Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31

"Diplomacy means all the wicked devices of the Old World, spheres of influence, balances of power, secret treaties, triple alliances, and, during the interim period, appeasement of Fascism."

--Barbara Tuchman, referring to "the deep-seated American distrust ... of diplomacy and diplomats"; Tuchman image from


DoD Science and Technology Strategic Communication/Social Media Programs - publicintelligence.net: "Name of Project [:] Echoes in DoD Educational Institutions [-] OSD/OUSD(P)/Support to Public Diplomacy (SPD) will provide to DoD PME 8 books (non-fiction and fiction) and 4 films by Muslims which counter ideological support terrorism (CIST) for use in CIST education, along with Introductory Guides for the 8 books and 4 films. International Media Ventures will handle translation and development of teaching guides, and SOCOM J239 will deliver items to US military educational institutions and socialize the materials. Make insightful, informative Arabic and Urdu media by Muslims which undermine support for violent extremism available to US military in English. Improve our US military capacity for CIST and cultural understanding. ... [Name of Project:] Regional Engagement Plan/Counter-Motivation [-] CMB1 includes several unfunded requirements from State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. These UFRs address core public diplomacy problems in countering ideological support to terrorism, youth engagement, and radicalization prevention. The execution of this program will deploy several independent programs into conflict regions using the latest advances in social media and networking technology. Youth Technology Core: Teams of IT-savvy Harvard students recruited to develop and promulgate code for a variety of social networking sites. Deliverables will span from simple applications for existing networks (Facebook) to all-new platforms with associated code. English Language Gaming: Tailorable and marketable games that teach the user English language, customs and culture. One game will be produced for deployment on the $100 Laptop project and another will be produced exclusively for mobile device usage (cell phones, smart phones, etc.)."

Naval Presence Shifts Towards 2020 - informationdissemination.net: "The pivot to the Pacific has completed, and this major pivot ends up being 4 Littoral Combat Ships, 3 amphibious ships, and 2 Joint High Speed Vessels.

I am very unclear how the politics of the pivot to Asia somehow became a public diplomacy centered around the maritime domain with the US Navy doesn't even move a single major surface combatant or submarine to the Pacific as part of this touted pivot." Image from entry

‘Old friends’ reuniting? - Bill's Blogabout: "What is described as an old Cold War alliance among the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, a long-time friend to both countries, seems to be re-emerging as the U.S. seeks to re-establish military ties with Pakistan, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. The U.S. regards Pakistan as pivotal to its new Asia policy to, in effect, contain China. The U.S. also is bringing Saudi Arabia into this hasty arrangement because of their close ties. At the same time, however, India is keeping a wary eye on Washington’s initiatives, especially after much fanfare by the Obama administration a few months ago with New Delhi for a renewed alliance. 'All this is great ‘public diplomacy,’ said former Indian Ambassador M. K. Bhadrakumar 'But are Indians such duffers as not to begin to seriously wonder what is the meaning of the deep rumblings at their side facing the West where the U.S.-Pakistan security and military tie-up is getting restored?' The U.S.-India relationship, too, is seen as a means of containing China as Washington encourages New Delhi to spread its influence more into the East China Sea which China has declared as being in its own historical domain."

Fulbright Association to present Doctors Without Borders with J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding - fulbright.org: "The Fulbright Association will present its 2012 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the international medical humanitarian organization. The formal award ceremony is scheduled for September 8, 2012, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C." Via LJB.

RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal "praised for its reliable reporting" of Pakistan's tribal areas - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Kremlin Propaganda Boss Lashes Out: Praises Huffington Post, Iran’s Press TV - freebeacon.com: "Margarita Simonyan, the editor in chief of the Kremlin’s worldwide, English-language Internet-video propaganda channel RT, has given an interview to Russian news site Itogi. In the interview, available only in Russian, Ms. Simonyan says of the network 'we fully agree with the foreign policy of this country [Russia].' [JB note: the original Russian is: 'Мы полностью солидарны с внешней политикой своей страны'.] She explains the mission of RT as shouting down the 'multi-million choir' of the Anglo-Saxon media. While deriding cable news competitors like Sky News and Fox, Simonyan

welcomes other state-owned media outlets like Iran’s Press TV and China’s CNC World as allies in Russia’s information war against the West. Simonyan also praises the Huffington Post and Alyona Minkovski, the Moscow-born anchor of RT’s Alyona Show who recently announced her departure from the Kremlin-run channel for a new Huffington Post venture HuffPost Live. Minkovski, much like Russian President Vladimir Putin, brooks no dissent." Simonyan image from article

Public Diplomacy Minister Edelstein's website hacked - Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post: "The website of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) was hacked overnight Monday. Edelstein called the hacking attack against edelstein.org.il/hebrew 'an act of terror in every way.' He said 'no one will succeed in stopping my work for Israeli public diplomacy and on behalf of the settlers of Judea and Samaria. We defeat our enemies everyday on every front and we will continue to do so on the Internet and in the media as well.' Edelstein is frequently criticized in the Arab media and social networking sites because he is perceived as being in charge of Israeli propaganda."

Participants at First Meeting on Public Diplomacy Call for a halt to seasonal and folkloric diplomacy - Karima Rhanem, Morocco World News: "Participants at the First Meeting on Public Diplomacy, organized by the Moroccan Association for Development and Parallel Diplomacy (AMADIP) in Rabat on July 27 and 28, at the Higher Institute of Information and Communication, stressed the need to unify visions and efforts of public diplomacy actors and have a proactive approach to diplomacy instead of a seasonal and folkloric one. Participants also called on the government to respect the principle of participative democracy and transparency in consulting with different actors of public diplomacy. Mustafa El Khalfi, Minister of Communication and Government spokesman, called for the launch of a project to measure the image of Morocco in the world. He also stressed the need for capacity building of public diplomacy actors. For his part, Driss El Yazami, president of the council of the Moroccan community abroad, highlighted the importance of involving the nearly 4 million members of the Moroccan community living abroad in public diplomacy efforts as they are Morocco’s Ambassadors, contributing to promote its image and interests in the world. Karim Medrek, Director of the Directorate of Public Diplomacy and Non-State Actors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, stated that his ministry is working to develop a strategy for activating the role of non-state actors in public diplomacy. He also expressed the ministry awareness of the need to involve all actors in building integrated public policies in order to face various challenges affecting Morocco’s foreign relations of Morocco with the rest of the world. Soumia Benkhaldoune, advidor to the Minister in charge of Relations with Parliament and Civil Society, expressed the ministry’s willingness to coordinate with civil society actors and those concerned with public diplomacy and official bodies in order to ensure coordination and collaboration in the field of public diplomacy. Director of the Institute for Information and Communication Mr. Issi Ali Aarab, and Mr. Driss Drissi, president of Senior Employees Forum of SNRT TV and Radio have emphasized the importance of the role of media in the marketing of Morocco’s branding as a modern state and the promotion of its values and main issues through public and digital media. Karima Rhanem, president of the Moroccan Association for Development and Parallel Diplomacy, and organizer of the event, stated that civil society, and public opinion in general, have been able to become an important equation in international affairs, making of public and parallel diplomacy one of the mechanisms to promote the country’s social, economic, cultural and political causes and values. This has also significantly contributed to enhancing communication and respect among different civilizations, and promoting peaceful interaction and cooperation among one another [.] 'Only through a strong partnership between official and public and parallel diplomacy – whether parliamentarian, economic, cultural, political and through civil society and media – we can effectively well position Morocco in the map of international politics,' said Karima Rhanem, AMADIP president. She also stressed that the management of foreign policy has become a key national issue, which requires a deep and frank national debate more specifically on the process of decision making, channels of communications, and the factors influencing official and non state actors in public diplomacy.

The meeting had touched on the problem of consensus on the key strategic directions of Moroccan diplomacy, the issue of coordination and complementarily between actors and their inclusion in the development of general public diplomacy strategies to avoid the risk of incoherence and contradiction of the general objectives of Moroccan diplomacy. The meeting also stressed the importance of capacity building to support the effectiveness of key public diplomacy actors while maintaining their independence, and enabling components of civil society and Moroccans Living abroad with public diplomacy experience based on scientific approach and field work. The issue of governance and transparency in dealing with the various public diplomacy actors was also among the important points raised by participants as key to enabling all actors and raising their awareness about the valuable contributions they can make at the service of the country’s national causes and interests [.] The meeting is organized in close collaboration with the Higher Institute of Information and Communication, the SNRT TV forum, the Washington Moroccan American Club, Friends of the Moroccan Sahara in Spain, and Morocco World News. It was attended by diplomats, media representatives’ civil society, parliamentarians and academia, in addition to members of the Moroccan community abroad, more specifically in the United States, Spain, France, Italy and Saudi Arabia. The association is currently working with its partners to issue the Rabat Declaration on a new vision for public diplomacy based on the recommendations proposed during the meeting. The declaration will be announced in the coming days during the press conference. The AMADIP, created in February 2012, aims at promoting national causes and values through a public diplomacy that strengthens friendship ties, reinforcing the values of tolerance, peace, exchange and intercultural dialogue among peoples of the world, thereby strengthening and expanding development partnerships at the national and international levels." Image from article

s speech showed that a more active U.S. China positioning [sic] - qnapoker.com: "Moderator: Also yesterday, President Obama in the dialogue also mentioned that the United States to Chinese students will reach 10 million, this figure is said, many people will be surprised that so many thousands of people. In addition, part of it comes at the end of our cooperation beyond intergovernmental cooperation should be based on people-based, you feel kind of public diplomacy in his foreign relations in the Obama administration, accounted occupy how position, do you think can play what role in promoting Sino-US cultural identity or the friendship between the people in the Obama Ma Duihua policy strategy [.] ... Obama said the U.S. government will take active measures to support Chinese students, this is good. Reached 100,000 people in fact much more than the number of U.S. students studying in China, thousands of people in the future is not enough, I hope the 50 million or more. Public diplomacy, a broader, just answer the

first question, the United States Barack Obama as now a great asset to this public diplomacy is part of President Obama personally engage in public diplomacy, such as dialogue in Shanghai. Broadly speaking, public diplomacy is very important for the normal development of Sino-US relations, but also conducive to China and the United States as a great national, cultural exchange, to communicate with people, in any case the normal relations between China and the United States should have the comparison one of the important part of the basis. But on the other hand, abercrombie, things in the world is not the solution to a problem or advancing a problem, all other problems can be solved. I want to do a good job in public diplomacy, to do a good job in the inter-governmental diplomacy, especially the inter-governmental diplomacy, done well, but also contribute to further health and development of public diplomacy, for example, ralph lauren pas cher, if the official Sino-US relations is done well, so may inhibit the erroneous view of the U.S. public opinion, but also conducive to the development of communication and public relations between the two peoples." Image from

Zhao said that the foreign understanding of Chinese long-term process can not Ji [sic] - adwords-questions.com: "Zhao concluded that,abercrombie, to carry out the foreigners to understand China is a long process,abercrombie pas cher, not instant success,abercrombie pas cher, the development of China’s public diplomacy is still promising. ‘s political views is to set up a Tibetan, abercrombie france, the Chinese quarter of the population into his parish. We always said he is not a religion,abercrombie, is to split the molecules, abercrombie, the story did not clear completely rely on the diplomat said it is not enough to please the Tibetans,abercrombie pas cher, the Lama said,abercrombie france, and perhaps clear." Image from

Li Xiaolin diplomatic personnel need to bite the bullet for the country to seek - adwords-questions.com: "She also said that China is whether it is in public diplomacy or civil diplomatic level,abercrombie, efforts need to be. 'We need to cultivate the talents of a group of able to cope with the backbone of the international diplomatic occasions,abercrombie, they must not only doing things to ease, abercrombie france, to be able to bite the bullet, polo ralph lauren pas cher, fight for a longer period of strategic opportunities for China to make our economy and livelihood development in a favorable international environment. Li Xiaolin said.'

Chinese leaders frequently visit the spring of Foreign Affairs is about to wrap - question2reponse.com: "Qu Xing: In recent years, chaussures louboutin, with China’s development, foreign attention on China’s increasingly high. With the development of information technology of the networked world, ordinary people influence government decision-making. Exchanges between countries, not only at the government level have an official government activities, focusing on the exchange of ordinary people is also very important. China in recent years to strengthen public diplomacy is an important way. Prime Minister with the Polish people in the streets of a small classification has attracted a lot of local people, tourists, and they all gathered to watch.

Random exchanges, the Prime Minister passed to the Polish people’s friendly feelings of the Chinese people, and also enable the two peoples to enhance communication and understanding. So, I think this is to strengthen public diplomacy, christian louboutin, the brush on the adaptation of modern public opinion, the characteristics of foreign direct effect on the other side of civil. The entire speech lasted over 40 minutes, counting a moment, to win the applause of up to more than 20 times in the speech process, there are seven times his speech was interrupted by enthusiastic applause. ... Vice President Xi Jinping the Dvorák Cech and his wife said, 'remember, I live in your son’s bedroom, you have a lovely daughter, she asked me a lot of curious questions.' Why the seemingly 'free pen' tight visit schedule of the national leaders will be the activities of ordinary people Director of the China Institute of International Studies, said Qu Xing, these seemingly 'free pen ' public diplomacy activities, it is precisely the diplomatic 'flash in the pan.[']" Image from

The State Council issued the Red Cross cause the [sic] - adapter-battery-store.com: "The view that the Red Cross Society of China as the uniform of the People’s Republic of China Red Cross organization and an important member of the International Red Cross Movement, China’s economic and social development to make an important contribution to become an important force in the socialist harmonious society, spiritual civilization Batterie pour Caméscope force and an important channel for public diplomacy. The Red Cross is an important part of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the development of the Red Cross is to strengthen and innovate the public administration, to protect and improve the reality of people’s livelihood needs, promote the Red Cross spirit of strengthening the socialist core value system."


Afghanistan war: When 'friends' attack, who can you trust? In Afghanistan, our soldiers are being attacked by the men they're training to take over for them. That's a mission failure - Tom Engelhardt, latimes.com: The attacks appear not to be coordinated, but they nevertheless seem to represent a kind of collective rejection of what the U.S. and NATO are trying to accomplish, some kind of primal Afghan scream from an armed people who have known little but fighting, bloodshed and destruction for more than three decades.

What we're seeing, in the most violent form imaginable, is a sweeping message from our Afghan allies, from the security forces Washington plans to continue supporting long after most American troops have been withdrawn. To the extent that bullets can be translated into words, that message would be something like "Your mission has failed; get out or die." Image from

Report: Anti-Americanism handicaps U.S. aid in Pakistan - Ashish Kumar Sen, Washington Times: High levels of anti-Americanism in Pakistan have “handicapped” U.S. efforts to support development in the South Asian nation, according to a new study. The Center for Global Development, in a report released Monday, urged the United States to work with the World Bank and other international aid agencies with programs in Pakistan. Recent polls have found high levels of anti-Americanism among Pakistanis, fueled in part by U.S. drone strikes on terrorist suspects in the tribal border region with Afghanistan. A survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project earlier this year found roughly three-in-four Pakistanis consider the United States an enemy. Milan Vaishnav, a co-author of the report, said, “Because security concerns dominate U.S. policy towards Pakistan, there is no consensus across government agencies on the U.S. development strategy.” Since the passage of the legislation in October 2009, the U.S. government has disbursed $2.8 billion in civilian assistance, including roughly $1 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance to Pakistan, according to the State Department. “The problem is not just the tumultuous environment in Pakistan,” the report said. “It is also a matter of self-inflicted wounds: unrealistic expectations associated with new money (more money, in retrospect, brought on more not fewer problems); the system-wide shortcomings of U.S. aid programs throughout the world; and the political difficulty of dealing with a reluctant Congress on new trade and private sector support programs for developing countries.”

Snapshot: US Mission Iraq Staffing as of July 2012 - Domani Spero, DiploPundit: The following numbers and info from the July 30 SIGIR report: As of early July, according to DoS, 15,007 personnel were supporting the U.S. Mission in Iraq: 1,235 U.S. government civilian employees (includes full-time and temporary government employees and personal-services contractors) 13,772 contractor personnel (U.S., Iraqi, and third-country nationals), 5,737 of whom were providing security services.

Vietnam blogger's mother 'dies in self-immolation' - bangkokpost.com: The mother of a prominent Vietnamese blogger has died after setting herself on fire ahead of her daughter's trial for propaganda against the Communist state, people close to the family said Monday. Ho Chi Minh City's 7th military zone stadium is seen in 2007. The mother of a prominent Vietnamese blogger has died after setting herself on fire ahead of her daughter's trial for propaganda against the Communist state, sources close to the family said. Ta Phong Tan, a 43-year-old Catholic former policewoman, was arrested in September 2011 and has been held in detention along with two other bloggers, one of whose case has been raised by US President Barack Obama. Tan's mother Dang Thi Kim Lieng set herself ablaze early Monday, according to Catholic activists and lawyers whose accounts to AFP were corroborated by reports on dissident blogs and the BBC's Vietnamese-language service.

Flipping The Script: The Western Media's Syria Propaganda Is Falling Apart - Saman Mohammadi, axisoflogic.com: The media's insane lies were repeated for months. Major media channels were engaged in non-stop propaganda warfare to destroy the independent Syrian state and reduce Syrians to slavery.

But then something remarkable and unexpected happened. Some Western journalists began telling the truth about the origins of the conflict, the true motives behind the West's anti-Syria propaganda, and the nature of the unpopular Syrian opposition. The spell was broken. Image from entry, with caption: What is written in the press is lies. What is hidden in plain view is the truth.

"Free Syrian Army" is Al Qaeda: WikiLeaks Propaganda About Chemical Weapons in Syria - Susanne Posel, globalresearch.ca: Members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are not just tied to al-Qaeda, the CIA-funded fake Islamic terrorist group, they ARE al-Qaeda. In a video of members of the FSA, these men are brandishing AK-47s provided to them by the CIA and have al-Qaeda flags flying in the background.


Obama’s purported link to early American slave is latest twist in family tree - Krissah Thompson, Washington Post: President Obama’s extraordinary family story gained a new layer this week as a team of genealogists found evidence that he is most likely a descendant of one of the first documented African slaves in this country.

The link to slavery, which scholars of genealogy and race in the United States called remarkable, was found to have existed approximately 400 years back in the lineage of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. It was discovered by a team of four genealogists from Ancestry.com whose findings from two years of work were released in a report Monday. Using property and tax records, the team uncovered “a lot of context and circumstantial evidence” that points to an enslaved black man named John Punch being Obama’s ancestor, said Joseph Shumway, one of the genealogists who worked on the report. Because his father immigrated from Kenya and his mother, who was born in Kansas, was white, Obama was thought to have no direct ancestral links to slaves. Image from

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 29-30

“I have a duty, and I execute the duty.”

--Drone operator US Col. D. Scott Brenton; image from


Rainmakers? - Donna Oglesby, Winnowing Fan: "It has been clear for some time that the average Afghan has no idea why our troops have been in their country for more than a decade.  ... As one who practiced public diplomacy and believes cultural understanding alone is hard enough to achieve, I find [the] confidence that -- done right -- influence operations can change human behavior abroad optimistic. ... I ... do not share the view that behavioral modification abroad is doable when informing and persuading is [sic] not. ... [O]ur own motivations to war in the aftermath of 9/11 could have been driven by a desire to restore our honor and eliminate our fear. Had we faced that, instead of fabricating an image that then obligated us to implement policies wasting years, lives and a fortune on failed nation building, we would now be capable of speaking the truth. In leaving Afghanistan we would only have to say, ‘honor has been served, we are keeping our word.’ We might even be believed.”

Public Schedule for July 30, 2012 - U.S. Department of State: "UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS TARA SONENSHINE 1:00 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine hosts a meet and greet for Congressional staff, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 2:00 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine attends the selection committee meeting for Secretary Clinton’s Awards for Corporate Excellence, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE) 4:15 p.m. Under Secretary Sonenshine meets with U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Douglas Griffiths, at the Department of State. (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)"

Oh Danny Boy – The impact of the Olympic Opening Ceremony - howtoattractpublicsandinfluencestates.wordpress.com: "Seven years after the awarding of the 2012 Olympic Games, and over five years of preparation, the thirtieth (30th) Olympiad is finally underway, for sixteen days of top sporting action. However, as the profile of the Games has exponentially increased over the years, the Games is no longer seen purely as a celebration of the best of sport, but also a celebration of the host country, a communication exercise intended to increase a country’s ‘soft power’ and relative standing within the international arena. Invariably they are public relations instruments; tools used in ‘public diplomacy’. They are occasions on which to improve the image of a country, to communicate old and new values, traditions, history and goals. ... However, while Britain’s hosting was meant to be a celebration; an exercise in ‘public diplomacy’ of how 'Great' Britain actually is, the weeks prior to the start of the Games there were fears that it would not quite go to plan as Britain’s hosting was widely derided and beset with ‘public diplomacy’ 'gaffes'. From the US Presidential Mitt Romney doubting Britain’s appetite for hosting such an event, to the security scandal surrounding G4S, questions over the £9 billion cost to the British public purse and doubts creeping in over Sebastian Coe’s legacy proposals it looked at points that hosting would backfire’ that it would lead to negative perceptions and diminish rather than advance British ‘soft power’. By the time the opening ceremony ended, the plan to utilise the Olympics as a giant ‘public diplomacy’ and communication exercise was back on track. The pre-Olympic 'gaffes' have now been consigned to history and the talk of the city and indeed the world is Danny Boyle’s extravagant ceremony, which truly celebrated the best of Britain.

The opening ceremony to some is seen as the 'apothesis of Olympic public diplomacy', as the Olympic tradition represents a 'concentration of features, qualities and messages' which are culturally specific and universal. It is a spectacle that aims to 'challenge, educate and entertain audiences'. With its worldwide audience – the 2012 opening ceremony was expected to draw an audience of 1 billion – it represents a significant moment in a country’s hosting of the Olympics to 'showcase to the world' its magnificence; a huge platform on which to communicate with the rest of the world. ... Overall, the ceremony was quirky, it has its wow moments, it was educating and a celebration, but above all it was 'weirdly British'. ... It was a showcase to show everyone what Britain is about. A great tribute; a great celebration and in some assertions a more powerful statement than Beijing as it exuded ‘self-confidence and soft power’, as it celebrated culture rather than hard power as in China." Olympics opening ceremony image from

‘Small’ Georgia Takes on ‘Big’ Russia with New Media - Andrey Tselikov, isnblog:
"Georgia is your typical small state: it has a tiny population, a developing economy, and territorial disputes with its largest neighbor Russia. In August 2008 when, Russia briefly invaded the tiny country, no one was particularly surprised that Georgia was unable to counter this show of force. A small state by definition cannot project sufficient military or economic power to meet a security threat. Since such 'hard power' options are unavailable to them, small states are often left with 'soft power' as an only means of influencing their adversaries. Soft power comes in many flavors, including public diplomacy and propaganda, traditionally costly endeavors.

Fortunately for Georgia, soft power is easier to exercise in an age of global communications. For a politically hostile state (it wants to join NATO and has long opposed Russia’s entry into the WTO), Georgia enjoys surpringly good standing among the Russian public. This is partly because of Russia’s historical relationship with the country, and Russian affinity for Georgian food and wine. Another reason, however, is Georgian use of online communities to project soft power. ... Although the Georgian government seems to be following a conscious strategy of co-opting the Russian public through smart use of new media, it’s unclear if it will soon see results. After all, public diplomacy works best under a functioning democracy." Image from entry

Oil and Murder (again) - Caroline Jaine, dawn.com: "I had been visiting the Foreign AND Commonwealth Office, taking a group of Russian students on a tour. 'And in this very room, we were recently delighted to welcome, Aung San Suu Kyi', a British diplomat told us. I remembered the massive public diplomacy campaign around the Nobel Prize winner’s release that the British government had invested in during my time working there. Huge images of Aung San Suu Kyi had been projected onto the EU Parliament building. I also remembered that the remarkable lady had been on a world tour of late – thanking the 'West' for their support during the time of her imprisonment."

Ed Miliband’s Post-New Labour Foreign Policy - Progressive Internationalism: "A new Fabian Society pamphlet that maps out Labour’s policy direction under Ed Miliband has successfully set the centre-left all-a-flutter this month. As ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ landed on doorsteps, the prospect of a clear post-New Labour policy agenda has justifiably excited many people who crave more detail on Ed Miliband’s policy priorities for government.

Alongside chapters on the welfare state, education and the economy, the pamphlet also covers Ed Miliband’s foreign and defence policy. ... Ed Miliband has proved that he can connect with people on some key issues, such as the need to fundamentally reform our banking institutions. It’s true that connecting with the public is the job of politicians, and that is no different on foreign affairs than it is on the economy. The coalition have given Labour plenty of opportunities to publicly challenge their approach to foreign affairs, and so Ed should be comfortable in using public diplomacy to make political arguments. Miliband image from

The Geopolitical Spotlight on Poland 1980-81: Pragmatic Efficiency of Public Diplomacy - Joanna Diane Caytas, foreignpolicyjournal.com: "It is an axiomatic fact of realpolitik that public diplomacy carries neither a presumption of truth and accuracy nor of completeness and objectivity. It behooves us never to forget that it is first and foremost an instrument of advocacy, a means to an end. Its purpose lies in the state actor’s preference for low-level engagement as opposed to the cost, on various levels, of having to employ means more expensive by multiple criteria. Among the tools employed, use of information reported by ostensibly independent media to the extent of creating factual disinformation figures prominently. It happened over and over in modern history that the creation of a smokescreen, a distraction, permitted a power player to conduct or justify in

its shadow policies that would have been far more difficult to rationalize for public acceptance by other means. It is a strategy the U.S. does – and is still well-advised to – employ in a multitude of confrontations that have not passed the threshold of direct international military engagement. ... The imposition of martial law in Poland represented the optimal solution for the Soviet Union: although it did nothing to resolve the underlying causes of social unrest provoked by the country’s economic difficulties and lack of civil liberties, it did preserve the dictatorial rule of the communist party for several more years, until the final dissolution of the Eastern Bloc itself started again in Poland in 1989. ... Jaruzelski’s scare of a Soviet invasion can be characterized as yet another propaganda move of many that were so popular throughout the Cold War period: its exaggerated threat ended in an anticlimactic domestic disciplinarian move that convinced both the American and the Polish public with a sentiment of shivers that, luckily, the worst had been averted yet again. In reality, and by the standards of historic consequences, the imposition of martial law in Poland had turned out to be little more than a self-serving public relations gambit of this only lifelong professional soldier that ever became the leader of a ruling European Communist Party and subsequently rose to head of state." Image from article, with caption: Strike in the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk. 1980

Exploring St. Petersburg's History, People and Culture - The Sholk Road Adventures: "The journey began at 9:30 on Tuesday evening, when the group met at the Vladimir train station to take an overnight train to St. Petersburg. Now, I LOVE Soviet-trains. The train is a great opportunity to interact with Russians, engage in cultural diplomacy and gain insights into Russian (and Kazakh) culture. It is also great fun. ... I was in a bottom bunk perpendicular to a Grandma and Grandpa who were from Murmansk and traveling with their 12-year old grandson.

They had spent several weeks in the countryside and were returning home. When they saw 28 young and energetic Americans board the train, they were beyond excited. The grandson was so excited to practice English. I spent the first few hours on the train engaged in conversation with the grandparents and the grandson, during which they shared photos of their summer vacation and the grandson showed me his coin collection. He gave me some old Soviet coins minted in 1992 and 1989 as a gift. I of course gave him a quarter and some other American coins to add to his international collection. As hospitable Russians, the grandparents offered us caramels and I gave them two peaches I purchased earlier in the day for the purpose of sharing. This, my friends, is 'people to people' interactions -- the highest form of public diplomacy." Image from article, with caption: Fellow CLS participants and I with our new Russian friend on the train

The Dark Knight - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "I went to see the latest Batman last night at Tysons Corner mall. Truth be told, the mall scares me far more than Iraq. But I am working on learning on how to stop worrying and love the mall, if only because it is one of the places in America where American diversity is on full display. Anywho, I saw the flick with my friend Matt Wallin. He is a pd colleague from USC who is laying the foundations for solid public diplomacy work at the American Security Project. It was nice to catch up on the pd work he has been doing over the summer, and how he is learning the DC ropes. ... I loved the public diplomacy side of Batman. The constant reoccurring theme of symbols, and how to communicate ideas to the people, and give them something to believe in, be it hope or fear. The underlying pd narrative of Batman relates to the communication of emotions, and which visceral emotions will rule Gotham. I also liked the interplay on building heroes upon the backs of lies. If the foundations are shaky, can the edifice really stand?"

Former Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani Rejoins Hudson Institute - press release, PR Newswire: "His [Haqqani] areas of expertise include public diplomacy, Muslim political movements, international journalism, intercultural relations, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle-East, and U.S.-Pakistan relations."

‘sup, Diplomacy? – World Edition - Nika Ankouexchangediplomacy.com: "Written by Nika Ankou, master’s candidate in the Public Diplomacy Program at Syracuse University. ... [M]y training in public diplomacy gives me unrestricted

career opportunities in any field at any location on the globe." Image from


U.S. Fund to Rebuild Afghanistan Is Criticized - Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times: The Pentagon and State Department secured $400 million from Congress for what was christened the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund and drew up plans for seven projects, five of them aimed at increasing the electricity supply in southern Afghanistan to light shops and power factories. The projects were to be completed by mid-2013, just as the NATO combat mission was to wind down. Yet as the remaining surge forces prepare to leave Afghanistan, significant work on five of the seven projects has not yet begun and is unlikely to be completed until well after the NATO mission ends in 2014, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the government agency charged with documenting how billions of dollars in American reconstruction funds are being spent.

As a result, a program that was intended to bring soldiers and civilians together to buttress the Obama administration’s counterinsurgency strategy could end up undercutting it, according to the report, which is to be released Monday. The difficulties the report describes provide insight into why the results of the surge have appeared ambiguous and the broader American-led reconstruction effort in Afghanistan has often foundered, despite the nearly $90 billion that Congress has appropriated for it over the past decade. The American Embassy and military command in Kabul, in a joint statement, rebutted the report’s findings, saying that officials had engaged in a “rigorous process” of reviewing and refining the infrastructure projects. Image from

Retiring Envoy to Afghanistan Exhorts U.S to Heed Its Past  - Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times: The American diplomat most associated with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan says that American policy makers need to learn the lessons of the recent past as they weigh military options for the future, including for Syria and Iran: ¶ Remember the law of unintended consequences. ¶ Recognize the limits of the United States’ actual capabilities. ¶ Understand that getting out of a conflict once you are in can often be dangerous and as destructive for the country as the original conflict. Via LJB.

Coming Soon: The Big Trade-Off - Thomas Friedman, New York Times: Good luck, world! It’s been fun hanging with you, but we can’t pay for it anymore — not with all of us baby boomers about to retire with no savings. We have a new strategic doctrine coming: “U.S. foreign policy in the age of Alzheimer’s.” We’ll do what we can afford and forget the rest. Nursing homes, nursery schools or nursing Afghanistan — these are the trade-offs we’ll have to make in this decade, unless we have a real growth spurt.

U.S. audit: $200M wasted on Iraqi police training - Lara Jakes, Washington Times: U.S. auditors have concluded that more than $200 million

was wasted on a program to train Iraqi police that Baghdad says is neither needed nor wanted. The Police Development Program— which was drawn up to be the single largest State Department program in the world — was envisioned as a five-year, multibillion-dollar push to train security forces after the U.S. military left last December. But Iraqi political leaders, anxious to keep their distance from the Americans, were unenthusiastic. A report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, released Monday, found that the American Embassy in Baghdad never got a written commitment from Iraq to participate. Now, facing what the report called Baghdad’s “disinterest” in the project, the embassy is gutting what was supposed to be the centerpiece of ongoing U.S. training efforts in Iraq. Image from

When the government kills: The Constitution's guarantee of due process means the president can't act as judge, jury and executioner of suspected terrorists, especially when they are U.S. citizens - Editorial, latimes.com: If the United States is going to continue down the troubling road of state-sponsored assassination, Congress should, at the very least, require that a court play some role, as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court does with the electronic surveillance of suspected foreign terrorists.

Even minimal judicial oversight might make the president and his advisors think twice about whether an American citizen poses such an "imminent" danger that he must be executed without a trial. Image from article, with caption: Protesters demonstrate outside the White House alongside a model of an unmanned flying vehicle. Drones have become controversial in their growing military use for surveillance and attack missions.

A Syrian standoff: Shared interests must pull the United States, China and Russia together - Rajan Menon, latimes.com: It is true that even under the best of conditions, the prospects are bleak that a coordinated major-power strategy can engineer the voluntary transfer of power from Assad to a transitional government, pending elections. Yet this much is certain: If China, Russia and the United States don't try, the chances will be zero. That won't be good for Syrians, or for them.

Syria After the Fall - Vali Nasr, New York Times: The United States and its allies must enlist the cooperation of Mr. Assad’s allies — Russia and, especially, Iran — to find a power-sharing arrangement for a post-Assad Syria that all sides can support, however difficult that may be to achieve.

War, Syrian Style? Has Assad Ordered Mass Rapes? - Russ Baker, whowhatwhy.com: A growing refrain out of Syria is that widespread rape is taking place—and sanctioned by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

But when WhoWhatWhy examined the allegations, it found that well-intentioned women’s groups trying to document and prevent such abuses may be falling victim to a deliberate disinformation campaign intent on rallying public support for toppling Assad. Image from entry

Iran Sanctions Test: How Congress can close the loopholes that Tehran is exploiting - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal: Nearly everyone in Congress agrees that crippling sanctions ought to be imposed on Iran. Or at least they claim to agree. We're about to find out who means it. House and Senate conferees are now working to reconcile two new Iran sanctions bills before the August Congressional recess. The bills seek to close various loopholes by expanding the list of Iranian entities subject to sanctions. They also call on the Obama Administration to impose penalties on foreign companies doing business with Iranian energy and financial companies. Unfortunately for this approach, the Iranians are pros when it comes to creating hundreds of new front companies to replace those on the sanctions' list. The Administration will resist these stiffer penalties, as it has consistently resisted previous Congressional attempts to impose the harshest possible sanctions. But that's all the more reason for the conferees to present the President with the toughest bill possible, and see where he really stands.

The Russia Trade Pile-Up: Congress balks as Obama abandons his own proposal - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal: So how can legislation supported by business groups, democracy activists, Senate Democrats, House Republicans and the Obama Administration be in danger of failing? Answer: Only in Washington. That's where things stand with a bill to normalize trade with Russia that includes a provision to sanction gross abusers of human rights. Early last week all looked good. Then on Monday every House Member received a letter from the United Steelworkers and the Communication Workers of America. The unions called the bill "woefully deficient" in enforcing Russian compliance with World Trade Organization rules. Meanwhile, the Administration has been missing in action.

Consign Bush's 'torture memos' to history: How should we mark the 10th anniversary of the effort by the Bush administration to justify torture? By ensuring it never happens again - Morris D. Davis, latimes.com: The Senate Intelligence Committee has undertaken an investigation into the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques. It is essential that its findings be released to the public so that the American people can know the truth about what was done in their name.

And we should mark the 10th anniversary of the effort by the Bush administration to justify torture, remembering that as a nation founded on religious and moral values, we must work to ensure that U.S. government-sponsored torture never occurs again. Image from article, with caption: As the Bush administration developed its interrogation policies, it concealed various forms of torture under the moniker "enhanced interrogation techniques." Above: Military police guard cells at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay.

Rescuing Salvadoran Democracy: The U.S. should withhold aid to a government trampling on its constitution - Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Wall Street Journal: Should the U.S. pour nearly a half-billion dollars in development aid into El Salvador, even though the government in San Salvador has been trampling the rule of law? The answer is obvious. Without a reliable legal framework, development is unlikely. Uncle Sam would only be wasting taxpayer resources.


"England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn’t been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler’s ambitions."

--From Mitt Romney’s 2010 book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness; cited at; via PR; image from

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28

"Americans are ... confusing 'Syria' with Siri the Apple robot voice or Suri, Tom Cruise’s child."

--American diplomat Peter Van Buren; image from


Full Transcript of web chat on the theme of People-to-People Ties: The Heart of the U.S.-India Partnership on July 19 with Ambassador Nirupama Rao and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy Tara Sonenshine, moderated by Ambassador Robert Blake, U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs - indianembassy.org.

Rao image from entry

US Embassy Thailand: Ambasssador Kenney and All Get High Marks; OIG Runs Out of Synonyms - Domani Spero, DiploPundit: "State/OIG [Office of the Inspector General] recently posted online its compliance follow-up review (CFR) of our two posts in Thailand, the US Embassy in Bangkok and USCG Chiang Mai. Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney arrived in Bangkok in January 2011, while her DCM, Judith B. Cefkin, arrived at post in July 2010.

Below are the main key judgments: ... The Ambassador’s emphasis on public diplomacy, especially a trailblazing use of social media, effectively promotes the U.S. foreign policy agenda in Thailand." Image from entry, with caption: Here’s Ambassador Kenney and DCM Cefkin in their matching blue dresses during the embassy’s Fourth of July celebration.

Discussion of the Smith-Mundt domestic dissemination ban continues to elude reality - Kim Andrew Elliot reporting on International Broadcasting: Commenting on Heritage Foundation, 18 July 2012, Helle Dale, Elliott writes: "There is absolutely nothing stopping Americans from accessing access the information that U.S. government-funded entities broadcast to the rest of the world. The websites of those entities, as well as the mentioned 135 State Department websites, are accessible to Americans, but could readily be prevented from reaching US IP addresses. This doesn't happen because the domestic dissemination prohibition is not observed. Mrs. Dale is correct that one of the key arguments for the elimination (or not requiring the enforcement of) the domestic dissemination ban is that Americans, who want to know, should know what international broadcasting and public diplomacy content the United States is sending to the world."

Blogger offers "less extreme alternatives" to the China Media Reciprocity Act - Kim Andrew Elliot reporting on International Broadcasting

BBG confirms "commitment to supporting freedom and democracy for all Tibetans" - Kim Andrew Elliot reporting on International Broadcasting

China`s public diplomacy and activist - Ha Tae-won, english.donga.com: "Strengthening public diplomacy is Beijing’s national agenda. Its strategy is to break away from its traditional diplomacy with foreign governments. China is seeking to enhance its national image and foster its soft power by approaching the people of another country to enhance their understanding of China. In short, public diplomacy is aimed at turning the people of other countries in favor of my country. Zhao Qizheng, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said in a lecture in Seoul early this month that his country will take the lead in seeking harmony in the world. However, many still feel China is an imperious country that is sometimes impossible to communicate with. When Chinese fishermen violated South Korean waters and killed a South Korean coast guard, Beijing told Seoul to 'enforce its law with full respect' for the Chinese people rather than offer an apology. China also occasionally pressures other countries to follow the Chinese way. China’s 113-day detention and electric torture of a South Korean human rights activist for North Korea will likely deal a severe blow to its public diplomacy efforts toward Seoul. If China considers South Korea a true friend, it should investigate the case and offer an apology."

US Media: China Was The First Soft Power - asolarbattery.over-blog.com: "In Beijing and Shanghai of China's public diplomacy practitioners and academics Exchange, I found them on China's public diplomacy strategy should look like, what China wants from the public diplomacy issues there was no consensus. the Chinese enthusiasm for public diplomacy is there, but no comprehensive plan. This lack of a consistent phenomenon, partly due to the Chinese have not yet accepted their is already a real superpower. I heard many people complaining about how the international media on China's unfair. I would say, is not treated fairly is a superpower must learn to live with it, but my Chinese counterparts did not seem to understand." Below image from

Bobo passenger space China Overseas Chinese - opensource4arab.com: "In general, the public diplomacy include two main elements: to provide information (including information to foreign and international broadcast), the international education and international cultural exchange activities. Chinese public diplomacy after the Cold War focused on providing information and international education activities, which are the two pillars of China's public diplomacy."

Interface – Kevin McElligott - gra617.expressions.syr.edu: "My gridded interface design for the Syracuse Public Diplomacy site came to life organically, as most do. ... Public diplomacy is a rich and complex field; sadly, the website did not mirror those values. Intended to reach the vast target publics of current and prospective PD students, professional diplomacy scholars and administrators, it was my intention to deliver a professional site that allowed for above-the-fold access to critical information in five seconds or less while accommodating the increasing use of mobile devices.

I did this using large visuals, column headers, and other navigation elements in an easy-to-follow grid. The inclusion of white space was similar to the initial site, but the distinctive (and larger) typeface made it appear more streamlined and welcoming while reducing eye strain." Image from entry

Photo Essay: Children of War -- Why we need a code of conduct for images of kids in conflict zones - James Thomas Snyder, Foreign Policy: "In 2009, while I was working in public diplomacy on NATO's international staff in Brussels, I was asked to produce a promotional campaign to be posted in the Washington, D.C., Metro system for NATO's 60th-anniversary summit in Strasbourg and Kehl. In response, I asked member countries to suggest powerful images that showed Allied forces in action in Afghanistan.

I received dozens of images (including the one above, of Dutch troops transporting residents of Uruzgan province to safety after their district was flooded in 2007) and went through thousands more using a variety of online combat camera resources in an effort to demonstrate each country's contributions to NATO's most important mission since the end of the Cold War. It was harder than it sounds. James Thomas Snyder served on NATO's international staff from 2005 to 2011. He is writing a book on U.S. public diplomacy that will be published in 2013." Image part of the photo essay.

Weekend Delegation - joycey4.wordpress.com: "[M]y plan [is] to take the Foreign Service Officer exam coming up in October or January. 'My goal,' I [said], 'is to go into Public Diplomacy'."


The time for patience in Syria is over - Editorial Board, Washington Post: No one is arguing for a Libyan-style intervention into Syria at this point. But the United States and its NATO allies could begin contingency planning for a no-fly zone, now that Mr. Assad is deploying aircraft against the opposition. Instead of providing only non-lethal support, such as medical supplies and communications gear, America could help supply weapons to the outgunned opposition fighters. It could work with Turkey and other allies to set up havens for them.

Preparing for Assad's Exit - Marc Lynch, Foreign Policy: It has never been more clear that the Obama administration was right to reject calls for American military intervention, and should continue to do so. Nor should the U.S. be joining the dangerous game of arming the insurgency, which seems to be getting plenty of weapons from other sources.

Instead, the U.S. should be focusing on supporting the Syrian opposition politically, mitigating the worst effects of the civil war and insurgency, pushing to bring Syrian war criminals to justice, and maintaining its pressure on Assad through sanctions and diplomatic isolation. Image from article

Syrians to US Ambassador Ford: Piss Off - Peter van Buren, We Meant Well: The US can’t contain its glee over the ongoing chaos and destruction in Syria. A massive bombing that killed senior officials, an act that would have instantly been labeled terrorism anywhere else, was delightfully lightly commented on by the White House. Atrocities are occurring on all sides (it is too complex to simply refer to the ongoing free-for-all as “both” sides, as if this was a sporting match) but the US seems to single out nasty things done by the government while downplaying those by the other side(s), including a growing who’s who of Middle East terror groups.

While more-or-less openly supporting chaos, the US still feels the need on a random summer Friday to play at the same tired rhetoric of “democracy and freedom” (“daf”) that it trots out now and then. Today’s trotter is US ambassador to Syria in exile Robert Ford. Ford is an old State Department hand, with plenty of mileage in the Iraq fiasco to his credit, and rumored in fact to be the next ambassador nominee to Iraq. Ford’s address “to the Syrian people” takes place in English and on Facebook for some reason. He is not Lincoln or Pericles. While it is barely worth the effort itself of the mouse click, the comments below it, many purportedly from Syrians, are worth your time. One writes “Our memory is LONG LONG LONG Mr. Ford, who the hell do you think you are messing with?” while another is more to the point in saying “piss off Ford.” Ford image from entry

Balkans Redux: From Bosnia to Syria - Nebojsa Malic, antiwar.com: The Bosnia intervention was promoted by "advocacy journalists", who uncritically accepted propaganda accounts of atrocities, then inflated them for good measure. Syria has denied access to these vultures, but that hasn’t made much of a difference. Western mainstream media simply skipped the expense of sending correspondents, uncritically airing propaganda from the rebel "activists" instead. Facts are nowhere in the picture; it is all about the narrative.

Romney isn’t out to make the world swoon - Fouad Ajami, Washington Post: The late Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington once sketched three visions of the United States’ place in the world: nationalist, cosmopolitan and imperial. In the nationalist view, America defends her interests in the world and marks ideological borders and differences with other nations. In the cosmopolitan view, the foreign world and globalization reshape America, erasing the differences that separate it from other countries. In the imperial vision, America remakes the world by remaking foreign lands. An imperial push can’t be sustained; the United States lacks the resources and the drive for such grand ambitions. So we are down to a more realistic distinction. Obama embodies the cosmopolitan aspiration, and Romney the nationalist idea. We have already seen Obama’s worldview at work; it probably wouldn’t change in a second term. Romney’s stewardship would dawn without trumpets and drums. It would have the sobriety of Gerald Ford’s and George H.W. Bush’s leadership. But there would be an ideological edge, illustrated in Romney’s VFW address: “Like a watchman in the night, we must remain at our post — and keep guard of the freedom that defines and ennobles us and our friends.”

Propaganda posters: J. C. Leyendecker’s Uncle Sam at bat (fit for August) - timpanogos.wordpress.com: Propaganda is not a bad word.  There is bad propaganda, stuff that doesn’t work. There is propaganda for bad purposes, stuff that promotes bad policies, or evil. 

But good propaganda is stronger, long-lasting, often full of great artistic merit, and instructive. Images of Uncle Sam provide clear pictures of what Americans were thinking, from the oldest versions to today. This poster above is a World War I poster designed to convince Americans to get involved in the war effort.  J. C. Leyendecker, a noted illustrator, cast Uncle Sam as a baseball player up to bat.  The poster says simply, “Get in the game with Uncle Sam.”  Perhaps uniquely, this poster showed Sam in yellow-striped pants, instead of the more traditional red-striped.  Could an artist take such liberty today?

The infamous Hitler Olympics - buenosairesherald.com: Germany was awarded the Games for the first time in 1916, but World War I stopped them being held. Then the International Olympic Committee chose Germany in 1931 to hold the 1936 Games which was a full two years before Adolf Hitler came to power.

The Olympics were a giant propaganda exercise by the Germans. Soldiers were everywhere to accompany athletes, while Hitler wanted to show off the superiority of the Arian race. One man in particular spoilt Hitler's propaganda dream — Jesse Owens, a black man from the United States who won four athletic gold medals and became the darling of the Games. He would tell you later, however, that he had more liberty in Germany than in his own segregated country. Owen Image from

From the Vault: 1936: A Nazi demonstration - pjstar.com: "With the London Olympics now up and open for business, here's an interesting little tidbit from one of the more memorable Olympic Games - Berlin, 1936. The editors of the Peoria Journal and Transcript weighed in at the close of those Olympics in August, 1936 - after otherwise ignoring the Games - with this piece under the above headline: "Germany won the goose-stepping championship at the Olympics, partly because the Germans are experts at it, and partly because there were no other entrants. It was the first time in history that a military review was made part of the games. It was an impressive spectacle, not only for Nazi enthusiasts, but for others who saw more in it than a parade. Twenty-five hundred helmeted soldiers, sailors and military aviators goose-stepped down the field. Eighty thousand arms were raised in the Nazi salute, and the 'Heils' rang out in deafening volume as Hitler himself stood at rigid attention. The Nazi flag, bearing the iron cross and the swastika, flew above the scoreboard. Massed bands played all though the procession, finishing with the German war hymn as the throngs stood at salute with bared heads. The marchers were men of about the same age as the athletes who have been holding world attention in recent weeks with their skills in many sports. Germans have always excelled in drill and gymnastics. Perhaps the goose-stepping was intended merely as a demonstration of this particular skill, for the purpose of honoring and giving pleasure to the spectators. Or it may have been Nazi propaganda." From the vantage of 76 years later, this page's vote goes to "Nazi propaganda." 1936 would be the last Olympics in a while, of course, with the Games of 1940 and 1944 canceled as the world was plunged into war by the very Adolf Hitler who was signaling his military intentions even then.


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Ryan Lochte's post-race grill shines with stars and stripes -  USA Today

Friday, July 27, 2012

July 27

"Gently touching with the charm of poetry."
[Lat., Musaeo contigens cuncta lepore.]

--Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (IV, 9); image from


In Exposing China Abuses, Congress Shows Another Way - Matthew Robertson, theepochtimes.com: "The human rights lawyer Jared Genser is the founder of Freedom Now, a group that advocates for the release of prisoners of conscience. He offered the committee several proposals. He suggested the preparation of a public list, for example, of all Chinese Party officials involved in torture, wrongful imprisonment, disappearances, and other crimes against international law: their activities would be listed and made available to the public, a ban would be issued on their entry to the United States, and any U.S. assets they held would be frozen. 'Just by gathering evidence from existing cases we could come up with thousands of names. That would be the first batch.' Ideas like this may have an impact because they have 'teeth,' Genser

said. U.S. public diplomacy could also be leveraged to helpful effect in educating the public about human rights abuses in China: inviting dissidents to the Oval Office to meet with President Obama, or having the President meet with Geng He, wife of Gao Zhisheng, the human rights lawyer that was disappeared and tortured after defending Falun Gong practitioners—he is currently in prison." Image from

State, USAID Must Learn From Afghanistan Errors. Whatabout Iraq? - Domani Spero, DiploPundit: "The State Department has been doing stuff in Iraq. Is the Baghdafication of Kabul really any better?  Did State learn anything from what went down in Iraq? And if it did, how come we’re now reading  Chandrasekaran’s Afghanistan edition of Imperial Life in the Emerald City? As to being not particularly 'very good at telling its story,' the State Department has no one else to blame for this. It insists on telling only the happy talk stories. The real world is not all happy talk. 21st century information consumers will not just swallow hook, line and sinker, everything that the 21st century statecraft machine puts out. Oh, wait, that’s the same 21st century statecraft message machine that is all confused and eating crap statistics anyway. You should hear the back story about that multimillion, excuse me, $16.5 million multi-year Kindle acquisition.  Secretary Clinton and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

were supposed to hold hands on the 7th floor, but it never happened.  I bet you want to know how come that’s indefinitely postponed. No, it’s not because she was traveling, silly! The State Department, by the way, has some quite talented storytellers — authentic and even pee in your pants funny writers. But State is in such a schizo mess when it comes to social media that it runs after bloggers (well, not all of them, just some of them).  Sometimes it wields a large hammer, and whacks a mole or two just so everyone can appreciate its whack-a-mole ability and the 'friendly' warning to those who potentially can be whacked also." Image from, with caption: Jeff Bezos with Kindle

A Democratic Transition in Trouble: The Need for Aid Conditionality in Egypt - Shadi Hamid, brookings.edu:  "[I]f the goal is to pressure recalcitrant governments and encourage real, sustained democratisation, then the current strategy will not do. First, when it comes to Egypt, the US and the European Union should coordinate policy and seriously consider temporarily suspending military aid. Second, any future economic assistance should depend on demonstrating progress on key political indicators, including transfer of power to civilian rule and respect for civil society. Those benchmarks should be clearly defined and announced in public as part of a broader public diplomacy strategy. SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces]’s violations have been and continue to be rather egregious. In the span of one week in June, it reinstated martial law, dissolved a democratically elected parliament, and imposed an eleventh hour decree which stripped the presidency of its powers. If this is not a red line for the United States and Europe, then what is?"

London and the Olympic Games - sutispeaks.blogspot.com: "[A]s the Olympics begin ... , ten and thousands of young people from China, India, Far East, Africa and Central Asia who have studied in the British universities over the last decade will proudly admire and feel associated with the games. This is one of Britain’s strength and a public diplomacy success of the past decade which usually go unnoticed.

As a British graduate myself, I can testify how my friends across the world appreciate some of the values they have learnt in that country, and how at times they say that they miss being in Britain. The BBC, which has always been a public diplomacy tool of the British government outside the UK, has been admiringly playing a leading role in educating and entertaining the global audience about London and the British culture and values. Anyone who has been watching the programme ‘London calling’ on the BBC World Service online, television and radio will appreciate the objectivity of the programme. It not only highlighted all that is great and unique about Britain but also critically showed the challenges and the problems of modern Britain. BBC’s campaign is admirable because it also speaks volumes about transparent and unbiased reporting." Image from entry

Stasi And Scandinavia – An Unfinished Business -- Paper prepared for the Conference“Civil Society in Transition”, 5-7 oktober 2006 (revised in 2012), Södertörn University College, Sweden - varldsinbordeskriget.wordpress.com: "I am employing terms such as 'active measures' and 'political warfare'. The first is a Soviet term for disinformation. It was the method used by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes in Europe to present especially prepared data, used for the creation in the mind of the enemy, of incorrect or imaginary pictures of reality, on the basis of which the enemy would make decisions beneficial to the communist regimes. Political warfare is roughly equal to propaganda warfare. This type of warfare was during the Cold War used by the Warsaw Pact states against the West. The latter did not engage in political warfare of the type used by the communist regimes. In democracies the terms 'information' or 'public diplomacy' are the standard terminology for such activities. In a democracy, also, information abroad is controlled by a democratically elected government and parliament. From the 1990s up until now I have attempted to follow research in the field of GDR-studies including Stasi activities abroad. GDR has attracted some interest in the academic community in Sweden. Andreas Linderoth has studied East German foreign policy towards Sweden 1949 – 1972. Nils Abraham is involved in research on GDR public diplomacy towards Sweden at the Historical Institute of the University of Greifswald."

Cities Going Global - Jessica Castillo, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "[A] project I began [is] called 'Going Global: How Cities Can Change the World'. It is a blog, a forum--a one-stop-shop if you will—intended as a place where municipal employees, young professionals and citizens can find inspiration as they take the lead in shaping their own cities. ... Because this project began as my practicum for the Master of Public Diplomacy program, it encompasses one core component that was reiterated throughout the curriculum: listening. With this in mind, the dialogue

I hope to create will result from listening to the challenges city governments face, the concerns of urbanites, and the initiatives of various organizations to address the changing nature of cities. The practice of public diplomacy emphasizes the role of members of the public as both audiences and active participants in diplomatic action. This project is a way for many stories to be shared from obvious to unsuspecting corners of the urban landscape, so as to build greater interest and gain a broader perspective on the meaning of city diplomacy and the increasingly important role it holds in tackling global issues." Image from, with caption: Quote of the Day: Going Global: Every day, people all over the world are at their computer and looking at my tweets. Now I know how Pamela Anderson feels." -- Ellen


London Struts on the World Stage - Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, New York Times: It’s been a summer of spectacle in London, from the celebrations of the queen’s Diamond Jubilee

to the ambitiously named World Shakespeare Festival, and now the grandest show of them all, the 2012 Summer Olympics, which will formally begin tonight with an extravagant opening ceremony orchestrated by the film director Danny Boyle. It’s no accident that all this theater is taking place in a Britain staggered by economic meltdown, a controversial austerity budget and a crisis of political legitimacy following the hacking scandal, which exposed the cozy relationship between News Corporation and the nation’s elite. At times of political or economic crisis, the BThe British can no longer conquer the world with yeomen’s cries of “God for Harry! England and Saint George!” but the world still tunes in to watch their spectacles with fascination. And more important, so do the British. These spectacles allow them to regain their composure after a season of bad news, but also to compose themselves as the Great Britain we know so well, turning the well-worn face of majesty to the world once more.ritish have always turned to spectacles as a way of projecting — or creating — power. Image from

Romney: Olympic SNAFUs 'disconcerting' - politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com: Security shortfalls and a now-cancelled strike from border guards make for a "disconcerting" start to the London Olympic Games, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney said in an interview Wednesday July 25. British Prime Minister David Cameron was asked about Romney's comments at a press conference Thursday, ahead of his scheduled meeting with the GOP candidate. "I think we will show the whole world

not just that we come together as a United Kingdom but also we're extremely good at welcoming people from across the world," Cameron said, adding that he anticipated the country would come together to welcome world athletes. Cameron said he planned to make similar points to Romney during their meeting. Romney image from

Al Qaeda's War for Syria: Now is the time to begin moving against the terror group's Syrian assets - Seth Jones, Wall Street journal: Assuming Assad's regime eventually collapses, a robust al Qaeda presence will undermine transition efforts and pose a major threat to regional stability. With U.S. troops now gone from Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq has increased its attacks to nearly 30 per month, up from roughly 20 per month during the past two years. And this week Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testified to Congress that al Qaeda in Iraq even poses a growing threat to attack the U.S. homeland. What can be done? The U.S. and its allies should launch a covert campaign to ramp up intelligence-collection efforts against al Qaeda, capture or kill its senior leaders, and undermine its legitimacy.

Washington unleashes its dogs on Syria - presstv.com: Western media misreport what's happening in Syria and why.

Propaganda substitutes for truth and full disclosure. Image from article, with caption: Members of a foreign-backed terrorist group in Syria

"Progressive" War Propaganda: Deception with a Human Face - globalresearch.ca: Is the Western "progressive" alternative media being duped by classic war propaganda cloaked in a humanitarian narrative or is it trying to lure the public into supporting military intervention? Several Global Research

authors have questioned the focus of high profile alternative news outlets, which have supported the so-called Arab Spring revolutionaries in Libya and Syria. Throughout history "left-wing" pundits have been recruited by war propagandists to galvanize "progressive public opinion" in favour of a humanitarian "Responsibility to Protect" military intervention. Image from entry

The Kremlin’s blacklist - Vladimir V. Kara-Murza, Washington Post: Symbolically, the adoption of the Magnitsky Act has been tied to the repeal of the antiquated Jackson-Vanik Amendment, thus replacing trade sanctions against a nation with personal sanctions against specific criminals. Perhaps the most pro-Russian piece of legislation ever put before the U.S. Congress, the Magnitsky Act offers Washington an opportunity to speak with a unified voice and with unquestioned moral clarity.

US Militarization of Africa: 5000 Personnel, Ten Countries+ - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: Here’s something genuinely different fromTomDispatch.com. In response to Nick Turse’s July 12 piece, “Obama’s Scramble for Africa,” Colonel Tom Davis, the director of the U.S. Africa Command Office of Public Affairs, wrote in disputing a number of Turse’s points. Though TomDispatch does not normally post letters to the editor or have a comments section, this seemed interesting enough to make an exception. The debate is now up at the site. Bonus: While the Army took the time to read, respond and intelligently challenge TomDispatch, the web site remains blocked and unavailable to State Department employees still, due to some mysterious “Wikileaks” connection never made clear. State Department employees cannot follow this important debate, by senior management decision. Sorry, enjoy your irrelevance.

First lady publicity latest sign of N.K. change - koreaherald.com: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un continues to shake off the regime’s long-held tradition of secrecy, intriguing watchers eager to find signs of change in the reclusive state. In the latest breakaway, Pyongyang’s state media late Wednesday confirmed that the mystery woman beside the 20-something leader at recent public events is his wife, Ri Sol-ju. The couple’s public appearances and the brief declaration of Kim’s marital status stand out against his father Kim Jong-il’s style.

During his 17-year rule, the elder Kim maintained a secret life and his companions and children were rarely discussed in public. He also kept Jong-un to himself until an official introduction in late 2010. Analysts said the latest announcement was strategically calibrated and aimed at forging a settled image of the youthful leader, who inherited power after the December death of the longtime autocrat. Image from article, with caption: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (center) and his wife Ri Sol-ju (right) attend the opening ceremony of the Rungna People‘s Pleasure Ground on Rungna Islet along the Taedong River in Pyongyang. Via ACP III on Facebook

On Eve of the Olympics, China Rolls out new Tibet Propaganda - patheos.com: There is practically a factory for Chinese propaganda on Tibet, the Cultural Palace of Nationalities, which the NY Times describes as: a socialist-style confection whose current exhibition, “50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet,” is getting rave reviews from the soldiers, schoolchildren and government officials who are bused in day after day. With its display cases of gruesome torture devices, grainy film scenes of mutilated faces and the “liberation” shots of beaming Tibetans, the exhibit is a propagandist tour de force that reinforces the Communist Party’s unbending version of history during what is referred to here as a “sensitive time.”

Taiwan Is Not Fooled by the CCP’s Propaganda - plsreadthetruth.wordpress.com: On December 14, 2008, more than 7,000 practitioners attended the Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference held at Zhongxing University in Taiwan, in which more than 20 practitioners shared their cultivation experiences based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Among them were students, senior citizens and members of the military. I found that this level of attendance was meaningful: the people and government of Taiwan are not fooled by the CCP’s propaganda.

In the early years when the persecution first started, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime went full force with their propaganda machine and utilized various diplomatic means to slander and defame Falun Gong worldwide. They put all kinds of terrible labels on Falun Gong and fabricated vicious accusations. While many people did not believe the one-sided allegations from the regime, they did not know much about what Falun Gong really was either. They did not want to “get involved”and be persecuted, so they simply chose to keep their distance from Falun Gong. In Taiwan, though, the number of people practicing Falun Gong has steadily increased and now it has reached 500,000. Image from article

Exhibition displays wartime Japanese propaganda publications - 7thspace.com/headlines: The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence's current exhibition "Paper Weapons: Wartime Japanese Propaganda Publications" is now on show until March 27 next year. Showcasing more than 100 original artefacts published in the 1930s and 1940s in Japan, the exhibition gives visitors a better understanding of Japanese militarists' ambition to annex Asia and reign over the whole world, as well as how these publications had become "paper weapons" used in war.




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