"[I]t's got no propaganda in it. And I think they like that. It's just a pure, simple soap opera."
--Associated Press Asia correspondent Tim Sullivan, explaining why North Koreans read Gone with the Wind, which came to North Korea in the 1990s; image from, with caption: Korean-American and B singer Lena Park lights up this Gone With the Wind homage in the arms of the Clark Gable impostor.
BLOGS OF INTEREST
(a) Yes and Yes Abroad - yesprograms.org: "The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, provides scholarships for secondary school students (age 15-17) from countries with
significant Muslim populations to spend one academic year in the
(b) Sports Diplomacy in Motion - sportdiplomacy.wordpress.com
A Conversation With Hassan Rouhani [interview] - Council on Foreign relations:
"Rouhani (through translator): Among the programs that the government has considered seriously is to ensure that people must have sufficient access to information, and that in the access to information, they will -- can benefit from the various ideas around globally, get a sense of what it is globally, and, of course, just as I also said in an interview, any country, when it comes to the virtual world, has some moral and ethical frame of reference that it tries to keep up and preserve. And in the same token, the Islamic Republic of Iran expects that its ethical framework, the frame of reference for approaching the virtual world, is preserved. But at the same time, to expand the opportunities for our people, to access information globally, we are interested in seeing nations have closer relations with each other. Perhaps to bring Iran and the United States closer, the initial steps may likely have to be taken by the people. They have to start it, very likely. If an environment is created where the -- you know, the exchanges are done easily, more easily Iranians can come here more easily and people from here can go to Iran more easily, then this will be actually create a public diplomacy venue that will also expand the overall diplomatic activities and the extra steps that we need to take." Image from
US-Iran: Inching Towards Détente - Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh, indepthnews.info: "The pace of developments in Iran's foreign policy has been very high during the last week of September 2013. Iran's effort to take the best advantage of the general atmosphere at the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly led the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to put his power and the power of his foreign policy team in the area of bilateral and multilateral relations, especially public diplomacy, to the first test. Many domestic and foreign analysts believe that he has successfully passed that test. ... In the midst of diplomatic exchanges, the cultural measure taken by the United States for giving the historical Silver Griffin back to Iran was also a symbolic step taken
to demonstrate Washington’s goodwill which should not be easily ignored. ... During the entire past 34 years, contacts between the two countries did not go beyond insignificant cultural exchanges, encounters in sports fields, or sitting at the same table for indirect negotiations, which were also limited to the two countries’ ambassadors or deputy ministers (and even that took place only once). A comparison between the recent developments and what happened in the past will clearly reveal the huge importance of the recent steps taken to shatter this age-old taboo. ... Sharp remarks made by certain American officials, which are meant for propaganda purposes and are aimed at consoling Israel or initiating a new round of arms sales to regional states, can ... increase suspicions and pessimism on the side of Iranian officials." Image from
said while addressing a conference on tourism. Tourism as one of the most effective means of public diplomacy can help improve interactions between nations and lead to peace and fraternity, said Iran's president on Sunday. ... Iran is expected to attract some 20 million foreign tourists by 2025, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said last month. 'We can reach that level (in attracting foreign tourists) if we work on scientific, religious and health tourism,' Iranian Permanent Ambassador and Delegate to UNESCO Mohammad Reza Majidi told Tasnim. Iran's '20-Year Vision' document projects investment of over $32bln in the country's tourism sector. The document also predicts that Iran will be able to attract two percent of international tourists by 2025." Image from entry
Iran-Syria Bashing - Stephen Lendman, mathaba.net: "WaPo [Washington Post] editors don't explain. They focus instead on bashing Iran unjustifiably. 'Mr. Rouhani was in New York on Tuesday not because democracy triumphed in Iran but because Iran’s real leader decided to give the soft-sell strategy a try,' they said. 'A genuine renunciation of the capacity to build a weapon, and the acceptance of international controls that would enforce that commitment, looks far-fetched. The danger is that, in the fevered atmosphere generated by Mr. Rouhani's skillful public diplomacy, the United States and its allies will be induced into further, unwarranted concessions - or deluded into believing that a 'grand bargain' is possible with Iran.' ... WaPo's hostility shows what Rohani faces. Decades of good faith efforts failed."
Iran President Hassan Rouhani Live-Tweeted His Historic Call With Obama - Slade Sohmer, hypervocal.com: Quotes former State Department Internet guru Alec Ross:
Israel's Cassandra moment: Israel must find more effective and less shrill ways of making the case for caution, vigilance, and strength regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions – or risk being left alone and unheeded - David Harris, haaretz.com: "Israel succeeded in helping galvanize the world’s attention to the imminent threat of the Iranian nuclear program. Yet now there are new faces in Iranian public diplomacy, figures who complicate a tableau made starkly simple by the combative and offensive former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. ... Rouhani and Zarif [Foreign Minister Javad Zarif] are on the move, employing social media, their fluency in English, initiating public appearances galore, and participating in marathon diplomacy to send a message of engagement, openness, and moderation.
And, no doubt, they sense they have at least one other card to play – the belief that the West really does not have the appetite for confrontation with Iran, with its built-in risk of military conflict. ... So, unless Israel wants to continue to find itself largely alone on the world stage, it will have to find new ways to make its case, so that it is not just talking to itself and its supporters." Image from article, with caption: The Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.
Experts Agree: Interim Accord is a Bad Deal for Israel: At roundtable discussion, experts say unilateral Israeli moves would be a mistake, and would only teach the Palestinians not to compromise - Arutz Sheva, israelnationalnews.com: "Several Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center research associates agree that an interim accord or unilateral Israeli moves would be a mistake, and would only teach the Palestinians not to compromise. ... The panel included ... Prof. Eytan Gilboa, an expert on American-Israeli relations, U.S. policy in the Middle East, American and Israeli politics, public opinion, international communication, and public diplomacy. ... Gilboa: Israel needs to launch a well-organized global public diplomacy campaign to explain Palestinian inability and unwillingness to sign a peace accord with Israel." Image from entry, with caption: London rally for 'peace'
What Jewish leader is willing to take up the opportunity Rouhani has provided? - Marc H. Ellis, mondoweiss.net: "DICKERSON3870 says: September 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm RE: 'Yesterday
UN Matters For US –- OpEd - Keshav Prasad Bhattarai, eurasiareview.com: "Amid Syrian Crisis, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin employing public diplomacy in a skillful way, made an exceptional appeal to the American people on Syrian Crisis with an article that was published in The New York Times. The day the article published [September 11], was itself a most sensitive and painful day for American people. Putin’s idea worked. It saved Barack Obama and United States from a war that could endanger American interest more critically in already an unpredictable region at a time when United States has already begun to suffer from its huge cuts in its defense spending.
Vladimir Putin’s direct appeal to American people and Congress members worked."
Vladimir Putin, Syria and Why the UN Security Council still matters - Martin Sieff, baltimorepostexaminer.com: "[P]ure vintage Russian foreign policy. ... I first encountered this tradition in the post-Cold War world while attending the 1998 Wehrkunde, or War Studies Conference in
These days it has expanded and transformed itself into the Munich Security Conference and has become a global media platform for the leaders of
Vladimir Putin: Master Of The World’s Greatest Imitation Democracy - Nick Kosturos, scinternationalreview.org: "Putin’s contradictions are too many to count. He holds elections only to rig them. He praises the impartiality of the Russian judicial system, and then uses it to jail political opponents. He projects himself as a world peacemaker and continues to support murderous regimes. He expresses a desire for public diplomacy but constantly stimulates anti-foreigner sentiments among his people. He worships state sovereignty and then uses obstructionist tactics to bully other nations into economic and military cooperation."
Voice of America English and Russian News Ignores Walesa Human Rights Award for Khodorkovsky - BBGWatcher, usgbroadcasts.com: "As a further example of how mismanaged and provincial the Voice of America (VOA) has become, the U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcaster for overseas audiences has failed to report on Sunday (as of 5PM Washington, DC time – 11PM Gdansk, Poland ) that the son of Russia’s imprisoned Mikhail Khodorkovsky accepted a human rights award for his father from Solidarity leader, Nobel Peace prize laureate and Poland’s former
President Lech Walesa, who turned 70 today. The $100,000 Walesa Human Rights Award was announced on Thursday, but the Voice of America also missed the news on Thursday on both its English and Russian news websites." Image from entry, with caption: Lech Walesa Photo from 2002 Voice of America Interview
BBG Governor Susan McCue Nominated to Millennium Challenge Corporation Board - BBGWatcher, usgbroadcasts.com: "We hope that the new BBG Chairman Jeff Shell and other new BBG members will have enough determination to continue the reforms which are desperately needed to save U.S. international broadcasting, particularly at the Voice of America (VOA). Most of the problems, for which the BBG Board is often blamed in the media and by public figures such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who herself was an ex officio BBG member, can be traced to the permanent IBB executive staff that has not changed in many years despite record low employee morale, as measured by the OPM, and many embarrassing scandals, some affecting U.S. public diplomacy and America’s image aboard."
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Seeing Through Perception Management - Greg Guma, globalresearch.ca: "[A] concerted effort to influence public opinion ... would soon be labeled 'perception management' in a Defense Department manual. Basically, this tactic involves both conveying and denying information 'to influence emotions, motives, and objective reasoning.' The goal is to influence both enemies and friends, ultimately to provoke the behavior you want. 'Perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations,' according to DOD.
In the Reagan years this type of operation was euphemistically labeled 'public diplomacy,' which was officially expanded to include domestic disinformation during the Bush I administration. In those days it was mostly about stoking fear of communism, the Sandinistas, Qaddafi, and anyone else on Reagan’s hit list. Clinton modifications were outlined in Directive 68, which still showed no distinction between what could be done abroad and at home. When Bush II took office, the name was changed again, this time to 'strategic influence.'" Image from entry
Sex Jihad and Ill-fated Tunisian Women - antifarid.wordpress.com: "Al Arabiya is known for being an arm of Saudi foreign policy or what can be termed as public diplomacy weapon. It is seen as being part of ‘a concerted Saudi attempt to dominate the world of cable and satellite television media in the Arab world’. Barack Obama gave his first formal interview as president to Al Arabiya delivering the message to the Muslim world that US is not the enemy of the Arab people."
Korea opens mobile science lab at DU - bdnews24.com: "South Korea has inaugurated a mobile science laboratory at Dhaka University whose members will visit different schools to make science education popular. State Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman opened the lab on Wednesday and lauded Korea’s role in Bangladesh’s development particularly in the modern technology.
Korea’s development arm, KOICA supported development of the lab with the help of the Hanyang University in Korea. Ambassador Lee Yun-young said his government 'always recognizes Bangladesh as one of top priority countries in the region'. He cited ‘friendly’ relations between the two countries in the last 40 years of diplomatic ties. Korea is celebrating its 40 years relationship with Bangladesh this year with intense public diplomacy. Earlier, it inaugurated a ‘Korea corner’ at Dhaka University Central Library to help students studying Korea. Vice-Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddiqui acknowledged KOICA’s contribution at his university and hailed the ‘friendship’." Image from
Green sees vast opportunities for British exporters in KSA - Rashid Hassan, arabnews.com: "A technology partnership between Saudi e-commerce firm 3Omlati and UK tech firm Ixaris was signed Wednesday in the presence of UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green, who is in Riyadh to boost bilateral trade and investment. The deal will allow 3Omlati to use Ixaris' cloud-based payment software. 'The minister visited the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) for a discussion of science and technology collaboration and the signing of a technology partnership between Ixaris, a UK firm, and 3Omlati, a Saudi company, a public diplomacy and communications official at the British Embassy in Riyadh told Arab News."
Welcome to MOFA: the false ceiling is gone! Women diplomats carved a niche for themselves in top echelons and their rise continues - Qudssia Akhlaque, nation.com.pk: Ms Leena Moazzam holds the post of director-general Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy . ... Pakistan Foreign Service opened to women only in 1973 as a result of the 1972 Administrative Reforms but so far no government has appointed a woman foreign secretary. However, given the steady rise of competent and committed women professionals in the top hierarchy and on the frontlines of diplomacy, the prospects of Pakistan having its first woman secretary are not remote."
Comedy Club: Callous Comedian Cuffed For Clocking Correspondent Over Twitter Punch Lines - chickaboomer.com: "Beastly behavior. Comedian performing at Wednesday night’s DC’s Funniest Celebritypunches Daily Beast/Newsweek scribe Josh Rogin after Rogin tweeted nasty about his performance.
And he wasn’t joshing. UK Daily Mail. Josh Rogin Facebook commenter: Maybe you could take on a 'safe' job as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs … A slam at TIME mag’s managing editor Richard Stengel who just defected to the aforementioned Obama gig." Rogin image from entry. See also
International Conference on Media in Transformation: Exploring Role of ICT, Innovative Communications, and New Media - gcra2014.org: "Can a better world be achieved via better communication education? This is a perpetual question concerning communication researchers and practitioners over centuries. It is our vision that free and balanced communication between communities, nations, and civilization is the path to a peaceful and prosperous world.
Public diplomacy can be a potential means to achieve this. Public diplomacy is closely related to the development of each individual. It is also interrelated with community and global contexts. ... The 6th GCRA International Conference aims to provide a forum where researchers, practitioners, media workers, trainers and students can engage in a comprehensive dialogue exploring the role of ICT, strategic communications and new media in democratization." Image from entry
Contemporary History: Whither American Seapower?, Oct. 3 - ohio-forum.com: "The Contemporary History Institute speaker series presents Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Seth Cropsey on the current state of America’s maritime defense strategy, 'Whither American Seapower?,' on Thursday, Oct. 3 . ... During the period that preceded the collapse of the USSR—from 1982 to 1984—Cropsey directed the editorial policy of the Voice of America on the Solidarity movement in Poland, Soviet treatment of dissidents, and other issues. Returning to public diplomacy in 2002 as director of the U.S. government’s International Broadcasting Bureau, Cropsey supervised the agency as successful efforts to increase radio and television broadcasting to the Muslim world."
Diplomat advises for global careers - Chuck Mason, bgdailynews.com: "Michael McClellan, a senior foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department, is about to retire from a profession 'he just fell into.' The Bowling Green area native has 29 years of public diplomacy under his belt in 11 different embassies around the globe. However, when he was in his mid-20s, pursuing a doctorate, he didn’t really have a clue what he wanted to do. McClellan spoke Thursday evening at Gary Ransdell Hall on Western Kentucky University’s campus about 'Successful Careers in the Age of Globalization,' sponsored by the WKU Honors College. ... McClellan told the students there were 13 qualities they could seek in themselves that will not only prepare them for a possible career in foreign service, but also increase their opportunities for success: composure; cultural adaptability; ability to integrate information; apply initiative; exercise judgment; discern what is appropriate, practical and realistic; objectivity and integrity; oral communication; planning and organizing; tracking trends seen in data; resourcefulness; the ability to work with others; and written communication. 'You have to be ready for unanticipated circumstances,' he said."
Historical Dictionary of American Propaganda Martin Joseph Manning Herbert Romerstein 2004 - progressivetorrents.com: "Review [:] 'Dictionaries are usually dry but useful resources for moments of uncertainty, Martin Manning, a research librarian in the Bureau of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, has created an uncharacteristic volume that tells an intriguing story of U.S. and some foreign propaganda. More than a dictionary, it reads like an encyclopedia and, for those so inclined, is worth reading from front to back....[p]rovides a wealth of information, some of which cannot be readily found elsewhere, and is a useful resource for researchers interested in propagandas role in American history."
Urgently required: Finance Officer (full time) Education Partnership Outreach Services - indonesia.jobistan.co: "Finance Officer (full time) – "Education Partnership Outreach Services Full time position Position open to Indonesian Nationals only URS is the managing contractor of the Education Partnership Outreach Services (EPOS), providing project management and technical support. The objective of EPOS is to deliver a public diplomacy and outreach program that will ensure Australia’s profile as a partner supporting Indonesia’s education development goals are both visible and recognised."
Bashir denied US visa; Sudan angry - AP, arabnews.com: The Sudanese Foreign Ministry summoned the US charge d’affaires in Khartoum to protest Washington’s failure to grant a visa to the country’s president, who faces war crimes charges, media reported Saturday. President Omar Bashir requested the visa to attend the UN General Assembly in New York. The charges are linked to the bloody conflict in the Darfur region.
“It is with deep regret that I inform you of the refusal of the authorities of the United States, the host government, to give an entry visa to President Bashir and his delegation,” Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti told the UN General Assembly. Bashir image from entry
The Mystery of Washington's Waning Global Power - Dilip Hiro, TomDispatch: In the future, the indecent haste with which Barack Obama sought cover under the umbrella unfurled by his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the Syrian chemical weapons crisis will be viewed as a watershed moment when it comes to America’s waning power in that region.
Al Qaeda opens first official Twitter account - Bill Gertz, washingtontimes.com: An official al Qaeda website that is restricted to members of the terrorist group opened its first Twitter account this week in what U.S. officials say is an effort to resolve a major split over Syria’s Islamist rebels.
The Shamukh al-Islam website, used as an official clearing house for al Qaeda members to communicate and issue propaganda statements, started its first Twitter account on Tuesday. Image from article
Brian Williams' Iran propaganda: The NBC star tells his viewers that Iranian leaders are 'suddenly claiming they don't want nuclear weapons', even though they've been saying it for years - Glenn Greenwald, Guardian: NBC News feels free to spout such plainly false propaganda regarding Iran - "suddenly claiming they don't want nuclear weapons!" - because they know they and fellow large media outlets have done such an effective job in keeping their viewers ignorant
Children killed for Anti-Syria Chemical Weapons Propaganda [September 22] - Finian Cunningham, nsnbc.me: Several reports have tied the involvement of Saudi, Turk and Israeli intelligence with the supply of toxic chemicals to the foreign-backed militants fighting in Syria for the Western agenda of regime change against the government of President Assad. These intelligence agencies are closely aligned with those of the US, Britain and France.
Spying on lovers at the NSA | USA NOW video - usatoday.com; imagefrom
The U.S. ranks 99th in peacefulness - rankingamerica.wordpress.com
I’ll Have What She’s Thinking - William J. Broad [sic], New York Times: At Rutgers University scientists have repeatedly had female volunteers put their heads into giant machines and focus their attention on erotic fantasies — the scans reveal that the pleasure centers of their brains light up
in ways indistinguishable from everyday orgasms. At Rutgers, Dr. Komisaruk expanded his research to brain scans. In 2003, the first images confirmed the earlier study. Pleasure centers lit up more or less identically whether the women reached sexual highs by hand stimulation or by erotic thoughts. Image from
--Александр Сенников (Sennikov) via IK on Facebook