Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4

"So who[m] do we believe, when everyone in the world becomes a commentator?"

--Blogger Matt Hodkinson, Propaganda in the Social Media Age; image from


Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #56 - Bruce Gregory


New Tango Argentino... Peronism and Globalism Hook Up - Eric Ehrmann, Huffington Post: Neoconservative public diplomacy assets continue to associate Cristina [Argentina's president Cristina Kirchner]

with Washington's favorite rogue nations, Venezuela, Syria and Iran." Image from 

State Dept provided information about internet freedom project in "dribs and drabs," leading to $10 million transfer to BBG - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

At forum, Alhurra journalist says some Arab channels more concerned about influencing events than "independent and unbiased" coverage - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

RFE/RL is "pro-American propaganda, to an extent," while VOA is "the actual propaganda outlet," he [Joshua Foust] writes - Kim Andrew Elliot reporting on International Broadcasting

Bin Laden versus Yassin - Manfred Gerstenfeld, Ynetnews: "The flurry of international reactions to the killing of Osama bin Laden by the American army provides Israel with a great opportunity to demonstrate the double standards applied against it by so many in the Western world and elsewhere. All one has to do is compare the reactions of major institutions and leaders with those after the death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

This leader of the Hamas terrorist organization was killed by Israel in 2004. He was directly responsible for many lethal attacks on Israeli civilians including suicide bombings. ...Israel could considerably improve its public diplomacy by using the comparison of the two killings and other comparisons of events which occur with great frequency to stress such double standards. This is one of the many ways that Israel can fend off at least part of the unjust criticism against it." Image from article, with caption: Supporter of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin

Launch of JewishNet, the Jewish Social Platform, Alpha Version - "JewishNet is a symbiosis of online toolbox and offline activity. Visually the platform represents an Internet portal with all the features of a social network. It is integrated with the popular Web 2.0 and IM services, as well as niche sub-projects: 'job', 'dating', 'traveling together', 'recommendations', etc.

The platform covers three basic areas: socialization, education and public diplomacy." Image from

Проект "Бовинские чтения" - Серия политологических семинаров - 8. "Нужен ли Израилю в качестве координационного центра 'народной дипломатии' (public diplomacy) Израильский Союз Обществ Дружбы – ИСОД?" (Does Israel need ISOD -- The Israeli Union of Friendship Societies -- as a coordinating center of public diplomacy)

Public Diplomacy Drkhdmt Shvranydn nations - F. Morsel, [Google translation:] "Public diplomacy as a public process to communicate with foreign people to Gain an insight into the creation of desirable ideals and aspirations, culture, institutions and national policies and objectives defined by the people. این سوال پیش می آید که آیا هدف این نوع دیپلماسی تنها بازسازی وجههی مثبت کشوری در میان مخاطبان است یا اهداف سیاسی-امنیتی هم دارد؟ The question is whether this kind of diplomacy purpose only rebuild a positive reputation among the country audience, or political goals - Are there security?"

Director of Policy Planning - NATO, Jamie Shea - Virtual Outworlding: News about potential Second Life exploring: "Dr. Jamie Shea is Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

in Brussels. ... He was Director of the Office of Information and Press of NATO from 2000-2003, and in May 2003 was appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary General for External Relations in the new Public Diplomacy Division. He was also NATO Spokesman from 1993 to 2000." Image from

Thanks for the Encouragement - Katie, Adventures in Good Countries: "Getting along in the Foreign Service: "Two days into pre-Pakistan training, and not an hour of it has gone by without some fellow officer telling my how 'difficult,' if not 'impossible,' my job in Lahore will be. And that's if the person is being kind: one guy today was more frank in his assessment that Pakistanis hate us so much and so deeply that PD work in Pakistan was a 'waste of time.' He felt the need to press this point for some number of minutes. It was a little uncomfortable. It's hard to respond to the cynicism -- somewhat problematic in and of itself as responding to cynicism looks to be the core of my duties over the next year. I'm not someone who thinks reaction to US policies and actions can be papered over with free concerts, and I loathe all the talk about needing to 'brand' our aid, as if the point of our spending was to buy friendship. I do think, however, that personal relationships between Americans and people of other nations can make a difference in attitudes, enough to maybe, hopefully, transcend the ups and downs of politics. That thought was why I chose the Public Diplomacy cone over the Political cone all those many years ago.

I hope I don't regret my choice. I really don't want to spend the next year wasting anyone's time, least of all my own." Image from

On PD and Communication  - Laura McGiniss, manIC: "I've been thinking about my last unofficial class in graduate school. Last Thursday, Chayden arranged a role-playing exercise for the last meeting of our Public Diplomacy class. ... With the assistance of PD blogger Chris Dufour, Chayden divided the class (or the meager portion that actually showed up -- the rest were presumably finishing the final paper) into four groups: public affairs, public diplomacy, traditional media and angry public/interest groups. Then they presented us with a scenario: Hours before the royal wedding, U.S. security forces apprehend a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent in London, in connecting with a bomb threat. They gave us a few details about his contacts (in Virginia, Guantanamo and Yemen) and set us to work to prepare our communication strategy. We'd spent the semester studying public diplomacy, not crisis management, so there were a few stumbles. But for the most part, the students instantly adopted the communication personalities of their groups--with considerable creativity and humor."


Osama bin Laden ‘resisted’ assault but was unarmed, U.S. officials say - Greg Miller and and Joby Warrick, Washington Post: The White House retreated Tuesday from its most provocative assertions about the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, acknowledging that the al-Qaeda leader was neither armed nor hiding behind a female “human shield” when U.S. commandos fatally shot him during a predawn raid. The disclosures put the Obama administration on the defensive about whether it had exaggerated elements of earlier accounts for propaganda gain.

CIA Director Leon Panetta, who supervised the operation, said in interviews that U.S. intelligence agencies never had photographs or other proof that bin Laden was living at the compound in Pakistan that was targeted. Panetta told Time magazine that analysts were only 60 percent to 80 percent confident that bin Laden would be found. Image from

International broadcasting and the death of Osama bin Laden (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Farewell to Geronimo
- Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: We did our part. We killed Bin Laden with a bullet. Now

the Arab and Muslim people have a chance to do their part — kill Bin Ladenism with a ballot — that is, with real elections, with real constitutions, real political parties and real progressive politics. Image from

The U.S. and Pakistan, Best of Frenemies: Washington is too short-termist, Islamabad too distrustful - Sumit Ganguly, Wall Street Journal: Both sets of policy makers will now have to reassess the future of this troubled relationship in light of bin Laden's end.

Editorial: A journalist killed every 10 days - USA Today

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