Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."

--Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850; image from


Enjoy This Killer App for the Holidays! - John Brown, Huffington Post: "The name of this killer-of-all killer App?

Face-to-face conversation! No, no need to buy it online -- you already have it in you if you use it! Note: While this product can be used by every human being on the face of the earth, it can be especially useful for diplomats, including those involved in public diplomacy." For Twitter reactions to this article, see. Image from


a) New Year's Greetings from Leonid Brezhnev С Новым годом от Л И Брежнева. Via MJ on facebook

b) Education For Death -- Disney World War II anti-Nazi animated film


The U.S. Presidential Campaign as Public Diplomacy - Philip Seib, CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The 2012 U.S. presidential campaign, as well as races for other offices, may well inspire people elsewhere in the world more than

Americans themselves. Although it is unfortunate that Americans take their political system for granted, it remains a showcase that can enhance America’s standing throughout the world. The U.S. State Department, which has shown itself willing to work hard on such matters, should take full advantage of the public diplomacy opportunities available during this election year." Gingrich and wife Callista image from

The Art of Foreign Policy: Our favorite FP illustrations from 2011 - Foreign Policy: "We come with croissants: State Department veteran Peter van Buren made a splash this year with his exposé of some of the wasteful and often absurd projects that Uncle Sam had lavished money on in Iraq.

One of the most egregious was a nearly $10,000 program to teach Iraqi women the fine art of making French pastries. This watershed moment in the history of public diplomacy was brought memorably to life by illustrator Ward Sutton." Via

The United Kingdom expressed deep concern over recent security raids on the offices of some NGOs in Egypt - Amer Sultan, The United Kingdom has called on Egyptian authorities to support the activities of civil society organisations after a recent spate of raids by security forces on the offices of some NGOs. 'We are very concerned by reports from Cairo of raids on the offices of a number of Egyptian and foreign NGOs,' Jeremy Browne, the UK foreign minister, said in a statement Friday. He added that these NGOs, 'have been supporting the transition to democracy in Egypt'. Browne, whose responsibilities include human rights and public diplomacy, praised Egyptian civil society organisations. 'Civil society (in Egypt) has a vitally important role to play in that transition and should be encouraged and supported rather than impeded,' he said."

Let Poland be Poland - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Former VOA Associate Director for Central Programming Ted Lipien has a nice piece in his blog

on Let Poland be Poland, and he quotes my work on the program." Image from

China’s diplomacy in 2011 and the international financial crisis - "Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi recently accepted an inclusive interview with People’s Daily on the international situation and China’s diplomacy in 2011. The full text of the interview reads as follows: ... Journalist: What are the new measures adopted in public and cultural diplomacy this year? FM Yang: Under the new situation, public and cultural diplomacy is an important direction for China’s diplomacy. We thoroughly implemented the spirit of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee, actively engaged in public and cultural diplomacy, and vigorously boosted cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries. Taking advantage of the 90th anniversary of the founding of CPC, the 100th anniversary of 1911 Revolution, the release of the White Paper on China’s Peaceful Development and other major activities, we explained to the world China’s determination and sincerity in pursuing peaceful development and showed the bright prospects for China’s development. We created the micro blog account Waijiao Xiaolingtong (which literally means foreign affairs information), 'Foreign Service Station' Radio, Lanting Forum, and other public diplomacy brands. We increased the frequency of regular press conference from twice a week to five times a week. We made full use of various media to introduce our domestic and foreign policies and development concepts to the audience at home and abroad. At the same time, we gave full play to the role of our embassies and consulates in external communication. Our senior diplomats abroad made speeches and accepted interviews up to 2700 times this year and they played a positive role in enhancing trust. We successfully carried out the 'Year of China', the 'Cultural Day', 'Experience China' and other large-scale cultural exchange activities and enhanced the international influence of Chinese culture." Image from

New Year Message, vice president of the Red Cross: Facing the challenge to be difficulties - "executive vice president of the Chinese Red Cross Zhao ... in this New Year’s reincarnation, I, on behalf of Red Cross Society of China (microblogging), to the care, love and support the cause of the Red Cross leadership, all walks of life, Red Cross workers will be members and volunteers to express my heartfelt thanks and sincere greetings. because we tied each other. Therefore, we cherish each other. 2011 years, the Chinese Red Cross is an unforgettable year. We experienced a sudden 'network events' credibility crisis caused by the face of doubts and criticism, we often feel that there are millions of ways to express, sometimes silence was nothing to say. We only have united, the difficulties with the successful completion of various tasks, the Chinese Red Cross to continue to strengthen the government in the humanitarian field as right-hand man, an important channel for the role of public diplomacy, to be bathed in fire Nirvana, the Red Cross in China the future development of the cause lay a more solid foundation."

Experiments with the new Kissinger - Shub Atpug, "In what has now come to known as ‘cricket diplomacy’, it was fathomed by experts and sports-lovers, that a game could also be played within the veins of the people across borders in an effort to bring a thaw in the otherwise complex rigmarole of political vendetta, which each side accuses of. Over the years, it has become a generally held opinion that cricket can be used to speak peace. It could be a catalyst that’s embarked on a medium meant towards an end, which itself, however, is ever so hazy. India and Pakistan - probably one of those very few bipolar scars on the face of the earth are now attuned, or resigned to the possibilities of what cricket can do for them, that political or public diplomacy couldn’t."


Urging Obama to Stop Rush to Iran War - Ray McGovern and Elizabeth Murray, A torrent of war propaganda against

Iran is flooding the American political scene as U.S. neocons and Israeli hardliners see an opening for another war in the Middle East, a momentum that ex-CIA analysts Ray McGovern and Elizabeth Murray urge President Obama to stop. McGovern image from

Military action isn’t the only solution to Iran - William H. Luers and Thomas R. Pickering, Washington Post: History teaches that engagement and diplomacy pay dividends that military threats do not. Deployment of military force can bring the immediate illusion of “success” but always results in unforeseen consequences and collateral damage that complicate further the achievement of America’s main objectives. Deploying diplomats with a strategy while maintaining some pressure on Iran will lower Tehran’s urgency to build a bomb and reduce the danger of conflict. The slow, elusive diplomatic process to achieve U.S. objectives does not provide the sound-bite satisfaction of military threats or action. Multiple, creative efforts to engage Iran’s leaders and provide a dignified exit from the corner in which the world community has placed them could achieve more durable solutions at a far lower cost. It is a lesson that those urging military action against Iran have failed to learn.

US Threatens War with Iran - Having been sufficiently provoked and attacked economically, Iran is lashing out at the true aggressors - the U.S. and its allies.

However, the American media has unleashed a barrage of propaganda, making it appear that Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz is totally unwarranted. Image from

Twitter and the #Taliban - Moves by the U.S. Congress to censor Twitter and other social media used by the Taliban are understandable. The dissemination of the poisonous message espoused by the group is unwelcome, and, indeed, Taliban propaganda can harm efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.

Even so, social media has proven time and again to be a friend of democracy movements. Unless matters of national security are being disclosed, the U.S. should resist the temptation to censor the Twitterverse. Image from article

This Revolution Isn’t Being Televised - Jon B. Alterman, New York Times: Many in Israel and America, and even some in Egypt, fear that the elections will produce an Islamist-led government that will tear up the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, turn hostile to the United States, openly support Hamas and transform Egypt into a theocracy that oppresses women, Christians and secular Muslims. They see little prospect for more liberal voices to prevail, and view military dictatorship as a preferable outcome. American interests, however, call for a different outcome, one that finds a balance — however uneasy — between the military authorities and Egypt’s new politicians. We do not want any one side to vanquish or silence the other. And with lopsided early election results, it is especially important that the outcome not drive away Egypt’s educated liberal elite, whose economic connections and know-how will be vital for attracting investment and creating jobs.

Japanese band students get a rosy introduction to the United States: Members of Japan's Green Band Assn. get an up-close look at American culture while visiting Southern California to march in the Rose Parade - Nicole Santa Cruz, Since 2008, marching bands from Japan have come to the United States to shine at the Rose Parade as part of the Green Band Assn., a nonprofit established in 1998.

The group's aim is to foster confidence among Japanese youths — especially boys, who rarely play instruments. But the group's other mission is to raise money for victims of natural disasters around the world. Host families are enjoying showing the current batch of students American holiday traditions, including, in some cases, a belated Christmas. Image from article, with caption: Tuba player Momoka Hirai, center, dances while playing with the members of the Green Band Assn. as they practice in Anaheim for Monday's Tournament of Roses Parade

Reuters latest propaganda mantra - We define a propaganda mantra as a false, fabricated, or misleading construct appearing repeatedly in a Reuters story so as to drum the notion into the mind of the reader until he or she simply surrenders his or her critical faculty and accepts the propaganda as truth. Correspondents in Reuters Jerusalem Bureau regularly dream up new entrants in this category and then employ them consistently in and across all stories published by the bureau. Examples of the many Reuters propaganda mantras can be seen in our right sidebar with counts as to how many times these phrases have appeared in Reuters stories over the last couple of years.

Kazakhstan’s social networking restrictions spur censorship debate - Ruby Russell and T. Umaraliev, The Washington Times: Kazakhstan’s crackdown on independent media and social networking sites this month has sparked a debate about censorship in this Central Asian nation. The Kazakh government shut down Internet access and mobile phone coverage early this month in the western region of Mangistau after ongoing protests there by oil workers on strike turned violent and police killed 15 people. Journalists were denied access to the region, and media coverage of events there have been restricted.

Japanese Propaganda Cartoons [includes videos]- Andrew Joseph, Japan - It's a Wonderful Rife!: Grab some of the flavor of WWII by watching some of Japan's propaganda cartoons! Japanese males were characterized as being courageous and composed, kind and tolerant.

China, meanwhile, is represented by women who are alluring, but obstinate and capricious. Western culture is disparaged through stereotypical portrayals, with Japanese or other Asian males with a Western education -- typically shown indulging in American cigarettes and jazz music -- portrayed as cowardly, deceitful, pleasure-seeking and venal. Image from article, with caption: Momotaro's Sea Eagle's 1943 Japanese Promotional Poster

comments - What is the difference between propaganda and counter-propaganda? Propaganda is a lie that flatters. Counter-propaganda is the truth that hurts.


"The average American spends at least eight and a half hours a day in front of a screen, Nicholas Carr notes in his eye-opening book 'The Shallows,' in part because the number of hours American adults spent online doubled between 2005 and 2009 (and the number of hours spent in

front of a TV screen, often simultaneously, is also steadily increasing)."

--Pico Iyer, "The Joy of Quiet," New York Times; image from

1 comment:

MAIKO said...

the press was so impressive.keep it up