Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31

"President-apparent Benigno Simeon 'Noynoy' Aquino III said on Monday he is seriously considering television talk show host Boy Abunda to serve in government … , citing Abunda's taking of a Masteral Degree in International Relations on Public Diplomacy at the Philippine Women's University."

--Kris Bayos, "Boy Abunda considered for Cabinet post," Manila Bulletin Publishing Bulletin Cooperation; Abunda image from; see also


Federal Trade Commission floats idea of domestically disseminating VOA and RFE/RL - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting:

"VOA and RFE/RL are available now to US citizens who visit and Those visitors can decide for themselves if the content is 'propaganda.' This availability will continue unless the broadcasters are required to observe the domestic dissemination provision of the Smith Mundt Act by forbidding access to computers with US IP addresses." Image from

Broadcasting Board of Governors nominees not yet confirmed - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

US Pavilion in Shanghai Fails to Do Its Job: "San Antonio Threw a ($500,000) Party and No One Came" - Bob Jacobson, Huffington Post

Soapbox Derby Revisited – Laura McGinnis, manIC: "Public diplomacy success

relies on strong cross-cultural communication. To that end, I believe the United States should increase efforts to engage with diasporic populations. According to the U.S. Census the 2007 U.S. population included 38.1 million foreign born—more than 12 percent of the total population. ... In terms of programming, the government should ensure that PD programs are well funded, strategically coordinated, and based on a foundation of mutual respect and collaborative partnership." Image from

If Elected, Can the Right Reverse The Narrative? - xMadMike, x-Political: "We should reorient our public diplomacy away from selling American consumerism and popular music and otherwise currying favor with foreign populations. Current polling abroad shows this doesn’t work anyway. Instead, we should remind the world that we are a nation of free people, who cherish free speech and individual conscience and oppose religious fanaticism and political violence. If other people hold other values, so be it."

The American government against the world public?: Theoretical and empirical analysis of public diplomacy on the Iraq war (Paperback) -

'Der Reiz dieser Studie liegt (..)sicherlich darin, dass sie nicht allein die hinlänglich bekannten inneramerikanischen Informationskampagnen und Medienmanipulationen einmal mehr aufrollt, sondern dass sie am Beispiel Deutschlands auch zeigt, wie es der Administration gelang, solche Staaten für die eigenen Zwecke zu dämonisieren und damit zusätzliche Untertützung in der Gesellschaft für ihr Handeln zu generieren. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24.06.2008) [Google translation:] The appeal of this study is (..) is certainly the fact that it not only the adequately known U.S. domestic information campaigns and media manipulation, once again rolling up, but at the example of Germany also shows how it managed the administration, such states for their own purposes demonize and thereby generate additional housing areas in society for their actions. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24.06.2008)" Image from

RFE/RL popular in Belarusian prison - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

A Well-thought Plan - ‎Ari Bussel, Canada Free Press: "Bloomberg reports 'Israeli Forces Clash With Gaza-bound Ships; Reports of 10 Dead.' Al Jazeera in English: 'Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet, up to 16 people reportedly killed and dozens injured after troops board ships trying to break Gaza siege.' ...

This is how wars break. A ruse is used, which then leads to an avalanche. The cost, whether in human life or otherwise, is meaningless to the organizers of the convoy to Gaza. Their goal was to break the naval siege at all costs, or in the alternative to cause as much harm to Israel as possible, both on the international public diplomacy front and on the domestic resistance/fifth column of Israeli Arabs. In either case they are the victors." Image from

Do Not Attack Flotillas of Ships Containing the Following People: A Handy Reference for Good Public Diplomacy - Sublime Surprise: "So, you want to make sure that your nation has the hearts and minds of the world regarding (insert debacle here). The first thing you should do is not attack a humanitarian flotilla containing any of the following: 1. The first female Israeli-Arab delegate to your own nation’s parliament, no matter how infuriating her statements might be. It’s like shooting your own hand off. 2. A member of Sweden’s parliament. They’re neutral, and you don’t want to endanger your IKEA shipments, do you? 3. Members of the German Bundestag. 4. An archbishop of the Byzantine Right Catholic Church 5. A survivor of the USS Liberty fiasco. You already shot at the poor guy once. Honestly, what the hell was Bibi thinking?!"

#FreeHasbara - forecasthighs: "It is now painfully clear that Israel did not adequately prepare ahead of time for its battle at sea with the Free Gaza Flotilla. Not militarily, and not in the public diplomacy arena. While the intelligence failure led ill-equipped soldiers into an ambush from which they had to shoot their way out, the failure to prepare the ground for a PR offensive is an all-too-familiar occurrence in these parts. … It is becoming increasingly clear that money is not the only issue, and that the people charged with disseminating Israel’s message still don’t get IT. Setting aside the obvious issue of real diplomatic progress with the Palestinians and other Arab states, and the effect that would have on Israel’s image, the tiny, brainy and resourceful Jewish state is light years away from its adversaries on communicating its message. Money is not the answer: forward-looking and creative use of traditional and new media is of urgent importance. ... While Israel is justifiably known as the world’s 'Start-up Nation' for its technological dynamism and entrepreneurship, we are being beaten hands down on the PR uses of this new technology. We may be a start up nation, but we are bricks and mortar communicators. Our adversaries have cntrl-alt-deleted us."

Israel - Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press, 30 May 2010 - ‎ISRIA: "Yisrael Hayom discusses the public diplomacy challenge facing Israel in the wake of the Gaza flotilla. 'The flotilla is being led by international organizations and various human rights warriors. In a war between them and a country, the country will always lose.' The author advocates that 'We must invest efforts in [the use of] soft force, paradoxically. We must be positive and creative.' He contends that 'The proper combination in order to succeed in the new war is that between soft and hard power in order to arrive at the desired level of wise power.'" More on flotilla attack below in "related items."

How Israeli hasbara works - Issandr El Amrani, The Arabist: "Hasbara is the Hebrew word for public diplomacy, i.e. the role people outside of government can have to spread pro-Israel messages and attack Israel's critics.

It is a tried and tested propaganda method long relayed not only by Israeli citizens, but also pro-Israel lobbies (e.g. AIPAC), pro-Israel Jewish community groups (e.g. CRIF) and pro-Israel think tanks (e.g. WINEP). With the advent of the web, pro-Israel groups working in tandem with Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has conducted an often successful and often intensive hasbara effort targeting bloggers.

This has included, for instance, efforts to leave comments in blog posts regarding Israel to defend the Israeli perspective." Images: World Facebook Hasbara Campaign - Brazilian Style from; Gaza White Phosphorus Victim, from Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place: Essays on politics, culture and ideas about Israeli-Arab peace and world music

Turkey's PD Charm – Lena, Global Chaos: "It seems that Mr. Davutoğlu, the current Foreign Minister, ... has been instrumental in developing Turkey's current foreign policy of 'Zero problems with neighbors' and its positioning as a key mediator in many of the regional conflicts . ... One of the most significant initiatives - except for the 'Zero-problem neighborhood' of course - was the establishment of the new Public Diplomacy Coordination Agency to oversee and coordinate all the various PD initiatives by governmental and non-governmental efforts. Davutoğlu does appreciate the power of image and perception. ... There are many challenges and troubles to overcome in Turkey's public diplomacy, just as in its foreign policy; and yet first steps have been made and given the potential, Turkey just needs to keep walking despite difficulties: whether they are foreign or domestic."

Sake increasing presence at diplomatic banquets - ‎Kyodo News: [site expired; entry from Google]:

"Kenjiro Moji, chief of the Foreign Ministry's Public Diplomacy Department, said he wants to popularize sake as part of Japan's culture." See also. Image from

Dubai School of Government Roundtable Mulls Future of Diplomacy and Its Relevance in the Middle East - Tarek Yousif, Zawya: "In the 21st century, diplomats will have to change from being mere observers and reporters to assuming the role of actors who take positive decisions, according to Ambassador Marc Grossman, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and Senior Diplomacy Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project, Belfer Center, at the Harvard Kennedy School. ... Describing the dynamic context and challenging environment in which modern-day diplomats function, Ambassador Grossman said: 'Diplomats today have to work across different fields. They require scientific training to understand issues related to energy and the environment; they need media training, as well as an understanding of public diplomacy, and are expected to function alongside private sector entities such as corporations, NGOs and the media, among others.'"

Pakistan and the Problem of Credibility: More on the International Relations/Communications Gap - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence:

"In the Public Diplomacy studies the dominant voices come come from IR and communication. This creates a problem in that both tend to work at very different levels of analysis – IR with states and communications with individuals. This leads to a huge gap between the call for a more ‘strategic’ approach that you find in the policy literature and individuals who may or may not being influenced by PD activities. When IR people look to the communications literature for insights they tend to end up with individual level cognitive models of influence. Bridging these different levels of analysis is important. Filling in the gap between strategies and individuals tells you who you have to influence but also if and how they can be influenced. … Conceptualizing the public diplomacy problem purely as one of communication limits the theoretical (and practical) tools available and may actually make the problems look more difficult than they actually are." Image from

Hard vs. Soft Power: Foreign Policy Strategies in Contemporary International Politics: "The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy is currently accepting applications to the international congress 'Hard vs. Soft Power: Foreign Policy Strategies in Contemporary International Politics'. Speakers will include leading figures from international politics and diplomacy, academia, civil society, the armed forces, and related fields."

Episode - New Podcast: GovLoop Does Gov 2.0 Expo, plus Acquisition 2.0 - "Adriel Hampton Join a discussion on GovLoop Does Gov 2.0 Expo with conference circuit veteran and GovLoop community manager Andy Krzmarzick, with fresh perspective from GovLoop intern and Syracuse public diplomacy student Attia Nasar.

Also, Sterling Whitehead on Acquisition 2.0 and the upcoming BuyCamp." Nasar image from

About Me - C'est si bon: Il faut cultiver notre jardin: "Heather: Washington, DC, United States was insurance broker, then peace corps, now starting with the foreign service as a public diplomacy officer."


America is still the best guarantor of freedom and prosperity: The U.S. still possesses unprecedented power projection capabilities, and just as important, it is armed with the goodwill of countless countries that know the U.S. offers protection from bullies - Max Boot,

American power is the world's best guarantor of freedom and prosperity.This isn't to deny the prevalence of anti-Americanism even in the Age of Obama. Nor is it to wish away the real threats to American power — from external challenges (Iran, China, Islamist terrorists) to, more worrying, internal weaknesses (rising debt levels, decreasing military spending as a percentage of the federal budget, a shrinking Navy). But if my cross-global jaunt taught me anything, it is that those countries that dismiss the prospects for continuing American leadership do so at their peril. Image from

In Afghan region, U.S. spreads the cash to fight the Taliban - Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post: USAID's "burn rate" in Afghanistan -- the amount it spends -- is about $300 million a month and will probably stay at that level for at least a year. The White House recently asked Congress for an additional $4.4 billion for reconstruction and development programs in Afghanistan, with the aim of increasing employment and promoting economic growth in areas beset by the insurgency.

Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight: Taliban Propaganda Watch (Rc South) 302345utc May 10 - MILNEWS.Ca Blog

Can Obama and Clinton Look Any More Ridiculous On Iran? -

Regardless of what neocons say, the Iranian nuclear program has not violated any IAEA safeguards and so the repeated descriptions of it being an “illicit program” are nothing more than calls for war by the same lairs who painted us into the corner in Iraq, another neocon propaganda success story. Image from

Gaza flotilla drives Israel into a sea of stupidity: Of course the peace flotilla will not bring peace, and it won't even manage to reach the Gaza shore. The action plan has included dragging the ships to Ashdod port, but it has again dragged us to the shores of stupidity and wrongdoing - Gideon Levy, Haaretz: The Israeli propaganda machine has reached new highs its hopeless frenzy. It has distributed menus from Gaza restaurants, along with false information. It embarrassed itself by entering a futile public relations battle, which it might have been better off never starting. They want to maintain the ineffective, illegal and unethical siege on Gaza and not let the "peace flotilla" dock off the Gaza coast? There is nothing to explain, certainly not to a world that will never buy the web of explanations, lies and tactics. Only in Israel do people still accept these tainted goods.

A Tired Propaganda Battle At Sea - ‎Power Line: Now, Israeli naval vessels are moving to intercept the flotilla. They will tell the ships that they must proceed to Ashdod harbor or else be boarded.

Israel's Government Press Office also responded to the activists' claim of hardship in Gaza by recommending the Roots Club in Gaza City. "We have been told the beef stroganoff and cream of spinach soup are highly recommended," the Press Office said in an email to reporters. This sort of kabuki PR contest seems sterile, but that doesn't stop Arab media from joining in the propaganda effort. The video clip from Al Jazeera included in entry shows how millions of people around the world are learning about the flotilla.' Image from: An Israeli commando points a gun at activists on the Turkish ship.

The Gaza Flotilla: A Battle “Won” in a Losing Propaganda War - Tom Quiggin, Global Brief: The reactions to the Israeli Navy interception and attack on the Gaza Flotilla will have a largely disproportionate reaction around the world. Numerous countries, including those who are friendly to Israel, or at least cooperate with it, will find their national positions compromised with serious and perhaps violent internal reactions. The incident occurred while Prime Minister Netanyahu was visiting Canada enroute to a previously scheduled meeting with US President Obama. The decision of Mr Netanyahu to leave Canada and cancel the visit to the USA underlines the severity of the crisis.

World Condemns Brutal Israeli Assault on Humanitarian Convoy – Juan Cole, Informed Comment

IDF soldier: 'It felt like a lynch' – Jerusalem Post: The IDF released footage of the Monday raid on the "Free Gaza" flotilla, which depicted the activists upon the ship attacking soldiers with various weapons, including a large metal pole and other metal objects. In the IDF takeover, at least 15 activists were killed and dozens were injured.

Gaza Flotilla: Wikipedia Continues to be a Proxy for anti-Israel Propaganda - Jewish Internet Defense Force:

An article on Wikipedia, entitled, "Gaza Flotilla Clash" is a new hot spot of activity for the Jew hating, Israel hating, Islamic terrorist loving editors who reign supreme on the platform. As is always the case on Wikipedia, Israel and the Jewish people continue to take a beating, as extreme leftists, Hamas sympathizers, and anti-Israel advocates of all shapes and colors froth at the mouth and dominate the platform. The anti-Israel Wikipedia editors are working in full force, purposely finding and using the most damaging excerpts from the most biased, anti-Israel media sources (such as Al Jazeera and Ha'aretz). Typical to the platform, any overtly Jewish or remotely pro-Israel editors are shot down by a mob of group-thinking terror sympathizers and leftists, determined to put Israel and the Jewish people in the worst light possible. Image from

Helium balloons float propaganda into North Korea - Kyung Lah, ‎CNN - Park Sang Hak and his family jammed 150,000 sheets of paper, dollar bills, DVDs and tiny AM/FM radios inside bags attached to giant inflatable helium balloons. They launched them into the sky where they floated 200 km (124 miles) across the border to North Korea. The message: Kim Jong Il is lying to you.

Wanted: Russian-English Translator to Pimp Propaganda for Terrorists
- Rusty Shackleford, The Jawa Report: It's, like, a dream job!


Most Party Hats Worn At Once

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 29-30

“2b?Ntb? = ?”

--Hamlet’s famous line rendered in telephone texting format; image: Edwin Booth as Hamlet (1870) from

"The government is doing everything humanly and technologically possible to plug the hole 5,000 feet above — ar — 5,000 feet below — the floor — below the ocean."

--Obama's press spokesman Robert Gibbs, on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer on CBS.


Dealing With Pakistan – Editorial, ‎New York Times: "The United States still does not have a good enough strategy for winning over Pakistan’s people, who are fed a relentless diet

of anti-American propaganda. ... The State Department also needs to move faster to implement its public diplomacy plan for Pakistan. Officials need to think hard about how to make sure Pakistanis know that aid is coming from the United States — like the $51 million for upgrading three thermal power plants announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in October. It is a delicate issue, but the 'made in America' label has to be affixed. The State Department has committed to spend $107 million over two years to help Pakistanis better understand the United States. Plans include bringing 2,500 Pakistani academics and others on exchange visits and expanding after-school English classes in Pakistan. There also are proposals to bring more American academics to Pakistan and to reopen cultural centers. They should move ahead. An initiative to make more American officials available to speak directly to Pakistanis has shown promise. Changing Pakistani attitudes about the United States will take generations. The Shahzad case is one more reminder that there is no time to lose." Image from

Shadows & Tremors Beneath US-Pakistani Relations – James Gundun, The Trench: "The NYT seems to have taken to blaming everything on Pakistanis, a sentiment visible in the general American public and media. Its solution to change Pakistani minds: 'The State Department needs to move faster to implement its public diplomacy plan for Pakistan. Officials need to think hard about how to make sure Pakistanis know that aid is coming from the United States - like the $51 million for upgrading three thermal power plants announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in October. It is a delicate issue, but the ‘made in America’ label has to be affixed.' Yes, send Clinton to handle a 'delicate issue' in Pakistan. She already tried to implement a public diplomacy plan and it didn’t go so well. What Pakistanis hate more than America is US doublespeak, which Clinton and Gates excel at. Public relations miss the point - America must change its actions, not its rhetoric. This arrogance is exactly why Obama continues to face the same image problems as George Bush."

State Department/USUN Report to the White House Council on Women and Girls, ‎US Department of State:

"The State Department is firmly committed to promoting women’s empowerment and human rights around the world. The Department’s main office for coordinating its policy and programs on issues affecting women and girls is the Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI). ... In the multilateral sphere, S/GWI works with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) to advance women’s rights, freedoms, and opportunities. Within the Department, S/GWI and USUN work with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO), and Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP), as well as with the regional bureaus and the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R)." Image from

Applying the Tools of 21st Century Statecraft to Public Engagement - Luke Forgerson, Ethiopian Review: "Under Secretary Judith McHale recently convened a series of discussions and asked State Department colleagues to move public diplomacy forward in innovative ways. These discussions focused on several activities, including everything from student exchanges to English-language teaching programs. I had the opportunity to step away from my day-to-day tasks associated with DipNote and join a dozen colleagues to consider how the State Department is using new media and technology to engage the public. We addressed the Department's current new media efforts (last week, examined the same topic) and brainstormed ways we can effectively leverage new tools and technologies. We looked at online communication trends with distinguished experts, many of whom graciously joined us on short notice via conference call or Skype. Finally, we listened and learned from each other, as colleagues shared the work they are doing from Korea to Libya, Argentina to Canada. I certainly left the session inspired by my colleagues, and suspect I wasn't alone in my sentiment. Source: U.S. Department of State."

Edward R. Murrow's Theory: Is It Right? - Nancy Snow, ‎Huffington Post:

"Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs ... shared this in her May 23rd Commencement Address at Coker College: 'Let me suggest a moral imperative for the twenty-first century: that we must make the necessity to treat people and nations always first as potential partners and not as potential threats.' McHale's words, at least in this one short phrase, suggest a theory of public diplomacy ... [that] reflect a sentiment shared by historian Henry Steele Commager, who influenced Murrow's [Edward Murrow, Director of USIA – United States Information Agency during the Kennedy administration] own moral imperatives at USIA. Commager said that the United States had a special obligation to the community of nations because it was 'particularly dependent on and related to other peoples and other nations.'" Image from

Fitzgerald: That Muslim Economic Summit in Washington – Jihad Watch: "White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said the administration believes that promoting global entrepreneurship is a vital part of U.S. foreign policy. 'This is not simply an exercise in public outreach or public diplomacy,' Rhodes said. 'We believe this is the beginning of forging tangible partnerships.'"

Naval Diplomacy, Strategic Communication, and the NOC - Galrahn, "I'm a big Lindy Kyzer fan, because as communication specialists go in the armed services - she is one of the best. I'm a bigger LT Jennifer Cragg fan - but that's more of a Navy > Army thing. Lindy has a post up on the Official Army blog worth noting, because it discusses a topic. I've been thinking about as I read through the NOC for the third time. It is very nice that the official Army blog is dynamic enough that one can find someone who isn't a flag officer giving a strong opinion. Perhaps if the official Navy blog was similar I'd think it was worth a link...Lindy has a strong opinion on the term strategic communication, indeed on the larger concept related to the DoD.

The term strategic communication has been around for awhile, and gained traction around 2002. And it’s almost always been tied to the military and State Department in our roles of communicating issues related to national defense and public diplomacy. Then National Security Advisor Condelezza Rice even established a Strategic Communication Policy Coordinating Commitee in 2002 (word is they’re still out there somewhere, debating the definition of the term strategic communication)." Kyzer image from

Statement by Letitia King, Director, BBG Office of Public Affairs - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Radio remains a prime medium for U.S. international broadcasting to reach audiences around the world. In fact, of the 171 million people reached weekly by Broadcasting Board of Governors broadcasts, 102 million are reached via radio. The Ofcom research cited by Helle Dale gives insight on the domestic market in the United Kingdom. In the case of international broadcasting, we are reaching diverse and dynamic marketplaces outside the U.K. The strategy of the BBG is to reach audiences on the media they prefer, when it is possible to do so. To determine media preferences, the BBG conducts a robust global research program. Changes in audience media use grow increasingly complex and demand that a one-size-fits-all shortwave solution must be replaced with individually tailored approaches to match the market. Media usage worldwide has grown increasingly complex, and Dale’s wishes for a shortwave solution are not supported by the facts. ... The BBG and VOA are not abandoning shortwave; it is our audiences that are migrating to other media."

Salud Para La Gente hosts Serbian health providers - Name Dropping, May 30: SV hosts law, banking professionals, [Scroll down link for item]: "Salud Para La Gente hosted 10 Serbian women health providers with a clinic tour and luncheon in Watsonville on May 12.

The Serbians were in the Santa Cruz area, living with American families and visiting various health facilities under the auspices of the USAID Community Connections Public Diplomacy Program, which provides technical training and cultural exchanges." Image from, with the following observation: "The Beauty Of Serbian Women Posted by Karl Haudbourg I really want to stop writing stories about people making statements about the beauty of Serbian women, but the latest is too good not to share. Last month, we wrote about an Indian guy who spent a week working in Serbia saying that Serbian women are the most beautiful on earth. Back in India, he’s still amazed with the beauty of Serbian women, and goes on to write another blog post about Serbian women. In fact, it’s an email that he has sent to his colleagues a few days after landing at Belgrade. The email is so good that I ended up including the whole thing, because it’s too good not to read — but check out Indiandream’s site directly."

President calls upon Indian community in China to create goodwill - ‎All India Radio: "President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has called upon Indian community in China to create goodwill and function as a bridge between both the countries. ... The President said, India has organised a cultural festival of India in China and it has been well received and given the people of China an insight into our heritage. India's participation at the Shanghai Expo-2010 is also an integral part of its outreach to the Chinese people which allows us to project our values.She met writers, Indian intellectuals, IT Experts working in Multinational Companies in China and Hong Kong and representatives of Indian Bank in China. She was received by the Mayor of Shanghai Tang Deng Jie. Earlier, the dedicated to the Chinese people an Indian style Buddhist temple at Luoyang in Henan province. This is one of India's biggest public diplomacy initiative in China. The temple has been built within the historic White Horse Monastary Complex."

Third Session of the CPPCC National Committee first- Xinhua News Agency, posted at sellshoesf73g: "Eleventh CPPCC National Committee at its third session, after completing its agenda, 13 am in the Great Hall of the closing. The meeting called on the CPPCC organizations at all levels, all participating units and CPPCC members,

closely unite the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Deng Xiaoping Theory and 'Three Represents' thinking, thoroughly implement the scientific concept of development, the courage to dare to play a glorious mission, the spirit of solidarity and cohesion to move forward from strength to exert the energy to complete a good spirited challenge for the win reform and opening up and socialist modernization The great victory of the new struggle! ... With Hong Kong, Macao compatriots to deepen exchanges and cooperation, the CPPCC to promote public diplomacy." CPPCC image from

ADA holds Advanced Foreign Service Program graduation - ‎News.Az: "Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA) held graduation ceremony for the Advanced Foreign Service Program, attended by Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. ... The Advanced Foreign Service Program is a six-month training course for diplomats and civil servants. The participants attended seminars and workshops on international relations, international law andeconomics, public diplomacy, consular services, as well as on communication, presentation, negotiation skills. 14 of the students have been granted one-month internships at Azerbaijani embassies inSpain, US, UK, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic."

The Financial Armageddon with Dr. Igor Panarin Dr. John Brown and Edward Hodgman - Jose Luis Flores,

"Dr. Igor Panarin predicts the collapse of the United states just like as it happened to the Soviet Union ... [Entry has video of ] his ... Lecture, Debate and Discussion about Dr. Igor Panarin’s view that the Financial Crisis will lead to the collapse of the U.S. Main Participants: Dr. Igor Panarin (Former KGB Anal), Dr. John Brown (Professor Georgetown University) and Edward Hodgman (executive director of Understanding Government) Dr. Igor Panarin is former KGB analyst and currently professor at the Moscow State Diplomacy Academy under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Note: In February 2005, Panarin proposed the 'creation of a State Commission for Public Diplomacy of Russia (later renamed to a Council for Public Diplomacy).' The topic of Panarin’s discussion at the Center — billed as a Lecture-Debate — was his unique perspective on the future of the United States." Image from

The idea of Sovereignty in Public Diplomacy - Madhurjya Kotoky, The Public Diplomacy Blog: “'Global citizen diplomacy'” ... has the potential to dwarf government to government public diplomacy."

Moving At The Speed Of Change 2010: InterAction Annual Forum - press release, ‎ "InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations

focused on the world's poor and most vulnerable people, will be hosting its annual conference next week in Washington. Hundreds of leaders representing public, private and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will convene to discuss and examine a wide range of foreign policy issues, including: U.S. foreign assistance, the role of NGOs in public diplomacy, engaging men and boys in gender equality, the Millennium Development Goals, hunger as a development priority and Haiti." Image from

Summer Program - Our Neighbors - [scroll down link for item]: "Andrea Cohen, a junior at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, has been awarded a full scholarship to the 2010 Telluride Association Summer Program at The University of Texas at Austin, 'Changing Minds, Winning Peace: Cultural and Public Diplomacy in Today's World.' This year, Telluride Association is co-sponsoring three programs, two with Cornell University and one with The University of Texas. These six-week-long educational programs involve college-level seminars for gifted and highly motivated high school juniors. This year's 50 participants were chosen from 1,001 applications from all parts of the United States and abroad. For more information, visit"

Multimedia - Audio: Jon Wilks on his UK public diplomacy role - "Recently posted at the British embassy in Dubai, Jon Wilks is no newcomer to the Middle East. Having served across the region over a number of years, the fluent Arabic speaker has been brought in to explain British government policy to the Arab World. Speaking to Arab Media & Society Managing Editor George Weyman, Wilks talks about his role, revealing his mixed views on Arab-channel interviews and how he avoids discussing conspiracy theories."

Deputy Director-General: Public Diplomacy - "Reference: Ref. 66750/3Start Date: 23 May 2010 Expiry Date: 11 Jun 2010Company: The Department of International Relations and Cooperation Location: South Africa - Gauteng - Pretoria Industry: Government and Public Sector Salary Range: From 976317.00 to 0.00 ANNUALLY SPECIFIED Applicants must be in possession of an appropriate Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification and/or appropriate experience and at least five years' strategic management experience. Job Description Branch: Public DiplomacyDeputy Director-General: Public Diplomacy Total salary package: R976 317 per annum.

This all-inclusive remuneration package consists of a basic salary, the State’s contribution to the Government Employees Pension Fund and a flexible portion that may be structured in terms of the applicable rules. The successful candidate will be required to sign a performance contract (Ref. 66750/3) Requirements: Applicants must be in possession of an appropriate Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualificationand/or appropriate experience and at least five years' strategic management experience." Image from


Why Obama's image doesn't match his record - Al Neuharth, USA TODAY: Every president needs a press secretary who is adept not only at answering questions but also at anticipating them. Obama suffers because White House press spokesman Robert Gibbs is better at dealing with politicians than he is with the press.

Can Obama's team of rivals bring Afghan success? - David Ignatius, Washington Post:

Obama has also come to appreciate the value of ceremonial events in sending clear messages on foreign policy. The Karzai visit was a case in point. Image from

A Trillion Dollar Turning Point? - Rep. John Conyers, Huffington Post: As of 10:06 a.m., Sunday, May 30th, the United States will have spent $1 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As we approach this milestone, Americans of all political stripes should take a moment to consider what war spending on this scale means, not just in dollars spent, but in terms of opportunities lost to strengthen, invest in, and improve our country. ... During my 44 years in Congress, I have personally witnessed the transformational change that is possible when the American people resolve to take back their democracy. As my friend and mentor, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated, "Those of us who love peace must organize as effectively as war hawks. As they spread the propaganda of war, we must spread the propaganda of peace." This Sunday, I hope that my fellow citizens will heed Dr. King's advice and ensure that this May 30th isn't remembered only as the day America crossed the $1 trillion threshold, but also as the day Americans took a united stand against more war

English as a Juggernaut Conquers the World With Glee and an OMG [Review of Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language By Robert McCrum] - Dwight Garner, New York Times:

One of Mr. McCrum’s predictions in “Globish” is that English is about to make a “declaration of independence from the linguistic past.” English is shedding many of its colonial and imperial connotations and is becoming what the anthropologist Benedict Anderson calls a type of “post-clerical Latin.” Image from

Israel goes PR through Propaganda - Sameh Habeeb, Palestine Telegraph: Israeli TVs and tens of other Israeli media outlets seem to be recruited by the government of Israel now. The propaganda portrayed in these media outlets will never succeed to changing the damaged image of Israel.

S Korean military puts anti-DPRK propaganda leaflet plan on hold - ‎Lin Zhi, Xinhua:

South Korea's military has put off a plan to fly anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Yonhap news agency reported Sunday, citing a defense ministry official. "Leaflet distribution had been put off due to weather conditions so far, but we have now decided to put it on hold for the time being, considering the political situation," the ministry official said on condition of anonymity. Distributing propaganda leaflets is among a series of measures South Korea plans to take in retaliation for the alleged DPRK's sinking of a South Korean warship in March, which killed 46 sailors. Other steps include halting trade with DPRK and resuming loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts along the border. Image from


"Public diplomacy is a message with truth.
Truth in advertising is a message with occasional truth.
Strategic communications: the message counts more than truth.

Propaganda is a message with truth, when truth fits the message.
Cultural diplomacy -- a message with culture, not always truth.
Cultural relations: messages, truth.
Education is truth with a message.
Art is truth without a message.
Truth has no message but truth."

--From; image from


Meanwhile, In Arlington... - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog: I no longer keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo: Police are looking for a a 6′2″ transsexual who ran from a South Arlington beauty store with a pilfered wig, hopped into a car and sped off onto Columbia Pike. Usman Minayar, manager of the Crystal Beauty store on South Edgewood Street, said the suspect tried to stealthily put the $17 ten inch honey blond wig in a purse while her friend, a local stripper, distracted him. When Minayar saw what was going on, the suspect made a mad dash for the door.

He didn’t try to stop her.“I was a bit scared… [s]he’s a big guy… [s]he might knock me down, you know.”The suspect was wearing a black shirt, a bandana and “booty shorts” at the time of the theft, Minayar said. He said he’s confused by the theft because both the transsexual woman and the stripper, a biological female, have bought items at the store before. Image from article


--from: Cultural Tips for New Americans, 2009 ; livre en mousse, acrylique et encre, édition de 3. © DR, via Stanislas Bourgain (facebook entry)

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 27-28

"It is essential that U.S.-supported Persian-language radio broadcast the truth, but it must also remain on message."

--Michael Rubin, writing in Commentary; image from

"'Truth' that is also 'on message' is public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is a necessary and honorable profession, but it's not news."

--International broadcasting specialist Kim Andrew Elliott; see also "A message with truth is public diplomacy," inspired by the above quotation


Liu Launch US-China People-to-People Initiative - ‎press release, "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong have launched a people-to-people initiative aimed at enhancing understanding and engagement between the Chinese and American people through a variety of exchange programs.

Clinton and Liu signed the initiative in a ceremony at the National Center for the Performing Arts near Beijing's Tiananmen Square May 25. They were joined by more than 300 American and Chinese students, scholars, teachers, musicians and cultural representatives. ... Clinton said the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, Judith McHale, will coordinate the expanding exchange efforts. ... (This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:" Image from

Worldview: A chance to talk to Chinese : U.S. officials belatedly seized an opportunity presented by a world's fair in Shanghai - ‎Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: "The mammoth World Expo 2010, which just opened here, offers a terrific opportunity for U.S. public diplomacy - reaching out to millions of Chinese via our exhibition. Yet the United States, alone among the world's leading countries, nearly had no pavilion at the Expo, because of congressional restrictions that make it almost impossible to use federal funds for world's fairs. ... Beijing officials have set a goal of 70 million mostly Chinese visitors (they want to well surpass the attendance at all past expos) and are busing in workers and farmers from far-flung provinces. This presents a unique chance to expose a broad swath of Chinese to U.S. ideas. ... The Chinese eagerness to see the U.S. exhibit is evident in the long lines that zigzag in front of the building, with a wait of at least 90 minutes. The shiny silver facade of the pavilion, with a waterfall cascading down its front, may not be as dramatic as many of the other countries' buildings, but Chinese visitors eagerly pose for photos under the huge, red 'USA' on the front. As for the presentations inside - three large rooms with multiscreen film offerings and a fourth with interactive video displays by corporate sponsors - they represent a creative gamble. There is no sensational physical exhibit of American technology, but rather a subtle presentation of ideas. ... I must admit I wasn't certain that Chinese visitors would get the message that citizens can work together for change without being directed by their government. Yet, in conversations with a couple dozen Chinese visitors, I heard comments such as 'Even a little girl can make a change' and remarks about 'the American spirit of cooperation' and 'working together to make things better.' Many approved of the film's 'message to protect the environment.'"

Clinton visits world's fair in Shanghai, not as impressed with U.S. pavilion - Preeti Aroon, Foreign Policy: "U.S. law makes government funding of an American pavilion difficult, so Clinton used her fundraising skills to bring in private money for the USA Pavilion. (See the March FP article, 'A Sorry Spectacle.' For fairness, check out the rebuttal piece 'Defending the USA Pavilion.') The result: an ugly USA Pavilion. ... Still, the USA Pavilion has proved popular among the Chinese. (The pavilion doesn't mention anything about democracy and freedom of expression, with the head of the pavilion's steering committee telling the Post that a main goal was not to be 'insulting' to the Chinese.)

When asked her opinion of the Expo in its entirety, Clinton appeared moved and said, 'It's so much of a tradition of these expos, all the way back to St. Louis or New York.… It's like a coming-out party for countries and cities. There's a real historical significance.' Asked about the USA Pavilion in particular, she said less enthusiastically, 'It's fine.' Well, if corporate America paid for it, then it only makes sense that it should be a 'corporate America' pavilion. Image from article: Clinton greets Haibao, the Expo's mascot.

Who's in charge of the State Department today? - ‎Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy - "Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale is on the Beijing trip."

China’s quest for soft power – The World: "China’s power has been growing in recent years – its economic clout, its military capacity, its political influence on the international stage. But there’s one kind of power China’s leaders still crave – soft power. This is the informal influence a country has – through the attractiveness of its culture and values.

The obvious example is the United States – which has gained soft power through its values, its lifestyle, its movies, and its music. China’s leaders now want the same for China – but, characteristically, they’re trying to do it in a state-planned way. ... [Reporter] Mary Kay Magistad: ... [C]ensoring isn’t likely to win Xinhua’s new network many admirers. David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University’s School of International Affairs, says China is still trying to figure out the influence game. He says at this point, its media outreach falls more into the category of public diplomacy than what academic Joseph Nye meant when he coined the term soft power." Image from

AYUSA Global Youth Exchange Awarded Mexico Youth Leadership Program Grant - press release, PR Web: "In a joint statement released last week, President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderón announced a new exchange program for high school students designed to promote mutual understanding between the two countries. AYUSA Global Youth Exchange, a San Francisco nonprofit organization promoting global learning and leadership through foreign exchange programs, has been awarded the grant to facilitate this program, called Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action). ... 'AYUSA is excited to support the efforts of the Department of State’s U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to develop this important new public diplomacy initiative,' said Geoff Watson, president of AYUSA. 'The program objectives are in complete alignment with AYUSA’s commitment to promoting life-changing cultural exchange and leadership experiences for young people around the world.'” Image from

Obama on Security: Echoes, Contrasts With Bush Years - ‎Joseph Schuman, AOL News: "Judging national security through the sole prism of military threats and strength is an outmoded way of protecting the interests of the United States, President Barack Obama argues in the new National Security Strategy unveiled today. Like those of his predecessors, this White House strategy, required by Congress every four years, sets the 'safety and security of the American people' as the administration's top responsibility and maintains the right to use unilateral force as a last resort. ... Th[e] application of public diplomacy toward the Muslim world could be seen in remarks made Wednesday by John Brennan, Obama's assistant for homeland security

and counterterrorism, that inflamed conservative critics of the president.'Our enemy is not 'terror' because terror is a state of mind and as Americans we refuse to live in fear,' Brennan said. 'Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children. ... Describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie -- propagated by al-Qaida and its affiliates to justify terrorism -- that the United States is somehow at war against Islam.' Even beyond the Islamic world, 'engagement' seems to be the Obama administration's tool of choice." For text of National Security strategy, see (p. 12 and p. 29 mention exchanges, per LBJ email). Image from

The American century is so over - ‎Dilip Hiro, Asia Times Online: "[A]t the White House, where it was naively believed that a few well-scripted speeches in foreign capitals by the eloquent new president would restore US prestige left in tatters by George W Bush's policies. What the president and his coterie seem not to have noticed, however, was an important Pew Research Center poll. It showed that, following Obama's public diplomacy campaign, while the image of the US had indeed risen sharply in Europe, Mexico, and Brazil, any improvement was minor in India and China, marginal in the Arab Middle East, and nonexistent in Russia, Pakistan, and Turkey. Stuck in its self-congratulatory mode, the Obama team paid scant attention to the full range of options that other powers had for retaliating to its pressure. For instance, it did not foresee Beijing threatening sanctions against major American companies supplying weapons to Taiwan, nor did it anticipate the stiff resistance the PRC would offer to revaluing the yuan."

Sleepwalking with Iran - Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy: Comment by Dan Kervick:

"[T]he US government is actively engaged in a variety of covert assaults on the Iranian state. These are not rumors and conspiracy theories. They have been widely supported. So isn't it clear that what we have is a regime change policy, and a policy of escalation? That regime change policy is accompanied by an entirely unconvincing PR program with no other end than to buy support from a few saps at home and abroad. This should come as no surprise. The most important theme among the Democratic foreign policy think-tankers as the tankers prepared to take power - though not among actual rank and file Democrats - was that we most needed was improved 'public diplomacy' ... i.e. better lies. Elite mainstream Democratic foreign policy is dedicated to the same old bull, with mo' better bullshit." Image from

Pakistan Asks: Why Do You Hate Us? - Steve Inskeep, Daily Beast: "Americans who once asked of extremists, 'Why do they hate us?' may be surprised to learn that some people here turn the question around, asking why America hates Pakistan. ... Comment by snebel [:] The fact that so many Pakistanis oppose extremists and terrorist actions should be a good basis for a public diplomacy approach that assures and engages these moderates. Change for the better might then come from within."

The Great Lakes Region: Current Conditions and US Policy - ‎Johnnie Carson Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Washington, DC May 25, 2010 - U.S. Department of State: Carson: "We are keeping a close eye on upcoming elections throughout the region. Burundi has just held the first of five separate elections for local and national level institutions. This election marathon will continue through September 7, with important presidential elections on June 28 and national assembly elections on July 23. Through our foreign assistance and public diplomacy programming, as well as our direct observation of the electoral process, we have regularly seized public and private opportunities to reinforce the message, across a broad political spectrum, that credible elections and legitimate transfer of power are necessary for Burundi’s long-term stability and economic growth."

H.R. 5136: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 – Let DC Know: "Strategic Communications Efforts: In addition to budgetary increases totaling $25 million

for research and development into counter-ideology programs and terrorist use of digital media, the bill would encourage DoD to expand its efforts to understand terrorist use of media, counter terrorist use of the Internet, and consider the establishment of a Center for Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy." Image from

"Don't Silence Voice of America," and, in general, radio in USIB, she writes - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Heritage Foundation, 26 May 2010, Helle Dale: "'With the proliferation and fragmentation of traditional news sources, what do most people identify as the medium they trust most for information? According to a new poll by Ofcom, the independent regulating authority of the British communications industries, the answer is radio. ... Over the past decade, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), whose nine members are appointed by the President and which oversees U.S. international broadcasting, has made the decision to close down nine transmitter sites around the world, leaving just 13 active. In previous decades another 14 sites were closed down, including in 1997 the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty site in Gloria, Portugal, the largest shortwave transmitting facility in the West. ... In order to make full and appropriate use of the considerable investment made by the U.S. over the years to build up its international broadcasting capability, Congress should: ... ▪Hold hearings on the appropriate role of radio in U.S. international broadcasting strategy, considering the possibility of recalibrating the relative weight given to television and radio. The Obama Administration should: ▪Revisit its major public diplomacy strategy documents, promulgated this spring by the National Security Council and the State Department, neither of which has assigned a major role to U.S. international broadcasting. America has important, but not unlimited, assets whose potential should be maximized. Although diplomats and pundits have crowned Web 2.0 as the new communications king, radio remains the globe’s most trusted source for information.' [Elliott comment:] International broadcasting has a news function distinct from that of public diplomacy. Good thing, then, that the 'public diplomacy strategy documents' did not assign 'a major role' to USIB. The role of USIB should be discussed in other 'documents.' Ms. Dale begins her essay by citing the high levels of trust for radio in the UK, then extends that finding to the entire world. Globally, radio is not doing very well. For news and for entertainment, television dominates in East Asia, urban South Asia, the Middle East, Russia and the former Soviet Union, and the Americas. In Africa, radio is still important, but direct-to-home satellite television is growing quickly on that continent. Yes, there should be hearings on the appropriate role of radio in USIB. Shortwave arguably remains the medium most resistant to interdiction, but do enough people still have shortwave radios? If they do, are they willing to use them? Someone from BBC World Service should be invited to the hearing to explain why they plan to eliminate most shortwave within five years. (See previous post.)"

One of the "coordinating themes" will involve the Iranians tuning to other stations - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Commentary, April 2010, Michael Rubin: 'Fluent Persian speakers serving in the U.S. government should address the Iranian people and the regime daily to provide a counter-narrative to that advanced by Iran’s state-controlled media. Here, it is ironic that John Limbert, a fluent Persian speaker whom Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed as her lead Iran man, served as an adviser to a group that threatened to sue Voice of America and Radio Free Europe for airing regime opponents on their Persian services. Too often, Voice of America producers seek to prove their independence by broadcasting voices hostile to the United States (hence the reputation of the service under both Clinton and Bush as 'Radio Khatami'). It is essential that U.S.-supported Persian-language radio broadcast the truth, but it must also remain on message. If Congress provided significant financing for Persian-language media and if the Broadcasting Board of Governors came to understand that coordinating themes revolving around regime change is a vital national interest, such media could play a key role in enabling protest. If Iranian security services shut down cell-phone networks and Internet-service providers, over-the-air news reports, which cannot be jammed so easily, would become integral methods of helping to coordinate protests.'

[Elliott comment]: Brilliant. Let's kerjiggle USIB newscasts to 'enable protest.' That will give Iranian opposition a real made-in-America feel to it. 'Truth' that is also 'on message' is public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is a necessary and honorable profession, but it's not news. News is what Iranians are seeking when they make the effort to get information from abroad. It will be exactly the role of the new members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose nominations have just moved forward under mysterious circumstances (see previous post), to protect the independence and integrity of that news. That means the BBG must have the courage resist any schemes that involve 'coordinating themes.' News that is 'coordinated' will have an audience only on Capitol Hill and among the assorted think tanks of Washington. Meanwhile, can VOA and RFE/RL really be sued for 'airing regime opponents on their Persian services'? I want to be in that courtroom. Clarence Darrow could be useful here if he were not, unfortunately, deceased." Image from

Glimpses of Bangladesh: Cultural night in USA - ‎The New Nation: "Ambassador of Bangladesh to USA at a cultural show at the Bangladeshi Embassy in Washington DC in USA said that culture could function as a powerful tool to connect peoples across borders. Akramul Qader, Ambassador of Bangladesh to USA, said this while welcoming the audience at the cultural function under the banner of 'Glimpses of Bangladesh: Bangladesh Cultural Night,' on May 20. Ambassador Qader mentioned about the impressive achievements Bangladesh made over the decades. He, however, lamented that the country is largely seen from a negative prism in a section of the world media. Bangladesh Ambassador hoped that the cultural show would leave a positive imprint about Bangladesh on the minds of the participants. ... The event is a part of the Embassy's public diplomacy and outreach program to project Bangladesh's rich culture and heritage to wider audience in the USA."

Formulating a Response With Israel-America Postcards - ‎Ari Bussel, NewsBlaze: Our enemies have used the guise of 'free speech'

and 'academic freedom' to hijack our system to attack Israel and prevent free speech from anyone not in agreement with their radical agenda. The response? Organizations like Stand With Us are doing the work, individuals from Israel come to speak, but this is the job of the MFA and the Ministry of Public Diplomacy. They, apparently, were quite surprised when the Israeli Ambassador to the USA was not as welcomed during a speech he attempted to give at the University of California Irvine. Alas, like the current sailing, it was not the first, nor the last occurrence." Image from

Israel increases diplomatic, PR offensive against flotilla - ‎Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post: "As the flotilla of ships trying to break the blockade of Gaza sailed toward the region on Thursday, Israel stepped up both its diplomatic and public diplomacy efforts trying to forestall a possible public relations disaster. Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal met separately on Thursday with the ambassadors from Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden and Ireland – countries from which the ships involved in the flotilla have set sail – and reiterated the country’s position that the move is nothing more than a 'provocation.'”

New Turkish warning as Israel plans to stop Gaza aid ships - "Turkey renewed its call for calm to Israel that already revealed its plans to halt international aid convoy to the Gaza Strip that has been under years of siege. International activists on Thursday reaffirmed its efforts to break three-year Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip despite Israeli threats it will stop a convoy of aid ships. ...

Dimitris, who joined the flotilla from Greece on behalf of Ship to Gaza movement, in his speech, said, 'We all know that governments, intellectuals and artists are here with us to support this cause. We are carrying out a public diplomacy attempt here. We are demanding a free Mediterranean and a free Palestine.'” Image from

Trade powers to push for Doha deal to boost economy - ‎Jonathan Lynn, Elizabeth Fullerton, Reuters: "Ministers from major trading powers decided on Thursday to redouble efforts for a deal in the stalled Doha round, arguing that opening up global trade would boost the world economy without hitting budgets. They acknowledged the 8-1/2-year-old Doha round was at an impasse and that serious negotiations -- away from the glare of the media and public diplomacy were now needed to break the deadlock."

Ambassador Liu Meets with the Delegation of Journalism Education ‎Foundation - press release, MFA China: "On May 24, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming met with the 20-people delegation of Journalism Education Foundation Hong Kong headed by Chairman Lau Chi Kuen, former Chief Editor of South China Morning Post. ... After the meeting, Minister Counsellor Zhang Lirong, Counsellor Liu Weimin of the Press and Public Diplomacy Section of the Chinese Embassy and other officials from the Chinese Embassy held a discussion with the delegation and exchanged their views on China-UK relations, the characteristics of the media and public diplomacy."

Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy holds Advanced Foreign Service Program graduation ceremony - ‎APA: "Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA) held graduation ceremony for the Advanced Foreign Service Program. ...

The participants attended the lectures on international relations, international law, public diplomacy, consular service, international economics and other areas." Image from

Islam as a Political Tool: The Bhutto Era of Islamization of Pakistan - Mubarka Ahmad, Baytunur: "Bhutto was handed a country that had only recently been split into two. International politics and external alliances were in complete disarray. Having lost its only significant ethnic and religious minority, the Hindus, Pakistan drew closer to its neighbours in the East . The Governments of Saudi Arab and the United Arab Emirates supported all kinds of Islamist activities in Pakistan to save it from falling in the clutches of socialism, and negating its thus-far latent Islamic identity. Bhutto acknowledged this interest, and realised the advantages of building alliances with these oil-rich states. The most powerful alliance Bhutto would seek with the Gulf would be an ideological one; Islamic brotherhood. At the level of public diplomacy, the Islamic Summit in Lahore was seen as the right political move to further this growing bond."

May 28th, 2010 – Workshop: Government Applications of Social Media Networks and Communities, University of Maryland, Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) - Marc Smith, "Visualizing Social Data

to Improve Diplomacy Leonard Lidov, President, Morningside Analytics [:] This talk will focus on how Dr. Lidov’s firm, Morningside Analytics, uses data visualization to understand public diplomacy, both in and outside government. Morningside’s signature 'dot-maps' picturing 'Attentive Clusters' in the blogosphere have been featured in the media and opened business development doors in DC (, but they are just one of several innovative approaches the firm uses to help clients understand how its network analyses can improve their understanding of how messages move in the online 'Link Economy.'" Image from

Propaganda In America - Glenn Beck, FOX News: "How do you do change public perception? Woodrow Wilson faced a similar dilemma: He had to change the minds of the people about World War I. He created the Committee on Public Information, using handpicked propaganda gurus George Creel along with Edward Bernays and the now-revered (but spookiest person ever) Walter Lippman [sic]. Bernays was great — the Nazis' top propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, kept copies of Bernays writings in his own personal library. Creel sought to make 'associates' out of the media and went on a mission to get all Americans to conform to the pro-war viewpoint. Bernays in fact said, 'It was, of course, the astounding success of propaganda during the war that opened the eyes of the intelligent few in all departments of life to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind. It was only natural, after the war ended, that intelligent persons should ask themselves whether it was not possible to apply a similar technique to the problems of peace.'" PDPBR compiler note: "After the entry of the United States in the world war in 1917, Lippmann enthusiastically accepted an appointment as the US representative on the Inter-Allied Propaganda Board, with the rank of captain. But Captain Lippmann soon crossed swords with George Creel, chief of the Committee on Public Information, an official federal government agency that whipped up war support through jingoism. When Lippmann submitted a blistering report in 1918 on how the committee manipulated news to foster national hysteria, Creel sought his dismissal - and Lippmann quit his post to assist the US delegation at the Versailles peace conference" (Sidney Blumenthal, "Walter Lippmann and American journalism today," Open Democracy, 31 October 2007)

Managing a Country Brand, is it possible? - ‎Sandy Dhuyvetter, businesstravelradio, eTurboNews: "Simon [Anholt] specializes in national identity and reputation, public diplomacy and the public perceptions of nations, cities and regions. Acceptability and perceived value in terms of destinations is not like marketing cola.

Simon will discuss why national reputation is not judged about what a country says about themselves but rather their actions.We'll also talk about country rankings and his companies bi-annual surveys. Simon prescribes to the thought of what can we do to make ourselves more relevant not more famous. A very interesting conversation is in store." Anholt image from

Switching Careers: leaving journalism for greener pastures - WalletPop: "After graduating with a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in German in 1995, Nathan Cooper thought he had found his calling as a writer and editor. Then the recession came and the magazine publishing world was changed forever. ... ‘I was active in the Obama campaign's volunteer base and found myself lingering on his calls for all Americans to find ways to contribute to society in meaningful ways,’ he explained in an e-mail to WalletPop. ‘As I assessed my work and life goals, particularly looking for a pursuit with a strong element of service, I realized that many of the skills I had acquired in publishing were relevant to the work of a Foreign Service Officer, specifically one working in the realm of public diplomacy.' Cooper, now 36, heads to Washington, D.C. in July for training and an assignment after a grueling 18-month process, which included passing the Foreign Service Exam, a thorough security clearance investigation and an all-day, in-person oral assessment."

'Fire and Rain': How swiftly have the years flown by - ‎Pranay Gupte, Khaleej Times: "I completed college in the United States, I began a career as a reporter and then a foreign correspondent at the New York Times, I became a columnist for Newsweek International, I wrote profiles and investigative stories for Forbes, I produced documentaries for public television, and I published a newspaper on environmental and sustainability issues for more than a decade. ... So it would be fair to say that I’ve been far more fortunate than my parents.

But it would also be fair to ask, has my life been as fulfilling as theirs? To what extent has my work in journalism and public diplomacy been a catalyst for change in the societies where I’ve lived and worked? Has my life made a difference to those around me?" Image from

Interview - Audrey Scott of Uncornered Market! - Full Gastronomic Tilt: "Remember how I told you about the amazing world-travelers Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll, better known as the couple behind Uncornered Market? In between some stateside downtime, Audrey was kind enough to answer a few of my burning questions. A bit about Audrey and Daniel, from their website: We have been described as adventurers, adaptable professionals, and – most recently – as full-time travelers. Our passions: creativity, personal development, technology, public diplomacy and street food. And yes, we do believe there is a common thread woven between them all."


Obama administration gets tough on business corruption overseas - Mark Brzezinski, Washington Post: The FBI is deploying "legal attaches" in more than 75 embassies worldwide, partly to focus on bribery investigations. But how can FBI agents

prepare for this kind of work? Corruption in Paris is different from corruption in Kabul. There is no single, useful definition. As the United States claims the moral right to pursue corruption around the world, we are obliged to remember that our own record is not beyond reproach. Image from

Twits – Laura McGinnis, manIC: “Some disturbing observations about the information age ... . Ashton Kutcher has 4.97 million followers on Twitter. There are 125 countries with populations smaller than 4.97 million.The U.S. State Department, for the record, has 21,287 followers on Twitter.”

Iranian artists, musicians give voice to opposition amid censorship - Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post: Nearly a year after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed election victory led to wide-scale protests and a fierce government crackdown, members of Iran's thriving and internationally acclaimed cultural scene have emerged as a driving force for the opposition. Filmmakers, singers and rappers are each, in their own way, pushing for social and political changes, and many are paying the price of speaking out against a government that brooks little dissent.

In response to films, songs and paintings inspired by the largest grass-roots opposition movement the country has seen since the 1979 Islamic revolution, the government has arrested artists and markedly increased censorship. Image from

Noam Chomsky takes on Israeli propaganda in an interview on Israeli TV [video] -

Israel’s botched propaganda on life in Gaza - Paul Woodward, War in Context:

Al Jazeera reports on Israel’s propaganda campaign whose aim is to promote the message that the residents of Gaza, even while living under a severe economic blockade, “have everything they need.” As part of that effort, Israel distributed video footage of a guests enjoying fine cuisine in a gourmet restaurant in Gaza — guests including Mahmoud Abbas who hasn’t set foot in Gaza since the siege began! Image from

Propaganda between the Koreas - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Saakashvili opens propaganda monument to “freedom fighters” – Russia Today: On Wednesday, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili unveiled the country’s tallest monument. The “Tower of Heroes”

is in honor of the soldiers who died for independence – but only to the ones who fought against Russia. The 48-meter-high structure of metal and plastic has golden engravings of almost 3,500 names. Many plaques are left blank, and new names will probably be added in the future. In a solemn speech, Saakashvili, the mastermind behind the tower’s concept, said he is prepared to have his name on the monument, and every true Georgian should be too. Image from article