Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20




"And now good morrow to our waking souls, Which watch not one another out of fear; For love, all love of other sights controls, And makes one little room, an everywhere. Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown, Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one."

--John Donneimage from

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

Education and People-to-People Ties - Fact Sheet, U.S. Department of State: "Education and exchange programs provide deep roots for the U.S.-India relationship. The more than 12,000 alumni of our public diplomacy programs in India, along with over 100,000 Indian students studying in the United States each year and the more than 2 million Indian-Americans living in the United States, anchor our two countries’ exceptional people-to-people ties. U.S.-India education cooperation enhances each country’s emphasis on building a knowledge society.


These partnerships are critical to strengthening scholarship and research in each of our countries, improving and expanding access to a quality education, and developing greater mutual understanding and lasting relationships in numerous fields of endeavor. The U.S.-India Higher Education Summit and Dialogue: The United States and India will convene a summit on higher education in Washington, DC on October 13, 2011, chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal. ... Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative: The United States and India have published the first request for proposals under the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative. The Initiative will focus support on the formation of higher education partnerships between interested institutions in both countries. ... Passport to India: This new private sector-led initiative will target American students – from high school to graduate school – and provide them first-hand knowledge of India while participating in internships with companies and organizations in India. ... The Fulbright-Nehru Partnership: With the Government of India


as a full partner and increased funding from both governments announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh in 2009, the Fulbright-Nehru program has nearly tripled in the last three years . ... Community College Initiatives: The second cohort of 44 Indian students participating in the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative Program will arrive this fall to pursue one year of certificate study at U.S. community colleges in fields important to national development. ... Student Advising: The Department of State has funded a significant expansion of EducationUSA advising services in India . ... Language Learning: Each year the Department of State provides more than 1,000 14- to 18-year-old students with English Access Microscholarships for two years of quality after-school English language instruction in their local communities, while five English Language Fellows, hosted by Indian institutions around the country, offer training and help with curriculum development for Indian teachers of English. ... Basic Education: The U.S. Government has contributed at the primary and secondary levels to encouraging literacy, improving pedagogy, and reducing female drop-out rates through the following initiatives." Top image from; below image from

A depiction of cultural diplomacy! - Schezee Zaidi, thenews.com.pk: "Going by ground realities, Pakistan and US can certainly be termed as ‘Odd Couple’ with an ‘all time low’ ratings in relationships around military and political arena while efforts continues to make amends through cultural diplomacy."

Academia and US Government - Jon V. Kofas, jonkofas.blogspot.com: "Although the history of public diplomacy can be traced to Wilson who was a historian, it was Eisenhower who created the US Information Agency and Voice of America, thus affording prominence to public diplomacy. The Clinton administration made it official by creating an under-secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, thus further distancing government from substance-oriented academics and opting for PR exercises that would prove


fruitless. ... Once Reagan came to office, he brought with him corporate executives interested in furthering corporate profits. ... The Reagan PR team was all about image, characterized as one of the most anti-intellectual and hollow, especially coming on the heels of four years of a plain-spoken president with a sharp intellect, profoundly driven by human Christian moral convictions.  Although this is a Machiavellian idea, Reagan set the tone that nothing more than image matters, and every president since 1981 has followed that model. After Reagan took office, academia saw itself as the outsider, while university administration took its signal from the top that image matters above all else." Image from

World's religions seen as solving conflicts‎ - Sara Angle, National Catholic Reporter: "Few would argue against the notion that to solve conflict created by religious intolerance, prejudice and discrimination, it is essential to understand how religion motivates believers and shapes their worldviews, that respecting all religions is not enough. While religion can be a cause of conflict, it carries political leverage that many say makes it a source for solutions and a tool for peace building. 'We are giving a whole government effort to put religion on the table,' said the Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook, the new U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. ... Her comments came in response to remarks of participants in a recent panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington on the role of faith-based diplomacy and the use of religion to resolve conflict, especially with regard to Pakistan. The press club discussion, held in mid-June, focused on a new book by Douglas M. Johnston, president and founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, who says the U.S. should realign its view on the role religion plays in politics. Among those joining Johnston were James Glassman, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs."

"American World Service" would combine "propaganda media" of USIB with "respected journalism" of NPR and PBS - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

According to Burmese newspaper, BBC and VOA are the "sowing hatred" stations, while RFA and DVB are the "generating outrage" stations - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

BBG chairman, pressed, says that he will "take up the issue of adding Balochi" as a VOA language - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Public Diplomacy Magazine features array of articles on the state of international broadcasting - The SWLing Post.


Image from article

India, Pakistan and the Musical Gurus of Peace - Varun Soni, Huffington Post: "In July, India and Pakistan will begin a new round of talks in hopes of reviving their diplomatic efforts and renewing their peace process. While there are many pressing political issues to discuss, these talks could also be a remarkable opportunity for an innovative public diplomacy initiative between the nuclear neighbors. Although public diplomacy is often thought of as a form of state-to-state engagement, it also has the power to engage populations on a person-to-person level as well, especially in the age of social media and networking. Given the fact that many Indians and Pakistanis sing the same songs and listen to the same music, there is a unique opportunity now to promote popular music as a form of public diplomacy."

Palestinians seek to boost their image - Tobias Buck, Financial Times: "It may be many more years before Palestinians finally establish their own nation state. However, a national brand is already in the making. Over the past few months, a group of influential Palestinian business leaders has been quietly working to set up a special body charged with creating a Palestinian national brand and promoting it around the world. If everything goes to plan, the first campaigns will be launched later this year. The initial markets targeted are the US and, perhaps more surprisingly, Israel.


'There is a lack of knowledge and understanding about how we operate and behave, and what we believe in,' says Samir Hulileh, the chief executive of Padico, a Ramallah-based conglomerate and the biggest Palestinian company by market value. 'Outside Palestine, people either see us as a primitive community and a third world country, full of gangsters and terrorists. Or they don’t have an impression at all.' Padico is one of several Palestinian businesses that are determined to nudge global opinion in a different direction. They are in the final stages of setting up a new Palestinian Institute for Public Diplomacy charged with overseeing the campaign, and intend to hire an international marketing company in the coming months. ... International surveys examining national 'brands' normally do not examine the Palestinian territories. One survey that does, the East West Global Index, ranked Palestine 182nd out of 200 countries last year. Israel, placed 176th, did not fare much better. Both countries came in below military dictatorships such as Burma and Syria, but ahead of North Korea and Iran. However, according to a separate ranking, FutureBrand’s Country Index 2010, Israel came 30th out of 110 countries. The company named Israel one of the 'rising stars' of last year, pointing out that it had climbed 11 places since 2009." Image from

Insight Into Israel's Hasbarah Efforts - myrightword.blogspot.com: "Criticized for not doing enough, or not doing it clever enough, or impressive enough or more, Israel's Hasbarah efforts, now called Public Diplomacy, have always been either bemoaned or mocked. But there are extenuating circumstances at times. For example, it is difficult to explain all the intricacies, the history, the names, the dates and other important elements. Or take the matter of geography and topography. The following map, funny as it is, does represent an insight into why Israel has a challenge:

Image from article

A half-baked foreign aid agency will be counterproductive to India’s interests - Arun, somethingaboutthelaw.com: "The decision to set up a foreign aid agency, announced recently by the government, is a welcome measure, and long overdue. In the international community, the move will be interpreted as a sign of India’s coming of age as a responsible stakeholder. ... Any proposal to channel billions of dollars of taxpayer money into development projects requires a concerted effort at public diplomacy. ... Thus far, India’s development assistance to different corners of the world has largely been billed as an attempt to consolidate ‘goodwill’. A cozy stance to adopt it may be, but with a steep increase in budgetary allocations to foreign aid, the government would have to articulate its reasons better. ‘Goodwill’ cannot be a satisfactory explanation for shipping food and money out of a country when a sizeable segment of its population lives in abject poverty. Yet, India’s foreign policy establishment has hardly been forthcoming in reasoning its actions abroad."

Yao Ming and Soft Power - Gary Rawnsley, Public Diplomacy and International Communications: "Watching the news on BBC World and CNN, and Yao Ming has just announced his retirement from professional basketball. In case you do not know, Yao Ming is one of China's biggest exports, having played with the Houston Rockets for a decade. Inevitably, the report claimed that Yao Ming is China's biggest soft power asset, which made me wonder: perhaps the question is no longer what IS soft power, but what ISN'T. The term is fast becoming meaningless because everything is being described as soft power. I have my doubts about the 'soft power' of Yao Ming. Has he made the American public more interested in or sympathetic towards China? Or is he regarded as just a very good Chinese basketball player? Unless we can demonstrate that there is a clear correlation between Yao Ming and a softening in American public opinion towards China, can we really conclude that he exercised soft power? CNN described him as a 'brand', but selling coca-cola does not mean he excercises soft power; he sells a product.


I also think it is time for academics, politicians and the media to be more careful in their use of the term. It is not a handy catch-all phrase, but the more it is used in a casual and indiscriminate way, the less value it has as a concept. We misuse it at our peril. [Comment by your PDPBR compiler]: Thank you for this excellent point re soft power. BTW, and as I'm sure you've realized, 'public diplomacy' has been so diluted and overused as a term that it is becoming virtually meaningless. If just about any kind of communication is 'public diplomacy,' then just about nothing is 'public diplomacy.'" Rawley image from article

If probe shows that Armenian authorities are behind the girl’s murder, then… - News.Az: "News.Az interviews Avigdor Eskin, well-known Israeli political expert, publicist, public figure ... [Eskin:]


The plan proposed for return of Azerbaijanis to Karabakh and return of Armenians to Baku requires preliminary reconciliation work between the two nations. Sponsors do not try to do it. It would be worthwhile to consider the invitation of such reputable and world-respected Armenian figures like Armen Jigarhanyan, Alexander Mirzayan and Michel Legrand to Baku so hat they will develop public diplomacy plan in cooperation with Azerbaijani intellectuals and cultural figures." Uncaptioned image from article

Significance of the Murdoch saga for Zim - Tafataona Mahoso, African Focus: "From the point of view of strategic communication, the prevailing phenomena of information saturation and lightning speed demand the shortest response cycles in which the state must decide to respond or not to respond to critical issues of publicity and public diplomacy. Short response cycles at national level imply sustained direction, sustained monitoring, sustained evaluation, and sustained co-ordination rather than free flow. The current global economic crisis and the unfolding Murdoch crisis point to the unsustainability of media self-regulation. The South African government recently admitted the same prior to the Murdoch scandal."

Motion for Adjournment: The Honourable Mr Roger Edwards‎ - Falkland Islands News Network: Roger Edwards, Falkland Islands News Network: "LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY 14 JULY 2011 (Part 2: Motion for Adjournment Speeches) ... The Honourable Mr Roger Edwards: Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, I will be very brief in respect my statement to welcomes and visits. ... My visit to Canada certainly was one day or a very brief day of meetings but it involved about 3 nights in the air travelling to and from. In spending that much time getting there, I do think more time should be spent meeting people. And I think it is an opportunity for all Members to be involved in meeting and spreading the public diplomacy word of the Falklands and combating some of the trash that comes out of Argentina."

Acclaim or Negation for George Clooney's Role in South Sudan's Independence? - Andrew Cooper, Huffington Post: "Who deserves credit for bringing the Republic of South Sudan into existence as the 193rd country in the United Nations? One strong candidate for acclaim is the phenomenon of celebrity


activism led by Hollywood's paramount leading man, George Clooney. ... Clooney uses his star power to animate collective action through an improvised script: selective forms of access to key decision makers (including face time with both President Obama and Vice President Biden), protracted cross-partisan and cross-cultural/religious lobbying, a sophisticated knowledge of both traditional and non-traditional media, and repeated personal visits to the region. ... In style as well as substance, Clooney displayed considerable caution, relying heavily on mentors both in terms of general strategy (using many of the techniques pioneered by Bono and his ONE organization on development) and tactics. ... Unlike traditional state-based diplomacy, this approach does not operate at its best in the shadows of secrecy. Any misstep by commission or omission attracts commentary. Certainly, this high-profile but informal mode of public diplomacy takes attention away from front line workers -- and indeed the incoming government of South Sudan, led by Salva Kiir. It does so, however, without building a rigid and competitive sense of hierarchy and institutionalized status. The danger for Clooney is a sense of overexposure at a time of triumph." Image from

USC Center on Public Diplomacy - USC Center on Public Diplomacy's Profile: "Day 2 of USC Center on Public Diplomacy Summer Institute 2011 is coming to a close. A day of wonderful discussions about faith diplomacy and PD in Africa. A great sign - they want to keep talking. Tomorrow we look at international broadcasting, nation branding, cultural diplomacy and international exchanges."

RELATED ITEMS

Another Overhyped Challenge to U.S. Power: It takes more than a catchy acronym to be an effective political bloc - Joseph Nye, Jr., Wall Street Journal: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—met in the Chinese resort of Sanya and called for changes in international financial institutions and a move away from the dollar. Comprising 40% of the world's population and a quarter of the global economy, this new organization appears to represent an important sign of declining American influence. But such appearances are misleading. As a challenge to the United States, BRICS is unlikely to become a serious alliance or even a political organization of like-minded states. More aptly, it should be seen as a locus for critics to occasionally tweak the tail feathers of the eagle.

Foreign investment begins to pour into Iraq - Jim Michaels, USA TODAY

A Photoshop #Fail from Al-Arabiya news - Angie Nassar, nowlebanon.com: Those fighter jets


look just too perfectly placed, not to mention identical (the jets on the left and right are probably copy and pasted). Al-Arabiya attributed the pic as a "File photo." Below the original pic

from AFP photographer Marco Longari. Via

Gaddafi: Millions of People Are on My Side - agi.it: Muammar Gaddafi launched a new warning to Europe. As he did on Saturday last, he cranked up the propaganda offensive by broadcasting a pre-recorded speech over the loudspeakers mounted on cars cruising, al-Aziziya a town only 50 kilometers or so west of Tripoli. "Millions of people are on my side. We are in our own home," the tyrant thundered.

Syria's Twilight of the Diversions - Austin Bay, strategypage.com: In early June, Assad's regime played the Israel card. Assad's gangsters connived to attack Israel, using a crowd of Palestinian activists instead of a tank army. An unarmed human wave of Arab protestors approached the border wire. Israeli border troops drove them off. It was a made-for-television piece of propaganda intended to inflame nationalist and sectarian passions. The Assad gang then spewed the usual anti-Israeli bile.

BDS, LGBT, and Why You Should Care about Pinkwashing - Bi radical: Love, rage and pride: “Pinkwash” is the term we, LGBT (Bisexual, Transgender, Lesbian and Gay) activists, use in order to describe the way in which the Israeli government makes cynical use of both the Palestinian and Israeli queer communities in order to market Israel to the international public as a “liberal” “progressive” “gay haven,” while demonizing Arabic Middle Eastern cultures and presenting them – and Palestine in particular – as inherently homophobic (an Islamophobic notion whose goal is to further justify Israeli war crimes in Gaza,


the occupied territories and against Palestinian citizens of Israel). The Israeli government, through the Ministry of Tourism and with kind help from the Tel Aviv municipality, makes use of the relative tolerance and meager rights given to Jewish gays and lesbians (but not bisexuals and transgenders), as a way of diverting attention from the many Israeli war crimes performed in Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territories and inside Israel itself. Image from

Ahmadinejad lauds victorious weightlifting team - Tehran Times: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad praised the Iranian weightlifters who won the World Junior Championship in Malaysia. Iran made history in the second week of July when the weightlifting team claimed the World Junior Championship for the first time. “Despite enemy’s baseless propaganda meant to undermine Iranians’ capabilities, our youngsters believe in their own abilities and stand atop the podium. The young people have realized their potential in all the fields and showed the world their true capabilities,” Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday as he met the weightlifters.

Georgia number 3 enemy to Russia - messenger.com.ge: Polling in Russia recently showed that according to the public opinion, the Russian population considers Georgia as major enemy. In this research Russians think that after the USA and China, Georgia is the third main enemy for their country.


As a result of Russia's anti-Georgian propaganda, Georgia has become one of their significant foes in the minds of Moscow.  Image from

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down – Marsida Gjonça, artsasculturaldiplomacy.wordpress.com: The manipulation of European and national symbols in audiovisual media as a form of propaganda: There are different ways and means by which symbols are used and often manipulated in order to convey a specific idea. One such way, frequently employed by propaganda is appeal to authority that is, citing prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action. The logic behind this depends upon the fact that the authority is a legitimate expert on the subject and also on a general consensus existing among legitimate experts on the matter under discussion.

Bersih 2.0 media propaganda fails to fool rakyat - aliran.com: Malaysia really a country that is prepared to come under the category of ‘developed nations’, when its mainstream media have lost all sense of truth (in terms of verification) and objectivity? Is it not the role of the media to enlighten the masses through balanced reporting so that Malaysians as whole can make informed decisions about the country’s destiny? There is a counter argument that the online media provide a platform for opposition parties, but the truth is the alternative media provide also avenues for government leaders.

Back in the Day: Man on the Moon - euronews.net: July 20, 1969 Apollo 11’s lunar landing craft, Eagle, lands on the moon’s Sea of Tranquillity at 16:17 EDT (20:17GMT).


Putting man on the moon by the end of the decade had been the promise set out by US President John F. Kennedy in 1961 and was a major propaganda coup for the US in the Cold War’s "Space Race." Image from article

Victory garden posters: propaganda as affordable modern art - Lisa Boone, latimesblogs.latimes.com: Joe Wirtheim showed the latest prints in his Victory Garden of Tomorrow series, on view at the Renegade Craft Fair last weekend. Inspired by World War II propaganda posters,


the artist from Portland, Ore., has been creating his own Victory Garden of Tomorrow posters since 2007 -- something he likes to call "artful advocacy for the modern home front." Decades have passed since the original call for Americans to produce food, but Wirtheim's simple slogans -- "Break New Ground, Plant an Urban Farm Garden" and "We've Done It Before, We'll Grow It Again," among others -- are similar in spirit. Image from article

The Superb Poster Art That Abetted Stalin's Regime - To the casual student of history, Stalinist Russia represented a creative Dark Ages for the country that gave the world the likes of Marc Chagall and Tolstoy. But as a new exhibit on Soviet propaganda posters reveals, artists, illustrators, and writers managed to thrive, and even innovate, despite the iron fist of Stalin’s regime. Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941–1945 brings together 157 posters

produced under the auspices of the USSR’s state-controlled news agency, the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS). The posters -- rare, hand-made, and huge, with some as tall as a basketball hoop -- were unearthed from deep within a storage space at the Art Institute of Chicago’s prints and drawings department 10 years ago. Image from article

'Captain Planet's' Environmental Propaganda Won't Work on Big Screen - Mark Whittington, associatedcontent.com: With cartoons like "GI Joe" and "Transformers" having become hit film franchises, the next animated cartoon to get the live action film treatment is "Captain Planet and the Planeteers," which ran on the Cartoon Network in the 1990s. "Captain Planet" was the brainchild of Ted Turner, the media mogul behind CNN. The series was designed to be half-kid-friendly action-adventure cartoon, half-environmentalist propaganda. The premise was that Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, is awakened from slumber by man's environmental degradation. To say that "Captain Planet"


was heavy-handed propaganda that attacked capitalism, technological progress, and even human beings is to put the proposition mildly. The series style had overtones of Marxist-style propaganda and fascist-style power fantasies. The capitalist super villains were tropes right out of Nazi depictions of rich Jewish bankers. One suspects that the motives of the people who wish to bring "Captain Planet" to the big screen have as much to do with corrupting a new generation of young minds with the enviro-fascist message as it does with making money. "Captain Planet" never achieved the kind of cache that "GI Joe" or "Transformers" did. Even children can become quickly bored with relentless and heavy-handed propaganda. The rest have found the idea of being a real-life planeteer incompatible with making a living. One therefore suspects that "Captain Planet -- The Movie" is not likely to do well. Image from

Why they shouldn’t change the name of the Captain America movie - Terence Bowman, denofgeek.com: Some countries are changing the title of the upcoming Marvel Comics blockbuster, Captain America: The First Avenger. Paramount pictures reportedly gave international distributors of the big summer movie a choice. They had the option to shorten the title of the movie from Captain America: The First Avenger to simply, The First Avenger. The concern was that the name Captain America might negatively impact international box office numbers in some countries, due to anti-Americanism and a general distrust of American foreign policy. Only Russia, the Ukraine and South Korea opted to shorten the movie's title. Given the true history and nature of the character, however, the name change is really not necessary. On the surface, the reasons for concern are understandable. Outside comic book fandom and outside of the United States of America, most people assume, when they hear the name Captain America (or even just look at the guy), that he's an over the top, jingoistic American propaganda superhero. Let's face it, Cap's costume is heavily dominated by stars, stripes, red, white, blue and, well, the American flag in general. It's like Betsy Ross and Edna Mode teamed up to design the outfit. Like it or not, such an appearance of American uber-patriotism often makes the rest of the world cringe. Cap's also the kind of character that can have American politicians, eager to prove their patriotism, jumping at the chance for a photo op


with the guy (as in the photo below with Donald Rumsfeld, former US Secretary of Defense). A closer look at Captain America and his history reveals that both reactions are a misjudgement of the character. An informal survey of media coverage of the upcoming Captain America movie shows that news outlets from CNN to Fox News to the BBC state that the superhero with the star spangled shield was created as a propaganda tool for the US war effort during World War II. That's a major misconception surrounding the creation of the character. The first issue of Captain America was published by Timely Comics (later Marvel Comics) in December 1940, a full year before America's entry into the war. At that time, the American mood towards the war in Europe was predominately isolationist. There were still many Americans that wanted the United States to stay out of what was then seen as a European war, and none of America's business. To be fair, there were also a number of Americans that wanted America to enter the war in Europe. For Captain America's creators, the legendary Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, both the character and the punch were no accident. Like many Jewish people in America at the time, Kirby and Simon were not at all happy with the news that was coming out of Nazi Germany. The politics behind an American superhero that was ready, willing, and more than able to take on the Nazis was quite intentional.The underlying patriotic wartime themes of Captain America were only embraced by the general public and by official government propaganda much later, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and after Germany declared war on the US and after America entered World War II. Captain America would continue to exist through many different political and social eras. He would also continue to be an American political iconoclast for the rest of his career. Upon entering the modern world, Captain America was most certainly not immune to the social and political issues of the day. In the February 1970 issue, Cap is seen wandering the street of New York City, contemplating the then current youthful social revolution. Thinks Cap in a classic Marvel comics thought bubble,


"And, in a world rife with injustice and endless war, who's to say the rebels are wrong? But, I've never learned to play by today's new rules! I've spent a lifetime defending the flag, and the law! Perhaps I should have battled less, and questioned more!" Later, Cap bolts out of bed and says of the establishment,


"It was the same establishment that gave them a Martin Luther King, a Tolkien, a McLuhan and a couple of brothers named Kennedy! We don't claim to be perfect, no generation is! All we can do is learn to live with each other, learn to love one another."  In 1973, a subversive terrorist organization known as the Secret Empire attempted a rather large scale coup d'état against the United States of America. The Secret Empire was stopped, of course, by Captain America. Later, Cap learns that the leader of the Secret Empire was none other than the President of the United States. The US president, at that time, of course, was Richard M. Nixon. The Bush Era of the early 21st century was another politically contentious time in American history. The Marvel Universe and Captain America, once again, were not immune to the times. It was the age of the War on Terror, post-911 jitters, the Patriot Act and controversial presidency of George W. Bush. It was also the age when Marvel launched their epic Civil War saga. In events that mirrored the highly controversial Patriotic Act, the U.S. Government passed the Superhuman Registration Act. The Act required that all persons with super powers register with the government as "a human weapon of mass destruction" (the real world political lingo of five years ago is still very familiar). The superhumans were also required to reveal their true identities and submit to government training. Captain America vehemently opposed the Act and refused to register. He argued that such legislation was an infringement of American civil liberties. Actually, he didn't just argue. He fought. Hard. And a lot. And against his former friends and allies, like Iron Man. Captain America, the onetime ‘sentinel of liberty', finally went into hiding as a mall cop. Finally and begrudgingly, Cap did ‘the right thing' and surrendered, preferring instead to fight the rest of his political battles in court. While Cap was being brought into the court house, he was shot by a sniper. Then, Sharon Carter, SHIELD agent and Cap's former lover, also known as Agent 13, finished the job and killed Captain America.


She was, of course, under the influence of the bad guys at the time. Nonetheless, the circumstances are unmistakable. Captain America was killed by a federal agent while defying the actions of his government in a time of war.

Captain America ignores its roots for easy money - Karina Longworth, miaminewtimes.com: Touring the country fronting a live propaganda show designed to sell war bonds, star of his own comics and short subjects, Captain America becomes a folk hero for the folks left at home.


Captain America assembles a ragtag multiethnic band of soldiers to help carry out his elite missions, but there's not so much as a single mention of the ideological divides that plagued the times — and, subsequently, spawned the original anti-Fascist Captain America comics. So what is Captain America fighting for? Image from article, with caption: Chris Evans as Captain America

“Captain America” review: Old-fashioned propaganda or just old-fashioned? - Anthony Kaufman, indiewire.com: The final credit sequence of “Captain America,” the latest Marvel superhero popcorn flick, starts with an image of that iconic Uncle Sam poster, with the logo “I Want You for U.S. Army”


(followed by an array of propaganda images from World War II). The film itself isn’t nearly as persuasive propaganda—it’s too formulaic, derivative and sanitized for effective political messaging. But it certainly reinforces plenty of old-fashioned American myths. In the early part of the film, it actually makes fun of the “war effort,” lampooning the U.S.O. (when Captain America is a mere prop) and the star-spangled spectacles that tried to convince Americans to buy war bonds. Hollywood products are filled with such contradictions. On the one hand, such naive nostalgia is ridiculed; on the other, it’s championed: When Captain America is transformed from spandex-clad “show-girl” to super-soldier, flinging his stars-and-stripes shield into the air and cracking heads, he is a propagandistic symbol, as blatantly jingoistic a caricature as when he’s on a U.S.O. tour. But the difference, of course, is that now he’s kicking ass. Image from article

A Onetime Sprawling 'Nazi Resort' Now a Humongous Youth Hostel - Dankwart Guratzsch, time.com - Prora was under construction from 1936 to 1939 as a seaside resort for 20,000 people. However, the project was never completed. Construction stopped because of the war. Instead of holidaymakers, the bare shells of the buildings were equipped to house people who had fled the bombings in Hamburg. What the complex would have looked like if it had been finished, nobody knows — the plans are missing. Later, the complex was completed to accommodate members of the East German army and police force, so it is more DDR-style than anything else. Image from article, with caption: The so-called Colossus of Prora


on the island of Rügen was originally a Nazi project. Now the complex is part hostel, part tourist attraction. Via LB

1 comment:

Tarun Kumar said...

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