Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Time-off from non-existent PD

Image result for Time off
Image from

I have come to the sad conclusion that "public diplomacy" has no meaning for the current White House opera obscura, if not for the American public.

As you know, the USA State Department currently doesn't even have a Public Diplomacy chief official. [JB correction: 4/14/2019]

So, focusing as I have on my modest blog re my beloved country's PD, am taking time off from sharing items with valued subscribers to the "Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review."

I'll be back soon, if you (and I) can stand it.

On the other hand, I encourage persons interested in PD outside of/inside the US of A to please look for media items pertaining to this important international topic -- PD -- on the internet.

May I add, especially for the attention of grad students spending thousands of dollars for a degree in Pubic Diplomacy (pardon the typo):
For the most part, "scholarly" articles on PD are written by academics who have never actually been PD diplomats "in the field."
(The work of PD dips -- let's be honest -- often consists [to cite one minor among many real-life examples] in making sure USA officials on "official visits" get through customs in "unfriendly" countries [where I spent most of my Foreign Service career]).
Meanwhile, as the United States government abandons "Public Diplomacy" -- granted, an antiquated Cold War term -- other nations are promoting it (in their interpretation of these jaw-breaking, perhaps meaningless, mismatched [?] words).

Monday, March 18, 2019

What is the secret of "successful" Public Diplomacy?

... Quite simple? Promptly answering letters/phone calls/emails from the overseas public.

Image result for success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed
image from

@SecPompeo Announces Withdrawal of All US Personnel From Venezuela, Also Who Needs the Next Curveball?



Then there’s this, of course, which shows a willingness to assign blame because it was convenient and easy. This was also the week when #miltaryintervention was briefly trending on Twitter. It looks like that’s about to get loud again.

This reconstruction merges exclusive video with Colombian security footage. A molotov rag veers toward the aid truck and most likely started the fire. By @ckoettl @deborahacosta @drewjordanphoto & @singhvianjali. Story with @caseysjournal: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/10/world/americas/venezuela-aid-fire-video.html 

Embedded video
Within minutes of the blaze, @marcorubio retweeted an unverified claim and wrote that Maduro's police set fire to the aid. @AmbJohnBolton - in his "new experiment in public diplomacy" [JB emphasis] - followed suit, as did @USAIDMarkGreen and @SecPompeo. Claims that went all the way to the UNSC pic.twitter.com/TO0X8IsDl6

Embedded video

Journalism and the New Propaganda Wars: Reuters Institute Journalist Fellows [Starting at] 9:00AM, Wednesday 20 March

reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk; original entry contains links on the speakers.

Old dog, new tricks: from leaflets to mass media [-] Have governments evolved newer forms of propaganda in the 2010s? The panel discusses the period of transformation and cultures contributing to the rise in modern propaganda

Image result for old dog tricks
image (not from entry) from
9.45-11.00 – Session 1
Old dog, new tricks: from leaflets to mass media
Have governments evolved newer forms of propaganda in the 2010s? The panel discusses the period of transformation and cultures contributing to the rise in modern propaganda.

Moderator: Aura Lindeberg, Executive Producer, Finnish Broadcasting Company, Finland; entry contains additional links on participants


Nagham Mohanna, Reporter, Gaza Center for Media Freedom, Palestine

Alexandra Vladimirova, Journalist, Russia

Nera Valentić, Executive Producer, N1 Television, Croatia

Marton Magocsi, Visual Journalist, Abcúg, Hungary

Tomasz Augustyniak, Journalist and Asian correspondent, Poland

Commentator: Dr Nicholas J. Cull, professor of public diplomacy, University of Southern California ...

Communicating Kashmir: Where perception is reality

Samir Saran, Rohit Chopra, orfonline.org

Image result for Kashmir map
image and text (not from article) from 

The Indian state’s repeated blunders in Jammu and Kashmir have often been chalked down to ineffective political governance and security policy choices. While this is true, it is also time to acknowledge the colossal Indian failure in articulating a coherent, viable narrative about Kashmir and disseminating it effectively. States seldom secure legitimacy if they are unable to shape opinions, perceptions and more importantly the diverse “assessments of existence” of those that they seek to serve and manage. This is not to endorse an “Orwellian order” in which power is maintained precariously through the threat of punitive action. Rather, it is to acknowledge that political legitimacy resides firmly within the rubric of a public sphere favorably disposed to the political regime. In other words, state legitimacy depends on an effective identification with the state, one that is reinforced by persuasive rhetoric through the channels of communication that traverse across political and public life.
"The Indian government, however, has displayed remarkable and consistent ineptitude in communicating on Kashmir, with Kashmir and for Kashmir ["].
It has expended copious amount of resources talking to Kashmir, talking up some elements of Kashmir and talking down others, without any rational assessment of what must inform its priorities and emphases for the state. At its core, India’s communication on this vital subject feeds just one unintended imagery: the portrayal of a significant and growing distance between Srinagar and New Delhi.

Unsurprisingly, the Indian state is constantly at a disadvantage when it comes to narratives on Kashmir. Most international media outlets, for example, continue to juxtapose “Pakistan Administered Kashmir” with “Indian Administered Kashmir,” as if to suggest that there is some real historical equivalence between the two. Pakistan’s long history of employing state-sponsored militias first, and terrorists thereafter, has yet again been normalized as fact by much of the Western media. These same organizations have otherwise obsessed over the “war on terror” when Islamist groups, remarkably similar to those responsible for violence in Kashmir, have wrought their violence on Western targets from London to Paris. For instance, an article in the venerable New York Times, described the recent terrorist attack in Kashmir as a “bombing.” Similarly, internationally recognized terrorist groups have often been referred to as “militants”and their homegrown counterparts as “militias”.

Just to put this pattern of usage in context, the term “militia’ finds mention and a role in the constitution of the United States of America. While its usage in the South Asian context by certain media organizations and persons is a mischievous attempt to frame terrorists as the ‘resistance,’ it also clearly signals a failure of the Indian state in the realm of strategic communications.
"Calling out the hypocrisy and bias of the Western media must not be the sum total of India’s response. ["]
The knee-jerk outrage of the Indian state and citizens merely exposes and accentuates the core frailty of our ability to shape meaningful and abiding narratives in the marketplace of ideas. Therefore, it is time to ask how India can strategically reshape and influence the new ‘information sphere’ that is represented by a potent mix of legacy and new media.

There are a few crucial factors that will need be addressed as central to such an effort if it is seriously contemplated by mandarins on Raisina Hill.

Growing information flows in cyberspace negate size and resource asymmetry. Simplistic messages about India being a new “colonial power” go viral on social media—while the reality of a developing and pluralistic democratic state combating religiously motivated foreign terrorists and their local proxies is often lost at a time when even competent news organizations are increasingly Fox-like (and Fox-lite) in their headlines and reportage. Western audiences, who have appointed themselves as the arbiters of Asia’s post-colonial troubles, are more easily swayed by the former than the latter. And their near-theological affection towards an errant Pakistan only exacerbates India’s challenge. Bush Jr.’s approach to galvanize the media sphere by deploying a simple and emotive bumper sticker tag line like the “War on Terror” may not work in the Indian case. His was a distant war in a remote land that many, if not most, Americans were ignorant of; this is a conflict in which one’s own people, in many senses of the word, are implicated.
"There is therefore an urgent need to create both sophisticated messaging and means of delivery. The inability of key Indian interlocutors to communicate the low threshold of provocation and unyielding aggression by Pakistan will have adverse implications on Kashmir and its location within larger debates about Indian politics, society, and culture."
The great epics and religious texts of the world, whether the Iliad, Mahabharata, or Bible, tell us that narratives shape external perceptions. And as the age of digital and virtual technologies reminds us so powerfully, they shape our imagined realities as well.

From the thinker Baudrillard we know that in our hyper-mediated age, the real and the virtual are not so much binary opposites as parts of the same continuum of perception. For instance, we must consider the fact that all strategic communication vis-a-vis Pakistan (as framed currently) affects the Kashmir debate. If we need to dislodge, dis-embed and decontextualize Kashmir from the India-Pakistan conflict (a stated Indian objective), our communications game needs to be radically overhauled. India must calibrate its doctrines, bureaucracies and human capital to operationalize an approach that survives the democratic cycles of the central and state government. The Indian state must be able to synchronize official messaging in a way that reaches both a general audience and selected ones. As it does so, it must be prepared to declutter three interrelated but overarching narrative strands.
"For one thing, those advocating for Kashmiri independence often conflate the protection of Kashmiri identity with the notion of Kashmiri sovereignty. It is a failure of imagination that has allowed this thinking to flourish. ["]
India has always been a syncretic society. Multiple ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural identities have flourished over time. The nature of political regimes in the Indian sub-continent could never alter the extent and texture of pluralism and this is unlikely to change now. Three states in the Indian northeast consist of Christian majority populations. There is no reason that citizens in a Muslim-majority state cannot exercise full political and religious freedoms under India’s constitutional setup. This is consistent with precedent in terms of the longuedurée of Indian history and with the spirit of pluralism that marks the reality and ethos of the Indian constitution. As a corollary, can a new narrative help create and revitalize this strong ‘Kashmiri Identity’ to negate the insurgency?

Second, the Kashmiri movement is not a call for “Azadi” in the way the Indian freedom movement envisioned the term. The Indian government would do well to employ counter-narratives to dispel this notion. India’s demands for self-determination were driven by the desire to secure full constitutional rights for every individual. There is little evidence that this is the reality in Kashmir. Every passing year, the demands are clearly driven by extremist fundamentalist impulses that are at complete odds with the notion of democratic freedoms. This is antithetical both to the spirit of India’s freedom movement and its democratic values today. Theological fundamentalism must not be allowed to displace or compete with the secular freedoms guaranteed by the Indian constitution, even if these are less than perfect in delivery.
"Instead, all strategic communications must focus on the sustained determination of the Indian state to enhance ‘delivery of democracy”, implicitly recognizing past failure as a necessary precondition for reintegration of the people. ["]
Finally, the Indian state must not allow terrorists to turn into martyrs and freedom fighters. There is little legitimacy to the claim that it is Indian violence that compels young Kashmiris to take up the gun. There is a reason global terrorist groups invest so heavily in multimedia teams and in using the internet as a tool for recruitment. As the examples of mass shooters in the US, terrorist recruits for Al Qaeda, and Western-raised Muslims seduced by the fantasies peddled by ISIS show, engaging stories and compelling narratives are incredibly effective at radicalizing susceptible individuals. This is not to suggest that the Indian state should ignore the real grievances of the Kashmiri people. Rather it is to point out that there is enormous value in communicating the truth about India’s investments in the economic prosperity and governance of Kashmir with a laser focus. This is true of the military as well, which is often the first responder in times of humanitarian or environmental emergencies. It is time to personalize and humanize the Indian state and its apparatus for the people of this geography, however flawed it may be at this time. This is a precondition for engagement.
"A mature public diplomacy doctrine must form part of a comprehensive new framework for the state that includes deeper and wider political dialogue and visible economic investments.["]
India must learn to tell a story that is on point in its message and polysemic in reach. It must resonate with different constituencies across the political spectrum and be easily accessible for domestic and international audiences. The easiest part of all of this is that India has had an incredible story to tell since independence. Despite many hiccups along the way, India continues to deliver greater political and economic freedoms and personal security to its citizens than, arguably, most post-colonial states. And this objective, after all, is the principal motivation for organizing complex societies through democratic values.

Applying this story to Kashmir is complicated by both domestic and external factors. Nevertheless, it holds strong potential for appeal if it is capable of being communicated effectively. During the Cold War, the US established a special Information Agency [JB: see] whose only goal was to better explain American policies and the values that underpinned them. If India is serious about finding solutions in Kashmir, it must invest in institutions and actors that can streamline messaging about what those solutions are exactly.

SSANSE Project: Symposium on Russia and China's Political Interference Activities in NATO Small States


6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

For both Russia and China, foreign political interference activities are a useful and cost-effective method of foreign policy. In Russia it is theorized as “smart power”, while China still uses the Soviet-era term “united front work”. The activities of Russia and China go well beyond accepted norms of public diplomacy  [JB emphasis] and are having a corrupting and corrosive effect on many societies. This half-day symposium focuses on Russia and China's Political Interference Activities in NATO Small StatesThe world is seeing a return of both “might is right” politics and spheres of influence. As history has shown, the weakness of small states in a time of rising security threats can undermine the security of larger powers. The Symposium examines case studies of some representative small NATO states experiencing Russia and China’s political interference activities, the patterns of interference to look for, and discusses what is to be done.

Neringa Bladaitė, University of Vilnius
Anne-Marie Brady, Wilson Center/University of Canterbury
Donald J. Jensen, Center for European Policy Analysis
Ryan Knight, Georgetown University
Martin Hála, Charles University
Margarita Šešelgytė, University of Vilnius
Khamza Sharifzoda, Georgetown University
Mark Stokes, 2049 Project
Alan Tidwell, Georgetown University
Baldur Thorhallson, University of Iceland
Moderator: Abe Denmark, Asia Program, Wilson Center

Panel One
Donald J. Jensen: Assessing Contemporary Russian Interference Activities
Anne-Marie Brady: Magic Weapons? An Overview of CCP Interference Activities
Mark Stokes: Huawei and One Thousand Talents: China’s military links and technology transfer activities
Ryan Knight: Russia’s use of the Orthodox Church in Small NATO states
Alan Tidwell: Active Measures: Lessons Learned from the Past
Morning tea
Panel Two
Martin Hála: The CCP’s Magic Weapons at work in the Czech Republic
Khamza Sharifzoda: Armenia’s Struggle:  Escaping the Kremlin
Baldur Thorhallson: Iceland’s engagements with Russia and China
Neringa Bladaite: Russia’s Political Interference Activities in Latvia
Margarita Šešelgytė: Russia and China’s Political Interference Activities and Lithuania
The Small States and the New Security Environment (SSANSE) Project is funded by NATO-SPS

Public Schedule: March 18, 2019 - US Department of State


MARCH 18, 2019

Image result for have a nice trip
 image (not from entry) from
Assistant Secretary Royce is on travel to Hungary, Serbia, and Turkey from March 9-21. Please click here for more information. ...

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Team Finland - network


image/logo from Embassy of Finland entry
Embassy of Finland, Tokyo

Embassy of Finland in Tokyo promotes bilateral relations between Finland and Japan and guards Finland’s political and economic interests in Japan. Embassy is one of the key actors in carrying out Finland’s public diplomacy [JB emphasis] activities and making Finland better known in the world. The Ambassador leads Team Finland activities in Japan. ...

Komşu komşunun mutfağına aç!


Komşu komşunun mutfağına aç!

Yakın geçmişin sözlü yasası “Tabağı boş göndermek olmaz”, artık dünyada anlam kazanıyor. 2. Global GastroEkonomi Zirvesi’nde tanıştığımız ‘gastrodiplomasi’ kavramına bu gözle bakmak da mümkün. Kültürlerarası iletişimin yeni aktörlerini uzmanlardan dinledik.

Klişe ama gerçek: Yemek asla sadece yemek değildir! Üstelik bu, sadece son dönemin hikâyesi değil, kalubeladan beri böyle. Antikçağlardan bugüne fetihler, göçler hatta saraylardaki üst düzey evlilikler yoluyla sürekli evrilen bir alan. Başından beri böyle dedik ama yeme-içmenin giderek daha fazla sektöre el atan bir ahtapot haline geldiğini görmemek de imkânsız. TURYİD’in (Turizm Restoran Yatırımcıları ve Gastronomi İşletmeleri Derneği) ikincisini düzenlediği Global GastroEkonomi Zirvesi, bu yenilikleri masaya yatırmak için ideal platformdu. İşte sunumlarda öne çıkanlar...
Bir restoran, kültürel elçi olabilir mi?
Gastrodiplomasi, ülkelerin mutfakları aracılığıyla kültürlerarası iletişime geçmeleri demek. İlk hamle 2002’de Tayland’dan gelmiş. Peki nasıl? Bu alanda 40 küsur ülkede proje yürüten Levantine Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] Direktörü Paul Rockower anlatıyor: “Yurtdışında restoran açılması için mikrokredi uygulaması başlatıldı. Vize sürecinde kolaylık sağlandı. Taylandlı aşçılar kolay ulaşabilsin diye her yere yerel malzeme ihraç edildi... Ve turist sayısı rekor kırdı.”
Ülke markalaştırma nedir, nasıl yapılır?
Uluslararası alanda ekonomik değer oluşturmak, yurtdışından yatırım çekebilmek, ülkeye katkıda bulunacak adımlar atmak... Örnek mi? Gizem Şalcıgil White. 10 senedir yurtdışında gönüllü olarak Türk kahvesinin tanıtımını yapan White, artık ‘Turkish Coffee Lady’ olarak biliniyor.
Ülke markalaştırmada en önemli örneklerden ikisi de kinoayı, chia’yı tüm mutfaklara sokan Peru ve son dönemde bir tür lahana turşusu olan kimçiyle yeme-içme trendi listelerini zorlayan Güney Kore.
Salkımdaki güç 
neden önemsenmeli?
Bağcılık, Anadolu’nun en eski uğraşlarından ama Türkiye bugün mevcut bağlarının sadece yüzde 2’sini kullanıyor, dünyada metrekare olarak yaş üzüm üretimi alanında ise listenin 5’inci, 6’ncı sıralarında. Ancak sadece bu alanda üretici ve dağıtıcı olanlara değil, dünyadan ve Türkiye’den tüm sektör profesyonellerine göre ‘eli açık turist’i çekmenin en kestirme yolu, iyi şarap. Yanı başımızdaki Bulgaristan, Yunanistan ve Gürcistan’ın bizden daha çok şarap ihraç ettiğini, Şili’nin yıllık şarap ihracatının 1 milyar dolar olduğunu anlatıp Türkiye’nin rakamını veriyorlar: 10 milyon dolar. Mey Genel Müdürü Levent Kömür, üç ayaklı bir formül de açıklıyor: “Anadolu mutfağıyla çok uyumlu üzüm ve şarap geçmişimiz var. Türk şaraplarına sınıflandırma sistemi getirilmeli. İkinci olarak, bağ turizmi geliştirilmeli çünkü bağ turisti 5 yıldızlı otel turistinin 20 katı para harcıyor. Son olarak da yerli üzümlerin hikâyeleri anlatılmalı.”
Bu üçlü çok güçlü
D.ream CEO’su Umut Özkanca
“Yurtdışında okudum, aile mesleği restorancılığı seçtim. Restoranımız Rüya’nın ilk şubesi 2.5 yıl önce Dubai’de açıldı. Tasarımcı İngiliz, şef İrlandalı, tatlı şefi Kanadalı, ben Trabzonlu! İlk sene sonunda Ortadoğu’nun en iyi restoranı seçildik.”
Emotourismo Direktörü David Mora
“Artık ‘dönüşümsel seyahat’ diye yeni bir tür var. Yiyecek bunun en önemli faktörlerinden. Amaç, ‘dünya vatandaşı’ seyyahları çekmek. Çünkü kişi sayısından çok, ne kadar harcadığı önemli. Yemeğini yemeden fotoğrafını çeken kitle önemli.”
Şef Mehmet Gürs
“Gelenek küllere tapmak değil, ateşi korumaktır derler. Uzun zamandır bunun üzerine çalışıyoruz. Binlerce yıldır böyle yapıyor atalarımız diyoruz. Bir şekilde bu, devam edip gelenek olmuş. Bugünün inovasyonu da yarının geleneği olacak.”

China Challenges US and Allies On All Fronts, Experts Tell Senate

Tommy Sears, theepochtimes.com

This photo taken on July 1, 2018 shows Chinese paramilitary personnel training in Chenzhou in China's central Hunan province. (-/AFP/Getty Images)
Image from article, with caption: This photo taken on July 1, 2018 shows Chinese paramilitary personnel training in Chenzhou in China's central Hunan province. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States must strengthen its military presence in Asia and encourage allies to join it in confronting China economically and militarily as it grows as a competitor and threat to its neighbors and U.S. security interests. This was the message from U.S. senators and China experts appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 13. ...

Dr. Oriana Mastro, assistant professor of security studies at Georgetown University, emphasized that China, while building strength militarily, had actually devoted more effort and resources to political and economic tools. She advised “a program of institution building that will shape norms in [the United States’] favor and fill the gaps…that China has been able to exploit.”

Talent ["Former Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and Commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission elaborated that the most immediate action"] that the United States could take to reassure and attract allies would be “rebuilding the armed forces to the point where we can increase our forward presence in the region…that will be a sign of our commitment that will assure them that we’re capable of deterring actual Chinese aggression.”

Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) raised concern about Confucius Institutes, a Chinese program that 100 US universities were partnering with but that he saw as posing a threat to academic freedom. He also noted that there were 1,000 Confucius Institutes in the United States at the K-12 level.

Talent and Mastro agreed that the Institutes were causing scholars to self-censor to retain Chinese research funding and were an example of China combining covert operations with public diplomacy [JB emphasis]. Mastro did not see a need for banning them, but advised constraints including universities insisting on their own choices of instructors and addressing the lack of reciprocity with China in not permitting similar U.S. programs. Portman noted that “as of this summer, we will have no…presence [in instructing U.S. values or history]” in China.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) cited a report that the Chinese telecom firm Huawei had its equipment incorporated in a rural Montana network near U.S. nuclear missile installations there. Talent responded that the problem of network infiltration was only going to worsen with the advent of 5G technology, that China has “reconnoitered [our systems] through cyber.”

Moscow Expects More Respect From Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman - Karasin


Moscow expects more respect from Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz in relation to Russian Ambassador to Minsk Mikhail Babich, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Sputnik on Friday

Moscow Expects More Respect From Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman - Karasin
uncaptioned image from article

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th March, 2019) Moscow expects more respect from Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz in relation to Russian Ambassador to Minsk Mikhail Babich, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Sputnik on Friday.

Earlier, Babich gave a big interview to Sputnik, in which he assessed the Belarusian-Russian relations and the work being carried out to determine the development paths for the Russia-Belarus Union State. In response, Glaz recommended Babich to "try to understand the specifics of the host country" and show some respect.

According to Glaz, "sometimes this style of work gives a much greater result than testing for oneself the role of an adherent of public diplomacy [JB emphasis] , which is uncharacteristic for the serious Russian diplomatic school."

"We familiarized ourselves with the reaction of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman, and I would say that we have the right to expect a more respectful attitude towards the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Minsk," Karasin said, commenting on the situation.

Beata Ociepka, Poland’s New Ways of Public Diplomacy (Studies in Communication and Politics) New Edition


This book analyzes when and how Poland implemented public diplomacy [JB emphasis] . The author explains it as a form of external political communication of governments conducted in cooperation with non-state actors to position the country internationally. The Polish case illustrates how a mid-size country in Europe attempts to impact the public opinion formation abroad while implementing soft power tools. Since 2004, when Poland joined the EU, the country has used public diplomacy to inform the world about its achievements. Poland’s public diplomacy has been strongly oriented on Europe and shaped by geopolitics. It integrated transmission and network models of communication. The Polish model reflects the relevance of public diplomacy domestic dimension and the focus on foreign politics on memory.

«The book (…) is the first monograph analyzing contemporary Polish public diplomacy written in English, being at the same time a methodologically sound piece of research, based on extensive primary source research.»

Professor Andrzej Mania, Chair of American Studies and the History of Diplomacy and International Politics, Jagiellonian University

«An excellent case study of public diplomacy. Ociepka systematically analyzed the Polish utilization of key public diplomacy instruments including cultural diplomacy, branding and Twiplomacy, and properly placed them within historical and theoretical contexts.»

Professor Eytan Gilboa, Director, Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University

See also

[Fulbright Program, Ireland]


Happy ! is offering a unique U.S. Scholar award 's groundbreaking ? The fellowship focuses on inclusive experience design and olfactory art, an art form that uses scent as a medium. 👃