Friday, February 15, 2013

February 15 Public Diplomacy Review

“Propaganda should not be obvious; propaganda should be hidden — then and only then can it be effective ... We need to make it clear to students that when they leave this building, they are going to go work for The Man. And The Man is going to tell them what to write and what not to write, and how to write about this or that. And The Man has a right to do this because he is paying them. … You may like what I have told you or not, but it’s objective reality. It’s life. And it’s not like you are ever going to see a different life.”

--Alexei Volin, deputy minister of communications and mass media, a keynote speaker at a conference called “Journalism in 2012: The Profession and Its Function in Society,” held this past weekend at Moscow University’s Journalism Department; image from, under the headline: WC 08: Dan “The Man” Landis Arm Wrestles A Comic Book Legend


A pragmatic and steady diplomat to enhance Sino-US dialogue - James Deshaw Rae, "[I]t is important to understand the degree to which the State Department has declined as the chief architect of American foreign policy since World War II as the White House, the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Defense Department have gained in setting the agenda. Outgoing Secretary Hillary Clinton was an excellent representative of President Obama's priorities and star of public diplomacy. Clinton was not an innovator in strategic thinking or a bureaucratic force in pushing a new ideology. The days of Dean Acheson, John Foster Dulles, or Henry Kissinger holding court in the cabinet and creating true doctrines to face global challenges has passed. ... The selection of key players in American foreign policy always risks upsetting Sino-American ties.

The decision to choose and now confirm John Kerry as Secretary of State will do nothing to damage those bonds, and should only help lessen mistrust and tension. The author is Associate Professor of Department of Government o f California State University, Sacramento. He is the Fulbright Scholar (2011-2012) to China Foreign Affairs University." Image from

Columnist writes that Alhurra, Radio Sawa, and Hollywood can transform Egypt - Kim Andrew Elliot reporting on International Broadcasting: "Washington Times, 1 Feb 2013, J.D. Gordon: '[W]e must reach out to the Egyptian people directly. News and entertainment programs broadcast via Al Hurra TV and Radio Sawa, launched a decade ago as an outreach tool in the Middle East to showcase the United States in a more positive light, thus should be expanded. Hollywood also could play a role, producing worldwide blockbusters that embrace modernity, tolerance and sexual equality in Middle Eastern settings. 'Argo' was a terrific reminder of the challenges posed by a fanatical Iranian regime. We could use more films like it.' [Elliot comment:] -- If the content of USIB is designed to 'showcase the United States in a more positive light,' the audience will dismiss it as propaganda and tune elsewhere. If USIB provides a comprehensive and credible news service, which is what I think Alhurra and Radio Sawa are doing, that's a better 'showcase' of the United States than anything that sets out for the purpose of being a 'showcase.'"

In the War of the Entities, NYT sides with RFA over VOA - Kim Andrew Elliot reporting on International Broadcasting: "New York Times, 12 Feb 2013, editorial: 'China and the United States should be working to covertly disrupt the North’s nuclear program, as was done with Iran. The United States should invest more in Radio Free Asia so that more outside information could reach North Korea’s people. Still, it should keep seeking dialogue. No good comes from ignoring North Korea.' [Elliot comment:]   I suppose 'Radio Free Asia' makes the editorial's point better than the more vanilla 'Voice of America.' But VOA was broadcasting news about North Korea into North Korea years before RFA came along. Furthermore, only VOA presently has access to a medium wave transmitter in South Korea.

If the NYT's advice is heeded, RFA will get more money for coverage of North Korea, but VOA will have the medium wave transmitter in South Korea. This is the way it is with US international broadcasting. It's always an unassembled kit. The pieces never come together for effective mass communication. This is because the partisans in the War of the Entities are striving to preserve the entities, thus maintaining the inefficiency of USIB. BBG Watch also sides with RFA over VOA in the War of the Entities by providing more disinformation about VOA... BBG Watch, 15 Feb 2013: 'Surrogate broadcasters like Radio Free Asia (RFA) provide local news content and specialization that other broadcasters, including the Voice of America (VOA), which is important for other reasons, simply cannot offer. Voice of America is important because it offers an authoritative presentation of American policies and opinions, which is critical for countries like North Korea, whose regime is both unpredictable and controls nuclear weapons. Radio Free Asia has a much more focused mission of in reporting on and analyzing internal political, social and economic developments in North Korea. Both missions are important in keeping the population of North Korea informed about both external and internal developments that affect the lives and security of both North Korea and the United States. [Elliot comment:] Of course, VOA is much more than 'an authoritative presentation of American policies and opinions.' The word 'presentation' makes it seem like VOA is an infomercial for the United States. Actually, VOA reports on US policies towards North Korea. But more than that, VOA is offering the news about North Korea that BBG Watch says that it 'simply cannot offer.' Have a look this page of the VOA Korean website, and Google-translate it. And, so, VOA and RFA are chasing many of the same stories about North Korea. This is duplication, a significant form of waste in federal spending. The duplication could be ended by ordering VOA to cease all of its reporting about North Korea. Then the North Koreans would be forced to tune to two stations, different times, different frequencies, to get all the news that they need (as if listening to foreign radio is not difficult enough in North Korea). Such a ridiculuous [sic] concept makes sense only to bureaucrats and to the anonymous commentators of BBG Watch." Image from

Into the Fray: Intellectual warriors, not slicker diplomats - Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post: "The last several weeks have seen a spate of ... articles, berating the dismal and dysfunctional performance of Israel’s public diplomacy – reflecting, one hopes, growing public discontent at the deplorable state of affairs that has prevailed in this sphere for decades. Regrettably, it appears that these – richly deserved – rebukes have been largely limited to the nation’s English-language press. ... It is difficult to overstate the gravity of Israel’s public diplomacy debacle, and to grasp the ongoing official disregard of the strategic dangers that its continued neglect is creating. Indeed, well over half a decade ago, in an article called 'Public diplomacy: the missing component in Israel’s foreign policy,' published in a well-known scholarly journal, Prof. Eytan Gilboa issued the following ominous warning: 'The lack of an adequate PD [public diplomacy] program has significantly affected Israel’s strategic outlook and freedom of action.... Any further neglect of PD would not only restrict Israel’s strategic options, it would be detrimental to its ability to survive in an increasingly intolerant and hostile world.' ... Israel’s greatest strategic challenge, its gravest strategic failure and its grimmest strategic danger is the conduct – or rather misconduct – of its public diplomacy. Unless new battalions of intellectual warriors are formed and mobilized, the challenge will go unanswered, the failure will remain unaddressed, and the danger will continue to intensify."

Sports and Security - "Sixty-two professional players, mainly from Arab and African nations, have called for depriving Israel of the right to host the championship this June, according to the Huffington Post. 'In June we have the Under-21 here in Israel. I hope that everything will be quiet until then and we can show the different sides of Israel,' said Maccabi Tel Aviv defender Omer Vered in a BBC interview. The statement comes after protests against Israel for their handling of the hunger strike of  imprisoned Palestinian football player, Mahmoud Sarsak, accused of being a militant member of an Islamic jihad group, and two others players engaged in anti-Israeli acts. During Operation of Pillar of Defense in November 2012, RT reported that the Israeli Air Force destroyed the central sports stadium in Gaza, claiming it was used by Palestinians to launch rockets into Israel. It resulted in the death of four young people playing football: Mohamed Harara and Ahmed Harara, 16 and 17 years old; Matar Rahman and Ahmed Al Dirdissawi, 18 years old. 'It is unacceptable that children are killed while they play football. Israel hosting the 2013 UEFA Under-21 European Championship, in these circumstances, will be seen as a reward for actions that are contrary to sporting values,' the

sixty-two professional players said in a joint statement. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is expected to fund the repairs for the stadium. The underlying question is does Israel have a right to defend itself? And when does defending yourself cross the line? And is it possible to ever reason with a terrorist organization like Hamas, which has made it is goal to destroy Israel and reclaim the land for Palestinians? Football is a sport that inspires national pride, hope, and determination. Why can’t it be used as a strong public diplomacy tool to facilitate dialogue and achieve peace in the region?" Image from, under the headline: "Meeting your stadium security needs."

Kontinental Hockey League: Soft Power of the Tough Game - Stanislav Budnitskiy, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Assessing direct results or determining causal relationships is the Achilles’ heel of nation branding and public diplomacy initiatives. Thus, I am far from claiming or even considering that KHL’s  [Russia-led Kontinental Hockey League] expansion would throw the participating countries into Russia’s economic, political, let alone military embrace. At the same time, if 'soft power relies on positive attraction in the sense of ‘alluring,’ ' the KHL project is definitely one of Russia’s most alluring and positive efforts in the international realm. While it may not alter economic or political realities overnight, it makes Russia’s peaceful intrusion (in this case in the form of a state-backed organization), at the very least conceivable and tolerable, and often desirable."

Saakashvili against reopening Abkhazian railway - Gvantsa Gabekhadze, “President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili

once again reiterated that he is against reopening the railway that would link Armenia and Georgia to Russia via the breakaway region of Abkhazia. ... According to the President if the railway is reopened it will allow Russia domination of transportation links in the South Caucasus. ... During his visit to Armenia several weeks ago Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili stated that reopening of the Abkhazian railway is possible in the future but cautioned that certain preconditions would be necessary and that the issue will not be resolved in the near future. ... Head of the European Research Centre Kakha Gogolashvili agrees that the reopening of the Abkhazian railway will be difficult. He thinks however, that if reopened the railway will provide more positives for Georgia than negatives. Common trade and economic programs will be launched between Georgia and Abkhazia in such a case, public diplomacy will be restored…time has revealed that isolation from Abkhazia has negatively affected reintegration. Having the occupied territories isolated works in Russia's interest.” Gogolashvili said. Saakashvili image from article

Chinese Expert Calls for Culture of Peace through Benevolence - "A Chinese expert said here on Thursday that peace and benevolence can bridge the gap between different faiths and cultures. The statement of the Secretary General of the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), Dr. Patrick Ho, came as he addressed the UN General Assembly during a special event, titled 'United for a Culture of Peace through Interfaith Harmony', to mark the World Interfaith Harmony Week which began on Feb. 1 this year. ... CEFC is a nonprofit, non-governmental think tank devoted to public diplomacy and researches on strategic issues with emphasis on energy and culture. Its headquarters is located in Hong Kong, with stations in Beijing and Shanghai."

汪0tN2 | Activity - Purple Giraffe Clothing: "Author of the 'leading force', a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, is currently a professor at Harvard University’s Joseph Chennai in early 2010,the author pointed out: 'the government to compete with the government and other organizations to strengthen their own credibility, weaken the credibility of the opponent.' he believes, provide a boost to the development of the network, the NGO has greater flexibility, making the 'new public diplomacy ' has been the rise. Chinese scholars Pang Zhongying also in August 2010, the author pointed out that in the past 30 years, China is the main target countries of the Western public diplomacy'. In his view, the primary means of public diplomacy is the so-called 'soft power' projection. As a type of 'soft power', many government agencies in the United States, the United Kingdom, reached the Western China policy objectives – such as 'export' Western values, so these Western values ​​embedded in modern terms, play other diplomatic policy instruments failed to do. Domestic non-governmental organizations such as Human Rights Watch also criticized the United States government, but on the whole, in particular, on the diplomatic front, it plays a complementary and supportive of the role of the U.S. government diplomatic strategy.

Distort and demonize China’s human rights image, it is the U.S. government’s stance and the tone is the same, even more cynical than the U.S. government. 'Human Rights Watch' the abuse of human rights discourse as a work around the world non-governmental organizations in the United States, 'Human Rights Watch' strong financial basis, the use of so-called moral high ground of the field of human rights in Western countries, from time to time on a regular basis Published reports, press releases, etc. to form and use their own voice in the field of human rights. And adding fuel to the flames of the western media and the Internet to spread it possible to make this the consolidation of the right to speak and play." Image from, with caption: "Soft Power" Photography Exhibition

UK Strategic Communications and the Libya Intervention - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "The news from Libya and north Africa is not so great at the moment but go back a year or so and the British government was congratulating itself on how well everything had gone. Here’s three items that might be interesting to readers.  Firstly, we have the National Security Adviser’s Review of Central C0-Ordination and Lessons Learned.  This was the first major crisis that the UK was involved in since the National Security Council was created by the Coalition government after the 2010 election and this document reviews the performance of the new system. One of the seven issues addressed is the performance of the system for managing strategic communications across government and linking to the communications activities of other countries and international organizations.  His general view is that things went pretty well. The document is worth a read because of the picture you get of the way in which foreign policy turns on the creation and mobilization of networks both inside and outside government. Secondly, we have a presentation by the then head of Public Diplomacy at the FCO, Conrad Bird, on the Foreign Office view of Strategic communication and its application in the Libya intervention this picks up some of the issues from the first item in a little more detail. Thirdly, in March 2012 there was a revised version of the Ministry of Defence Joint Doctrine Note on Strategic Communications that I’d blogged about here.  The revised version takes into account lessons learned from the activity in Libya.  It’s noticeable that some of the issues that I’d raised in my earlier post have been addressed.  This version has a clearer treatment of the relationship between strategic communications and strategic, operational and tactical levels of war.  It’s also much clearer that there are different forms of strategic communication with different objectives that will co-exist. Both this document and the Bird presentation show signs of developing cross-government approach to strategic communication as a result of work in the National Security Council.”

Fiji To Participate At Global Exhibition - "Members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Band have arrived in Abu Dhabi the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the International Defense Exhibition 2013 (IDEX 2013) and Gulf Defense Conference which opens this weekend. Led by the Chief of Staff, Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho, Fiji’s participation at the Exhibition was made possible through an invitation by the UAE Armed Forces, organizers of the IDEX 2013 and the 2013 Gulf Defence Conference. Fiji’s Ambassador to the UAE, Mr Robin Nair received the delegation from Fiji and expressed his gratitude to the RFMF for their participation adding that 'it was a great day for the new Embassy’s public diplomacy and outreach agenda to receive Fiji’s premier military and cultural band and performers'. ... It is expected that the RFMF Band’s performance will reach many TV audiences in the region and the world over.

The 50 man party from RFMF, which includes two female members are all looking forward to their first performance on Sunday. IDEX is the only International defense exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region demonstrating the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defense. It is a unique platform to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments, businesses and armed forces throughout the region." Index image from

The PD Networks Quiz Episode 1The PD Networks Quiz Part 2 - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence


In defense of Obama’s drone war - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post: By what right does the president order the killing by drone of enemies abroad? What criteria justify assassination? Answer: (a) imminent threat, under the doctrine of self-defense, and (b) affiliation with al-Qaeda, under the laws of war. Imminent threat is obvious. If we know a freelance jihadist cell in Yemen is actively plotting an attack, we don’t have to wait until after the fact. Elementary self-defense justifies attacking first. Al-Qaeda is a different matter. We are in a mutual state of war. Osama bin Laden issued his fatwa declaring war on the United States in 1996; we reciprocated three days after 9/11 with Congress’s Authorization for Use of Military Force — against al-Qaeda and those who harbor and abet it. (Such resolutions are the contemporary equivalent of a declaration of war, as evidenced in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War.) Regarding al-Qaeda, therefore, imminence is not required. Its members are legitimate targets, day or night, awake or asleep. Nothing new here. In World War II, we bombed German and Japanese barracks without hesitation. Unfortunately, Obama’s Justice Department memos justifying the drone attacks are hopelessly muddled. They imply that the sole justification for drone attack is imminent threat — and whereas al-Qaeda is plotting all the time, an al-Qaeda honcho sleeping in his bed is therefore a legitimate target.

Learn to live with a nuclear North Korea - Ted Galen Carpenter, Washington Post: A new relationship with North Korea is imperative, and the United States must take the first step.

In the 1980s, some in the State Department proposed that Beijing and Moscow recognize South Korea while Washington recognize North Korea. With the end of the Cold War, China and Russia did establish robust diplomatic and economic ties with Seoul. Still, we refused to normalize relations with Pyongyang. Washington should belatedly take that step. In addition, we should enter into serious negotiations with North Korea, China and South Korea to sign a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War. Image from

How Obama can avert another Cold War - Stephen F. Cohen, Washington Post:  Moscow has bitterly resented four components of U.S. policy since they were initiated by the Clinton administration: NATO’s expansion (now including European missile-defense installations) to Russia’s borders; “selective cooperation,” which has meant obtaining concessions from the Kremlin without meaningful White House reciprocity; “democracy promotion” in Russia’s domestic politics, which is viewed by Russian leaders as interference; and the general sense, repeatedly voiced in high-level Moscow circles, that “the Americans do not care about our national security.” Well-informed observers can reasonably disagree about Putin’s leadership at home and abroad, but fair-minded students of U.S.-Russian relations cannot lightly dismiss Moscow’s four abiding grievances. Unless these components of U.S. policy change — they were not revised even during Obama’s “reset” of relations — another Cold War is exceedingly likely.

Obama’s welcomed ‘pivot’ back to Europe - Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: As indicated by Obama's President Obama’s State of the Union address, Europe remains a priority for the U.S.

Israeli propaganda - The Angry Arab News Service: Israel receives free propaganda services in US media.

FPM ARCHIVES: Why Israel Is the Victim - David Horowitz, Israel, the only democracy and tolerant society in the Middle East, is surrounded by Muslim states that have sworn to destroy it and have conducted a genocidal propaganda campaign against the Jews, promising to “finish the job that Hitler started.” A global wave of Jew-hatred, fomented by Muslim propaganda and left-wing anti-Semitism, has spread through Europe and the United Nations and made Israel a pariah nation.

David Horowitz’s classic Why Israel Is the Victim, now updated in the pamphlet enclosed in this entry, sets the record straight about the Middle East conflict. Image from article

Keep Em Rolling Tanks WWII War Propaganda Poster 13×19 :$5.99 - Propaganda Posters: This poster is a war propaganda poster showing black & white photographs superimposed on a U.S. flag design.

In the blue area of the flag is a photograph of a welder at work. In the striped area of the flag are photographs of a military tank with a soldier aiming a gun from the top of the tank. The text reads: Keep ‘Em Rolling! This poster has a thin white border.

Soviet Propaganda Art- Part 1 - Among the images the below, N. Kh. Rurkovsky. Stalin at Kirov’s Bier. 1934:

Visual Persuasion: 25 Great Propaganda Posters - Michael Owens, Propaganda, at its core is simply a mode of mass communication aimed at influencing the attitude of a state, community, or even an entire society toward some desired position or cause. Historically and even today, this is most often done in the form of political art posters. The word propaganda makes us fearful, sends chills down our spine, or makes us get a knot in our throat. But the truth of the matter is that many of us are exposed to political propaganda every day of the week, normally by choice…. Whether it be talk radio, Fox News, liberal political blogs, or MSNBC’s prime time lineup, these are all voluntary exposures to strong partisan views. Although propaganda is often used to manipulate human emotions by displaying facts selectively, it can be very effective at conveying messages of all kinds.

Image from entry, with note: This intense, frightening presence featuring the head of a “Hun” with blood-stained fingers and bayonet is the work of Frederick or F. Strothmann . The poster was meant to literally scare Americans into buying the war bonds known as “Liberty Bonds” during WW I as a patriotic duty. These bonds are debt securities issued by the American government for the purpose of financing military operations. The creation of this capital not only helped to control inflation during war time, it also gave the public who invested their money in the bonds a feeling of involvement in the war without having to serve in the military. They were available in a wide range of denominations, and thus affordable to most citizens.

Old-Skool, Soviet Bullet Propaganda Had T' Mos Intense Heedlines - The Voluntaer State Mountin Man, "Propaganda n' t'yeers a'followin t'end o'Worl War II wit t'hep o'radeeo and television. N' t'U.S. thar wuz a slew o'rd skeer and nucleer holocaust propaganda — hoe could innyone fergit thems bizarre “” instructyunal videos. Jes as herrifyyun' wuz t'messages circulatyun' n' Ruskie."

Is The Meteor Attack In Siberia God’s Wrath For Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws? - A Queerty reader suggested we drum up some faux propaganda suggesting the devastating meteor shower in Central Russia was an act of God, who is p.o.’d at the country for enacting gay-propaganda bans and oppressing his queer children. We don’t thin the Man Upstairs micro-manages

like that—and obviously no one deserves a disaster of this magnitude— but it is interesting to notice how silent the fundamentalist nutbags who have blamed us gays for 9/11Hurricane Katrina, the Penn State child-molestation scandal and even Newtown, are today. But just in case there is something to this theory, Uganda, you might want to scope out the nearest bomb shelters. Image from entry


--Via FW on Facebook

--Cheliabinsk: Before and After the Meteorite. Via VP on Facebook


Downton and Downward - Timothy Egan, New York Times: A raft of recent studies has found the United States to be a less upwardly mobile society than many comparable nations, particularly for men. One survey reported that 42 percent of American boys raised in the bottom fifth of income stayed there as adults. For Britain, the numbers were better by 30 percent. Just 8 percent of American men made the jump from the lowest fifth to the highest fifth, compared to 12 percent for the Brits.

Rep. Rayne Brown, North Carolina State Republican, Introduces Bill Criminalizing Nipple Exposure - Huffington Post

Image from, with caption: Sexy Nipple Pasties Red Rose Eden Nipple Covers -Cheaper price +Free Shipping Cost

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