Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31

"In the USSR, we have the biggest microchip in the world."

--Cold War joke; image from


TechWomen Graduates First Class: TechWomen is a U.S. Department of State initiative that pairs women from Muslim-majority countries and territories with female mentors from leading U.S. tech companies - Editorial, Voice of America: "A new international exchange program that aims to give women in the Middle East and North Africa an upper hand in technology recently graduated its first class. TechWomen is a U.S. Department of State initiative that pairs women from Muslim-majority countries and territories with female mentors from leading U.S. tech companies.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to the class of 37 graduates: 'We’re excited about the role of technology, and we want to help facilitate your use of it. We are trying to use technology to open up doors that are otherwise closed.' ... Applications for the 2012 program will be accepted this fall. For more information, log on to" Image from article, with caption: TechWomen program participants during their visit to Washington, DC.

USA Department of State, Official Press Release ~ Uganda Little League Team Visas - "QUESTION: Visa issues writ large, or more specifically, why did the – does the State Department deny visas to the Ugandan little league team, which was about to be the first African little league team to ever play in the Little League World Series? MR. TONER: Well, I’m certainly aware of the story. As you know, we are limited or we cannot, frankly, discuss individual visa cases in public. I would just say in this case that I can assure you that consular officers examined each of these individuals and accorded them every consideration under the law. This is a very difficult situation, and we – but our consular officials are committed to upholding U.S. law. At the same time, they do accord these individuals who are coming in for visa interviews every consideration. And beyond that, I would have to refer you to the Little League officials in Williamsport. ... QUESTION: ... It just seems to me a little bit odd that this building would give a visa to a guy who puts a bomb in his underwear and flies to the United States and tries to blow up the plane, and a handful of Ugandan teenagers can’t come to play a game of baseball.

It would just seem to strike at the very heart of your public diplomacy effort, particularly when baseball is supposed to be America’s game and you’re wanting to expand it and show goodwill. It just mystifies me. MR. TONER: Well, Matt, it’s – again, it is a difficult situation. I won’t deny that. But these cases are adjudicated by consular officials who look very closely at all the appropriate data and they make their decisions based on that. In this case, these individuals did not receive a visa. Beyond that, I really can’t comment other than to say that I’d refer you to the Little League organizers for more information." Image from

Voice of Russia: Breaking from the Past to Inform Americans - Kimberly DeGroff Madsen, PD News – CPD Blog, University of Southern California: "Russia has a great opportunity to present a positive image of itself through Voice of Russia. Accurate information about Russia is badly needed, and this could be the perfect venue for reaching out to Americans.

A mix of domestic and international news that is important to Americans, broadcasted with American and Russian voices is a great way to reach the news-conscious populations in New York and D.C. Perhaps in time, it will be the norm to go to a Russian news source to get U.S. news. Kimberly DeGroff Madsen is a public diplomacy consultant specializing in Eastern Europe and Faith Diplomacy, doctoral candidate, and full-time mom." Image from

Law students take public diplomacy into the legal arena - Joanna Paraszczuk, Jerusalem Post: "In the aftermath of the would-be Gaza Flotilla II and the Welcome to Palestine 'Flytilla' in which hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists flew to Israel, a group of law students are making their own contribution to Israel’s public diplomacy efforts. The students, all members of Israeladvocacy group StandWithUs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have organized a conference to discuss Israel’s position in international law and the issues arising from it. Fifty student delegates from abroad are set to take part in this week’s event, the Student Conference on International Law (SCIL), at the university’s Law Faculty. The delegates, who were selected from more than 2,500 applicants, include outstanding law students, social leaders and activists from countries as diverse as Australia, Germany, Nigeria, Bosnia, Slovenia and Uruguay. ... Tal Dror, the conference’s coordinator, said that though Israel’s public diplomacy is mostly directed at the media, the 'real battle' takes place in the arena of international law. For this reason, Dror said, it is essential to educate international law students about the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The Trouble with Jeffrey - Ibishblog: The weblog of Hussein Ibish: "Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic magazine is ... an influential columnist and blogger with a strong ethnic Jewish perspective and a deep attachment to Israel. This makes him anathema to many Arab and Muslim Americans (I've been vilified for agreeing to be interviewed by, and later -- horror of horrors -- coauthoring an article with, him), and to many on the extreme left, including some ultraleft Jewish Americans. But he's also a strong critic of the occupation; the settlements (he has written sympathetically about settlement boycotts);

Islamophobia (I'd note that his initial speculation that Islamists might have been involved in the Norway terrorist attacks was hardly out of bounds and bore no resemblance to the disgraceful ravings of Jennifer Rubin or John Podhoretz); paranoid TSA pseudo-security practices (about which he has written hilariously); and bigotry in general. This provokes the ire of a great deal of the extreme right, including the Jewish far-right. So the extremes on all sides dislike him a great deal, and they are disliking him more with every passing day. ... Some left wing critics acknowledge that he's not exactly without any audience, such as Joseph Dana, who recently referred to Goldberg as 'the dark lord of American Zionist hasbara.' Well, if all of this is the work of Netanyahu's American 'dark lord of propaganda,' the Israeli government's public diplomacy is in much worse shape than even I thought it was." Goldberg image from

Falklands General Purposes Committee Report 27 July 2011 - "A suggestion was received from the Public Diplomacy Group that the 4th June 2012 be made a public holiday to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the queens coronation. The actual coronation took place on the 2nd of June which falls on a Saturday so the fourth will be a day in lieu. The 4th is also the day that has been chosen for the lighting of beacons across the UK and world to celebrate the jubilee, which we here in the Falklands will be participating in; there will be more about this in due course."

Breivik's rhetoric: from the personal to the political - "James Pamment är expert på internationell politik och forskar om Public Diplomacy. Han svarar för bloggens analyser av medier och kommunikationsstrategier, främst ur ett utrikespolitiskt perspektiv."


Georgia using US media as a “propaganda instrument” - Russia Today: Washington appears to have accepted Georgia’s account of a bombing incident last September at the US Embassy in Tbilisi, while one Russian diplomat says it is more political intrigue aimed at undermining Russia’s international reputation. ­According to The Washington Times, US intelligence agencies concluded in a classified report that “Russia’s military intelligence was responsible for a bomb blast that occurred at an exterior wall of the US Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September.” The classified report about the Sept. 22 incident was described to The Washington Times by two US officials who were said to have read it.

According to these unidentified individuals, the report echoes the findings of the Georgian Interior Ministry, which has pointed a finger of blame at a Russian military intelligence officer. The Washington newspaper reported last week that Shota Utiashvili, director of information and analysis for the Georgian Interior Ministry, said the embassy blast was the work of a Russian military intelligence officer named Maj. Yevgeny Borisov. Yevgeny Khorishko, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington, dismissed the Georgian charges last week. “All these rounds of allegations are absolutely false and baseless,” he said. "It looks like the aim of the publication in The Washington Times is to trigger a second propaganda wave around issues that have already been discussed with American and Georgian representatives at the beginning of this year," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Interfax. Image from article

Beijing imposes media ban on rail crash coverage - Patti Waldmeir, Financial Times: The Chinese Communist party is fighting back against public criticism of China’s recent deadly high-speed train crash, imposing a media ban that has caused an angry outcry online. Chinese newspapers, which last week defied government censors, were forced to scrap pages of coverage of the Wenzhou rail crash at the last minute on Friday night, after the Communist party’s propaganda organ issued an order restricting crash coverage that was not “positive.” Please respect's ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. The crash, in which at least 40 people died, has emerged as a focal point for public dissatisfaction at central government, and the quality of life delivered by breakneck economic growth.

China will implode if it doesn't change its authoritarian ways: A knowledge economy operating at the frontiers of technology is incompatible with a one-party state - Will Hutton, The internet is proving an instrument that not even the authoritarian Chinese can control. China is a volcano waiting to explode. It is difficult for those not familiar with the country to comprehend the scale of corruption, the waste of capital, the sheer inefficiency, the ubiquity of the party and the obeisance to hierarchy that is today's China. The mass of Chinese are proud and pleased with what has been achieved since Deng Xiaoping began the era of the "socialist market economy". But there is a widespread and growing recognition that the authoritarian model has to change, a fact that every disaster dramatises.

Facebook Reluctantly Permits Holocaust Hoax Pages - David Cohen, The touchy issue of what to do about Facebook pages claiming that the Holocaust was a hoax reared its ugly head again at the social network, but it remained consistent in allowing the pages. The Jewish Chronicle Online reported that 21 Holocaust survivors affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center sent the following in a letter to Facebook earlier this month: We are writing to you to protest Facebook’s policy that categorizes Holocaust denial as “free speech,” rather than the shameless, cynical, and hateful propaganda that it is.

Do not permit Holocaust denial any platform on Facebook to preach its inherent message of lies and hate. By allowing this hate propaganda on Facebook, you are exposing the public and, in particular, youth to the anti-Semitism that fueled the Holocaust. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes was sympathetic but firm in an email response to’s Digital Life, admitting that handling controversial content is one of the social network’s toughest issues. He said that while the social network feels that the groups posting the Holocaust denial pages are “repugnant and ignorant,” after careful consideration, “the mere statement of denying the Holocaust is not a violation of our terms.” Image from article

Move over Captain America, make room for the Fighting American - Nick Owchar, Where Captain America and his sidekick Bucky battled Nazi goons, the Fighting American and his sidekick Speedboy (who looks like Bucky with peroxide-blond hair)

faced off against nefarious Communists during the Cold War 1950s. Titan has published a collection of Fighting American's battles against crazed Commies that's perfect for perusing after you see the movie "Captain America: The First Avenger." Image from article

Watch this uplifting FSM propaganda video - Bobby Henderson, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster [video]: "I love this video so much. Years ago I had the experience of watching an authentic over-the-top propaganda show and this video is spot on. Who can resist accepting information as Truth when it’s set against delightful music and animation? I think all good propaganda straddles the boundary between happy and creepy. My question to you is: what emotions did this invoke?"


Ladies! Cannonball cure for constipation - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing: In 1901, this Ladies Guide in Health and Disease ad advised women

that they should let an “eminent German physician” cure their constipation by rolling a leather-encased cannonball around on their tummies. Image from article

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30

"I have an appointment with myself in a couple of hours."

--Sergi Pàmies, from his new work of fiction, "La bicicleta estática"; cited in The Times Literary Supplement (July 8, 2011), p. 26; image from


Report: U.S. invests millions in effort to boost Obama's image in Israel - "The United States has been pumping millions of dollars into Israel to help overcome the Jewish state's distrust of President Barack Obama. A State Department report said the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv has been facing rising Israeli distrust in the Obama administration. The department's Office of the Inspector-General reported that the embassy was given nearly $7 million a year to influence public opinion in the Jewish state. 'A fragile Israeli coalition government leans toward the views of its members from the nationalist and religious right, creating a challenge for diplomats seeking to build support for U.S. policies,' the inspector-general said. The report, issued in March 2010, said U.S. ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, played a major role in revising the policy of the Jewish state.

But the embassy has failed to change Israeli public opinion against Obama. 'One of the embassy's challenges is how to build support for U.S. policies in Israel at a time when peace talks are under way and little can be said about them publicly despite intense public interest,' the report said. 'It will be useful to the United States for the ambassador, the DCM [deputy chief of mission], and the embassy's public diplomacy section to continue developing outreach programs that explain and advocate fundamental U.S. positions to Israeli audiences who may be becoming more distant from the United States than in the past.'" Image from

The Cultural Underbelly of Public Diplomacy - RS Zaharna, battles2bridges: "Culture as an underlying force that shapes global public diplomacy remains curiously unexplored. Yet, every aspect of an entity’s public diplomacy, from the values and ideals buried in its political goals to how it tries to communicate with publics is touched by culture. Intercultural scholars have cautioned that to overlook culture’s impact is to remain vulnerable to its power. Conversely, with the benefit of cultural knowledge, one can more effectively harness that power. ... [T]he need for cultural knowledge take on greater urgency for public diplomacy given two trends that are likely to intensify. The first trend that will require greater cultural knowledge is the growing salience cultural identity in the public arena. ... A second trend that is also likely to intensify and require greater cultural knowledge is the move within public diplomacy toward collaboration in an effort to tackle complex global problems. ... A public diplomat’s skills in invoking culture’s blessing or curse will rest on cultural knowledge."

Kabul television: After helping to modernise Afghanistan’s media, David Ensor is about to direct the Voice of America - Annie Maccoby Berglof, Financial Times: "Three-and-a-half years after taking a private sector job as head of public relations at Mercuria, an energy company, Ensor was tapped for a new senior US government post in Afghanistan: director of communications and public diplomacy for the US embassy. The job of communications 'tsar' included a hefty budget to build up Afghan television, telephone and radio infrastructure and programming: '[The late diplomat] Richard Holbrooke asked me to go. I wanted to do my part to make sure Afghanistan moved into the modern world and never became a base for terrorist camps again, says Ensor, 60,

tanned from his time in Kabul. ... Once in Kabul, Ensor was outfitted with a staff of 60, heavy security and a chunk of more than $4bn in aid. He set about creating television, radio and phone towers as well as home-grown programmes from news shows and soap operas to an Afghan cop drama. 'A lot of the programmes I founded are aimed at the young. Afghan police are perceived as corrupt. We wanted to create positive role models.' ... Soon Ensor will be packing up with his family again to assume a new post as director of Voice of America in Washington." Ensor image from

State Department official calls for return of VOA and RFE/RL access to FM dial in Azerbaijan - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Amendment to create VOA Sindhi service approved by House Foreign Affairs Committee - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Columbia Journalism Review issues correction to its story mentioning VOA website's corrections policy - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Columbia Journalism Review, 27 July 2011, Justin D. Martin: 'The websites of The Economist, Foreign Policy, the Singapore Straits-Times, The Times of India, World Politics Review, The Moscow Times, Voice of America and Foreign Affairs have neither visible corrections pages nor prominent corrections policies, to list a few.

Voice of America does at least have an accuracy policy on its site, stating that 'VOA corrects errors or omissions in its own broadcasts at the earliest opportunity.' ... Correction: This article originally reported that the website of Voice of America contains no statement regarding its online corrections policy. In fact, such a statement is available here, under 'Corrections': CJR regrets the error." Image from

Because All India Radio "chose not to" have greater impact, Indians put up with the "positive ordeal" of foreign radio via shortwave - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

VOL. VII NO. 15, July 15-July 28, 2011 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media

Japan - Press Conference by the Deputy Press Secretary, 28 July 2011 - "Q: ... My ... question is about the commendation awards given to Japanese and foreign nationals in Japan. If possible I would love to have what kind of criteria the Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses, and how they choose to award people, because I see in this list, particularly for the foreign recipients of this award, are from very few countries. ... Mr. Sobashima [Deputy Press Secretary Hidenobu Sobashima]: ... I cannot add more than what is written in Paragraph 3 of the distributed paper, that 'The Foreign Minister's Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups of outstanding achievements in international fields, to acknowledge their contribution to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries'. ... [I]f you have a recommendation, perhaps you would talk to the Divisions concerned in the Ministry, the Division covering a particular country, for example, or other relevant Divisions.

I am also responsible, for example, for the Public Diplomacy Department, and the Public Diplomacy Department is dealing with cultural exchanges, and if you are aware of someone who has outstanding achievement in the field of cultural exchanges then our Department, the Public Diplomacy Department, may be interested in listening to your recommendation, or Japanese Embassies overseas, and they should be attentive. And then we will evaluate the achievements of those people and groups." Sobashima image from

Summer School for Young Professionals 2011 - For the sixth time already, Summer School for Young Professionals was held at the Armed Forces Academy of Milan Rastislav Stefanik in Liptovský Mikuláš in Slovakia. The sixth Summer School for Young Professionals took place from 25th June – 3th July 2011 and it hosted 26 master and doctoral level students of political science and international relations from 15 countries . ... To make the Summer School project more interactive,

Ján Mihálik from Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia set up a conflict resolution creative workshop which received a very positive feedback from the participants. Also, once again, the organizers managed to connect with the NATO Public Diplomacy Division in Brussels. Through the video teleconference participants had the opportunity to see and hear reflections on two topics by NATO PDD analysts – Antonella Cerasino spoke about new NATO strategic concept and Rolf Schwarz had a lecture about NATO involvement in Libya." Image from article


Global Concern Over U.S. Debt Ceiling Disagreement - Liz Alderman, New York Times: While the debt debacle in Washington preoccupies America, it is causing jitters in power corridors from Beijing to Brussels. The stewards of the world’s largest economies are anxious for a compromise, to keep their own finances from suffering collateral damage.

Their worries stem from an inescapable reality: for other governments, there is still no good alternative to holding the almighty dollar, or American Treasury securities, even if the United States gets tarnished by a once-unthinkable credit downgrade. Image from

NATO Strikes at Libyan State TV - David D. Kirkpatrick: NATO said Saturday that it had disabled three Libyan state television transmission dishes in Tripoli with airstrikes overnight, as the alliance took steps to remove the main instrument of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s propaganda from the airwaves. Although the broadcasts continued on Saturday, silencing state television would be a psychological blow to Colonel Qaddafi’s forces as well as a boon to his opponents. The rebels challenging his rule have urged NATO for months to take out the channel, and both NATO and the rebels now face a deadline in September, when the United Nations resolution authorizing the airstrikes expires.

U.S. review finds Iraq more dangerous than a year ago - Ed O’Keefe, New York Times: Increased attacks on U.S. troops, a continuing wave of assassinations targeting government officials and a growing number of indirect rocket strikes on Baghdad’s Green Zone are making the security situation in Iraq more dangerous than a year ago, according to a new government watchdog report issued Saturday. “Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work,”

U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr. wrote in his quarterly report to Congress and the Obama administration. “It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago.” Image from

If Anti-Israel Propaganda Becomes Too Ridiculous Will Nobody Believe it? - "This article in The Economist, once considered the world’s greatest international magazine for serious news and business analysis is so horrendous that I admit to laughing hysterically while reading it. The opening sentence is priceless. Innocent Palestinian kids are just going to get water and for no reason at all Israeli soldiers start shooting them down in cold blood. If such an incident had ever happened, it would be everywhere in the mass media. Yet no date or place is mentioned, making it certain that this is fabricated or, more likely, the journalist merely writing down what he was told by Palestinians. Then the reporter quotes an Israeli settler as saying that the soldiers should maim Palestinians more. No name, no place, no date. This one the journalist himself must have made up."

Train Crash Proves Debacle for China's Propaganda Machine - Adam Minter, Bloomberg: On the evening of July 23, news broke on China’s microblogs that a collision and derailment occurred on high-speed rail tracks between the boomtowns of Taizhou and Wenzhou, killing at least 39 people. Less than 48 hours later, Chinese internet users were horrified and infuriated by images of the damaged train cars being chopped up and buried. For a Chinese public that had, even before the accident, become fed up with the corruption related to the country’s outrageously expensive high-speed rail lines, the burial suggested a cover-up of defects in the rail system’s infrastructure. In the days since, China's propaganda managers have been learning a lesson American politicians know well (but don't always heed): the cover-up is often worse than the crime. For six decades, the Central Propaganda Department had virtually complete control of the government's image and -- when deemed necessary -- covered up its mistakes with little public backlash. But that sense of immunity has eroded. Today, department officials find themselves competing with Chinese bloggers, microbloggers and increasingly independent -- and ascendant -- journalists who are enraged with the government's latest case of incompetence and efforts to control public criticism of it.

Down rabbit holes in rubber-tyre sandals in Vietnam - Effie-Michelle Metallidis, "[T]he Vietnamese government ... operates a popular tourist destination for those interested in ambling through the leafy forests of former Vietcong trenches. For US$7 (Dh26), visitors can shoot rifles and submachine guns, and for $8 (Dh29), they can crawl through claustrophobic holes up to 15 metres underground. ... Forty years ago, the 121km network of the Cu Chi tunnels in northern Saigon acted as a base for Vietnam's communist resistance forces. It was carpet-bombed by American troops in one of the most disastrous military campaigns of the Cold War. Fortunately, the enmity between Vietnam and its colonisers has been buried, allowing US imperialists, such as ... myself, to wander about a site peppered with camouflaged traps and 250kg US cluster bombs.

As a propaganda enthusiast, I was interested in seeing how Vietnam had constructed its national narrative after communism's decline. In this regard, Cu Chi is an emerald among gems. Sure, propaganda poster shops are a staple of Vietnamese tourism, and hipsters with black-framed glasses can be seen poring over reprints of Ho Chi Minh and Lenin in the crowded shops of Ho Chin Minh City, but there is no propaganda quite like installation propaganda. Having been to Hizbollah's 'tourism park' in the south of Lebanon, which pays homage to the guerilla group's victory over Israel, I can say that rescued enemy tanks and walk-through tours of hidden guerilla caves win over a poster any day." Image from article, with caption: A shoemaker makes Vietcong-era sandals from black rubber tyres at the Cu Chi tunnel site.  As expected, the military has turned Cu Chi into a sanitised field of patriotic remembrance. Leafy trees cover the grounds of former battle sites and reconstructed huts show how the Vietcong lived, cooked, stored supplies and designed traps to thwart imperialist forces.

These social network propaganda posters are awesome - "Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have all taken the world by storm. It’s rare to meet anyone who doesn’t use at least one of them, although with Google+ it’s most likely someone you know on Twitter. Artist Aaron Wood created these clever propaganda posters

that trumpet the creeds of the big 3. We think that they’re pretty accurate, although he probably could have gone with Mafia Wars for the Facebook one and it would have worked just as well." Image from article


National Archive food and government exhibit: “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” - David Pescovitz, Boing Boing: Right now, the National Archives in Washington DC are hosting an exhibition about government and food. Titled “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?,” it covers everything from government regulations on food processing and labeling to nutritional campaigns for such things as, er, “Vitamin Donuts.” Smithsonian magazine was particularly intrigued by the exhibition’s information about US presidential diets. Above, Richard Nixon’s last meal in the White House,

“slices of pineapple arranged around a plop of cottage cheese, paired with a glass of milk and served on a silver tray.”  “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?: The Government’s Effect on the American Diet(National Archive)

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 29

"Older Americans do not intend to ruin America, but as a group, that’s what they’re about."

--Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelsonimage from


The Middle East is the Graveyard of Public Diplomacy…and Always has Been - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "In the past week there’s been a certain amount of commentary that the attitudes to the US in the Middle East have got worse despite President Obama’s efforts (examples here and here). Predictably this has led to criticisms of Obama’s actions and policies or the lack thereof. But because I’ve been reading history let me ask a different question. The Middle East has always been a problem in Western (UK, France, US) public diplomacy. Why? In the 1930s and the 1940s the British were worried about Italian and German influence. Rising nationalism was directed against the British and French presence. In the 1940s and after the struggle with nationalism is reinforced by the creation of Israel and the Cold War. In the 1950s We have the Algerian War and the Suez Crisis. From the late 1960s we see the rise of armed Palestinian groups [.] After 1979 we get the Iranian revolution and the emergence of other militant Islamic groups. Is there another area of the world that has been the object of such persistent PD efforts over such a long time with so little apparent effect?

How can we explain this? Note that the perceived challenges predate the rise of radical Islam and that different issues that have produced similar types of conflicts. This suggests structural factors that persist regardless of changing policies and changing political movements in the region. It might be argued that the way that Western powers have dealt with the region have been driven by geopolitical factors such as: 1.Proximity to the Soviet Union: this worked both ways the Middle East was vulnerable to Soviet influence but in the 1940s and 1950s offered a base for striking the USSR in case of war 2.Proximity to Europe 3.The Suez Canal – particularly in the period between the 1930s-1960s 4.Oil These mean that Western powers have tended to deal with local and regional developments through the lens of their own interests at the cost of damaged relations with local actors. This is hardly surprising but it means that public diplomacy difficulties are not about PD actions, or even policy decisions but in deeper structural factors." Image from

International Education Critical to Restoring Health of American Economy - Craig Berger, "This whole debt ceiling mess, critical in its own right, is also obscuring fights for other priorities as the budget fight for FY12 heats up. One such priority is international education. NAFSA CEO and Executive Director Marlene M. Johnson last week sent letters to influential members of Congress reminding them of the importance of global learning and engagement as a part of the national recovery from the recession. Here is a summary of the messages sent to various subcommittees on behalf of NAFSA and the students and educators it represents ... [including:] •Subcommittee: State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: NAFSA urged the subcommittee to make a strong investment in educational exchange programs such as Fulbright by approving funding at the President’s FY12 budget request of $637.1 million. NAFSA also highlighted the need for robust funding for the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, urging funding at the President’s budget request of $7.6 billion. NAFSA made note of the importance of the Peace Corps, urging support for this innovative and critical public diplomacy program at the President’s request of $439.6 million."

Jon Huntsman says he's pro-green, pro-Boehner - 'Conservation is conservative,' Huntsman [Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman] said.

'I'm not ashamed to be a conservationist. I also believe that science should be driving our discussion on climate change. I came to find that our national and state parks are a powerful weapon for growth, public diplomacy and economic development.'" Image from

Partial Victory Declared in Fight Over Censorship at Voice of America - "Press freedom advocates and Ethiopian Americans are declaring a partial victory in their fight with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a U.S. government agency, over the censorship of the Voice of America radio programs to Ethiopia. They credit massive protests and a demonstration held Monday in front of the BBG and VOA headquarters in Washington, DC with getting a senior Voice of America official to tell the journalists working for the Horn of Africa VOA Service 'to continue their work without any restrictions or self-censorship,' the Ethiopian American news website Addis Voice reported. ... [Free Media Online president Ted Lipien,

who once served as VOA’s acting associate director] pointed out that independent journalists in Russia, human rights defenders in China and Ethiopia, and Ethiopian Americans do not want to see the Voice of America turn into a third-rate cable channel with stories about UFOs and aliens while BBG members travel around the world at U.S. taxpayers’ expense making deals with dictatorial regimes to allow such programs to air locally because they don’t offend anyone and therefore may result in higher audience ratings. This is exactly what an independent journalist in Russia said about the VOA Russian Service website, as reported in an internal Broadcasting Board of Governors program evaluation which was ignored by BBG and VOA executives." Image from article

The Palestinian Statehood Strategy - Ali Younes, The Palestinian strategy at the UN will start by submitting an application to the UN Security Council (UNSC) sometime in the next few weeks. The Security Council, then, will conduct a procedural vote to whether approve the application and refer it to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for a full vote by member states or the application will be vetoed down by one of the permanent 5 members’ states. ... At the SC the Palestinians can only guarantee 6 countries that will vote for them, India, Lebanon, South Africa and Brazil, as well as China and Russia of the P5 group. ... Germany and the other EU country Portugal who are current members of the SC, are a tossup and their vote, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported last month, will depend on the Israeli public diplomacy and Netanyahu’s ability to convince Chancellor Angela Merkel of his intentions about peace talks with the Palestinians."

Korea's Iconic Tune, "Arirang," in Danger - "The song 'Arirang' has been accompanying the Korean nation through its trials and jubilations. ... In June, China announced its 3rd list of intangible cultural assets which included the Korean folk tune 'Arirang.'

China has been seeking to register 'Arirang' on the list since 8 years ago. The decision to include the song 'Arirang' on the list finally came to pass this year. ... [Interview: Park In-hwi, Professor of Intl. Studies Ewha Womans University] 'The song 'Arirang' symbolizes the Korean spirit. If it is recognized as a cultural property of the minority group of ethnic   in China, and not as a resource for Korean public diplomacy, it could cause serious problems in cultural diplomacy. As countries become increasingly interconnected, such problems will continue to arise.' This is not the first time China has registered Korean cultural assets as its own. China registered the 60th birthday rituals, the Korean traditional wedding and the hanbok in 2008 as its own. The farmer's dance was registered in 2009 and now, Arirang has been added to the list." Image from

We’re not in China anymore, Toto - sunscreenandchacos: "We met with the folks of the Carnegie - Tsinghua Global Policy Foundation – a think tank for which I now want to work. The talk really came full circle and addressed many of the topics we’ve covered the past four weeks.

Here are the greatest hits: ... 7.China is also struggling with its own ideology like, What does it mean to be China? What is Chinese public diplomacy? We asked the publishers about communism and they all had different definitions. Would our definitions of American republican democracy be the similar to one another’s or very different?" Image from article

The negative impact of Berlusconi's image in promoting Italian public diplomacy - stefano, Public and Cultural Diplomacy E: A reflective group blog by students on the Public and Cultural Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University

Google executive says social networking was vital in Egyptian revolt - Josseline Beya, Public and Cultural Diplomacy D: A reflective group blog by students on the Public and Cultural Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University: "What the world is going through is certainly the age of social networking. This interconnectedness that social networks bring to the world shows how public and cultural diplomacy has a place in world politics. What started as a small campaign on Facebook spread not only in Egypt but across North Africa and elsewhere."

Back to School - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Yesterday I made the trek up near Baltimore to visit Goucher College. I went up there to discuss teaching a course on public diplomacy."

Alum Receives Prestigious Fulbright Fellowship - Blog Post Update: "[The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs] graduate Caitlin Loehr had applied for a Fulbright fellowship to study in Senegal for the 2011-2012 school year, but was waiting on approval

from the government She was just notified that her application was approved - congrats Caitlin! She will be leaving in September to study for nine months as an extension of work she performed during her undergraduate years at SMPA." Image from

#PublicDiplomacy Jobs 7/28/11 - Ren's Micro Diplomacy


Canadian surveillance planes join propaganda war; urge Gadhafi forces to go home - Murray Brewster, Canada has joined an air war of a different kind in the skies over Libya, one where persuasion and sometimes insults are the weapons. Canadian CP-140 Aurora surveillance planes recently started broadcasting propaganda messages aimed at forces loyal to Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. It’s a psychological warfare operation, or PSYOPS, initially started by the Americans but now overseen by NATO — the kind of mission western militaries are reluctant to talk about openly. The Canadian broadcasts are relatively benign in comparison to some of the harsher messages NATO has aimed at Gadhafi’s troops, in which women’s voices are telling them to stop “killing the children.”

Holding Pakistan to Account - Editorial, New York Times: President Obama has offered Pakistan a broad relationship and its best chance to chart a new path. Rather than seize this opportunity, Pakistan’s leaders have stoked intolerance, anti-Americanism and an exaggerated fear of India. Perhaps most delusionally, they continue to see the fight against extremists as a favor to Washington. They are running out of time to salvage Pakistan’s future. Mr. Obama needs to keep working with Islamabad. But he is right to show that the days of unconditional American support are over.

The Budget Crisis and American Power: We can afford the big stick we need if we're more careful about using it - George Melloan, Wall Street Journal: The political trick is to maintain a strong military, with a continuing emphasis on developing advanced weapons and techniques, while at the same time applying greater discretion in its use. It is not easy to keep a powerful force in readiness while at the same time keeping it to clearly defined and limited goals. But if the U.S. is to survive the coming budget crisis without severe damage to its political influence in the world, it will need a smarter foreign policy.

Israeli Foreign Ministry video replicates settler propaganda word for word - Look familiar? This video was made by the YESHA Council, an Israeli settler umbrella group, in May. Gal Beckerman has a post over at the Forward about how the same filmmaker, Shlomo Blass, made an almost identical video for the Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Bass is also responsible for Caroline Glick's racist We Con the World anti-flotilla video). It's not just the style he copied, but also the content, almost word for word. Beckerman concludes, "Should we not be concerned when the foreign ministry of Israel is using the same propaganda as the settlers? Or should we just assume that their interests are one?"

New York Times Caught Publishing CIA Propaganda On Norway Attacks - Pakalert:

Alexander Higgin uncovers how news outlets continued to demonize Muslims hours after a Christian extremist was arrested. Image from article, with caption: UK’s The Sun knew it was al-Qaeda before anyone else!

James Zogby and Saudi propaganda - The Angry Arab News Service: A source on politics, war, the Middle East, Arabic poetry, and Art: "James Zogby has been peddling (and trading in) UAE propaganda for years now. I was reading his latest survey and the questions were all phrased in a way that serves Saudi propaganda in the region. Notice that he did not dwell on the the fact that 95% of Egyptians viewed the US unfavorably: he was busy reporting the good news about perceptions of Iran to his Saudi/UAE masters. Also, I noticed that he reported the obvious: Arabs indeed (and rightly so) view Iran's role in Iraq very unfavorably. As it should be. Yet, Zogby did not seem to ask Arabs about Iran's role toward the Palestinian question: was he afraid that the responses would embarrass his UAE oil shayks?"

There’s a ton of easy money in praising the party - China Film Makers Blog: There are two ways to make a box-office smash. One is to take an exciting script, hire famous actors, shoot a rollercoaster of a film, distribute it widely and market it deftly. This is the Hollywood way, and it worked pretty well for Harry Potter. The Beijing way shares some features with the Hollywood way, such as hiring lots of stars and distributing the film widely. But the magic ingredient behind China’s latest blockbuster was one unavailable to the mightiest Tinseltown mogul. It was the power of the party. “The Beginning of the Great Revival”, a celebration of the founding of the Communist Party, opened at every cineplex in China on June 15th, in time for the party’s 90th birthday. Competing films with a shred of drawing power were blocked, even the awful “Transformers 3”. Many state-owned firms ordered their staff to attend. Schools organised trips so that pupils could watch and learn from the exploits of a youthful Mao Zedong. Government departments deployed waves of bureaucratic bottoms to fill seats. Online reviews alleging that the masterpiece was rather dull were censored. Success was assured. The film was not, as you might imagine, a piece of government-produced propaganda. It was a piece of for-profit propaganda, produced by the country’s biggest film company, the China Film Group (CFG). Along with a smaller firm in which it holds a 12% stake, CFG controls more than half of all domestic film distribution in China. The two firms also distribute the 20 foreign films that China allows in each year. CFG spins tales of love, disaster, war and kung fu, of course. But the easy money is in patriotic pap. In recent years, the firm has produced “Nanking! Nanking!” (about heroic Chinese resistance to Japan during the second world war) and “The Founding of a Republic” (about the Communist takeover in 1949). Such films are profitable partly because their stars do not expect to be paid much, if anything.

How Communist propaganda works - Churchmouse Campanologist: Ringing the bells for Christian traditions and getting our story out there If we don't, who will?:

Just as Lenin in the early 20th century embraced the emerging film industry, today’s Kremlin elite attempt to use the Internet (, and others) and You Tube to spread their propaganda.

Propaganda and the War on Truth: Independent media strikes back - Already we see mainstream media indiscriminately putting its spin of choice on this tragic event and, not surprising, buzzwords being tossed around casually without regard for truth

or fact include everything from "Muslim terrorists" to the omnipresent propagandistic "war on terror." Image from article

‘Captain America’ comes off as propaganda, not good filmmaking - Amanda, Captain America is a character that will have a hard time being anything other than propaganda. The hero is virginal, white-bread, corn-fed American values — a good-hearted boy from Brooklyn who doesn’t like bullies. That’s not inherently a bad thing. Just like Superman will always be a near-invincible alien and Spiderman a conduit for teenage issues, a man with a stars and stripes shield will always be, at the very least, patriotic. The downside for the new movie

is that there is a time and place for hardcore nationalism, and I’m not sure that the silver screen in 2011 is that time and place. It isn’t that we’re less patriotic now than we were in the 1940s (when the movie is set), though I’m sure the case can be made. It’s simply a matter of creating interesting story lines. Propaganda films are not known for deep characters or intricate plot lines. Captain America is a comic whose first issue featured the title character socking Hitler in the jaw. Subtlety and character development have no place in Hitler-punching — just ask Eli Roth’s “Bear Jew” in “Inglourious Basterds.” But that’s OK for Captain America. His character isn’t about nuance or depth. It’s about Nazi beating and the good ol’ U S of A. Good filmmaking, however, isn’t necessarily. Amanda image from article

You Know You Love Us: Art as Propaganda - Princess Kate, "In 2007, the German Historical Museum in Berlin opened an exhibit titled, 'Art and Propaganda: The Clash of Nations 1930-1945' (curated by Dr. Hans-Jörg Czech and Dr. Nikola Doll). As you can no doubt tell from the time period under observation, the show displayed artwork from Italy’s Fascist regime, German National Socialism (Nazism), and Soviet Communism. There was also an extremely controversial fourth nation represented: the United States. American New Deal-era artworks were displayed alongside those glorifying Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler. Unsurprisingly, American viewers protested their inclusion alongside such unsavory company – virulently anti-Semitic posters showing Jewish people as bloated rats, Futuristic sculptures of Mussolini’s (il Duce’s) continuous profile, and ridiculously toady-ing portraits of an insanely idealized Joseph Stalin.

This intensely negative reaction is unsurprising, given the continuous American fascination with WWII, and our heroic place in it. Early twentieth-century Germany and Italy are colored black in our heads, although Russia was nominally on the Allied side, the degeneration into Cold War politics that followed the war knocks them into the same monstrous camp of forced deportations and genocide. To place American artworks – posters, paintings, sculptures, and other materials, alongside those of the three fiends of the twentieth century – the horror! ... Although kings, queens, pharaohs, and emperors are some of the most obvious users (and abusers) of art as visual propaganda, I chose to dedicate much of my artistic education to considering the artistic propaganda of perhaps the largest and most powerful institution of the last two millennia of Western civilization: the Catholic Church. For Christianity’s first 1500 years or so, what became the 'Catholic Church' was simply the Church, the only game in town. ... Some of the best-known artworks in the Western world are blatant Christian propaganda. The Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s frescoes in the Vatican Stanze, Michelangelo’s David – all out to convince their viewers that Catholicism is the way. The fact that these works are propaganda in no way decreases their value as art; in fact, it emphasizes the very power of images and establishes that art is an extremely powerful force that can be utilized for good and evil. Therefore, America’s inclusion in the Berlin exhibit wasn’t an inherently negative comment on Rooseveltian politics – just a nod to our obvious knowledge of the propagandistic power of images." Image from

More World War II Anti-Japanese Propaganda - Gwen Sharp, In Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq, John Dower discusses how the U.S. responded to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Militarily, it pushed the U.S. into officially entering World War II, but Dower is just as interested in cultural responses, particularly efforts to stigmatize all U.S. residents of Japanese descent as unpatriotic or even traitorous. A prime example of this is the film December 7th, created by John Ford, legendary director of classics such as Stagecoach and The Grapes of Wrath. The first version of the film was 82 minutes long. In it, an idealistic figure representing the U.S. talks with “C,” a figure meant to represent his conscience. Uncle Sam naively believes the racial and ethnic diversity of Hawaii isn’t a problem, but C helps him see that the large Japanese American population is a threat, even when they appear to be loyal, patriotic, assimilated Americans. Japanese-language telephone books and newspapers are ominously shown as evidence of their lack of true American-ness. You can find the entire film on Youtube, but the most relevant segment is at the end; the widespread bombing of (noticeably resident-free) Japanese cities is presented as key to a glorious victory by the U.S..

Architecture of Modern Propaganda: Behavior Control - Zahur Ebrahim, "I use the term ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ as a metaphor

to pluralistically refer to the same message-machine, i.e., the intelligence apparatus for manufacturing consent and controlling dissent, and its concomitant conscious manipulation of peoples’ thoughts, feelings, actions and in-actions, in order to serve the primacy interests of the ruling-elite." Image from


"Je vais à la chasse aux papillons."

--George Brassens

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28

"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper."

--Thomas Jefferson; image from


Muslim world still anti-Western despite Obama - Kim R. Holmes, Washington Times: "President Obama entered office promising a new dawn in America’s relations with Muslim nations. He reached out to the Muslim world, offering apologies and a warm embrace. The theory was that, by showing more understanding of Muslim grievances, they would respond in kind. It didn’t turn out that way. A recent Pew Research Center survey of opinions in the Muslim world shows America’s image there has not improved. In Jordan, Turkey and Pakistan - Muslim nations with which the U.S. maintains close relations - views are more negative today than a year ago. Most Muslims disapprove of how Mr. Obama has responded to the Arab Spring. ... The U.S. can try to do the right thing like removing genocidal regimes and abandoning oppressive authoritarians such as former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, but it does little or nothing to change Muslim views of America.

Muslims claim to want more democracy, of which America is the standard bearer, but their anti-American complexes and grievances are so huge that they are forever trying to find some third Muslim way that ignores hundreds of years of historical experience, born mainly in the West, of what works and what doesn’t. This is not about who’s right or wrong. We can argue with Muslim nations all day long about our support for Israel, but it won’t make any difference. In fact, Israel could disappear tomorrow, and we would still have a problem. The root of the problem is a great historical divide, going back centuries, which will not be easily manipulated by public diplomacy programs or expressions of good will. This is a problem to be managed, not solved. No amount of Obama-like engagement will change Muslim public opinion about America and the West."  Image from

Has United States (US) Public Diplomacy Failed In Pakistan? - Public and Cultural Diplomacy A: A reflective group blog by students on the Public and Cultural Diplomacy module at London Metropolitan University: "[I]t seems that US diplomacy through music, art or cultural educational programmes does not work in Pakistan as it worked in other nations. ... Unless the US can stop representing all Muslims and Islam as evil, and convince its population to behave respectably and maturely, it cannot win the hearts of the people of Pakistan."

Alhurra and the challenges of public diplomacy - [audio]: "Eager to promote their distinct worldviews, powerful nations like the United States, China and Russia spend billions on international radio, TV and the internet. However, much of this public diplomacy falls on deaf ears.

That’s largely the case for the U.S. government’s most expensive foreign broadcasting effort: the Arabic-language news channel Alhurra. Since the television station was founded in 2004, the U.S. has sunk close to a billion dollars into it. Alhurra, based in Springfield, Virginia, has garnered sharp criticism and allegations of mismanagement. But the station's also had some recent successes to point to during the Arab Spring uprisings. We speak with Philip Seib, lead researcher for a 2008 report on Alhurra and director of the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California, about the news channel and public diplomacy efforts around the world." Image from article, with caption: Alhurra was the first to announce Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.

Cu Huy Ha Vu’s appeal trial to be opened Aug 2 - VietNamNet Bridge: "The appeal hearing for Cu Huy Ha Vu, 54, who has been given a 7-year jail term for writing many articles against the Vietnamese State and Government, will be opened on August 2, said the Supreme People’s Court. Cu Huy Ha Vu at the first instance trial in Hanoi on April 4, 2011. Pursuant to Article 88, Section 1 of the Penal Code, Vu is charged with 'conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.' ... According to the indictment from the Hanoi People’s Procuracy, from 2009 to October 2010,

Vu wrote many anti-State articles and posted them on the Internet. Vu answered interviews from the Voice of America and the Radio Free Asia, in which he distorted and maligned Party and State guidelines and policies, defamed the administration and State institutions, and blackened the Vietnamese people’s resistance wars. He also called for a multi-party regime in Vietnam and demanded that Article 4 of the Vietnam’s Constitution be abolished. The Ministry of Public Security’s investigators seized from Vu about 240 pages of anti-State documents." Image from article, with caption: Cu Huy Ha Vu at the first instance trial in Hanoi on April 4, 2011.

Lying about war
- Diane Farsetta, Sheldon Rampton, Daniel Haack, and John Stauber, posted at "Public diplomacy is a catchall term for the various ways in which the United States promotes itself to international audiences (as opposed to 'regular' diplomacy, which targets foreign governments). These include international media, such as the Voice of America; cultural and educational exchanges, such as the Fulbright Program; and a wide range of information activities, including foreign press centers, speaking events and publications. As the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy notes, the term 'was developed partly to distance overseas governmental information activities from the term propaganda, which had acquired pejorative connotations.' ... There is a long history of various administrations seeking to propagandize the American people."

Israel must reach out to Hispanic-Americans - Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post: "[T]he United States is undergoing a profound demographic transformation. America’s face is changing, and so should Israel’s hasbara, or efforts at public diplomacy. Nowhere is this more pressing than in the need to reach out to America’s burgeoning Hispanic, or Latino, population. In the decades to come, they will play an increasingly prominent role in molding American life. Put simply, we have to do more to make Israel’s case to them, directly and in Spanish. ... In order to ensure continued strong US backing for Israel, it is essential that we educate Hispanic- Americans about the Jewish state and the challenges that it faces.

In recent years, a number of American Jewish organizations have begun to do just that, with AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee leading the charge. Israeli consulates in various parts of the US that are home to large Hispanic populations have also been investing greater resources in this direction. But much more needs to be done, from organizing regular trips to Israel for prominent Latino leaders to translating and disseminating basic materials in Spanish to reaching out to the burgeoning Spanish language press." Image from

How can the PKK problem be managed? Lessons learned from Erdoğan - Nihat Ali Özcan, "Since 1972, Turkey has been struggling against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, that has the desire to found 'an independent Kurdish state.' The problem is quite sophisticated and can be examined from different perspectives such as ethnicity, human rights and insurgency. ... The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won the latest general election in a sweeping victory. Yet this victory was followed by the PKK’s troubling attacks. As the new presidential election approaches, the AKP does not want to waste its energy on issues like terror that are too complex and difficult to solve between electoral periods. Still, the problem persists. It is important to evaluate [PM] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s counter-insurgency strategy accurately. The ultimate aim, as part of the new strategy, of destroying the PKK’s 'hybrid action' capabilities by activating the police forces is not possible under the current circumstances, at least not with the suggested means. This is however indeed a time-saving and wisely prepared 'public diplomacy' initiative. As Erdoğan stresses, the aim is 'to manage the problem.' Our prime minister has not only successfully defined the core of his strategy in the last nine years as 'managing the public perception of counter-terrorism,' but also made the army, which he wants to trivialize, pay the bill."

Entries invited for MANGA Award - "Islamabad: The Government of Japan has announced to accept the entries for the 5th International MANGA Award from 21 July to 31 August 2011 for which entry form and guidelines for application are available on the website of the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan ( As part of the active use of pop culture in public diplomacy, the International MANGA Award was established to share Japanese pop culture and to help promote understanding of Japan among overseas cartoonists. ...

The award is the realisation of an idea given in the policy speech on the cultural diplomacy ‘A New Look at Cultural Diplomacy: A Call to Japan’s Cultural Practitioners’, given on April 28, 2006, by the then Foreign Minister Taro Aso. It is expected that the award will further enhance understanding of Japanese culture among overseas cartoonists." Image from

Indian researcher gets 10000 dollars Commonwealth scholarship - "Canada's Carleton University, which has become the prime institution in forging educational and research exchanges with India, has awarded its $10,000 Commonwealth Scholarship to an Anna University researcher. Under the grant, researcher Selladurai Madhiyan will travel to Canada to work with Carleton's P.R. Sundararajan in his work on temperature-tolerant polymers, the Ottawa-based university said on Wednesday. ... Sundararajan, who himself comes from India, has helped four students from Anna University secure scholarships to leverage their capabilities to promote research at the top Canadian university. According to Sundararajan, 'The ongoing partnership with Anna University provides hands-on training that will have real-world benefits. We have a lot to gain in terms of highly qualified professionals if these students settle in Canada after their graduation.' ... Carleton is the only university in the world to have a full-fledged India-centric Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy to raise awareness about bilateral studies and public diplomacy, and develop initiatives to build a better understanding of both countries."

Use Of Loo For #2s! ...practical considerations - glreeves, "Joking aside, we have only used our loo for #1s but now want to stay on smaller sites with no facilities. How do folks find using their loos for #2s. Doesn't the cassette flap get contaminated or is there a way of minimising this? And does the blue loo fluid do a good job (no pun intended)? I assume it needs a little time to work but does it really reduce solid waste to slush with no smell? So many questions but hoping you good folks can offer some practical advice please! Thanks. ... [Comment:] Hi glreeves. Is this a wind-up or an exercise in Public Diplomacy in the explaining of a delicate matter ?. Oh well, here we go. You are supposed to open the flap before the :angry: 'Bomb Aimer Takes Their Seat ' B). Then flush,close the flap and squirt a short burst into the flap :D. Then close down the seat cover leaving it nice and clean and smelling pleasant for the next 'Fly-Past :unsure:."


The slow unraveling of Hasbara in America - How long will the Israeli foreign ministry expect American Jews to defend and disseminate inaccurate propaganda regarding Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza?

In the absence of Palestinian violence directed at Israeli civilians and as the image of the conflict is reformulated to highlight the deprivation of human/civil rights because of the Israeli Occupation, defending Israeli hasbara is growing increasingly more difficult in America. Image from

Libyan propaganda war deals some clumsy shots - Michael Peel, Financial Times: All governments manipulate information but Colonel Gaddafi’s regime makes less subtle attempts than most to hide what it is doing from the foreign journalists whose movements it controls tightly by ruling they should not leave the hotel without a government minder. While the regime has skilled operators, such as Moussa Ibrahim, the main spokesman – who was knowing enough to start a press conference statement last week by saying, “This is not government propaganda” – other officials are cruder in their efforts to manage the media.

Worry of India - Anwar Parveen, The ongoing Indian propaganda against Pakistan on its print and electronic media reflects its negative mindset. India is going through a shocking phase due to changing situation in the region which is against its expectations. The US decision to leave Afghanistan and Pakistan’s efforts to fill in the vacuum are creating sleepless nights for Indian policy makers. Why? India from the very start used all its tactics and resources to present itself friendly to Afghanistan.

It started tilted educational projects including exchange programs at the University level to influence the minds of the younger generation in favor of India. Indian books and other propaganda material was available in Afghanistan. India also trained the security personnel. In entertainment field, it flooded the Afghan market with videos and CDs. To show its concern it took interest in construction of roads and dams. The Indian items of daily use were also made available in order to flourish trade. India also established its numerous consulates in Afghanistan and near border areas which continuously un leashed propaganda against Pakistan. Image from

Fake Freedom Fighter Works for North Korean Dictatorship - Brenda West, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury publishes an online newspaper called the Weekly Blitz. Since January 1, 2010, he has published nearly seventy propaganda pieces for dictator Kim Jung Il’s House of Horrors.

Propaganda and the Spanish Civil War - icdblogsphereteam, "George Orwell was onto something when he said, 'All art is propaganda.' I would like to take this opportunity to shed some light on the use of art and culture as propaganda in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Since there were large segments of the Catalan population fighting bravely and tirelessly against the rebel forces, Barcelona—with its copious numbers of artists and graphic designers—quickly became the hub for anti-nationalist propaganda.

Activities in the Catalan propaganda campaign included the distribution of posters and postcards, the publishing of pamphlets, graphic albums and books, and the organisation of musical concerts and exhibitions. The success of this propaganda effort is attributed to the fact that it appealed to a specific Catalan identity: a majority of posters were published in Catalan and Catalan books and theatrical performances were used to boost morale at the rear and to address troops at the front." Image from article

How Hollywood programs us to ignore the "men behind the curtain" - Craig McKee, The media are the propaganda arm of the power structure, and they exist to support and reinforce what they elites want us to think. This can easily be seen in how they cover 9/11 and the supposed “war on terror.” The mainstream media might dabble at times in doubts about how the war is being waged, but they won’t expose the fact that it is a complete Orwellian fraud

designed to keep us distracted and frightened while the elites go about their business of raping our planet and enslaving its inhabitants. Dozens of films give us a hint about how we’re being controlled, but ultimately they’re part of the control. Image from