Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30

"art, when it is art, is not propaganda."

--Jeffrey C. Goldfarb, author of Reinventing Political Culture: The Power of Culture versus the Culture of Power; image from


Muslims changing hearts and minds in America through comedy


US Withdraws Staff From Afghan Government Media and Information Centre - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "The US has withdrawn staff from the Afghan Government Media and Information Centre (GMIC)

apparently because they don’t like what it’s

communicating – it’s being used by the Afghan government to criticise the US." Top image from; below image from

The Next al-Qaeda? Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Future of Terrorism in South Asia - Neil Padukone, "Following the al-Qaeda example, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba] is a central hub in the vast network of militant groups that abound in Pakistan. ... [T]he United States has long overlooked LeT, its local like-minded affiliates, and the Pakistani state agencies that have long supported it. Correcting this tunnel vision cannot involve the same sledgehammer approach the US used against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan after 9/11. This would not be possible in Pakistan, given Lashkar-e-Taiba’s broader sociopolitical entrenchment there, or even desirable, given the likelihood that under such pressure the group would splinter into multiple, less manageable factions. Instead, given that the aggregation of its global links is the root of the threat posed by Lashkar, a sound medium-term operational strategy would be disaggregation. As the counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen

writes, 'disaggregation focuses on denying the ability of regional and global actors to link and exploit local actors . . . and interdicting flows of information, personnel, finance and technology between and within theatres,' much as the Sunni Awakening did in Iraq. To these ends, the US should extend its quiet, apolitical vigilance of the last five years, which have seen an integration of local criminal justice work, foreign intelligence, military action, public diplomacy, and civil society into the agile network that helped weaken al-Qaeda’s organization and message." Image from

Ambassador to New Zealand promotes exports during Ontario speech - Andrew Edwards, San Bernardino Sun: "Besides promoting trade relations, [U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand David] Huebner said he spends much of his time engaged in public diplomacy intended to provide a favorable view of America in New Zealand's schools. The U.S. Embassy in Wellington also encourages New Zealanders to attend college in the United States, he said."

Make Chai, Not War - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "In one of the more original PD ventures, the State Dept is sending an Indian-American comedy troupe to India for some comedic public diplomacy.

The Make Chai, Not War tour is set to kick off in January and will visit a number of Indian cities." Image from

Sino-Indian relations 2011: A Mixed Bag of Highs and Lows - Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses: "As part of its charm offensive, China ... celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, whose visit to China in 1914 had a very good impact on Sino-Indian relations.

Yet another goodwill gesture by China was the honour bestowed upon the 93-year-old renowned Indian Yoga exponent BKS Iyenger, who enjoys an iconic status for introducing spiritual discipline in China, by releasing four commemorative stamps in June. As part of its public diplomacy exercise, China invited 500 Indian youth, who met Premier Wen Jiabao in the Great Hall of People on September 23. The youth delegation was led by India’s Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Ajay Maken. Premier Wen not only mingled with the visiting Indian youth, but also charmed them when he put on a Rajasthani turban and reached out to Mr. Maken to convey his personal regards to the Indian Prime Minister. This gesture assumed significance coming as it did in the backdrop of the spat over ONGC Videsh’s foray into the South China Sea." Image from

Providing protection at all times - Qin Zhongwei, China Daily: "Consular protection became a key word in the nation's diplomatic affairs in 2011, largely promoting public understanding about this not-so-familiar term, according to Zhou Qing'an, a professor of public diplomacy at Tsinghua University in Beijing. 'The work of consular protection is like a treadmill that began going very fast this year,' he said. China's consular protection, however, faces uncertainties and challenges, which require government efforts and public awareness to resolve, according to diplomats and scholars."

Economic Affairs - Iran daily Brief: "Exports seminar scheduled for February – The first designated exports seminar in Iran is scheduled to take place in February. The seminar will attempt to outline Iran’s foreign trade for next year. Next week, the foreign trade information and public diplomacy coordination council will convene to explore ways to formulate a public diplomacy strategy and issue uniform information about foreign trade. The meeting will be attended by executives and PR managers on foreign trade in both the private and public sectors."

Culture Posts: Developing Cultural In-Awareness in Public Diplomacy - R.S. Zaharna, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "In public diplomacy, culture’s web of influence spans across policy, practice, and research, and encompasses both sponsor and intended public. The problem is that much of culture’s influence lays 'out-of-awareness'

for both the sponsor and the intended public in public diplomacy. As further irony, the sponsor and the public may have some awareness of the other’s cultural features, but are often unable to see culture’s influence on themselves. These hidden aspects tend to be the source of cultural misunderstandings and tensions. One of the keys to effective public diplomacy is developing an 'in-awareness' cultural approach to public diplomacy." Image from


Slip-Sliding to War with Iran - Robert Parry, With the typical backdrop of alarmist propaganda in place, the stage is now set for a new war, this time with Iran. The slightest miscalculation (or provocation) by the United States, Israel or Iran could touch off a violent scenario that will have devastating consequences.

As the U.S. news media and politicians mostly reprise their performances on the Iraq invasion in regard to Iran, the principal obstacles to a new war appear to be President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Both are said to privately oppose a war with Iran, which was not true of how President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld felt about Iraq. Image from

Propaganda Re-Runs from Iraq Used on Iran - Brian Walker, NationofChange

Pakistan sails through unbridled propaganda - Bassam Javed, There is no let up in demonising Pakistan and its security establishment in the Western countries and India. As the presidential race picks up in the United States the prospective candidates especially the Republicans have started on harping anti-Pakistan themes

to garner support. Despite Hillary Clinton’s promises during her last visit to Pakistan to work towards checking anti-Pakistan propaganda in the US media, the campaign to malign Pakistan’s Army and the intelligence continues unabated. Image from

No more military custody for al-Qaeda fighters - Philip Mudd, Washington Post: The United States does not want to suggest that al-Qaeda is a battlefield adversary; it is not. Yet we have said its members are worthy of treatment as military adversaries, requiring military custody. They are below this and slipping further every day from self-inflicted missteps. We should take advantage of their mistakes and use those errors against this fading threat. Don’t give them what they want. Give them what they hate.

America's Play for Pacific Prosperity: The U.S. has quietly set up a bipartisan Asia policy that may be as influential as the Marshall Plan and NATO - Walter Russell Mead, Wall Street Journal: At its core, the policy encourages Asian powers to get rich by participating in the most open trading system in the history of the world.

In exchange for commitments to abide by that system's rules, countries such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia and China would have the opportunity to industrialize and to help shape the future of the global economy. Image of Mead (right) from

From American Idol to Mormon Missionary: A pop star trades the stage for 10-hour Bible-teaching sessions in a distant land - Allison Pond, Wall Street Journal: There are more than 52,000 Mormon missionaries serving in 340 missions, or geographic areas, world-wide. Eighty percent of them are young men who begin serving at age 19. The remainder are mostly young women age 21 and older, along with a small number of retired couples. It is estimated that roughly a third of eligible young Mormon men elect to serve missions. Prominent Mormons who have served missions include Mitt Romney (France) and Jon Huntsman (Taiwan), Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings (Spain), and actors Aaron Eckhart (Switzerland) and Jon Heder (Japan).

Iran's Spanish-language HispanTV launches with movie "Saint Mary" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Syrian regime propaganda - The Angry Arab News Service: A source on politics, war, the Middle East, Arabic poetry, and Art: "The ultra-Syrian nationalism filling Syrian regime TV is just nauseating. It only reminds me of ultra-Lebanese nationalism. You would not know that the ruling doctrine of the lousy Syrian regime is Arab nat[io]nalism."

Vietnam jails 2 rights activists for anti-government 'propaganda' - AFP, A woman writer was sentenced to five years in prison in Vietnam for spreading anti-government propaganda, state media said on Friday, with an activist pastor also jailed for two years.

Ho Thi Bich Khuong, 44, received three years house arrest on top of her five year term, and Nguyen Trung Ton, 40, was given a similar extra penalty of two years, the Communist Party newspaper Nhan Dan reported.  Vietnam flag image from

In Prague, a tale of communism past: A new exhibit in Prague highlights the way museums were used as a communist propaganda tool, molding the way citizens interpreted moments in their shared history - Jacy Meyer, By the 1950s the Communist Party had begun to establish its own museums, such as the Museum of V.I. Lenin, which introduced visitors to communist ideals via the life of the Soviet leader. Traditional museum exhibits underwent an ideological transformation – all attempts at discussion or historical interpretation made way for communist education. For example, in the 1970s, exhibitions showcased the 1968 Prague Spring uprising in a negative light. For the then-Czechoslovakians who visited these museums from 1948 to 1989, the communist-colored exhibits provided a type of false security by showing images of a functioning and united society, while confirming the stereotypes of their nation. “Red Museums” exhibit organizers hope to revive a discussion of how history has been presented in Czech museums as well as the role of museums moving forward into the 21st century.

Glory Of The Motherland Soviet WW2 Propaganda Poster Review -

Image from entry

This is a good time to be a political propagandist - just a marine: "After all, you can say about anything, even lie; and more often than not, apparently lazy reporters today will reverberate all this 'as news'. If the 24/7 news cycle, or something else, has led 'reporting' to this state, then this is not healthy for any society of people wanting to be informed. Now I also suspect political propaganda has always worked, most recently under the Nazi regime in Germany. But the techniques are

alive and well in most advertising today, and even the USA Friday night news dumps. Now one can vote with their pocket books, which I have done over time. My subscriptions to Time and Newsweek, and all print newspapers, are long gone. Even my addiction to TV channel FoxNews is being abandoned by me do to the voiced ignorance of their newsreaders (cookie cutter blondes and pretty boys) and apparently their producers, mostly in New York City, too." Image from


"What television was used as propaganda during the First World? By admin - Last updated: Friday, December 30, 2011 - Save AND Share - One Comment by elmada Question by shewhomustnotbenammed : What was television used as propaganda during the First World ? I’m doing an essay, and I could not figure out if there was actual television in world war one.

I mean, I know they used it during WWII as propaganda, but what about the first? Please to the asap. Best answer: Answer by Knowitall There was no TV until after WWII."
--Image from


"On September 17, 2002, President Bush introduced initiatives to improve the teaching of history and civics in American classrooms. 'Our Founders believed the study of history and citizenship should be at the core of every American’s education,' he declared in his remarks that day. 'Yet today, our children have large and disturbing gaps in their knowledge of history.'  In order to make this case, Bush relied on standardized tests.

'Recent studies tell us that nearly one in five high school seniors think that Germany was an ally of the United States in World War II,' he explained. 'Twenty-eight percent of eighth graders do not know the reason why the Civil War was fought. One-third of fourth graders do not know what it means to 'pledge allegiance to the flag.' He then explained the significance of this failure, 'Ignorance of American history and civics weakens our sense of citizenship. To be an American is not just a matter of blood or birth; we are bound by ideals, and our children must know those ideals.'"

--From: A Crisis Over Consensus: Standardized Testing in American History and Student Learning, Radical Pedagogy (2003; Captain America image from

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