Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 15-18 Public Diplomacy Review


--Acronym for State Department Assistant Security Officer; image from


--The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act first passed by Congress in 1996; image from


BBC's Winter Olympics Trailer Is Totally Over the Top - Via SM on Facebook

How to kill Americans with geometry: A North Korean propaganda film for kids - Marc Ambinder,

Image from entry, with caption: Yep, the kid is using his trusty protractor to calculate missile ranges.

Americas [sic] Distribution Of Wealth (1955) -


Hard Diplomacy and Soft Coercion: Russia's Influence Abroad [review of Hard Diplomacy and Soft Coercion: Russia's Influence Abroad by James Sherr] - John Brown, American Diplomacy: "[The author's] argument — if it can be reduced to a few words — certainly comes through: soft power in Russia isn’t all that soft."


Rejected as "spam": Your PDPBR compiler's comment regarding Professor R. S. Zaharna's interesting piece on former NBC basketball player's Dennis Rodman latest North Korea visit recently posted on the USC Center on Public Diplomacy blog.

In the spirit of public diplomacy --  supposedly about sharing opinions rather than censoring them  -- allow me to present my comment to readers of the PDPBR; Rodman image from


The Kerry Surprise - Uri Savir, Huffington Post: "Secretary of State John Kerry has broken all frequent flyer records in his visit to the Middle East. Kerry is the surprise of the second Obama administration, together with President Obama he has defined a new U.S. diplomacy doctrine 'diplomacy first.' When the world expected American military action in Syria, Obama and Kerry turned to Putin in order to find a diplomatic solution to the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal. ... John Kerry also opted for collective diplomacy on the Iranian issue. ... It seems that the Obama administration has arrived at the conclusion that wars in today's era have become futile, also given the military experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. ... John Kerry is a great friend of Israel as he has proven in his long tenure in the Senate. In parallel, he understands that the United States and Israel, must for their own interests, be attentive to the interests of the Palestinians and the Arab world. He is indeed an honest broker.

The Secretary is coming to the negotiation table with a clear analysis he conducted with the various branches of government and the White House, as to the American strategic interests in the Middle East. He has concluded that Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution is a necessity for Middle Eastern stability and security. He listens not only to the regional leaders, but also to the people's voice, in Israel, focused on security, and in the Arab world, concerned with the destiny of the Palestinians. Middle Eastern peace in his mind, must be agreed upon by the leaders, and legitimatized by the people. For that he is conducting in parallel both private and public diplomacy. He believes that Israeli-Palestinian peace must pacify the whole Middle East, and move the region from a conflict to economic cooperation." Image from; see also.

Revealed: America's Secret War in 134 Countries: Obama has presided over a huge surge in special operations, vastly out-pacing Bush - Nick Turse, "In 2013, elite U.S. forces were deployed in 134 countries around the globe, according to Major Matthew Robert Bockholt of SOCOM Public Affairs. This 123% increase during the Obama years demonstrates how, in addition to conventional wars and a  CIA drone campaign, public diplomacy and  extensive electronic spying, the U.S. has engaged in still another significant and growing form of overseas power projection.  Conducted largely in the shadows by America’s most elite troops, the vast majority of these missions take place far from prying eyes, media scrutiny, or any type of outside oversight, increasing the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences."    

Mistrust And Miscommunication Stand In The Way Of Afghan Deal - "SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: The debate over the draft security agreement continues to dominate the Afghan media. Afghan officials keep repeating in the press that the U.S. must meet Karzai's preconditions before he will sign the accord. He wants American forces to stop all raids on Afghan homes and for the U.S. to jumpstart peace talks with the Taliban. U.S. officials have said they are done negotiating. And if Karzai doesn't sign the agreement within weeks, then the U.S. will have to resort to the zero option, which means withdrawing all troops by the end of this year and possibly cutting off future military support. WALIULLAH RAHMANI [analyst]: Now it is more of public diplomacy through which they are trying to reach out to President Karzai, and trying to put an understanding that, really, the U.S. could consider one of these options. CARBERRY: As political analyst Waliullah Rahmani sees it, the U.S. is using a variety of tactics to pressure Karzai. RAHMANI: None of our senior leadership takes those pressure tactics serious. CARBERRY: Rahmani says that Karzai's inner circle simply doesn't believe that the U.S. will leave Afghanistan, and therefore they're ignoring all the public threats over the zero option. Rahmani says that's a mistake. He and other analysts say the two governments still don't understand each other's politics or how to talk to each other."

Burns to Al-Monitor: 'No illusions' about nuclear diplomacy with Iran - "Al-Monitor: The new diplomatic team in Iran are very talented in public diplomacy, they are on Twitter ... sometimes responding by email. They are trying to affect what’s understood here [in Washington], because they understand it’s important for their interests and what they are trying to achieve. Given their level of attention and engagement, it would seem that they would probably email and call you and your team, too ... Burns: Yeah ... It is, when you think of

the meeting that Secretary Kerry had with Foreign Minister Zarif, and the presidents’ phone call, the bilateral contacts that we set up. ... It almost now does not seem very surprising that American officials and Iranian officials engage. Just a few months ago, that would have been, at least for many people, a bit harder to imagine. So it’s also not surprising that you find other ways to stay in touch. But as I said, I have found the group of people mainly from the Foreign Ministry with whom I’ve dealt to be quite professional. Tough negotiators, but quite professional." Image from entry, with caption: US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns listens during a press conference at the US Department of the Treasury in Washington, DC, July 11, 2013

Shades of WikiLeaks Controversy in Fallout Over Indicted Diplomat - Adam Klasfeld, "Former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State P.J. Crowley, who resigned after condemning the treatment of WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning at a Marine Corps prison, likened the blowout of that case to the strip search of an Indian diplomat [Devyani Khobragade, a former deputy consul general, in New York] accused of committing visa fraud to exploit her maid. ...  Facing charges punishable with up to 10 years in prison, Khobragade returned to India under cover of diplomatic immunity that evening, and her charges are still active although she maintains her innocence. Crowley complained in a BBC editorial that both sides missed opportunities to resolve the crisis through 'bureaucratic and diplomatic negligence.' Stepping up those criticisms on his Twitter account and in an interview, Crowley noted that the U.S. had warned India about Khobragade as early as September, months before her arrest, but that India failed to react. The United States, on the other hand, miscalculated in terms of 'public diplomacy,' Crowley said, adding that he now teaches the subject at George Washington University. 'In a globalized and networked world, these issues don't stay behind closed doors,' he said in a phone interview. 'They play out on the front pages of major newspapers. They play out in real time, and sometimes events get defined and bureaucracies are forced into catch-up mode." See also.

The Changing Face of Diplomacy - "[A]ppointing openly gay people to ambassadorial posts overseas has gone from an unthinkable act to an unremarkable one, and the shift has made U.S. foreign policy stronger. ... 'At this point, what is extraordinary is that out gay ambassadors are not that extraordinary,' said a modest David Baer after returning from an event he had attended as the recently posted ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 'Sure, you walk into a room and everyone knows that you are gay, but that dissipates quickly. Public diplomacy is about representing the United States, a job that requires all U.S. ambassadors to promote the general interests of the United States abroad.'”

US Assistant Secretary Nuland: Romanian Rule of Law Raises ConcernsVictoria Nuland, US Assistant Secretary, has travelled to Romania on a two-day official visit

Romania’s NATO accession tenth anniversary as well as related bilateral agreements. Image from entry, with caption: Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland and Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean (Lucian Crusoveanu / Public Diplomacy Office)

UT, US State Department Partnership Among 2013′s Top Diplomacy Efforts - "The partnership between UT [University of Tennessee] and the US Department of State to engage women and girls from around the world through sports was named one of the nation’s ten best public diplomacy efforts of 2013. The Public Diplomacy Council ranked the US Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program—the flagship component of the Empowering Women and Girls through Sports initiative—as the ninth best diplomatic accomplishment in 2013. The UT Center for Sport, Peace, and Society is the sole implementing partner of the initiative. ...

The Center for Sport, Peace, and Society in 2012 was awarded a $1.2 million cooperative agreement to implement the Empowering Women and Girls through Sports initiative. The center is part of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. The initiative aims to engage young girls and women on how athletics can develop important life skills and be used to promote positive social change in their communities. It also is designed to increase cross-cultural understanding between international participants and Americans. 'It’s unique because it’s a public diplomacy initiative that emphasizes the importance of women as athletes and change agents,' said Ashleigh Huffman, the center’s assistant director. 'It’s a launch pad for understanding how sports and politics interface and how sports can be used to make a political impact.' Since June 2012, the program has worked with more than 150 women and girls from more than fifty countries, Hillyer said." Uncaptioned image from entry

Beverly Brodsky's paintings featured in Art in Embassies Program in Sierra Leone - "For five decades Art In Embassies has played a leading role in U.S. public diplomacy through a focused mission of vital cross-cultural dialogue through the visual arts. It was first created by MOMA and President John F. Kennedy who formalized it in 1963 at the U.S. Department of State.

'It is a fulcrum of America’s global leadership as we work for freedom, human rights, and peace around the world.' U.S. Secretary of State, John Forbes Kerry. The above shows one of the two Beverly Brodsky paintings that were selected for installation at the American Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone, for a period of two to three years and will be open for public viewing as a cross-cultural exchange beginning at the end of January 2014." Image from entry

What a lost prison manuscript reveals about the real Nelson Mandela: New light is shed on the president's politics, smoothed over in 'Long Walk to Freedom' - Rian Malan, "Mandela's] prison manuscript ... which turns out to be the first draft of Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela’s famous 1994 autobiography. Much of the first draft is carried forth into the finished book, but ... problematic quotes have vanished, along with several other outbreaks of what can only be described as pro-communist harangue. What happened?

Our search for an answer must begin with Rick Stengel, a New York journalist who is now President Obama’s undersecretary for public diplomacy. In the 1980s, Stengel did a tour of duty in South Africa, where he exhibited sensitivity to the hardships of black people and enthusiasm for their ANC liberators, surely one of the factors that led to his eventual appointment as Mandela’s ghostwriter." Uncaptioned image from entrySee also.

Letters -- Truth Matters - "NeighborWatch Says: January 11th, 2014 at 9:34 pm Since the 'Modernization' of the Smith/Mundt Act of 48′ it is legal for the gov. to disseminate propaganda to the populous. via corporate TV, Newspapers etc. The US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (Public Law 80-402), popularly referred to as the Smith–Mundt Act, specifies the terms in which the United States government can engage global audiences, also known as public diplomacy. The act was first introduced as the Bloom Bill in December 1945 in the 79th Congress and subsequently passed by the 80th Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on January 27, 1948. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 amended the Smith–Mundt Act and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987, allowing for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and striking down a long-time ban on the dissemination of propaganda in the United States."

Watch Incredible Video Of The Plane Crash That Killed Fuddy - B. Christopher Agee, "vnon says: January 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm 'The 2013 NDAA overturned a 64-year ban on the domestic dissemination of propaganda (described as 'public diplomacy information') produced for foreign audiences, effectively eliminating the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences.' There’s 1 word for this, BS"

Hudson Institute Statement on the Expulsion of Senior Fellow David Satter from the Russian Federation - BBG Watcher, "Hudson Institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, condemned the denial of a journalist’s visa by Russia to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) advisor David Satter who is also a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. 'David Satter is a valued colleague and friend who is one of America’s leading authorities on contemporary Russia,' said Hudson Institute President and CEO Kenneth R. Weinstein. 'He has Hudson Institute’s unequivocal support.'”

Russian Media in the Post Soviet Space - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "There’s a minor excitement today after the refusal of the Russian government to grant a visa to David Satter of RFE/RL. I’ve no idea if there’s a connection but Satter authored a report published last week by the Center for International Media Assistance on The Last Gasp of Empire: Russia’s Attempts to Control the Media in the Former Soviet Republics."

Video and text of Secretary Kerry’s remarks on Ukraine ignored by Voice of America news websites -BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "While the Voice of America (VOA) Ukrainian Service continues to provide excellent coverage of events in Ukraine and reactions to them in the U.S., the main VOA English news website and the vast majority of more than 40 other VOA language services offer woefully inadequate coverage of Ukraine due to severe management crisis and collapse of news reporting at the U.S. taxpayer-funded international media outlet. Today U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has joined a long list of other high-level U.S. administration officials and members of Congress, including Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), whose recent statements condemning undemocratic measures taken by the Ukrainian authorities have been ignored by VOA English news and most VOA language services. As Secretary of State, John Kerry is an ex officio member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which has oversight authority over Voice of America executives. But VOA management is not only ignoring Kerry. It has also ignored in VOA news reporting a recent statement on the lack of media freedom in Russia issued by BBG Chairman Jeff Shell."

Should VOA post White House statements in full? At least, it should do it right without embarrassing US President and Americans - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "The Voice of America (VOA) English website posted in full President Obama’s statement on the death of former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon. Unfortunately, the statement was not properly formatted and is full of HTLM codes. ... Obviously, VOA executives and editors are not reading their own website. The improperly formatted President Obama / White House statement has been on the VOA site already for several hours without being corrected. ... [I]f VOA is going to post a U.S. presidential statement in full, then it should do it right, especially on such occasions as the death of a foreign leader. Poor formatting makes it look unprofessional.

It looks especially bad on this occasion. When VOA posts a full statement from the White House as a separate item on its website, it transmits a statement of U.S. public diplomacy at work on behalf of the American people. Whether VOA sees it this way or not, such White House statements are an exercise in U.S. public diplomacy. If there is a good reason to post an entire White House statement, VOA editors should think carefully how it should be done. They should definitely look at their website to make sure the text is displayed right, especially since they are posting somebody else’s text." Image from entry

Twiplomat Bildt: 'Social media a tool for peace' - "At Thursday's TedX conference in Stockholm, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt took the stage to discuss the potential of digital diplomacy. 'We live, thank god, in a much more open world where the voice of individual people means more, thus public diplomacy is becoming more important,' he told the crowd. 'It's about getting the pulse of what's happening.' Indeed, the minister (and former prime minister) is no stranger to social media and boasts over 250,000 followers on a Twitter account he updates regularly.

He acknowledged that social media is the fastest way to get information about world events, and pointed to Egypt's recent referendum, Ukraine's new 'draconian laws', and how Syria marks the world's first social media civil war as examples. But can social media actually help to resolve the conflict in Syria? 'That's a good question to which I wish I had a good answer,' he told The Local after his speech. 'I don't think it's necessarily resolved through social media. When it comes to resolution, then classical diplomacy has to come in. But classical diplomacy and conflict resolution can be facilitated by social media.'" See also: (1) (2). Bilt image from

The Incredible Rendang, and William Wongso’s dream - My Indonesia: Promoting Indonesia and Indonesian community in the USA: "On November 22-24, 2013, The Directorate of Public Diplomacy at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs working together with the San Francisco Indonesian Consulate General again held

an Indonesian Culinary promotion drive around San Francisco. William Wongso as the culinary expert was one of the important member of the team, and the most i[m]portant product promoted was the RENDANG. Watch the 12 minutes of the following you-tube demo by Mr. William, starting with showing rendang recipe, the West Sumatra caramelized beef curry," Image from entry, with caption:Photo: Indonesian Embassy, Washington DC

A New Era in China-U.S. Relations: Our leaders have learned that it is better to be partners than rivals - Sun Guoxiang, Wall Street Journal: "Economic and cultural exchanges not only benefit China and the U.S., they also promote global peace and prosperity. ... Local and people-to-people exchanges have always been a strong driving force behind China-U.S. relations. The past 35 years have shown us that with closer cooperation, not just at the federal level but also at the city and state level, comes a stronger bilateral relationship. We need to continue these cultural and economic partnerships, and we need to deepen and expand them where possible. ... Mr. Sun is ambassador, consul general of the People's Republic of China in New York."

Between China and Japan, a Tug-of-War Over Africa - Bree Feng, New York Times: "Diplomatic tensions between China and Japan showed no signs of abating this past week as the two countries traded barbs over Africa. On Thursday, Lu Shaye, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s African affairs department, defended China’s engagement in the continent.

China is 'sincere,' Mr. Lu said, 'unlike some countries' that he said are driven by self-interest and politics. His comments followed remarks by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, during a visit to Mozambique this month, that Japan will not just extract resources from Africa but 'create jobs.' ... Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States and a former ambassador to Japan, wrote an op-ed piece for The Washington Post this month that called the shrine 'ground zero for the unrepentant view of Japan’s wartime aggression.' Mr. Abe’s visit, he said, was a challenge to the world. On Friday, The Washington Post carried an op-ed by the Japanese ambassador in the United States, Kenichiro Sasae, who called on China to 'cease its dogmatic anti-Japanese propaganda campaign and work with us toward a future-oriented relationship.' The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, said on Thursday that the Chinese diplomats’ actions in recent days were aimed at ensuring that countries around the world 'clearly recognize the threat to world peace Mr. Abe’s visit to Yasukuni poses.' Beijing’s recent diplomatic push in part reflects the government’s increasing appreciation of public outreach. In recent years, China has stepped up its public diplomacy – from trying to project a better image of Chinese development projects in Myanmar to setting up a Foreign Ministry-affiliated Public Diplomacy Association, led by retired senior diplomats. Global Times, a nationalist-leaning state-run newspaper, published an editorial last week that argued that the war of words was an important fight that China 'must not lose.' 'There is no smoke in this ‘Chinese-Japanese public opinion war’ but it is a special 21st century battlefield,' the paper said." Image from entry, with caption: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan sits between Ethiopia’s prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, right, and the deputy chairman of the African Union Commission, Erastus Mwencha, during a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Jan. 14. See also.

Public diplomacy sells China’s views - Wang Wenwen, Global Times: "China is slowly learning to handle public diplomacy. In the past couple of years, China has been trying to boost the popularity of its image through a number of events such as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. It has also founded many Confucius Institutes across the globe. Nonetheless, all these have had arguably limited efficacy. The success of China's public diplomacy, after all, will be determined by the country's soft power. Soft power, an idea devised by political scientist Joseph Nye, includes two aspects: cultural attractiveness and the capability to make rules. For China, Abe's aggressive moves [Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine, regardless of objections from countries that were victims of Japanese invasion in WWII] have offered an opportunity to increase China's discourse power on the world stage as well as maintaining the postwar world order and the international morality and justice. ... In the long run, China's NGOs or social groups should also be mobilized to take part in China's public diplomacy."

China's Official Press Agency Can't Win On Twitter Because Censorship - Jessica McKenzie, "It's not terribly surprising that Xinhua News Agency, China's official mouthpiece/press agency, doesn't 'get' Twitter. Since the platform is blocked in their country, Xinhua employees can't be expected to become Twitter pros overnight.

But it's been almost a year now since @XHNews opened an account; 8,242 (and counting) tweets later and they still only have 23,325 followers. In a post on Tea Leaf Nation, Liz Carter describes their fumbled tweets as 'growing pains.' She points out misspellings ('disciliponed') and inappropriate celebrity mentions ('Tiger Woods is not an actual tiger.'). This is pretty outrageous when one considers (as Carter points out) that China has spent billions of dollars trying to ramp up their public image abroad." Image from entry, with caption:  Who doesn't want updates on Yutu's sleeping status?!

Tongji University established international advanced training school of power enterprises to go out - "In new network Shanghai 11 January report (reporter Xu Jing) 'Shanghai Tongji University international advanced training school ... 11 days earlier, the college will be dedicated to China 'going out' strategy to provide the training and intelligence services, power China enterprises to establish talent and knowledge base in the process of internationalization, so as to enhance the China business to the international market combat capability. China economy 'going out' has become an inevitable trend, how to promote the China enterprises successfully implement globalization strategy? Jointly hosted by the Tongji University, Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association, Xinzhou international group of '2014 power globalization Chinese Strategic New Year Summit Forum' with the opening. The opening ceremony, Tongji University, Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association, Xinzhou International Group signed a 'Cooperation Framework Agreement', will be held jointly 'Shanghai international advanced training college of Tongji University'. ... Shanghai public diplomacy and public diplomacy associations will rely on long-term research and practice to experience, unity, coordination relationship between the parties to contact various build service platform, to promote public diplomacy, curriculum research and development work, to carry out public diplomacy practice. Expansion of the Xinzhou International Group will assist in overseas markets."

The "Biblical Money Code" - [Comment by: Watercooler:] "One characteristic of Chinese public diplomacy is to talk tough but act more cautiously. What they say and what they do are not necessarily the same thing..."

American Institute opens joint innovation center - The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taiwan Design Center jointly launched an innovation center in Taipei yesterday to promote digital learning with an emphasis on innovation, creativity and design. The American Innovation Center, the first of its kind in Asia, is equipped with computers, 3D printers, scanners, books, audio-visual materials and an online database. It also has digital video conferencing equipment.

'It will connect young people and designers from Taiwan, the United States and the world, and take Taiwan-US cooperation to a new level,' AIT Director Christopher Marut said. The center, in the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, is to offer lectures, workshops and programs on innovation, entrepreneurship, digitalization, culture and design, according to the AIT. 'We thought Taiwan would be an excellent choice for the first American Innovation Center in Asia because it is known for its innovation and creativity, as well as advances in high-technology,' said Joseph Bookbinder, AIT public diplomacy section head. ... Other American Innovation Centers are in Italy, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece." See also; image from, with caption: Captain America and Superman joined the assembled dignitaries at the launch of the innovation center, Jan. 16.

Africa: Brics' Public Diplomacy and the Nuances of Soft Power - Yu-Shan Wu and Chris Alden, "New voices - from Brazil's TV Globo Internacional, Russia Today, China Central Television to other alternative voices like Al Jazeera and African players themselves - are challenging both the prevailing Anglo-Saxon narrative on continental affairs, but also contributing to a more complex counter-flow of information generated by themselves. It begs the question how soft power could be applied in the midst of rising (and sometimes competing) national drives between emerging countries. Perhaps the BRICS platform could develop as such a testing ground. Instead of playing catch up with the West and reacting to prevailing global structures, there is greater scope for improving communication and connectivity between the BRICS. ... [C]entering public diplomacy efforts on intra-BRICS relations is a key litmus test for both individual country image building and improving solidarity."

Cause for public diplomacy: Traditional and social media both have to enhance their credibility to play a greater role in improving countries' ties - "The global media have increasingly proved their usefulness in public diplomacy in recent years. Many governments have competitively engaged in public diplomacy through the media to make their countries look attractive and friendly to foreigners, and help others to understand their positions in the international arena. The success or failure of public diplomacy through the media, however, can only be judged by its intended audience. The most critical criterion is the media's credibility, which can be achieved through freedom from editorial bias. Only when such media activities are combined with cultural programs and people-to-people exchanges can their synergic effects be maximized. However, as seen in cases of some cartoons, photographs and video clips, carelessness and negligence can seriously damage the public diplomacy efforts of major powers. To prevent such incidents, public awareness campaigns should encourage every citizen to be part of public diplomacy activities. ... The global media have become one of many tools a government employs in conducting its public diplomacy programs. The BBC and Voice of America have demonstrated their powerful influence in the foreign policymaking process, and other major media outlets are following suit. ... Since global media outlets have a relatively small domestic audience compared with a larger international audience, neighboring countries should make efforts to jointly conduct public diplomacy. The global media, with their powerful influence, are the most fitting channel for this joint project. The author is ambassador for public diplomacy, the Republic of Korea."

'Days of India in Slovenia' - "The Embassy of India in Ljubljana is initiating the 'Days of India in Slovenia' festival from 18-30 January 2014. The festival has been supported by MEA — in particular its the Public Diplomacy Division– the Consulate General of India at Milan, the RTA Agency of Slovenia as well as the Government, Municipalities and Universities of Slovenia. The festival aims to increase the visibility and awareness of India in Slovenia and encourage greater contacts and synergy between the peoples and culture of both countries."

Chechnya's silent diplomacy in the Middle East - "Through the Department of External Relations — Chechnya's analogue of the Foreign Affairs Ministry — slowly but surely Chechnya [has] increased the number of its political, economic and cultural contacts in the Middle East. Most recently, in November 2013 Kadyrov

[current Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov] toured the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia 'to attract capital for new investment projects.' But there’s more to this activity that goes far beyond any 'public diplomacy' standards. His prime objective is to make Chechnya a regional, if not global, holy destination for Muslims." Image from entry, with caption: A policeman wears a ring showing the Islamic symbol of the star and crescent, Itum-Kale, Chechnya, April 29, 2013.

BDS in The Netherlands: A case study of failed Israeli public diplomacy - Missing Peace, "A diplomatic row has erupted between Israel and The Netherlands concerning the decision by certain major Dutch companies to join the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement. These divestment decisions were taken after the companies took advice from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Dutch ambassador was summoned twice by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the issue. What is now clear is that the lobbying efforts of pro-Palestinian NGO’s and confusing political signals by the Foreign Ministry of The Netherlands were highly influential. It has also has become evident that the intensifying BDS campaign is connected to the abject failure of Israel’s public diplomacy activities in The Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe."

After Protests and Corruption, What is Next for Turkey? - "Host: Center for American Progress Event: Regional Perspectives of Turkey in the Middle East Speakers: Dr. Mensur Akgun, Director Global Political Trade Center Sabiha Gundogar, Director, TESEV Foreign Policy Program Spencer Boyer, Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins SAIS ... Though currently facing a number of issues, the ruling party in Turkey, the AKP Party, still maintains a large base of domestic support and might not be ushered from power in upcoming elections. Regardless, as is the opinion of Mr. Boyer, recent demonstrations, coupled with the results found in TESEV’s survey, reflect the growing power of public diplomacy, and a need for governments to be in touch and represent all facets of their country."

Public Diplomacy's Branding Trap - Philip Seib, Huffington Post: "The purpose of public diplomacy is to advance the strategic interests of the country that is employing it. Goals must be precise and well-defined. Convincing people that you are 'great' must have a purpose behind it, something beyond creating an image and hoping that the rest of the world will respond

to it in a useful way. That is why the United Kingdom's 'GREAT Britain' campaign is a model worth studying. The campaign has carefully developed aspirations and is on track to meet its goal of a 20-fold return on investment."

While Obama Cuts a Deal, Iran Ramps Up Uranium Enrichment - "South Korea-North Korea: The South Korean government today urged North Korea to reconsider its refusal to resume reunions of family members separated by the Korean War. The North has not responded yet. Comment: The North wants to link family reunions to a resumption of tourism to Mount Kumgang. The South wants these to remain separate issues. A primary reason is that the North has not satisfactorily explained why a North Korean guard shot and killed a South Korean tourist at the Mount Kumgang resort in 2008. South Korea left open an option for discussing tourism should the North "make concrete suggestions" for resuming it. The two countries are conducting public diplomacy through their broadcast media at this point. That is a preliminary stage of communication that sometimes leads to substantive, private talks. The public exchanges indicate the North is willing to hold talks provided the South does nothing more to aggravate the North. The South is willing to talk about practical matters related to tourism. The two now have completed one full cycle. They have learned, or should have learned, that both are willing to hold direct talks, but have not yet agreed on the agenda."

CICI honors Galaxy, French minister, jazzist - Park Jin-hai, "It wasn’t only K-pop artists that were successful last year. Throughout 2013, Korean technology and music of different genres shared the limelight alongside K-pop. That was obvious at the Korea Image Awards 2014, held at the COEX Intercontinental Hotel in southern Seoul, Wednesday. The annual event, where people or products that have promoted Korea’s national image abroad are given awards, saw this year’s 'Korea Image Stepping Stone Award' go to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone.

The phone, according to Choi Jung-wha, president of the host Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI), has become an icon of innovation, contributing to the nation’s image as an information technology powerhouse. Korean-born French Minister Delegate Fleur Pellerin was honored to receive the 'Korea Image Stepping Stone Bridge Award,' for her promotion of cultural communication, boosting exchanges in culture, economy and technology." Image from entry, with caption: French Minister Delegate Fleur Pellerin, left, receives the “Korea Image Stepping Stone Bridge Award,” from Choi Jung-wha, president of Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI), at the Minister’s Office in Paris, France, in this prerecorded video image.

South Stream pipeline: Yes Hungary and EU objections - [Google "translation'] "Yelena Ponomareva, professor of the Russian Diplomatic University MGIMO, says the EU wants to prevent a strengthening of Russia's positions in the West. Even the energy security of Europe skidding into the background, because the South Stream project is more than just a pipeline: 'The project enables a Russian presence not only in the energy sector, but also in the economy in general, but also in information policy, in various humanitarian initiatives and in terms of public diplomacy. This will create a positive image of the country.'"

Great and Fake: The Wild Absurdity Of Iranian And Russian State Media: Did you know North Korea has schools that rival Eton? That Nazi space aliens are running D.C.? Propaganda peddled by Russian and Iranian state media is shocking—and absurd - Michael Moynihan, Daily Beast: "I’ll keep watching and reading RT, PressTV, and Fars. But I’ll keep treating it like professional wrestling: absurd, occasionally funny, and always fake."

Indian Police Arrest Two in Case of Alleged Gang Rape of Danish Tourist: Authorities Hunt for More Suspects, as Victim Flies Home to Denmark - "'Our embassy in New Delhi has worked hard to help the woman as much as possible,' said Ole Egeberg Mikkelsen, undersecretary for consular services and public diplomacy at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen."

International Students: Separate but Profitable: A boom in foreign undergrads is shoring up the finances of America’s flagship universities, but at a price - Paul Stephens, Washington Monthly: "In states like Washington and California, there are growing complaints that the influx of foreign students is crowding local students out of their own state schools. Meanwhile, at least some Chinese students are complaining that American universities exploit them by charging extra fees. It’s difficult to argue against the valuable opportunities for cultural exchange and public diplomacy that international education provides.

But at the current scale, Chinese students have become so concentrated on some campuses that in many ways it’s as if they were attending separate schools within schools. International students bring a lot of money into the United States, contributing roughly $22 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, according to one estimate." Image from entry, with caption: Economics 101: Two Chinese undergraduates at Purdue University protested the school’s decision last year to increase international students’ tuition, a popular source of revenue for cash-strapped state colleges.

USC hosts US-Australian conference - David Ahia, Daily Trojan: "The Political Student Assembly, in partnership with the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences’ School of International Relations, held a conference Tuesday concerning U.S.-Australian relations and the rise of the Pacific Rim in world politics. The event was sponsored by G’Day USA, an Australian think tank dedicated to promoting U.S.-Australia relations through fundraisers and its website. Allied with the Australian Consolate-General, G’Day USA is sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company, Chevron and the Australian Trade Commission. ... 'I think G’Day USA in partnering with USC was attracted to the School of International Relations,' Gray [Christina Gray, Assistant Director of Programming for the School of International Relations] said. 'You already have a great range of faculty and research and students who are actively involved in public diplomacy, and that focus is on international affairs. It’s a faculty base that opens itself to the idea of opening itself up as a university to other governments.'” See also.

PDiddy - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "'Sucka MCs should call me sire' -Run DMC [.] Looks like this PD MC has a new gig running hip hop diplomacy in a whole swathe of places. DJ Rockower is going to be spinning some new cultural diplomacy beats."

VP Named to Lead Creative Associates International's Education Division - "Global development expert Jerrold Keilson has been named Vice President and Senior Director of Creative Associates International's Education Division, it was announced today. ( ... Keilson, whose avocation is public diplomacy, has published articles on the history and results of citizen diplomacy, training and exchange programs. He is a member of the Public Diplomacy Council and a Fellow with the Foreign Policy Association."

The Daily: The Tacit Diplomacy of Life Sciences - Michael Ardaiolo, The Daily, "Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day."

CPD’s Picks for Top 10 PD Stories of 2013 - USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Via

Papers accepted at ICA 2014, Seattle, Washington, USA - "Lee, S. T. and Lin, J. (May 2014). Information subsidies for nation branding and public diplomacy."

Program Officer - "The Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) has been established on 26 October 2012 to serve as the Secretariat to the Union Peace-making Central Committee and the Union Peace-making Work Committee.

MPC will also serve as a focal point for international partners and civil society organizations on issues related to the peace process. ... Job Description ... Coordinate with the Outreach and Public Diplomacy Program to prepare public information materials to inform the wider Myanmar public of the ceasefires." Image from entry


Special Operations wants help to see if propaganda works - Ray Locker, USA After years of ad hoc reviews of the effectiveness of military propaganda efforts, the Special Operations Command is on the verge of seeking an independent contractor for a coordinated plan to test whether the programs actually work. A recent proposal released by SOCOM asks for companies to pitch the command on how they would help determine if the propaganda programs, which the Pentagon calls information operations or military information support operations, are effective in convincing target audiences of U.S. policy aims.

SOCOM calls this latest incarnation the Global Research Assessment Program. SOCOM, which continues to play a larger role in military propaganda efforts, will exclude any contractors that are currently or have within three years produced or disseminated "audio, visual or audio/visual MISO products (e.g. TV spots, radio spots, websites) and Web-based MISO products, YouTube videos, novelty items, leaflets and other printed MISO materials" for the military. This isn't the first time SOCOM has tried to reorganize how it studies the effectiveness of propaganda campaigns. In 2012, it released a similar request for information for what it then called the Global Assessment Program. The goal then, SOCOM documents show, was to "provide global assessments and prove measures of effectiveness" for propaganda programs. Propaganda contractors often con military commanders into believing their plans can work miracles and then fail, a report published in December of the Army's War College shows. British military expert Steve Tatham wrote that efforts in Afghanistan failed because of poorly designed programs by contractors who often propose expensive marketing solutions to U.S. commanders incapable of making informed choices. Image from

U.S. may use expansion of Magnitsky Act for propaganda, pressure - official - The possible expansion of the Magnitsky Act, which now applies to Russia, to other countries would be an action of propaganda and an instrument of pressure in the interests of the U.S., Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs, said. "I believe the Magnitsky Act, which applies to Russia, is a purely political instrument that can be used for putting pressure on the political leaders and political elites of other countries," Pushkov told Interfax on Friday, commenting on the appropriate [sic] proposal made by U.S. Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain. Pushkov said he believes Cardin has recently said that the Magnitsky Act may be expanded to Ukraine.

The French are scandalized by a president's affair? How American! - Robin Abcarian, Hollande's sex scandal is just more evidence that France’s long march to Americanization, which began at the end of World War II, is nearly complete. Proof? French people don’t even look French anymore. They look as if they’ve been dressed by the Gap. Fast food outlets are no longer novelties in France, but are ubiquitous.

John Kerry's bicycle diplomacy in the Middle East: The secretary of State is focusing on three of the world's most intractable problems, with prospects uncertain - Doyle McManus - Peace negotiations, a wise U.S. diplomat once said, are like riding a bicycle: No matter how slow you're moving, it's best to keep going — because if you try to stand still, you'll fall. Secretary of State John F. Kerry is putting that principle to the test in his dogged work on three of the world's most tangled problems: Iran's nuclear program, Syria's civil war and Israel's conflict with the Palestinians. Kerry hasn't quite arrived anywhere yet on any of the three, but he is at least keeping the bicycle upright. When riding a bicycle in a disorderly world, a little forward movement is better than none at all.

It's not 'our' Iraq anymore: Violence there is a concern, but the U.S. should not become involved again militarily - Editorial, Los Angeles Times: Gains by Al Qaeda-allied groups in Iraq — including in Fallouja, the site of a bloody U.S. offensive in 2004 — understandably anger Americans who lost loved ones in a "war of choice"

that was supposed to secure democracy in that country. But the continued violence in Iraq doesn't discredit the decision of the United States to withdraw troops, nor does it justify any new deployment. Image from entry, with caption: Masked Sunni gunmen are seen taking position in Fallujah, Iraq.

Ending Syrians’ suffering - David Miliband, Washington Post: In the case of Syria, It is easy to talk of “donor fatigue,” complex emergencies and no good options. But that is no excuse for a return to the Dark Ages in the heart of the Middle East.

Media That Moves Millions: Social media may be protesters' favorite weapon, but new research on Syria's revolution shows it can do as much harm as good - Sheldon Himerfarb, Sean Aday, Foreign Policy: Scholars, activists, and policymakers must avoid over-generalizing about the strengths -- and limitations -- of digital media.

Not all new media have the same functions and effects, nor does one case necessarily provide lessons for the next. Perhaps the most under-looked but critical finding about these relatively young media is that their role, influence, and significance today may not be the same tomorrow -- assuming the medium in question still exists then. Punditry, policymaking, and scholarship can all suffer from the same problem of assuming the world is defined by what we happen to be looking at. If we're excited about social media, we tend to see every problem through that microscopic lens. Uncaptioned image from entry

America is slipping to No. 2. Don’t panic - Charles Kenny, Washington Post: Living in an America that ranks second in GDP to China will still be far, far better than living in China.

Qatar’s Soft Power Gamble: The FIFA World Cup 2022 - Paul Michael Brannagan and Jonathan Grix, In December 2010, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) astounded the world when it awarded the small Persian Gulf State of Qatar the prestigious opportunity of hosting the 2022 World Cup finals. Such an honour powerfully added to the state’s continuous desire to use global sporting forms to achieve wider socio-political objectives. The purpose of this piece is to briefly clarify what the Gulf State seeks to achieve through hosting the first Middle Eastern World Cup, and, more specifically, how the state is drawing on the significance of the tournament in fulfilling its long-term objectives. In doing so, we focus on two of the principle motives behind Qatar’s soft power strategy (cf. Nye 2004; 2008): distancing Qatar from the Middle East and putting Qatar on the international map.

Condoleezza Rice Hired To Fight The Poor - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog: So the NRCC decided they needed a more convincing spokesmodel for income inequality than the usual rich old white guys at their disposal. 

Who better than Condi? Indeed, who better than Condi, a woman who failed her way to the top, continued to fail AT the top, and now is filthy rich because she travels around in private jets to give the same tired speech at corporate events for five-figure paychecks, to discuss income inequality! Oh, wait, what's that you're saying? You mean she's going to be their spokesmodel for addressing and combating income inequality? Image from entry, with caption: (PSP Flashback to 2006! Income inequality spokesmodel Condi shown here with a Judith Leiber clutch.)

The constructive hoax of Propaganda - Ben Sachs, "In my capsule review, I describe the found-footage documentary Propaganda (which screens at the Gene Siskel Film Center tomorrow at 5:30 PM and on Tuesday at 8:30 PM) as 'a provocative thought experiment,' which is another way of saying I enjoyed reflecting on the movie more than I enjoyed watching it. Propaganda is presented as a North Korean "educational video" about the evils of western capitalist societies.

Crude-looking and blunt in its narration, it contains no winks to the audience hinting that it's a forgery. Since reviewing it, in fact, I've learned that when director Slavko Martinov first presented the movie on YouTube, millions of viewers were convinced that it was real." Image from entry

Putting the “propaganda” in context - Luc Cohen, Daily Princetonian: On Facebook and Twitter, posts from news organizations are mixed in with messages straight from the source. The increasing popularity of social media has shattered the virtual monopoly the press once had on the spread of information, and it has made it easier than ever for powerful people and institutions to spread their messages, unchecked by a pesky third party like a newspaper.

Where Fascism Succeeded: Italian design between the world wars looks surprisingly good today - Julie V. Iovine, Wall Street Journal: An engrossing assemblage of small but related exhibitions at the Wolfsonian museum will have you wondering how your own aesthetic leanings could be so compatible with those of Benito Mussolini. Somehow the design, architecture and public art produced under Italian Fascism have not been tarred in the same way that Nazi style, with its red flags and black insignia, remains so utterly sinister and repellent.

And while Italian design of the same period now sometimes looks to us like kitsch, much of it manages to achieve a resonant modernity. Focusing on the years between the two world wars, the show, collectively called "Rebirth of Rome," sheds light on the staying power and indefatigable allure of Italian design produced in the 1920s, '30s and early '40s. At the same time it touches on even larger themes of identity and power, aesthetics and morality. Image from entry, with caption: Echoes and Origins' and 'The Birth of Rome' are at the Wolfsonian through May 18.

“Lone Survivor”: A pro-war propaganda surprise hit: Mark Wahlberg kills Taliban by the dozens in Hollywood's first 2014 smash, a shameless war-porn spectacle - Andrew O'Heir, “Lone Survivor,” which is an action film starring Mark Wahlberg based on a real-life Navy SEAL mission that went bad in Afghanistan in 2005, snuck out in a few big-city theaters before the end of the year and was barely noticed. Sometimes that means producers are hoping for awards consideration, but Universal Pictures and writer-director Peter Berg (of “Battleship” and the original “Friday Night Lights”) had a different end in view. But after a $38 million opening weekend in wide release, “Lone Survivor” has become something unexpected: The first big Hollywood hit of 2014, and the first war movie of the “war on terror” era to connect with a mainstream audience.

“Lone Survivor” isn’t even aware of itself as a B-movie; it’s trying to reclaim the discredited realm of the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts as a zone for macho tragic fantasy, for the dream of American greatness. It’s trying to tell us that whatever we may think we think about what our country did over the past dozen years – this SEAL team was based at Bagram Air Force base, where some of the worst acts of CIA or military torture were committed – dying for the red, white and blue is still a holy enterprise. That people want to see a competent action picture in the depths of winter isn’t all that depressing, but the fact that they’re swallowing the disgusting symbolism of this one definitely is. Uncaptioned image from entry

Westeros meets WWII in these Game of Thrones propaganda posters - Classic propaganda posters get a Westerosi makeover in the hands of Olivia Desianti.

Which one would convince you to pick up arms for the Iron Throne? Image from entry


The Humanitarian Nightmare in the Balkans: Perspectives and Challenges on the Arts and Culture in Civil Society and Democracy Building [December 6, 2013] - Jeremie Gluckman, "International cultural relations between the United States and the rest of the world are increasingly organized by the market and international firms, as well as by non-for-profit institutions, which has resulted in the perceived value of cultural diplomacy to diminish in the halls of Congress and several administrations. ... The current lack of coherent, public-private, and interagency strategy for cultural exchange and cultural diplomacy, symptomatic of a general marginalization of the arts, culture, and media by policymakers and the philanthropic community, limits the potential of existing programs. ...Seventeen years and $17 billion later, Bosnia is at peace today but has witnessed mass murder and other unthinkable horrors and suffers from a stagnant economy and endemic corruption. ... Transnational advocacy for cultural diplomacy as a means of adopting the long view in the context of the modernization of warfare, shifting patterns of conflict with the globalization acts of terror, and with increased interdependence and economic integration will prove central in garnering the tools to define norms of global ethnic conflict and humanitarian intervention."

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