Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30

"2010 was the Year We Stopped Talking to One Another."

--Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY; image from article; see also John Brown, "The Newest Killer App for Public Diplomacy"


16 Days, 16 Ways: U.S. Support for Women’s Empowerment in Pakistan - PD-Wali: An inside look at Public Diplomacy work in Pakistan: "From the mega-metropolises of Karachi and Lahore to the countryside near Mardan and Multan, the U.S. Mission in Pakistan is working to improve the lives of Pakistani women and combat gender-based violence. For the recent international '16 Days of Activism' campaign, we organized a series of initiatives to highlight and energize our partnerships with Pakistan’s government and civil society to support women’s rights. Here are 16 ways we are working with Pakistani men and women committed to this cause: ... [Among them:]
2. Educating Future Leaders.

Sharing expertise and building networks to work on common issues are key element of U.S. government professional exchange programs. In 2010, the U.S. government invited more than 25 Pakistani women and men to the United States to build partnerships with Americans to further efforts to empower women, eliminate violence against women and combat human trafficking. 3. Engaging Students. As part of the Embassy’s regular outreach to schools and students on a wide variety of issues and topics, Dr. Marilyn Wyatt participated in a roundtable discussion with gender studies students on December 8, at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad. 'Violence against women negatively impacts all of society,' Dr. Wyatt said." Image from article

School opens after 5-year renovation - "Students of the Taufal Elementary School in Haweja lined the entrance of their newly reconstructed school, Dec. 19, clapping to celebrate the building’s grand opening following five years of construction in Kirkuk province. ... The project was made possible by U.S. Army funding through the Commander’s Emergency Response Program. The PRT [Provincial Reconstruction Team] worked closely with the Kirkuk Provincial Council and Haweja district officials to ensure the process of distributing money for the project went smoothly and according to proper procedures by which CERP money should be spent. 'Part of our mission in the region is to find ways to allow economic growth and political stability while encouraging ethic and tribal rivals to work together peacefully,' said Daniel Fennell, the public diplomacy officer of the Kirkuk PRT. 'The PRT was able to help get central planning approval for the project, and to find a middle ground when provincial planners and Haweja district officials disagreed on how the project should be carried out.' Since 2003, the U.S. Government has provided funds to renovate or reconstruct 135 schools in Kirkuk province, including the all-girls school opened in October directly across the street from the Haweja Boy’s School, said Fennell."

Does Hungary's new media law call for the resumption of RFE and/or VOA Hungarian? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Is it time to resume RFE Hungarian? Or VOA Hungarian? Knowing US international broadcasting, it would probably be both. While the Hungarian media council imposes a right-wing tilt on Hungarian media,

USIB under the proposed and now more likely National Center for Strategic Communication (see previous post) would impose a right-wing tilt on USIB. Is it time to resume BBC Hungarian?" Image: Members of extreme-right "Magyar Garda" or Hungarian Guard are seen during their swearing-in ceremony in Budapest, Hungary from

The Shah's Atomic Dreams: More than three decades ago, before there was an Islamic Republic, the West sought desperately to prevent Iran's ruler from getting his hands on the bomb. New revelations show just how serious the crisis was -- and why America's denuclearization drive isn't working - Abbas Milani‎, Foreign Policy: "Of the many inaccuracies and obfuscations of the Iranian nuclear negotiations, one of the most persistent has been the claim that, in questioning the ultimate goals of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, the West is seeking to enforce a duplicitous double standard. According to this line of rhetoric, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,

the last shah of Iran, was a Western ally -- or, in the language of the regime, a 'lackey' -- and thus America and Europe were willing and eager to help him get not one, but many, reactors. But since the creation of the Islamic Republic in 1979, these critics allege, Iran is being singled out and persecuted. ... Even some progressive intellectuals in the West have bought into this story, either supporting the regime's program or at least criticizing the U.S. stance on Ahmadinejad's current program as hypocritical given its past lenience toward the shah. The U.S. government itself, in what must be considered an inexplicable failure of public diplomacy, has never challenged this narrative -- although it has access to hundreds of pages of documents that disprove the regime's allegations. In fact, Washington was involved in a long-standing and frequently behind-the-scenes diplomatic tussle with the shah over the purpose of his nuclear program. Recently declassified documents from the Carter and Ford presidential libraries; the departments of defense, energy, and state; and the National Security Council (NSC) show that every element of today's impasse between the U.S. government and the Islamic Republic was also present in the negotiations with the shah." Image from article

A Case Study of Ivory Trade Ban - Mimi, The New Diplomacy D: A reflective group blog by some of the students on The New Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University: "After impressive lobbying and negotiation the United States African Elephant Conservation Act of 1988 was passed, forms of public diplomacy were used to heighten the public concerns for the elephants."

Niche diplomacy gets Qatar to its goal‎ - N. Janardhan, Khaleej Times: "Qatar’s proactive role in mediating ways out of some of the region’s crises – Morocco, Sudan, Palestinian territories, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, (and even the Philippines), among others – indicates a new pattern among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in desiring to be seen as more than mere oil-rich economies. It is a new trend of using economic might to enhance their international profile. It also showcases increasing self-confidence, and an attempt to use every crisis and opportunity to advertise their growth and diversifying economies as well.

This economic-cum-foreign policy approach could be associated with two strategies of public diplomacy that small states pursue as a means of gaining international recognition – ‘niche diplomacy’ and ‘nation branding’. While the former is often used by linking their image with a particular cause, the latter “is best described as a customer’s idea about a product; the ‘brand state’ comprises the outside world’s ideas about a particular country. ... Another tool in its public diplomacy armoury has been the Al Jazeera satellite station. While it has caused a few ‘headaches’ for the governments in the region and outside, as a soft power, Al Jazeera has served as a ‘super-gun’ to keep others on the defensive. Given the political capital that its various diplomatic manoeuvres has yielded and could yield, which may also translate into economic gains in future, Doha has remained unfazed by criticism and setbacks." Image from

Khwaja Sarwar Hasan: founder of the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs - "Khawaja Sarwar Hasan was the pioneer of public diplomacy in Pakistan. Under his leadership, the PIIA provided a forum for discussion and dialogue on foreign policy and contemporary issues and became a channel for the exchange of views and information between the public and the government. On account of his expertise in international affairs, international law and diplomacy, his advice was widely sought in academic and official circles. He has been described as the father of the study of international relations in Pakistan. He traveled widely and represented Pakistan in conferences, conventions, professional seminars, and goodwill missions throughout the world."

The Twitter Wars - Karim Raslan, "Indeed, social media has become the proxy for public sentiment. This flattens and opens up public diplomacy in much the same way that WikiLeaks has debunked the notion of diplomatic secrecy. We are now forced to scan the Internet to gauge how people think and feel. Political and business elites will have to manage this new and volatile reality, limiting the ability for high-level, backroom deals. However, there’s also an increased blurring of the distinctions between the real and virtual worlds.

Indeed, the Internet has emerged as a parallel universe of sorts. What transpires on the Internet becomes real, whereby our tweets, blogs and e-mails seem to be more reflective of what’s happening than the actual events themselves." Image from

Research Officer - The Australian Embassy and Mission to the European Union, "The Australian Embassy & Mission to the EU in Brussels has a vacancy for a Research Officer. ... Duties Include: ... * Providing support for public diplomacy events and official visits."


The Guantanamo 48: Detaining these prisoners indefinitely and without trial goes against American notions of due process - Editorial, Los Angeles Times: The Obama administration made it clear long ago that it intended to detain 48 Guantanamo inmates indefinitely and without trial. We have been critical of that policy both because the right to a trial is central to American notions of due process and because the administration's criteria for indefinite detention are too broad. These are detainees the government considers too dangerous to be released, but who can't be tried because the evidence against them either wasn't preserved, was tainted by torture or doesn't link them to particular terrorist plots.

Gitmo Is Not a Recruiting Tool for Terrorists: The president is wrong to claim that it is. In fact, al Qaeda and its affiliates rarely mention the prison - Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal

Image from article: A detainee after midday Islamic prayer at Guantanamo Bay

WikiLeaks? More Like Late'nWeak - The Skeptical Bureaucrat: WikiLeaks is a latecomer to the business of publishing U.S. diplomatic documents, and an amateurish one. As the Office of the Historian reminds us in a DipNote post today, the State Department has been publishing its own official diplomatic documents for all the world to see for 150 years now. And, unlike WikiLeaks, it adds scholarly value to the raw documents via a documentary editorial process, and also gets them declassified. There's really no comparison.

Anti-Israel propaganda becomes mainstream entertainment in US‎ - Ryan Jones, Israel Today: Scheduled for a March 2011 release, the new feature film “Miral”

follows the turbulent life of a young Palestinian Arab girl who becomes involved in terrorism against Israel. It unabashedly demands sympathy for this girl and other Palestinian terrorists in their battle with a Jewish state that is portrayed as arbitrarily cruel and barbaric. There is little surprise there, since the film is an adaptation of a book written by director Julian Schnabel’s new Palestinian Arab girlfriend, Rula Jabreal. In a series of interviews following screening of “Miral” at the Toronto and Venice film festivals, Schnabel, who is Jewish, acknowledged that it was not the film’s intent to give a comprehensive background to the conflict or present a “balanced” view. Image from article

Z Word Joins Forces With The Propagandist - Editor, The Propagandist: The Propagandist is excited to announce that the hard-hitting Z Word blog is going to continue its fight under the banner of our magazine. As many of our regular readers will know, Z Word

was created by the American Jewish Committee as an online journal dedicated to exploring the moral, philosophical, political and historical issues arising from the conflicts in the Middle East, particularly - although not exclusively - as they relate to the issues of Zionism, anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Image from article

China imports Israel's methods of propaganda and repression - Jimmy Johnson, Electronic Intifada: The rising unrest in China and Tibet, along with China's ever-increasing economic and political efforts outside its border, have already started to bring more press attention to the collective rights and conditions of workers, Uighurs, Tibetans and others in addition to the common historical criticisms of China's poor record on civil freedoms.

China's studying of Israeli hasbara (the Hebrew term meaning "explanation" but commonly translated as "propaganda") pairs ideologically with its ongoing pacification efforts. And China's adoption of Israeli security technologies means the Chinese response will be built from Israel's industry of Palestinian pacification. Image from article

Trot Music Is S. Korea's Best Propaganda Weapon‎ - The Chosun Ilbo: An old-fashioned style of Korean pop music called trot is South Korea's most powerful psychological weapon against North Korea. Most songs the military has broadcast to North Korean soldiers across the military demarcation line over tannoys along the DMZ were trot (pronounced "teuroteu" and short for "foxtrot"). They stopped in June 2004, but on May 24 this year, after the North sank the Navy corvette Cheonan, the military started airing propaganda programs on FM radio frequencies beamed across the border. The FM radio programs targeting North Korean soldiers are broadcasting a playlist of 184 songs that North Korean residents would like, many among them sung by new-generation trot singers such as

Jang Yoon-jung and Park Hyun-bin. Jang Yoon-jung image from

Hungary's Embrace of Propaganda - Abby Martin, The moves by the Fidesz government to alter the constitution, as well as to control modes of communication and social networks in the country, amount to a current political setting that has unsettling similarities to Germany's slide into fascism before World War II. Dictatorships and developing fascist states have always exploited nationalist rhetoric and Party propaganda to justify the takeover of a free society — the Nazis in Germany believed propaganda was a vital tool in achieving their goals, and produced it under the Orwellian "Ministry of Public Enlightenment."

Iran hangs alleged spy, militant‎
- Borzou Daragahi, Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times: Ali Saremi, shown in an undated photo,

was accused of distributing propaganda and organizing meetings of the outlawed group Mujahedin Khalq. (National Council of Resistance of Iran)

Former editor of Kurdish-language daily jailed for 138 years in Turkey - Hurriyet Daily News: The former editor in chief of a Kurdish-language newspaper in Turkey was sentenced to 138 years on Thursday for promoting a terrorist organization. Emine Demir, who served as editor of daily Azadiya Welat (Independence of Homeland), was not present at the hearing where she was being tried without arrest. She was charged and convicted of spreading propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, by a Diyarbakır court.

Parties unite against Turkish propaganda - Stefanos Evripidou, Cypriot officials and politicians displayed a rare moment of unity yesterday, joining forces to condemn Turkey’s efforts to exploit politically last week’s incident of basketball hooliganism. APOEL fans attempted to attack players of the Turkish team Pinar Karsiyaka. No players were injured while five police officers were taken to hospital for treatment. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the event to highlight that racism and hatred was on the rise among Greek Cypriots. He attempted to establish a link between the hooligans and the argument that Greek Cypriots did not want peace on the island.

Geraldine Doyle, 86, dies; one-time factory worker inspired Rosie the Riveter and 'We Can Do It!' poster - T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post: Geraldine Doyle, who died in Lansing, Mich. at age 86, only lasted for two weeks as a factory worker during WWII, but during that time, a photographer snapped her picture.

Not until four decades later did Mrs. Doyle find out that photo was the inspiration for graphic artist J. Howard Miller's iconic "We Can Do It" poster. Image from article


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