship of search results shows that it is completely aware of the power of free information. But the argument centres around the fact that the Chinese state has a completely different ideology than what we feel is normal in the West. "The Chinese state basically thinks that the collective is more important than the individual," said Professor Taylor. "Where as here in the west we have become so individualistic in our approach. For example in the US they hate government with a vengeance in a way which we are getting to." Taylor image from

Brin Drove Google to Pull Back in China - Jessica E. Vascellaro, Wall Street Journal: Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin pushed the Internet giant to take the risky step of abandoning its China-based search engine as that country's efforts to censor the Web and suppress dissidents smacked of the "totalitarianism" of his youth in the Soviet Union.

US corporations not lining up behind Google in its confrontation with China – Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Was leaflets, is now DVDs, sent into North Korea via balloons - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Restricted, but Not Deterred - Dennis Lim, New York Times: Besides being a dictator, a political thorn for the West and a Dr. Evil-like figure of pop culture ridicule, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il

is also a film buff. Other dictators have taken an interest in cinema as a propaganda tool — Stalin exploited Sergei Eisenstein and Hitler hired Leni Riefenstahl — but Mr. Kim has gone further. The Dear Leader, as he is called, is the author of the textbook cum manifesto “On the Art of the Cinema.” He has been known to function as a hands-on mogul in the state-run film industry, rewriting scripts and nurturing pet projects. In 1978 — while running the propaganda department under his father, Kim Il-sung, the country’s founding president — he even arranged the kidnapping of Shin Sang-ok, a South Korean director, whom he tasked with improving the quality of North Korean movies. But while Mr. Kim’s cinephilic ardor is well established, the cinema of and about North Korea remains as murky as one would expect of a nation routinely described as a hermit kingdom and an information black hole. ... Three new films, however, show in very different ways that it is possible to bypass or subvert official channels when dealing with North Korea. Image from

The 17 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Propaganda Posters - Jacopo della Quercia,

WWII era Anti-VD Propaganda - Gloria Brame Ph.D., Bilerico Project

The Art of Propaganda: The Godzilla Factor – divide, Alternet: "The Propagandist uses primeval tactics to reach the audience on a level that operates outside of objective and rational argument. The Propagandist uses images, ideas that awaken the deep primal fears every human being has locked away in our minds sequestered only by reason. ... GODZILLA

is my favorite monster my favorite propaganda image, idea. You may have never thought about Godzilla as a propaganda metaphor; but he is. Created by the Japanese as an anti nuclear symbol Godzilla is a monster born of the unintended consequence of scientific invention." Image from


"Is it so hard to remember what happens when liberal democracies accept the unacceptable? Is it too much to hope that, for the government of the United States in 2010, accepting the unacceptable should be unacceptable?"

--Pundit Bill Kristol

"For some goddamn reasons Republicans can't write."

--Henry Luce, quoted in Arthur Schlesinger, JR., A Life in the Twentieth Century, p. 394.


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