Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1

"In one sitting, he was said to have put away a hundred oysters, four bottles of white wine, a dozen salt-meadow lamb cutlets, duckling with turnips, a brace of roast partridge, a Normandy sole, dessert and Comice pears."

--Moira Hodgson, Wall Street Journal, regarding 19th century French novelist Honoré de Balzac's gastronomical tendencies; image from


Taliban Sets PSYOP Trap in Pakistan - James Gundun, "Starting down relentless hostility for the NATO raid on Salala ridge, a mushrooming air-strike that left at least 24 Pakistani soldiers dead, U.S. officials already find themselves accused of freezing in the emergency headlights. The Obama administration remains hedged around 'sorrow' as officials feverishly work Pakistan’s diplomatic back-channels, leaving a void in responsibility and outreach. The administration’s public response appears to be centered on shaping the event’s narrative in order to reduce future culpability. Rather than an act of negligence, aggression or chaos, Taliban fighters fired on a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in order to provoke return fire against Pakistan’s outposts. ... [M]istaken identity [does not] explain America’s inadequate and flimsy

public diplomacy. NATO’s raid highlights how clueless U.S. officials remain of Pakistan’s internal dynamics, in terms of responding to a political crisis and directly addressing Pakistan’s people." Image from

U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission Goldberger visit to the Bedouin town of Laqiya - "Mr. Tom Goldberger the U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission visited several institutions in the Bedouin town of Laqiya. ... The DCM also received an introduction to the Mobile Library by Nema Al Saneh, director of the Association for Improvement of Women Status, Laqiya, and Anat Sharf, resources development director. The Association received a small grant from Public Diplomacy to operate the mobile unit which distributes books in Arabic, English and Hebrew to over 1500 youth in the surrounding Bedouin villages."

The Future of Public Diplomacy – Die Zukunft von Public Diplomacy: [video] - "The Future of Public Diplomacy was a Seminar jointly organized by the US Embassy Berlin and the Center of US Studies in Wittenberg." [Includes presentation by Dr. Helena Finn, Public Affairs Officer, US Embasy Berlin].

I2P ® Global – A Success! - "Last week Stockholm and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) hosted the prestigious innovation contest Idea to Product (I2P ®) Global Competition. ... During the three day event, in the afternoon of November 18, there was an exciting debate held at the reactor hall which is a decommissioned nuclear area at

the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. ... The reactor hall event, which was held 22 meters below ground, beg[a]n with mingle and networking session as an introduction to the ... panel discussion. ... The moderator was Public Diplomacy Counselor Chris Dunnett from the American Embassy. The panel kicked off the debate by discussing the main question: How can cooperation between universities and industry improve in order to become better in commercializing of innovations? The panel was very coherent and concluded that the commercialization process can go many ways." Royal Institute of Technology image from

Cult of Personality: High, Morale: Low at BBG - BBGWatcher, BBG Watch: "Chairman Isaacson’s ongoing self-promotion of his book about Steve Jobs continues to cause outrage. Employees point to a poster display located near the main entrance to 330 Independence Avenue promoting a raffle and a 'prize' of an autographed copy of Isaacson’s book as an example of insensitivity by the BBG Chairman and BBG/IBB. ... – Morale is at its worst ever, with struggling news division staff caught between ever-increasing and all too often unrealistic demands imposed as part of the massive but poorly-implemented reorganization, and

knowledge that FY 2013 budget cuts are likely to cut existing staffing levels deeply. ... One veteran editor described multiple layers of decision-making imposed under the reorganization, having a serious negative impact on the ability of the organization to produce quality news product. ... Although senior news managers often speak of the importance of preserving quality and quality journalism, a number of incidents show how management and communication disarray has caused often embarrassing errors and omissions, yet senior news managers have deliberately avoided any focus on these occurrences, while newer employees as well as many veterans fearing retaliation also do not raise the issues." Image from article

VOA's "Beyond the Headlines" switches from Geo Network to Express News on Pakistan cable TV - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Latin America’s Pacific Gateway - Eddie Walsh, "The Diplomat is running a series of interviews with Washington DC-based ambassadors on defense, diplomacy, and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. In the fourth in the series, conducted by Washington correspondent Eddie Walsh, Ambassador Arturo Fermandois of the Republic of Chile discusses his country’s substantial political, economic, and social engagement with its Asia-Pacific neighbor. ... [Q:] Chile doesn’t appear to be active in the promotion of its culture abroad. As Chile looks to the Pacific in the next century, will it prioritize soft power tools, such as public diplomacy, more than it has in the past? [A:] The country is now making an additional effort to promote its culture abroad. We certainly have pending tasks on this effort.

It isn’t easy for the people in Asian countries to identify with elements of the Chilean culture beyond the scope of the well-known, high quality products exported by the country. Chilean exports to the region consist mainly of copper and raw materials, in addition to agro-industrial products, fruits, salmon, wine, wood, through which we have enjoyed some success of promotion of Chile abroad. The challenge is delivering a broader cultural identity. Our Nobel laureates in literature, Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, are remarkable partners here. Their work has received recognition in several Asian countries, including China, Japan and Vietnam. Painting and music, together with the art of our native people, including the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island, are a relevant part of this new message of a broader cultural identity. With the successful rescue of our Atacama miners in 2010, however, the entire world had the gracious opportunity of knowing more about the values of Chilean culture." Uncaptioned image from article

VOL. VII NO. 24, November 18-December 01, 2011 - The Layalina Review on Public Diplomacy and Arab Media:

"American Muslims Breaking Barriers on TV “All American Muslim” a reality TV series featuring five Muslim families has generated mixed reactions, spanning from positive reactions to skepticism regarding the show’s intentions. In the meantime, the producers hope it will help normalize relations with Muslim.

Mixed Reactions on US Withdrawal As the US is announcing is approaching the date of withdrawal form Iraq, some American officials and Iraqi politicians express their concerns regarding Iran’s growing influence in the country.

‘War on Terror’ New Strategy on the Internet The Department of Defense recently launched a new program over the Internet to counter violent extremism, seeking to engage people who promote anti-American sentiments in Pakistan and provide them with alternative information.

Vote without a Change in Egypt? As elections approach in Egypt, the role of the army and of the Islamists in the next government is taking center stage in the debates concerning the future direction of the country.

Libya’s New Taste for Justice Saif Al-Islam, son of former Libyan leader Muammar Al-Gaddafi, was captured in southern Libya and currently awaits prosecution by the ICC. As Libyans resume the task of rebuilding the country's governmental institutions, formerly marginalized groups look for their chance to flourish in the newly democratic nation.

Who's Talking About A Nuclear Strike? Following an IAEA report about Iran's nuclear program, IAEA officials met in Vienna to discuss nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Despite rumors of a possible strike on Iran's nuclear power facilities, international authorities continue to push a diplomatic solution, increasing sanctions in an effort to corner Iran.

Ambivalent Responses from the AfPak Region US relations with Pakistan continue to deteriorate as Pakistani government announced the US had 15 days to leave an airfield in the Baluchistan province following a cross-border attack, which killed 25 Pakistani soldiers."

Spending Cuts and the Coordination of UK Public Diplomacy - Robin, Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "[I]t looks like the effort to create a coordinated British public diplomacy strategy has run out of steam. Nick Cull takes the view in some of his writings (eg 2010) that the different elements of public diplomacy advocacy, broadcasting, cultural diplomacy etc have different requirements and time frames and so that left to their own devices they will work independently. Getting effective coordination requires strong leadership. The two post 9/11 official reports on UK Public Diplomacy in 2002 (Wilton) and 2005 (Carter) both pointed to the need for a strategy and better coordination methods. Over the past 18 months there hasn’t been much indication of activity on this front. But what is most notable are the consequences of spending cuts. The BBC World Service will be funded by the BBC rather than by the Foreign Office. The British Council is projecting that by 2015 their grant from the FCO will have declined to 16% of their income. The FCO has found it hard to steer these organization in the past and with declining financial leverage one can only expect that this is going to be even harder. The aftermath of September 2011 (and the invasion of Iraq) gave a huge push to creating a coordinated communications strategy."

India Blog Series: Back to Basics: Public Diplomacy and Indian Heritage - Aparajitha Vadlamannati, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "As a part of the mandate for public diplomacy in the

Ministry of External Affairs, the Division is required to conduct activities engaging and educating Indians about government policies and Indian culture – a form of internal public diplomacy. By investing in the education of citizens, especially about national and foreign cultures, the government helps create effective citizen diplomats." MEA image from

EU ambassadors listen to HvR - gergokocsis: views from Central Europe - "[E]conomic power being the strongest tool in the hands of the EU I believe that the EU should in fact start showing a lead on the international scene in public diplomacy (that is also in front of tv cameras) in certain issues."

Arab world ready for democracy, Media Forum highlights - "Recent revolutions in the Arab world are a potent indicator that Arab nations are ready for democracy, İbrahim Kalın said on Wednesday, speaking at the Turkish-Arab Media Forum, an event bringing together journalists from Turkish and Arab media outlets being held in Turkey. The first day's meeting of the forum, hosted by the Prime Ministry's Directorate General of Press and Information (BYGM), was held at İstanbul's Conrad Hotel on Wednesday. The first session saw a round table discussion on the Turkish and Arab media's approaches toward regional and global developments.

Kalın, a chief consultant and public diplomacy coordinator at the Prime Ministry, who moderated the session said: 'The world has been wondering whether the Arab world is ready for democracy for years. The Arab revolutions have shown that Arab nations are giving an enthusiastic ‘yes' as the answer to that question.' Kalın said the crucial question that needed to be asked was whether 'Western countries are ready for democracy in the Arab World?'” Kalin image from


To China, U.S. envoy is a rising star - Keith Richburg, The low-key, two-term Washington state governor and former Obama administration commerce secretary who — with his wife, Mona Locke, and their three children — has become in just three months something of a media and Internet star in China as the first U.S. ambassador of Chinese ancestry. Locke’s popularity here among ordinary Chinese, as expressed by random comments in interviews and posts on popular microblogging sites called weibo, has as much to do with his unassuming nature — his ordinariness — as his Chinese looks. His low-key, unassuming attitude has charmed the Chinese. The reason for the fascination, many here posit, is that when Chinese look at this backpack-toting American envoy with a Chinese face, they see everything their own leaders are not — leaving authorities struggling for how best to respond to his increasingly evident popularity. Given Locke’s prominence, it’s not surprising that China’s leadership and official media have seemed uncertain how to respond — and some of the results have been ham-handed. For example, on Aug. 15, the

Guangming Daily — a Communist Party newspaper in Beijing — ran a commentary under the headline: “Be Vigilant to Neo-Colonialism of America Brought by Gary Locke.” There now appears to be a concerted effort by the government’s censorship bodies — collectively referred to by critics here as the “Ministry of Truth” — to limit coverage of Locke in the official state-run media. “We received the order from the propaganda department about Gary Locke, when he was criticized by the party newspaper,” said the editor of a Beijing news Web site, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the details of official censorship in China. “It’s an oral order. They said not to cover everything about Gary Locke. Don’t over-report him.” Image from article, with caption: Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington and commerce secretary, is the first U.S. ambassador to China to be of Chinese descent

The next challenge for the Middle East protesters - David Ignatius, Washington Post: What can safeguard the individual against chanting demonstrators in the streets or doctrinaire religious parties in parliament? There is a tyranny of the majority, too. Here is the next challenge for the citizen movements that are advancing from Tunisia to Syria. Arabs are understandably tired of being lectured to by Anglo-Saxons, especially after Americans tried so disastrously to impose democracy in Iraq.

Stating the Obvious -- or, a "New Theory for ... Foreign Policy" - John Brown, Notes and Essays: "Collaborative power ... [is] the power of many to do together what no one can do alone. ... Remember, drop by drop,

water will wear away or wash away stone." -- Anne-Marie Slaughter, "A New Theory for the Foreign Policy Frontier: Collaborative Power,"; image from

A “Frenemy” Tipping Point - Rob Asghar, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: The drone-obsessed Obama administration has been surprisingly tone deaf in its willingness to stomp on Pakistan's sovereignty in pursuit of its own objectives. The administration will learn that as a consequence, Pakistan is now more close to positioning itself as an American enemy than it was during the era of George Bush.

The Iran threat: Tehran is not worried about international repercussions, and why should it be? The West has hesitated to take the steps that could cripple the regime's economic base and stymie its nuclear ambitions - Max Boot, The Islamic Republic has been attacking the West, and in particular the United States, since the day of its birth. we fail to face up to the growing threat from the Islamic Republic.

Azerbaijan, Iran to work to stop mutual anti-propaganda - Independent Azerbaijan has always sought to maintain close, friendly and good-neighborly relations with Iran and continues to pursue this policy today. The statement came from head of the public and political affairs committee at the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Ali Hasanov in his media remarks. Iran

is also committed to the same stance and has built relations with Azerbaijan in a positive plane, he said. "However, unfortunately, some groups in Iran and Azerbaijan seek to harm relations between the two neighboring states purposefully or accidentally carrying anti-propaganda on television, radio or media," Hasanov said. "Therefore, the main purpose of our visit to Iran is to stop all these negative aspects and take the interstate relations into good-neighborly, mutually efficient and equitable level as in previous years," he stressed. Hasanov image from article

Colonists or Sons of the Land? - David Haivri, Universities and the “Twitterverse” are flooded with anti-Israel propaganda accusing Israel of being an apartheid state that discriminates against Arabs on a racial basis.

These propagandists’ other mantra is that Jewish settlers are colonists settling land that rightfully belongs to others. The two main strategies of Israel’s enemies are: 1) keep the international community ignorant of the region’s true history (with a sprinkling of anti-Semitic conditioning), and 2) simply repeat the same lies again and again until they are unquestioningly accepted as truth. Image from

Making sense of self-immolation - Dhundup Gyalpo, Asia Times: No lie is too big or small for the paid posters of Chinese propaganda, especially when it comes to attacking His Holiness the Dalai Lama and discrediting the peaceful nature of Tibetan freedom movement.

Leo Tolstoy Is Quitting Facebook - Paul Greenberg, Huffington Post (see also John Brown, "Twittering; or, Where are the Emily Dickinsons at the State Department?," Huffington Post (June, 2009):

"On the 101st anniversary of his death, a look back through Count Leo Tolstoy's epic Facebook posts dating from his joining the social network in 1847 to his departure from Facebook at the Astapovo railway station in November 1911.

Count Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy joined Facebook.

Ivan Turgenev added Tolstoy as a friend.

Turgenev wrote on Tolstoy's wall: Welcome Count! What made you break down after all the monde of belles lettres has already come and gone across these pages?

Tolstoy commented on Turgenev's comment: Schopenhauer joined.

Turgenev sent Tolstoy a personal message: A confidential warning -- Facebook is a catastrophic time-suck for Slavophile and Westernizer alike. Continue and you will never write a really big one. By the way -- LOVED The Cossacks. Best thing in the Russian language, EVER!

Tolstoy is reading Turgenev's collected work.

Tolstoy thinks Turgenev's writing is putrid and indulgent.

Tolstoy has posted an event: Duel with Turgenev.

Turgenev is attending the event: Duel with Turgenev.

Tolstoy has canceled the event: Duel with Turgenev.

Tolstoy is bored and depressed and embarrassed about the whole duel thing.

Tolstoy is 34 years old!

Tolstoy is too aged and ugly to marry.

Sofia Andreyevna Behrs joined Facebook.

Sofia Andreyevna became a fan of Tolstoy.

Tolstoy became a fan of Sofia Andreyevna.

Sofia Andreyevna added Tolstoy as a friend.

Tolstoy wrote on Sofia Andreyevna's wall: Aren't you kind of young to be friending an old count like me?

Tolstoy is in a relationship with Sofia Andreyevna .

Tolstoy and Sofia Andreyevna are married.

Tolstoy and Sofia Andreyevna have seven children.

Tolstoy is proud that despite Turgenev's warnings he has written a VERY big book AND maintained his friend network on Facebook.

Tolstoy has decided to call his very big book War and Peace.

Sofia Andreyevna finds that a little presumptuous.

Tolstoy is thinking that Sofia Andreyevna should get off Facebook and finish copying out part three of War and Peace.

Tolstoy and Sofia Andreyevna have 12 children.

Anton Chekhov became a fan of Tolstoy.

Chekhov and Tolstoy are friends.

Sofia Andreyevna is copying out the second draft of War and Peace.

Tolstoy is reading an interesting article about a woman who threw herself under a train.

Tolstoy has a new idea for a novel.

Sofia Andreyevna is hoping that Tolstoy is not writing another big one.

Tolstoy assures Sofia Andreyevna that it is, in fact, "another big one."

Sofia Andreyevna is pregnant.

Tolstoy finished Anna Karenina.

Sofia Andreyevna is copying Anna Karenina.

Tolstoy is bored and depressed.

Tolstoy joined the group Free the Serfs!

Chekhov wrote on Tolstoy's wall: Serfs?

Tolstoy commented on Chekhov's comment: Yes, I have taken an interest in the moral education of those who are closest to the land.

The buxom serf wench Akinsya Basykina is a fan of Tolstoy

Tolstoy wrote on the buxom serf wench Akinsya Basykina's wall: Thanks for coming to the opening day of my serf school!

The buxom serf wench Akinsya Basykina has changed her relationship status: It's complicated.

The buxom serf wench Akinsya Basykina has posted the photo album: My Son Looks Just Like His Father!

Tolstoy wrote on the buxom serf wench Akinsya Basykina'a wall: You are not using Facebook's photo posting functionality in a correct manner.

Tolstoy has no idea who sired the child of the buxom serf wench Akinsya Basykina.

Tolstoy is shocked to learn that his entire friend network can read what he's written on the wall of the buxom serf wench Akinsya Basykina.

Tolstoy has terminated the buxom serf wench Akinsya Basykina's Internet access by crushing the Yasnaya Polyana educational serf node with a sledgehammer.

Tolstoy is starting to think that Turgenev was right about Facebook -- huge time-suck.

Chekhov is expectorating phlegm due to complications stemming from tuberculosis.

Chekhov joined the Tuberculosis Support Group.

Tolstoy is bored and depressed.

Tolstoy joined the group Ancient Greek for Beginners.

Tolstoy joined the group Esperanto -- the Universal Language.

Tolstoy joined the group Vegetarians of the Steppe.

Tolstoy joined the group Anarchism Might be the Answer.

Tolstoy is hating the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Patriarch of Moscow has excommunicated Tolstoy.

Sofia Andreyevna is copying out Resurrection and is thinking Tolstoy has lost some of his chops as a writer.

Tolstoy started the Nonviolent Resistance Group.

Mohandas K. Gandhi became a fan of Tolstoy.

Tolstoy is wondering who the hell this Gandhi fellow is.

Rudyard Kipling wrote on Tolstoy's wall: Gandhi is an Hindu of small stature and a formidable barrister.

Tolstoy and Mohandas K. Gandhi are friends.

Vladimir Chertkov started the group I'm a Tolstoyan!

Tolstoy demands I'm a Tolstoyan! be deleted from Facebook.

The Facebook Team wrote that only group creators can delete groups from Facebook.

Tolstoy is hating himself and wondering why anyone would want to be a Tolstoyan.

Sofia Andreyevna is copying out the special collector's edition of Anna Karenina.

Tolstoy is renouncing all corporal pleasures and wants Sofia Andreyevna to do the same.

Sofia Andreyevna is thinking Tolstoy can shove it where the Creator cannot find it.

Tolstoy wants Sofia Andreyevna to sell all of her earthly possessions.

Sofia Andreyevna thinks that Anna Karenina doesn't really hold up on the 70th reading.

Chekhov is dead.

Tolstoy is renouncing everything.

Tolstoy is renouncing Facebook.

The Facebook Team says Tolstoy cannot be removed from Facebook.

Tolstoy thinks the Facebook Team is morally degenerate.

Sofia Andreyevna is reflecting back on her life and thinking Facebook has been a tremendous solace.

Tolstoy has left for the railways station."

Via IL on facebook; Tolstoy image from

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