Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 13-14

"France, mère des arts, des armes et des lois,
Tu m’as nourri longtemps du lait de ta mamelle :
Ores, comme un agneau qui sa nourrice appelle,
Je remplis de ton nom les antres et les bois.

Si tu m’as pour enfant avoué quelquefois,
Que ne me réponds-tu maintenant, ô cruelle ?
France, France, réponds à ma triste querelle.
Mais nul, sinon Écho, ne répond à ma voix."

--Joachim Du Bellay; non-French majors may find some linguistic consolation at; above image commemorating July 14th French national day from


Propaganda: "We give you the truth about propaganda!"


Vintage Soviet Union Propaganda From the 60′s: Includes a white dancing bear singing: “rock and roll is gonna die”


Diplomatic row before Clinton visit - Saurabh Shukla, India Today: "A diplomatic row has broken out between India and the US ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit on July 19. The US has refused India permission to open a consulate in Seattle. As a tit-for-tat, India is sitting over the US request to open a consulate in Bangalore. The US also wants to increase diplomatic staff in its public diplomacy division and get in some agricultural experts.

India has turned down this request too. The fresh row comes after India issued a strong statement saying that bilateral ties will be impacted if the US continues to harass Indian diplomats. Ties between the two have not been on an even keel since the Obama administration's priority seems to be titling away from India. New Delhi is concerned that the US is not pushing Pakistan to take action against 26/11 Mumbai attacks masterminds. India is also concerned about developments impacting India's economy and the transition of governments in Afghanistan." Image from

Amid threats, U.S. woos Pakistan from behind walls‎ - Karin Brulliard, Washington Post: "ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In a city where kind words about anything American are hard to come by, one notable exception is a sand-colored, palm-fringed building formerly known as the American Center. For two decades, Pakistanis still fondly reminisce, international newspapers were stacked high there, poetry and art were showcased and friendly American diplomats fostered a come-one-and-all vibe. But in 2005, amid rising anti-Americanism and Islamist militancy, the U.S. Embassy-run center in Islamabad became the last in a nationwide network to shut and the diplomats retreated to walled compounds. The building, which now houses private media outfits, has since become a symbol of the gaping gulf between the United States and Pakistan — and a prime example, critics say, of how security measures at U.S. foreign missions since Sept. 11, 2001, have alienated American diplomats from the populations they most need to court. Yet U.S. officials say the closures also ushered in a less tactile but more aggressive — and expensive — era in what they call 'public diplomacy,' one facilitated by growth in electronic media and a surge in young Pakistanis using it. Largely from behind barbed wire, embassy staffers now wield a multimillion-dollar budget to stimulate debates on Facebook,

fund English courses and provide research services to Pakistani students and officials. Most prominently, they are pumping money into programs that send Pakistanis to the United States, in hopes they will return as unofficial American ambassadors. This is what we are investing in,' said Mark Davidson, the U.S. Embassy’s public affairs counselor. He called the efforts 'absolutely hard-edged and strategic.' The mission is also daunting. Nuclear-armed Pakistan is a U.S. ally and major recipient of American aid. But the United States is seen here as a mercurial bully that, according to one recent poll, just 12 percent of Pakistanis view favorably." Image from

Public Affairs Skills Gap: Shortage of Language Qualified Press Officers - "Here is one more nugget from the OIG review of the Af/Pak 'bureau': ... [T]he Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review stated the intent to, 'Make public diplomacy a core diplomatic mission by building regional media hubs staffed by skilled communicators

to ensure that we can participate in public debates anywhere and anytime.' ... This is not the case – or at least not regularly – in either Pakistan or Afghanistan. The result is that other voices, including those of extremists, go unchallenged by U.S. officials speaking local languages."  Image from

Smith-Mundt, RIP - Dan Whitman, PunditWire: "The death watch has commenced on Smith-Mundt, the 1948 law (P.L. 80-402) establishing a budget and structure for public diplomacy overseas. At a hearing on Capitol Hill this past Tuesday, the President’s Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy acted to dismantle a 1985 provision which stated that 'No program material prepared in the United Stated Information Agency shall be distributed within the Unite[d] States' (P.L. 99-93.) The Commission will move ahead to table legislation in Congress and have the evolutionary coccyx removed. One PD-savvy ambassador in the room said 'get rid of it.' No one argued against the measure, and a member of the Commission had to ask three times what possible arguments there might be against it, to get ready just in case."

Meeting of the International Security Advisory Board - Media Note, U.S. Department of State: "Today, the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) met with Under Secretary Bill Burns, Under Secretary Ellen Tauscher, Special Advisor Robert Einhorn, Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary Andrew Shapiro and Acting Assistant Secretary Vann Van Diepen. The Board provides independent insight and advice on scientific, technical, and policy aspects of arms control, disarmament, proliferation, international security, and related aspects of public diplomacy. The ISAB provides its recommendations directly to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Department of State."

Obama appoints Meek to ambassadorship - "U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated FAMU alumnus Kendrick B. Meek

to be one of three United States representatives to the Sixty-sixth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The appointment will make Meek an ambassador in the U.S. Department of State. ... USUN, founded in 1947, serves as the United States’ delegation to the United Nations. USUN is responsible for carrying out the nation’s participation in the world body. Its New York office is staffed by 150 people who represent the United States’ political, economic and social, legal, military, public diplomacy and management interests at the UN." Uncaptioned image from article

Cambodia Students Online: Scholarship Program: Fulbright Program - "The Fulbright Program is the largest and most acclaimed international exchange program in the world. As a part of this world-wide program, the Cambodia-U.S. Fulbright Program is an official educational exchange between the people of Cambodia and the United States 'to provide exchange in educational fields based on equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.' Under the program's auspices, Cambodian and American educators, researchers, professionals and students pursue study, research and teaching in each other's countries. ... A mainstay of America's public-diplomacy efforts, the Fulbright Student Program brings citizens of other countries to the United States for Master's Degree or Ph.D. study at U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions."

United States Department of State - The Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship: 2011 Fellows: "Yesterday, all of the fellows went to the US Department of State here in D.C. It was interesting to debate with the Public Diplomacy Officer, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs – Mr. Matt Boland.

In my group, we got to know what the U.S. is doing for a better and cleaner environment worldwide, and where they are standing in the climate change debate." Image from article, with caption: Kristian, Hedda, Lauren, I and Jonathan in front of our building, after an exciting morning at the Department of State.

In BBC Radio 4 documentary, Alhurra is described as 1) funded by the US Defense Department and 2) a failure - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Broadcasting Board of Governors meeting today will discuss "its ongoing reform process." Webcast at 2000 UTC - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

VOA "exclusive" on defection of Burmese diplomat cited by Washington Post, but unmentioned by rival Radio Free Asia - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

The Dalai Double: Dalai Lama gives separate interviews to Radio Free Asia and VOA - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

VOA executive editor says deletion of VOA Horn of Africa web content was for "accuracy," not "self-censorship" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

'Public, cultural diplomacy crucial to bolstering clout' - Park Si-soo, Korea Times: "Late last month, domestic portals ran a photo of U.S. Ambassador to Korea Kathleen Stephens showing off an octopus and an abalone she had caught in seas off Jeju Island with the help of a female diver.

Many of those who saw the photo left comments, mostly favorable to the unusual activity by the diplomat from the world’s strongest nation. ... This was the latest in the U.S. ambassador’s activities in line with a 'public diplomacy' mission and experts here claim that this is the direction that Korean diplomats should follow to help bolster the country’s diplomatic clout. Public diplomacy, a term coined in the 1960s, is the conduct of a wide range of non-diplomatic activities by diplomats or activists for the purpose of spreading a positive image of their country in a target nation. 'The influence of public diplomacy is getting more significant,' said Lee Sook-jong, president the East Asia Institute, a think tank on diplomatic policies, in a Wednesday forum, co-hosted by the Korea Foundation and Rep. Shin Nak-kyun of the main opposition Democratic Party. 'The government should establish a control tower that would systematically push it forward.' She underscored that major countries, including the United States and China, have put greater emphasis on public diplomacy to widely spread favorable public sentiment in a particular host nation. 'The government is not the only beneficiary from public diplomacy. It will have a positive impact on business and the private sector,' she said. For instance, Lee said, the Chinese government is aggressively opening education centers at American universities to promote its language, history and culture."  Image from, with caption: U.S. Ambassador Kathleen Stephens smiles while holding an octopus and an abalone that she caught with the help of a haenyo diver on Jeju.

Forum on soft power as diplomacy engine‎ - Bae Ji-sook, The Korea Herald: "The government needs to establish a body dedicated to cultural diplomacy using the country’s soft power, a group of foreign affairs experts said Wednesday calling for a related law. At the Korean Public Diplomacy Forum in Seoul, experts said the government had not made the most of the nation’s soft power. 'Though the country has seen remarkable economic and technological successes including hosting of the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup; semiconductor and automobile industries as well as hallyu,

the Korean pop culture boom, it has made insufficient efforts to incorporate these achievements into a diplomatic scheme,' Prof. Lee Shi-wha of Korea University’s department of political science and international relations said. At the meeting, 'Public Diplomacy and Soft Power in East Asia,' Lee stressed that in the future, soft power would take over a substantial portion of diplomacy. 'Soft power is much more than just a nation’s cultural attractiveness and includes a country’s political values, ideals, norms and methods for carrying out skillful diplomacy,' he said. He noted that Japan has aspired to translate its economic might into political and cultural influence in global affairs and has led Asia’s resurgence for decades. Prof. Lee Sook-jong of Sung Kyun Kwan University said China is also gearing up to take the lead in public diplomacy using its soft power. 'The Chinese government has supported the establishment of Confucian schools at universities worldwide, which has become the base for the spreading of Chinese culture. It is also positioning itself as a source of a civilization and many other influential factors which may charm those not familiar with the country,' he said. The professor noted that Korea has also started to notice the importance of soft power." Image from

Israeli students launch hasbara mission to S. Africa - Nadav Roiter, Jerusalem Post: "Some 27 students are slated to set out on a 10-day public diplomacy mission to South Africa next month to combat claims that the Jewish democratic state is an apartheid one. In an attempt to promote the fight against the delegitimization of Israel – especially on college campuses – Alon Kimhi, founder of an independent hasbara organization, started a Facebook page close to half a year ago. The mission was organized in coordination with the World Union of Jewish Students and the South African Union of Jewish Students. ... Israel has started planning their next missions abroad to other destinations, including Canada and the US in October and November."

Dutch Court Decision On Peacekeepers Shakes Up Humanitarian Law‎ - Irena Chalupa, Radio Free Europe/RadioLiberty: On July 5, a Dutch appeals court ruled that the Dutch battalion (known as Dutchbat)

failed in its duties to protect three Bosnian Muslim men from Srebrenica and that the government of the Netherlands bears direct responsibility for their killings as a result. ... The Netherlands Embassy in Washington declined to comment on the court’s ruling. Floris van Hovell, counselor for public diplomacy at the embassy, told RFE/RL that the embassy is waiting for the government to take the next step. What that step will be remains to be seen. The Dutch government has three months to challenge the appeal court ruling." Image from

Russian Red Army Choir – Kalinka - [Comment by] "Coccolinodc: 14.07.2011 в 3:54 дп The Red Army choir was one of the greates examples of successful use of 'soft' power and public diplomacy."

Lawrence and Arabia - Greg Mayer, "I have an interest in T.E. Lawrence, the archeologist, linguist, author, soldier, and diplomat, and a couple of years ago ... I prepared an exhibition and public lecture on 'Lawrence and Arabia'. There are many misconceptions about Lawrence – he was either a pro-Arab or Zionist or imperialist or anti-imperialist spy who deceived everyone while being manipulated by everyone, and so on . ... [Lawrence's] goal of autonomous Arab states would have to contend with promises made to the French, and with the India Office’s desire to extend its administration into Mesopotamia. Even before the war was over,

Lawrence returned to England and began a campaign of private diplomacy, through meetings with and briefing papers for the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet, and public diplomacy, through articles in the Times highlighting the Arab contributions to the Allied war effort." Image from article, with caption: Feisal's delegation at the Paris Peace Conference.

WTF Is Public Diplomacy??? - Must. Be. AWESOME!!!: "Public diplomacy (PD) is a term that describes how the United States communicates officially with foreign audiences primarily to influence these audiences according to U.S. foreign policy objectives. The term originated at the United States Information Agency (USIA) where PD program managers and planners wanted to distance the organization’s mission from the term 'propaganda,' which took on a negative Cold War perception ('Propaganda is only what Nazis and Soviets do!')."

Global Brazil and U.S.-Brazil Relations: CFR Report 2011
- "A new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)-sponsored Independent Task Force report asserts 'that it is in the interest of the United States to understand Brazil

as a complex international actor whose influence on the defining global issues of the day is only likely to increase.' ... Task Force Members ... Paula J. Dobriansky is the senior vice president and global head of government and regulatory affairs at Thomson Reuters. ... From 1997 to 2001, she served on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy." Image from

#Publicdiplomacy Jobs 7/13/11 - Ren's Micro Diplomacy

FSOT: Personal Narratives - FSO Wannabe: My journey to, hopefully, a career in the Foreign Service: "So you've passed the FSOT and now have five 'simple' questions to answer standing between you and an invitation to the Oral Assessment. My big picture advice on the Personal Narratives: ... 7. Think very hard about the cone you selected and what life experiences you have had that match the work/responsibilities of that cone. If you've picked the Consular cone, don't demonstrate a bunch of experiences that are more suitable for Public Diplomacy."


Punishing Pakistan may punish the U.S. too: The decision to suspend $800 million in military aid is understandable, but the move could end up increasing anti-Americanism in Pakistan and complicating joint efforts to fight terrorism - Editorial, Los Angeles Times; image from

Vive la Similarité - David McCullough, New York Times: The ties that bind America and France are more important and infinitely more interesting than most of us know.

Drawdown in Iraq - Editorial, New York Times: If a residual American force stays, the mandate should be carefully drawn: gathering intelligence and, when needed, supporting Iraqi forces in going after insurgents; continuing military training; and conducting joint patrols with Arabs and Kurds along the disputed internal border.

Preparing for a new Libya - Editorial, Washington Post: State Department lawyers have worried that recognizing a rebel government that does not control Libya’s capital or much of its territory could be a bad precedent, while some in Congress have worried that the council’s leaders are relatively unknown and may have ties to al-Qaeda or other extremist groups. But in the past several months, the Benghazi-based administration has shown itself to be moderate and responsible, and it has committed itself repeatedly to an agenda of democracy and personal freedoms.

Scholar: Basketball Trip Strong Diplomacy Tool [video] - - Victor Cha, director of the Asian Studies Program at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, discusses

the unique role of sports as a diplomatic tool and the importance of the Hoyas' visit to China. Via CF. Image from

BBC Radio 4 documentary: Funds for soft power "make no difference without credibility and some semblance of independence" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Tibetans Protest China’s 60 Years of Occupation - Tibetans and supporters rallied from the main temple Tsuglakhang and gathered at TCV Day School in McLeod Ganj despite the intermittent rains to protest the Chinese government's planned propaganda celebration this week in Lhasa, Tibet. The celebration marks 60 years of Beijing's rule over Tibet.

The commemoration comes as tensions remain high in eastern Tibet where daily protests continue to take place since mid-March and Chinese security forces are engaged in an intense security clampdown. Uncaptioned image from article

The Syrian propaganda war: The Assad government's last strike; and South Sudan - a new nation struggles to build an independent media landscape - Al Jazeera: For three months, the Assad regime has had one strategy for dealing with the foreign press – it has simply locked them out. News coming out of Damascus has been shaped by anti-government protesters whose material is often unverifiable. But the Syrian regime is realising that to get the message out there, it will have to open up the country to the foreign media. It has been doing that over the past couple of weeks - but only a bit. The message being put out is tightly controlled and journalists are closely monitored. In our News Divide this week we look at the latest move in the propaganda battle that is playing an integral role in the country's ongoing power struggle.

A Tour of the World's Worst PhotoShop Propaganda - When the Syrian Arab News Agency released an article yesterday on President Bashar al-Assad swearing in the new (and presumably more compliant) governor of the volatile province of Hama, The Guardian's photo expert, David McCoy, noticed something strange. The story's photo,

which showed the two men awkwardly staring at one another (or Assad giving the governor his "directives," as SANA put it), appeared to be two pictures "merged to make it seem like the men are in the same room." If McCoy is right, Syria's state-run news agency would join a long line of state-run news agencies whose sloppy PhotoShop jobs (or allegedly sloppy PhotoShop jobs--the agencies rarely fess up) have undermined their propaganda efforts. Image from article

North Korea-Run Restaurants Spread Propaganda Across Asia - Stebastian Strangio, North Korean government-run restaurants have existed for years in China, in regions adjacent to the DPRK’s northern border, but in the past decade the business has truly gone global. In 2002, a branch of the Pyongyang restaurant chain opened in the Cambodian tourist hub of Siem Reap — the first outside China — and it became an immediate hit with South Korean tour groups visiting the nearby temples of Angkor.

The success of the restaurant, which featured a nightly song and dance show by the North Korean waitresses, led to the opening of a second branch in Siem Reap and a third in the capital Phnom Penh in 2003. Since then, branches have also opened in Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Dubai and, soon, apparently, Amsterdam. Image from article

WWII propaganda film "Went the Day Well?" echoes today - They look and act like ordinary British soldiers. Polite and businesslike, they easily convince residents of a rural English village that they are fortifying the community against possible Nazi invasion. In reality, they are enemy paratroopers who are poised to set up a communications outpost in advance of a German attack. "Went the Day Well?" ( * * * *), the 1942 British film playing this weekend at the Detroit Film Theatre, is a fascinating, patriotic and sometimes bizarre slice of World War II propaganda

that was recently rereleased by Rialto Pictures. Modern U.S. audiences, accustomed to a decade of worry over domestic terrorism, can relate to its call for civilian vigilance: At least two of the villagers pick up on subtle clues and realize that there are wolves in their midst. Graham Greene wrote the story on which the movie is based, but it is director Alberto Cavalcanti who is largely responsible for its tone, which perfectly captures the flavor of the English countryside. Image from article, with caption: English soldiers are not what they seem in "Went the Day Well?" from 1942.

Popular Opinion in Stalin’s Russia: Terror, Propaganda and Dissent, 1934-1941 Book PDF - Sarah Davies,

Iconic Soviet Revolutionary Vladimir Lenin in Pop Culture - Eric Brothers, The revolutionary and writer who led the Russian Revolution of 1917

and the Russian Federation and the early Soviet Union has always been a popular yet controversial figure. Image from article, with caption: Sculpture named “The hero. The leader. The god” (L to R: V. Lenin, M. Mouse, J. Christ) by Alexandre Kosolapov

Sarah Palin Doc Filmmaker Studied Nazi Propaganda Movies While Making "Undefeated" - The Sarah Palin documentary "Undefeated" opens in limited release this Friday. Stephen Bannon, the filmmaker behind it, worked in investment banking (at Goldman Sachs and on his own) before turning to his cinematic passion full-time.

And to get his style down, Bannon studied the work of Nazi propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. As he told The Wall Street Journal: People have said I’m like Leni Riefenstahl. I’ve studied documentarians extensively to come up with my own in-house style. I’m a student of Michael Moore’s films, of Eisenstein, Riefenstahl. Leave the politics aside, you have to learn from those past masters on how they were trying to communicate their ideas. One thing Bannon has going for him that Riefenstahl didn't: the seemingly boundless publicity machine that is the Palin family. Image from article


"After the United States entered World War I against Germany, the Committee on Public Information, created by President Wilson to drum up support for the war, distributed three-quarters of a million copies of a pamphlet entitled 'Why America Fights Germany' which included the following:
Now let us picture what a sudden invasion of the United States by these Germans would mean; sudden because their settled way is to attack suddenly. First they set themselves to capture New York City.

While their fleet blockades the harbor and shells the city and the forts from far at sea, their troops land somewhere near and advance toward the city in order to cut its rail communications, starve it into surrender and then plunder it... They pass through Lakewood, a station on the Central Railroad of New Jersey. They first demand wine for the officers and beer for the men. Angered to find that an American town does not contain large quantities of either, they pillage and burn the post-office, and most of the hotels and stores. .. One feeble old woman tries to conceal twenty dollars which she had been hoarding in her desk drawers; she is taken out and hanged (to save a cartridge) (Vaughan 1980)."
--Brett Silverstein, "Toward a Science of Propaganda,"Political Psychology, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), p. 56; image from


--Image from

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