Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28

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

--Thomas Jefferson; image from


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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