Friday, July 22, 2011

July 21-22

"You still have to make a movie they're going to want to see in Turkmenistan."

--Film director Joe Johnston, regarding his new movie, "Captain America"; image from


Public Diplomacy Books, Articles, Websites #57 by Bruce Gregory




Little progress in Taliban talks as handover begins "A Western diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said it was not clear whether the Taliban were ready to negotiate, and they were worried about US bases. 'There have been some communication channels opened at quite high levels but so far we have no guarantee that those involved have the mandate to negotiate,' he said. The dismal state of Pakistan-US relations has not helped, with Pakistanis keen to hedge on the Taliban leadership

believed to be based on their soil. 'The problem with the Pakistanis is if they take away support from the Taliban they fear it will come back to haunt them,' the diplomat said. But as weariness with the war grows, public diplomacy aimed at making a settlement more palatable to Western voters has been ramped up in recent weeks. 'Because of you, there are signs that the Taliban may be interested in figuring out a political settlement that ultimately is going to be critical in consolidating that country,' President Barack Obama told veterans in New York." Image from article

How can Turkey benefit from Gen Petraeus’ experience? - Nihat Ali Özcan, "Last week, Turkey had an important visitor: Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state. Her appearance on TV overlooking the Bosphorus with President Abdullah Gül and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was quite impressive. This seemed to be a message to the public about the strong cooperation between 'the allies.' ... During Clinton’s visit, there were some disturbing developments as well. By the time the conditions were ripe for 'nearly perfect' public diplomacy, the Turkish media was forced to focus on another issue, which unfortunately made Clinton’s 'smiles' and 'blue-pant suit' of secondary importance. The latest PKK attack, the chronic headache of Turkey, led to the death of 13 soldiers. As a result, the focal point was again naturally Iraq and the U.S. withdrawal. It is significant to note that Clinton did extend her condolences to Turkish society. She stressed that the U.S. government is on Turkey’s side in the war on terror. Accordingly, the U.S. froze the assets of the top leaders of the PKK, Cemil Bayık and Duran Kalkan and leaders Remzi Kartal, Sabri Ok and Adem Uzun as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, or SDNTs, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). This decision ends their dreams of buying 'farm houses' in California after their 'retirement.' This has become one of the most popular news items in the Turkish media; an example of effective 'public diplomacy.' Shortly after Clinton left Turkey, the new director of the CIA, Gen. David Petraeus, quite famous in Turkey, visited the country. He is best known for his achievements in the field of counter-insurgency in Iraq and his efforts in Afghanistan. In my view, one of the most important characteristics of Petraeus is his capacity to add an intellectual dimension to his professionalism. His contribution to the writing of the 'Counterinsurgency Field Manual' shows this capacity."

Why US-Pakistan ties are at near break point - "When the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met her Indian counterpart S M Krishna in New Delhi on July 19, one of the major topics of discussion must have been future of Pakistan. Foreign policies of mature nations are slow to change and the process is more akin to evolution rather than any revolution. It seems however that the 'public diplomacy' of both countries is now slowly but surely aligning with the 'real politick' in the region. Pakistan for a very long time, almost last 50 years, was the lynchpin of American policy in the Middle-East and South Asia. It was a valuable base for American airpower against the erstwhile Soviet Union but retained its importance even after demise of Soviet Union in American scheme of things. Pakistan (meaning the Pakistani army in reality) was seen as a useful tool to be used in the oil rich Middle-East to shore up pro-American regimes, thus avoiding placing

'American Boots' on ground there." Image from article

Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stock to Travel to Indonesia July 22-24 to Lead U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership's Education Working Group - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State: "Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock will co-chair the second annual meeting of the Education Working Group under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership with Vice Minister of National Education Fasli Jalal July 23 in Bali, Indonesia. Assistant Secretary Stock has assumed the authorities of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and will co-chair in this capacity. In 2010, President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched the Comprehensive Partnership to elevate bilateral relations and enhance strategic consultations on key bilateral, regional, and global issues. While in Bali, Assistant Secretary Stock will highlight the United States’ commitment to people-to-people exchanges, specifically educational exchanges. On July 22, Assistant Secretary Stock will meet with Indonesian students and faculty at Bali State Polytechnic, where she will discuss opportunities for study in the United States. Through the Comprehensive Partnership, the Department of State supports increased engagement with U.S. community colleges. On July 23, Assistant Secretary Stock will participate in a roundtable discussion with U.S. and Indonesian student participants and alumni from the following programs: the Critical Language Scholarship Program, the Indonesia English Language Study Program, the Fulbright Program, the Community College Initiative Program, and Peace Corps volunteers. All of these programs are supported under the U.S. Indonesia Higher Education Partnership. On Sunday, July 24, Assistant Secretary Stock will join Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Joint Commission Meeting of the U.S.-Indonesian Comprehensive Partnership, where she will report on the progress of the Education Working Group in expanding student exchanges and university partnerships."

Obama seeks 'appropriate balance' in fighting terror: Ex-aide says shift away from al Qaeda - Shaun Waterman, Washington Times: "The United States needs to engage with Arab and Muslim people on broader issues than the war against terrorism, the former head of the Obama administration’s public diplomacy team says. Judith McHale, who recently finished her appointment as undersecretary for public diplomacy, believes that the U.S. had been seen as overly preoccupied with terrorism and needed to ensure its response to al Qaeda and its affiliates had a 'very narrow, targeted focus.' 'We’ve got to respond' to al Qaeda, Ms. McHale said. However, she added, 'You have to be careful not to let it overtake everything else. You have to have an appropriate balance.' Critics say the Obama administration’s approach to public diplomacy hampers U.S. efforts to win hearts and minds in the Muslim world by staying out of the ideological battle in Islam between extremists and moderates. 'I think the United States has an interest in promoting religious figures and ideas who are opposed to al Qaeda and its version of Islam,' said William McCants, who until earlier this year was a senior counter-terrorism adviser at the State Department. He said legal and policy constraints stopped the State Department from getting solidly behind moderate voices engaged in a battle of ideas with extremists about the true nature of Islam. 'It was a red line,' he said. But James Glassman, who held Ms. McHale’s

job as head of public diplomacy in the George W. Bush administration, said, 'There were no red lines when I was there.' He pointed to a number of religious groups that had received State Department support when he was head of public diplomacy. However, many in the Arab world thought the Bush administration’s public diplomacy was obsessed with terrorism, said Ms. McHale, a political appointee and major donor of campaign funds to Democratic candidates. ... Ms. McHale emphasized the importance of engaging with Muslim nations, especially now during the anti-government upheaval in the Arab world. ... Ms. McHale said countering violent extremism was one of five goals of the new 'road map' for public diplomacy she had launched at the State Department. ... U.S. public diplomacy is increasingly based on direct, people-to-people engagement, Ms. McHale said, something she predicted was 'going to be the 'word' of the first couple of decades of the 21st century.' She said the new approach is driven by the 'the new media landscape,' including the growth of social media and other interactive technologies. ... Asked whether U.S. strategy should be to engage in the war of ideas within Islam, she said, 'We do not accept that frame.' 'I'm not sure it's the role of any government to go in and proselytize about any particular religion,' she said." McHale image from article

Bill would eliminate East-West Center - Gary T. Kubota, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: "A funding bill in the U.S. House would eliminate the East-West Center, going above and beyond the budget trimming that Republicans have proposed in previous years. House Resolution 2583, also known as the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for fiscal 2012, would repeal a 1960 law that established the center for cultural and technical interchange between East and West. U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono said she has asked that language to repeal the law be removed from the bill. ... East-West Center spokeswoman Karen Knudsen said the State Department has indicated strong support for the program and she feels eliminating the center and its funding is unlikely, given the support in the Senate and the Hawaii congressional delegation. ... Knudsen said the center helps to provide a vital network in public diplomacy and a place for robust dialogue between international professionals who otherwise might not speak to each other."

FACT SHEET: The U.S. Commitment to Cookstoves in India - "In September 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.

The Alliance’s ‘100 by 20’ goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. ... Disclaimer: The Office of Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy, in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, of the U.S. Department of State manages this site as a portal for international human rights related information from the United States Government. External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein." Image from

The War on Soft Power - Joseph Nye, Jr., posted at "It sounds like common sense, but smart power is not so easy to carry out in practice. Diplomacy and foreign assistance are often underfunded and neglected, in part because of the difficulty of demonstrating their short-term impact on critical challenges. The payoffs for exchange and assistance programs is often measured in decades, not weeks or months. American foreign-policy institutions and personnel, moreover, are fractured and compartmentalized, and there is not an adequate interagency process for developing and funding a smart-power strategy. Many official instruments of soft or attractive power -- public diplomacy, broadcasting, exchange programs, development assistance, disaster relief, military-to-military contacts -- are scattered around the government, and there is no overarching strategy or budget that even tries to integrate them. The obstacles to integrating America's soft- and hard-power tool kit have deep roots, and the Obama administration is only beginning to overcome them, by creating a second deputy at State, reinvigorating USAID, and working with the Office of Management and Budget. Increasing the size of the Foreign Service, for instance, would cost less than the price of one C-17 transport aircraft, yet there are no good ways to assess such a tradeoff in the current form of budgeting. Now, that progress may be halted."

Expanded Foreign Service essential, report argues - Sean Reilly, Federal Times: "The Foreign Service's ranks must expand despite pressure for spending cuts, an umbrella advocacy group argues in a report released Wednesday. 'If our diplomacy averts one war a generation, how much does that save?' retired Ambassador Thomas Boyatt, president of the Foreign Affairs Council, asked at a news conference marking the release of the biennial assessment of the Secretary of State's management stewardship. The council is made up of the American Foreign Service Association and 10 other organizations. ... State had almost 13,000 Foreign Service employees as of December 2010. Last year, the State Department said it needed 1,250 more positions to handle work in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, besides expanding public diplomacy and increasing foreign language training. But in this year's budget belatedly approved in April, lawmakers only provided enough money to fill jobs left vacant by attrition. They have yet to act on the Obama administration's 2012 spending request, which seeks money for more than 300 Foreign Service posts

at State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Rejection of the 2012 request appears likely, the council acknowledged. Like many other items on the White House agenda, the proposal's fate could also hinge on the outcome of talks to cut long-term federal spending." Image from

Why Consular Service Matters for Citizens - Juan E. “Jed” Dayang, Jr., Reflective Diplomat: "In a Facebook page of the US Department of State’s Careers in Foreign Affairs, there was a topic on the Discussion Board which asked: Why is the consular cone one of the last sought after career tracks? It leads the reader to think or perceive that consular service

is unpopular compared with other career tracks in the US State Department which include economic affairs, management affairs, political affairs and public diplomacy. If diplomats are 'front-line professionals' representing their countries abroad to serve the interest of their country and to protect their citizens, then why are there few Americans who want to take the consular track? One of the reasons why foreign service officers avoid consular work is because it is considered to be subordinate to diplomatic work which primarily deals with political affairs." Image from

DotConnectAfrica: Our Score Card – Yes2dotAfrica journey continues… - "In adherence to our core philosophical beliefs of continuous engagement with all stakeholders and commitment to transparency in constantly communicating our organization ideals and vision, DotConnectAfrica (DCA) has in the past employed a high-level scorecard, and currently would like to enunciate as part of its continuing 'Yes to DotAfrica' campaign. ... The DCA scorecard thus far was mainly anchored on the achievement of the following crucial tasks and objectives: * Proposing DotAfrica generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) to consolidate the 'Africa' brand on the Internet * Clarifying DotAfrica gTLD, which DCA has spoken, presented and clarified issues in global public forums, against the backdrop that the domain industry is new to Africa. * Achieving stakeholder consensus on the desirability of DotAfrica * Launching and sustaining successful global campaign for DotAfrica based on a multi-year effort * Supporting and participating in the ICANN-led process for the introduction of new gTLDs Winning key endorsements for DotAfrica from main African endorsing partners such as the AU and the UN-ECA * Undertaking high-level lobbying efforts on DotAfrica, in support of ICANN with the United States Department of Commerce. ... DCA will continue to exercise leadership on the DotAfrica Initiative and engage in positive public diplomacy efforts. We continue to count on your support and goodwill. ... DCA will continue to exercise leadership on the DotAfrica Initiative and engage in positive public diplomacy efforts. We continue to count on your support and goodwill."

POMED Notes: Release of POMED Budget Report - Shannon, "[T]he Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) hosted a panel discussion with the Heinrich Böll Foundation of North America to announce the release of a new publication, The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2012: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East. ... During the question and answer, McInerney [Stephen McInerney, Executive Director of POMED and author of the report] noted the importance of security sector reform, recently named Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson’s interest in supporting this reform, and the need for the U.S. to be cautious in making sure the effort is led by Egypt. And McInerney recommended that the U.S. should slowly show its support for the Egyptian people rather than relying on public diplomacy to defend U.S. policies that have been controversial in the past. Ryan agreed that the Egyptian people want to like the U.S., this desire can be supported by funding and actions, and public diplomacy will be ineffective. Ryan [Michael Ryan, Senior Research Associate, The Jamestown Foundation] also recommended that the U.S. promote police reform by providing training and support rule of law and judicial reform initiatives."

Exchange students coming to county - Calaveras Enterprise: "Foreign high school students are scheduled to arrive soon for academic semester and year homestay programs, and the sponsoring organization needs a few more local host families. According to Pacific Intercultural Exchange President John Doty, the students are all between the ages of 15 and 18, are English-speaking, have their own spending money, carry accident and health insurance and want to share their cultural experiences with their new American families.

PIE’s programs range in length from one semester to a full academic year, where the students attend local public and private high schools. 'At this critical time in our country’s history, hosting an international teen is the best and purest form of public diplomacy the United States has,' Doty said. ... PIE is a nonprofit educational organization that has sponsored more than 25,000 students from 45 countries since its founding in 1975." Image from

Middlemen and repugnance - Market Design - 'And here is the AIRC site, which includes a memo reply to NACAC [National Association for College Admission Counseling]: 'AIRC [American International Recruitment Council] agrees with NACAC that 'it is in the interests of institutions of higher education, as well as the public diplomacy of the U.S. itself, to maintain high standards for the recruitment of students.' We also agree that there is potential for misrepresentation, fraud, and other unethical behavior in an 'unregulated' international student recruitment environment. 'However, AIRC is convinced that the proposed ban on commission-­based international recruitment would not be an effective way to achieve these goals.'"

Wikileaks: Malaysia's Political Crisis: The Corridors of Power - "C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 KUALA LUMPUR 000644 ... SUBJECT: MALAYSIA'S POLITICAL CRISIS ... Classified By: AMBASSADOR JAMES R. KEITH, FOR REASON 1.4 (B AND D). ... 2. (C) We should continue to speak out publicly in support of the rule of law, taking care not to undermine our principled position by being perceived to be too close to the opposition. If the authorities escalate their rhetoric in anticipation of another arrest of Anwar, we will need to adjust accordingly. If, on the other hand, the ruling party restrains itself from arresting Anwar again in August, we will want to consider our longer-term approach to a period of prolonged uncertainty. For the time being, we should continue to press hard the bilateral initiatives currently underway as these are tied directly to profound U.S. interests and support the development of a more transparent and accountable set of systems in Malaysian government and society. As we begin to develop our public diplomacy programs for the coming fiscal year, we will seek to give pride of place to the rule of law. End Summary and Introduction."

VOA's Studio 7 has a new satellite feed to Zimbabwe, if Zimbabweans can find it - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Guineans can now listen to VOA news on mobiles "at reduced rates" -- in addition to shortwave for free - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Indian analyst compares roles of Radio Free Asia with those of RFE and RL in previous decades
- Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

New Permanent Representative of Republic of Korea Presents Credentials - IEWY News, "The new Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, Kim Sook,

presented his credentials today to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. ... From January 2007 to April 2008, he served as Ambassador and Adviser for International Relations to Jeju Special Self-governing Province, before which he was Ambassador for Public Diplomacy on Korea-United States Relations for one year." Kim Sook image from

More on the Integrity of the Comprehensive Approach - "I just had a conversation regarding my last post with a NATO Public Diplomacy official. In short, my argument was that in RC-N the ANP appear incapable of holding villages so that the building can take place, and that there are vastly more resources focused on the military component on the mission. The response I received was that NATO itself is neither nation-building nor implementing all aspects of the comprehensive approach. What is really meant by the comprehensive approach, I was told, is that NATO is a participant in the comprehensive approach with other organizations who are doing the governance and development components. As an example of this, the point was rightly made that NATO countries have refused to task the alliance with a rule of law mandate, as member states feel that this would go beyond their military focus."

New NATO Assistant Secretary General
- Jorge Benitez, Atlantic Council: "Having previously served as Croatia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and, more recently, as Ambassador of Croatia to the United States (2008 – 2011), Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović is well-versed in Euro-Atlantic diplomacy and security issues. In November 2003, Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović

was elected to the Croatian Parliament and in December 2003, she became the Minister of European Integration. She was sworn in as Croatia’s Foreign Minister in February 2005, her central task being to guide the country into the European Union and NATO. Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović speaks Croatian, English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently. She is the first woman ever to be appointed Assistant Secretary General of NATO." Image from article, with caption: From NATO: Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović took up her position as NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy on 4 July 2011.

Sung Kim: Inspiration to the 2nd Generation Korean Australians - "It was good to see the first American Korean becoming the Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks in July 2008. He is from a Korean migrant family living in the US. He is the first Korean American to be influential in the Six Party Talks. He has been trusted by the Obama government. The issue of the Six Party Talks is important to South Korea for solving the current conflict in the Korean peninsula. Sung Kim is a great ethnic asset to both the US government and the Korean community in the US. Obama chose Sung Kim as the Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks to achieve an effective handling of the North Korean nuclear issue in a more professional way and step up public diplomacy with South Koreans. Similarly, in Australia, Keith Kwon is the first Korean Australian to become the mayor of Strathfield. Recently, Ken Nam participated as the Liberal candidate for the federal and state elections in New South Wales. As there are increases in the number of Koreans living in New South Wales, it is important for Korean Australian to become members in parliament, both federal and state, to fulfill the need of the Korean communities in Australia. The Korean Australian politician can be an effective person to voice opinions and thoughts into the mainstream society of Australia."

Australia's international education as public diplomacy: Soft power potential - "Abstract [:] Australia's international education serves as public diplomacy, essentially engaging and influencing public audiences in a way that progresses Australian foreign policy priorities and ultimately, national interests. The multidimensional and increasingly globalised nature of international education presents enormous opportunity for vital exchange and interactions between and with students, academics and communities via onshore and offshore modes of delivery. Positive experiences of exchange and the development of intellectual, commercial and social relationships can

build upon a nation's reputation, and enhance the ability of that nation to participate in and influence regional or global outcomes. This is ultimately the essence of soft power. For Australia, however, this soft power potential inherent in international education is yet to be fully realised. In the case of Australia's international education, there is room for more active public diplomacy leadership, improved evaluation and expanded dialogue both within the sector and broader community. Such strategies would maximise the soft power potential of Australia's international education, and contribute to Australia's future international positioning." Image from

How to communicate: Gillard should take a leaf out of Al Qaeda’s book - Prakash Mirchandani, "The nature of influence is changing, yet Governments, particularly in Australia have yet to absorb it. Influence is no longer wielded by pronouncements through traditional media sources. New media has now taken hold. The strategic interests of Australia could depend on embracing these new technologies. Other organisations like Al Qaeda have led the way, using new media to spread influence in the market of ideas. Unless governments, including the Gillard government, follow this example, they risk being left behind in the fight for influence. ... When the US state department starts direct messaging online in Arabic to protestors in Egypt clamouring for regime change, we need to sit up and take notice. When that same department extends twittering in Persian when Iranian protestors follow Egypt’s example, we might glimpse that the nature of international diplomacy has a new finesse. When the Chinese government spends vast amounts in Africa to set up communications infrastructure for dictators to flood the populace with their messages, public diplomacy has a new dimension. China is also offering this same region a propaganda-free news service, at a vastly cheaper cost than traditional Western news services. This is a sign of soft power and strategic influence are now going online."

7'7" of Public Diplomacy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "My friend Prof. Gary Rawnsley has a post about the retirement of Yao Ming, and the misuse of the term 'soft power.' While I don't disagree with Prof. Rawnsley about the overuse of the title, and doubt that Yao reflects Chinese softpower (nor do I disagree with Prof. John Brown['s] comment about the dilution of the term 'public diplomacy', even if I do try to push the boundaries of the term), I still feel that Yao and all the hubub surrounding the phenomenon of a 7'7" Chinese basketball star has had some public and cultural diplomacy value. Yao has been an avatar for cultural exchange, and a bridge to facilitate such exchange. ESPN got the intrinsic cultural diplomacy value of Yao, as seen here in this hysterical commercial. And while I don't think that Yao playing basketball increased China's influence globally, he did help connect disparate parts of the world, something that we hope of all public diplomats."

USC Professor Discusses Public Diplomacy with Chinese Diplomats in LA - From Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles: "On July 18, Nicholas J. Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy at USC was invited to the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles and delivered a lecture on public diplomacy and soft power. Citing cases from China, the UK and the U.S., Professor Cull discussed

the concept of public diplomacy, its new development and shared lessons." Image from article

The Xinhua news agency: The Yao Ming lets the world re- know China, he is like a civil ambassador - "As the outlet of demonstration 'soft real strenght', Chinese head department the national image publicity slice create and broadcast, be thought by the public opinion to is 'national public relations', 'a huge threatening force public diplomacy' .Compared with the traditional diplomacy, the public diplomacy no longer limits at the diplomacy relation of of government, but extends native government outward citizen many and native people outward country the people’s publicity exchanges. Many experts think that the public diplomacy should much carry on from the civil outlet. Reply Dan university the history fastenned to teach Ge sword male to once say, to world introduction China, more ways that should pass cultural product, let to be subjected to many voluntarily accepted, 'you would like to pay to buy, compare free send to want much better'."

On March 7, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi delivered a speech at the annual session of National Peoples Congress, highlighting the achievements of China - "On March 7, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi delivered a speech at the annual session of National Peoples Congress, highlighting the achievements of Chinas diplomacy. However, Chinas public diplomacy, which was not mentioned by Yang, deserves applause, too. Public diplomacy, which many consider a major foreign policy tool, has drawn a lot of attention from Western countries, particularly the United States. It helped the US become a globally attractive power after World War I. US public diplomacy has successfully communicated the American way of life to people outside that country. It has helped the US, and other Western powers following similar policies, to connect with and influence the rest of the world. But the attacks on the US on Sept 11, 2001, raised serious doubts about the effectiveness of Western public diplomacy and forced the US and other Western powers to revisit these policies. While the West is trying hard to improve its damaged image after 911, China and India are increasingly taking to public diplomacy. Their eagerness to apply public diplomacy is mainly to connect closely with other countries in the era of globalization and to realize the gains that can arise from such connections. Compass and papermaking that China invented, and Indias invention of zero have made great contributions to civilizations over the centuries. Since both countries, for obvious reasons, were looked up to with awe by the rest of the world, they never felt the need to consciously impress others with their virtues. But with international relations changing rapidly and China and India becoming targets of negative propaganda, both countries have realized the importance of projecting their true images to the rest of the world. The two countries have begun constructively engaging people and institutions overseas for the purpose and are keen on using specific policies because the modern world requires publicizing and highlighting achievements. While Indias public diplomacy is yet to acquire a focused and distinct shape, Chinas efforts have been more noteworthy."

Muslims & Islamic architecture of India caught on a documentary in present days - "Taj Mahal may count amongst the most stellar Mughal monuments in India but numerous lesser known mosques and tombs, across the country stand testament to the heritage of Islamic architecture. From the oldest mosque in the country located in Kerala to fine monuments in Agartala and Kashmir, art historian and filmmaker Benoy K Behl has captured almost all of them in 'A world of beauty and grace - Islamic Architecture of India'. ...

[T]he 31-minute documentary with a 26 minute TV version made by Behl for the public diplomacy division of External Affairs travels from Kerala in the south to Kashmir in the north, from Tripura in the east till Gujarat in the west." Image from article

Remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the General Meeting of the Members of the Council on International Affcs, Moscow, July 20, 2011 - Lavrov: "The launch of the work of the RCIA [Russian Council on International Affairs], as well as the activities of the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, also created on President Medvedev’s instructions, fully correspond to contemporary international trends and common practices. Foreign policy has long ceased to be the prerogative solely of foreign affairs agencies; academia, NGOs and business participate in its development and implementation. Councils such as the RCIA exist in the majority of developed countries and play a very important role not only in the foreign policy, but also in the life of the elites of these countries. Pursuant to the order of the President of Russia, the RCIA’s primary focus must be promoting international studies. The President has set a very high bar for this work, an approach justified by the whole evolution of international processes. Today we are talking about creating a new system of global governance, and in these circumstances it is impossible to overestimate the importance of analytical, predictive work and of the ability to correctly identify the prevailing trends in global and regional development.

Indonesian anti-terrorism Present Strategies for Europe - "Indonesia to treat terrorism as a crime, so used is a legal approach. The perpetrator is caught legally processed through an independent judicial process. Similarly, the Head of National Agency for Combating Terrorism (BNPT) General of Police (Ret.)

Ansyaad Mbai in a seminar on 'Combating Terrorism Strategy Indonesia', as stated Socio-Cultural Function of Information and Public Diplomacy Punjul Nugraha Embassy in Brussels told AFP in Brussels (07/04/2011)." Image from

Marketing Marianne: French Propaganda in America, 1900-1940 - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "Robert Young’s Marketing Marianne is a history of French ‘propaganda’ activities in the US in the first half of the 20th century. Propaganda is in the subtitle of the book but I place the word in quotation marks since what he describes would fall squarely within current concepts of public diplomacy. This was not a subject that I knew anything about and the scale and sophistication of the French effort came as a surprise."

A delegation of the civil society and media visiting Kosovo - "On the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, an extended delegation of journalists and other representatives of the civil society of Egypt will be in Kosovo on a three days visit. During the stay in the Republic of Kosovo,

the civil society and the media delegation from Egypt will be received by senior representatives of Kosovo institutions, will be visiting some cities and important historical sites in our country and will also attend in activities organized by Kosovo civil society associations. The visit of the delegation of the Egyptian media and civil society representatives is a part of the public diplomacy and of the activities foreseen in the Strategy for lobbying for recognitions of the Republic of Kosovo aiming to advance the process of recognitions of Kosovo from those states who have not yet made such a decision and with the purpose of furthering the communication between Kosovo and the public of key countries." Image from

Beating Unemployment - "We are in the age of turbulence. Every giant leap in history comes with nightmarish challenges like we are experiencing today. In the agrarian age, man was troubled as he made the hard changes into the industrial age. While the current process of globalization has underlined the need for us to brand themselves on four different dimensions (public diplomacy, tourism, exports, foreign direct investment) and in an integrated manner (Jorge de Vicente, May 2004), it is glaring we have fall short in all ramifications. What is our foreign policy without regard to growing our domestic economy and building a skilled workforce in tandem with 21st century needs? In this global chaos, Nigeria is not left out. We have discussed the problems and holler out of our fears. The time comes for us youth to create that solution that reaches deep to the crevices of our challenges; unemployment is just one of them."

Paris Still Seduces (For Now) Finds Nation Branding Report - Sally Howard, "The latest Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index list held a few surprises . ... Paris ranked overall first

in the index, followed by London at number two, Sydney at number three, New York at four and Los Angeles at number five. This compares to the last Index in 2009 wherein Sydney and London’s places were transposed, Rome came in at number four and New York at five. ... Nation branding arose as a field of study in the mid noughties. ... Today destination branding is practised by many US states as well as China, South Korea, South Africa, New Zealand and the Uk (where it is commonly referred to as public diplomacy). There is increasing interest in the practise from poorer nation states on the grounds that enhanced image may create favourable conditions for foreign direct investment, tourism, trade and even inter-nation relations." Image from article

Nation Branding: Branding the Nation of Expendables... - "Very simply, it [branding] means applying corporate branding techniques to countries. Similarly, experts in the industry refer to 'place branding' and 'city branding.' Simon Anholt, who edits a journal on nation branding and advises countries on how to strengthen their national brands, says in this interview that two main concepts separate new forms of nation branding from more traditional forms of public diplomacy. First, Anholt says, nations have become far more cognizant of the value of their brand as an asset. Understanding valuation helps countries better understand the investments they make in their image. For instance: To what extent does a catchy slogan help attract foreign investment? How about a national radio station? As researchers work to better quantify the answers to questions like these, countries see the possibility of more efficiently investing in their futures. The second major change, Anholt notes, is a focus on the behavioral aspects of managing a nation’s image. He suggests officials from government, nonprofits, and the business world can better collaborate to make sure the messages a country is putting out represent what they view as 'the fundamental common purpose' of their country."


The Feminine Realpolitik: Breaking down the walls of Micah Zenko's "City of Men" - Heather Hurlburt: “The think-tank world -- the double-X chromosome part of it, anyway -- is buzzing with Micah Zenko's July 14 piece in Foreign Policy examining statistics and anecdotes that prove, once again, the woeful underrepresentation of women in the U.S. national security policymaking establishment. … Can women and men change this without out-and-out gender warfare? I'll suggest three routes. One is to be willing to name it. Most of us Generation Xers and boomers are so conscious of how much better things have gotten in our lifetimes that we're reluctant

to complain. My mom couldn't join the Foreign Service because women officers had to be single. When I was in college, my only female role model was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick. We're also worried that complaining brands us as whiners or gender warriors. But perhaps, with Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann on our right flank and Clinton and Albright on our left, we ought to get over that. Second, we must be honest that the core problem is that many men still turn first to other men -- in hiring, but also in picking conference speakers, media spokespeople, and handing out assignments. If you don't want to call it sexism, it is at least a bias toward comfort with what's familiar. That habit is going to get us all in trouble in a globalizing, unfamiliar world, and it deserves to be challenged. Last, one of the corollaries of the points above is that our best female national security professionals tend to be a little less visible than their male counterparts. It's the job of everyone who pays lip service to the problem to change that." Image from article

Our Iraqi allies deserve better:  A U.S. visa program intended to help Iraqis who aided U.S. forces in their country is languishing. We need to fix it - Editorial,

Exclusive: Inside Darpa’s Secret Afghan Spy Machine - Noah Shachtman, Wired: The Pentagon’s top researchers have rushed a classified and controversial intelligence program into Afghanistan. Known as “Nexus 7,” and previously undisclosed as a war-zone surveillance

effort, it ties together everything from spy radars to fruit prices in order to glean clues about Afghan instability. The program has been pushed hard by the leadership of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. They see Nexus 7 as both a breakthrough data-analysis tool and an opportunity to move beyond its traditional, long-range research role and into a more active wartime mission. Image from article

How Not to Make Friends in the Greater Middle East: Washington’s Singular Accomplishment - Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: America’s Gordian knot

in Pakistan, as in Afghanistan and the Greater Middle East, is beyond untying. Hold back that $800 million, send in the drones, cajole, plead, threaten, issue stern warnings, train, equip, bribe, kill. None of it does the trick. None of it will. Image from

Plotting a post-Assad road map for Syria - David Ignatius, Washington Post; As the Obama administration steps up its support for regime change in Syria, the Arab Spring is moving into what could be its hottest phase. The puzzle is how to help the Syrian opposition gain power without foreign military intervention — and without triggering sectarian massacres inside the country.

Propaganda and Syria - The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب  : The Syrian regime has been conducting propaganda (like all other Arab regimes) since it came to power.Saudi media and Aljazeera have also been running crude and vulgar, and blatantly sectarian propaganda campaigns. Image from

Israel is afraid of peaceful protest for good reason - National Editorial, Over 63 years, Palestinians have not only had to resist Israel's occupation, but also the propaganda campaign that justifies acts of aggression as the "right of self-defence". Killing non-violent protesters, Palestinian or otherwise, is not self-defence. That obvious truth is staring Israel in the face. New peaceful demonstrations inspired by the Arab spring, as well as the Palestinian Authority's bid for UN recognition as an independent state, have shown that Israel is far more comfortable dealing with Qassam rocket attacks than it is with intelligent, non-violent resistance.

Yemen-based Al Qaeda sympathizers are in the midst of producing a children’s cartoon to recruit young Muslim viewers to join their cause and take up arms against the West, according to intelligence experts monitoring militant websites. Al Qaeda producing propaganda cartoons to recruit youth - Yemen-based Al Qaeda sympathizers are in the midst of producing a children’s cartoon to recruit young Muslim viewers to join their cause and take up arms against the West,

according to intelligence experts monitoring militant websites. Image from article, with caption: [...] images from the film on a jihadist website, prompting some users to slam them as too scary. See also.

Pyongyang, North Korea: great reunification show - Tom and Lilka Areton: North Korea is the last country in the world a "typical" traveler would think of visiting. Don't miss: The Arirang national mass games, a breathtaking reunification show, featuring thousands of performers. Don't bother: To bring your cell phone, video camera or computer (prohibited); credit cards (not accepted).

Coolest souvenir: A propaganda poster, featuring happy workers. Worth a splurge: Everything is always included and no additional activities are possible. Splurge on unique souvenirs (but bring cash). I wish I'd packed: More SD memory cards. Other comments: North Koreans are surprisingly friendly, even to American tourists. They are as curious about us as we are about them. Tom and Lilka Areton image from article

Bones of Hitler deputy exhumed, burned - David Rising, Associated Press: In recent years, Hess has come to be seen as a martyr by the far-right and thousands of neo-Nazis have used the anniversary of his death as an occasion hold large rallies, with Wunsiedel — near the Czech border — often a focal point.  Most such rallies have been banned since stricter laws were implemented in 2005, but the grave continued to attract far-right extremists to the town. With the lease on the burial plot coming up for renewal in October, Hess's relatives and Lutheran church authorities in the town decided it was best to remove the remains. Holocaust survivors welcomed the move.

Image from article, with caption: German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his personal representative Rudolf Hess, right, during a parade in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 30, 1938. Minister of Propaganda Dr. Joseph Goebbels can be seen on the left side next to Hitler. The skeletal remains of Adolf Hitler's deputy Hess, have been removed from their grave in a small Bavarian town that had become a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. The administrator of the cemetery in Wunsiedel told The Associated Press on Thursday, July 21, 2011 that the bones were exhumed early Wednesday morning.

US Propaganda during World War II - Among the posters:

How to Create a WWII Propaganda Poster in Photoshop - Outlaw Design Blog

Image from article


Atomic Tourism: A National Park for Nukes? - Darwin Bond-Graham, CounterPunch: The entire notion of creating a national park dedicated to the history of nuclear weapons seems completely out of sync with the purpose of parks.

Why is the state of Alabama still collecting tax for needy Confederate Civil War vets? - Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing

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