Monday, April 30, 2018

Pompeo exchange espionage for public diplomacy

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Amman, Jordan – Mike Pompio [sic] swaps the world of hidden espionage, a stiletto dagger for the life of a diminutive diplomat, the general face of the foreign administration in Trump politics.

He made his first foreign trip as secretary of state, and the former CIA chief circled in a small unmarked government plane, secret cruises and secret meetings with spies' chiefs and a rogue world leader from time to time for the emergence of a prominent US airliner. Power 757 with "USA" embossed across her body, a moving film and frequent public appearances.

Pompeo told his aides that he was aware of the importance of public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and interaction with journalists, which his predecessor, Rex Tilerson [sic], did not seem to fully accept until he resumed his last months in office.

Just a month ago, Pompeo was in his former job on a highly secret mission to North Korea where he met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to gauge the prospects of what would be a historic summit between Kim and President Donald Trump.

But unlike that journey, which remained obscure to many countries of the world until just last week, his first trip as Secretary of State was filled with televised welcoming ceremonies, live photographs and media events.

Washington left less than three hours after being confirmed by the Senate and sworn in on Thursday by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, an Italian-American citizen, Pompeo rushed to the common Andrews base. There, he jumped on board and flew to Brussels at night and arrived before dawn to attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

"It's never good to be late on the first day of your job, and so after I swore right here," he joked at NATO headquarters.

From Belgium, Pompeo continued its relentless pace, stopping in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan.

"I have not gone to my office yet," he said on Sunday after meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv for his third full day of work, a day that began in Saudi Arabia and ended in Jordan. To complete a rare trifecta for a day.

Pompeo will not appear for the first time at the State Department's headquarters in Dabby Potum [JB:?] in Washington, DC, until Tuesday when he will speak to staff eager to hear his plans for the agency's leadership, which was very frustrating during a brief period of Tillerson, Trump released unofficially last month .

Tillerson was not very popular in the administration, where he supported substantial budget cuts and reduced recruitment and was accused of leading experienced diplomats from foreign service and leaving dozens of top empty positions. The influence of the State Department as a federal institution was also affected by Tillerson's less-than-stellar relationship with Trump.

On his first trip, Pompey [sic] explained his intention to reverse this trend, to fill vacancies quickly and use his close ties with the president to restore the administration's link to Washington.

"The State Department will be at the forefront and the decision of every foreign policy in support of the president's agenda," he told embassy staff in the Saudi capital on Sunday before heading to Israel.

In Brussels on Friday, after meeting with embassy staff said that "they may be morale, but looked in good spirits."

"They hope that the State Department will go back and that we will do the things they came on board at the State Department to do: to be professional, to offer diplomacy and US diplomacy around the world," he told reporters. "This is my mission, build that spirit and bring the team into the field."

Pompeo said he planned to retrieve a full group of correspondents aboard his plane, which was very limited by Tilerson [sic] and his top aides, who also refused to allow a State Department spokesman to travel with him.

A spokeswoman for Heather Noiret was on board the flight to Bombo [JB:?] in Europe and the Middle East, as well as eight journalists – most of them in more than a year of Secretary of State travel.

"Noiret" image (not from article) from

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Korea Summit Hype

North Korea has so far offered no tangible sign of dismantling its nuclear program.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pose for photographs after signing the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula during the Inter-Korean Summit at the Peace House in Panmunjom, South Korea, April 27.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pose for photographs after signing the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula during the Inter-Korean Summit at the Peace House in Panmunjom, South Korea, April 27. PHOTO: POOL/GETTY IMAGES
The leaders of North and South Korea met at the truce village of Panmunjom on Friday and proclaimed a new era of peace. President Trump said from Washington that “a lot of good things are happening over there, right now, as we speak.” But if that’s true they must be happening behind the scenes because the public diplomacy [JB emphasis] so far includes no breakthroughs.
Amid hugs and toasts, Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in signed a joint declaration that committed the two sides to the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” But the important question is what Kim thinks that means. Far from being a concession, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is a standard North Korean offer that it has used to resist demands to give up its nuclear program as long as the U.S. remains a nuclear power.

Foreign Edition Podcast

An Iranian Fallout; A Korean Summit

00:00 / 20:11
The joint statement after the summit included no specific details. South Korean President Moon had an opportunity to press Kim for a more specific statement of his willingness to denuclearize. Or he could have asked for a concrete first step, such as allowing international inspectors to visit the North’s nuclear sites. There’s no evidence he did either.
Instead Mr. Moon appears to have accepted Kim’s assurances at face value and vouched for his sincerity. This is hard to understand because of the North’s history of breaking agreements. The South Korean government understands the North’s rhetoric yet chose to exaggerate its meaning to the world.
Also troubling is that Mr. Moon broadened the summit agenda to include the goal of reaching a formal agreement to end the Korean War by the end of the year. Kim is no longer demanding that U.S. forces leave Korea, but that still leaves plenty of room for other demands—such as a downgrade in the alliance or a reduction in U.S. forces. Peace can always be purchased from a dictator, but at what price?
The danger is that Mr. Moon is following the precedent of the last two inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007. The South bent over backward to entice the North to sign communiques promising peace and brotherhood. Both times the North resumed its nuclear program and military provocations. In 2002 its forces attacked one of the South’s patrol boats, killing six sailors. In 2010 the North attacked another ship and shelled an island, killing 50 South Koreans.
The hope is that Kim Jong Un has had a major change of heart, perhaps due to pressure from sanctions and China. But Kim has been even more aggressive than his forbears, making the pursuit of nuclear weapons a sacred duty of the state. Five years ago he declared the 1953 Armistice that suspended the Korean War null and void, and South Korean intelligence believes he was behind the 2010 attacks.
So why is President Moon offering the North diplomatic relief from the U.S. campaign of maximum pressure? He was chief of staff to left-wing former President Roh Moo-hyun, and like Roh he wants to play a “balancing role” between the U.S. and the North. His chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, was a follower of North Korean ideology and worked as an agent for the North as recently as 2005, collecting the regime’s intellectual property royalties in the South, according to his autobiography.
Mr. Moon may care less about denuclearizing the North than using engagement and money to entice the two nations into a confederation without a change in governance. To that end, he could be attempting to draw Mr. Trump into a repeat of the mistakes that Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush made that rewarded the North for promises of denuclearization that never materialized.
Mr. Trump is moving toward his own summit with Kim, and he is saying he’ll walk away if the dictator isn’t serious about complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. That’s the right position. But by joining the hype over summitry Mr. Trump is raising expectations that such a peace is at hand. The better policy, after decades of false promises, is distrust and verify.
Appeared in the April 28, 2018, print edition.

State Department to add staff, funding to counter Russian propaganda

Image from article, with caption: A Russian flag flies near the U.S. embassy in Moscow.

The latest: State's Global Engagement Center (G.E.C), designed to counter propaganda from U.S. adversaries, has now been exempted from a hiring freeze and plans to bring on experts on Russia, China and Iran, Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy  [JB emphasis] and Public Affairs Heather Nauert told Axios. The agency also "anticipates the arrival of $40 million ... to counter propaganda and disinformation," and will be reviewing "proposals from civil society groups to fight Russian disinformation," she said.

Vanity Fair reported this week that the G.E.C. "was handicapped for much of Trump’s first year in office." That follows a Politico report last year that then-Secretary of State Tillerson had declined to "issue a simple request" for $80 million earmarked for the G.E.C.

The G.E.C. and it's [sic; see]  predecessor, the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, were primarily focused on countering terrorist propaganda until state-sponsored disinformation was added to the mandate weeks before Trump took office, per Vanity Fair.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Transcription du discours du Président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, devant le congrès des États-Unis d'Amérique

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Democracy relies also on the faculty of freely describing the present and the capacity to invent the future. This is what culture brings.
Thousands of examples come to mind when we think of the exchanges between our cultures across the centuries. From Thomas Jefferson, who was Ambassador to France and built his house in Monticello based on a building he loved in Paris, to Hemingway’s novel Moveable Feast celebrating the capital city of France. From our great 19th-century French writer Chateaubriand bringing to the French people the dream of America's open spaces, forests and mountains to Faulkner’s novels crafted in the deep South, but first read in France where they quickly gained literary praise. From jazz coming from Louisiana and the blues from Mississippi finding in France an enthusiastic public to the American fascination for Impressionists, and the French modern and contemporary arts. These exchanges are vibrant in so many fields, from cinema to fashion, from design to high cuisine, from sports to visual arts. ...
We have shared the history of civil rights. France’s Simone de Beauvoir became a respected figure in the movement for gender equality in America in the 70s. Women's rights have long been a fundamental driver for our societies on both sides of the Atlantic. This explains why the #MeToo movement has recently had such a deep resonance in France.
Democracy is made of day-to-day conversations and mutual understanding between citizens. 
It is easier and deeper when we have the ability to speak each other’s language. ...
Without reason, without truth, there is no real democracy -- because democracy is about true choices and rational decisions. The corruption of information is an attempt to corrode the very spirit of our democracies.
We also have to fight against the terrorist propaganda that spreads out its fanaticism on the Internet. It has a gripping influence on some of our citizens and children. I want this fight to be part of our bilateral commitment, and we discussed with your President the importance of such an agenda. ...

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Korean Studies VOD Lectures
This program is designed to supplement the shortage of materials for education on Korea to meet the increasing demand for Korean studies education abroad. Under the program, the Korea Foundation provides overseas universities with audio-visual materials for online lectures on Korean studies in such fields as the humanities, social sciences and economics.

Developed by Kyung Hee Cyber University with support from the Korea Foundation, the materials can be accessed for free through the KF Archive. In addition, overseas universities with plans to utilize the materials for their Korean studies courses will be provided with copies saved to a USB memory stick when they submit their applications for support.

VOD Lecture List

Program ScheduleTypeSubject (Korean / English)Length of LectureContent of Lecture
Introduction to Korean Studies (Subtitled in English and Chinese)Overview of KoreaLecture 1  Approx.
25 min. 
Explanations of the official name, national anthem, national flower and seasons of the Republic of Korea, “Han Style,” and Korea’s place in the world  
Lecture 2 Approx.
25 min. 
Overview of Korean marital arts, music, costume, housing and history  
Popular Culture and Hallyu  Lecture 1  Approx.
25 min. 
Introduction to Korean television dramas and films
Lecture 2 Approx.
25 min. 
Introduction to Korean entertainment programs and musicals  
Korean Costume CultureLecture 1  Approx.
25 min. 
Types and forms of traditional Korean dress  
Lecture 2 Approx.
25 min. 
Traditional Korean accessories and how to wear them  
Korean Food Culture  Lecture 1  Approx.
25 min. 
The development of Korean food culture  
Lecture 2 Approx.
25 min. 
Characteristics of Korean food culture 
Korean Housing Culture  Lecture 1  Approx.
25 min. 
Characteristics of traditional Korean housing  
Lecture 2 Approx.
25 min. 
Exploring Korean housing culture through case studies  

How to watch “Introduction to Korean Studies”

Digital Archive

Relational, Networked and Collaborative Approaches to Public Diplomacy: The Connective Mindshift
; see also "Chapter 6 Relational Dimensions of a Chinese Model of Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] by YIWEI WANG."

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Chapter 5
Diaspora Diplomacy and Public Diplomacy 
Pages 16

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Diaspora diplomacy is a fairly new term that has gained currency at a time when the activity of cultivating external relations is a multidimensional process open to many participants. ... This particular sub-branch of diplomacy is about engaging a country’s overseas community to contribute to building relationships with foreign countries. A migrant community becomes a diaspora if it retains a memory of, and some connection with, its country of origin. Without that memory or connection, migration simply becomes one more footnote in the movement of people that has occurred throughout history since the first groups migrated from what scientists regard as humankind’s original home, Africa, perhaps 150,000 years ago.

The State Department has a disastrous manpower [sic] shortage

Washington Examiner; original article contains links.

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The Trump administration bears blame itself for its continuing failure to appoint talented officials to crucial roles at the department's Foggy Bottom headquarters.

Today, aside from acting Secretary of State John Sullivan and the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] Heather Nauert  [JB: see], the department's senior ranks are either vacant or staffed by career personnel serving in acting capacities. At the next rung down, the assistant secretary level, only one Trump appointee is in office. ...
Trump and Pompeo should pick up the phone and engage young career diplomats in harnessing the diplomatic wind. While the two conservatives are not popular with many in the liberal-leaning department, they would win quick favor by empowering those who were underutilized by Tillerson and, previously, John Kerry's control-freak management style. We are confident of this, because it is exactly how Pompeo won favor at the CIA.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Visa Policy

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Visa policy is the process by which countries decide which noncitizens they wish to admit—either as short-term travelers, international students, temporary workers, or permanent immigrants. Beyond setting quotas and outlining which characteristics are most important in immigrant selection, visa policy also has a public diplomacy [JB emphasis] aspect, with visa facilitation, for example, serving as a sign of the strength of bilateral relations. The research here examines the permutations of visa policy around the world.

Sister Cities International

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 20, 2018 


Dear Friends, 

This past week, the Fort Worth chapter of Sister Cities International visited me on Capitol Hill. While in Washington this week, the Board of Directors and Mary Palko, the organization’s Director Emerita and Mission Chair, attended briefings at the U.S. State Department and the Embassies of China, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Hungary, and France. 
Sister Cities International began in 1956 when President Eisenhower envisioned a way for U.S. cities to create partnerships with foreign cities. The president’s concept was that cities should exchange information and ideas in order to develop friendships and deepen cultural understanding. 
This vision sparked the creation of Sister Cities International, which today includes more than 500 U.S. cities. In fact, the organization now has relationships in 145 countries, with a total of some 2,000 cities participating. 
Fort Worth became a member of the Sister Cities International network in 1985, and since then has been named the best program for its size eight times. 
I believe that building alliances with foreign cities through citizen exchanges such as Sister Cities is smart public diplomacy [JB emphasis], and helps build a more peaceful world. 
As a former mayor, I’ve valued their work for many years – and was honored by Fort Worth Sister Cities International with the Diplomatic Leadership Award last year. 
It has been my pleasure to support Sister Cities’ goals in Washington as the former chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee. Even though I am now the chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I appreciate the important role that groups such as Sister Cities play in building bridges with other countries. 
I was proud to welcome the delegation from Fort Worth Sister Cities International to Washington, D.C. this week, and I look forward to continuing to support their critical work. 
Kay Granger
Member of Congress

Turkish Public Diplomacy in The Balkans: The Power of Soft Power


Turkish Public Diplomacy  [JB emphasis] in The Balkans: The Power of Soft Power; original 8-page article contains footnotes.

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By the driving force of the globalisation, the states started to develop a foreign policy focusing on cultural and educational activates rather than militarism and economic dimension. In this power relationship that is called as the soft power, the severity is not used and the components enabling the consent to be given are articulated, the public diplomacy is also accepted as the tool for penetration. One of the nations that is not also unconcerned to the international relations to be performed through the public diplomacy evolving towards the dominance of the soft power is the Republic of Turkey. Turkey where great changes were seen after the collapse of the Soviets in 1990s, want to use the cultural superiority that is an important source for the soft power, as a result of its thousands of years history and empire background on the lands where its predecessor ruled and has the sense of belonging, completely. The very first aim of this work is to find an answer to the matter how Turkey reinforce its soft power in Balkans through the official institutions within the context of the public diplomacy by focusing on cultural and educational activities after the rule of Justice and Development Party (JDP). In order to answer this question, firstly the soft power and public diplomacy concepts will be considered and then the activities of the official establishments bringing the potential of Turkey into the forefront with soft power components will be analysed. ...
The major powers believe in that the relations should be shaped according to the smart power in recent years; however, in the foundations of new power politics, transition from hard power components to the soft power components is there in any case. The JDP who is aware of that situation, discovered the strength of the soft power in compliance with the zeitgeist, used the historical and cultural great ties with the Balkans following the Ottoman rule to reinforce the domain of Turkey through the public diplomacy. Following the stabilisation in the Balkans, Turkey has aided to the Balkan countries to develop their institutional infrastructure together with the realisation of socio-cultural and social-economic relationships through its agencies such as TİKA, YEE, YTB, TMV, DİB, TDV, Kızılay and TRT. As Turkish culture maintains its existence in the region as the popular culture, the foreign policy perception of ruling JDP on the basis of cultural interaction and network effect facilitates Turkey to consolidate its soft power. Therefore, Turkey grounding on thepublic diplomacy providing the efficient use of the soft power plays an order-forming role that charms the peoples and countries of the Balkans. ...

Professor of Public Diplomacy Nick Cull on media's role

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Episode 9: Nick Cull Talks Black Panther and Media's Role in Public ... 

Above link regrettably seems not accessible ... at least on your PD compiler's computer.

22 hours ago - Nick Cull, professor of Public Diplomacy and founding director of the Master of Public Diplomacy program at USC, joins Colin to discuss what mainstream media properties like Black Panther or Titanic say about society.

Saudi rights agency to probe case of Pinoy forced to drink bleach: DFA

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MANILA - Saudi Arabia's highest human rights body will look into the case of the overseas Filipino worker who was hospitalized after her employer forced her to drink bleach, a Foreign Affairs official said Thursday.

Agnes Mancilla, a Filipino helper in Jizan, was rushed to the intensive care unit of the King Fahad Central Hospital earlier this week after her employer forced her to drink the chemical after she made a mistake in making tea.

Mancilla, who regained consciousness on Wednesday, said her employer made her work for about 20 hours a day and only gave her coffee for meals.

"The National Society for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia visited Agnes at the hospital on Wednesday to interview her and check the extent of her injuries," Elmer Cato, Acting Assistant Secretary of the DFA Office of Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis], told reporters.

"The Society is an independent non-government organization cloaked with the power to investigate and make appropriate recommendations to the Prosecution Office based on its findings. We believe it demonstrates the resolve of Saudi authorities to bring those responsible for Agnes’s horrifying ordeal to justice," he added.

The Foreign Affairs Department said Mancilla's recruiting agency in Saudi Arabia agreed "to help pay for her medical and related expenses."

Mancilla will soon be transferred to Jeddah where she will meet her family who will be flown in by the government to the Gulf state next week.

Reports about Mancilla's abuse came days after President Rodrigo Duterte met with another OFW [JB - see for definition]  in Saudi who was doused with boiling water by her female employer in Saudi Arabia 4 years ago.

Israel's Lieberman blames Hamas over Gaza deaths

Fares Akram and Karin Laub, Associated Press,

Image (1) from article, with caption: Residents arrive to the house morning of Mohammed Ayyoub, 14, who was killed during a protest along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Jebaliya Yesterday, at the main road in Jebaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip, Saturday, April 21, 2018. Israel's defense minister said Saturday that Hamas leaders are the "only culprits" in continued bloodshed on the Gaza border, as the EU and a top U.N. official made new demands to investigate shootings of unarmed Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, including the killing of a 14-year-old boy.

"What we've seen is a violent riot in its clearest form. The Hamas terrorist organisation have sent their people to the border with Israel and Gaza in order to camouflage their true intentions of terror. They've sent their women and their children as a ploy to hide their true intentions," said the Head of Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] for the Israeli Defense Forces, Major Keren Hajioff. Saturday saw far fewer people in the five tented camps set up in the border zone, and the Israeli army warns if violence there continues, it will move against what it calls "terror organisations" in Gaza. Palestinians mark May 15th as their "nakba," or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted during the 1948 war over Israel's creation. The vast majority of Gaza's 2 million people are descendants of Palestinians who fled or were driven from homes in what is now Israel.

Alumni Spotlight: Kalavritinos on Latin American Economics, Politics

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Michael Kalavritinos (Pardee ’90) was hosted by the Latin American Studies Program (LASP), an affiliated program of the The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, on April 20, 2018 for a discussion entitled “Navigating the Changing Economic and Political Landscape in Latin America.”

Kalavritinos works as the Deputy Head of Global Client Management for Latin America at Bank of New York Mellon, where he manages a team that is responsible for strategic relationships with the top banks and Central Banks in Latin America.

Speaking to an audience of current students, Kalavritinos emphasized that the interdisciplinary education offered at the Pardee School is something that is currently highly sought after in the banking sector.

“Interdisciplinary skills are increasingly very valuable and very much in demand in the private sector and the banking sector specifically, but in others I can imagine as well,” Kalavritinos said. “I think the Pardee School is a wonderful forum for you to have access to — as I did — to learn about political geography, international trade, international economics, international relations, public diplomacy [JB emphasis], and development in whatever region you have an interest in.”

White Propaganda and Perception Management: the origins of 'chemical weapons' false flag operations

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In the early 80s, Ronald Reagan's neocons decided that they should overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicaragua.

An agency called the Office of Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] was set up that disseminated what was called "white propaganda". It produced dossiers and fed stories to journalists that “proved” Soviet fighter planes had arrived in Nicaragua to attack America. Another story, from "intelligence sources", said that the Soviets had given stock piles of chemical weapons to the Sandinistas.

President Reagan appeared on TV with maps to show how quickly such a chemical attack could be launched on America itself. It was only a matter of time. Reagan also told America that Nicaragua was part of an access of rogue states, including Iran and North Korea, who together ran a global network of terror.

Those who run the Office of Public Diplomacy, called this technique "Perception Management". The thinking was, that if you can control the perceptions of the American people about events, that would help you ‘bring them on board’. If they thought something was a huge threat to them, they perceived it that way, then they will react a certain way, they will react in support of a more aggressive policy.

With the years, simple narratives started to fade in the eyes and ears of the American public. After the fiasco of the alleged chemical weapons possessed by Saddam Hussein's regime, which brought the Iraq war and the subsequent chaos in the Middle East, the narratives had to be upgraded to false flag operations involving 'chemical weapons'.

As explained in Adam Curtis' documentary The Trap : What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom [JB: link from original article]:

The Sandinistas were Marxists revolutionaries who had seized power in 1979, but since then they held elections and had been democratically elected. The Reagan administration dismissed these though as a sham, and an operation was set up to enforce the "right kind of democracy" by overthrowing the Sandinistas if neccesary [sic] . The man in charge was a leading neoconservative, Elliot Abrams.

The Americans started funding and training a counterrevolutionary army called the Contras. But there was enormous political opposition in the United States, and to get around it, the leaders of Project Democracy set out to frighten the American public.

An agency called the Office of Public Diplomacy was set up that disseminated what was called "white propaganda". It produced dossiers and fed stories to journalists that “proved” Soviet fighter planes had arrived in Nicaragua to attack America. Another story, from "intelligence sources", said that the Soviets had given stock piles of chemical weapons to the Sandinistas.

President Reagan appeared on TV with maps to show how quickly such a chemical attack could be launched on America itself. It was only a matter of time. Reagan also told America that Nicaragua was part of an access of rogue states, including Iran and North Korea, who together ran a global network of terror.

Those who run the Office of Public Diplomacy, called this technique "Perception Management". The thinking was, that if you can control the perceptions of the American people about events, that would help you ‘bring them on board’. If they thought something was a huge threat to them, they perceived it that way, then they will react a certain way, they will react in support of a more aggressive policy.

What was happening was that the neoconservatives were beginning to believe that their ideal of freedom wasn't absolute. And that this then justified lying and exaggerating in order to enforce that vision, that the end justified the means.

Although they portrayed the Contras as freedom fighters, it was well known that they used murder, assassination and torture, and also were allegedly using CIA supply planes to smuggle cocaine back into the United States.

And to finance the Contras, the neoconservatives were even prepared to deal with America's enemy, the leaders of the Iranian revolution. In 1985, those running the Nicaragua operation, held a series of secret meetings with Iranian leaders in Europe. They arranged to sell the Iranians American weapons. In return, the Iranians would release American hostages held in Lebanon.

Then the money from these sells would be used by those running Project Democracy to fund the Contras. The only problem, was that this was completely illegal, and the president knew it.

What was beginning to emerge was the problem of spreading the ideal of freedom around the world. To do it, those leading Project Democracy had turned not just to manipulation and violence, but were beginning to undermine the ideals of Democracy in America, the very thing, they were trying to create abroad.

Conference: “Film, public diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli conflict: Historical and international perspectives,” 16-18

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Tony Shaw's picture

Call for Papers 
October 16, 2018 to October 18, 2018
California, United States
 Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, Diplomacy and International Relations, Film and Film History, Middle East History / Studies, Political History / Studies

An international conference on “Film, public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and the Arab-Israeli conflict: Historical and international perspectives” will be hosted by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA on 16-18 October 2018. The conference is supported by the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee in Israel, the International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST), and at USC the Center on Public Diplomacy and Center for International Studies.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is seventy years old in 2018. Over the decades, a great many scholars and journalists have looked into the role that the news media have played in the conflict. By comparison, relatively few scholars have explored the part played by cinema. This conference focuses not only on film’s part in the Arab-Israeli conflict but also on how film has interacted with public diplomacy and propaganda. The conference aims to go far beyond the examination of particular feature films and documentaries – though that is an essential dimension. It seeks to look “behind the scenes” to examine how governments and groups have used film as a publicity tool; to assess the role that actors, producers, agents and directors have played in the conflict both on and off the screen; and to consider cinema’s political and cultural impact on the conflict.

Hollywood is obviously an important part of this story, and by holding the conference in Los Angeles we hope to involve contemporary filmmakers, diplomats and lobby organizations based in the city that are engaged in a variety of ways in the Arab-Israeli conflict. But the conference will look at how cinemas from different parts of the world have treated the Arab-Israeli conflict. This will enable comparative analysis and point to the part played by film in the international “war of images” that has surrounded the Arab-Israeli conflict since its inception.

Our approach is interdisciplinary, and we welcome proposals for papers from scholars of all fields, including History, Middle East studies, Israel studies, Public Diplomacy and Propaganda studies, International Affairs, Film studies, Literature, and the Social Sciences. Possible topics for panels and papers include but are not limited to:
  • Key feature films and documentaries about the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Cinema’s direct and oblique treatments of the conflict
  • National film industries’ different takes on the conflict
  • Film activism
  • Film celebrity off-screen activism
  • Film as a public diplomacy and propaganda tool
  • Cinema and censorship/boycotts
  • Film and issues of image and Nation Brands
The working language of the conference will be English. We welcome individual proposals for 20-minute presentations, as well as 90-minute panels. Proposals for individual presentations should not exceed 300 words, while those for panels should be a maximum of 1000 words. All contributors should include a brief (250-300 word) autobiographical paragraph and the contributor’s academic affiliation and email. All of this should be sent to Professor Tony Shaw at
Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2018.
Notification of acceptance: 31 July 2018.
Conference organizers:
  • Professor Tony Shaw, University of Hertfordshire, UK
  • Professor Nicholas Cull, University of Southern California, and President of the International Association for Media and History.
  • Dr Giora Goodman, Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Israel.

Contact Info: 
Professor Tony Shaw, University of Hertfordshire, UK
Contact Email: