Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31 Public Diplomacy Review

"I've had all the fame a man could want."

--Painter and ex-president (to some war criminalGeorge W. Bush; image from Max Read, "George W. Bush's Art Teacher Says He's Painted 50 Dogs,"


Is American Cultural Diplomacy a Hot Potato? - John Brown, Notes and Essays


Hagel to discuss cyber threat with China - AFP/xq, "The United States must develop 'rules of the road' with China and other countries to mitigate cyber threats, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said Thursday. The defence secretary spoke after a Pentagon report found that Chinese hackers have gained access to secret designs for a slew of sophisticated US weapons programs, possibly jeopardizing the American military's technological edge. ... The Pentagon chief

said Washington would press Beijing using both public diplomacy and private talks. 'I think it's always important when dealing with other nations that you use a very significant range of options,' he added. 'I've rarely seen that public engagement resolves the problem but it's important that people understand to state where they are on these issues.'" See also. Hagel image from

U.S.-India School Partnership for Real Communication - "Funding Opportunity Description [:] The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in New Delhi is soliciting proposals for grant agreements that fall into the area specified in Section II below from non-governmental organizations, and other legally-recognized non-profit institutions that meet U.S. and/or Indian technical and legal requirements to develop and implement educational and cultural programs ... . U.S.-India School Partnership for Real Communication [:] Individual high schools in India are linked with high schools in the U.S. for curriculum development partnerships, joint projects on selected themes, sharing cultural information and developing personal relationships between students and teachers. Making the most of available technology, students and teachers communicate and collaborate on a regular basis. School linkages would provide the platform for American Studies/Indian Studies curriculum development in the partner schools. Partner schools also collaborate on projects related to global issues: climate change, innovation, conflict resolution, etc. – according to an annual theme selected by the U.S. Department of State (hereafter called USDOS). The recipient organization will identify schools in all major cities in India and America."

Birthright-style program proposed for non-Jews - Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post: "European leaders should send university students to Israel as part of efforts to combat rising levels of

anti-Semitism and xenophobia, Foreign Ministry director general for public diplomacy Gideon Meir declared on Thursday. He was speaking at the close of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem." Image from article, with caption: Taglit-Birthright Israel participants celebrate.

The many faces of Dr. Qanta Ahmed, an unlikely defender of Israel: Ahmed, a sleep disorder specialist, is often accused of being a 'Zionist in a Muslim guise.' And her critics were given more ammunition this week when she arrived in Israel for her first-ever visit - Judy Maltz, "Dr. Qanta Ahmed defies most of the usual stereotypes. She’s a staunch defender of Israel, but also a deeply committed Muslim. She’s written a book on gender discrimination in Saudi Arabia, but makes a point of

covering her own arms and legs ‏(albeit with fashionable snug-fitting jeans and a stylish white blazer, with toes and fingernails painted in matching color‏), in compliance with Muslim religious law. ... Despite her personal roots and extensive travels in the Muslim world, Ahmed says she only became interested in Israel in recent years, thanks to a friendship she struck up with a South African-born, Jewish-American philanthropist who had a sister living in Ra’anana, with whom she immediately hit it off. ... That philanthropist is Leslie Sachs, the founder and seed funder of Women’s Voices Now, an organization that seeks to empower women in the Muslim world through an annual film festival ‏(Ahmed sits on its board‏). ... Because she is often accused of being a 'Zionist in Muslim guise,' Ahmed wants her critics to know that ... [her] trip [to Israel] was paid for entirely out of her own pocket and not by any organization or foundation interested in enlisting her in the cause of public diplomacy." Image from article, with caption: Qanta Ahmed. "I have empathy for both sides - but I think there's an unfair portrayal of Israel." |

U.S. efforts to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiation: Too little, too late? Israeli proponents of a two-state solution say settlers can be evacuated if there's political will, but the facts on the ground suggest otherwise - By Amos Harel: "[T]he PA is battling Israel ... in the judicial and public-diplomacy spheres." Image from article, with caption: A Palestinian working in the West Bank settlement.

In the 20 years since Oslo, an eastern bloc of settlements has been created, possibly thwarting future Palestinian development plans.

NA deputies worry about the East Sea conflict - Ngoc Le, VietNamNet Bridge: "Many National Assembly (NA) deputies showed their concern about tensions in the East Sea at group discussions, while the government’s report to the NA does not discuss much about this content. ... Before the NA’s session, HCM City voters suggested the state to take more drastic moves, step up public diplomacy, firmly maintain maritime sovereignty, enhance budget for national security, promote marine economic development and give more support for fishermen. The maritime patrol force should be organized in time to protect property and life for fishermen."

Diplomacy, leadership and future Polish diplomats. Part I - "Exclusive Interview with Jason Worlledge - Executive Director of the European Academy of Diplomacy ... What would you describe as the three attitudes and traits needed most by future diplomats?

1. A global view and understanding of the world; 2. Social Media and Technology / People’s approach (Public Diplomacy); 3. A strong understanding of business and economics." Image from entry

Uncomfortable small talk doesn't do anything for mutual understanding - Public Diplomacy and Student Exchanges: Possibly the first study of the Fulbright Program to be conducted by someone who isn't affiliated with it in any way... - "I've been working on ... interpersonal communication and the emphasis that PD puts on face-to-face conversations. They're supposed to lead to increased understanding, but ... outcomes are not always positive."

Job: Head of OECD Washington Centre - Sam Bedker, "The OECD is recruiting the Head of the OECD Washington Centre, located in the OECD offices in Washington DC. As the OECD's key representative in Washington, he/she will manage activities of the Centre in Washington, while reaching out to the United States and Canada. The selected person will have a strategic approach to stakeholder engagement and media relations across the United States and North America, as well as exceptional leadership, management, communications, public diplomacy and analytical skills.

S/he will have an excellent understanding of policy issues and implementation in different contexts. The Head of OECD Washington Centre will report to the Director of the Public Affairs and Communications Directorate (PAC) in Paris and will liaise closely with the Office of the Secretary-General." Image from


Perils of peace conferences: In Syria, and between Israel and the Palestinians, will we make things worse? - Aaron David Miller, What the U.S. confronts with both the Syrian civil war and the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is a kind of twilight zone that's betwixt and between. The parties involved don't know whether they really want to start a political process, and they certainly don't know how to conclude one. In the end, if the Kerry effort produces another false start or leads to more process and no peace, it would have been better had the secretary of State not engaged at all.

Obama’s Dorothy Doctrine - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post: We were defenseless on 9/11 because, despite Osama bin Laden’s open written declaration of war in 1996, we pretended for years that no war against us had even begun. Obama would return us to pre-9/11 defenselessness — casting Islamist terror as a law-enforcement issue and removing the legal basis for treating it as armed conflict — by pretending that the war is over.

Al Qaeda propaganda mag crows about Boston and London attacks, urges more - Mike Brunker, NBC News: A new issue of the al Qaeda-published propaganda magazine Inspire crows about recent terrorist attacks in Boston and the U.K. and urges young Muslims to carry out similar

“lone wolf” operations against the West. An English-language version of the spring 2013 issue of the online publication, obtained Thursday by NBC News, contains multiple articles praising alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and one on last week’s gruesome knife slaying of a British soldier in London.

The Romantic Advantage - David Brooks, New York Times: In the race to be the world’s dominant economy, Americans have at least one clear advantage over the Chinese. We’re much better at branding.

Inside China: China’s anti-American column - By Miles Yu, Washington Times: The People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, has hosted since March 20 a column titled “Immoral and Untrustworthy Americans,” dedicated to a “comprehensive understanding of the United States and the Americans.” According to its editorial introduction, the column has a key objective — to correct the “erroneous impression among overwhelming majority of us Chinese that Americans are honest, trustworthy and virtuous people.” However, that mission statement is followed by a seemingly disingenuous disclaimer: “We don’t mean to say that all Americans lack honesty and trustworthiness, devoid of morality; our goal is to present to all our readers the other side of our experiences in America in order to comprehensively know the true United States and the Americans.”

The column collects and publishes examples of American society’s pathology in order to expose the immorality and untrustworthiness of the American people. It marks a departure from  China’s 70-year tradition of anti-American propaganda by attacking the American people as well as their government. Even at the height of Maoist anti-American hysteria, the party line was always that the U.S. government  was evil but the American people were good. The column has sparked hot debate among China’s Internet users. While many echo the column, others have ridiculed it as a sign of the Chinese government’s own immorality and untrustworthiness because it singles out all the negative aspects of the American people and presents them as the entirety of Americans’ character. Facing mounting ridicule in cyberspace, the People’s Daily on May 25 changed the column’s title to “The America You Don’t Yet Know.” But the negativity, or what the newspaper calls the “negative energy” of the American people, continues. Image from article, with caption: The People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, started a column in mid-March titled "Immoral and Untrustworthy Americans," though two months later it changed the title to "The America You Don't Yet Know."

Larry King to launch show on Russian propaganda network - Jamie Weinstein, The iconic 79-year-old American broadcaster is joining the Russian-funded propaganda network RT America two and a half years after he was gently pushed out at CNN after a quarter century at the network.

RT will carry King’s online program, “Larry King Now,” as well as a new program, “Politics with Larry King.”RT will carry King’s online program, “Larry King Now,” as well as a new program, “Politics with Larry King.” See also: Larry King clarifies working relationship with RT network
- Alexander Panov, Russia Today Larry King, via Facebook, denies claims that he has been hired by the American branch of RT TV channel; via RM on Facebook King image from entry

50 Types of Propaganda - Mark Nichol, Are you a propagandist? If you write nonfiction intended to persuade, yes, by a broad definition, you almost certainly are. Here are fifty terms for, and definitions of, forms of propaganda, at least one of which such writers will likely employ in a given piece of content. Propaganda (the word is from a New Latin term meaning “propagating,” synonymous in this connotation with publicizing) has been defined as “communication intended to shape perceptions, manipulate cognition, and direct behavior.” That’s a broad definition — a narrower one would limit propaganda to willful, prejudicial manipulation of information — but it helps writers and readers understand that because almost any content can be considered propaganda, they must be alert to the subtext of almost any content they produce or consume.

The Sculptor Who Will Represent America In The Art World’s Battle Royale - Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan,  The Venice Biennale is kind of like the Olympics of art. Every other year, each country picks a single artist to represent it on the international stage — a weird but interesting way to quantify success in the art world. So who’s the most interesting artist in America right now? Meet the 43-year-old sculptor Sarah Sze, whose complex installations are made from millions of fragments of found objects. Sze’s installation, which opened on Wednesday, is

called Triple Point, and cascades from the roof of the American pavilion in a wave of bits and pieces and loops through the interior like a well-organized tornado. The piece, like many of Sze’s science-inspired installations, has an unlikely connection to physics. It’s named after the thermodynamic concept of a temperature and pressure at which a substance exists at all three phases — gas, liquid, and solid — at the same time. Top image from; below image from article


World Russia Forum in Washington D.C. 11 June:  Please join the leading American and Russian experts at the Russian Cultural Center in Washington D.C. to discuss the role of NGOs, Public Diplomacy, and Media in formulating the agenda for US - Russia political, educational and cultural cooperation. Agenda: 10.00 - 11.00 AM: What are the most important disagreement issues between the United States and Russia? 11.00 - 11.15 AM: Coffee Break 11.15 - 12.45 PM: Is it possible to find common and mutually beneficial approaches to resolve at least some of these issues and what is the role of NGOs, Public Diplomacy and the Media in this process? 12.45 - 2.00 PM: Lunch Break 2.00 - 3.15 PM: Educational and cultural exchanges as an effective tool in promoting US - Russia rapprochement. How one defines the role of "Soft Power" in this process? 5.00 - 7.00 PM: Concluding Reception

No comments: