Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4

"Propaganda is the art of persuading others of what one does not believe oneself."

--Abba Eban, Israeli statesman (1915-2002); image from


What the U.S. Government Can't Do Abroad, Colleges Can - Athanasios Moulakis, The Chronicle of Higher Education: "The United States seems to seek quick results or none at all. It launches campaigns to 'win hearts and minds' in response to insurrections, and it commissions "capacity-building" programs through expensive and largely ineffective private contractors and well-meaning but often hapless nongovernmental organizations. By contrast,

American universities abroad educate their audiences, conveying lasting values beyond the catchy but transient phrases put forth by this or that administration in fitful attempts at public diplomacy. American universities abroad do not propagandize but rather impart what is most valuable about American achievements. Thanks to their long-term effect on the development and worldview of their host societies, they may well be America's best export. Athanasios Moulakis is president and provost of the American University of Iraq at Sulaimani." Image from article

Raw Fiji NewsAmerica sends a female Ambassador to Frank Bainimarama’s women bashing military state
- "Testimony by Frankie Reed,

Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, and to serve concurrently as Ambassador to the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and the Republic of Kiribati – June 29, 2011 ... The U.S. Ambassador resident in Fiji is responsible for the bilateral relationships with five independent nations. Embassy Suva is a busy hub of American activity in the Pacific. Some 26 American employees and 80 Foreign Nationals work to advance U.S. interests over a stretch of the Pacific Ocean. The dedicated staff members collaborate with multilateral organizations, and promote regional public diplomacy activities, environmental programs and policies, the National Export Initiative, and defense-related relationships on a daily basis. If confirmed, I will engage closely with the Pacific Islands Forum continuing the good work of my predecessor, who was designated as the first US Representative to the PIF. The Embassy also has consular and commercial responsibilities for French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna, making this geographically the largest consular district in the world, spanning across 3000 miles and attracting approximately 55,000 Americans annually. Fiji, located in the heart of the Pacific region, is an ethnically and religiously diverse country of 850,000 people. It is a regional transport and communications hub, as well as the site of the University of the South Pacific and the regional headquarters of many foreign aid organizations, NGOs, and multilateral organizations, including the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat. The New Embassy Compound in Suva, opened in June this year, serves four other U.S. Embassies in the region as the hub for our Regional Environmental, Labor, Law Enforcement, Public Diplomacy, and Defense offices." Frankie Reed image from article

Happy 4th of July! - cyberambassadorsblog: "Dear friends, I would like to thank everyone who supported and participated in our Independence Day celebration, including our Chargé d’Affaires from Paris, Mark Taplin. We hosted almost 1,000 guests Saturday under sunny skies to mark our freedom and independence. Thank you to all our sponsors and volunteers for making this event so successful and welcoming so many friends from France, the U.S., and other countries. Thanks, too, to 'American Music Abroad' for providing a wonderful afternoon of music. Personally I would like to thank

the Alsace-Etats-Unis Association and the Consular Corps of Strasbourg for their generous gifts and remarks. Good job, everyone, and God bless America! ... My Public Diplomacy colleague, Tiina Bieber, and I had the honor of representing the U.S. Friday evening at the 'A Summer Abroad' festival in Erstein. The City of Erstein kindly chose the U.S. as the 'guest country' for this year’s festival, which featured many activities, including remarks by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, a delicious chili dinner, and lots of dancing. Thank you, officials and citizens of Erstein, for honoring my country and for inviting us to participate in a great event. ... Vin Carver ... About cyberambassadors' blog Bienvenue sur la page officielle du Consulat Général des Etats-Unis de Strasbourg! / Welcome to the official site of the U.S. Consulate General in Strasbourg!" Image from article

Pakistan and America Both Need APPNA’s Leadership - "The following article was commissioned for the APPNA Journal (Vol. 13 No. 1, Summer 2011, pp. 20-21), by its editor, Dr. Mahmood Alam: This is a very difficult time for Pakistan, for Pakistanis and other Muslims living in America, indeed for all friends of Pakistan and of humanity and peace. ... The Pakistani-American community, led by APPNA and other organizations I admire and support, is remarkably steadfast in addressing the acute and chronic humanitarian needs of Pakistani society. Year after year, crisis after crisis, fundraiser after fundraiser, my Pakistani-American friends walk the walk. ... To mainstream America, APPNA members are potentially the human faces of Pakistan and of Islam. I say potentially,

because unfortunately the faces that the words 'Pakistan' and 'Islam' still conjure up to many Americans are those of people like Osama bin Laden and Faisal Shahzad, the disturbed young man who planted a bomb in Times Square in New York last year. This will change only if we make a concerted effort to change it – but we can change it. What’s called for is a very assertive public diplomacy initiative, to replace those faces with the faces of accomplished professionals, good neighbors, and active citizens – people like you. Each of you lives and works somewhere in America, many of you in very provincial and even remote cities and towns. And it’s exactly in those places that the need is greatest." Image from article, with caption: Central Punjab, March 2011. On APPNA, see.

Terrorism, US policy and the UN - Jon Kofas, NL-Aid: "A clear definition of terrorism and its multifaceted causes was notably absent from any political and media discourse before and since 9/11. Noam Chomsky pointed out that only the Wall Street Journal, to its great credit, took the time and effort immediately after 9/11 to find out why there is such militant opposition to U.S. policy in the Muslim world. One of the State Department’s responses was to hire a PR person from New York to intensify 'public diplomacy' (U.S. propaganda) as a means of lessening opposition toward U.S. policies around the world. That person left her job within a relatively short period, after realizing the impossibility of the task. Not only had the Bush administration obfuscated the term 'terrorism' to the degree that it is very broad and generic encompassing all unconventional forms of opposition to U.S. policies, but the administration allowed authoritarian regimes around the world to define 'terrorism' as they see fit, as long as they back the U.S. Does this sound like the Cold War when we backed dictators in the name of 'fighting Communism?'”

InterMedia, survey research firm with RFE/RL ancestry, opens Nairobi office - Kim Andrew Eilliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "InterMedia has its roots in the old Radio Free Europe audience research office in Munich, and the old Radio Liberty research office in Paris. The two were eventually combined in Munich. In the 1990s, with the creation of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and RFE/RL's move to Prague, InterMedia was founded in Washington as a non-profit corporation, with many of its managers and analysts coming over from the the RFE/RL Munich research office. InterMedia is the main audience research contractor for the BBG and its entities."

NATO discusses women and defence at Munich conference - "Female role models from all over the world gathered in Munich, Germany on 29 and 30 June for a two-day conference entitled, 'DLD women: Female Decade'. The aim of the DLD (Digital Life Design) conference was to help shed light on current and future developments in female markets, leaderships, politics, media, science, digital, business, society, education and health. The conference, which was hosted by German TV celebrity and physician Dr Maria Furtwängler-Burda attracted high-level women from all over the world. These included Ms Regina Sixt, owner of the Sixt Group, Ms Irene Natividad, Summit President for Global Summit of Women, Joanna Shields, Facebook Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Honourable Senator Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Minister for Women, Family and Community Development in Malaysia and many more. During the conference, NATO’s Acting Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Dr. Stefanie Babst raised the importance for women to be fully engaged in international security matters."

Greece stops Gaza-bound ships from leaving its ports - Patrick Martin, Globe and Mail: "Several hundred protesters participating in a flotilla bound for Gaza have suffered yet another setback. On Friday, the Greek government

issued a ban on all ships in its ports sailing to the Palestinian strip on the southeast shores of the Mediterranean. ... As part of its worldwide propaganda effort, Israel’s Public Diplomacy Ministry held a 'readiness exercise' this week complete with a 'situation room' from which officials practised how they would send out their public relations messages under various scenarios following a confrontation with the flotilla. As part of their related effort, Israeli missions around the world were placed on alert this weekend." Image from article

Gaza Flotilla: The Media Battle in Israel - "Israeli press reports Gaza Flotilla will be carrying 'lethal acid' with 'the intention of killing as many IDF soldiers as possible' ... As the Flotilla boats to Gaza are prevented from leaving the Greek ports, the Israeli government congratulates its diplomatic efforts in pressuring Greece to stop the activists. Earlier in the week, the Israeli press cited an army debrief when all major newspapers reported the Flotilla activists will carry lethal acid on board their ships, according to army intelligence. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky questions Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, and the Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Yuli Edelstein. She also speaks with Huweida Arraf, the Co-Founder of the Free Gaza Movement, and Ofer Neiman, Editor of the Occupation Magazine about the Israeli coverage of the Flotilla to Gaza, and the media battle between government and activists.

‘Many ministries failed to meet goals of green campaign’: Environmental Protection Ministry files first report on efforts to make gov’t offices more eco-friendly - Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post: "Within every ministry – aside from Strategic Affairs and the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora ministries – green teams have also been working with the deputy director-generals as well as the Environment Ministry to implement data collection procedures and to achieve sustainability within each ministry, the report said."

Audacity of Hope’s Captain Held in ‘Shocking Conditions’, And, Debunking Bronner… - CTuttle, “'The flotilla is entirely designed to attack Israel’s image around the world,' said Yuli Edelstein, minister for public diplomacy. 'We know that there are representatives of different terror groups on their way to join the flotilla.'”

QCCI in deal with, QTA for hosting World Chambers Congress - "The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and events in preparation for the 8th World Chambers Congress which is expected to attract delegates from over 125 countries. The World Chambers Congress represents another milestone in the Qatar National Vision 2030. ... QCCI will also be supported by the expertise of its international consultants, KPMG as well as Patton and Boggs, an international law firm that

serves as a legal advisor to businesses throughout the region and worldwide, and Brown Lloyd James, a Public Relations firm that offers strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations, reputation management and media relations." Image from article

Crafting policy in a changing perspective - Tanvir Ahmad Khan, The Express Tribune: "Our intense preoccupation with the United States, Afghanistan and the related struggle against terrorism often leads to a poor focus in our public discourse on many other issues of importance. Despite all the hype about 2011 being the year of Sino-Pakistan friendship, the discussion on this vital relationship has been haphazard. Iran has never received such scant attention as now, though its regional salience has considerably increased

in recent years. Intelligent analysis of the seismic changes in the Middle East and North Africa has lagged behind even India, though we make tall claims of a common religion and civilisation. Even more seriously, a notable deficit is developing in public diplomacy and informed commentary on India-Pakistan relations." Tanvir Ahmad Khan image from article, with caption: The writer was foreign secretary from 1989-90 and is chairman of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad

The Daydream of Xinhua News Agency - HE Qinglian, "It’s predictable that China’s 'great external propaganda plan', with Xinhua News Agency as its main body, can neither change

the rules of the world’s media nor obtain the credibility that media should have. The contribution it has to the world will only be in providing new jobs for unemployed foreign journalists and giving opportunities to those domestic media practitioners who want to emigrate." Via. Qinglian image from her blog

said firmly. [3] References 1 - "Tang male, Han nationality, January 1938 Health, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, in November 1973 joined the Chinese Communist Party, to work in September 1960, Beijing University of Oriental Languages ​​in Japanese graduate, college degree. directory resume interviews 60-year fixed English learning foreign languages. ... 60 years, China through the Western countries to develop friendly relations and, ultimately, all established diplomatic relations. The Chinese government put forward the Referring to the current diplomatic work, Tang particular that, as China’s overall national strength significantly increased, further enhancing its international status and influence, diplomatic work in the party and the country overall, the status and role is more important, to better safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, in particular, to further enhance China’s soft power, to show the Chinese civilization, democracy, open, progressive international image. To this end, the need for further cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy, through various forms of external communication programs to enhance the international community the true and objective understanding of China. From the Oriental Languages ​​Major Japanese."

Late rule change undercuts bid for national TV service - Daniel Flitton, Camden Advertiser: "The Gillard government has made an extraordinary intervention in an official tender process to stop Sky News Australia, partly owned by Rupert Murdoch, winning a $223 million contract to broadcast Australia's overseas television service. An aggressive bid to expand Australia's presence in China helped push Sky News over the line in a fierce contest with the ABC to win the rights to the station, known as Australia Network. An independent panel of public servants set up to evaluate the competing tenders saw Sky as the better bid - only for the government to baulk at stripping the contract from the publicly funded ABC to hand it to a company part-owned by News Ltd, Channel Seven and the Nine Network. Labor then made late changes to the rules of the tender, sidelining the role of the independent panel and throwing the legitimacy of the process into doubt. Australia Network broadcasts news, drama and sport to 44 countries in Asia and the Pacific, as well as programs to teach English language skills.

At present the ABC holds rights to broadcast the network, but the government put a new 10-year deal out to competitive tender in February with an outcome originally set for May 2. It is understood Sky News proposed setting up a dedicated channel for China to run separately from the rest of the network as a way of expanding Australia's reach in the Asian powerhouse, where censorship restrictions limit foreign news broadcasts. No licences to broadcast into China have been granted in recent years but the Foreign Affairs Department has said it is keen to gain access for Australia's public diplomacy channel. The proposal for China was only part of the reason Sky was favoured, with the full tender details still secret." Image from article, with caption: Rupert Murdoch ... Sky News is facing government opposition

Indonesia - RI Needs to Maximize Soft Power - "The former Minister of National Education, Prof. Dr. Yahya Muhaimin, proclaimed the country’s need to maximize soft power. Such power needs to be directed to bring round the global society on the importance of efforts to eliminate unfairness. Yahya, who is now the Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Politics, Al-Azhar University, explained the use of soft power in the Jakarta Model of United Nations (JMUN) 2011 in Ruang Nusantara, Pejambon yesterday (26/06). JMUN is the first international UN simulation hearing held in Indonesia. This year, JMUN goes with the theme 'Let the World Hear Our Voice, Achieving World Peace by Eliminating Unfairness'. Utilization of soft power, according to Riaz J.P. Saehu, Plh. Director of Public Diplomacy MOFA, can be developed through empowerment of the role of the youth. The youth are believed to be able to contribute through brilliant ideas and creative solutions in order to solve global issues."

One-nil to the Coalition - but the battle over public sector pensions has only just begun: Ministers should put the champagne on ice, says Matthew d'Ancona - for in reaching a deal over pension reforms, they face an extraordinarily delicate balancing act - : "There are mutterings ... about [Minister for the Cabinet Office] Francis Maude's performance on the Today programme last week, up against Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the striking Public and Commercial Services Union. 'We need somebody to be the front man,' says one of his Cabinet colleagues. 'And Francis is not the man for the job.' ... Where [Paymaster General Francis Maude's Cabinet critic is right is that this is all about public diplomacy. In search of an appropriate narrative, ministers and their spokesmen often quarry the Thatcher era and its lessons. It is true, as is often pointed out, that a government must prepare meticulously before taking on the unions."

Execution Dependent - Laura McGinnis, manIC: One of the recurring themes of PD is the need for metrics and the difficulty of assessing a project's success. There is an idea, I think, that most PD is and should be execution dependent -- but are there any reliable popcorn blockbusters in the world of PD? I'm not advocating for a strict diet of easy fixes, but I'm wondering if there might not be benefits to recognizing a few empty calorie, economic alternatives that could pad out a more sophisticated PD grand strategy?

I suspect that to some extent, that's what a lot of PD 2.0 is. It's cheap, relatively easy and can reach a large audience quickly -- but it's effectiveness has yet to be proven. Those who read this blog know I go back and forth on the merits of PD 2.0. Ultimately, I believe it's a vast source of untapped potential -- but I'm not convinced any nation or group has fully tapped it yet." Image from

Qorvis' Matt J. Lauer Discusses Anthony Weiner Comeback With Daily Beast - "Qorvis' partner of Geopolitical Solutions (GPS), crisis communications, and public diplomacy, Matt J. Lauer, discussed the possible political rehabilitation of former representative Anthony Weiner with the Daily Beast, ... Since joining Qorvis in 2004, Lauer has worked to market geopolitical solutions for Qorvis by dramatically expanding its public diplomacy operations. Qorvis has used the highest-end and most contemporary means to get the truth about its clients told. The company has invested heavily in the technology and talent necessary to tell a nation's or corporation's story to the audiences it needs to reach. ... Prior to joining Qorvis, Matt J. Lauer was the executive director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy at the Department of State. The commission, a bipartisan panel appointed by the president, analyzes and evaluates the U.S. government's international public relations capabilities. Lauer brought cutting edge tactics of public diplomacy and crisis communications with him to Qorvis."

Novosibirsk Region and City to build their brand and promote internationally - "International Place Strategy, Branding and Promotion Expert, Juan Carlos Belloso advices cities, regions and nations on Place Strategy, Branding,

International Relations, International Promotion, Cultural and Public Diplomacy in order to help them better compete in an increasingly competitive and global world. With extensive experience working with corporations and places at an international level, Juan Carlos is also a frequent speaker and writter on Place Branding and Pomotion, having contributed to some books and publications including the recently published book by Prof. Keith Dinnie, 'City Branding: Theory and Cases'." Belloso image from his blog.


The Propaganda Narrative of U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq‎ - Jeremy R. Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal: The U.S. mainstream media also stays true to the narrative that the U.S. is in the country to help Iraqis build “democracy," the rejection of the views and positions of the overwhelming majority of Iraqis notwithstanding.

Graffiti Reclaims Egypt's Revolution From Marketers - Eric Westervelt - The revolution will be marketed! Egyptian companies and multi-nationals are now using images of and references to the youth-led uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in advertisements to sell internet service, mobile phones, soft drinks, tourism and more.

For many young Egyptians who took great risks in Tahrir Square to help bring down a dictator, the commodification of the revolution is offensive and stupid. Image from article, with caption: A piece of street art known as "Tantawi's underwear" mocks Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who heads the ruling transitional military council.

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid drops banner during Toronto Pride - At Toronto Pride today, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) dropped a giant banner reading "Support Palestinian Queers -- Boycott Israeli Tourism". "We're drawing attention to Israel's use of LGBT rights as a propaganda tool to justify apartheid policies and the occupation of Palestinian territories," said QuAIA

spokesperson and longtime gay rights activist Tim McCaskell. "We're saying to queer people, respect yourselves and others. Don't be used. Don't pinkwash apartheid. Boycott gay tourism to Israel until it ends its apartheid policies." In June of 2010, Palestinian Queers for BDS (PQBDS), a Palestinian queer group with members throughout Israel/Palestine, including the occupied territories, called on queers worldwide to boycott Israel. In March of this year, PQBDS specifically called for a boycott of gay tourism to Israel.

The Communist Party at 90: a mix of propaganda and paranoia - Peter Foster, "It’s been a painful few months of build-up to today’s 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party and I imagine I’m not the only who will be heaving a sigh of relief tonight that it’s finally all over. The TV stations can go back to showing the soaps and spy dramas that people actually want to watch, the cadres can relax their vocal chords after weeks of belting out

'Red' songs and even the web censors, I’m guessing, will enjoy not having the mechanisms of control on quite such a hair-trigger as they have been these last few weeks. It’s hard to know if the Party has really advanced its cause. At the risk of gross generalisation, the Chinese people give the CCP credit for the economic achievements of the last three decades, but see straight through the propaganda." Image with caption: Several months of this is finally over - back to soap operas

Our Answer to Magnitsky - Michael Bohm, "Our answer to Chamberlain.” This Soviet slogan originated in the late 1920s as a government protest against British Foreign Minister Austen Chamberlain, who was outspoken in his criticism of the Soviet policy toward China. But instead of addressing the arguments raised by Chamberlain, the Kremlin responded with the only weapon they had: a massive propaganda campaign that included military threats aimed at Britain. The expression later took on the broader meaning of basically “Go fly a kite!”

when the Kremlin had nothing else to say in response to criticism from the West. “Our answer to Chamberlain” is the best way to describe the bill introduced by the Foreign Ministry and United Russia (and supported by the other three parties in the State Duma) that would blacklist foreign bureaucrats and public officials who have allegedly violated the rights of Russian citizens located abroad. Foreigners who end up on the list would be barred from entering Russia and prevented from conducting business deals, and whatever assets they hold in Russian banks would be frozen. Image from article

President Hugo Chávez and The Caviar of the Left - Axis of Logic Editors and Writers: Crime and particularly the rate of homicides in Venezuela is a favorite propaganda tool used to attack Chávez by the western, corporate media in the U.S. and Europe. The corporate media takes its lead from the U.S. State Department, which adopted a hostile position toward Venezuela after Chávez was first elected president in 1998. On their website, they issue the warnings, without documentation, meant to malign the Chávez administration and to discourage people from visiting Venezuela.

Colombia’s propaganda war intensifies in face of declining security - Garry Leech, It appears that the Colombian government is intensifying its propaganda campaign in order to offset declining military successes against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

As Colombians increasingly question the effectiveness of President Juan Manuel Santos’ security strategies, the Colombian leader has increasingly turned to making exaggerated public statements that are not only illogical, but often seem delusional. Uncaptioned image from article


After Soviet fall came 'bright' life - Brian Haas, In the early 1990s, Andrey Belous found himself a highly educated anesthesiologist in Russia, raising a family on $15 a month while the former Soviet Union crumbled around him.

Staying in Moscow was not an option.

Belous, 48, grew up in Kishinev, Moldova. He said he had a happy childhood, but was inundated with Cold War propaganda.

“They were talking about Lenin being our grandfather and he was so kind and so good and so nice,” Belous said. “I loved him because I was told to love him.”

He recalls air raid drills and a constant fear that the United States would begin dropping bombs. But that anxiety and fear had a curious effect: It ignited his imagination about the United States.

Belous studied anesthesiology in Moscow, earning a decent living, at first working in a cardiology department.

Then, the Soviet Union fell. Progress he had seen toward democratization disappeared, the economy collapsed and the country fell into turmoil. He tried to raise a family on only a few dollars a week.

In the late 1990s, his first wife secured a visa to teach at Vanderbilt University, giving his family the opportunity to escape. The difference in lifestyle was jarring.

“Everything is shiny and bright, like a celebration of something,” he said. “The first time I went to Kroger, I was like, ‘Whoa, I’ve never seen a store so big!’ I was actually taking pictures in Target.”

Since then, he’s helped with medical research at Vanderbilt and is working to become an anesthesiologist here.

On May 20, he proudly became a U.S. citizen, happy to make his home in Nashville after years of brutal winters in Moscow.

“Nashville feels like home,” he said. “The weather is good for me.”

Image from article, with caption: New U.S. citizen Andrey Belous of Moldova holds children Ruslan, 4, and Amelie, 2.

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