Monday, July 28, 2014

The purpose of the Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review; its compiler now taking a break

The main purpose of the Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review (PDPBR), for kind readers who pay attention to it, is pedagogical. Every week, for the graduate course I am privileged to teach at Georgetown  University --  "Propaganda and U.S. Foreign Policy: A Historical Overview" -- I select items from the PDPBR for distribution to students to enliven discussion in our eleven-person, three-and-a-half-hour evening class. A sample "Current Affairs Readings" culled from the PDPBR can be found below. Also below is part of the syllabus for our course, which I update every week three days before meeting with students. (This because, in large part, how quickly -- as we all know -- items cited on the Internet can "disappear").

Given that the Georgetown course, which I have much enjoyed thanks to the intellectual quality, enthusiasm, and cosmopolitanism of its students, is ending on July 30, yours truly will no longer be producing the PDPBR in the coming months. I expect to resume my love of labor in the fall.

Image from


To be discussed during Class 10 (July 23)

Journalism appeals to our relatively new awareness that facts don't 'speak for themselves', least of all in war."

--Author Jeremy Treglown, "Revolving Door," The Times Literary Supplement (July 4, 2014), p. 7

"[W]ho are we on Facebook or Twitter if not an avatar of the persona that we’d like to project?"

--TechDigest editor James O'Malley

Table of Contents

America in the World                      
U.S. Border Security                         
U.S./Viet Nam                                  
Military Spending                            
Hillary Clinton and Foreign Policy  
U.S. diplomacy/social media 
USG Non-Military International
Peace Corps                                      
Propaganda: Past History               

America in the World

America’s ‘freedom’ reputation is on the decline a year after NSA revelations - Andrea Peterson, Washington Post: A main selling point of the U.S. brand on the international stage has long been summed up with the screech of eagles and one word: "Freedom." But in the wake of the revelations about U.S. surveillance programs from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last year, the world is less convinced of the U.S.'s respect for personal freedoms according to new survey results from Pew Research. 
U.S. needs a discussion on when, not whether, to use force - Robert Kagan, Washington Post: The willingness of the United States to use force and to threaten to use force to defend its interests and the liberal world order has been an essential and unavoidable part of sustaining that world order since the end of World War II. It is also an essential part of effective diplomacy.

An Exceptional Decline for the Exceptional Country? The Empire as Basket Case - Tom Engelhardt, Recent history is clear: that military has proven incapable of winning its wars against minor (and minority) insurgencies globally, just as Washington, for all its firepower, military and economic, has had a remarkably difficult time imposing its desires just about anywhere on the planet. Though it may still look like a superpower and though the power of its national security state may still be growing, Washington seems to have lost the ability to translate that power into anything resembling success. Today, the U.S. looks less like a functioning and effective empire than an imperial basket case, unable to bring its massive power to bear effectively from Germany to Syria, Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya to the South China Sea, the Crimea to Africa. Just what kind of decline this represents remains to be seen. What does seem clearer today is that the rise of the national security state and the triumphalism of the corporate sector (along with the much publicized growth of great wealth and striking inequality in the country) has been accompanied by a decided diminution in the power of the government to function domestically and of the imperial state to impose its will anywhere on Earth.

Obama's foreign-policy strikeout: Could things get any worse for him? - Dana Millbank, Washington Post: The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page article Monday reporting that "the breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn't been seen since the late 1970s" and that "U.S. global power seems increasingly tenuous." The Journal's catalogue of woes — civil wars in Iraq and Syria, hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, an electoral crisis in Afghanistan, tension with Russia over Ukraine, floundering nuclear negotiations with Iran and renewed Chinese expansionism — didn't include the current crisis on the United States' Southern border. Could things get any worse? Well, maybe if the president's chief spokesman claimed that Obama was bringing "tranquility" to the globe — which is what White House press secretary Josh Earnest did at his daily briefing Monday afternoon.

Border Security

Perry, Obama Meet for Border Security Discussion - Ed Sterling, "In a July 11 speech broadcast from Austin, Obama said he was waiting on Congress to approve his June 30 request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to address the population influx. The president asked that those funds be used for [inter alia] ... Addressing root causes of migration, paying for public diplomacy and international information programs."

The US Has Been Quietly Recording Pop Songs to Scare Away Would-Be Immigrants - Tess Vanden Dodder, "While the United States might get the most credit for its military prowess the American government's public diplomacy efforts are pretty top notch. At least that's the positive spin on the fact that the United States has been spending millions of dollars on quiet public relations campaigns designed to dissuade Central Americans from attempting to cross the border into America, including producing some rather catchy pop songs …  which highlighted the deaths and other dangers faced by migrants attempting to cross the Sonoran desert to reach the American border. Part of this campaign included the release of five songs, which are set in the popular and upbeat cumbia style, yet have lyrics that promise certain death for those attempting to illegal enter the United States. The most popular of these songs, La Bestia or 'The Beast,' is currently in daily rotation at 21 well known radio stations throughout Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The lyrics read, 'migrants from everywhere, entrenched along the rail ties. Far away from where they come, further away from where they go. They call her the Beast from the South, this wretched train of death. With the devil in the boiler, whistles, roars, twists and turns.'” 

Propaganda song popular among Central Americans was devised by U.S. Border Patrol - Jessica Chasmar, Washington Times: A hit song in Central America was reportedly devised by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as a propaganda push to deter migrants from riding “death trains” to the border. “La Bestia,” or “The Beast” refers to a network of Mexican freight trains that migrants use as an extremely dangerous method of traveling to the U.S. border, where riders face the constant threat of robbery, kidnapping, rape and murder. The song, “La Bestia,” by Spanish crooner Eddie Ganz, is a favorite among radio listeners in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, where it’s currently being played by 21 different carriers. Customs and Border Protection announced plans earlier this month to launch a million-dollar “Dangers Awareness Campaign,” aimed at warning families about the dangers encountered by unaccompanied minors who attempt to travel from Central America to the U.S.

U.S. /Germany

Germany's Choice: Will It Be America or Russia?  - Markus Feldenkirchen, Christiane Hoffmann and René Pfister, Spiegel, de: Angela Merkel has already abandoned hope that the United States will come to its senses and rein in its intelligence agencies. During Merkel's last visit to Washington, US President Barack Obama wasn't even willing to commit to a no-spy agreement guaranteeing Germany a modicum of security. On the one hand, Germans are disappointed by the Americans and their unceasing surveillance activities. At the same time, they have demonstrated a surprising level of sympathy for the Russians and their president, Vladimir Putin, in the Ukraine crisis. This raises the fundamental question of Germany's national identity. In the long run, Germans will have to decide which side they prefer.

Why Germany feels dissed - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times: The United States hasn't offered what Germany really wants: a "no spy" agreement that would exempt Germany from being a target. The sensible thing for Washington to do would be to impose voluntary limits on its intelligence activities against its most valuable ally in Europe, especially when they have proved so counterproductive once exposed. But the U.S. also needs to learn a larger lesson: Alliances, even long-standing ones, need careful tending. They can't be taken for granted.

U.S. Spying on Germany: Breaking the Rules for What? - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: In the world of spying in general, and especially when you’re spying on allied nations, Rule No. 1 is “Don’t Get Caught.” Rule No. 2 is “Make Sure the Juice is Worth the Squeeze.” The U.S. broke both rules, several times, in Germany.

Berlin vs. Washington: When friends spy on friends - Editorial, Los Angeles Times: Spying on a close ally is as likely to undermine as to enhance the security of the U.S. Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that Germany and the U.S. shouldn't "waste energy" spying on each other. Obama should make sure that the CIA and other intelligence agencies understand and act on that message.

Spies Like Us - Jochen Bittner, New York Times: To the Americans, intelligence gathering since 9/11 has been part of a war. Germans would never think that way. To them, intelligence services should play by the rules, as in a game of Scrabble. To the Americans, intelligence gathering since 9/11 has been part of a war. Germans would never think that way. To them, intelligence services should play by the rules, as in a game of Scrabble. Germany’s stance emerges in part from the bad experiences with intelligence services in the past, namely the Gestapo and the Stasi. On top of this comes a deeply ingrained antimilitarism, and -- not to be underestimated -- a growing anti-Americanism. When the Germans hear “C.I.A.,” they think of Latin American coups, rendition flights and covert killings.  The C.I.A. needs to stop wasting time, energy and money on our intelligence people — and respect us Germans as we are. A bit reluctant at times, but generally highly reliable. As in any relationship, respect will be worth a lot more in the long run than the short-term gains of impatient snooping.

U.S. /Israel/Palestinians

The Palestinian Rocket and Propaganda Offensive - Joseph Klein, Here is the perverse logic of the Palestinian propaganda offensive in a nutshell: Hamas and its co-jihadists can launch long-range rockets aimed indiscriminately at Israeli civilians in major population centers and try to precipitate a nuclear disaster with impunity, but when Israel strikes back selectively to take out military targets in Gaza used to launch or support the  rocket firings, Israel, according to Abbas, is committing “genocide.” Not surprisingly, the Palestinians are successfully pushing this outrageous, truth-challenged narrative in their favorite venue, the United Nations. 

"Paper Dome" and Israeli/US propaganda - As'ad AbuKhali, The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب: "For more on the rockets now used by Hamas and Hezbollah, Robert Siegel speaks with Ted Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postol also comments on Israel's pursuit of an upgraded defense system. SIEGEL: They say it was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. How would - how successful is that system, in your view? POSTOL: We can tell, for sure, from video images and even photographs that the Iron Dome system is not working very well at all. It - my guess is maybe 5 percent of the time - could be even lower."


Religion, Sports Exchanges Bring Iranians and Americans Closer - Barbara Slavin, "While U.S. and Iranian negotiators labor to reach a long-term nuclear agreement, other Americans and Iranians are stepping up contacts in a new wave of people-to-people diplomacy. In recent months, three American religious delegations have visited Iran while the first group of female Iranian seminary students came to the United States. Sports exchanges are also on the rise again, spearheaded by American wrestlers who find far more numerous and passionate fans in Iran than in many countries, including the U.S." 


Vietnam’s Overdue Alliance With America - Tuong Lai, New York Times: The key ally for Vietnam today is the United States — an alliance that the Vietnamese liberation hero Ho Chi Minh ironically always wanted.  Our country must dispose of the myth of friendship with China and return to what Ho Chi Minh passionately advocated after World War II: an American-Vietnamese alliance in Asia. 

U.S. Military Spending

Countries spending the most on the military - - Thomas C. Frohlich and Alexander Kent, USA Today: The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) measures annual military spending for most of the world's armed countries. According to SIPRI, the U.S. spent $618 billion on its military last year, more than three times the $171 billion budget of second place China. Based on SIPRI's 2013 data, these are the countries with the largest military budgets.

Hillary Clinton and Foreign Policy

Hillary Clinton’s Bizarre Critique of U.S. Foreign Policy: Is patriotic storytelling really the solution to America's international relations problem? - Peter Beinart, [JB note: Per the video we watched in class]: "Tuesday night on The Daily Show, Hillary Clinton showed why she gives a great interview. When Stewart mocked the pretense that she’s not yet decided to run for president, Hillary didn’t stiffen or get flustered.She impishly played along with the gag, displaying a relaxed self-awareness rarely evident during her 2008 presidential run. On style, she was terrific. It was when the conversation turned substantive that the problems began. Near the end of the interview, Stewart asked a broad question that ended, 'What is our foreign policy anymore?' Here’s the key chunk of Hillary’s reply. [']What I found when I became secretary of state is that so many people in the world—especially young people—they had no memory of the United States liberating Europe and Asia, beating the Nazis, fighting the Cold War and winning, that was just ancient history. They didn’t know the sacrifices that we had made and the values that motivated us to do it. We have not been telling our story very well. We do have a great story. We are not perfect by any means, but we have a great story about human freedom, human rights, human opportunity, and let’s get back to telling it, to ourselves first and foremost, and believing it about ourselves and then taking that around the world. That’s what we should be standing for. ['] As a vision for America’s relations with the world, this isn’t just unconvincing. It’s downright disturbing. It’s true that young people overseas don’t remember the Cold War. But even if they did, they still wouldn’t be inspired by America’s 'great story about [promoting] human freedom, human rights, human opportunity.' That’s because in the developing world—where most of humanity lives—barely anyone believes that American foreign policy during the Cold War actually promoted those things. What they mostly remember is that in anticommunism’s name, from Pakistan to Guatemala to Iran to Congo, America funded dictators and fueled civil wars. Barack Obama has acknowledged as much. He begins the foreign policy chapter of The Audacity of Hope by discussing his boyhood home of Indonesia, a country that for much of the Cold War was ruled by a 'harshly repressive' military regime under which 'arrests and torture of dissidents were common, a free press nonexistent, elections a mere formality.' All this, Obama notes, 'was done with the knowledge, if not outright approval, of the U.S. administrations.' Hillary Clinton, by contrast, in her interview with Stewart, painted the Cold War as a glorious freedom struggle through which America inspired the globe. For Hillary, America’s current problem is that once the Cold War ended, we 'withdrew from the information arena.' As a result, across the world, a new generation no longer remembers the great things we supposedly did in the past, and America has stopped telling them about the great things we are still doing today. Her answer: 'get back to telling' the story of America’s greatness, not only to the rest of the world but 'to ourselves first and foremost.' Is America’s biggest post-Cold War foreign policy problem really that we’ve failed to adequately remind others, and ourselves, how good we are? Really? Is America’s biggest post-Cold War foreign policy problem really that we’ve failed to adequately remind others, and ourselves, how good we are?"  

U.S. Diplomacy/social media

Inauthenticity and the Tweet Tweet of Digital Diplomacy - Robert Albro, USC CPD Blog: "Most often associated with Alec Ross’s stint at the State Department as Senior Advisor for Innovation, diplomacy’s rush to better leverage the advantages of social media and mobile technologies by investing in ediplomacy and PD 2.0 is no secret. On his first day as new Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs last February, Richard Stengel made his position clear: social media are 'transformational tools' and the State Department needs to move toward a 'digital-first strategy.' Ambassadors nowtweet regularly. … [A]t a moment of attempted stealth cuts to the Fulbright program, the uncritical celebration of social media hipness, embraced by practitioners as an attractive opportunity for more direct communication with public diplomacy’s critical subject populations, is puzzling. The breezy elision of social media with greater self-authenticity, in particular, advances a deeply flawed account of social media’s potential for diplomacy. Left unconsidered were the ways that social networking sites, or the next trending social app, are in no way direct forms of communication but instead technologically mediated platforms with parameters that significantly determine the possibilities for social interaction and the performative choices for self-construction.  … And social media can be manipulated in non-transparent ways. Examples abound. … Meanwhile, the State Department’s Digital Outreach Team does not simply debate America’s critics on Twitter, but also hijacks hashtags and spoofs propaganda videos. Lines between hacking, trolling, and debating get fuzzy. … Social media effectively amplifies propagandistic reportage of contentious events and conceals ulterior motives because there is typically little context accompanying content, but also because the particular source behind a given cybercampaign is not immediately identifiable.  ... We are better off, as the anthropologist Daniel Miller has put it, remaining attentive to the ways in which 'authenticity is created out of fakery' in social media." Image from entry; see also John Brown, "Twittering; or, Where are the Emily Dickinsons at the State Department?" (Huffington Post, 2009) and "Remember When Social Media Was the Solution to All Our Global Problems?" (Huffington Post, 2014)

USG Non-Military International Broadcasting

A propaganda-free Voice of America: Congress must prevent U.S. tax dollars from helping America’s enemies - Ted Lipien, "A bipartisan bill in Congress, the U.S. International Broadcasting Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4490), is designed to return VOA and the rest of U.S. government international broadcasting to its core foundation. The bipartisan reform legislation should be enacted by the Congress and signed by the president. ... I do not believe Congress wants U.S. propaganda. That would be completely counterproductive. ... As someone who had worked at VOA as a journalist when it was part of the old U.S. Information Agency, I do not see H.R. 4490 proposing a link between VOA and public diplomacy that would be anywhere as strong as it was then. Still, I would make minor changes in the bill’s text and include in full the VOA Charter, which guarantees news independence, but also gives VOA its Washington and America news beat that Congress wants. ... VOA and Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty have completely different missions and do not belong together. Merging them under centralized management will not save money. H.R. 4490 offers the best solution in making surrogate broadcasters independent from the dysfunctional International Broadcasting Bureau bureaucracy."

Voice of America accuses Ukraine of inflaming rhetoric over downing of Malaysian airliner - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS: 'Ukrainian officials have further inflamed the rhetoric over the downing of the Malaysian airliner, claiming that a Russian crew was operating the anti-aircraft system that was allegedly used.' With editorial direction and oversight almost nonexistent these days at the mismanaged Voice of America, more and more often some VOA news reports sound like pro-Kremlin editorials. The latest example of such inappropriate editorializing by Voice of America in its news reporting — which by the way almost always favors the Kremlin and its propaganda line — was noted by World Media Watch. U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America has accused Ukrainian government officials of inflaming the rhetoric over the downing of the Malaysian airliner. The VOA editorial comment would make a perfect headline for Russia’s RT or Voice of Russia. These Putin’s propaganda media outlets would be foolish not to report that even U.S. government-funded Voice of America believes that Ukraine officials in Kyiv are guilty of inflaming the rhetoric over the downing of the Malaysian airliner with presumably false accusations. 

Joe Bruns on radio and new media at BBG and at VOA under USIA - BBG Watcher, bbgwatch: "IBB bureaucrats like to refer to anyone who supports radio as 'traditionalists' and to radio as 'legacy medium.' They have often implied that supporters of radio are against new media. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the following commentary from Joe Bruns clearly shows. Supporters of radio are some of the strongest advocates of new media because they know that serious radio journalism provides some of the best online news content.  We would add just one point to Mr. Bruns’s excellent arguments. IBB claims that the latest shortwave cuts will save about $1.6 million. $1.6 million is nothing compared to the multimillion dollar cost of the nearly 40% growth in IBB bureaucratic positions in the last several years while numerous broadcasts and journalistic positions were also cut. Millions of dollars were spent by IBB on developing new media, which is essentially free and where success or failure are determined largely by the quality of content. VOA English News Twitter has now nearly ten times fewer Followers as the U.S. State Department Twitter account and is even behind UN Peacekeeping in the number of Twitter Followers. But the most disturbing fact is that this large and constantly growing bureaucracy is cutting a lifeline to the most vulnerable individuals and groups: the poorest, the most oppressed and the most fearful — those who have no other means of getting uncensored news and information. IBB is taking $1.6 million from these groups rather than from its overblown budget and personnel. Radio audiences in countries without free media should be the last places for making cuts." 

House Foreign Affairs Chairman: Overhaul Pro-Freedom Broadcasting -
John Gizzi, "House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce has called for a complete overhaul of the U.S. government agency that oversees civilian broadcasting abroad, saying the current Broadcasting Board of Governors is effectively 'defunct' and 'real change' is needed to send American voices of freedom to people who aren't as free. 'We need an overhaul of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and a complete reinvigoration of Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and the Voice of America,' the California Republican said. 'Real change is needed to offset the propaganda in Russia and the Middle East.' At a media breakfast on Friday hosted by The Christian Science Monitor, Royce specifically criticized the 'the part-time Board of Governors, which very often cannot find a quorum.' He called for replacing the current structure of three disparate broadcasting bodies by combining them into 'a single institute.' 'It would be put under a CEO and have an advisory panel, and operate like the NED,' he said, referring to the National Endowment for Democracy, the umbrella agency that oversees the four core pro-democracy nongovernmental organizations. But Royce strongly emphasized that the message of the streamlined broadcasting agency must also be overhauled. He urged that it should communicate the same things as it did during the Cold War. The Californian pointed out that 'friendly voices' and messages of freedom were heard from U.S. broadcasts under his political hero Ronald Reagan. A younger Royce worked as executive director of Reagan's youth campaign in the California primary during Reagan's 1976 challenge to President Gerald Ford. 'Radio Free Liberty and Radio Free Europe helped instruct a generation of young Germans and helped shape' the present free Germany, he said, noting that many Germans have said the positive messages they heard on those broadcasts were light years removed 'from the bombastic rhetoric of [Communist] East Germany.' Recalling a decision made by Radio Liberty not to broadcast into what was then Yugoslavia, Royce said that years after that country dissolved into civil war and broke up into several states, he met a young man from the former Yugoslav state of Croatia. 'He told me all he had to listen to was hate radio from the Serbs [who forged the present nation of Serbia], hate radio from Bosnia-Herzegovina [now an independent state], and his own peoples' hate radio.' The Croatian contrasted those broadcasts, Royce said, with broadcasts under U.S. aegis by Czechoslovakian anti-Communist leader Vaclav Havel, and told him, 'If only we heard what I heard, we would not have had the loss of life we did.' Royce noted that in a polar opposite situation to the bloodshed that swept former Yugoslav states in the 1990s, 'Czechoslovakia became independent and then peacefully divided itself into the Czech Republic and Slovakia without a shot being fired.'"

A historical perspective on H.R. 4490 debate — propaganda — public diplomacy — VOA Charter - "It is important to note for historical background and as a contribution to the current debate over H.R. 4490 that Voice of America operated in its early years under the direction of the State Department and later was part of the United States Information Agency (USIA) which was a public diplomacy arm of the State Department. ... [I]t is inaccurate to claim that VOA was never connected in some way with U.S. public diplomacy. ... We are again not saying that VOA should be in the U.S.public diplomacy business, but it should at least stop advancing other countries’ public diplomacy and start observing its charter. The result of mismanagement at IBB and VOA is sometimes propaganda in favor of the Kremlin, such as VOA posting a map showing Crimea being part of Russia or VOA reporting without any questions asked on pro-Kremlin propaganda results of a faulty poll ordered in Russia-occupied Crimea by International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executives who also promoted these misleading survey results. Almost all critics of H.R. 4490 
with regard to the bill’s wording about VOA’s mission also recognize the urgent need of management reform at the BBG and the Voice of America. The VOA Charter represents the right compromise, under which VOA can maintain its news reporting independence while still giving U.S. taxpayers and foreign audiences something extra about the United States. It need not to be public diplomacy and it certainly should not be propaganda. But a return to the VOA Charter is absolutely necessary, as are management reforms to reverse VOA’s decline as a news and broadcasting organization." On H.R. 4490, see

Peace Corps

Peace Corps announces major changes to application process - T. Rees Shapiro. Washington Post: The Peace Corps, formed more than 50 years ago to send Americans abroad to perform good works, is in the midst of its most serious challenge, with the number of applicants falling rapidly, leaving the volunteer force at its lowest level in more than a decade. Recognizing that the organization envisioned by President John F. Kennedy could be endangered, its leaders are scheduled to announce Tuesday a series of steps to make it more attractive, including allowing candidates to choose the country where they want to serve, shortening the year-long application period, and recruiting more minorities and young people. “The Peace Corps is a great brand, but we really needed to bring it into the 21st century,” Carrie Hessler-Radelet, director of the organization, said ahead of the announcement. “This is the most extensive reform effort our agency has ever undertaken.” 


Gaza in the First Person - R.S. Zaharna, "While much of the world sees Gaza in the third person -- a place peopled by 'them' – I see Gaza in the first person. It’s home. It’s my grandmother. It’s my room upstairs with the kitchen downstairs. ... When I hear Israeli military officials insist the rockets must stop, I agree. In the 21st century, such continued violence is unconscionable.  The deliberate killing of youth is unspeakable. When I hear the Israeli vow to stop the rockets 'once and for all,' my heart skips a beat. In the conflict between the intimately intertwined Israelis and Palestinians, the fate of one is the fate of the other. When we begin to ponder humane resolutions of that conflict and recognize how inexorably entwined our fates are, we might understand better why military solutions are neither effective nor enduring in ending that shared suffering. But that shift requires moving from us-versus-them to just us. That goal may seem elusive at the moment, but it is what compelled me to study communication and keeps me wedded to the ideals of public diplomacy." 

Masa Participants from Around the World Join Online Public Diplomacy Effort - "Masa Israel Journey and the National Information Directorate within the Prime Minister’s Office have launched a joint effort to raise awareness of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in both traditional and new media. The goal of the effort is to show that Israeli civilians are under attack from Hamas in Gaza and explain to the world that Israel embarked on a defensive operation under the banner, 'Israel Under Fire.' Volunteers from several Masa programs have contributed their time out of a desire to show the world what is really happening in Israel and out of a sense of attachment to the country. The volunteers are helping translate materials into their native tongues, adapt the messaging to their specific national audiences, and contribute their own unique perspectives based on their experiences in Israel. They post on Facebook and Twitter, respond to falsehoods, expose Hamas lies, share explanatory YouTube videos, and attempt both raise awareness and challenge the discourse on social media." 

Is an Israeli Official Spreading Propaganda on Tinder? - Eli Clifton, “'Operation Protective Edge,' Israel’s self-named “defensive” operation in Gaza, is killing a lot of Palestinians in response to rocket fire from Gaza. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza puts the latest casualty toll at 174 killed Palestinians and over 1,100 wounded. The UNRWA commissioner general in Gaza told The New York Times, 'Women and children make up a sizable number of victims of the current strikes.' As of yet, no Israelis have been killed during the latest Gaza offensive. One hundred and seventy-four to zero is a tough ratio to explain. Especially for an operation that Israel claims is being taken in self-defense against terrorists in Gaza. But the Israeli Prime Minister’s office may have found an answer to this minor public-diplomacy challenge: Tinder, a popular online smartphone dating/hookup app. A friend who uses Tinder logged on yesterday and was swiping through profiles when he came upon 'Israel,' age '34' (?!). Israel said it (he? she?) was five miles away, but seemed to have one thing on its mind: sharing images justifying Israel’s bombing campaign of Gaza. ... One of the images advises viewers to visit #IsraelUnderFire, a Facebook site full of Israeli Defense Forces meme-style images. Several of the images on the Tinder profile had been posted on #IsraelUnderFire. The administrator for the page is Yair Eddie Fraiman, 'Director of Interactive Media and Public Diplomacy at Office of the Prime Minister of Israel,' according to his LinkedIn profile. Fraiman hasn’t responded to a request for comment (I’ll update this post if he does)." 

Young Israelis Fight Hashtag Battle to Defend #IsraelUnderFire - Robert Mackey, New York Times: Confronted with an outpouring of sympathy on social networks for Palestinians killed or wounded in Gaza in an eight-day military confrontation, a group of young Israelis is pushing back, using the hashtag #IsraelUnderFire to rally support for what they say is an unavoidable, defensive war provoked by rocket fire from Islamist militants. As The Jerusalem Post reports, the effort to make Israel’s case is being spearheaded by 400 college students posting comments, memes, video clips, images and explanatory graphics on Facebook and Twitter from dozens of computers in a 'Hasbara war room' at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv. Hasbara, a Hebrew euphemism for propaganda, literally means 'explanation,' and the organizers of the campaign promise to equip like-minded volunteers who visit their website, Israel Under Fire, with 'everything you need in order to properly inform about and advocate for Israel,' in 19 languages."

Israel and Hamas clash on social media: As in the field, Israel deploys superior strength and resources as both sides attack each other on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube - Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian: In recent years Israel has recruited hundreds of students to assist in its hasbara, or public diplomacy campaign. These individuals – some of whom are paid – act openly and covertly, many engaging in below-the-line online discussion threads to promote Israel's interests.

Israel's media strategy: What lies beneath - Marwan Bishara, "Do you wonder why official Israeli spokespersons sound so calm, smiley and kind when their popular base sounds so angry, so aggressive, and so racist? How they are likely to say something like, ‘thank you it's nice to be with you’, even after being grilled by a probing frustrated anchor. Why, when asked about the expansion of illegal settlements, Israeli spokespersons speak of the need for a peace settlement, and when asked about bombing civilians, they speak of a better future for all children, Israeli and Palestinian? Wonder no more. This is all part of a well-thought, well-orchestrated media strategy to mystify, mislead and even misrepresent the reality. And much of it can be found in The Israel Project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary.  … ... Chapter six of the 18-chapter, 117-page guide focuses on the lessons from the last Gaza war and proposes a more effective public diplomacy for the next time around, i.e. this round. One of the first recommendations goes as follows: 'Israel made painful sacrifices and took a risk to give peace a chance. They voluntarily removed over 9,000 settlers from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, abandoning homes, schools, businesses, and places of worship in the hopes of renewing the peace process.' And 'Despite making an overture for peace by withdrawing from Gaza, Israel continues to face terrorist attacks, including rocket attacks and drive-by shootings of innocent Israelis. Israel knows that for a lasting peace, they must be free from terrorism and live with defensible borders.' Needless to say, much of the formulation is misleading. Most of the illegal settlers had already moved out because of mounting Palestinian resistance, pushing Israel to finally redeploy its military without any coordination with the Palestinian Authority. The decision was motivated by the need to disengage demographically from 1.5 million impoverished Palestinians and was based on cost-benefit analysis, not peace strategy. All of which partially explains why Israel has being laying siege to Gaza and reckons it has the right to intervene militarily at will ever since. At any rate, the guide suggests that defenders and promoters of Israel's war need to use the kind of language that 'may be hard for some of you to say, but every result of research confirms that an approach like this is the best way for an Israeli spokesperson to truly be heard and therefore make a difference'.  ... The guide advises the pro-Israel camps to 'use rhetorical questions to gain permission from the audience for Israel's actions'. For example: 'What should Israel do? Imagine, if thousands of rockets were fired into your community every day and every night? What would your country do? What would you want them to do? Don't we have a duty to protect our citizens?'" 

IDC fights war on another front: Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fillpublic diplomacy vacuum - Lidar Gravé-Lazi, "As Israel’s security forces remain embroiled in the ongoing conflict with Hamas along the country’s southern border, students at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (IDC) are engaged on another equally important front: hasbara or public diplomacy. The Student Union at the  IDC opened a 'Hasbara Room' on Thursday – the first day of Operation Protective Edge – with the purpose of providing factual information about the situation on the ground to people around the world, as well as countering the misinformation and lies being disseminated on social media sites. 'Israel is not very strong at hasbara, while Hamas and the Palestinians are very good at spreading the word in the media,' said volunteer coordinator Karen Yoseph, a 27-year-old masters student at the IDC. 'We are trying to combat that and we are trying to expose that a lot of times Hamas is lying.' ... According to Yoseph, since the launch of Operation Protective Edge some 400 people have volunteered in the hasbara room and hundreds more have offered their assistance and support. Currently their operations encompass activities in 31 languages in 62 countries and have so far garnered some 6,000 followers on Twitter and some 55,000 likes on Facebook. They have also opened a dedicated website available in 13 languages, with informative texts, videos, pictures, and testimonials – ... One of the challenges facing Israeli hasbara has been the constant stream of fake photos and images of dying and oppressed children – many of which are old pictures from the conflict in Syria being misrepresented by Hamas and others. Some are even pictures straight out of Hollywood films. ... Asked whether hasbara is making a difference, Yaffe said he believes that public opinion is more on Israel’s side than in any previous operation, while De Benedetti [Emanuele De Benedetti, a 21-year-old undergraduate at the IDC from Rome] replied that he hadn’t been convinced, at least not until recently."

Israel student union sets up “war room” to sell Gaza massacre on Facebook - Ali Abunimah, "As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has once again turned to students to sell the slaughter online. Although they haven’t been called up to the army yet, they’ve decided to enlist in a civilian mission that is no less important – Israeli propaganda [hasbara],’Ynet’s Hebrew edition reported about a massive initiative organized by the Israeli student union branch at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC Herzliya), a prestigious private university.  ‘Hasbara,’ literally ‘explaining,’ is the term used in Israel for government propaganda aimed at overseas audiences.  ‘The goal is to deliver a very clear message to people abroad – Israel has the right to defend itself,’ Lidor Bar David told Ynet. Bar David, a student, and one of the organizers of the ‘war room,’ adds, ‘We want people abroad who don’t know our reality to understand exactly what is going on here.’ …  Last year a ‘covert’ Israeli government initiative came to light which planned to pay students for spreading propaganda online. ‘The whole point of such efforts is to look like they are unofficial, just every day people chatting online,’ Israel expert Dena Shunra told The Electronic Intifada. ‘But in fact, these are campaigns of organized lying, orchestrated with government-approved talking points and crowdsourced volunteers and stipend recipients,’ Shunra added. According to Ynet, ‘The war room was opened in the afternoon of the first day of Operation Protective Edge,’ one week ago, by the IDC Herzliya student union, and currently has more than 400 volunteers active in it, all students at the institution.  See also.

Hamas propaganda programme targets Israelis and Palestinians: Inspired by Hezbollah, Hamas is waging propaganda warfare and seeking to prepare ground for myth of victory- Sara Hussein, Middle East Online: "The music video opens with Palestinian Hamas fighters in fatigues building, transporting and then firing rockets at Israel -- but the triumphant lyrics are being sung in Hebrew, not Arabic. 'We prepare a generation of warriors who cling to death like the enemy clings to life,' the words run, with Arabic subtitles. 'A (nation) state of weakness and illusion can't hold out during wars,' it continues, referring to Israel. 'They fall apart like spider webs when they meet knights.' The five-minute video is part of a slick propaganda programme designed by Hamas and its armed Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades wing. It can be viewed here: The programme is intended both to rally divided domestic Palestinian opinion behind the group during its current conflict with Israel, but also to address the Israeli public directly. The music video, entitled 'Shake Israel's Security,' is a Hebrew remake of a song that the group released in Arabic in 2012, during its last conflict with Israel. It appears to be the first time that Hamas has released a song in Hebrew, but it builds on a broader strategy of delivering its own message to Israelis. ... The message is a mixture of threats intended to create fear, and attempts to turn Israelis against their government. It also mirrors Israel's media operations, which include military spokesperson Twitter accounts in multiple languages -- including Arabic, and video footage intended to illustrate the 'targeted' nature of air strikes. The Israeli army even distributed lollipops in part of the West Bank recently, offering 'a little sweetness' to counteract the 'bitterness Hamas has brought to your lives'."

Gaza: Turkey increases aid to Strip through Israeli crossing - "Turkish agencies have been flowing aid into Gaza worth a total of USD 2.5 million and most of the assistance is based on local procurement, daily Hurriyet online reported quoting a Turkish official as saying. The rest of the Turkish humanitarian assistance, food and medical treatment provided from Turkey, has been delivered into Gaza through Israeli crossings in line with the earlier practices between the two countries, the official added. The Israeli Embassy in Ankara contacted the Turkish authorities late July 11 and offered assistance with the coordination of delivering aid to the Gaza Strip, according to embassy officials. The Turkish Foreign Ministry received the offer, but has initiated further cooperation with the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Ankara considered the Israeli embassy's initiative as part of their public diplomacy efforts because the delivery of Turkey's humanitarian assistance is already provided in coordination with the Israeli army, which controls the border crossings, and the Palestinian Authority director of border crossings."

Public diplomacy a central front of ongoing military operation - Lahav Harkov, "The Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry have been hard at work spreading Israel’s message in Operation Protective Edge for the last week in an effort that is mostly paying off, experts on public diplomacy in and out of the government said Sunday. 'We see [public diplomacy] as a war front like any other,' Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Communications and Public Diplomacy Arthur Koll explained. 'It’s a different kind of warfare, not one where missiles are flying or gunshots, but there is great importance to words, feelings and the sympathies people develop. It’s important to our national security. In this operation, it’s a central arena.' National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry, together with the IDF Spokesman, work together to explain Israel’s side of the story, coordinating messages and talking points. Director of the National Information Directorate Yarden Vatikai explained he has representatives in meetings at the highest levels so public diplomacy goals match the decisions made in the security cabinet. On traditional media, Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Mark Regev, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor and the IDF Spokesman gave television, radio and print interviews. At the same time, Israel’s 102 ambassadors and consuls gave interviews to the media in the countries in which they are stationed. Cabinet ministers are also briefed so they can relay Israel’s message in a manner consistent to how it is being given around the world. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also appeared on traditional media in the US, talking to Face the Nation on CBS, Fox News Sunday, and State of the Union on CNN. 'The prime minister invests in public diplomacy and deals with it all the time,' Vatikai said. 'Netanyahu and the Security Cabinet are currently dealing with four fronts: Military, diplomatic, the home front and public diplomacy.' The Foreign Ministry has websites in five languages and websites for each of Israel’s missions abroad has a website in its local language, plus the ministry reaches millions of followers on social media. The Israeli mission in China alone has more than a million online followers in its various social media outlets, Koll said. The Prime Minister’s Office has a volunteer 'war room' of university students using social media to promote Israel’s cause, and Bar-Ilan University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya students are taking part in similar online activities. After Operation Pillar of Defense, the Foreign Ministry produced You-Tube videos showing children and elderly people in everyday situations, when suddenly an air-raid siren goes off.  The videos were only posted online once Operation Protective Edge began. The IDF constantly posted videos online of how it warns Gazans of upcoming attacks and tells them to leave the vicinity before a building is blown up. Some show the IDF calling off bombings when civilians are spotted near the target. Government offices are working in close cooperation with NGOs, making information available for them to disseminate to their contacts. Several NGO representatives were briefed by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi on Sunday. 'Governmental bodies have been more assertive of their case and quicker to respond and have had the facts at their fingertips while making Israel’s case to the world,' Public diplomacy NGO StandWithUs Israel office director Michael Dickson said. 'For me there’s another forum – social media and public opinion. The public can play a greater role on a different playing field than government officials.'According to Dickson, Israelis under fire are reaching out on social media more than ever before, using information from the government as well as relaying their own experiences to show what Israel is facing. All of these efforts, however, are not enough,Prof. Eitan Gilboa of Bar-Ilan University, an expert on public diplomacy, said. 'There’s not enough manpower, resources or activities dedicated to public diplomacy,' he added. According to Gilboa, the government should have prepared in advance by discrediting Hamas in the international arena. In addition, he said, the prime minister, foreign minister and defense minister should be making statements to the foreign press daily and repeat that Hamas targets civilian towns and Israel is using measured force. 'We use a policy of early warning while Hamas tells people to go to the roof and become human shields. Our policymakers should say that every day. People have short memories… These things have to be repeated,' Gilboa posited. The government is familiar with complaints about public diplomacy, but Koll said this time there have been few. 'Every Israeli citizen wants 100 percent of the world to understand and sympathize with us and we aim for as big an influence as possible, but what’s important is that we send the right message and effectively reach the maximal target audience,' Koll stated. One major problem that everyone The Jerusalem Post spoke to Sunday pointed out is that there are many more casualties in Gaza than in Israel, and photos from Gaza trigger an emotional response. 'We’re lucky to have the Iron Dome, but it’s a challenge to public diplomacy,' Gilboa explained. 'The death and destruction equation works against Israel. The more you hurt civilian populations, the more you cause suffering, the more the media and public opinion, especially in the West, will turn against you.' Photos of destroyed houses and dead women and children are attractive to the mass media, Gilboa said. 'You feel for these people, but [foreign press] fails to mention missiles were being stored under the house and fired from around it,' Gilboa stated. 'According to international law, if you fire from a place, the other side has the right to respond there. The fact that Hamas is using human shields should not be forgotten, but is not mentioned. I don’t see context in print or video media.' According to Gilboa, Palestinian violations of international law by firing from civilian areas in Gaza to civilian areas in Israel are 'a tremendous public diplomacy weapon' that Israel is not properly utilizing. 'Our main challenge is the story of civilian casualties and explaining the cynical way Hamas is using innocent people,' Koll admitted. Dickson pointed out that 'people in Gaza are living under oppression and can give out one particular message in line with people ruling them. We’re a democracy, so we have multiple voices coming out.”'Still, Koll and Vatikai both said the international media is more understanding of the context in their coverage of Operation Protective Edge than in previous rounds of fighting, and present Israel as defending itself from Hamas attacks on civilian populations. Vatikai credited Netanyahu’s waiting several days to start the operation, despite facing criticism from the Right, with bringing the friendlier- than-usual media environment. In addition, Koll pointed out that many media sources are reporting the fact that Hamas uses human shields, shoots rockets from areas full of civilians and hides weaponry in mosques and homes. 'I don’t think we’ll ever have a fully balanced media picture, but I think right now, on day six, [government public diplomacy] is doing everything right so far,' Dickson commented. Dickson commended the government, saying there is a vast improvement in flow of information from Israel since the Second Lebanon War in 2006. 'Israel slowly but steadily improved in that regard and this is the best I’ve ever seen,' he said. Still, Dickson called for the public to use whatever tools it has to relay Israel’s message: 'As much as the government is doing a better job than before, we have a role we can play as well and it’s no less important.[']" 

Israel's Government is Paying College Students to Spread Pro-Israel propaganda on Social Media - "A lot of the discussion and debate about the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been taking place on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sources. In light of that, I think it’s important for people to know that social media is by no means immune to government propaganda. Far from it in fact. Back in August of last year, a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced that the Israeli government would be giving scholarships to college students who, 'engage international audiences online' by posting pro-Israel tweets/statuses etc. online. ... Students at each university are organized into units. At the top is the chief-coordinator, who gets a full scholarship. Under the chief-coordinator are three 'desk coordinators' in charge of language, graphics and research who receive lesser scholarships. Then there are student 'activists' who receive, 'minimal scholarships'.The program is run by Danny Seamen, an Israeli public diplomacy official who drew the ire of Muslims in the region when he posted the following status on his personal Facebook page: 'Does the commencement of the fast of the Ramadan mean that Muslims will stop eating each other during the daytime?' Despite the fact that Israeli officials condemned the status, calling it 'unacceptable' and saying that it didn’t, 'reflect the position of the Israeli government,' Seaman somehow still ended up in charge of the social media propaganda campaign. ... I agree whole-heartedly with Netanyahu that we must 'fight for the truth' and 'refute the industry of lies'. But you don’t do that by bribing college kids to post pro-government sound-bites, and you definitely don’t do it by putting a man in charge who has proven he cares more about inciting anger and hate than he does about spreading truth." 

Israel take the battle in Gaza to social media: How diplomacy now takes place on Twitter - James O'Malley, "Israel has continued to use the power of social media to try to win public support for its actions. ... Israel’s actions – whether justified or not (again, we’re not getting into that debate) – are proving hugely controversial around the world, so rather than wait for the media to come to it, the army ... known as the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is incredibly 
pro-active on social media. ... [T]he IDF routinely post up videos to YouTube of successful airstrikes. ... There are also suggestions that not all of the IDF’s social media activity is above board. Whilst it is probably not the worst thing the IDF have done (any group that has guns has a tendency to use them at some point), there have been claims that 'sock puppets' have been created to advance the Israeli point of view. ...Unsurprisingly, Hamas and other groups opposed to Israel have also taken to Twitter to combat @IDFspokesperson, but as of yet none seem to have quite reached the same level of slickness or sophistication."

It is too easy to always blame ‘hasbara’ - Herb Keinon, "As the [Hamas/Isreal] fighting winds on, voices are being raised inside Israel and among its supporters abroad saying, again, 'If we only had better hasbara (public diplomacy).' If we only we had better spokespeople, better footage, better videos, better arguments, we could present our case to the world and they would be on our side. ... Were that it was so easy. Granted, Israel’s hasbara, like almost everything else in the world, could be better. We could have better and more videos to circulate on social media, we could have more eloquent spokesman (though, truth be told, the ones out there are not too bad), we could come up with better answers. But our problem is not with hasbara. Our problem is that we are fighting an asymmetrical war. As good and reasoned and sensible and logical as our arguments are, we are going to have a tough time competing with television images of Palestinians looking for their loved ones through the rubble of twisted metal rods and broken slabs of concrete. ... The problem is not that Israel’s message is not getting across, the problem is not that the spokesm[e]n are not effectively presenting a strong case or talking to the world’s reporters. The problem is that there are parts of the world that will not accept our arguments and has simply closed its ears, for a variety of reasons, to what we have to say. ... Public diplomacy, in general, is one element of diplomacy, one tool in the diplomatic tool box designed at getting your narrative accepted by people who matter: by decision makers, politicians, elites. Israel’s diplomacy over the last week has been aimed at getting the world to understand why Israel is acting the way it is. Have all the statements from all the capitals been exactly how Israel would have liked them phrased? Obviously not. But in the capitals that really do matter in the world, there is an understanding as to what Israel is doing, and why. The world has given Jerusalem a week to pound Hamas. That is by no means a given, and that – too – is a product of hasbara." 

Iran Daily: Muslims, NGOs must isolate Israel - "ˈIran Dailyˈ on Saturday vehemently criticized the world powers silence, the UNSCˈs apathy, the US, the so-called human rights organizations and the Western countries for failing and refusing to speak out against Tel Avivˈs inhuman atrocities on the innocent Gazans. Given the backing of the UN and Western countries for Israeli crimes against Palestinians, time is ripe for Muslim countries to review their policies on Israel.  And, given to the loyalty of some Muslim governments to the dominating powers, Muslims and non-governmental organizations should use public diplomacy to put pressure on the Israeli regime,ˈ urged the English-language paper in its Opinion column. ... Israel’s drone attacks on the civilians, bombing of Palestinians’ homes, the door-to-door searches of their homes, putting thousands of Palestinians behind bars and attacks on Palestinian girls and women are among the traits of Israeli troops. Israel’s ongoing attacks on the besieged area are due to its consecutive defeats against the resistance front in Lebanon and Palestine, noted the daily. It is high time Muslims and non-governmental organizations use public diplomacy to put pressure on the Israeli regime, urged the paper in conclusion."


Institutes of Confusion - "Confucius Institutes have been set up the world over by China in an effort, true, to spread its cultural enlightenment to the world. These institutes though are not totally bereft of controversy and this mainly because of the very nature of their backer. Alas Chinese culture includes a dark void in such subjects as democracy and human rights. Don’t expect the institutes to be a shining example or learning center where these subjects are concerned. Last year a number of Canadian Universities were up in arms and sought to eliminate all ties to their Confucius Institutes precisely because of behaviour that was not fitting for liberal democracies [.] ... There’s more in this article in the New York Times also highlighting all the strings that are attached to setting up a China funded institute within a Western University. In the article the difference between Confucius Institutes and the Alliance Francaise is stressed [.] ... Academics find the idea of the institutes abhorrent because they symbolise the stifling of academic freedom – and they insist on being intrinsically linked to university campuses. Their use as a tool of propaganda while censoring controversial parts of the Chinese story (the three T’s are blacked out: Tiananmen, Tibet and Taiwan) makes them stick out like ugly warts within the Western concept of liberal seats of learning that is supposed to underlie the very basis of academic development. ... Dealing with China brings in Chinese favors and money but the ultimate result is that what suffers are truth and integrity."

Chinese Martial Arts in the News: July 14th, 2014: Popular Culture, Martial Arts Studies and a Shaolin Update - Benjudkins, "'Kung Fu diplomacy,' meaning the ways in which the traditional martial arts are used as tool of public diplomacy by China or other states, is a subject that I try to cover with some regularity. ... These stories often highlight the intersection of political and economic trends ..., as well as demonstrating the changing nature of this aspect of physical culture for 'Chinese identity.' It is a subject that is of central interest to students of Chinese martial studies. Recent weeks have seen a number of developments on the Kung Fu Diplomacy front, all of which provide fascinating glimpses into China’s larger foreign policy stance for those who are interested in reading the tea leaves.  To begin with, the governments of Tanzania and China have agreed to dramatically increase the number of local African students who will be sent to China to study language, culture and the martial arts. Under the new agreement 100 students a year will be sent to China in a bid to increase the number of individuals in that state who are fluent in both Chinese language and culture.  Obviously this story plays into the larger narrative of China’s economic expansion in the area.  Its pretty clear that the actual goals of both states go well beyond cultural exchange and martial arts education.  Still, it [‘] s fascinating that the Kung Fu instruction that is one part of this program is what receives the most press. Nor are these efforts restricted to the African continent.  The China Daily ran a story which focused on the role of native Chinese instructors in staffing cultural day camps in the United States.  Once again martial arts instruction was discussed as a leading element of the overall program of cultural exchange.  … Lastly the US and China have signed a far reaching document designed to promote and regulate many aspects of cultural exchange between the two states.  The range of activities that fall under the authority of this agreement appear to be very broad. … [Another] item that caught my attention was a report on Paul 'Typhoon' Cheng, a One FC heavyweight fighter.  Cheng was born in Taiwan but was raised in Canada, holds a Canadian passport, and came to the martial arts through his work as a Hollywood stuntman. His personal story has a lot of elements that are interesting to those who think about the cultural translation and migration of the martial arts. Also interesting is how Cheng fits into the current trend of western fighters heading to China in an attempt to jump-start their market both through raising the profile of the art in the ring and providing coaching to up and coming fighters. Cheng’s dual Chinese and western identity puts him in an ideal position to be just such a figure." Cheng image from entry

Beijing, Taipei, and Hong Kong: One Step Forward, One Step Back - Alex Calvo, "After reporting from East Asia dominated by clashes at sea for weeks, the trip to Taiwan by Zhang Zhijun seemed to offer a glimpse of hope for the peaceful resolution of the myriad disputes haunting the region. The minister for the PRC’s State Council-level Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) is not only the highest-ranking communist official to visit the Island to date, but met with Chen Chu, a member of the DPP and current mayor of Kaohsiung, while focusing on Southern Taiwan, where support for formal independence has traditionally been highest. Thus, in addition to deploying a new and powerful brand of public diplomacy, Zhang seemed to go straight to the heart of the matter, bypassing an administration seen by many as too close to Beijing for comfort, and engaging those segments of the population and political organizations more reluctant to closer ties to the People’s Republic.  It would be unfair to deny that, in doing so, Zhang is indeed breaking new ground. The question is, however, are we talking only about form or also about substance? Does Beijing’s willingness to directly engage those in favour of formal independence signal a new approach to Taiwan, or is it just a public-relations exercise behind which no real policy change can be observed? While it may be too soon to answer this question, and to be fair Zhang deservers the benefit of the doubt, events in Hong Kong are casting a long shadow on Chinese policy towards Taiwan. In a badly-timed move, Beijing’s publication of a white paper on ‘One Country, Two Systems’ (designed for Taiwan and applied in Hong Kong) and Chinese harsh words on HK’s unofficial ‘Occupy Central’ referendum (plus the seizing of voting materials at the border) could be seen by the Taiwanese as proof that, should they accept renouncing formal independence and somehow coming to be under Beijing’s umbrella there would be no real guarantee for whatever degree of autonomy the Island was promised. ...  [W]hile Beijing’s decision to send a top official to Taiwan to engage with the public in traditionally pro-independence areas and to meet the mayor of Kaohsiung marks, without a doubt, a break from past practices, the simultaneous questioning of the foundations of Hong Kong’s status and the aggressive attitude toward the unofficial ‘Occupy Central’ referendum cast a long shadow on the possibility of convincing the Taiwanese to accept PRC sovereignty under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ formula. More than ever, Chinese policy towards Hong Kong and towards Taiwan are intertwined, and no amount of spin and public diplomacy can change that."


Featured Expert Opinions: A Look Back at Brazil’s Hosting of the World Cup and Forward to the Rio 2016 Olympics - "As the World Cup drew to a dramatic close on July 12, CPD reached out to a few public diplomacy experts and asked whether they thought Brazil’s hosting of the tournament had been worth it, in terms of its global image and soft power, and what it means for the country as it prepares for the arrival of the Olympics in 2016. Has the World Cup helped Brazil’s global image/soft power? 'The failure of the Brazilian team has caused huge damage to the country’s international reputation. ... Professor Jacques A. Wainberg, School of Communication, Catholic University, Porto Alegre, Brazil' 'Pulling off the mega-event has certainly given the country a great deal of global projection. ... Professor Roger Kittleson, author of 'The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil' 'As Brazil’s football team has been eliminated, the global circulating sentiment is one of embarrassment. ... Rook Campbell, Visiting Professor of Political Science, Communication and Diplomacy, USC' 'Brazil, which prides itself on its soccer prowess, has suffered a soft power hit. ... Ambassador Derek N. Shearer, Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and Director, The McKinnon Center on Global Affairs' ..."

Propaganda History

On Film: WWII Propaganda Films - Charles talks with Andy Uhrich, film archivist, about an online exhibition of WWII propaganda films curated by Indiana University. Hear about why these films were created and why they often targeted specific audiences. In this online-only extended interview, Andy talks about why these films are important in understanding the culture of the times. View the exhibit here:

The Return of George Orwell and Big Brother's War: Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda film “Triumph of the Will” set the model for modern mass propaganda, but the finest practitioners have always been in America - John Pilger, "The other night, I saw George Orwells’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, 'To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.' Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. 'What a mindf […]k,' said the young woman, lighting up her phone. As advanced societies are de-politicised, the changes are both subtle and spectacular. In everyday discourse, political language is turned on its head, as Orwell prophesised in 1984. 'Democracy' is now a rhetorical device. Peace is 'perpetual war'. 'Global' is imperial. The once hopeful concept of 'reform' now means regression, even destruction. 'Austerity' is the imposition of extreme capitalism on the poor and the gift of socialism for the rich: an ingenious system under which the majority service the debts of the few. In the arts, hostility to political truth-telling is an article of bourgeois faith. 'Picasso’s red period,' says an Observer headline, 'and why politics don’t make good art.' Consider this in a newspaper that promoted the bloodbath in Iraq as a liberal crusade. Picasso’s lifelong opposition to fascism is a footnote, just as Orwell’s radicalism has faded from the prize that appropriated his name."

From the archive, 14 July 1930: The World Wide Whisper -- Editorial: Germany fears Communist radio propaganda from Russia, but its new 'giant loudspeaker' technology could be exploited by those with bad intentions - the Berlin, which is reported to be seriously concerned about Communist propaganda launched by wireless from Moscow in four languages, would yet seem to be actively interested in making that kind of interference with one’s neighbours more effective than ever. For even while there are complaints about broadcast sedition there are rejoicings over the introduction, by one of Germany’s great engineering firms, of a “new giant loud-speaker.” It seems to be the mechanical perfection of the stage “aside”; it does not shout, but it can make itself heard from one end of a town to the other, and, according to the Observer’s account, “a whole fleet, a whole army, not to mention a whole town, can be controlled by one whisper into a microphone.”  With such an instrument at its disposal Moscow would be able to cover the length and breadth of Berlin with Communist propaganda, and the only hope for law and order would be to hire another machine and shout down the invaders - a painful prospect for the peaceful citizen who only wished to hear a little chamber music or the night’s news. But this would mean a real invasion of the rights of a sovereign State; presumably the distributing station would have to be sited within the threatened area, and in that case it might be detected, seized, and destroyed. On the other hand, it might not. The ingenuity which has created the ten-mile whisper might also make a ventriloquist of his invention in order that the sound would seem to come from all sorts of unlikely sources. The hidden operator might then waft his message about like a boy playing with a sunbeam and a mirror, so that an anti-religious address appeared to be issuing from the archbishop’s palace, an exhortation to mutiny from the War Office, and an appeal to the workmen to down tools from the Ministry of Labour. It is altogether a very alarming prospect, but if Berlin will work miracles Berlin must be prepared for the possibility of their abuse. It should be remembered in time that the difference between White Magic and Black is chiefly one of intention.

Propaganda and U.S. Foreign Policy:
A Historical Overview
LSHS 453-40
Version 1.1
MALS Liberal Studies Degree Program, Georgetown University,
Summer 2014
May 21-July 30, 2014 Wednesdays
 6:00 - 9:30 PM
Instructor: Dr. John H. Brown

The syllabus is subject to change

"Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."

--Pope Gregory XV, founder of the Propaganda Fide, a committee of cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church having the care and oversight of foreign missions (established in 1622), quoting Mark 16:15

Tell all the truth, but tell it slant --
Success in circuit lies…
The truth must dazzle gradually
 Or every man be blind”
--Emily Dickinson
Learning Goals and Outcome  

In our modern era propaganda has been an essential element of international relations, used by governments and non-state actors to pursue their interests by influencing and manipulating foreign public opinion. A word with negative connotations to many, propaganda is nevertheless one of the defining elements of our time.

The purpose of our course is to examine the nature, history, use, and morality of propaganda by focusing on how it has been employed in U.S. foreign policy during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The organization of the course is chronological. The relationship of propaganda to traditional, public, and cultural diplomacy is examined in detail. The use of propaganda by totalitarian states and terrorist groups is studied. By participating in our course we -- students and their instructor -- should develop a better understanding of propaganda and its controversial but significant role in the world today.

Students are expected to read not only the historical materials assigned but also sover contemporary treatments on the subject from the mass media and specialized journals. Most of our class focuses on the historical evolution of the US government’s use of propaganda overseas, with roughly one-third of our time devoted to present-day issues pertaining to propaganda based on current media reports and specialized articles.

Our course will focus on the following questions:

·         What is propaganda and how did it evolve?
·         What is the relationship between war and propaganda?
·         How does propaganda relate to traditional diplomacy?
·         What is the link between domestic and foreign government propaganda?
·         How do the United States government and the American public view propaganda?
·         What are the differences and similarities between propaganda and American public diplomacy (whose  mission is, according to the State Department “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.”)
·         Who is a propagandist? What motivates his/her actions? What are his/her moral choices?
·         What are the concepts and techniques of propaganda?
·         How does one judge the effectiveness of propaganda?
·         What is the purpose and relevance of propaganda in an era of instant communications, advanced technology, and international terrorism?
·         How are major media covering propaganda issues today?
·         What is the role of internet social media in today’s public diplomacy?
·         What is the nature and relationship to propaganda of cultural diplomacy, citizen diplomacy, psyops, strategic communications, and US international Broadcasting (e.g., Voice of America)?
·         What is the relationship of art to propaganda?

Course Outline (more detailed outline not cited)


(1)        Course Procedures; Introduction: History, Diplomacy, Propaganda (5/21)

(2)        What is Propaganda? U.S. “Propaganda” Before Wilson, 1776-1900 (5/28)


(3)        Spreading the Gospel of Americanism: Advertising Wilsonian Ideals During the Great War (6/4)

(4)        The U.S. Anti-Propaganda Movement Between the Wars; Totalitarian Propaganda (6/11)

(5)        Victory Is Our Aim: U.S. Information Programs in World War II (6/18); Midterm

(6)        Telling America’s Story: U.S. Public Diplomacy during the Cold War (6/25)


(7)       The Nature of Twentieth Century USG Propaganda/Public Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War (7/2)

(8)     The Shock of 9/11: Public Diplomacy During the Bush II Years (7/9)

(9)        Propaganda or Not? Other 21st-Century USG Communications Models; Strategic Communications, Psops/MISO, International Broadcasting, Cultural Diplomacy, Citizen Diplomacy(7/16)

(10)      The Internet and Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities for American Public Diplomacy; class oral book reports (7/23)

(11)      Quo Vadis PD? The Obama Administration and Overseas “Engagement” (7/30)

Questions to Ask for Weekly Readings/Viewings

In the course of our weekly readings/viewings, please keep the following questions in mind while examining how propaganda was carried out during the historical periods under consideration (e.g., nineteenth century, WWI, WWII, Cold War, the present):

·         When?

What is the nature of the historical setting in which the propaganda we are considering is being conducted? How does this setting differ from the previous period? What are the elements of change, of continuity?

·         Who’s in charge?

Who are the propagandists? How are they selected? What are their motivations? How do they justify their actions? What impact do their individual actions have on policy? What organizations handle propaganda? How were these organizations established and how did they evolve? How are they structured? How do propaganda organizations coordinate with other state/government/private entities, including the executive and legislative branches? What is their rapport with intelligence services and the military?

·         What’s the message?

Does the propaganda message(s) have an overriding theme? How does the message fit with overall policy plans? How truthful and accurate is the message? How is it developed and formulated? On what information, assumptions, traditions is it based?  How is the message presented and “packaged”? What methods are used to “soften” a “tough” message? What emotions does the propaganda appeal to?

·         What’s the purpose?

What are the specific and general aims of the propaganda? Why is it being used?

·         What are the methods/tools?
What communications tools are used? What is new /unique about them? What propaganda medium (oral, visual, print, electronic) predominates in a given historical period? Does the medium "fit" the message/purpose?

·         Who’s the audience?

To what segments of a society is the propaganda directed (elite groups -- “class” or large entities -- “mass”)? Is the audience foreign and/or domestic? What is the size and specific make-up of the audience?  What is the reaction of the audience to the message? How well do the propagandists know their audience?

·         What’s the result?

Has the propaganda persuaded, or changed the behavior of, the audience? How are the results of the propaganda measured/evaluated? What is its short-term and long-term impact?

Note: A key question for our course is the extent to which these questions are still applicable in our social-media age. Or do we need a totally new set of questions to understand propaganda -- is that it is still an appropriate word -- in the twenty first century? 

Appendix (C)

PROPAGANDA (quotations and observations)

“Why Lie When You Can Spin?”

--Columnist Clarence Page, regarding Pentagon paid-for news; “When Press Is Paid to Lie, the Truth Always Comes out, Chicago Tribune (December 4, 2004); see below item 23

‘We must accept propaganda as a major weapon of policy, tactical as well as strategic, and begin to conduct it on modern and realist line.”

--George F. Kennan; cited in Kenneth Osgood, Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad (2006), p. 38

"When you are persuaded by something, you don't think it is propaganda."

--Stanford psychologist Lee D. Ross; cited in Shankar Vedantam, “Two Views of the Same News Find Opposite Biases,” The Washington Post (July 24, 2006)

“The reason I tell you the truth is so that when I lie, you will believe me.”

--An unnamed information warrior; cited in Daniel Schulman, “Mind Games,” Columbia Journalism Review (2006)

“[T]he images of [Saddam’s] execution and his body seem to point to a new era in the way images are used politically, what might be called a post-propaganda era. So many images that were supposed to have such profound impact on public perception -- the now infamous ‘Mission Accomplished ’photo op or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's bloody head tastefully framed for the cameras -- have failed to connect with the reality of either public opinion, or the facts on the ground. This image means progress, we're told, but there isn't any progress. This image is a final chapter, but the blood still flows. For a public media campaign to work, at least some of the politically calculated captions placed on images must, in the end, turn out to be true.”

--Philip Kennicott, “For Saddam's Page In History, A Final Link On Youtube,” The Washington Post (December 30, 2006)

“‘[Senator] Fulbright had outspokenly opposed international propaganda in our government. When he coldly queried [USIA Director Leonard] Marks on the meaning of propaganda, Marks replied respectfully, "If I say you are chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that's a fact; whereas if I say you are the finest chairman in the history of the Senate, that's propaganda." Fulbright shot back: "No, you're wrong -- that’s a fact!’" 

--Cited in Fitzhugh Green, American Propaganda Abroad (1988), p. 54

“[Propaganda] came to be used by English and Continental writers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when some who were anticlerical and anti-Catholic identified this type of material with the publications of the [De Propaganda Fide]."  "Propagating the faith" was judged by these writers as sheer "propaganda."  However, the term lost its original connection with anti-Catholicism, and it is currently used to identify the vast body of political, partisan, and high-pressure mass communication designed to promote persons or causes in the modern world.” 

--Catholic Encyclopedia (1966)

“John Adams... commented that revolutionary propagandists ‘tinge the mind of the people; they impregnate them with the sentiments of liberty; they render the people fond of their leaders in the causes, and averse and bitter against all opposers.’" quoted in

--Halsey Ross, Propaganda for War, p. 1, quoting John C. Miller, Sam Adams, Pioneer in Propaganda (1936), p. 113.

“Nothing but defeat in war will suffice to produce any change not desired by those who control publicity.”

--Philosopher Bertrand Russell, "Government by Propaganda,” in the volume These Eventful Years: The Twentieth Century in the Making as Told by Many of Its Makers; Being the Dramatic Story of All That Has Happened Throughout the World during the Most Momentous Period of All History; with 160 Full-Page Illustrations and Numerous Maps (London: The Encyclopedia Britannica Company, Ltd.; New York, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1924), p. 383.

“The war to make the world safe for democracy made democracy unsafe for America.”

--Federal Judge Hon. George W. Anderson (1920); cited in George Sylvester Vierek, Spreading Germs of Hate (1930), p. 279

“In the year 1915, the enemy started his propaganda among our soldiers. From 1916 it steadily became more intensive and at the beginning of 1918, it had swollen into a storm cloud. One could see the effects of this gradual seduction. Our soldiers learned to think the way the enemy wanted them to think.”

--Adolph Hitler; cited in Philip M. Taylor, Munitions of the Mind: War Propaganda from the Ancient World to the Nuclear Age (1990), p. 172.

“I cannot convince a single person of the necessity of something unless I get to know the soul of that person, unless I understand how to pluck the string in the harp of his soul that must be made to sound.”

--Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels; cited in Richard Taylor, “Goebbels and the Function of Propaganda,” in David Welch, Nazi Propaganda: The Power and the Limitations (1983), p. 38.

“The injection of the poison of hatred into men’s minds by means of falsehood is a greater evil in wartime than the actual loss of life. The defilement of the human soul is worse than the destruction of the human body.”

--Lord Ponsonby (1926); cited in cited in Philip M. Taylor, Munitions of the Mind: War Propaganda from the Ancient World to the Nuclear Age (1990), p. 179.

“News is the shocktroops of propaganda”

--Sir John Reith, cited in Philip M. Taylor, “The New Propaganda Boom,” The International History Review (Volume II, Number 3, July 1980), p. 498.

“The other day there was put into my hand a circular issued from the War Office asking officers to supply articles and stories for propaganda purposes showing admirable qualities of our troops and the bad qualities of the Germans. …. After telling what is wanted this amazing instruction is given: ‘Essential not literal truth and correctness are necessary. Inherent probability being respected the thing imagined may be as serviceable as the thing seen.’”

--Ramsay MacDonald, in a statement (1918) to the organ of the Scottish  Independent Labour Party concerning British propaganda; cited in Ralph Haswell Lutz, "Studies of World War Propaganda, 1914-1933,” The Journal of Modern History, Volume 5, Issue 4 (December, 1933), p. 511

“It is difficult to suggest by what means diplomacy can mitigate the dangers of this terrible invention.”

--Sir Harold Nicolson, regarding propaganda; cited in his Diplomacy (Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 1988), p. 93.

“Now, by the press, we can speak to nations; and good books and well written pamphlets have great and general influence. The facility with which the same truths may be repeatedly enforced by placing them in different lights in newspapers, which are everywhere read, gives a great chance of establishing them. And we now find that it is not only right to strike while the iron is hot but that it may be very practicable to heat it by continually striking.”

--Benjamin Franklin; cited in Philip M. Taylor, Munitions of the Mind: War Propaganda from the Ancient World to the Nuclear Age (1990),” pp. 117-118.

“It is necessary for America to have agents in different parts of Europe, to give some information concerning our affairs, and to refute the abominable lies that the hired emissaries of Great Britain circulate in every corner of Europe, by which they keep up their own credit and ruin ours.

--John Adams; cited in above, p. 118.

“After all, what is a lie? ‘Tis but the truth in masquerade.”

--Lord Byron, cited in John Hargrave, Words Win Wars (1940), p. 37.

"We were hypnotized by the enemy propaganda as a rabbit is by a snake."

--Erich Ludendorff, Germany's chief strategist during World War I, cited in David Welch, Germany, Propaganda and Total War, 1914-1918 (2000),
p. 250

“Propaganda is the penalty we pay for democracy.” 

--George Vierek, Spreading Germs of Hate (1930), p. 34

“...furious Propaganda, with her brand,
Fires the dry prairies of our wide Waste Land;
Making the Earth, Man's temporal station, be 
One stinking altar to Publicity.”

--L. W. Dodd, "The Great Enlightenment," in The Great  Enlightenment:  A Satire in Verse:  With Other Selected Verses (1928), p. 44., cited in Alfred McClung Lee How to Understand Propaganda (1952), p. 19. 

“[Propaganda was], as one official wrote in 1928, ' a good word gone wrong.’”

-- K. R. M. Short, ed., Film and Radio Propaganda in World War II (1983), p. 25

“[W]e look
But at the surface of things; we hear
Of towns in flames, fields ravaged, young and old
Driven out in troops to want and nakedness;
Then grasp our sword and rush upon a cure
That flatters us, because it asks not thought;
The deeper malady is better hid
The world is poisoned at the heart.”

--Wordsworth, The Borderers, Act I, quoted in James Morgan Read, Atrocity Propaganda 1914-1919, no page

“Propaganda is nothing but a fancy name for publicity, and who knows the publicity game better than the Yanks? Why, the Germans make no bones about admitting that they learned the trick from us. Now the difference between a Boche and a Yank is just this – which a Boche is some one [sic] who believes everything that’s told him and a Yank is some one who disbelieves everything that’s told him. The Boche believes all this rubbish his own government has been telling him; see how he swallows a few facts. Boy, bring me a German printing press and four airplanes.”

--Stars and Stripes, January 3, 1919, cited in Captain Heber Blankenhorn, Adventures in Propaganda, p. 162

“Formerly the rulers were the leaders. They laid out the course of history, by the simple process of doing what they wanted. And if nowadays the successors of the rulers, those whose position or ability gives them power, can no longer do what they want without the approval of the masses, they find in propaganda a tool which is increasingly powerful in gaining that approval. Therefore, propaganda is here to stay.” 

--Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928), p. 27

“Propaganda is an instrument; it may employ truth instead of falsehood in its operation (as Wilson did, and as the O.W.I intends to do); and it may be directed to worthy instead of unworthy purposes. To condemn the instrument, because the wrong people use it for the wrong purposes, is like condemning the automobile because criminals use it for a getaway.

--Elmer Davis, "War Information," in Daniel Lerner, ed., Propaganda in War and Crisis:  Materials for American Policy (1951), p. 276

 “But what is propaganda, if not the effort to alter the picture to which men respond, to substitute one social pattern for another.”

--Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (1950), p. 26

“Propaganda is made first of all, because of a will to action, for the purpose of effectively arming policy and giving irresistible power to its decisions.” 

--Jacque Ellul, Propaganda:  The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1966), p. x

Propaganda, as a technique for "controlling attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbols [is] no more moral or immoral than a pump handle." 

--Harold Lasswell, as quoted by Brett Gary, The Nervous Liberals: Propaganda Anxieties from World War I to the Cold War (1999), p. 64

“Hitler maintained that in Britain propaganda was regarded ‘as a weapon of the first order, while in our country it was the last resort of unemployed politicians and a haven for slackers.’"

--David Welch, Germany, Propaganda and Total War, 1914-1918 (2000), p. 254

"The cure for propaganda is more propaganda." 

--Bruce Bliven, quoted by Edward Bernays (page not shown) in Doob, Propaganda:  Its Psychology and Technique (1935), p. 197

“The deadliest danger of propaganda consists of its being used by the propagandist for his own edification.” 

--Wallace Carroll, Persuade or Perish (1948), p. 7

"If you're imperially-minded, which the Americans were at the time [60s, Cold War], you don't think much about whether it's wrong or not [being part of the propaganda "aparat"]. It's like the imperial British in the Nineteenth Century. You just do it."

--Stuart Hampshire, quoted in Frances Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (1999), pp. 378-79 

"What is truly vicious" observed the New York Times in an editorial on September 1 1937, "is not propaganda but a monopoly of it."

--Alfred McClung Lee and Elizabeth Briant Lee, eds., The Fine Art of Propaganda (1939), p. 18

''The way to carry out propaganda is never to appear to be carrying it out at all."

--Richard Crossman, quoted in Frances Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (1999) introduction, no page [p. 1]

 “War propaganda is a shell in which the truth rattles around somewhere. Journalists try, with varying degrees of success, to find it among the din of false echoes. Governments try to impose their meaning on the noise.”

-- Anne McEvoy, The Independent (October 10, 2001), p. 3

“More than forty years ago, I was a pioneer in radio, a sports announcer. And I found myself broadcasting major league baseball games from telegraphed reports. I was not at the stadium…

Now, if the game was rather dull, you could say, “’It’s a hard-hit ball down toward second base. The shortstop is going over after the ball and makes a wild stab, picks it up, turns and gets him out just in time.’”

Now, I submit to you that I told the truth, if he was out from shortstop to first, and I don’t know whether he really ran over toward second base and whether he really made a one-handed stab, or whether he just squatted down and took the ball when it came to him. But the truth got there, and in other words, it can be attractively packaged.” 

--Ronald Reagan, speaking at the Voice of America’s fortieth anniversary ceremonies, Washington D.C., February 24, 1982; cited in Alvin A. Snyder, Warriors of Disinformation: American Propaganda, Soviet Lies, and the Winning of the Cold War (1995), n.p.

"’Terrorism is fundamentally propaganda, a bloody form of propaganda,’

Brian Jenkins, a terrorism expert at the Rand Corp; cited in The Washington Post, (October 11, 2001) p. A8

 “Maybe we're losing that battle for Afghan hearts and minds in part because the Bush State Department appointee in charge of the propaganda effort is a C.E.O. (from Madison Avenue) chosen not for her expertise in policy or  politics but for her salesmanship on behalf of domestic products like Head &  Shoulders shampoo. If we can't effectively fight anthrax, I guess it's reassuring to know we can always win the war on dandruff.” 

--Frank Rich. The New York Times (October 27, 2001)

“The administration is proclaiming American ideals for all to hear -- and is fighting a propaganda war against al-Jazeera television, a transnational satellite network...To succeed in the propaganda war, for example, it is not enough to say you are fighting terrorists and not Muslims, and it is not enough to help Afghans with food packages. To succeed in winning hearts and minds, you also need to rein in human-rights abuses by your new allies, such as Uzbekistan's Soviet-style dictatorship." 

--Sebastian Malaby, "Practical Idealism," The Washington Post (October 22, 2001)
The Encyclopedia Britannica (1911 edition) does not have “Propaganda” as an entry; the 1997 edition has nine-page coverage of the subject.

"A new and serious problem of modern diplomacy is the problem of propaganda. In the days of the old diplomacy it would have been regarded as an act of unthinkable vulgarity to appeal to common people upon any issue of international policy. It was Canning, in 1812, who first recognized the efficacy of what he called 'the fatal artillery of popular excitation.’... Even the British (who are a truthful race) gradually acquired a taste for propaganda, and proved that they also could tell deliberate lies. ...

It is difficult to suggest what means diplomacy can mitigate the dangers of this terrible invention [propaganda]. International agreements on the subject are evaded or ignored; counter-propaganda only intensifies the conflict. The most that can be hoped is that the very virulence of the method, the actual iteration of demonstrable untruths, may in the end defeat its own purpose. And that the best antidote to the hysterical school of broadcasters is a policy of truth, under-statement and calm."

Harold Nicolson, Diplomacy (1988 edition), pp. 92-93

“The easiest way to inject a propaganda idea into most people’s minds is to let it go through the medium of an entertainment picture when they do not realize that they are being propagandized.”
--Elmer Davis; cited in Andrew Glas, “Roosevelt creates Office of War Information, June 13, 1942,” Politico June (13, 2011)

“The ‘bad guys’ do not need to produce their own propaganda when we do it for them.”

--US Diplomat Peter Van Buren, writing in his blog, We Meant Well (January 12, 2012)

“You can't propagandize on social media. I just don’t think propaganda works on social media at all.”

--The Secretary of State’s Senior Advisor for Innovation Alec Ross, tweeting on americagov

 "What over the years, over the 70-odd years of VOA's history we have learned, is that -- and I say this often to people who say why aren't you hitting harder on the ayatollahs in Iran or something like that -- I say, look, the best answer to propaganda is not more propaganda. It is truth. We're in the truth business at the Voice of America. We may not get it a hundred percent right all the time, but that's always our goal. That is our goal.

--VOA director David Ensor as interviewed by host Shaka Ssali Straight Talk Africa, 9 Jan 2013
"Even in the actual contact of human relations, at meetings, in door-to-door visits, the propagandist is… nothing else and nothing more than a representative of the organization—or, rather, a delegated fraction of it.... His words are no longer human words but technically calculated words.... In the very act of pretending to speak as man to man, the propagandist is reaching the summit of his mendacity and falsifications…."

-- Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1973), pp. 23-24.