Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23

"Every sect there is held as good, every road as correct, and every error as the insignificant weakness of poor mortals. In accordance with such principles, it is not surprising if America gives birth to innumerable sects which daily subdivide and multiply."

--The Italian Jesuit Giovanni Antonio Grassi, co-founder of Georgetown college; cited in Thomas Albert Howard, God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide (2011), p. 70; Jesuit order image from


US Public Diplomacy and the Arab Spring - Remarks by Walid Maalouf Former US Public Delegate to the United Nations Former Director Public Diplomacy at USAID (Institute for Cultural Diplomacy International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy The German Marshall Fund of the United States Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Washington, DC), "In international relations, public diplomacy is a term coined in 1965 to describe the conduct of foreign policy by engagement with foreign publics. It has been closely associated with the former United States Information Agency, which used the term to define its mission. But public diplomacy is also civility, explanation, communication, dialogue, attitude and much more to inform and influence. It is practiced through personal contact, media interviews, educational & cultural exchange, speaking opportunities, motion pictures and publications including nowadays the internet and all its social dynamics. ... Public diplomacy in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has become much more complicated. After September 11, 2001, the term public diplomacy surfaced strongly on the US diplomatic scene to wage the war of ideas in an ideological world where religion and politics comingled in a mean-spirited and negative way, in the Middle East in particular, and in the Muslim countries in general. ... The overall picture of public diplomacy is not only influencing and informing but also changing things.

Whatever we did in the Middle East since September 11, 2001 it definitely paved the way for this year’s Arab Spring. It all began with the fall of the dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein and Operation Iraq Freedom on March 19, 2003 . ... As the wall of dictatorships in the Middle East is collapsing, I believe we will similarly see the collapse of Muslim fanaticism and the tyranny of the 'Shador,' and give women in the broader Middle East the freedom and the equality they yearn for. The elimination of Osama Bin laden cannot have happened at a better time, even though some people believe that he became irrelevant with the Arab revolutions." Image from article

Radio Martí scraps "old history lectures" in favor of "practical and entertaining programming" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting.

Image from

Goc Clarifies Plan to Use Raul Reyes Computer - "C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 001714 ... 05/08/2018 ... SUBJECT: GOC CLARIFIES PLAN TO USE RAUL REYES COMPUTER INFORMATION SUMMARY ¶1. (C) Defense Minister Santos told the Ambassador on May 5 that the GOC appreciated U.S. efforts to safeguard information in the Raul Reyes computers. He said V/MOD Jaramillio is managing the GOC strategy to release the Reyes data, and is privately briefing select governments on the files. Once Interpol 'certifies' the integrity of the Reyes' computers, the GOC plans to release most of the information, possibly to independent academics in Colombia, Europe, the United States or Canada. The GOC will withhold some information on Venezuela and Ecuador to use as leverage later. The Ambassador encouraged Santos to consider how the Reyes information will be integrated into the GOC's larger public diplomacy, media, political, and military efforts. Santos asked us to coordinate with Jaramillo on that effort. End Summary"

Simulating NATO in Serbia - TransConflict - "The inaugural Model NATO Serbia took place in Belgrade from 20th-22nd May, providing university students from throughout Serbia was an opportunity to directly

experience NATO’s consensus-based decision-making structure. ... Model NATO Serbia was organized by TransConflict Serbia, with the support of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Department (PDD), the US Embassy in Belgrade and the Embassy of the Czech Republic." Image from article of Model: NATO Serbia participants.

Director of Israeli Government Press Office: “I Want to Sell Israel as a Democracy” - Connie Hackbarth, Alternative Information Center (AIC): "Oran Helman, newly appointed Director of Israel’s Government Press Office, recently gave an interview to the Israeli economic newspaper TheMarker, in which he outlined his plans to market Israel, using international journalists as the 'display window' of Israel. ... Israel’s Government Press Office, recently moved from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, is responsible for accreditation of the thousands of international journalists and coordinating media coverage for official visits by international leaders and state events. One of Helman’s first changes in the GPO, decided together with the Minister of Public Diplomacy Yuli Eidelstein, was to establish a sub-unit of the GPO Photography and Video Department which will focus on documenting attacks defined by Israel as 'terrorist'. ... The GPO

is taking an active interest in internet-based social networks, opening its own facebook profile and twitter account. ... 'I want to sell Israel as a democracy, as a country that is an economic miracle,' states Helman. 'It is possible to argue as much as you want, but the growth that was here, joining the OECD, the multi-year budget…these are things that very much interest the world.' Israeli political economist Shir Hever was shocked when reading this quote, declaring that 'Under the macroeconomic indicators that speak of prosperity, Israel poverty rate has peaked, unregistered unemployment has skyrocketed and the social gaps in Israeli society are higher than they ever were. Also, all of Israel’s public services: health, education, transportation, are in a state of crisis. The prosperity is skin deep – not felt by the majority of the population.'” Image from article

Way Forward For Indian State Of Jammu And Kashmir - Sushant K Singh, "The political process in the Valley can only be reactivated fully once the security situation has been brought under control. However certain steps can be initiated to restart the political process immediately. These will have to be undertaken at many levels simultaneously within the state. ... INFORMATION & STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS 12. Local, national and international media must be encouraged to visit normal areas of the Valley, outside of the three affected districts,

to expand the coverage of Kashmir. Doing so will demonstrate the separatist violence is confined to a small fraction of the state and its populaton. Srinagar also needs to craft its own public diplomacy campaign, to showcase the normal areas in the Valley, and in other parts of the state. The Hindu-and Buddhist-dominated regions of Jammu and Leh deserve greater media attention, so too the Shia-dominated regions of Kargil and Gurjar-dominated regions of Rajauri-Poonch, all of which oppose separatism. The Islamist agenda of the separatist leadership must be exposed." Image from

Switzerland Trying to Change its Image… - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence

Competition and Public Diplomacy Innovation - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "PD is something done by states and the history of international relations tends to suggest that competition drives innovation."

Films: a tool to Public Diplomacy for Foreign Policy conduct - Irina, Public and Cultural Diplomacy D: A reflective group blog by students on the Public and Cultural Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University

Creating My Education - dtearl, Softer Power: Life, Politics, Sports, Music, and the Web: "For the first time, I’m contemplating an independent study as a graduate student. I’d like to build a course addressing the way American policies and politics impact the construction of public diplomacy and aid operations. Though PD

officers and leaders can ask for the tools they need to handle the challenges of their work, it is Congress and all of the interests that surround it that control the hardware store. Navigating the myriad committees, think tanks and bureaucratic postures to get buy-in is a fascinating, challenging, and arguably counter-productive way to do one’s job, and I’d like to analyze how all of that gets built." Image from


Obama's Speech Was Misunderstood: The President isn't suggesting that Israel return to an indefensible frontier. He knows there must also be land swaps - Robert Wexler and Zvika Krieger, Wall Street Journal

Afghan Taliban deny Mullah Omar is dead - AFP: An Afghan Taliban spokesman said Monday it was "not possible at all" that their leader Mullah Omar was dead, after an Afghan intelligence source said he had been killed in Pakistan.

"This is pure propaganda. This is not possible at all," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. Image from

Internalising propaganda - Hajrah Mumtaz, The "war on terror" defined America`s policies for nearly a decade. Under President Obama`s administration, it was quietly dropped from the official lexicon. The phrase has become entrenched in the world's vocabulary, and consequently, people`s mindsets. This is not surprising, for it sums up in three short words the direction of the mighty America's even mightier propaganda machine during the Bush years, conducting a war as it was against not a state with borders, but a concept that could be found anywhere.

Firdous calls for liaison among Muslim media to counter propaganda against Islam - Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia can benefit from each other in the field of education, particularly women’s education, and there is a need for greater cooperation among media and women of Muslim countries for preserving Islamic identity and counter propaganda against Islam. This was stated by Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan

during her visit to Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh on Sunday. Later, talking to Saudi TV, the Minister said that keeping in view the criticism and propaganda of some western media against Islam and the Muslims, there is a dire need for strong media cooperation between the Muslim media to counter the nefarious propaganda against Islam and the Muslims. Firdous Ashiq Awan image from

One View of the News World - Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times: Xinhua is trying to convince the world that it is more than a propaganda arm of the Chinese government, but it is finding that message a tough sell. Taking questions, Xinhua’s vice president Zhou Xisheng was asked twice whether the news agency could ever be objective as an arm of the government. “I believe there is some misunderstanding,” Mr. Zhou said, delivering such a lengthy answer that his English-speaking interpreter was unable to keep up. “Of course we will need to report what’s happening and give it our own explanation. I don’t think that’s propaganda.”

China propaganda film to U.S.: China Lion in deal for 'Great Revival' - China Lion Film Distribution will distribute the upcoming Chinese propaganda epic "Beginning of the Great Revival,"

previously known as "The Founding of a Party," in North America, Australia and New Zealand. Helmed by Jianxin Huang and Sanping Han, and produced by China Film Group, pic was made to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party and is a companion piece to 2009's "The Founding of a Republic," about the 1949 revolution. Image from

Zionism does not need propaganda‎ - Shlomo Avineri, Ha'aretz: Zionism does not need propaganda lies. They only distort the simple Zionist truth, which is the right of the Jewish people to enjoy self-determination and to be a free people in its own land.

Broadcasting Martyrdom - Brooke Goldstein and Elisa Rojas, FrontPage Magazine: The illegal, state-sponsored indoctrination and recruitment of innocent children to become suicide-homicide bombers is happening every day in Islamist countries, yet few people know of the insidious methods by which these children are made ripe fruit for the picking. Moreover, most people are unaware that information aimed at inducing children to blow themselves up is being disseminated far beyond the Middle East, invading the homes of children

around the globe via European satellites, Facebook, YouTube, and through your iPhone or iPad. In the meantime, satellite channels broadcasting hate propaganda have spread like wildfire in the Arab world, as proponents of Islamist terrorism seek to access millions of young viewers at home and through the Internet. Hamas and Hezbollah have found ways to circumvent restrictions imposed by the US and Europe by using satellite services provided by Muslim countries and by frequently changing the non-Arab communications companies they deal with. Reports say Hezbollah and Hamas are currently using Nilesat and Arabsat satellite companies to spread incitement and hate propaganda. Image of "child martyrs" from article

Assad's propaganda - Issandr El Amrani, The Syrian state media is engaged in a no-holds barred propaganda campaign.

Iranian Soft Power in Latin America: Yet Another Information Network - Eliot Brockner, The fight for hearts and minds reached a new level on 3 May, when Cuba and Iran announced plans to increase media cooperation via Iranian run Spanish language news network Hispan TV. Hispan TV was launched last week eight

months after a September 2010 announcement from Iranian state officials announcing the importance of increasing awareness of Iran’s “ideological legitimacy." Image from


“At George Town, in the suburbs, there is a Jesuit college; delightfully situated, and, so far as I had the opportunity of seeing, well managed. Many persons who are not members of the Romish Church, avail themselves, I believe, of these institutions, and for the advantageous opportunities they afford … The heights of this neighborhood, above the Potomac River, are very picturesque; and are free, I should conceive, from some of the insalubrities of Washington.”

—Charles Dickens, American Notes, 1842; cited in Amanda Marie Murphy,"Georgetown’s Forgotten Second Founder: The Story of Fr. John Anthony Grassi, S.J.," Utraque Unum — Spring/Summer 2009, p. 49; image from

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