Monday, November 11, 2013

November 9-10 Public Diplomacy Review

"The shift from government to 'Googlement' — fuelled by the unprecedented ability of companies to gather, store, and evaluate vast amounts of personal data — has just begun."

--Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who served as German defence, economics and technology minister; image from


[title not decipherable] - "[Comment by:] neutral [:] It's called public diplomacy. Beside they are human beings like all of us. They have to dance, enjoy, laugh and love. They are not monastery official [sic] but just government authorities."


Truth is the Best Propaganda: Edward R. Murrow's Speeches in the Kennedy Years [Kindle Edition] Nancy Snow (Author) Image from


John Kerry’s Special Brand of Public Diplomacy - "Here’s a new tactic to get your apprehensive and sometimes paranoid ally to support your outreach to his mortal enemy: bully him and his people on national television in their country! That’s what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry did during his recent trip to Israel to shore up the 'promising' peace talks. The tactic chosen by Kerry was quite in line with the general behavior of the administration he represents. Not quite having made peace with the fact that Binyamin Netanyahu is an Israeli leader chosen by its people, Obama and his cohorts have tried time and again to upstage him. During his historic visit to Israel in March, Obama first pressured Netanyahu to make an unwarranted apology to Obama’s true pal in the region – Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan – and then tried to incite a hand-picked audience at the Jerusalem Convention Center to rebel against their government and demand 'peace' – as if Netanyahu has hidden it in the drawer of his desk and is refusing to share. ... Israelis want peace, like America, and distrust Netanyahu – that’s true – but they don’t care to be browbeaten by a representative of an Administration which supported Islamists in Egypt, Libya, and Turkey, that caved on Syria, and that is about to cave on Iran. Moreover – they know that they owe their security not to the Palestinian 'non-violent' leadership, but to the efforts of Israeli army and intelligence officers, who continuously disrupt attempts to rebuild the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism that was destroyed after 2002. To judge by their reactions on Facebook, most Israelis, regardless of their political preferences, went to bed on Thursday wishing to slap John Kerry in the face. Prime Minister Netanyahu saw the same interview and gauged the reactions of his voters. Friday morning, he responded by rejecting Kerry and Obama’s pending deal with Iran. Netanyahu threw the gauntlet in Kerry’s face, and did it with the full approval of his people, still smarting from Thursday’s bullying session. In addition, since Kerry took special care to imply that Netanyahu is a liar for stating that Palestinians agreed to be quiet on settlements in exchange for the release of terrorists, the Secretary of State has completely lost trust with the Israeli Prime Minister. This should do wonders for American-Israeli cooperation on those two issues that President Obama cherishes so much – Iranian nukes and a Palestinian state. Stay tuned."

Netanyahu Decoded: The Only Good Iran Deal is No Deal - Lara Friedman, "Israeli alarm over Iran’s nuclear program is wholly legitimate. Israeli skepticism about Iran’s intentions in negotiations is natural, as are its fears that Iran will exploit an agreement to move ahead with dangerous plans of its own. Indeed, all of these concerns are shared by the U.S., others in the Middle East, and nations around the world. That’s why world leaders are coming together now in Geneva: not to try to simply get an agreement for the sake of an agreement, but to get a deal that addresses all of these concerns, one that verifiably limits Iran’s nuclear program and nuclear ambitions now and in the future – something that would be very good for Israel. Unfortunately, it appears that Israeli

Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t see it this way. Netanyahu’s latest public diplomacy offensive denouncing the brewing Iran deal is telling. Framing his position in terms that have been previously articulated by Secretary Kerry and others, he has been reminding the world, repeatedly, that, 'no deal is better than a bad deal.' Now, with a deal in Geneva appearing closer than most people imagined possible, he is warning in melodramatic tones that what is being discussed is: 'a bad deal. A very, very bad deal.'” Uncaptioned image from entry

The growing need for Israel to adapt to survive - "Israel should take its case against a deal with the PLO to the American people and Congress, who remain pro-Israel. Israel today does almost nothing in the area called ‘public diplomacy’, telling its story and combating the daily assaults of delegitimization and demonization coming from its enemies (and ‘friends’, like the Obama Administration, J Street, etc.) Where are the pro-Israel NGOs? Where are the million-dollar grants to universities to set up departments of Israel and Jewish studies? Where are the Zionist films, the speakers crisscrossing the continent? Where is the TV network to compete with al Jazeera, now deploying in the US? Where is the counterforce to the NIF? It’s embarrassing to compare the millions spent by the Europeans to subsidize anti-state organizations inside Israel and the pittance spent by Israel to influence the American people, who are the only force that can restrain Obama at this point."

The spying scandal is no ordinary diplomatic rift: The problem is not so much that countries snoop on each other, rather it is Washington’s attitude and communication that is most damaging - Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Financial Times, "The National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping scandal involving the German chancellor has caused a significant loss of trust and credibility among America’s main allies in Europe and elsewhere. ... It is worth remembering that there is probably nothing more damaging to friendly relations among democratic states than a combination of losing faith (in an ally) and losing face (at home) as a result of an ally’s actions. These two related aspects sum up the destructive potential of the NSA scandal for the transatlantic partnership, both at the personal, elite level as well as in the broader public diplomacy context. We had better get our act together. It is not just one another that administrations around the world have to cope with. The Snowden revelations, which experts expect to continue well into next year, also highlight the critical role played by the IT sector in shaping political and public policy."

Min­ister queries US on Budapest ‘spying’ - Nikoletta Orbán, "Foreign Minister János Martonyi said this week that Hungary is waiting on the USA to clear up the situation after WikiLeaks published an illustration showing the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) interception centres in Europe, which included Budapest. Martonyi met US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland to clarify the situation, and in her response she referred to US President Barack Obama’s regret about recent spying and phone hacking incidents involving Germany and France, among others. The minister said anyone could be observed by the Americans but the level to which it is done is not equal. There could be cases where only lists of calls were monitored or it could happen that the NSA was listening in. He said he was sorry about the issue because it was overshadowing transatlantic cooperation. The minister said anyone could be observed by the Americans but the level to which it is done is not equal. There could be cases where only lists of calls were monitored or it could happen that the NSA was listening in. He said he was sorry about the issue because it was overshadowing transatlantic cooperation. He hoped trust with the US would be restored. After a national security session on Tuesday, Fidesz spokesman Máté Kocsis said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had called for consultation about the interception centre in Budapest. America’s secret data-gathering programmes were exposed this year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who fled the US after leaking information. The story heated up further when Germans discovered that the Americans had hacked Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone. John Negroponte, who was US deputy secretary of state and the first director of national intelligence, a position created by then-president George W. Bush in 2005, said: 'On American embassies, we have some 3,000 posts around the world. They are there to serve overall American interests abroad, whether the political, economic or public diplomacy. There may be posts where intelligence and intelligence gathering are more important than others.' Official comment: No comment [:] In a statement, a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Budapest, said that 'as a matter of policy, we do not comment publicly on specific alleged intelligence activity. We have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. We value our cooperation with Hungary, and we maintain an active dialogue on issues of mutual concern.' The issue will be on the agenda of further upcoming talks between Foreign Minister János Martonyi and US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.'"

A Pledge to Expand Educational and Cultural Exchanges - "At his Senate confirmation hearing today, Richard Stengel, nominee for Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, stressed his long-time commitment to public diplomacy and pledged to advance international cultural exchanges. Stengel said he would focus on a number of issues he considers vital to U.S. national interests, including the advancement of 'public diplomacy’s focus on youth, including girls and underserved communities,' as well as the promotion of educational exchanges: 'If confirmed, I will also be a champion of educational diplomacy. Education is one of our greatest strategic assets. Our institutions, where more than 700,000 foreign students come, are incubators of democracy and they’re learning that the English language is critical because it is the language of innovation and entrepreneurship.' Adding that the U.S. 'is also the leader in technologies that are revolutionizing the way people learn,' Stengel pledged to 'employ these strategic assets to tailor educational exchanges to the 21st century.' The use of social media and other technological tools is also critical for U.S. engagement with audiences worldwide, Stengel said, adding that these efforts 'cannot, of course, replace people-to-people diplomacy. That’s indispensable.' Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) commented during the hearing on the impact it had on him to see 'how many people, because they’ve gone to school in the United States, when they return home have a much clearer understanding of what [the U.S.] is really like and what our freedoms entail.' Noting that 'these young people return home, highly skilled, highly-educated' and 'become potentially the future leaders of those societies,' Rubio asked Stengel: 'What can be done from a public policy perspective to encourage more of these opportunities to the extent that they are cost-effective and feasible?' Agreeing with Rubio that spending time in the U.S. makes international visitors 'more sympathetic to the American view,'

Stengel expressed his belief that the U.S. 'higher educational system and the educational and cultural exchanges … is something that is vital and powerful and its effect is incalculable.' He further told the Committee that he was 'overjoyed' to learn that Chinese President Xi Jingping, on a recent visit to the U.S., made a point of visiting the host family in Iowa he had stayed with on an exchange program several decades ago. 'The value of that is extraordinary,' Stengel said, adding: 'I’m a big believer in educational diplomacy and I will try to increase the number of exchanges because I think that the long-term benefit of that is something that we all want.' Stengel’s opening testimony as submitted for the record is available for download here and video recording of the full hearing can be watched here." Uncaptioned image from entry

US funding for Pakistani journalists raises questions of transparency: US State Department funding, supplied through a nonprofit intermediary, supports the presence of two Pakistani journalists in Washington. Some observers say the relationship should be more transparent - Issam Ahmed, "Two Pakistani journalists filing reports home are quietly drawing their salaries from US State Department funding through a nonprofit intermediary, highlighting the sophisticated nature of America’s efforts to shape its image abroad. Neither of the two media organizations, Express News and Dunya News, discloses that their reporters are paid by the nonprofit America Abroad Media (AAM) on their websites or in the reports filed by their correspondents. Though the journalists have worked under the auspices of AAM since February, AAM only made their links to the news organizations known on their website Wednesday, after being contacted by the Monitor. The lack of transparency by the Pakistani organizations involved could heighten Pakistani mistrust of the US government, which is seen as having an undue level of influence in their country’s affairs."

Pickering Defends Obama And Clinton, Likens Benghazi Reporting to Fiction - Andrew Desiderio, "Retired U.S. ambassador Thomas Pickering said Tuesday that media coverage over the Benghazi scandal deserves a 'Pulitzer Prize in creative fiction' and reasserted his belief that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama are not responsible for any wrongdoing. He also emphatically insisted there has been appropriate accountability for what went wrong on Sept. 11, 2012, in an attack that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Pickering made the comments at George Washington University in a talk titled “Beyond Benghazi: U.S. Public Diplomacy in Troubled Times” attended by about 150 students, professors, foreign service officers and military members.

Amb. Pickering spoke extensively on his experiences as co-chair of the Accountability Review Board report, which cited inadequate security and unpreparedness as largely to blame for the deaths and has been heavily criticized by House Republicans. 'Benghazi was a blow,' Pickering said. 'A friend tragically died under circumstances that should never be repeated.' As for exactly what went wrong in Benghazi on that fateful day, Pickering asserts his findings in the report were 'quite harsh,' and added American forces were 'caught short.' There was, according to Pickering, an element of failed leadership on the part of many government officials in carrying out basic responsibilities in Benghazi, but said those shortcomings did not rise to the presidential level, nor to Clinton, whom he famously did not interview prior to publishing his report. 'She was not responsible, nor was the president,' he said." Uncaptioned mage from entry

New Book: Radio Free Europe: An Insider's View by J.F. (Jim) Brown Foreword by A. Ross Johnson - "Cold War Radio Broadcasting: "Veteran RFE official J. F. (Jim) Brown recounts the story of the critical role Radio Free Europe played during the Cold War. A widely recognized expert on Eastern Europe who served as RFE … Jim Brown offers a balanced and penetrating analysis of what made RFE tick. He explains how RFE functioned as a decentralized organization that empowered exiles and points out what it could––and could not—offer East European listeners. RFE, he writes, 'broke the communist information monopoly and gave East Europeans the chance to think and judge for themselves.'

Brown’s explanations of the function of the central news department, of discussions with and trust of exile country broadcast chiefs, and of the cautious approach to broadcasting to Poland under martial law after 1981, for example, illuminate the editorial policies and internal relationships that made RFE a success. His portraits of key personalities show that RFE was not just an institution; it was a unique multinational group of men and women who played a critical role throughout the Cold War. ... 'I know of no other books on RFE by an insider who had so much experience with the Radios and how they were operated. Radio Free Europe: An Insider’s View is very well written, well organized, and a fascinating read.' ––Yale Richmond, author of Practicing Public Diplomacy: A Cold War Odyssey." Image from entry

Football pitch paid for by UAE opens in Washington DC - Taimur Khan, "Hundreds of schoolchildren are to benefit from a UAE-funded football pitch and training academy inaugurated yesterday. The US$1.5 million (Dh5.5m) all-weather astroturf ground and renovated amphitheatre was unveiled at a ceremony attended by the UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, and the

mayor of Washington, Vincent Grey [sic]. ... 'We don’t often discuss human relations between countries and, with a field like this, not only do we reach out and engage a vibrant part of the DC community, but we reach people who ordinarily don’t know who the UAE is,' Mr Al Otaiba said. 'This is a very big part of our public diplomacy campaign and showing people who we are and what we do.' Seven months ago the Marie Reed pitch was an uneven, mostly dirt expanse ringed on one side by crumbling wooden amphitheatre seating. 'It used to look terrible,' said Marquis, 10, a grade 5 pupil. It had lumps in the ground, everybody used to get injured, people’s ankles used to get hurt all the time.' When the UAE Embassy and City Soccer began looking for a pitch to renovate in Washington, 'this was the best location', said Mr Al Otaiba, who played football while studying at nearby Georgetown University." Image from article, with caption: The UAE ambassador to the United States, Yousel Al Otaiba, talks to a school pupil during the launch ceremony of the US$1.5m UAE-funded football pitch in Washington, D.C.

NATO’s Partnerships Before and After the Chicago Summit - Marônková Barbora, "NATO defines the strategic objectives of NATO’s partner relations as following [inter alia]: ... Build confidence, achieve better mutual understanding, including about NATO’s role and activities, in particular though enhanced public diplomacy."

Managing a Terrorist Organization: An Interview with Dr. Jacob Shapiro - Shapiro: "I think ... that [what] is not being done enough is working to publicize the externalities that groups cause. We know that people in many countries get angry at the consequences militant groups cause for civilians, and it lowers support for them. We know that in most cases, these guys are tremendously vulnerable to information shared by noncombatants, by civilian and by nonparticipants who happen to notice something going on. And that suggests that there is a lever that can be used by policymakers, which is really aggressively getting the word out about just how bad the activities of many of these groups are. And it happens to some extent, but not as much as I think would be valuable. If the Voice of America says it, in many populations, it doesn’t have the credibility of a local press outlet saying it. But there are lots of ways you can subsidize NGOs and other organizations that make it easier for local press outlets in lots of countries to report on what groups are doing. I think a lot of our public diplomacy is very centrally focused and coordinated on getting out the message of the U.S. government, as opposed to making it easier for the people to get basic facts about what the groups that we find problematic are doing."

Summary of editorials from the Izraeli Hebrew press - BreuerPress, "Ma’ariv believes that 'Even if the court acquits MK Avigdor Liberman tomorrow and thereby allows his immediate return to the Foreign Ministry, Netanyahu must not return him to the post,' and adds: 'A man with militant views and remarks such as Liberman cannot be the one who leads Israel’s foreign relations and conducts dialogues with heads of state.'

The author asserts that at present, 'There is a need for a strong, efficient and involved Foreign Ministry which will deal in public diplomacy, implementing policy and cultivating and strengthening [Israel's] international relations, led by an appropriate minister and not someone for whom the ministry is a kind of after-hours job.'” Image from article

Anti-Semitism claim 'inflammatory': Jewish leaders dismiss Israeli politician's warning that anti-Israel atmosphere will lead to pogroms - Fatima Asmal, "The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has distanced itself from comments by former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that the South African government is creating an anti-Semitic atmosphere, which will result in pogroms against the country's Jews. Lieberman was responding to recent comments made by South Africa's international relations minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, about the country's relationship with Israel.

Speaking at trade union federation Cosatu's international relations committee meeting last Friday, Nkoana-Mashabane said that the South African government had agreed to 'slow down and curtail senior leadership contact' with the Israeli 'regime' until 'things begin to look better'. She also said that South African ministers currently did not visit Israel. Responding to her comments on his Facebook page, Lieberman, who was Israel's foreign minister from 2009 to 2012, urged South African Jews to move to Israel immediately 'before it is too late'. ... Clayson Monyela, the deputy director general of public diplomacy at the department of international relations and co-operation, said that while South Africa supported brokering a just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, political and diplomatic interaction between South Africa and Israel was 'limited, mainly due to Israel's antagonistic attitude towards the Middle East peace process and disregard for international law regarding the rights of the Palestinians and their territories. South Africa and Israel enjoy full, albeit at present cool, bilateral relations because of Israel's continued intransigence concerning its obligations in terms of the Middle East peace process,' he said." Image from entry, with caption: Lieberman's warning is 'alarmist.'

History Versus Hagiography - Robert Ventresca, "Few questions are thornier than the issue of papal intervention, or lack thereof, on behalf of persecuted Jews during the Holocaust. Arguably the most contentious claims reflect competing narratives about the presumed role of the pope and the Vatican in rescue and relief initiatives on behalf of Jews, especially in Italy, and Rome in particular. Narratives of papal rescue and relief often blur the lines between wartime experiences and their framing in postwar memory. Nowhere is this more evident than in the self-congratulatory narrative attributing to Pius XII a decisive role as 'rescuer' – a narrative that the Vatican itself crafted before the war had even ended. Sensitive to charges of papal inaction on behalf of persecuted Jews, senior papal diplomats offered specific examples of the thousands of Jews in Rome — up to 6,000 — who had been given 'refuge and succor' by the Vatican during German occupation of the city, primarily in the form of material aid, asylum, and safe passage. This narrative also came from Pius XII himself, who utilized self-ascribed claims of rescue and relief to justify his policy of impartiality and cautious public diplomacy. It was also useful in deflecting the constant entreaties reaching the pope during the war, very often from other ecclesiastical authorities, for the Vatican to do more for persecuted European Jews."

Japan ready to build nuclear power plants in Iran - "Japanese Foreign Ministry's Deputy Director General for Press and Public Diplomacy Koichi Mizushima has expressed his country’s readiness to cooperate with Iran to build nuclear power plants in the Islamic Republic. Mizushima, who is accompanying Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in his official visit to Tehran, made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Sunday. He added that after the settlement of Iran’s nuclear issue, Japan will be ready to help Tehran to construct nuclear power plants if demanded by the Iranian side."

Uncool Japan: Japan’s Gross National Propaganda - Nancy Snow, "Cool Japan is anything but. ... It doesn’t take a Chinese female astronaut to conclude that Cool Japan is a government and industry production directed predominantly by men with a feminine ideal that doesn’t exist. ... Cool Japan is a retread that’s all been done before. ... The Japanese government has announced a USD$500 million spend over 20 years for Cool Japan branding, which was followed by the winning bid for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Prime Minister Abe’s pitch to the IOC in Buenos Aires was a public relations success, though not one steeped in reality. Despite his promise that the situation in Fukushima is “under control,” the disaster-struck region will not be decontaminated until a projected 2017—just three years before the Summer Olympics. If this nuclear elephant in the room isn’t fixed in time, then no public relations or consumer market goods promotion campaign will be able to gloss over the reality of a lost homeland for those displaced by the disaster. And that’s probably the most uncool prospect for Japan." Image from article

Japan-China Relations: Room For Rapproachment? -- Analysis -  Angana Guha Roy, "[T]he nine year old Tokyo-Beijing Forum ... believes in the power of dialogue and public diplomacy but the prevailing rivalry has repeatedly overshadowed any sort of furtherance in their bilateral relations.

This was fairly reflected in the international media that came out with reports like, ‘China-Japan relations take turn for worse’ or ‘China-Japan relations increasingly strained’, on the eve of the Beijing-Tokyo Forum conclusion." Image from entry

To block or not to block: do Chinese audiences actually want access to foreign media? - Wanning Sun, "International reporting on China is dominated by stories of the Chinese government’s propensity to block access to a number of foreign online media outlets, search engines and social media forums. There are two untested assumptions in these stories. Firstly, that Chinese people are desperate for news and views from outside China. Secondly, that many Chinese would automatically identify with the views expressed in the international media. Stories like this are bad news for the Chinese government, given that in recent years it has been pulling out all stops to spruce up its international image as an open and transparent society. Nowadays soft power, public diplomacy and Chinese media ‘going out’ are not just policy buzz words, but also translate into concrete political projects costing billions of dollars. ... [I]t has been reported recently that Facebook, Twitter and various other ‘sensitive’ sites will soon be accessible within the Free Trade Zone of Shanghai in order to make foreigners ‘feel at home’.

While a small percentage of individuals may feel restricted by not having access to these sites, most Chinese locals seem to feel little desire to be exposed to Western information media. ... Chinese are not too different from people anywhere else. So it should not be surprising that they pay more attention to television shows advising how to avoid unsafe food, than they do to issues impinging on China’s prospects for democracy. ... [I]t is somewhat naïve to assume that the Chinese are at always at odds with their own government. As China watchers such as Linda Jacobson have observed, although Chinese audiences have a healthy scepticism towards propaganda on domestic issues, they are usually happy to accept the authorities’ interpretations of international affairs. Image from article, with caption: The Chinese have access to their own social networking sites, such as Twitter equivalent, Weibo

The Public Diplomacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC): Beyond The Image - "[T]he Chinese leadership is aware of the importance of public opinion a long time ago. The above thesis is now adopted by many different cultures and nations, and its’ [sic] present interpretation is especially interesting in case of the People’s Republic of China. For the western individual, it is difficult to understand how a single-party state society becomes an integrated part of the global consumer culture. 'China will not copy Western system in political reform' − said former CPC General Secretary, Hu Jintao on the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012.[2] In accordance to this, few months ago the newspaper Time released an analysis, with a survey about the global habits of smartphone customers. The result shows, that 42% of the Chinese customers are willing to buy only the latest technology, when they decide to purchase a new phone. ... The hypothesis of the research: Following the transformation of the value system represented by the Chinese society, the Communist Party of China builds traditional, Confucian values in its communication. With this effort, the negative effects of the western individualism on the society are being balanced. The main objective of the project is to support Hungarian foreign policy planning with helpful and easily adoptable practices, in order to tighten the relations between the two countries. Also, as this field is not yet well explored, I feel confident to set up recommendations for the Chinese government for more successful communication."

FNC welcomes delegation from Switzerland - "DUBAI: Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, speaker of Federal National Council (FNC), received on Thursday Secretariat General President of the Council of States, Switzerland’s federal parliament and his accompanying delegation at the FNC. Members of the FNC’s European Parliamentary Friendship Group, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, first deputy FNC speaker, and Swiss Ambassador to the UAE Andrea Reichlin attended the meeting. Al Murr hailed the strong ties between the UAE and Switzerland, noting that the vibrant economic and political system in the Switzerland provides a role model for many countries aspiring to change for the best. The two sides affirmed that the two countries are maintaining strong friendship, particularly in political, economic, cultural and tourist fields. The two sides recognised the need for availing opportunities on offer, good relations and cooperation to expand into other vital sectors like education, technology and public diplomacy to stimulate progress for the benefit of the two friendly peoples."

Richards reports on UK talks - Raymond Hainey, "Bermuda is expected to fork out more than 60 percent of the costs of the UK’s largest peacetime fire and explosion, Minister of Finance Bob Richards said yesterday. Bermuda-based firms are likely to be liable for 62 percent of the claims resulting from a major fire at an oil terminal in Buncefield, Hertfordshire, in 2005. Mr Richards said that Bermuda-based companies provide 'substantial' insurance coverage to the UK market. He was speaking after a series of high-level meetings with the UK government, held last month in London. Mr Richards added: 'In 2011, Bermuda was the UK’s third-largest foreign investor among non-European countries, according to the 2013 Bermuda and the World Economy Report.' And he said: 'The meetings directly support our commitment to strengthen public diplomacy and support bilateral and multilateral agreement.'"

Monaco: Strong political will displayed at the Peace and Sport International Forum 2013 - "An historic initiative sees world’s leaders embrace sport as an investment for society. After three days of intense debates and open discussions, Joël Bouzou yesterday closed the Peace and Sport International Forum 2013 in the presence of more than 700 delegates from 100 different nations. This 7th edition of the Forum proved a resounding success and was unprecedented in terms of political and governmental involvement at the highest level. After a highly acclaimed opening session, which saw Young Sam Ma, Ambassador for Public Diplomacy for the Republic of Korea declaring ' sports diplomacy is sometimes the only way to penetrate into territories wrought with disputes and generations of pain, where dialogues and political overtures have stalled ', the final session of the Forum was marked by a historical speech from Mr SON Kwang Ho, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Sports of North Korea. Mr. SON Kwang Ho talked to the Forum’s delegates about the projects currently implemented in North Korea to build sport facilities, organize grassroot sport events and support elite training. At the end of his speech, he declared: 'We will do our outmost to further develop sports in our country so that it will fully serve for improvement of the people’s health, the development of world peace and friendship with the countries in the future'. The peace through sport community was gathered in Monaco around a wide group of Heads of States, Ministers, Ambassadors and International Organizations members . ... Throughout the Forum, political decision-makers expressed a shift in their vision of sport: that instead of being considered as a public expense, sport was gradually being seen as an investment for a better society and a tool for diplomatic dialogue – a vision that Peace and Sport has been promoting since its creation in 2007 and spearheading at this year’s Forum."

Of interest - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Vive Catalonia! I will help you do pd, cultural diplomacy and gastrodiplomacy if you promise to put Dalí on your money and have a Gaudi-esque Parliament."

Ye Kaung in Hong Kong - "In the ... article, Public Diplomacy and Soft power by Joseph S.Nye, Jr, the author vividly explain the concept of soft power and public diplomacy, their sources and the methodologies to generate them. ... I have got some doubts on the role of Soft power, is the use of Smart power the ultimate solution in international affairs? I don’t think so. By using soft power, a superpower nation may able to influence other countries inclinations but that will not change its basic requirements and cannot quell the nations’ struggles to get them. For example, the soft power of Great Britain may suspend the quest for American Independence for a period of time but cannot deter the desirability of Americans for a new nation. It is the same for US’s soft power which may overwhelm the daily lives of Chinese citizens but it doesn’t change the reality of China’s huge population and scarcity of domestic resources that led the Chinese government to set policies on securing the natural resources beyond its boundaries, sometime against the interest of United States. ... I like to raise another question: Is the rise of anti-American sentiments in Muslim countries is the results of the cutting funds for Soft power? In other words, the spending on Public diplomacy in Musilm [sic] countries will avoid the terrorist efforts targeted at US interest? ... In the end of Joseph S.Nye, Jr’s article, it provides three dimensions of public diplomacy which I think are the most important information of whole article. First, the daily communication on context of domestic and foreign policy decisions with foreign presses as important target, second, in the view of Strategic communication, to develops special themes or symbolic events as political or advertising campaign does and third, the development of lasting relationships with key individuals over many years through scholarships, exchanges, training, seminars, conferences and access to media channels. ... Most importantly, his article concluded with its main thesis: public diplomacy is an important tool in the arsenal of smart power but smart public diplomacy requires credibility, self-criticism and the role of civil society in generating soft power. The public diplomacy that degenerate into propaganda not only fails to convince but can undercut the soft power."

TV broadcasting and the impact of the CNN effect on diplomacy - "Television is still powerful and important in today’s diplomacy.

Indeed, television is important in shaping public opinion, and the general public still relies on traditional television channels as a principal source of information." Image from entry

Global Political Communication - Beth Hankes, "Global Political Communication (CC221) Fall 2013 Provides students with a critical understanding of the role of communication in national politics in non-Western contexts as well as the increasingly important role of mediated communication in contemporary international relations and public diplomacy."

Lipscomb Academy grads go across the pond to begin university experience [no date] - "'Inspirational.' 'Daunting. ... These were the thoughts of 32 Lipscomb incoming freshmen recently as they prepared for their first college lecture by world renowned theologian Alister McGrath of King's College in London. Guest lecturers included ... Colleen Graffy, former deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy."

Juan-Carlos Molleda featured speaker at Syracuse University - "Juan-Carlos Molleda traveled to Syracuse, N.Y., last week to speak on nation identity, branding and reputation at the 2013 Public Diplomacy Symposium at Syracuse University.

'Public Diplomacy: Actors and Actions in a Globalized World' was aimed at generating conversation among engaged practitioners and academicians about what public diplomacy really is and increasing awareness across relevant academic fields about the actors and actions involved in public diplomacy." Uncaptioned image from entry

Faculty news, Dance fall 2013 - "Donna Mejia ... Two of my activities expanded my understanding of dance’s relevancy: my keynote addresses for Syracuse University’s Symposium on Public Diplomacy and my service as an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival North East Region in New York. I witnessed daily occurrences of dance being the site of courageous conversations, extraordinary integrity, intellectual inquiry and unbound human expression."

Campus forum focuses on oil extraction near USC - Christopher Lopez, USC Trojan: "On Wednesday, the Political Student Assembly held a debate at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center on oil drilling activities near USC. ... The operations that sparked the debate were the Freeport-McMoRan Oil and Gas Company site on Jefferson Boulevard and the Allenco Energy, Inc. site located on West 23rd Street. ... Evans, a first-year graduate student in public diplomacy, previously lived adjacent to the Jefferson site and wrote an Oct. 8, 2013 opinion article for Neon Tommy on the subject. Evans said that she has not experienced any health effects from the two months that she lived near the site. She moved from the building because of the activity. 'It smells like the La Brea Tar Pits. It is lit up like a space station at night, so I had to buy blackout curtains for my windows,' Evans said."

Masa Israel Featured Internship: News and New Media Fellow, Government Press Office - "The Government Press Office is looking for an intern who has a solid understanding of Israel’s history, political process, public diplomacy, and challenges faced in the media. The intern’s responsibilities will include assisting with the maintenance of the office’s foreign media survey relating to Israel and keeping the foreign press informed of upcoming events and conferences. Fellows will be encouraged to participate in media tours, conferences, and other events relating to the office’s activities.

The Government Press Office is assigned with the responsibility of coordinating channels of communication between the Israeli government and the press. The division issues press accreditation and is responsible for facilitating press coverage of key state functions and visits of foreign dignitaries." Image from entry

Information Assistant, American Embassy in Tanzania - "BASIC FUNCTION OF POSITION [:] Using specialized expertise in all aspects of the media, serves as the senior FSN advisor to the Public Affairs Officer, Ambassador, and DCM in initiating, planning and implementing major Public Diplomacy information programs and in reporting on Tanzania's media. Orchestrates national media programs of broad scope and complexity. Maintains contacts with senior officials and counsels senior Embassy officials on appropriate ways of dealing with frictions in the relationship between Tanzania and the United States."


The U.S. Army discovers Africa: Africa has many needs. Whether it needs the United States bringing to bear a million American soldiers is doubtful - Andrew J. Bacevich, Africa has many needs.

Whether it needs the United States bringing to bear a million American soldiers is doubtful. If Washington wants to encourage "positive change" in Africa, training a million African schoolteachers or a million doctors might be more useful. Image from entry, with caption: U.S. Special Forces soldier instructs South Sudanese commandos on how to quickly exit a helicopter at a U.S.-run base in Nzara, South Sudan

The U.S.-China path to mutual prosperity - Robert Rubin, Washington Post: A sensible framework for U.S.-China dialogue would be to support better policy in each country and would turn the economic arena into a constructive influence in our relationship. That framework would be built on two guiding principles: Each country will do what is in its long-term economic self-interest, and each country acting in its own, wisely determined economic self-interest will serve the best interests of both countries.

America, always rising and falling: Review of ‘The Myth of America’s Decline’ by Josef Joffe - Review by Carlos Lozada, Washington Post: America’s overblown worries of decline persist, Jofee says, mainly because of “linearity”: the mindless extrapolation of transient trends — whether in the numbers of Soviet ICBMs or the growth of Japanese GDP — far into the future.

How to Balance Safety and Openness for America’s Diplomats: Foreign affairs professionals have faced disease, disaster, war, and terrorism over the last 234 years. How secure should today's officers be? - John Norris, The 20th century marked the beginning of an era when U.S. diplomats were targeted directly because they were U.S. diplomats. In 1998, the diplomatic security budget was $200 million; by 2012 it had leapt to $2.6 billion. That is a more than 1,000 percent increase in 14 years. The State Department seems determined to get away from the cookie-cutter approach to embassy security, recognizing that getting threat assessments right demands a regular, and highly contextualized, discussion at senior levels.

In some instances, these discussions may determine that conditions on the ground are too hazardous for a traditional diplomatic presence or that local forces are not sufficiently reliable to provide the additional force protection upon which most embassies and consulates rely when things take a turn for the worse. In other cases, smaller, more flexible diplomatic teams might offer a better solution for working in chaotic environments because they require less fortification and can often provide superior political and economic reporting than more static missions. But right now the greatest challenge is a Congress that whipsaws between ignoring the Foreign Service and scapegoating it after disasters, effectively pushing the State Department toward a zero risk approach that will trap American diplomacy in a hermetic bubble. Image from article, with caption: The entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where 63 people were being held hostage in 1980

From Peanuts Fields to to Diplomacy - Shawn, Foreign Service Test: Your Guide to Passing the Foreign Service Officer Test: "Nicholas Kralev must be the closest thing to a Foreign Service journalist/groupie that you can find. Kralev recently started a web series in which he has had the chance to interview some very high level members of the U.S. Department of State, including Amb. Thomas Pickering, Under Secretary Bill Burns, and Amb. John Negroponte. In his newest episode of 'Conversations with Nicholas Kralev' he kicks off what he says will be a regular series of interviews with members of the Foreign Service who don’t necessarily have the word 'Ambassador' in front their name. In his first interview he speaks with Jimmy Mauldin, an FSO serving in New Delhi. Jimmy’s story of coming from rural Alabama to the exotic world (at least to many in the U.S.) of international travel and diplomacy is worth hearing. I believe his background is far more common than people realize. Gone are the days when the Foreign Service was comprised primarily of white males from Yale. We’re much more diverse and better able to represent our country."

Propaganda Alert: The Times Sinks to new Depths: “Assad’s snipers target unborn babies in wombs” - Cem Ertür, Global Research:

Image from article

NBC Joins Al Jazeera in Anti-Israel Propaganda - Cliff Kincaid, Polonium-210 is the deadly substance the Russians used to kill Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy and KGB dissident who blamed the Putin regime for acts of alleged Islamic terrorism in Russia. Now that the poison has reportedly been found in the remains of Yasser Arafat’s exhumed body, NBC News has decided to blame Israel, based on questionable reporting done by Al Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood channel. The NBC Nightly News report on Wednesday night was done by reporter Ayman Mohyeldin, and showed a Palestinian official saying, “We need proof that Israeli occupation is responsible, that Israeli government killed him as a result of an official decision.” But NBC didn’t wait for any proof.

Is Pakistan’s Geo-TV A Pro-Indian Propaganda Machine Designed To Destabilize The Islamic Country? - Palash Ghosh, Pakistan’s Islamic fundamentalists and religious conservatives will likely turn purple over the emergence of a new reality television music and dance talent show, “Pakistan Idol,” which is based on wildly popular similar programs in India, Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. Things like “Pakistan Idol”

are deeply resented by an increasingly vocal segment of the public who equate such programs as cultural pollution, and -- even worse – as forms of Western, Indian and Jewish “propaganda.” Much of their rancor is focused on Pakistan’s Geo TV, the private television network that broadcasts many programs conservatives find troubling and even destructive. Geo, one of the largest and most popular channels in Pakistan, was founded in 2002, after former President Pervez Musharraf opened up state-controlled media to private firms. Image from entry

Book Review: 'The Brothers' by Stephen Kinzer - Reviewed by Charles McCarry, Wall Street Journal: By bringing us such memorable acts as the overthrow

of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán in Guatemala, Mr. Kinzer implies, the brothers gave us in the end the allegedly warlike, unjust, hated America we live in now. Image from article, with caption: Allen and John Foster Dulles in 1948

WSU puts World War I and II propaganda online - Audrey Cohen, The U.S. government produced thousands of posters during World Wars I and II, urging citizens to buy war bonds, ration food, grow victory gardens, limit travel and avoid loose talk.

Now roughly 520 of those posters are available online, through Washington State University's newPropaganda Poster Digital Collection. Image from entry

The power of propaganda, then and now, through the Nazi lens - Remnants of Hitler’s cleverly disguised campaign of genocide – posters, books, pamphlets, film, radio messages, even a board game for German children called “Jews Get Out” – are part of the Field Museum’s exhibit “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda” that opened Wednesday.

The exhibit commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass, a two-day wave of anti-Jewish destruction, referred to as Kristallnacht. Image from entry, with caption: The gramophone was a key piece of Nazi propaganda. With it, Nazis were able to play key speeches on the streets of Germany using loudspeakers mounted on trucks. They were also used in homes and local meetings to advance the Nazi agenda.

Women and Children in World War I Propaganda Posters - EDW Lynch, Collectors Weekly has posted a gallery of World War I propaganda posters that prominently feature women and children in their messages.

Recurring themes include women and children in danger, women urging men to enlist, and women heroically working on the home front. The posters are from the collections of the Library of CongressImage from entry


--Image from Eli Saslow, "Too much of too little: A diet fueled by food stamps is making South Texans obese but leaving them hungry," Washington Post


Ali said...


Diplomatic Pk said...

Informative Blog Thanks for sharing Our magazine also covers the Diplomatic Focus in Pakistan.