Monday, January 23, 2012

Kind Response on Facebook from US Ambassador to Russia McFaul re US Public Diplomacy in Russia

JB Note: I do hope the new US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, given his many official duties, which doubtless will increase exponentially the longer he's in Russia, will, if he can, continue his social-media dialogue with those concerned, as he is now, about US-Russian relations.

He is much to be admired for responding to members of the public, including with the below -- the kind of open communications not all government officials, and not only in the United States, welcome -- or, more appropriately put, even bother to acknowledge.

Having worked in the USIA/State Department as a Foreign Service officer for over twenty years, however, and having witnessed how busy an Ambassador's schedule is, I wonder, for his sake, how Dr. McFaul will be able to respond personally, as he kindly did to the below, to all the electronic messages that he undubitably will be getting.

I wish him and his busy and devoted staff all the very best in this new age of the social-media information revolution in their efforts of keeping the lines of communications open to all -- not only with Russians but also now (with the internet-caused breakdown between domestic and foreign audiences) more than ever with Americans as well.

 From a Facebook exchange:

"John Brown [to Ambassador McFaul:] This interview [Russian-language interview at] Mr. Ambassador, is (in my modest opinion) far more on the mark from the perspective of US-Russian relations than your YouTube []
presentation, which seemed produced by a USA advertising firm without knowledge of Russia or its culture. And, thank God, [the above-cited] print version of your remarks did not allow for corny background music as was the case with the video! Best wishes, John Brown, former CAO Moscow [98-01]  (my Huffington Post piece on your YouTube presentation at U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul's YouTube Presentation From a Public Diplomacy Perspective  [:] I've looked at/listened to newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McF...aul's recent video presentation to the people of Russia. Based on my Foreign Service experience in Moscow as Cultural Affairs Officer (1998-2001), several aspects of the talk struck me.See More..2 hours ago ·

LikeUnlike · .Michael McFaul Ill take a look.

2 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Michael McFaul Just read. Thanks for feedback. I did whole take in Russian, but producers obviously felt that my Russian not good enough YET. Working on it. On high culture, eager to learn more while here, but would have been dishonest for me to praise books and symphonies I havent read or heard. Remember, I grew up in Butte, MT. I am VERY proud of that fact, dont get me wrong. But I may not be as refined as I should be at this stage in my career. Never too late to learn!"

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