Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18

"Targeted public diplomacy, in an effort to move public opinion, is the new trend in the 21st century diplomatic world."

--Korea JoongAng Daily (December 18, 2010); image from


We need better Sino relations - Editorials, Korea JoongAng Daily: "China will inevitably play a critical role in a post-unification Korea. ... We must concoct a long-term approach on China. To make headway, the government set up a China Research Center under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security. The think tank has a special mission on gathering information and amassing knowledge on China. It should supplement its role by connecting with local and overseas groups specializing on Chinese affairs. It also should establish a long-term strategy unaffected by who is in power and be actively involved in policy making. At the same time, the government should endeavor to strengthen public diplomacy, creating international opinion favorable to South Korea. China, despite its censorship, cannot ignore international opinion. The country’s Internet users have reached 400 million, enjoying free access and speech on the Web. Their voices and connection could become influential no matter how much Beijing wants to brush them aside.

Targeted public diplomacy, in an effort to move public opinion, is the new trend in the 21st century diplomatic world. Connecting with the civilian sector was a key theme in the U.S. State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. 'In the 21st century, a diplomat is as likely to meet with a tribal elder in a rural village as a counterpart in a foreign ministry, and as likely to wear cargo pants as a pin-striped suit,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in the report.'" Image from

China's Confucius Institutes: Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones [video] - East-West Center: “Western debates and discussions surrounding China's soft power efforts in the Asian region are more widely known than the related discourse within China itself. Ms. Maria Wey-Shen Siow presents her research into the debates on soft power among Chinese analysts, academics and commentators.

She also presents an update on the progress and development of China's Confucius Institutes worldwide, outlining their hits and misses. Dr. David Shambaugh offers his insights into this recently established Chinese public diplomacy initiative.”

Terrorism: a danger to South Asia - Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar, "Today, the world faces a common threat, which is both external and homegrown, especially in the South Asian region. Terrorism that must be firmly resisted and the only way to fight this menace is to identify the actual root causes as soon as possible and eliminate them with cooperation among countries. For terrorism has now evolved into a global problem. ... Today, there is a sincere need for broader cooperation, intelligence sharing, and a strong will to solve the burning issues with concrete dialogue. I would like to propose the following actions to be collectively implemented by the neighbouring states to help curb the curse of terrorism in the region [among them]... we need a vigorous campaign of public diplomacy in order to truly communicate the best democratic values to our nations. ... The writer is a retired judge of the Lahore High Court."

Indian Media and Intelliegentsia [sic] Also Sold Out Like Pakistani Media - Gajendra Singh, "In this piece we will look at the state of Indian media, opinion and decision makers primarily and its manipulation by Washington's soft or public diplomacy. The author began his diplomatic career as Assistant Press Attache in Cairo in early 1960s and had a very close and fruitful association with the media, having spent more time in media offices and with journalists than in the embassies. Since retiring in 1996 he has been a fearless analyst of international affairs, exposing Western lies and destruction of international law and human rights regime. ... The author who maintained close relations with a swathe the honest media professionals all over the world during his diplomatic career and even now feels great pain and anguish at the turn of events. USA's corporate media has led the way and subverted media in other countries too. Washington has created in India dalals (trumpets or pimps)

in media, civil and military bureaucracy, academics and political parties to promote its policies at India's expense." Image from

Putin’s signal to Congress on START - "The START treaty must be very good for Russia if Prime Minister Putin felt it necessary to disavow a reported statement given earlier to the media by an unitentified Kremlin official who suggested that an assassin or assassins may have been dispatched to the U.S. to kill a former Russian spy suspected of betraying a group of sleeper Russian agents. The earlier story, although not reported widely by mainstream, was not good public relations and public diplomacy since it implied the Kremlin’s intention to violate U.S. laws on American soil. He may have been advised to issue a denial to help win the approval for the START treaty in the U.S. Senate. Prime Minister Putin now says that Russia’s security services do not kill traitors, but he could not help himself from saying that 'traitors have no future' or from accusing Israel’s security services of engaging in assassinations."

The Russian Organizing Committee – Youth Diplomacy League - "The Russian Organizing Committee for the Youth G8 Summit is the

Youth Diplomacy League – a non-governmental organization engaged in the sphere of public diplomacy and civil society projects. ... Apart from the core objective of this NGO, which is to develop diplomatic relations between the world’s future leaders and foster their cooperation on a planetary scale, the Youth Diplomacy League also puts all of its effort into making this cooperation as efficient and synergetic as possible. ... Youth Diplomacy League is a team of university graduates ages 25 to 45 with degrees in international relations, international law, world economy and political affairs [.]" Image from

"Mr. Putin, Tear Down This Network," or "another Ronald Reagan" might do it instead, he writes [on Russia Today] - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

My understanding of diplomacy - Emmy Östlund, The New Diplomacy E: A reflective group blog by some of the students on The New Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University: "I now know about the importance of public diplomacy, and the influence of people and civil society movements. Together with NGOs and other non-state actors, public pressure can influence the outcomes, and processes of negotiations and turn the position of states, international organizations and the media. I know that the use of soft power is extensive when it comes to the new, modern conduct of diplomacy, and is not limited to any physical meetings or debates. Soft power is exercized on many levels and in different dimensions, simultaneously, many times unnoticed, but never without a source."

Last Tango in Dubai - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "There is a cool article in the NY Times about tango's popularity in the Middle East. Good Argentine cultural diplomacy,

if they can take advantage of the boom." Image from

Inaction: Loud and Clear - Laura McGinnis, manIC: "Last night, Daily Show host Jon Stewart lambasted Republican Senators for filibustering a bill that would provide health benefits for 9/11 first responders. ... This bill--which would provide medial benefits for the firefighters, police officers and other personnel that responded to the 9/11 attacks--has been mired in a political bog for months. The U.S. systems of checks and balances is one of its greatest strengths, but it can also be a significant weakness. And this particular situation, where petty partisan differences have trumped domestic values, is a perfect example of why. The Senate's failure to pass this bill shows divisive leadership, narrow-minded politics and a refusal to actively support frequently professed values. An often overlooked element of public diplomacy is the way that domestic policies are perceived by foreign publics, and it's hard to regard this particular policy in a way that reflects positively on U.S. leadership."

Beating Jamming With Jazz: Beaming Music over the Iron Curtain - Richard H. Cummings, Cold War Radios: A look at international radio broadcasting in the Cold War, in particular the history of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty: "No disc jockey of Radio Free Europe or Radio Liberty gained the international status of legendary Willis Conover, who daily hosted 'Jazz Hour' for the Voice of America. That is not without trying of RFE and RL but for the jamming of the frequencies of both RFE and RL throughout most of the Cold War. That being said, both RFE and RL had popular music programs including jazz.

We will take a brief look at how jazz overcame jamming to reach listerners eager for western music. ... In the late 1950s, jazz great Louis Armstrong visited Radio Liberty’s New York studio. He agreed to an interview and introduced the program in carefully rehearsed Russian. He then played his trumpet to the accompaniment of a popular Soviet song 'Five Minutes.' Louis Armstrong also once was interviewed by Radio Free Europe. [Video clip in entry] is a composite of his Russian language program introduction and photograph of Louis Armstrong before the RFE microphone. Image from article: RFE Disc Jockey Eva Stankova


Ukraine: the more things change, the more they stay ... - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: The Ukrainian Rada witnessed another violent brawl yesterday. The problem? Corruption inquiry against Tymoshenko.

Surely, a very, very debatable issue. While such fights in parliaments have become more or less a norm in our troubled post-Soviet region, the Ukraine's case is special. For example, a brawl earlier this year featured eggs, tomatoes and umbrellas. At least this time they limited themselves to chairs and fists. So much for progress and democracy... and concern for their international image. Tymoshenko image from

News Update: WWII propaganda posters presentation today - Pacific Daily News: The War in the Pacific National Historical Park will hold a free “Curator’s Corner” presentation on “Propaganda and Secrecy” at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center in Sumay (just outside the Naval Station main gate, next to the pass and ID building. The presentation is being held in conjunction with the new Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art from World War II exhibit currently on display. Visitors will have the opportunity to view propaganda artifacts from the park’s museum collection, providing insight into Japanese and American propaganda methodology during World War II, according to a National Park Service news release.

Napoleon and Europe: Dream and Trauma - Napoleon was a master of propaganda who appropriated and reused the emblems, insignia and symbols of Christendom, Rome and the monarchy to legitimise his position.

There is more than a soupcon of Caesar, Charlemagne, Louis XIV and Frederick the Great, even of Christ and the Pantocrator, in Napoleon’s carefully crafted public image. Multiplied by the principalities under Napoleon’s control, it enjoyed unprecedented dissemination across Europe. The standardisation of the appearance of royal households, government agencies, letterheads, furniture etc. in the interest of imperial ‘corporate design’ did much to fix the Napoleonic era in the collective visual memory of Europe – to this day. Image from article


"I adore my father. It is a form of worship. But people do yawn in church."

--Madame de Staël, regarding the Swiss Protestant banker Jacques Necker; cited in The Times Literary Supplement (December 20, 2010), p. 14

"Monsieur, I understand everything that deserves to be understood; what I don't understand is nothing."

--Madame de Staël, again cited in the above; image from

"You will see them with one hand hoisting the cap of liberty, and with the other flogging their slaves.

You will see them one hour lecturing their mob on the indefeasible rights of man, and the next driving from their homes the children of the soil, whom they have bound themselves to protect by the most solemn treaties."

--Fanny Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832); cited in The Times Literary Supplement (December 10, 2010), p. 12; image from


-- From "10 days in Sweden: the full allegations against Julian Assange," The Guardian; image from

...The allegations centre on a 10-day period after Assange flew into Stockholm on Wednesday 11 August. One of the women, named in court as Miss A, told police that she had arranged Assange's trip to Sweden, and let him stay in her flat because she was due to be away. She returned early, on Friday 13 August, after which the pair went for a meal and then returned to her flat.

Her account to police, which Assange disputes, stated that he began stroking her leg as they drank tea, before he pulled off her clothes and snapped a necklace that she was wearing. According to her statement she "tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again". Miss A told police that she didn't want to go any further "but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far", and so she allowed him to undress her.

According to the statement, Miss A then realised he was trying to have unprotected sex with her. She told police that she had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs. The statement records Miss A describing how Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom, but she told the police that at some stage Assange had "done something" with the condom that resulted in it becoming ripped, and ejaculated without withdrawing.

When he was later interviewed by police in Stockholm, Assange agreed that he had had sex with Miss A but said he did not tear the condom, and that he was not aware that it had been torn. He told police that he had continued to sleep in Miss A's bed for the following week and she had never mentioned a torn condom.

On the following morning, Saturday 14 August, Assange spoke at a seminar organised by Miss A. A second woman, Miss W, had contacted Miss A to ask if she could attend. Both women joined Assange, the co-ordinator of the Swedish WikiLeaks group, whom we will call "Harold", and a few others for lunch.

Assange left the lunch with Miss W. She told the police she and Assange had visited the place where she worked and had then gone to a cinema where they had moved to the back row. He had kissed her and put his hands inside her clothing, she said.

That evening, Miss A held a party at her flat. One of her friends, "Monica", later told police that during the party Miss A had told her about the ripped condom and unprotected sex. Another friend told police that during the evening Miss A told her she had had "the worst sex ever" with Assange: "Not only had it been the world's worst screw, it had also been violent."

Assange's supporters point out that, despite her complaints against him, Miss A held a party for him on that evening and continued to allow him to stay in her flat.

On Sunday 15 August, Monica told police, Miss A told her that she thought Assange had torn the condom on purpose. According to Monica, Miss A said Assange was still staying in her flat but they were not having sex because he had "exceeded the limits of what she felt she could accept" and she did not feel safe.

The following day, Miss W phoned Assange and arranged to meet him late in the evening, according to her statement. The pair went back to her flat in Enkoping, near Stockholm. Miss W told police that though they started to have sex, Assange had not wanted to wear a condom, and she had moved away because she had not wanted unprotected sex. Assange had then lost interest, she said, and fallen asleep. However, during the night, they had both woken up and had sex at least once when "he agreed unwillingly to use a condom".

Early the next morning, Miss W told police, she had gone to buy breakfast before getting back into bed and falling asleep beside Assange. She had awoken to find him having sex with her, she said, but when she asked whether he was wearing a condom he said no. "According to her statement, she said: 'You better not have HIV' and he answered: 'Of course not,' " but "she couldn't be bothered to tell him one more time because she had been going on about the condom all night. She had never had unprotected sex before."

The police record of the interview with Assange in Stockhom deals only with the complaint made by Miss A. However, Assange and his lawyers have repeatedly stressed that he denies any kind of wrongdoing in relation to Miss W.

In submissions to the Swedish courts, they have argued that Miss W took the initiative in contacting Assange, that on her own account she willingly engaged in sexual activity in a cinema and voluntarily took him to her flat where, she agrees, they had consensual sex. They say that she never indicated to Assange that she did not want to have sex with him. They also say that in a text message to a friend, she never suggested she had been raped and claimed only to have been "half asleep".

Police spoke to Miss W's ex-boyfriend, who told them that in two and a half years they had never had sex without a condom because it was "unthinkable" for her. Miss W told police she went to a chemist to buy a morning-after pill and also went to hospital to be tested for STDs. Police statements record her contacting Assange to ask him to get a test and his refusing on the grounds that he did not have the time.

On Wednesday 18 August, according to police records, Miss A told Harold and a friend that Assange would not leave her flat and was sleeping in her bed, although she was not having sex with him and he spent most of the night sitting with his computer. Harold told police he had asked Assange why he was refusing to leave the flat and that Assange had said he was very surprised, because Miss A had not asked him to leave. Miss A says she spent Wednesday night on a mattress and then moved to a friend's flat so she did not have to be near him. She told police that Assange had continued to make sexual advances to her every day after they slept together and on Wednesday 18 August had approached her, naked from the waist down, and rubbed himself against her.

The following day, Harold told police, Miss A called him and for the first time gave him a full account of her complaints about Assange. Harold told police he regarded her as "very, very credible" and he confronted Assange, who said he was completely shocked by the claims and denied all of them. By Friday 20 August, Miss W had texted Miss A looking for help in finding Assange. The two women met and compared stories.

Harold has independently told the Guardian Miss A made a series of calls to him asking him to persuade Assange to take an STD test to reassure Miss W, and that Assange refused. Miss A then warned if Assange did not take a test, Miss W would go to the police. Assange had rejected this as blackmail, Harold told police.

Assange told police that Miss A spoke to him directly and complained to him that he had torn their condom, something that he regarded as false.

Late that Friday afternoon, Harold told police, Assange agreed to take a test, but the clinics had closed for the weekend. Miss A phoned Harold to say that she and Miss W had been to the police, who had told them that they couldn't simply tell Assange to take a test, that their statements must be passed to the prosecutor. That night, the story leaked to the Swedish newspaper Expressen.

By Saturday morning, 21 August, journalists were asking Assange for a reaction. At 9.15am, he tweeted: "We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks'. Now we have the first one." The following day, he tweeted: "Reminder: US intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks as far back as 2008."

The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet asked if he had had sex with his two accusers. He said: "Their identities have been made anonymous so even I have no idea who they are. We have been warned that the Pentagon, for example, is thinking of deploying dirty tricks to ruin us."

Assange's Swedish lawyers have since suggested that Miss W's text messages – which the Guardian has not seen – show that she was thinking of contacting Expressen and that one of her friends told her she should get money for her story. However, police statements by the friend offer a more innocent explanation: they say these text messages were exchanged several days after the women had made their complaint. They followed an inquiry from a foreign newspaper and were meant jokingly, the friend stated to police.


From Google

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Well, I don't really think it will work.