Monday, July 11, 2011

July 9-11

"Ask any public man, and he will confess that it is much simpler to make people hate than it is to make them think."

--Head of the Committee on Public Information (1917-1919) George Creel, "Propaganda and Morale," The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Nov., 1941), p. 347; image from


Increase Security and Decrease the Deficit with a Unified Security Budget - Don Kraus, Huffington Post: "It has always been an American goal to use diplomacy as a means of maintaining and strengthening our national security.

This is why, as a member of the Unified Security Budget (USB) task force, I believe there is a need to increase America's holistic attitude on security spending. By looking at the State Department and Department of Defense's budgets together, we will be able to use our security spending in a more effective manner while reducing our deficit at the same time. ... Here are ... top examples from the FY2012 USB to reduce military spending in the Defense Department by creating trade-offs with the State Department: •$2.41 billion to purchase a second Virginia Class Submarine, a weapon that is unnecessary to address any of the threats facing the U.S. today, or meet the State Department's request of $2.14 billion for the contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities account, and recover $322 million cut from public diplomacy in 2008." Image from

Let's Talk About It - Jen Paton, "Framing conflict as a failure of communication, they [Peter M. Hall and John P. Hewitt, in an article published in Social Problems in the Summer of 1970] argue, neutralizes conflict, denying the possibility of 'substantive difference, real disagreement, or basic conflict of interest.' This is something we see – and do – at a personal level. There is a tendency to frame personal conflict as a failure to understand or a failure to listen rather than a fundamental failure to agree. It is a strategy the second Bush administration employed as part of its post 9/11 Public Diplomacy. The US’s problem was one of misunderstanding, a failure to communicate, rather than 'substantive difference, real disagreement, or basic conflict of interest.' For example, the 'Shared Values' campaign launched soon after September 11th profiled Muslim Americans and their successful, non persecuted lives in the United States, and placed them in advertising spots during Ramadan. Audiences complained that the spots weren’t telling them anything new: they already knew (perhaps even first hand) that there were plenty of happy Muslims living their versions of the American dream: the problems were with American policy, not people.Lina Khatib, William Dutton, and Michael Thelwall’s work has described the more recent disappointments of the State Department’s Digital Outreach Team, founded in 2006 but still ongoing. The group’s job is to monitor Arabic, Urdu, Persian language online discussion groups and 'directly engage with users' on American policy. The program does not seem to be doing well. The study found that the team’s 'posts generate more negativity' in discussions about the United States, though this is possibly due to the team’s size relative to the gargantuan task they have before them precludes them from engaging in the 'real discussion' that a larger team might be able to.Still, the promise of being spoken to, listened to, is powerful. Perhaps it will solve our problems; perhaps all our problems are of miscommunication, of imperfect understanding."

Defining Voice of America - David S. Jackson, "Voice of America is: A. A tool of American public diplomacy. B. An editorially independent news organization.

C. A strategic asset. D. All of the above. You may be surprised to hear that these descriptions are controversial, and even hotly debated. But I think the right answer is D." Image from article.

Business Opportunities in USA - "PSEB and P@SHA are pleased to invite you for a knowledge sharing session in Islamabad titled 'Business Opportunities in USA' being jointly conducted by Mr. Brian Tamburro and Mr. Paul Overby. The governments of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the United States of America have entered into a Strategic Dialogue to promote accelerated development in Pakistan and cooperation between the two countries. The dialogue aims to foster cooperation in thirteen sectors, including Science and Technology, Communications, Economic Growth and Trade, Energy, Water, Security, Health, Agriculture, Public Diplomacy and Education, among others."

Glenn Beck to address Knesset committee this week - Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post: "American talk show host Glenn Beck

will come to the Knesset on Monday to address the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee on how to improve Israel's public diplomacy and fight efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. MKs from across the political spectrum are expected to attend the event, which is co-sponsored by the Knesset Lobby for Israel, Judaism, and Global Ethics." Image from

Israel Scores Rare Victory in Media, Diplomatic War - David Rosenberg, "[T]he biggest factor helping Israel is the changed situation both in the Gaza Strip and the Middle East, experts said.When the Free Gaza flotilla set off in May 2010, Israel was allowing only a minimal amount of goods into the Hamas-held Palestinian enclave. But the deaths of the activists caused Israel to ease the blockade and Egypt has re-opened its border to travelers. Meanwhile, the Middle East has been shaken by the unrest of the Arab Spring, which has left the government’s of Egypt and other countries less stable and more vulnerable to protests and unrest. A second Mavi Marmara incident might have reverberated across the region.'Compared to last year everything was done better on all fronts. Israel’s conduct in hasbara [public diplomacy] was much better than last year, but it was a less dominant factor than diplomacy and the change of policy vis-a-vis Gaza,' said Eran Shayson, director of the national security team at the Reut Institute in Tel Aviv."

Working Backward: Eight Days in Israel's Battle Against Pariah Status - Karl Vick, Time: "By most accounts, the great public diplomacy challenge facing the Jewish State is the occupation of Palestinian territories, a reliable source of outrage for some 44 years. ... In March a BBC survey of residents of 27 countries found Israel clustered with Iran, North Korea and Pakistan as a country seen as having a 'mainly negative influence' on the world.

But that's not how Israelis see themselves. Sunday brought a new poll from Ephraim Yaar and Tamar Hermann, the Israeli professors who have been tracking public opinion since the Oslo Accords. 'The Jewish-Israeli public is not afraid,' they report. 'Only approximately one-half of respondents said they believed that Israel was isolated in the international arena, which is more or less the relative size of the population that believed that a year ago.'"  Image from

Canada opposes Palestinian bid for recognition of statehood - Mike Blanchfield, Toronto Star: "Canada is rejecting a Palestinian effort to win recognition at the United Nations as an independent state. The move is not surprising given that the Harper government has forcefully highlighted its loyalty to Israel and the United States. Both oppose the Palestinian initiative. ... Israeli diplomatic cables, obtained by the newspaper Haaretz, give details about its foreign ministry's diplomatic offensive to counter the Palestinian UN campaign. Israel's marching orders to its embassies are to lobby politicians, and use Jewish groups and the local media to make its case. 'The goal is to get the country in which you serve to vote against recognizing a Palestinian state,' said the memo given to Haaretz. 'Your plan must include approaching the most senior politicians, mobilizing the relevant force multipliers (such as local Jewish communities, non-governmental organizations) using the media, influencing local public opinion, and public diplomacy aimed at all relevant communities.'”

Egypt must embrace an independent South Sudan - Mohamed El Dahshan, Al-Masry Al-Youm: "I have ... come to observe Egyptian public diplomacy efforts in South Sudan - and they are quite feeble. An Egyptian clinic, staffed by Egyptian doctors recognized for their skills, is essentially it.

While a good step, it is insufficient to win the hearts and minds of our new upstream neighbors, who often view Egypt through the prism of its close relationship to Khartoum. Effectively then, we start with a handicap as we attempt to build links to South Sudan."
Image from

Egyptians say facing problems in the Gulf post-Mubarak‎ - Hanan Solayman, Daily News Egypt: The relationship between post-Mubarak Egypt and some Gulf countris has been unclear for the past months, with some claiming it has taken its toll on Egyptians living in Gulf monarchies. The public diplomacy delegation, led by Mostafa El-Guindy, was said last month to be preparing for a Gulf tour that includes Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. Some Egyptians were reported to be facing problems in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 'The purpose of the visit is to discuss problems of Egyptian labor particularly in Saudi Arabia and also to raise investments,' said El-Guindy ... . Fathy, [an] Egyptian journalist who has been living in the Saudi capital for five years, denies claims about hardships Egyptians are facing in the kingdom in the aftermath of the revolution. Fathy sounded hopeful of the proposed public diplomacy delegation's visit to Saudi Arabia. He expects positive results from an organized group that he considers better than the current government's efforts."

MB Statement On Current Domestic And Regional Affairs‎ - "The Muslim Brotherhood issued its weekly statement weighting on several current domestic and regional affairs that affect Egypt, including the situation in Syria, Yemen and Libya. ... First, domestic affairs[:] ... After the formation of the post-revolution government, Egyptian foreign policy tended to maximize the value of Africa and Egyptian concern for strengthening our relationship with all African partners, especially the countries of the Nile Basin, whether through official diplomatic channels or public diplomacy. Egypt's participation in the African Union Summit in Guinea Bissau has moved Egyptian-African relations to greater heights, especially as it provides fertile ground for dealing with political and economic development in light of the positive feedback coming from all over the continent. The Muslim Brotherhood sees the importance of promoting this trend in the field of cultural, technical and economic cooperation with African countries, as an important focus on this vital area that serves the strategic interests of Egypt."

Hussein Salem to be handed over to Egypt "Updated" "[T]he Egyptian democratic Academy claims in its official Facebook page that it received

a call from the Spanish foreign affairs stating the Spanish cabinet decided in its weekly meeting to hand over Hussein Salem to the Egyptian authorities. The EDA claims that this change in the official Spanish stand comes as a result of the public diplomacy delegation efforts in the past few week." Image from article, with caption: Hussein Salem with Omar Soliman in Sharm El Sheikh

The clock can't strike 13‎ - Rajiv Jayaram, Economic Times: "How can one trust someone who cries innocence even if credible — but not conclusive — evidence points the other way? This is the deceit Pakistan has perfected in its public diplomacy over the last two decades. The country's military-intelligence complex, also known as the 'invisible government', thrives on the principle of plausible deniability. Simply put, it means that you commit every transgression — from squelching voices of criticism, sponsoring mass murder and nurturing proxy jihadi groups to double-crossing its patrons, the US, in Afghanistan — but still say, 'no, we're honest; all the tales you hear are lies'."

Indo-ASEAN Conference: Discussions on nitty-gritty of issues on‎ [woord missing] - Pervez Bari, "Dr. Faisal Ahmed, Associate Director, Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment, CUTS International spoke on the geo-economics of region building in Asia with reference to India’s engagements with ASEAN in the second session. ... The recommendations of Dr. Ahmed included: ... Public diplomacy and people-to-people contact should be strengthened through a comprehensive institutional framework, and not merely through Diaspora."

Iran, Ukraine Stress Expansion of Trade Ties ‎- Fars News Agency: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday called for the further expansion of trade relations between Iran and Ukraine, stressing that the two countries' economic ties should match their capacities. Salehi made the statement during a meeting with Vice-Speaker of Ukraine's Parliament Mykola Tomenko here in Tehran on Sunday. ... Salehi described Iran as 'an important

and influential' country in the Middle-East, and stated that 'Iran can be a reliable partner for Ukraine'. Also during the meeting, Tomenko voiced Kiev' resolve to strengthen parliamentary cooperation with Tehran and boost its activities in area of public diplomacy and tourism. Iran has been seeking to bolster ties with Eastern Europe, specially Ukraine, in all the different political, economic and cultural spheres in the last few years." Image from article

Oh, "Blyuuuberi Khill" - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "[T]he Putin vs. Medvedev battle is already on... What this means for Russia's public diplomacy - a job which RT [Russia Today television] is allegedly tasked with - is a ... question."

ORRA 2: Seoul to Jindo, City to Country - Kathy's Heart and Seoul: Working, living, and loving in South Korea: "This weekend I went on public diplomacy trip called on the 'On the Road with the American Ambassador 2.' It is a 10-day program where the Ambassador bikes along the west coast of South Korea, from Seoul to Jindo.

I met the group on their 8th day in Mokpo. I took a KTX train from Seoul to Mokpo. During the trip, I had many once-in-a-lifetime experiences. ... I'm an Arkansan working and living in Seoul, South Korea for about 2 and a half months over the summer. I'm excited to meet many new people, learn about international relations through my internship at the U.S. Embassy, and immerse myself in Korean culture." Kathy's image from her blog

Urgent Positions through Career Pakistan - Position 11: "We are looking for candidates for the position of Project Manager (Higher Education) for a Large International Organization. ... Position Location: Lahore ... Purpose of job [includes:]... To develop, implement and market a digital networking portal for alumni of UK -- Relationship building and engagement with alumni, sponsors, Higher Education partners and other stakeholders for mutual benefit and utilization in public diplomacy."


U.S. suspends some aid to Pakistani military: The Obama administration's decision to withhold $800 million signals more strain on relations since U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden in a May raid in Pakistan - Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times

Image from article, with caption: Pakistani soldiers take part in an exercise. The U.S. is suspending about a third of its $2 billion in annual aid to Pakistan's military, a sign of continued tensions since U.S. commandos found and killed Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan in May.

Panetta invokes 9/11 in defending U.S. mission in Iraq: New Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaking at a base outside Baghdad, tells U.S. troops they're in Iraq 'because on 9/11 America got attacked,' even though pre-war evidence of a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq has been discredited. He later clarifies his remarks - David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times

Another Day, Another New Consulate - The Skeptical Bureaucrat: "The Associated Press is reporting that U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey has opened a new U.S. Consulate in Irbil . ... Since we have long had an existing facility in Irbil,

a Provincial Reconstruction Team, this news just means that the PRT is being elevated to consulate status. However, I'm still waiting to see that news from Embassy Baghdad's website, the Department's official spokeswoman, or from any other official source. Just last week, Ambassador Jeffrey announced that he had opened another new consulate, one in Basrah. The funny thing is I can't find a press release from the Department in Washington announcing that good news, either." Image from article. See also.

BBC Bombast – Propaganda, Complaints And Black Holes of Silence By Media Lens - On the BBC television news, the pulsing theme tune sets the tone: the world is a serious place and we, the BBC, are here to give it to you straight. The computer-animated intro, featuring the Earth encompassed by transmitted signals, together with the high-tech news studio, proclaims impeccable credentials. The newscaster – Huw Edwards, Fiona Bruce, perhaps Emily Maitlis or Nick Owen – looks directly into the camera with the requisite degree of gravitas. The message is clear: "You can trust us. We have no agenda. This is the BBC. This is The News." The dramatic packaging allows propaganda to slip through in digestible chunks. And it is a diet that, like the soma in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, promotes mass adherence to state ideology. We are fed myths that our governments are essentially well-intentioned; that powerful investors, banks and corporations promote ‘free trade’ and ‘open markets’ while providing responsibly for society’s wants and needs; that prevailing state-corporate policies and practices constitute human ‘progress’; and that, in any case, no serious or credible alternatives exist. Anyone can spot the propaganda with a modicum of vigilance while watching the news.

Turkmen FM urges Russia to stop negative media propaganda - The Turkmen Foreign Ministry issued a statement relaying ongoing information attacks by Russian mass media against Turkmenistan, regarding an incident which occurred in the Turkmen city of Abadan. The Foreign Ministry states that information that the Turkmen side allegedly "admitted" some non-existent facts contradicts the reality, the Turkmen Embassy in Azerbaijan reported with

reference to the ministry. "As the Foreign Ministry previously stated, relevant state authorities have investigated the incident. Following the investigation, pertinent actions were taken. However, false information about the ‘numerous victims’ reported by the Russian media is no more than a crude provocation intended to introduce an element of doubt about official information released by the Turkmen side," the statement reads. Image from article

Anti-lesbian propaganda film [video] - "A parody of the Cecil B. DeMille propaganda films of the 1940s. The hairstyles are the only detail that doesn't fit the time period. I love the pipe-smoking woman who looks like Sal Mineo!"


"Since the morale of the front line derives directly from the morale of the civilian population from which the armed forces are drawn, the mind of a nation must be mobilized no less than its man-power. Particularly today, when wars are a trial of strength between opposed ideals as well as opposed armies, public opinion is a major force, and the one sure way to form a steadfast, enduring public opinion is to inform it. Any form of censorship and any attempt to suppress, twist, or conceal will result inevitably in an impairment of the popular confidence that is the very heart of morale.

A free people cannot be told what to think but must be given every fact in the case and permitted to do their own thinking. Propaganda-the fight for the promotion and maintenance of morale-can have no other basis than honesty and candor, for in every human being there is an instinct for truth. Tom-tom beating and tribal incantations, built on lies, deceit, corruption, megalomania, and national egotism, may rush a nation into war and whip up passions for a while, but froth and dregs are bound to be the ultimate result. The justice of a nation's cause must be proved and preached, but even that is not enough. If the struggle is to enlist heart and mind and soul, the bloody business of wholesale slaughter must be illumined by the hope of a new and better world-order. Hitler may sneer at the 'idealistic note' in propaganda, but it is only to high idealism that free peoples respond."

--George Creel, "Propaganda and Morale," The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Nov., 1941), p. 340. Creel image from


"While censorship and privacy intercept much information at its source, a very much larger body of fact never reaches the whole public at all, or only very slowly. For there are very distinct limits upon the circulation of ideas.

A rough estimate of the effort it takes to reach 'everybody' can be had by considering the Government's propaganda during the war. Remembering that the war had run over two years and a half before America entered it, that millions upon millions of printed pages had been circulated and untold speeches had been delivered, let us turn to Mr. Creel's account of his fight 'for the minds of men, for the conquest of their convictions' in order that 'the gospel of Americanism might be carried to every corner of the  globe.' [Footnote: George Creel, How We Advertised America.]

Mr. Creel had to assemble machinery which included a Division of News that issued, he tells us, more than six thousand releases, had to enlist seventy-five thousand Four Minute Men who delivered at least seven hundred and fifty-five thousand, one hundred and ninety speeches to an aggregate of over three hundred million people. Boy scouts delivered annotated copies of President Wilson's addresses to the householders of America. Fortnightly periodicals were sent to six hundred thousand teachers. Two hundred thousand lantern slides were furnished for illustrated lectures. Fourteen hundred and thirty-eight different designs were turned out for posters, window cards, newspaper advertisements, cartoons, seals and buttons. The chambers of commerce, the churches, fraternal societies, schools, were used as channels of distribution.

Yet Mr. Creel's effort, to which I have not begun to do justice, did not include Mr. McAdoo's stupendous organization for the Liberty Loans, nor Mr. Hoover's far reaching propaganda about food, nor the campaigns of the Red Cross, the Y. M. C. A., Salvation Army, Knights of Columbus, Jewish Welfare Board, not to mention the independent work of patriotic societies, like the League to Enforce Peace, the League of Free Nations Association, the National Security League, nor the activity of the publicity bureaus of the Allies and of the submerged nationalities.

Probably this is the largest and the most intensive effort to carry quickly a fairly uniform set of ideas to all the people of a nation. The older proselyting worked more slowly, perhaps more surely, but never so inclusively. Now if it required such extreme measures to reach everybody in time of crisis, how open are the more normal channels to men's minds? The Administration was trying, and while the war continued it very largely succeeded, I believe, in creating something that might almost be called one public opinion all over America. [JB highlight] But think of the dogged work, the complicated ingenuity, the money and the personnel that were required. Nothing like that exists in time of peace, and as a corollary there are whole sections, there are vast groups, ghettoes, enclaves and classes that hear only vaguely about much that is going on."

--Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (first published 1922); Lippmann 1914 image from