Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 8-13

"Marx had actually considered moving to the United States -- to newly annexed Texas -- but he discovered it was 'hellishly expensive' and dropped the idea."

--Kevin Peraino, Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power (2023), p. 181; image from

"Confronted on Execution, Texas Proudly Says It Kills Efficiently"

--The New York Times Headline (May 13)


Michael Davidson – Public Diplomacy - "(October 16, 2013) Michael Davidson discusses international relations and how they really work in reality. He also talks about the people involved in the practical application of diplomacy and the way they take decisions. The speaker gives examples related to the European Union and the United Nations. Michael Davidson is the Head of the Political Section of the British Embassy in Bulgaria."

Russian State TV Anchor: 'Propaganda Is Journalism' - RFE/RL: "Andrei Kondrashov is one of 300 media professionals awarded by Russian President Vladimir Putin for their 'objective' coverage of events in Crimea. Speaking to RFE/RL in Moscow, Russian state television's leading news anchor defended his award and said he saw no difference between journalism and propaganda."

'Disinformation' Documentary Wins 'Telly' Award - "'Disinformation,' the stunning 2013 film documentary from WND Films that reveals, as never before, the wide-ranging Soviet-era disinformation campaigns against America that continue in effect even today, has been honored with a prestigious Telly Award.

‘The timing for the ‘Disinformation’ documentary and book couldn’t be any better, given the rise of Russian nationalism and the grave dangers this presents to the West and America,’ said WND Films’ George D. Escobar, who co-produced the film. ‘All of the threat and turmoil Russia is now suffering is fully revealed in this powerful movie directed by Emmy-winning director, Stan Moore.’”


School of Diplomatic Skills - "The European Academy of Diplomacy in Warsaw is accepting applications for the Schools of Diplomatic Skills and the Social Media for Public Diplomacy workshops to be held in July and cordially invite you and your colleagues to participate in those upcoming projects. The School of Diplomatic Skills is comprised of 2 week-long programs at different levels of diplomatic skills. ... The Social Media for Public Diplomacy to be held on 12 - 13 July 2014, is an intensive two-day program designed to improve professional capabilities to develop and implement successful social media campaigns... The Social Media for Public Diplomacy Workshop is designed for [inter alia] ... engaged individuals eager to gain invaluable experience in Public Diplomacy."

Young Diplomats Forum 2014‏, London - "Deadline: 30 June 2014 Open to: young leaders from across the world Venue: 1-5 September 2014, London, UK Description [:] The Young Diplomats Forum (YDF) is set up to recognise, enhance and develop the next generation of diplomats. This community

of exceptionally bright and accomplished future leaders will gain further insight, tools and opportunities to engage with key stakeholders at a crucial time in their careers and broaden their connections to influence global leaders. ... Our 2014 programme is varied from foreign policy, to sport and public diplomacy, to energy security and other topics." Image from entry


America’s global leadership role - Anthony Manduca, "America’s leadership role in the world, as well as its ability to deter would-be aggressors and troublemakers, has been in the spotlight lately, especially since the collapse of the Arab Spring (with the exception of Tunisia, the one bright spark in the entire region) and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Because the US is the world’s only superpower, as well as the most powerful global democracy, people expect it to act or to assume a leadership role whenever there is an international crisis or something goes wrong. America has the unenviable task of being considered the ‘world’s policeman’ and of being criticised for failing to act, either militarily or politically, whenever such action is needed on the world stage. Of course, when things go wrong as a result of its involvement, it is also heavily criticised. When Obama was first elected President of the US in November 2008 his foreign policy platform included an emphasis on global engagement, public diplomacy and multilateralism. His election came in the aftermath of a disastrous war in Iraq and an unpopular one in Afghanistan, which are expected to cost $6 trillion (€4.3 trillion), the equivalent of $75,000 for every American household, according to Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. ... On a more positive note, back in 2008 the US and Iran were getting nowhere in arriving at an agreement over Teheran’s nuclear programme; last November, however, Iran and the 5+1 countries (which includes the US) signed an interim nuclear accord and are currently negotiating a formal treaty. Hopefully, such a treaty will be signed; this has the potential to be the greatest foreign policy achievement of the Obama presidency, and would be a great victory for Obama’s belief in international engagement and the use of economic sanctions as a method of convincing countries to alter their behaviour. Time will tell, of course."

America's Standing in the World Before and After Obama - Kılıç Buğra Kanat, "Six years ago when President Barack Obama was running for the presidency, one of his major foreign policy goals was to restore U.S. standing in the world, which was experiencing one of the steepest decline in its history. Popular opinion regarding the U.S. had started to turn negative in the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan. Although global public opinion and international organizations, such as NATO, supported the war in Afghanistan, several different procedures that U.S. security forces adopted in this period started to tarnish the image of the U.S. as well as the legitimacy of its actions on the ground. ... Now, when he only has 30 months left in his presidency, President Obama is facing a test on foreign policy regarding U.S. standing around the world. Although polls shows U.S. standing today in a better place than six years ago, many observers agree that it is way behind expectations. ... In this final phase of his presidency, President Obama's policies on these matters will have serious impacts on U.S. popularity in the world. Especially in Syria and Egypt, if he continues to follow his current policies, the U.S. may face another downward trend in its standing. Under those circumstances, public diplomacy campaigns will only waste money on U.S. foreign policy."

Tomgram: Ann Jones, How to Lose Friends and Influence No One (The State Department Way) - "As Washington increasingly comes to rely on the 'forward projection' of military force to maintain its global position, the Fulbright Program may be the last vestige of an earlier, more democratic, equitable, and generous America that enjoyed a certain moral and intellectual standing in the world. Yet, long advertised by the U.S. government as 'the flagship international educational exchange program' of American cultural diplomacy, it is now in the path of the State Department’s torpedoes. Right now, all over the world, former Fulbright scholars like me (Norway, 2012) are raising the alarm, trying to persuade Congress to stand by one of its best creations, passed by unanimous bipartisan consent of the Senate and signed into law by President Truman in 1946.  ...  [T]he Fulbright budget, which falls under the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), seems to be on the chopping block. The proposed cut amounts to chump change in Washington, only $30.5 million. But the unexpected reduction from a $234.7 million budget this year to $204.2 million in 2015 represents 13% of what Fulbright gets. For such a relatively small-budget program, that’s a big chunk. No one in the know will say just where the cuts are going to fall, but the most likely target could be 'old Europe,' and the worldwide result is likely to be a dramatic drop from 8,000 to fewer than 6,000 in the number of applicants who receive the already exceedingly modest grants. ... This is scarcely the moment for Washington to knock one nickel off its budget for international exchange. Longstanding educational partners of the U.S. in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, and elsewhere now have other excellent opportunities for intellectual, scientific, and artistic exchange. Meanwhile, the dysfunctional, militarized, pistol-packin’ United States has lost much of its global allure."

Will Someone Stand Up? - Brian Carlson, "Just at the moment when America is bringing the troops home, when Vladimir Putin is challenging us as no one has since 1939, and when the United States needs friends and partners more than ever before, the State Department  proposes a 30.5 million dollar cut in the Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program. Why would State Department officials do this?

A low level spokesman said the Department needs to make some ‘strategic shifts.’  The strategic shift that
 needs to be made is a dramatic increase in public diplomacy of all kinds, but especially the kind that has proven to work.  Over the years, Fulbright has arguably produced more friends and supporters for America than any other State Department expenditure." Uncaptioned image from entry 

Promise of #Hashtag - Jake Robert Nelson, Freedom Fries for Lunch: "Many of the [State] Department’s missteps in executing social media diplomacy are the result of broader structural flaws––a fetishization of bureaucratic hierarchy, tensions from internal turf wars, a hesitancy towards innovation, a slow-churning process for creating new material––clashing with the reality of a media consumption climate requiring the instant and constant transmission of content. ... In an effort to improve the implementation of social media diplomacy, U.S. diplomats and policymakers should acknowledge the following general truths: 1. Social Media Diplomacy Requires an Understanding of the Target Audience [:] Like any other product, social media public diplomacy must reflect an understanding of its target audience. There is no one-size-fits-all model for sharing content. ... In countries with lower rates of medium-specific penetration, the self-selection bias that characterizes more traditional forms of public diplomacy undermines the claim that social media is a more democratic form of content dispersal. The tweet that may be wildly successful in Saudi Arabia, where Twitter penetration is 33 percent, may not circulate beyond a small circle of American-friendly elites elsewhere. 2. Social Media Diplomacy Requires Continuous Local Engagement [:] ... In most cases, an embassy’s public diplomacy officer or local staff, when appropriately trained, will be more likely to create lasting relationships over social media than a contractor working from Washington. 3. Social Media Diplomacy Requires Some Delegation of Authority ... How can the Department strike a balance between the desire to delegate the creation of content and the need for centralized supervision? By taking social media seriously, mainstreaming it into FSO training, and having a centralized hub in Washington that can provide clear guidance. Only when diplomats are properly trained in how to use social media will principals feel comfortable loosening up the reins."

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel Travels to Kyiv, Ukraine; Riga, Latvia; and Brussels, Belgium - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, May 11, 2014, "U.S. Department of State’s Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel will travel to Kyiv, Ukraine; Riga, Latvia; and Brussels, Belgium on May 12-16. Under Secretary Stengel will use his trip to stress the need for greater regional engagement to support Ukraine’s upcoming May 25 elections, push back against efforts to delegitimize them and ensure that all Ukrainians are given the chance to decide their future for themselves. In Ukraine and Latvia, Under Secretary Stengel will meet with his counterparts in the Ukrainian and Latvian governments, members of civil society, and the media. His visit to Kyiv underscores U.S. support for Ukraine’s new interim government as it works to build an inclusive, transparent, and accountable system of government that is responsive to the needs of all Ukrainians. In Riga, he will focus on further strengthening the robust government-to-government and people-to-people relationships that exist between the United States and Latvia. In Belgium, Under Secretary Stengel will engage with a wide spectrum of European media and think tank leaders to discuss the current crisis in Ukraine; highlight U.S support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine; emphasize the importance of ensuring Ukraine’s upcoming elections are free, fair and transparent; and reaffirm the value America places on the Transatlantic partnership. As the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Stengel provides global strategic leadership for all Department of State public diplomacy and public affairs engagement. These programs are designed to ensure an accurate understanding of America’s foreign policy, foster mutual understanding with publics around the world, and promote universal values, including respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states, human rights such as the fundamental freedom of expression, and democratic principles of government." See also.

Southeast Ukraine Referenda Show Strong Support for Secession from the Coup Regime in Kiev - "Voters in two eastern Ukrainian provinces showed strong support for secession from the coup regime in Kiev, but the U.S. State Department and other regime supporters reject the outcome and vow to press ahead with a special presidential vote on May 25, Robert Parry reports. ... The next step for the State Department will be to promote a special Ukrainian presidential election called by the Kiev regime for May 25, with only regime supporters being given any chance of victory after major candidates representing the anti-coup east withdrew from the race, citing threats of arrest and physical attacks. Whereas State Department officials dismissed the legitimacy of Sunday’s referenda, in part, because of eastern Ukraine’s violence and disorder, that argument is sure to disappear in the run-up to the May 25 election. To guarantee that the West’s news media is reading from the right script, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel left for Kiev and other European capitals 'to stress the need for greater regional engagement to support Ukraine’s upcoming May 25 elections,' the State Department announced, saying Stengel would 'push back against efforts to delegitimize [the elections] and ensure that all Ukrainians are given the chance to decide their future for themselves.' ... Stengel is the same official who on April 29 issued a sloppily prepared 'Dipnote' that made broad-brush criticisms of RT’s content, accusing the Russian network of painting 'a dangerous and false picture of Ukraine’s legitimate government.' But Stengel’s commentary failed to include citations to the offending articles and also revealed a stunning ignorance of the events surrounding the Ukraine crisis."

Burning Ukraine’s Protesters Alive - Robert Parry, "Today, in Syria, many of the most aggressive fighters against Bashar al-Assad’s government are Arab jihadists recruited from across the region and armed by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms. So, it fits with a pattern for the U.S. government to hold its nose and rely on neo-Nazis from western Ukraine to take the fight to rebellious ethnic Russians in the east and south. The key to all these unsavory alliances is for the American people not to know about the real nature of these U.S. clients. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration advanced the concept of 'public diplomacy' to intimidate journalists and human rights activists who dared report on the brutality of U.S.-backed forces in El Salvador and Guatemala and the CIA-trained Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Thus, most Americans weren’t sure what to make of recurring reports about right-wing 'death squads' killing priests and nuns and committing other massacres across Central America. Regarding Afghanistan, it took the American people until Sept. 11, 2001, to fully comprehend whom the Reagan administration had been working with in the 1980s. Similarly, the Obama administration has tried to maintain the fiction that the Syrian opposition is dominated by well-meaning 'moderates.' However, as the brutal civil war has ground on, it gradually has become apparent that the most effective anti-Assad fighters are the Sunni extremists allied with al-Qaeda and determined to kill Shiites, Alawites and Christians. So, it should come as no surprise that the Kiev regime would turn to its Maidan 'self-defense' forces – formed around neo-Nazi militias – to go into southern and eastern Ukraine with the purpose of burning to death ethnic Russian 'insects' occupying buildings. The key is not to let the American people in on the secret."

Use the Cold War playbook to keep Russia in line - James Jay Carafano, "There’s no need to swing from the current toothless response to full-bore militarization to bring Moscow to heel. Putin commands a second-rate Soviet Empire. U.S. strategy should be to get back to the place where America can ignore Moscow. ... Two more suggestions: [a] Play the human rights card. The Magnitsky Act is a powerful tool to name and shame Russian leaders — much better than the silly sanctions game going on now. [b] Fix the dysfunctional U.S. public diplomacy operation. It’s time we went after the Kremlin's lies and disinformation and set the record straight. Moscow employs every trick in the Soviet-era book of Winning Through Intimidation. It's time the West showed that, we too, can work from the same playbook."

How Free Is Myanmar? - Walter Russell Mead and Staff, "Concerns over Myanmar’s commitment to its professed 'democratic' reforms have increased over the past few months . … Burma’s government often tries to claim great strides toward a more open, free society, and celebrates its advance in international press freedom rankings. U.S. and other Western officials sometimes join this back-slapping celebration. U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel said last week that ‘the [Burmese] political space has opened significantly in the last three years, and the government has taken important steps to cultivate an environment conducive to free, fair and independent media, a critical element of a vibrant democracy.’ But it still sits at 145 on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, a dismal rating, and the police can arrest journalists who make too much of a stir."

Coordinator Macon Phillips Travel to the United Kingdom, Moldova, and Austria May 12-16 - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, May 9, 2014 - "Coordinator Macon Phillips of the Bureau of International Information Programs will travel to the United Kingdom, Moldova, and Austria from May 12-16. In London, U.K., Coordinator Phillips will deliver a keynote address on digital diplomacy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Leadership Conference. He will meet with representatives from the public and private sectors on innovation in social media. In Chisinau, Moldova, Coordinator Phillips will meet with representatives from civil society, as well as the public and private sectors, to discuss capacity building in new and traditional media. In Vienna, Austria, Coordinator Phillips will visit the U.S. Embassy and meet with the U.S. Mission to the OSCE. For updates on Coordinator Phillips’ trip, follow him on Twitter @Macon44."

Top US Entreprenuer Hassan To Share Vital Business Tips In Zim - "The United States Embassy is assisting a local tech-hub bring one of the world’s eminent entrepreneurs, Fahad Hassan, as it steps up efforts to enhance the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Zimbabwe, Ambassador Wharton announced on this week. 'We are bringing Forbes Top 40 young entrepreneur

Fahad Hassan from the U.S. to Zimbabwe to serve as a mentor for the 'Startup Weekend Harare' to be held in mid- May that even,' Ambassador Wharton to the 'Zimbabwe Going Forward' Conference hosted by SAPES Trust, a local think-tank. ... 'I believe so strongly in the potential of ICTs to offer opportunities and growth and…I remain optimistic about Zimbabwe’s future,' said the U.S. Ambassador who prior to his assignment in Zimbabwe supported the development of one of the first tech hubs in Kenya while serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State." Image from entry, with caption: Fahad Hassan one of the world's eminent young entrepreneurs will be in Zimbabwe to share results-based business ideas

US, no example to media freedom despite its rhetoric to Sri Lanka - Daya Gamage, "The United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Doug Frantz through digital video conference from Washington addressing a gathering on May 8 at the American Center, Colombo to mark the World Press Freedom Day, highlighted that his country never punishes news organization for doing their job while lecturing Sri Lanka it should follow the American example. Quite familiar with this type of public affairs events organized by the American Embassy where this writer was public affairs and political specialist for two and a half decades, the message the American Ambassador Michele Sison, in organizing this event, endeavored to communicate to the Sri Lankan authorities is that - while projecting 'media freedom' in the U.S. - Sri Lanka does not have press freedom and that it should ensure the freedom of expression to the Fourth Estate. To have this discourse with a Sri Lankan gathering which included the media, the American Embassy exclusively takes the initiative - not the assistant secretary Frantz - to send messages to the host country authorities while enhancing the image of the United States.

Sir Winston Churchill once very famously said: 'If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.' We intend to do just that in this Media Analysis to find out how much of media freedom is allowed by the current Obama administration under which assistant secretary Doug Frantz, and the organizer of this Colombo American Center event Ambassador Michele Sison serve as public affairs and public diplomacy envoys. ... It is not amusing to poke fun at a country like Sri Lanka which is still endeavoring to balance national security and civic liberties when there are still threats of the revival of the separatist movement - clearly visible in the global arena and evidence of regrouping domestically - even after five years of its defeat when dissenting voices in the United States are either silenced or harassed so much for the media freedom it proudly boast of. For the news documentary film maker journalist Laura Poitras, it not a joke to be arrested, confiscation of documents and notes, harassed on arrival at many American airports for well over forty times because of her dissenting views expressed in those footage the Obama administration and its intelligence officials decry. And she is not a foreigner but a born American." Uncaptioned image from entry

2013 Forum: Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism -- Contesting Radicalization through Public Diplomacy - Jeselle Macatiag, Public Diplomacy Council: "After 9/11, U.S. foreign policy and U.S. Public Diplomacy faced a sharp ideological challenge from radical extremism and terrorism, empowered by nimble communication from tech- and media-savvy non-state actors. The speakers in this session discussed how U.S. government communicators have responded through different programs and approaches and what remains to be done to refine and improve these efforts. The U.S. government has tried various communication techniques to counter the influence of terror groups. The breakout session focused on a fairly recent enterprise: the interagency Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) in the U.S. Department of State. The CSCC makes use of new media and targeted communication online as well as programming in the field to specifically engage people vulnerable to radicalization. There was general agreement on the need for continuing interagency collaboration and further streamlining best practices of intervention in the cycle of radicalization. Speakers emphasized the need for counter-propaganda campaigns at the tactical level and fostering strong U.S. programs to complement counterterrorism efforts in target countries."

After Delaying Runoff, Afghan Taliban Announce Start Date of Fighting Season, Targets - Jim White, "Don Bacon on May 8, 2014 at 1:32 pm KABUL, Afghanistan (5 April 2014) — 'The International Security Assistance Force congratulates the people of Afghanistan on today’s historic election. Today’s success clearly demonstrates that the Afghan people have chosen their future of progress and opportunity. ... Battle for the Narrative: The US was slow to recognize the importance of information and the battle for the narrative in achieving objectives at all levels; it was often ineffective in applying and aligning the narrative to goals and desired end states. ... U.S. propaganda is defined as 'public diplomacy' at State and 'strategic communication' at Defense. Neither definition has anything to do with truth, but rather 'informing and influencing' and the 'advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives.' ... State: The mission of American public diplomacy is to support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign publics and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world. ... DOD: Strategic communication is focused United States Government efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives through the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the actions of all instruments of national power."

Counterinsurgency: A Weight on American Military Effectiveness - “In Malaya, the British fought with a colonial government widely seen as legitimate against an insurgency largely made up of minority ethnic Chinese, and the war effort involved the forcible displacement of approximately 500,000 rural people to closely guarded camps. Similarly, the arguably successful counterinsurgencies of the Boer War, the US in the Philippines, and the Dutch in the Aceh War all involved displacement of large portions of the population and acts which would be no doubt considered ‘war crimes’ by modern standards. Because such tactics are untenable in the

United States, it must employ resource and training-intensive methods such as public diplomacy. Such expenditure in money and man-hours reduces resources dedicated to maintaining and improving the military’s core warfighting competency. While advances in war-fighting, such as advanced communication technology, certainly are useful tools in prosecuting a counterinsurgency, the tactical, operational and strategic overlap between population-centric counterinsurgency and conventional 21st century warfare is minimal." Uncaptioned image from entry

RFE/RL And VOA Affiliate Stations Forced Off The Air In Ukraine, IBB Ignored Lithuanian AM Option - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "As predicted by many critics of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) powerful management and technical arm, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA) affiliate stations were forced off the air in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russia rebels.

Earlier, the Russian government stopped rebroadcasts of VOA Russian radio program in Moscow after it had terminated also all RFE/RL Russian rebroadcasts. Critics accuse the IBB of not planning for such an eventuality and not being ready with AM and possibly also increased shortwave broadcasts to Russia and Ukraine, or being able to launch new satellite television programs in Russian on a short notice." Image from entry

Russia’s RT retweets on Voice of America website draw criticism from former BBG members - BBG Watcher, bbgwatch: "Two former Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) members have criticized Voice of America (VOA) practice of posting retweets without any explanation from President Putin’s propaganda media outlet

RT and from other anti-US shadowy sources, including a Twitter user who regularly retweets RT and calls herself 'Pro-#Russia,#Assad,#Gaddafi. F**k the #EU,#US.' The obscenity is spelled out on a Twitter account called 'Steiner1776' with the additional description: 'A frustrated #german and #socialist.' True identity of this person or persons could not be established by BBG Watch, but this Twitter users posts daily multiple tweets, all of them pro-Kremlin and often repeating Kremlin’s key propaganda claims and themes that are known to be false. Former BBG member Blanquita Cullum wrote that the Voice of America practice of 'retweeting something from Putin’s propaganda outlet RT without a legitimate news purpose–such as to expose propaganda–is UNACCEPTABLE!' Former BBG member Ambassador Victor Ashe called it 'disgraceful' and called on VOA head David Ensor 'to take control and remedy this or resign.'” Image from entry

BBG can be proud of its journalists working under defunct bureaucracy - BBG Watcher, bbgwatch: "Not all is defunct at the Voice of America (VOA) and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) when it comes to Ukraine and Russia. Some VOA services and BBG grantees provide outstanding news coverage in some areas, but they could do much better if the agency were reformed and had better leaders. If more resources, which are now tightly controlled by the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), were given to program producers, U.S. media outreach in Ukraine and Russia could be greatly enhanced. The IBB has been responsible for major strategic mistakes and is still a bureaucratic nightmare and a black hole for valuable but limited resources. The most mismanaged among BBG program producing entities, the Voice of America (VOA),lacks any kind effective leadership. Its language services do not get adequate support from the enormous VOA and IBB bureaucracy."

Spread The Word - “there is a new role for the VOA………. According to a report at Foreign Policy, a new piece of legislation due for a vote on Wednesday of this week would force Voice of America, the federally funded news media organization, to toe the U.S. line even more closely and become an explicit propaganda tool of Washington. A powerful pair of lawmakers in the House of Representatives have agreed on major legislation to overhaul Voice of America and other government-funded broadcasting outlets that could have implications for the broadcaster’s editorial independence, Foreign Policy has learned. The new legislation tweaks the language of VOA’s mission to explicitly outline the organization’s role in supporting U.S. ‘public diplomacy’ and the ‘policies’ of the United States government, a move that would settle a long-running dispute within the federal government about whether VOA should function as a neutral news organization rather than a messaging tool of Washington. ‘It is time for broad reforms; now more than ever, U.S. international broadcasts must be effective,’ said Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a statement. A demand that VOA broadcast propaganda….now that is humorous….why?  It has always been an outlet for propaganda……but for decades we have pretended that it was only for the broadcast of ‘real’ news…..and now have have a bi-partisan bill that blows that pretense away.”

At VOA, Ken Tomlinson ‘helped bring down the Evil Empire’: Reagan-era Voice of America chief edited American values back into nation’s news - William Schulz washingtontimes: "In 1960, 16-year old Kenneth Tomlinson boarded a Trailways bus in the southwestern Virginia mountain town of Galax. The following morning, he got off the bus in Washington, D.C., and began a journey that would take him from a summer internship to journalistic and governmental heights that he could not have imagined. ... [I]n 1982 ... President Reagan asked Ken to ... head the Voice of America (VOA). He was the agency's third director in a year and sweeping reforms were necessary for an agency that Reagan wanted to play a key role in the Cold War. ... The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, would change Ken's life once more.

Aware of Ken's success at VOA, President George W. Bush asked him to chair not one but two presidential boards — the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees U.S. international broadcasting, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which controls both the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. ... At the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ken sought to bring a semblance of balance to public radio and TV programming. To counter what he called the 'preposterously left-wing' Bill Moyers show 'NOW,' Ken fought for, and won, approval for a weekly right-of-center show revolving around the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal." Image from entry, with caption: Kenneth Tomlinson Illustration by Greg Groesc

Brzezinski endorses arming Ukrainian junta, to no avail - "Among the strongest advocates of American aggression is former National Security Advisor and influential policy activist Zbigniew Brzezinski (incidentally, the strategic founder of the Mujahedeen), who in a recent article argues that the US needs to step up its military commitment to Ukraine.

What is most striking, however, is that Brzezinski's attempts to paint Russia in a negative light betray a self-conscious guilt on the part of the American ruling establishment. As such, Brzezinski’s latest blather into public diplomacy should be seen as nothing more than the thinly disguised psy-op that it is." Uncaptioned image from entry

Cherry blossoms and Yasukuni: clashing images of Japan's public diplomacy - Takeshi Yamawaki, "A cherry tree by the Potomac River measures 2 meters around its trunk. Looking at the young leaves, you would never guess this tree was more than 100 years old. A nearby sign states that this is the first cherry tree that Tokyo gifted to Washington, D.C., in 1912 as a symbol of their friendship. Nearly 4,000 cherry trees were in full bloom just a few weeks ago. This season, more than 1 million tourists visited Washington, D.C. 'Did you know that these trees were originally a gift from Japan?' I asked 10 people from a variety of backgrounds including elementary school students, young couples and grandmothers, who were visiting from Maine and Colorado as well as other distant states. I was surprised that all of them knew. They had learned about it in school, read about it online, or were told by their tour guides. ... There is a term called 'public diplomacy.' It refers to the type of diplomacy used by nations to create a positive image for itself in other countries. This includes disseminating information to the foreign media as well as cultural exchanges, basically a diplomatic initiative aimed at the public, as the name suggests. People and information from all over the world gather in Washington, making it a competitive city for public diplomacy. A senior staffer at the Japanese Embassy in Washington says, 'The cherry blossoms are Japan's trump card when it comes to public diplomacy.' When they are in bloom, the Japanese ambassador is extremely busy, making appearances at many Japan-related events in an effort to bolster his nation's image. China is strategically working to isolate and vilify Japan to enhance its own image. After Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Yasukuni Shrine in December, the Chinese ambassador to the United States contributed an op-ed piece to The Washington Post, stating, 'We see the homage at Yasukuni as nothing less than a challenge--not only to us but to the world.' Regarding Yasukuni, Chinese ambassadors in more than 70 countries and regions contributed similarly critical pieces to local papers. There is no denying that the U.S. media were swayed by this. There was a noticeable increase in negative coverage of Japan and Prime Minister Abe. Nevertheless, various polls show that Japan still holds a much better image than China. Meanwhile, the U.S. image around the world isn’t particularly positive. Especially since the war in Iraq, the United States has been viewed very unfavorably in the Middle East. Recently, the State Department appointed Richard Stengel, the former managing editor of Time magazine, as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. The choice of a top journalist underscores U.S. efforts at ameliorating its image abroad. A quiz tournament called the National Japan Bowl takes place every year during the cherry blossom season. High school students who study Japanese gather from all over the country to face off in a battle over knowledge of all matters Japanese. This year approximately 40 schools participated. At the competition, William Breer, a former director of the Office for Japanese Affairs at the State Department, was cheering on the students. His wife, Margaret, took part in preparing the questions. Breer expressed his disappointment about the two Japanese Cabinet members and about 150 lawmakers who visited Yasukuni Shrine during and around its annual spring festival. 'I have no objection to their will to pay their respects to the war dead,' Breer said. 'But I would like them to be aware of how people abroad see their tribute to Yasukuni right before President Obama’s visit to Japan.' The global battle over public diplomacy marches on."

Men At Work: Polls do not mean a break for babus. They continue to toil behind the scenes - Joe C. Mathew, "In the first week of May, when external affairs minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid was in the midst of a heated election campaign in Varanasi — the high-profile constituency where party nominee Ajay Rai is taking on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi — his ministry forged ahead with its diplomatic business. The public diplomacy division of the ministry worked equally hard on a campaign of sorts — fighting the negative perception of India’s pharmaceutical industry created by its global rivals. The ministry organised a special screening of a documentary, Fire In The Blood, before representatives of foreign embassies and the international media.

It was intended to showcase the life-saving role the Indian generic drug industry has played in making anti-AIDS medicines available to millions of poor patients in Africa at a fraction of the cost charged by innovator brands. The film was screened two days after the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in its annual Special 301 Report, put India on the 'priority watch list', indicating the serious concern that the USTR had about India’s 'intellectual property rights (IPR)' compliance levels. India’s response to the USTR report was not limited to this act of public diplomacy. The commerce ministry — the administrative ministry for trade and IPR issues — has already conveyed its stand. Rajeev Kher, commerce secretary, has informed USTR that the right forum to discuss the concerns of the US industry will be the bilateral Trade Policy Forum (TPF) that is already in place." Image (of India's Ministry of Foreign Affairs) from entry

NSA, Israel, GVEs, Hasbara, and Gun Massacres in the USA and Beyond - Michael Gillespie, "Because broadcast media news outlets in the USA seldom if ever mention Israeli espionage in their news coverage or in their ever more rare investigative reports related to matters of public interest, most Americans are unaware of and unconcerned about Israel as an espionage threat. Nevertheless, Israel has long been at or near the top of the list of nations with active and robust intelligence and espionage programs aimed at the USA and is by far the single worst offender among nations with propaganda campaigns directed at American audiences. Israel calls its public diplomacy efforts hasbara, and it is well-nigh impossible to overstate the influence of Israeli propaganda on American audiences. Likewise, because Israeli leaders and their political and media operatives exercise truly extraordinary influence over them, the vast majority of US elected officials seldom if ever mention the Israeli espionage threat or criticize Israel in any way. Rather, currying favor with Israeli leaders, media operatives, and spies is seen by many as a fast lane to success in government service and longevity of tenure in Congress.  ... As long as the Israeli political and media machine wields such wildly inordinate and inappropriate influence over US politicians, political institutions, and what passes for popular culture and a public discussion in America, it is very difficult to imagine that the NSA, CIA, FBI and other US law enforcement agencies will find the guidance and political support necessary to address effectively these increasingly problematic espionage-related-and-driven public health, public safety, and national security challenges."

Oren: Claims the FBI warned Israeli diplomats about spying are baseless - "Claims that Israeli diplomats were summoned by the FBI dozens of times in the decade since 9/11 and told to stop spying on the US are 'utterly without foundation,' former ambassador to the US Michael Oren, who served in Washington from July 2009 to September 2013. ... He said that he did not foresee any public diplomacy damage as a result of these stories, because while they are front page news in Israel, their resonance in the US was much, much less." See also.

How Israel's Dusty Zionist Bureaucracy Survives: Jobs for Cronies — and Ties to Deep-Pocketed Diaspora - Anshel Pfeffer, "Research showing that anti-Semitism in Europe and North America have actually gone down is disregarded, as is the expert view that the threat to Israel from delegitimization and the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has been blown far out of any proportion. 'Thirty years ago, Jewish officials were talking about the poisonous atmosphere on campuses in America, exactly as they are today,' says one Israeli who works with American-Jewish organizations. 'But if you look at things from a historical perspective, nothing has changed.

It’s just the Internet that’s magnifying the threat. Meanwhile, Israel’s diplomatic and commercial ties with the world have improved exponentially and there’s absolutely no sign of any reversal of that trend.' The argument over the severity of the threat has combined with a turf war between the Foreign Ministry and other government departments trying to get in on the hasbara act. In the previous Netanyahu government, Yuli Edelstein’s Diaspora and Public Diplomacy Ministry tried to lead the charge and push campaigns on campuses. Funding that it transferred abroad was blocked by the consulates and Edelstein had to get Foreign Minister Lieberman to intervene. A hasbara activist complains, 'The Foreign Ministry wants everything to stay with them, that’s why Israel’s image is so bad. They block initiative and resources because of the diplomats’ prestige.' In the current government, the standard-bearer is Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz. His office has prepared an ambitious plan to fight delegitimization, which demands a budget of 100 million shekels. 'All they want to do is fight the whole world,' says a dismissive diplomat. 'We have to engage with people, but they are convinced we’re facing an existential threat.' Netanyahu has yet to decide whether to award Steinitz the budget. While the squabbling within the government continues, the freelance organizations are representing Israel. They all claim to be non-political and 'pro-Israel,' but the reality is they hew to a hard-right agenda, often creating absurd situations. Earlier this year, a group of British Jewish students backed by the Stand With Us movement expelled from the Israel Society at Oxford University Israeli students who were unhappy with their obsessive focus on fighting pro-Palestinian groups on campus. 'Only the right-wingers are on the frontline' says a British left-wing Zionist activist. 'I wish groups like Peace Now and J Street were prepared to confront the anti-Israel far-left. Instead the right-wing has totally monopolized hasbara and it’s all become very violent and theatrical. The whole world now believes the far-right represents Israel.'” Uncaptioned image from entry

Constant threats, constant progress - Evelyn Gordon, "Israel will need to improve its public diplomacy if it is to keep the delegitimization movement in check."

Changing the presidency - Yosef I. Abramowitz, "Shimon Peres has redeemed the institution of the presidency and there are no more leaders of his stature or generation in Jewish life, other than Elie Wiesel and Natan Sharansky. ... Since we have historically been surrounded by enemies, Israel has correctly focused on building 'hard power' – the kind represented by planes, tanks, missiles and soldiers.

Today, as we are losing the hasbara (public diplomacy) and BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) battles country by country, the president should be the leader in building soft power in the world to bolster our diplomatic standing as well as our brand equity." Image from entry, with caption: President Shimon Peres on state visit to Austria, March 3

Gülenist Diaspora and the Discourse of Authoritarianism - Burhanettin Duran, "Turkey is faced with a public diplomacy problem which it has never faced before in all of its history: A diasporic opposition that is hierarchically organized and ruled from

the USA. ... The Gülen Movement, accused of founding a parallel state nestled in the government, is frequently in the limelight through its international connections. Investigated for illegal wiretapping and espionage in Turkey, the Movement's strategy has been to put pressure on groups through the international public opinion. The Gülen Movement has a diasporic nature, mobilizing different networks against the AK Party in more than 150 countries in an organized manner. The over-politicization of this religious service movement through its reflex of taking over the government in Turkey resulted in the loss of its religious legitimacy." Image from entry

OSCE watchdog is latest to blast Turkey on lack of press freedom - Roy Gutman, "A leading international human rights watchdog slammed Turkey on Friday for passing new laws that she said would further intimidate independent journalists in a country where freedom of expression is already severely limited and the news media have become 'critically stifled.' Dunja Mijatovic of the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe singled out a new intelligence law that threatens journalists with up to 10 years in prison 'for simply doing their work' on the heels of a law passed earlier this year that banned thousands of websites. ... Mijatovic welcomed the fact that Turkey has released many of the journalists it had jailed and now holds 29, down from 95 in 2011. But she warned that unless laws are passed to protect freedom of speech and to decriminalize the defamation of public figures, 'these journalists may easily find themselves back in prison if they do not write according to the taste of those in power.' ... Erdogan’s Office of Public Diplomacy didn’t respond to a request for comment on key points of Mijatovic’s statement."

Syrian opposition leader not giving up on appeal for anti-aircraft weapons - Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor: "In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, a senior adviser to Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba said the [Syrian - JB] conflict won’t end until Russia ceases to support President Bashar al-Assad.

And without a shift in the balance of power on the ground, she said, that’s never going to happen. 'If the Russians see, oh [the Americans] are serious now, they are going to arm them, [they’ll decide] let’s talk again about Geneva, let’s talk again about a political solution,' Rime Allaf, Jarba’s adviser for public diplomacy, told Al-Monitor in an interview at the opposition’s Washington-area hotel on Friday. 'This is our way to the political solution, with the Russians, to get in and change their position. We understand that nothing is going to change without the Russians doing something about it.” Image from entry, with caption: Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba (center right, in blue tie) waits to meet with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at the US Capitol in Washington, May 7, 2014

Javad Zarif and Iran's foreign policy under Hassan Rouhani - "Javad Zarif and Hassan Rouhani – Iran’s Foreign Minister and President respectively – pay great attention to widely publicising the details of their foreign policy.

Their unprecedented Twitter presence is a clear example of the new administration’s wish for greater international transparency and public diplomacy." Image from entry

Tehran International Book Fair 2014 finishes - "Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) 2014 has finished the year’s programs after hosting divergent cultural activities held during 10 days. ... Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati along with a number of international diplomats attended the event’s opening ceremony held on April 29. 'The international book fair is a kind of public diplomacy and a place for cultural exchanges and interactions,' Rouhani stated at the ceremony.

Some 600 foreign publishers from Germany, France, Turkey, Japan, Lebanon, Syria, China, Qatar, and several other countries presented nearly 160,000 of their latest publications at the event. Afghanistan was named as the guest of honor at this edition of the international exhibition. ... The Fair is considered the most significant event of its kind in Asia and the Middle East and a significant venue for publishers and book lovers to exchange opinions and experiences." Image from entry

EU Council adopts freedom of expression guidelines, implications for foreign relations - "The Council of the European Union has adopted the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Expression online and offline, adding to the EU's Human Rights Guidelines. The EU hailed the development as a reaffirmation of 'the pivotal role that freedom of opinion and expression play in a democratic society'. The general aim of the Guidelines, says Brussels, 'is to address unjustified restrictions on freedom of expression, promote media freedom and provide valuable guidance to EU officials and staff across the globe.' 'Through these Guidelines', the Council press release states, the EU 'stresses that the right to freedom of opinion and expression is a universal right and applies to all persons equally. States must ensure that their legal systems provide adequate and effective guarantees of freedom of opinion and expression to all and can be properly enforced.'

Significantly, the Guidelines also protect freedom of expression on the internet, affirming that 'human rights which exist offline must also be protected online, in particular the right to freedom of opinion and expression.' The Council has also vowed that, in pursuit of these aims, 'the EU will make full use of the tools available, such as traditional diplomatic tools (political dialogues, high level visits, public statements and demarches), but also good and effective use of financial instruments available, public diplomacy in multilateral fora and continuous cooperation with regional organisations, such as the Council of Europe and OSCE.' News of the EU Council decision comes as criticism mounts over the body's response to restrictions on freedom of speech in post-coup Egypt." Image from entry

A Bring Back Our Girls Reading List -
“From Foreign Affairs, September 2011:  [‘]Instead of associating itself with Abuja’s heavy-handed military response, the Obama administration should urge Jonathan to address what are essentially political problems: poverty and the corruption-driven alienation felt by the population of northern Nigeria, factors that contribute to Boko Haram’s popular support. . . . Even if Boko Haram expand its operations and establish significant contacts with international terrorist organizations, the Obama administration should not let counterterrorism considerations trump these public diplomacy strategies. Too heavy a hand would risk alienating Nigeria’s 75 million Muslims, who already have legitimate grievances in the north. This, in turn, could undermine the very unity of Nigeria — something neither Washington nor Abuja can afford. ['] John Campbell, To Battle Nigeria’s Boko Haram, Put Down Your Guns.”

Nigeria, Oil and the Global War on Terror Redux - "The abduction of 267 girls has been spun into a chorus of denunciation from Western leaders and diplomats is intended as 'public diplomacy' to enable the Western powers to intervene with military aid to shore up the Nigerian state which looks as though it is losing control of the country."

Could Canada ‘Brand’ Makeover Spark Exports? - Nirmala Menon, “An image makeover may be the spark Canada needs to boost its exports performance. Canada typically ranks high in global polls as a country, but as a business brand, not so much. This branding issue is hampering the country’s

efforts to diversify trade into key global markets, according to a new report. Successive governments have neglected to promote and shape Canada’s brand overseas, says a report from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. … Late last year, Ottawa unveiled a new trade policy known as ‘economic diplomacy,’ under which diplomatic assets will be harnessed to help the private sector." Image from entry

Canada's Afghan mission honoured in Ottawa ceremony: End of Canadian mission in Afghanistan to be honoured with a parade, flybys, speeches and the presence of the families of soldiers who died overseas - “'The mission was complex and difficult, and it cost a real human price for Canada, for Afghanistan, and for our allies,' said Governor General David Johnston, who serves as commander-in-chief. ... Johnston ... paid tribute to the work of development workers, diplomats, correctional officers and police officers who faced the same risks as the troops.

They included Renée Filiatrault, who served as senior public diplomacy officer for 14 months in Afghanistan. She said the civilian contributions are a part of the mission overlooked by Canadians." Image from entry, with caption: Governor General David Johnston places a flower on a wreath at a National Day of Honour ceremony.

Does Sri Lanka have diplomatic presence in Canada to separate Tiger flag from Tamil Culture? - Daya Gamage, "Misinformation of a nation's character is a very serious one in the international arena, and the handlers of Sri Lanka's external affairs along with its accredited diplomatic cadre in Canada seem to be doing a severe disservice to this South Asian nation in their utter failure to use the basics of public affairs, public diplomacy and strategic communication techniques to convince the Canadian media that the separatist/terrorist Tamil Tiger 'Flag' and the 'Tamil Culture' are completely two different issues. ... We repeat what the Asian Tribune carried a few weeks ago about presenting a 'Tamil Front Man' to handle public diplomacy, public affairs and strategic communication in Sri Lanka dealings in external affairs who knows the sentiments of the

Tamil people both in Sri Lanka and the Diaspora, their culture and its heritage, ethnic relations, the handling of Sri Lanka's national issues cogently with the West and who is well knowledgeable about the activities of the professionals who are within the Tamil Diaspora - the professionals who aided and abetted LTTE leader Prabhaharan's separatist/terrorist movement - driving the Tamil people in an adventurist path for 26 years." Image from entry, with caption: Kumaran Markandu at his home with a Tamil flag London, Ontario pictured May 2, 2014.

Brazil’s Hesitant BRICS Summit Preparation // Still Offline 13 May. 2014 - Oliver Stuenkel, "Two months from now, the leaders of five major powers from the Global South are set to meet in Fortaleza for the 6th BRICS Summit. It is Brazil's chance to reaffirm its commitment to play a pro-active role in global affairs. In addition, if the Brazilian government succeeds in organizing a well-attended BRICS-UNASUR meeting the day after the BRICS Summit, it will powerfully symbolize Brazil's convocatory power and regional leadership ambition.

Yet preparations seem to be somewhat hesitant, if not lackluster. ... Engaging the public both at home and abroad is crucial particularly because the majority of Brazilians does not know what the BRICS grouping is. More worryingly still, those who have heard of the concept are deeply skeptical. Public diplomacy is no panacea and its impact should never be overestimated, but a series of op-eds by the Foreign Minister in all BRICS countries, perhaps a TED Talk, a solid summit website and a strong presence on facebook and twitter would be helpful to engage civil society - both in Brazil and elsewhere - and start a debate about what the BRICS grouping is all about. This may also help demystify and clarify the concept in Europe and the United States, where the BRICS grouping is often thought of either as an investment category it was more than a decade ago or an alliance determined to overthrow global order." Uncaptioned image from entry

China ups its game in Africa - "Under China’s new administration, the wives of top political leaders have been taking far more public roles, part of a strategy to present a softer, friendlier image in international diplomacy. When President Xi Jinping visited Africa last year on his first overseas trip, he also brought his wife, the popular singer Peng Liyuan, who toured a music school and a women’s charity. On the ground, Chinese embassies are trying to improve public diplomacy by reaching out to African media and seeking collaborations with local NGOs on training and education projects, under the awkwardly named 'China-Africa people to people friendship action' plan.

Apart from these feel-good efforts, China’s government has been upping its involvement in African security issues, a response to the instability and conflicts that threaten China’s economic presence in some African countries. Most notably, the People’s Liberation Army sent 170 combat troops to Mali last year — a first for China, which traditionally sends only non-combat army staff. Chinese officials have also been involved in trying to mediate the South Sudan conflict, where the country has significant oil interests. 'Given China’s considerable oil stake in the unstable South Sudan, many believe that China is gradually abandoning its long-term ‘non-interference’ principle to protect its overseas economic interests,' wrote Yun." Image from entry, with caption: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang reviews an honour guard at the presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria.

Committee On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights Considers Reports Of China And Hong Kong And Macao Special Administrative Regions - "China ... moved away from a policy of neglect of people living with HIV/AIDS to vitally moving to believe it was a key problem that had to be addressed through interventions, which was commendable. ... China would from 2013 to 2015 provide US$20 billion in loans to Africa, so far US$10 billion in loans had been distributed. China was also helping through public diplomacy, peace-building and cooperation. On the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS, a delegate estimated that there were 437 million AIDS patients in China but due to secrecy and stigma it was hard to know accurately. By law, nobody should discriminate against a person with HIV/AIDS."

A shot in the arm for 'lady diplomacy' - "Cheng Hong, wife of Premier Li Keqiang and popularly referred to as the 'second lady', has added charm to the premier's four-nation visit to Africa. Accompanying her husband for the first time on an official foreign visit, Cheng has provided a shot in the arm for 'lady diplomacy'. Fifty years ago, the first visit by Zhou Enlai, then China's premier, to Africa was aimed at achieving a diplomatic breakthrough with the countries in the continent amid the confrontation of two superpowers, the United States and the former Soviet Union. Premier Li's visit to the continent, on the other hand, is aimed at consolidating Sino-African relationship, which includes cooperation in industrial, financial and security issues. To upgrade the Sino-African relationship, the two sides have to not only deepen their official and tangible cooperation, but also take measures to expand civil interactions. And by accompanying her husband on the trip to Africa, Cheng has sent a strong signal that China and Africa are bonded not only by trade, but also by friendship. 'Lady diplomacy' could play a supplementary role in China's public diplomacy. For example, Li is not expected to find time during his busy schedule in Africa to meet civil communities, but Cheng would be a perfect candidate to meet them in person and convey the premier's greetings and good wishes to them. Neither Peng Liyuan, President Xi Jinping's wife, nor Cheng has an official title, but both play an important role in deepening exchanges with the wives of the leaders of the countries their husbands visit. Since the leaders' wives can communicate more freely and thus reach an agreement on some issues more easily, they can strengthen bilateral relationship on the non-political and non-trade fronts. By talking with different people in the country her husband visits, Cheng can help ordinary people to better understand China, the Chinese people and their culture. Unlike the leaders who are engaged in formal talks on official policies and cooperation, their wives can focus on much less controversial topics such as education, community service, children and social aid, which are more closely related to ordinary people and will improve mutual understanding of the peoples on the two sides." See also.

"Taiwan assumes a pragmatic, yet strategic position between the U.S. and China" - Emre Tunç Sakaoğlu, "Among the sub-headings articulated in detail by Prof. Su were the strategic aspects of U.S.-Taiwan military cooperation, the broadening scale of commercial links between Taiwan and China, Chinese public's and politicians' view concerning Taiwan and vice versa, categorical periods and recent milestones in cross-strait relations, dynamics of security cooperation between Taipei and Tokyo, critical multilateral platforms for improving cross-strait relations, and various channels of public diplomacy between Taiwan and China.

Analysis of the "public-Private Hell" Propaganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Two Countries, China and South Korea [Google "translation"] - "'Public Diplomacy (public diplomacy) there is a word 'and. Be translated in the form or 'public relations diplomacy' and 'public diplomacy' is often, it is an area where in short, are dealing with a discussion of how should we do to take advantage of soft power to contribute to the national interest. Importantly, it is part of 'as contributing to the national interest'. Conventionally, in the discussion of public diplomacy in Japan, this part will fall out comfortably, encouraging understanding of Japan, such as advertising, public relations and international exchange, in other countries as well as good, and only listed the abstract goal Yes, and this has been assumed to be lacking in thinking and strategic a lukewarm manner. That in the anti-Japanese campaign today, are deployed worldwide by China and South Korea, it had made ​​the cause of Japan is to stand in the inferior would be undeniable."

Budget hits ABC, SBS, Screen Aust, Australia Network - David Knox, "As previously rumoured, the government is terminating the $223m contract between the ABC and DFAT’s Australia Network. The international television service was established by the ABC in 1993, then known as ATVI. The ABC is 1 year into its current 10 year contract.

The Government will save $196.8 million over nine years by terminating the Australia Network contract. ABC’s Managing Director, Mark Scott said: 'Countries around the world are expanding their international broadcasting services as key instruments of public diplomacy. The ABC had negotiated a detailed strategy with DFAT to develop relationships with major broadcasters in the region and to target locals likely to trade, study in or travel to Australia. This partnership had resulted in expanded audiences in key markets and was on track to deliver all agreed targets. This decision runs counter to the approach adopted by the vast majority of G-20 countries who are putting media at the centre of public diplomacy strategies to engage citizens in other countries. ...'" Uncaptioned image from entry

National Commission of Audit: When you’ve cut DFAT to the bone… - Melissa Conley Tyle, "The Commission's recommendation to axe the Australia Network received significant coverage.

It also recommended ending Australia's involvement in World Expos, which are described as having 'some public diplomacy value' but at a 'very high' cost." Uncaptioned image from entry

Denmark and Australia practise Eurovision diplomacy - Fleta Page, The Canberra Times: The weird and wacky performances of the Eurovision song contest might seem like a strange bit of annual kitsch, but for 2014 host country, Denmark, the occasion is an opportunity to strengthen international relations, particularly with Australia. 'It’s a globalised world, there’s a lot of competition for attention and an event like [Eurovision] certainly creates additional positive attention for Denmark and we think that’s great,' Ole Neustrup, the deputy head of mission at the Danish Embassy in Canberra said. 'Not everyone loves Eurovision, let’s be honest, most people see it as something fun, it’s not too serious, you have a fun evening.'

Mr Neustrup arrived in Canberra the week before Denmark won the 2013 song contest and has seen the power of Eurovision as a tool for public diplomacy. 'There were three things that opened the door for Danish-Australian relations last year. We had just won the song contest; everybody talked about the Danish TV series on television ... ['] 'We call it public diplomacy which is an important part of what we’re doing – that is promoting exchanges between our country and other countries,' the Danish diplomat said." Image from entry, with caption: Eurovision

Pakistan has huge potential in renewable energy, agriculture - "Ambassador of Denmark, Jesper Moller Sorensen ... said there was a huge potential for enhanced cooperation with Pakistan in the areas of renewable energy, Information Technology,

software development, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. ... Ambassador Sorensen ... said the bilateral ties between the two countries have 'significantly' improved in the past few years. The Danish Embassy was now much more broadly engaged in areas such as development cooperation, stabilization, public diplomacy, and trade." Uncaptioned image from entry

Proviamo con i "volontari" - "Il Montenegro è in fase negoziale dal 2010 dopo un percorso cominciato ancor prima dell'indipendenza, nel 2003, con la richiesta di far parte del Partnership for peace programme dell'Alleanza. La Alpha Centre di Niksic è un'organizzazione fondata nel 2006, lo stesso anno in cui si è tenuto il referendum che ha separato ufficialmente il Montenegro dalla Serbia.

Pur essendo non governativa, conta fra i donatori numerose istituzioni come l'ambasciata americana a Podgorica, oltre che settori della Nato come la Public Diplomacy Division e il Membership Council Communication Team. Dal 2008 la ong organizza tutti gli anni un campus che riunisce studenti, esperti e autorità istituzionali per 'imparare e discutere' dell'importanza della membership Nato." Uncaptioned image from entry

The participants of the forum “the Balkan dialogue-2014″ has called the sanctions against Russia harmful for Europe - "In the Serbian capital on may 5, the works began the forum 'the Balkan dialogue-2014', organized by Fund of support of public diplomacy name A. M. Gorchakov.

The program of the forum was opened with a panel discussion with participation of well-known Russian and Balkan historians, specialists in the field of international relations and law, parliamentarians and politicians." Uncaptioned image from entry

Diplomacy for everyone in Albania - "The prominent diplomat, Dr. Jorgji Kote has worked in the foreign service for 35 years. He’s a career diplomat and currently works as a diplomatic advisor in the Albanian embassy in Brussels. ... Dr. Kote has worked in order to publish the book 'Diplomacy for everyone'. This book is a book for everyone who’s interested on diplomacy, regardless of the profession or status. Dr. Jorgji Kote

stresses the importance that diplomacy has today for a country like Albania, which aspires to become an EU member. ... Dr Tonin Gjuraj, rector in a private university in Tirana, praises Kote’s publication by stressing the role that cultural and economic diplomacy has taken today. 'Dr. Kote has given us a valuable book, a practical manual which can benefit not only to students of International Relations, but a wider spectrum, because Kote has very well explained issues of official diplomacy and its main routes. The author has managed to dedicate a special place to economic and public diplomacy', says Gjuraj." Uncaptioned image from entry

UK minister stresses need for renewed efforts on settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - Sabina Ahmadova, "The UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington

has made a statement on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the ceasefire agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, a message posted on the website of UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said. ... The UK Minister for Europe underscored in this statement that the public diplomacy is the main factor in achieving peace and harmony." Uncaptioned image from entry

Singers from Yerevan, Baku, Stepanakert join in one project on the 20th anniversary of ceasefire - armradio.a: "In the framework of the project 'Together 2' implemented by non-governmental organizations “European Integration” (Yerevan), 'Society for Humanitarian Research' (Baku) and 'Institute of Public Diplomacy' (Stepanakert) the English version of the song 'Together' created with the joint effort of musicians and song-writers from the region of Karabakh conflict in the first phase of the project has been released on the 20th anniversary of the ceasefire agreement signed in 1994. The song is performed by Yevgeniya Timchenko (Baku), Narine Grigoryan (Stepanakert) and Gayane Sargsyan (Yerevan). Project 'Together 2' is the continuation of the project 'Together' in the framework of which musicians, poets, designers, PR specialists, photographers and clip-makers from the region of the Karabakh conflict presented their ideas and works (attributes, logos, slogans, lyrics, music, photos and videos) on the topic of 'Peace'."

International experts and pioneers in digital diplomacy meet in Barcelona - "The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia is organizing the conference 'Digital Diplomacy: Fostering a collaborative engagement' on Thursday 8 May. Diplomats, professionals, and experts from the communications sector in the field of international relations will share their experience and ideas and offer examples of good practice in this new discipline.

The objective of the conference is to contribute, from Catalonia, to the global debate on the use of internet and social networks in the field of diplomacy and public diplomacy. ... The event will be opened by Albert Royo, Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia . ... The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia regularly carries out participatory and public digital diplomacy initiatives with the aim of spreading information and news about Catalonia worldwide via an active presence in social networks." Image from entry

La traición promarroquí de Cebrián contra un histórico de "El País" - M. Ortega, "La salida de un veterano periodista del diario de Prisa ha caído como una bomba en una redacción afectada por los enjuagues político-económicos del presidente de su grupo editor. Cembrero ha señalado que 'El País' ha cedido a las presiones y le ha dejado vendido frente a la persecución de Rabat.

Las circunstancias de la marcha de Ignacio Cembrero, recogidas tan sólo por algunos medios digitales españoles, han generado un nuevo trauma en la plantilla de El País. Cembrero, periodista del rotativo desde 1979 y corresponsal en Marruecos durante catorce años, tomó la puerta de salida del periódico al considerar que éste le había dejado vendido frente a la persecución emprendida por el Gobierno de Rabat contra él. La cuestión ha recibido más atención por parte de la prensa internacional que de la española. ¿El por qué? Algunos medios críticos de Marruecos han apuntado a presiones del llamado lobby promarroquí en España y a la public diplomacy de los viajes organizados al Mamounia de Marraquech. En cualquier caso, lo que sí parece evidente es que El País optó por un perfil bajo en el caso Cembrero después de que el primer ministro marroquí denunciase al periodista español ante la Audiencia Nacional por apología del terrorismo." Image from entry, with caption: Cembrero ha señalado que "El País" ha cedido a las presiones y le ha dejado vendido frente a la persecución de Rabat."

Diplomacy and the modern world - Mahrukh A Mughal, "No country can afford to keep itself aloof in this complex political world. International diplomacy is a part of international laws, governed by certain conventions, rules and principles laid down by international bodies namely by the UNO. It is an art of conducting negotiations in regional and international relations to resolve conflicts and issues through diplomacy. It also provides opportunity to develop good relations with other countries for enhancing socio-political, cultural and economic cooperation. ... There are many types of diplomacy which have been instrumental in the development of international relations. ... During the two world wars, cold war era and tension between the two opposite blocks, diplomacy became a subsidiary instrument of power politics and ideology. ... The instrument of Public diplomacy was much used by the Americans during the cold war era as the conduct of international relations."

Songwriting, Storytelling and Sex: “Week of Writing” Festival Explores Literary Issues at Drexel, May 12-16 - "Participants will include Dan Arp, who conducts public diplomacy and outreach for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, the lead U.S

agency responsible for protecting the rights of workers worldwide. Here he puts a human face on the Bureau’s work, collecting stories from the field to raise awareness of child labor, forced labor and other violations of human rights." Image from entry

Mourning Mothers Walk to Prevent Violence: 1000 Mothers to Prevent Violence - "The Professional BusinessWomen of California's 25th Anniversary Conference will be a landmark event celebrating a quarter-century of standing together for gender equity! The 2014 PBWC Conference line-up of keynote speakers includes: ... Charlotte Beers -- Named 'the most powerful woman in advertising' and 'the queen of Madison Avenue,' Beers also served as United States Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs reporting to Secretary of State Colin Powell."

KLARIF, Inc., Is Pleased to Announce Their New Regional Brand Manager, Ms. Taru Salminen - "To strengthen the KLARIF’s global brand value by having Helie Lee, the bestselling author and the wife of Ken Mok (President of 10×10 Entertainment, America’s Next Top Model), as a board member earlier this month, the Board of Directors of KLARIF, inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Taru Salminen as the new Regional Brand Manager of the Company for supporting the development of the KLARIF's brand strategy and marketing plans by overseeing and promoting the brand in Asian countries. ... Taru has a Bachelor’s degree In East Asian studies from Helsinki University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Marketing from Helsinki Business Polytechnic. Taru has worked for the Embassy of Finland in Seoul since 2007 as a cultural and administrative attache being responsible for cultural events, public diplomacy and administration including accounting, budget planning and human resource management. Taru graduated from Makgeolli school as the first foreigner in 2010 and soon after opened Tarujumak, a Finnish-Korean Makgeolli restaurant in Seoul. Taru has introduced Finnish culture to Koreans by translating numerous Finnish children’s books into Korean. She has also been a columnist for various newspapers and magazines such as the Hankyoreh, and Food and People (general magazine for the foodservice industry). In addition, she has given numerous lectures on various topics in Korean universities, public organizations and companies. Animals and nature are close to her heart. Taru is currently the PR ambassador for Korean Federation for Environmental Movement. She is also an active member of the Street Cat Protection Society. Taru was nominated Honorary Police of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in 2012. She is a member of the foreign affairs committee of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency and immigration policy committee of Korea Immigration Service, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Korea. In her spare time she dances and teaches salsa and plays Latin percussion instruments."

Candidates for George Washington University Union Elections - "James L. (Jim) Bullock [:] Following retirement from the State Department’s Foreign Service and a brief stint as a university administrator overseas, I returned to Washington in late 2010. The following year I took over teaching a graduate seminar in 'Media and Foreign Policy' as an adjunct at the CCAS School of Media and Public Affairs. ... Adjuncts within SMPA, often former journalists and retired diplomats, make up a large percentage of the teaching staff within our department. We bring valuable real-world experience and expertise to the classrooms. Many, like me, regularly participate in university and department events, including in support of SMPA’s working relationship with the Public Diplomacy Council, a professional association to which I belong."

Mirza’s Curriculum Résumé - Jessica Daniels, "Mirza Ramic (MALD, 2014) ... My last semester has featured a combination of requirements and electives. Another business course to solidify my understanding of innovation and new ventures; a course on U.S. public diplomacy to expand my familiarity with communication in the public sector."

(Not just) another BRICS in the wall - Michael Pearl-Teplitsky, "The writer is a lawyer and a public diplomacy specialist, who holds a master’s degree in international relations and a bachelors of law degree from the University of Haifa. He formerly headed the University of Haifa Students Union as Vice Chairman and C.E.O."

Russia's soft power shouldn't add up to propaganda - Pavel Koshkin, Ksenia Smertina, "Konstantin Kosachev, the head of Russia’s public diplomacy agency, talks about the impact of the Ukrainian crisis on Russia's ability to project 'soft power' abroad as well as Moscow’s efforts to change the world’s perceptions of Russia."

US Embassy and Consulate General Jobs: 5 Positions - "The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta is seeking an individual for the position of Cultural Affairs Assistant (@america Program) in the Public Affairs Section ... The U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya is seeking an individual for the position of Cultural Affairs Assistant in the Public Affairs Section."

Obituary Notice: Frank S. Ruddy, Ambassador and former USIA Deputy General Counsel - LJB, via email: "Francis Stephen Ruddy passed away on May 7, 2014. He was born in Jackson Heights, Queens in 1937. Mr. Ruddy worked all over the world, particularly in Africa, where he was the U.S. ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. He helped direct American aid efforts in Africa through his work in the State Department and as Assistant Administrator for Africa at USAID. He also served twice as Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Information Agency and as General Counsel for the Department of Energy. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps."


5 Misconceptions about Being a Diplomat - There are many misconceptions about being a diplomat, here are five of them: 1. It’s One Job. 2. That It Involves Lying 3. That It Is a Safe Job 4. Diplomatic Immunity

5. Oh So Witty. Image from entry

The Social Network Of Foreign Ministries - "In order to learn if foreign ministries do indeed follow each other on twitter, I compiled a sample of 70 countries and analyzed which ministries follow their peers. The result of this analysis was a social network of foreign ministries spanning the globe. Once I had built the network, I was able to answer the most important regarding social networks- who is the most popular kid in the class? Which ministry has the most followers?
The data I had gathered also enabled me to answer two additional questions- which ministries are devout followers of other ministries and, perhaps most importantly, which ministries serve as import crossroads of information within this particular social network." Image from entry

Qaeda Affiliate Steps [in Yemen] Up Video Propaganda Push - New York Times [subscription]

Nearly 21,000 Vietnamese Students in the U.S.! - SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) came online in 2003 to track and monitor the status and activities of nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors who enter the U.S. This web-based system collects real-time information on these two groups, plus approved schools and program sponsors. SEVIS by the Numbers (PDF download) is a statistical summary report produced using data compiled from SEVIS.

The quarterly review below is based on information retrieved on 1 April 2014. The last update was on 15 January 2014. Since January 2014 the total number of SEVIS records for active nonimmigrant students, exchange visitors and their dependents has increased by 2.68%, from 1,315,528 to 1,350,746. Not surprisingly, 29% of all nonimmigrant students are from China, followed by 11% from India. In fact, 85% of all F & M students in the U.S. hail from Asia. Image from entry

Notarization: The Trojan Horse Approach to Gaining Credibility for a Diploma Mill Diploma - The use of fake educational credentials is a clear-cut example of corruption.

Mind your language: N Korea’s self-defeating propaganda - Simon Mundy, North Korea’s recent slurs against the presidents of the US and South Korea exemplify a high-pitched, extravagant and often venomous propaganda style unmatched by any other nation – as well as the inherent contradictions and hypocrisy within much Pyongyang propaganda. Despite the country’s well-documented human rights abuses, North Korea's state media has sought to promote a message of opposition to discrimination. Two weeks ago it published a report attacking racism and other problems in the US, which it described as “the world’s worst human rights abuser”. In March it gave extensive coverage to International Women’s Day, trumpeting the rights accorded North Korean women and highlighting complaints about sexism in South Korea.  All this sits awkwardly with recent, repeated descriptions of US President Barack Obama as a “monkey” and of South Korean President Park Geun-hye as a “prostitute” – among other racist and sexist insults.

Confessions Of North Korea's Top Propaganda Poet - Nathan A. Thompson, As spin-doctoring goes, Jang Jin Sung had one of the world’s hardest jobs. His mandate: breathing beauty into the affairs of a ruthless despot. He was the personal poet laureate to Kim Jong Il, who ruled North Korea until his death in 2011. Mr. Jang lived large as a member of North Korea’s inner circle. But the job was risky. He defected in 2004, after a minor slip-up left him threatened with execution. He spent a year on the run in China before finding safety in South Korea. These days he is an outspoken critic of the North Korean regime and of the international community’s efforts to contain the rogue state.

But the job was risky. He defected in 2004, after a minor slip-up left him threatened with execution. These days he is an outspoken critic of the North Korean regime and of the international community’s efforts to contain the rogue state. Image from entry, with caption: Former North Korean poet Jang Jin-sung

PLO Propaganda Posters and Films Get London Exhibition - Sarah Cascone,  Posters, films, and other materials produced by artists in the Palestine Liberation Organization Information Department’s Beirut offices

during the 1970s are the subject of a new exhibition opening in London, reports the Guardian.  “The World Is With Us: Global Film and Poster Art from the Palestinian Revolution, 1968-1980″ has been curated by the Palestine Film Foundation. The little-recognized artistic output of the pan-Arab movement has long been overshadowed by the fighting and violence that accompanied it. In addition to training fighters and waging battles, the PLO operated schools and cultural programs, funding filmmakers and distributing propaganda posters. Image from entry

When Propaganda Meets Social Media - Lizabeth Paulat, You can never know who is behind the social media comment, who is behind the tweet, and who they are truly working for.

How the US Propaganda System Works - Lawrence Davidson, Americans are told that other governments practice censorship and propaganda, but not their own. Yet, the reality is quite different with many reasonable viewpoints marginalized and deceptive spin put on much that comes from officialdom.

Propaganda and Sports in America - Evan F. Moore, Even though society tells that education is much more important than sports, we are taught the opposite. We live in a day and age where we can name the starting lineup of the Chicago Bulls more so than we can name our senators, congressmen or alderman. Jacques Ellul's definition of propaganda is in line with what the aforementioned groups involved with athletics want to achieve: "Propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about an active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulation and incorporated in an organization."

Music, Film And Propaganda: Interview With Hraff Event Curator, Zak Hepburn -  Last week on Right Now Radio, we spoke to Zak Hepburn, curator of Hindsight: Death to the Fascist Vultures - a Human Rights Arts and Film Festival music and film event featuring nine short animated propaganda films presented in the style of a Russian Speakeasy. You can listen to the interview online in the Right Now Radio podcast (which also featured HRAFF Director Ella McNeill), or read the transcript of our chat with Zak below.  Right Now: You created Hindsight: Death to the Fascist Vultures - it’s described on the program as an afternoon of film and music that will transport you to a Russian Speakeasy. Please explain, it sounds great!

Zak Hepburn: Get your time travel hats on! Basically, I’ve always been fascinated with sort of interstitial clips and kind of footage in that respect and that led me to propaganda films. And one of the strange caveats of propaganda cinema in a way is the animated propaganda film. And that was very uniquely Russian in many ways. There was an animation studio called Sonzalpuss Animation Studio and it’s just a real kind of powerhouse of these inventive little nuggets of propaganda which are so highly stylised and incredibly kind of hallucinogenic in some ways. There’s one called ‘Shooting Range’, which is from 1979 and it deals with a capitalist young man who is set forth into a human shooting range, and basically he is used as a product of his own mercy and whims. It’s just a really narrow field that no-one’s ever really looked at on the big screen. And these things were lost for many years – obviously they were produced under different kinds of governments and they’ve gone through different rights holders so it’s kind of this time capsule of films that no-one’s really ever gone through and presented to the public. And that was something that we were really interested in doing with this program – presenting them in a new light for viewers to look at for the kind of animation technique that they have, beyond the time that they were produced. And particularly to see them on the big screen, which you very rarely can do these days.

Stalin's Propaganda Push Marched In Spanish Civil War - Monica Showalter, In Spain's momentous Civil War, Soviet propaganda reached new heights as Joseph Stalin and his minions learned it doesn't take an army to win a war in the long term, just an effective shift in the narrative. It's a lesson still being felt in two hemispheres. Probably the most decisive victory for the Comintern, the USSR's international-operations arm charged with spreading revolution, came during the 1936-39 war between Spaniards loyal to the democratically elected Spanish Republic and a rebel group led by Gen. Francisco Franco.

World War I propaganda at Cantigny Park - Quan Truong, It's a poster almost everyone will recognize. Uncle Sam, in top hat and jacket, beckons with a distinct stare and finger point, declaring "I Want You." The 1917 poster produced during World War I, then known as the Great War, is perhaps the most well-known piece of U.S. government propaganda, but certainly not the only one. A special exhibit at The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park will feature a collection of 37 posters, along with some artifacts, related to the government's and patriotic organizations' advertisements during the war. "WE NEED YOU! Propaganda of The Great War," opens Saturday and runs through Nov. 2. "It's showing propaganda was used to sort of mobilize the entire country as opposed to just trying to build up the military," said Teri Bianchi, exhibits manager for the museum. Most exhibits have focused more on the military aspects of war, Bianchi said, but this one will be a new perspective that shows more of the home front. "It's the first time you have a huge propaganda effort," she said. "Propaganda has always existed in some form, but by the time you get to World War I, you have the rise in mass communication and a much more concentrated effort to create the Committee for Public Information that was basically the propaganda wing of the U.S. government."


--Via a Facebook friend


--American troops using a newly-developed acoustic locator, mounted on a wheeled platform. The large horns amplified distant sounds, monitored through headphones worn by a crew member, who could direct the platform to move and pinpoint distant enemy aircraft. Development of passive acoustic location accelerated during World War I, later surpassed by the development of radar in the 1940s. (National Archives); from; via Facebook

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