Sunday, March 9, 2014

March 9

Abbreviated edition


--Term used in the state-run China News Service to characterize recent U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, meaning  "that he is yellow on the outside, but white at the core"; image from


Briefing on Trends in U.S.-Sponsored Broadcasting - "PDAA [an association for public diplomacy professionals and formerly the USIA Alumni Association], together with Syracuse University’s Maxwell in Washington Public Diplomacy Program is organizing a briefing on new trends in U.S.-sponsored broadcasting, Wednesday, March 12, 11:30 am to 1:00 p.m. Senior officials of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) will discuss recent initiatives by the VOA and other U.S. broadcasting entities, including the increasing use of social media to reach audiences around the globe. The event is held at the IBB/VOA headquarters building, 301 C St S.W., near the Federal Center SW Metro stop on the Orange or Blue line. A box lunch will be available; the cost is $10.00. Please RSVP by e-mail to Mike Schneider – mischnei [at] maxwell [dot] syr [dot] edu – no later than March 5. Space is limited."


Harassment and Misinformation Against Ukraine Journalists - Voice of America, posted at Malaysia Sun: "With Crimean media effectively under Russian control, Ukrainians have begun organizing to counter what they say is a flow of misinformation [.] and are websites that seek to dispel myths and misinformation being propagated by Russian media outlets. The Ukrainian Crisis Media Center (UCMC) launched March 4 with the stated mission of providing the international community objective information about events in Ukraine and 'threats to national security.' 'We are a group of different professionals from different fields in international relations in corporate and public communications, in translations, and we feel that Ukraine is under a serious security threat of losing its sovereignty and territorial integrity and really needs an additional serious voice delivering the message to media outside Ukraine and also to people in Ukraine's southeastern regions and Crimea,' said spokesperson Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, executive director of Yalta European Strategy (YES), the largest social institution of public diplomacy in Eastern Europe. ... In Washington, U.S. Agency for International Development Assistant Administrator Paige Alexander said her agency was working with the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and local journalists to help ensure the free flow of information around the country." See also.

A Crucial Time for Diplomacy in Ukraine - Tara Sonenshine, "Ukraine

will need good public diplomacy from the U.S. ... Let’s hope public diplomacy and diplomatic talks result in a win-win for everyone. ... Tara Sonenshine ... served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs." Image from entry

Ukraine Up-Date, What Now? Responding And Keeping Our Head And Looking Ahead - Harry Blaney, "[W]e need a strategic vision to counter Putin’s imperial and dictatorial ambitions at home and abroad. We need do so in a way that also demonstrates we are FOR the well being of the Russian people and for Russia becoming a place of true democracy, openness, rule of law, and prosperity alongside much of the rest of the developed world. We need to do more to make this distinction via public diplomacy, people-to-people exchanges, and our words and deeds over the decades."

The Daily: Cashing in on Soft Power - Michael Ardaiolo, "As the events in Ukraine call for immediate action, the fruits of longterm public diplomacy efforts are (or 'would be') utilized.

Public diplomacy is not an immediately actionable device; that’s called 'diplomacy.'” Uncaptioned image from entry

"The Great White House Jeans Caper: Updated! - Tom, [W]e’ve been in the midst of a deep and serious crisis with Russia. ... In the midst of this, President Obama called the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. And the White House photographer took a picture of it, as you can see here.

Now, there are a few things to know about talking to Putin. First, he’s a guy who takes image seriously. Second, he has a macho fixation, as do many powerful Russian men. Third, he is mightly pissed off these days over perceived slights to his honor from the uppity people of Ukraine, who actually want a say in their own future. And finally, it’s no secret that he and our President don’t like each other. Not one little bit. So I saw the picture of the President, and I immediately winced. The picture of the leader of the Free World talking to America’s top competitor in his casual Saturday outfit was a lousy idea. Hand on his hip, looking annoyed rather than angry, in jeans and casual sleeves…the whole thing is a case study in poor optics that projected a lack of urgency, a lack of gravitas, a general lack of seriousness, at exactly the time it would have been useful for Putin to know that we weren’t kidding around."

Ukraine, Russia, Options, and the False Choice between Capacity and Capbility [sic] - "[Comment by: Roberts150 mike_wheatley • 6 days ago:] I think this is a case where the remaining signatories [of the Budapest memorandum; see] are supposed to at the least take the issue to the Security Council (where of course Russia's veto makes it a dead duck, but it's a public diplomacy move) and the intent and the spirit of the deal comes into play."

The View From DC on Russia, Putin and the Ukraine - Sean Paul Kelley, "[Comment by:] JustPlainDave 03/04/2014 at 7:47 am Log in to Reply Whoa down there Jeane Kirkpatrick. Where is this 'moral high ground' of which you speak? You mean the original neo-con public diplomacy construct? That moral high ground? Given that that moral high ground led very linearly to that self-same invasion of Iraq, I’m more than a little wary of calls to arms over it and extremely wary of the notion that it should have a significant place in great power relations[.]"

Videos in times of Crisis: U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines [includes video] - "The State Department’s videos expand public diplomacy’s reach to the broadest possible public in foreign countries and provide U.S. Embassies with innovative programs such as videos to inform, engage, and influence foreign audiences. The video produced by the Public Diplomacy’s Informational Information Programs Bureau introducing Ambassador Phillip Goldberg to the Philippines offered a positive, forward-looking message emphasizing the U.S. commitment to help the country rebuild in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. Scripted and filmed just five days before the Ambassador’s arrival in country, the simple statement-to-camera format conveyed an empathetic-and timely-expression of support and amplified President Obama’s pledge 'When our friends are in trouble, Americans help.' All major Filipino television channels picked up the video including the top networks in the Philippines, with a 44% audience share of the Philippines TV viewership. Embassy Manila’s social media properties saw over 2,500 views, 144 shares, 338 likes and 42 comments on the product."

A Racist Farewell to Outgoing U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke -- A China File Conversation - "Reacting to departing U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke’s February 27 farewell news conference in Beijing, the state-run China News Service published a critique by Wang Ping that called Ambassador Locke a 'banana.' ... [Comment by: Hyeon-Ju Rho:] Calling an Asian-American person a banana means, of course, that he is yellow on the outside, but white at the core. ... [Comment by: Robert Kapp -- Robert Kapp began his working career as an historian of twentieth century China at Rice University and the University of Washington. However, his main career contributions have been to the building of U.S.-China relations, most notably through his presidency of the Washington D.C.-based U.S.-China Business Council from 1994 to 2004]: China News Service is an official body. Simply noting that this essay was not an official statement by CNS is not sufficient.

CNS editors have official functions, and ultimately operate in a hierarchy of regime-defined authority. Like other PRC organs, CNS presumably partakes of the current PRC concern over China’s global 'soft power,' its 'public diplomacy,' and the conveying of benign images of China to the world. For those reasons, it behooves China News Service to issue without delay an apology to Ambassador Locke and the American people whom he represented as American ambassador to China, and to indicate that those responsible for recruiting, editing, and publishing this cavalier and demeaning article have been appropriately dealt with." Image from entry, with caption: Gary Locke, the first Chinese-American ambassador to China, speaks during a farewell news conference at the U.S. embassy February 27, 2014

The FSM and the United States sign Agreement to Suppress Illicit Transnational Maritime Activity - "On March 3, 2014, an official signing of the Agreement to Suppress Illicit Transnational Maritime Activity was held at the Department of Foreign Affairs’ conference room between the Governments of the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States. ... Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert and U.S. Ambassador Doria Rosen signed the documents on behalf of their respective governments. ... Accompanying Ambassador Rosen were Ms. Lynn Pangelinan, US Embassy Political/Military Advisor and Mr. Patrick Maloney, US Embassy Public Diplomacy/Staff Assistant."

The hijacked nexus at AAU and Mr. President of USA for journalism students - "[F]ormer Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent, Nicholas Kralev, entertained diplomatic words about USA today as he faced challenging questions at Addis Ababa University graduate school of journalism and communication. As scholars and their hard copies justify, the US public diplomacy is deteriorating time after time. There are many factors behind though US budget for public diplomacy is the highest and has no competent in a world we live in and this is the world that bored off US. ... However, the author of America's Other Army: The U.S. Foreign Service and 21st Century Diplomacy reasoning’s was quite the contrary with our class mates. I don’t know why things are the way they’re. Maybe, the course we took reflected today. But, auspiciously, one could conclude, if happened to join us today, our students are far to believe what USA does. There is a discrepancy in US public diplomacy. They are not the way they have been acting, maybe, not supposed to be. Why to join a war in Iraq and why not Ukraine. … Mainly, after 9/11 US has learnt the wrong of war at the same time not successful in having a fun of several nations. ... Students were bombing questions targeting the say and deeds of America that let her to own the headlines of most of our global media. ... He stated as public diplomacy is not half alcohol and half protocol. It is not easy. When answering about the case in Mali; he said, 'conflict rises everywhere potentially affect US.’ Why not we let them to solve by themselves?, one student asked. 'Why haven’t they solved yet? We want a world to be secure and stable. Meddling for good governance is not involving in countries sovereignty,' he replied. The question continues. It is my turn; many scholars believe as the leading power of the world is facing hardships on her diplomacy due to aggressive policy it has. I mean one sided. ... If he had had Ethiopian citizenship, he might have pounded the table. But he is an American. He walked here and there. 'I don’t think so Obama want to see casualty of civilians. Air drone is not good diplomacy. And what has happened is tragic and unfortunate. To better understand what he wants, put yourself in Obama shoes.' The discussion so far was really not but much of its content, maybe 95% was out of our topic.

The topic believed to argue up on was the nexus between media and diplomacy. However, some one has hijacked it somewhere. The terrific aspect of this argument not lies on what has asked already but students assumed it as a president of United States of America. US embassy spokesperson Information and press affairs, Katherine M. Diop, stand and asked to stop here. 'He is not the representative of American government. He is here to share what he has accumulated so far in diplomacy.' It is clear to see as she feels nervous. And supposed to be. If I had remembered in a manner I’ve understood now I could have said, 'Katherine don’t feel in such manner. We are holding scholarly debate. Therefore, don’t understand the way you had in mind.' But I couldn’t. Because am so late. Later on our instructor Negeri Lencho (PhD) told her just to had 10 minute additional time and we continued. This man had many programs in other African countries. However, a diplomat who insists the other army for USA was not successful in bringing good public diplomacy for his country, I mean in our class. Ameyu Etana is a journalist and a student at AAU. Can be reached at [.]" Image from entry, with caption: Nicholas Kralev while on speech statement

The Culture War and America’s Image Abroad - Jay Tolson, "America did not always think that its image should be entrusted solely to its popular culture machine. For a time, and quite successfully, it devoted considerable resources to advancing its values and principles through the institutions and practices of public diplomacy, including the United State Information Agency, assorted USIA- and State Department-sponsored cultural programs, student exchanges, and American libraries. But at the end of the Cold War, America’s pursuit of public diplomacy fell victim to the collapse of a fragile domestic consensus that transcended partisan and even deeper cultural divides within American society. The culture war that emerged with clarity and force then greatly complicated and arguably destroyed our faith in government-supported and government-directed efforts to win hearts and minds.

That, at least, is part of the story that critic and author Martha Bayles tells in her new and valuable book, Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America’s Image Abroad, just published by Yale University Press." See also.

Not reviled abroad - James Thomas Snyder, Letter to the Editor, "Regarding Alan Wallace's A Page of Books column 'How the world sees us' about Martha Bayles' book on American cultural exports, 'Through a Screen Darkly': I'm afraid the data simply don't back her contention that the world hates U.S. movies and music. The Pew Global Attitudes Project, for example, shows more consistently high measures for American cultural exports than for virtually any other metric relating to our country. There are plenty of other indicators to contravene the conventional, but false, wisdom that American culture is reviled abroad. For instance, Disneyland Paris is the top tourist destination on the continent. In other words, the No. 1 tourist destination in Europe is American. The second-largest national market for McDonald's after the United States is France. And out of the top 50 American films by box office, 48 made more than half their receipts overseas. I won't deny that there are political consequences to American cultural dominance, but these are mostly ginned-up political hack jobs. Have we heard from Jose Bove, the anti-globalist, during the last decade? What happened to the French theater director who called Disneyland Paris a 'cultural Chernobyl'? As for the difference between 21st-century Disney and 20th-century American jazz, I guarantee you our political enemies made no distinction. After all, during the 1950s, the East Germans likened jazz to 'poison gas,' which is incredible if you think about it at all. James Thomas Snyder Falls Church, Va. The writer is the author of the book 'The United States and the Challenge of Public Diplomacy.'”

Why We Should Care About Institutional Failure - New Dealer, "[Comment by:] Creon Critic March 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm In reply to specific institutions failing, like the Corcoran Gallery or the NYC Opera, the question betrays a lack of civic-mindedness.

It is also a significant mistake in the US that we haven’t established a federal level department of arts and culture. It’s a substantial space for policymaking that could use further federal coherence and support – at minimum for social cohesion and public diplomacy purposes." Uncaptioned image from entry

Culinary Diplomacy and The Public Diplomat - samuelchapplesokol, Culinary Diplomacy: Breaking Bread to Win Hearts and Minds: "I appeared recently on The Public Diplomat, a quickly growing website dedicated to 'explain[ing] public diplomacy by providing a multi-media platform to ideas, research and events that catalyze the engaging of different cultures.'  ... I spoke ... on culinary diplomacy, which you can listen to here, and published an article on the upcoming World Expo in Milan. "

As Russian occupation of Ukraine expands --Voice of America Ukrainian Service lacks resources to update Twitter and Facebook [March 4] - BBG Watcher, "Examples of fluff journalism pushed by top executives include multiple VOA news reports on the British royal family,Justin Bieber, and even a dog show in New York, while Obama, Biden, Kerry, Hagel, McCain and others were ignored or largely ignored as they spoke out about serious U.S. foreign policy issues."

Congressman Duncan honors Ambassador Ashe for BBG service, BBG Watch reporting cited in Congressional Record - BBG Watcher, "United States Congressman

John J. Duncan, Jr. from Tennessee, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, posted remarks in the Congressional Record honoring Ambassador Victor Ashe, also from Tennessee, for his service as member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). In his remarks, Congressman Duncan referred to BBG Watch reporting about U.S. international media outreach and Ambassador Ashe’s role as a BBG Governor." Uncaptioned image from entry

DC Environmental Film Festival - "Z’ALP (Switzerland, 2013, 100 min.) Small reception follows screening Washington, D.C. Premiere Every year, Swiss farmers embark on an exciting venture—the cattle drive up to the alpine pastures. Every region in Switzerland has its own name for this long tradition. We follow three families who make the journey to their summer residence, and we learn about the stamina needed in relocating their herds for this fascinating and traditional ascent. In Swiss-German with English subtitles. Directed and produced by Thomas Rickenmann. Introduced by David Best, Public Diplomacy and Cultural Affairs Counselor, Embassy of Switzerland. Discussion with filmmaker Thomas Rickenmann follow screening. Ticket/Reservation Info: FREE. Reservations required. March 19 at 7:00 pm. Please RSVP as seating is limited:"

GMF-CAPS Roundtable on German foreign policy and French-German Security Cooperation - "On March 4th, 2014, the Paris Office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, in association with the Centre d’Analyse, de Prévision et de Stratégie (CAPS) of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized a private roundtable ... aimed at addressing the strategic implications of Germany’s increasing economic and political power in Europe, as well as the main challenges and opportunities for a more ambitious German foreign and security policy. ... The debate also addressed the issue of the use of force in German security strategy, and the influence of German public opinion on German foreign policy. The idea of a remilitarization of Germany remains sensitive in the population and often entails emotional responses; rethinking German strategy and role in the world demands to work actively on public diplomacy to create a rational debate on the most efficient ways to stop a crisis.

The speakers analyzed the ‘Cold War mindset’ that continues to frame many of the discussions on crisis-management in Germany: the idea that any military confrontation would eventually degenerate into continental war often prevents constructive reflections from emerging and blocks the reform of German strategy. However, these mindsets are evolving, as the new generation uses new historical points of reference that incite the German public opinion to reconsider certain positions on military issues." Uncaptioned image from entry

Action plan to create a successful commercial and tourism hub - "Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts Head of Brand Marketing and John Keells Holdings Vice President Dileep Mudadeniya asserted that Sri Lanka as a whole has five sectors governing the reputation of the country with tourism at the forefront. Also part of the exercise is the highly-underestimated power of sports, exports as product origin affects the image of a country, people and public diplomacy."

Boko Haram: Clear and Present Danger to Nigeria’s Sovereignty - "It is not enough to establish a new Army Division in the conflict zone to face Boko Haram. All elements of law enforcement, security and intelligence gathering must be deployed to tackle the sect. Public diplomacy and even counter-propaganda against the sect must also be factored into the equation.

Often times, Nigerian soldiers have been caught by surprise attacks from Boko Haram. There is no more doubt that Boko Haram has informants not only among the public citizens but also within the rank and file of soldiers. Thus the soldiers and the citizens must be on perpetual state of vigilance and alertness to safeguard their own lives and property." Image from entry

Training Course on Combating Antisemitism - "The World Zionist Organization in collaboration with the Efrat Local Council is proud to announce the launch of the Training Course on Combating Antisemitism. The goal of this project is to raise awareness about the growing impact of Antisemitism, especially on the Internet.

It also intends to give the basic tools for Israel advocacy as well as combating Antisemitism in todays society, using todays medium. The course will include an introduction and historical background of Antisemitism, Israel advocacy training and public diplomacy, explanation and ways to combat Antisemitism on the Internet and conclude with the open question: is Zionism as the answer to Antisemitism?" Image from entry

Vatican says Pope’s Israel visit still on, for now: Holy See denies statements made by Foreign Ministry sources, who said their labor strike forced pontiff to cancel - Raphael Ahren, "For now, Pope Francis’s trip to Israel in May is to take place as originally planned, senior Vatican officials insisted over the weekend. The Vatican officials’ comments contradicted statements made by Israeli diplomatic sources, who claimed Thursday that the Holy See had been forced to cancel the visit due to an ongoing strike in Israel’s Foreign Ministry. ... The Workers Union, which is fighting for higher salaries and better working conditions for diplomats serving abroad, published a list of more than two dozen measures that took effect as of Tuesday. For instance, Foreign Ministry officials will no longer cooperate in organizing visits of foreign presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other officials. See also.

Hundreds of Eritreans Attend Hsbawi Mekete Seminar in London - Eritrea Embassy Media UK, "Mr Muluberhan Berhe, Coordinator of the Public Affairs office, who made an introductory statement and gave an insight into some major activities of the public campaign, and work plan of the Eritrean National Organisation UK for 2014/2015, outlining the purposes of the public campaign being on strengthening organisation, and conspiracies and psychological warfare being waged against the Eritrean people. ... Also taking stage the

Chairman of the National Organisation UK Board, Mr Ahmed Mahmoud, gave updates on future plans it has drawn up giving detailed explanations on each plan and its work that it has delegated to various organisations which includes NUEW, YPFDJ, PFDJ, Public Diplomacy." Image from entry, with caption: Hundreds of Eritreans stand in solidarity in support their country at a seminar in London on March 2

Worker In Cuba Honored For Her Diplomacy Efforts - Yoo Jee-Hye, Sarah Kim, "Mun Yun-mi Mun Yun-mi was recognized Friday for more than a decade of civilian diplomacy work that helped to expand cultural cooperation between Korea and Cuba. 'As a Korean citizen, anybody who had played a similar role would have felt pride,' said Mun, 42, after receiving the Youngsan Foundation’s 2013 Diplomat of the Year award Friday at the Plaza Hotel, in central Seoul, in a ceremony that was attended by Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. Mun, who works on the international cooperation team for Cuban cultural center Sociedad Cultural Jose Marti, was recognized for her efforts to successfully coordinate cultural projects between the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cuba’s Culture Ministry. The foundation, headed by former Prime Minister Lee Hong-koo, an adviser to the JoongAng Ilbo, is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that promotes civilian understanding of international issues and diplomatic expansion. ... The Yeongsan Foundation launched its diplomacy award in 2008 to recognize individuals or groups who promote the image of Korea abroad or those who perform well in fields with especially limited work environments. On Friday, the foundation also honored Han Chung-hee, director-general of the Cultural Affairs Bureau in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recognizing her work in 2013 in the area of public diplomacy. Cuba and South Korea have not yet established official diplomatic ties."

55. External Action of the State - "The emergence of open diplomacy, breaking the 'myth of state secrets,' has created a scenario that allows the participation of various factors that influence the formulation and monitoring of the actions of the foreign policy, such as the public and the media. The latter now have an essential role in the 'new' practice of public diplomacy. No doubt, enlightened and convinced public opinion can help to strengthen the State’s foreign policy and its diplomatic skills."

Philip Seib Addresses AUS Audience On A New Media Curriculum - Lubna Sohraab, "University of Southern California Professor Philip Seib, addressing an audience of around 200 at the American University of Sharjah on Feb. 19, said media curriculum needs to keep pace with advances in the field. Talking to an audience of media students, professionals and scholars in Lecture Hall A, the professor of journalism, public diplomacy and international relations told educators that they face a greater challenge now, but that this must be overcome in order for the Arab world to 'achieve greatness once more.' Seib said that Arab media education must be approached with broader perspectives. He said that the curriculum must include not only reporting techniques, but also a variety of other disciplines, such as political science, economics and ethics. He also stressed that the only way to stop depending on foreign scholars to educate Arab students is to produce 'your own.' He said that there were very few Arab academic books on media."

The Asia Foundation Announces New Chairman of the Board and Three New Trustees - News Release, "The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia, announces the election of David M. Lampton as Chairman of the Board and the addition of three new members to its Board of Trustees: Ralph L. BoyceLauren Kahea Moriarty, and Kathleen Stephens.  ... Kathleen Stephens – Stephens joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2014. She is currently the 2013-14 Koret Fellow at the Korean Studies Program (KSP) at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Stephens recently completed 35 years as a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. She was acting under secretary of state for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in 2012, and U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea, 2008-2011."

2014 Election -– Guy Golan Profile - "Guy J. Golan (University of Florida, 2003) is an Associate Professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. ... He

co-edited International Media Communication in a Global Age (Routledge) with Thomas Johnson and Wayne Wanta and the upcoming International Public Relations and Public Diplomacy: Communication and Engagement (Peter Lang) with Sung-Un Yang and Dennis Kinsey." Image from entry

Can Facebook Talks Influence The Fate of India’s Politicians? - Rahul_Dubey, "I am Public Diplomacy Officer at the Australian-Consulate General, radio announcer at All India Radio’s FM Rainbow and volunteer at Coimbatore-based Isha Foundation. I have written extensively on economics of digital and social media.

I teach and learn mass media economics and research at KC College and KJ Somaiya Institute of Mass Communication in Mumbai. If you are in a generous mood, you can read my thoughts on @_Rahul_Dubey [.]" Dubey image from blog


US Media Escalates Propaganda Offensive on Ukraine - In the wake of the right-wing coup in Ukraine organized by

the United States and the European powers, the American media is responding with a torrent of inflammatory war propaganda directed against Russia, analysts say. Image from entry

Obama Comes Out Against Crimea Self-Determination - Paul Craig Roberts, The White House Fool has repeatedly declared erroneously and foolishly that it is “against international law” for Crimea to exercise self-determination. Self-determination, as used by Washington, is a propaganda term that serves Washington’s empire but is not permissible for real people to exercise. On March 6 Obama telephoned Putin to tell the Russian President again that only Washington has the right to interfere in Ukraine and to insist against all logic that only the “government” in Kiev installed by the Washington-organized coup is “legitimate” and “democratic.”

Ukraine: Look past the propaganda - Fred LaMotte, Steilacoom, Letters to the Editor, Partial knowledge is the yeast of ignorance, and ignorance is the bread of war. Ukraine’s U.N. statement that “16,000 Russian soldiers have deployed to Crimea” caused a frenzy among Western media, which ignored the fact that those troops have been in Crimea since the late 1990s in accordance with a Kiev-Moscow treaty [“U.S. faces tough choices on Putin, Ukraine,” Page One, March 5]. Our media describe the situation as a Russian invasion with headlines like: “Ukraine crisis deepens as Russia sends more troops into Crimea,” and “What can Obama do about Russia’s invasion of Crimea?” Never mind that those Russian troops have been stationed in Crimea for more a decade. And Putin’s “violation of international law” does not begin to compare with our nation’s imperial invasion of Iraq.

Ukraine: The New Cold War Heats Up: The Strategic Role of Natural Gas and Pipeline Routes - Gilbert Mercier, The coup in Ukraine is as much about freedom and democracy as were the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and the sponsored attempt to topple Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

In this Orwellian climate, news outlets become propaganda machines that present neo-Nazis in Ukraine and Jihadists in Syria as being revolutionaries. The crisis is not about Ukraine at all, but rather about putting the squeeze on Russia. It also serves as yet another distraction to switch people’s focus from one fabricated crisis to another, to prevent any sustained examination of the looming systemic failure of global capitalism. Nothing beats a fake revolution to preempt a real one. Uncaptioned image from entry

Ukraine crisis: Vitaly Klitschko forced to cancel rally as violence flares in Crimea -- 'Ukrainian Unity' rally organised by Vitaly Klitschko is cancelled in the east, as demonstrations in the southern Crimea region turned violent - Damien McElroy and Patrick Reevell, Despite the strong local hostility to politicians from western Ukraine that spearheaded the revolution against Viktor Yanukovych, Mr Klitschko tried to show he could tap into a groundswell for keeping the country intact. "Russia is using pure propaganda and trying to create division based on language. Tourists from Russia are here to stir up trouble," he said. "We in Ukraine have to show our unity." The threat of violence was particularly marked in Crimea, the peninsula seized by Russian forces, where local leaders are arranging a referendum on joining Russia.

Russia complicit in violence against Kiev protesters: Khodorkovsky - Nalia Zinets, Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, addressing a crowd on the Kiev square where demonstrators rose up against Ukraine's Moscow-backed president, said on Sunday Russia had been complicit in police violence against the protesters. Khodorkovsky, one of President Vladimir Putin's biggest critics, dismissed suggestions by Moscow that the protesters are "neo-fascists" bent on violence, saying: "Russian propaganda lies, as always. There are no fascists or Nazis here."

North Korea poll: Politics or propaganda? Voters are obliged to tick "Yes" for the sole candidate on their ballot paper - North Koreans

have been voting for a new parliament, or Supreme People’s Assembly. The elections are the first in five years, and the first to be held since Kim Jong-un came to power. Image from entry

How The Bombing Of Hiroshima Got A Hollywood Makeover - Greg Mitchell, The MGM drama, The Beginning or the End

emerged in 1947, after many revisions, as a Hollywood version of America’s official nuclear narrative: The bomb was clearly necessary to end the war with Japan and save American lives—and we needed to build new and bigger weapons to protect us from the Soviets. Image from entry


"In propaganda it is very important to consider the effect of squeezing out alternative versions of events, all alternative information. As a result, even people who don't believe or who doubt the official information are not in a position to work with other points of view. And this is the foundation of propaganda."

--Russian sociologist Lev Gudkov, director of the independent Levada Center

1 comment:

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