Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 7-8 Public Diplomacy Review

"I’ve dedicated over a decade of scholarship to the topic without any acknowledgment from State."

--Jami Fullerton, "Do PD officers read the academic research on public diplomacy?" PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy; image from [see below, "A fruitful exchange on Public Diplomacy"]


--Defense Support of Public Diplomacy


Reaching the Public: Personal Reflections on Public Diplomacy and Place/Nation Branding - Image from the latest entry of this blog


CIEE Work and Travel USA - CIEE Work and  Travel USA: "For over 60 years, CIEE has been leading the way in J-1 cultural exchange programs. Work and Travel USA promotes public diplomacy"

US anti-Iran bill, Israeli propaganda: Analyst -

Israel: Palestinians Fed Daily Anti-Israel Propaganda -

The Power of Metadata: Deepak Jagdish and Daniel Smilkov at TEDxCambridge 2013 - MIT Media Lab graduate students Deepak Jagdish and Daniel Smilkov share some surprising insights from Immersion, a tool they built to make sense of email metadata. Via RMG

It’s Fun To Get Groped: TSA launches Propaganda Aimed At Children - Sam Rolley, "The TSA’s cartoon features a family of dogs making their way through an airport. When the reach a security checkpoint, the family’s pup asks, Why do we have to stop here? I just want to get on the plane!” Below image from entry


NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong - "In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection and analysis before 9/11, covered up the mistakes, and violated the constitutional rights of the American people, all while wasting billions of dollars and misleading the public."


War in Afghanistan: The Jig Is Up - Kelley B. Vlahos, "The last several years of US operations in Afghanistan have been an exercise in mondo message management. If it were a sport, it would be the highlight of the ESPN X Games. Between Afghanistan and the 'war of perception' in Iraq, students of so-called 'strategic communications' will be studying this stuff (the art of deception, the artful dodge) for years. ... Despite billions in so-called strategic communications spending (that not only includes public diplomacy abroad but recruitment, advertising and public affairs at home, a grand total of $4.7 billion in 2009 alone), the American people plainly have had enough. Pick your cliché – lipstick on a pig, selling ice to Eskimos – no one is buying it anymore."

Are International Exchange Programs Right for You? - Nicole Akoukou Thompson,  "Student exchanges, sports exchanges, professional exchanges and other international exchange programs lead to the development of cultural understanding, exploration of varied terrain, public diplomacy, and the strengthening of empathetic global concern. These opportunities to venture to other countries, particularly to industrializing Latin American countries, could mean that students from the United States will have a chance to experience life outside of the ultra-consumerist American bubble in order to explore lives that are driven by tradition, customs and history; also, they have the chance to practice language through emergence. Some exchange programs involve a swap of sorts: institutions partner with other institutions and individuals are given placement.

However, that does not necessarily mean that each 'exchange' represents an actual exchange of persons. The U.S. government makes foreign programs available so that there is a conversation that can be achieved between local and international experiences. There are a number of privately and publicly funded exchange programs: Fulbright Programs, Critical Language Scholarship Program, International Military Education and Training Programs, Internal Visitor Leadership Program, Peace Corps, People to People Ambassador Program, and InterExchange. Each of these programs act as a method to inform and influence those who look to broaden their horizon, and they act as guided interactions for those who look to create a dialogue between American citizens and institutions and their counterparts. ... The lengths of the programs vary depending on the country, funding, and other factors. And the costs of these programs vary depending on whether housing or hosting is provided, and if scholarships or grants are issued. Both fully-funded and self-funded programs are made available. Beyond the U.S., Latin American countries do cultural exchanges with other nations. Exchanges have been established between Brazil and the Netherlands, and there are plans being developed so that Mexico and China might partner. However, the issue with Latin America being so receptive to foreign culture and ideologies is that other nations, particularly European countries, do not necessarily reciprocate this interest. In fact, according to the National University of Colombia, 'In Europe the receptivity towards Latin-American culture is only present in some specialists groups but at a greater level there's asymmetry.' Western ideas constantly pour into foreign nations, whether asked for or not. Individuals in third world nations gain a fleeting understanding of how life is in America and Europe, while many Americans and Europeans often have no idea or interest about life in foreign countries. Creating an awareness of Latin America's music, artwork, political figures and iconic landmarks is beneficial to anyone who truly seeks global knowledge or global responsibility, or to anyone who claims to find value in the Latin aesthetic." Image from

$60,000 Funding Available for Public Diplomacy Grant Program for South India - Varalakshmi Pulugurtha, "The U.S. Department of State's Consulate in Chennai has announced that it expects to award a maximum of ten discretionary grants to develop and implement public diplomacy program."

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate - "Alfredo J. Balsera, of Florida, to be a Member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy for a term expiring July 1, 2014,vice Elizabeth F. Bagley, term expired."

Brazil Springs A WikiLeak... Assange Tags Newsman As Media Mole - "With a London court ruling that media activist Julian Assange must now return to Sweden to face charges of sex crimes, the WikiLeaks founder has made his last dance a Samba, outing Brazil's most trusted newscaster as what some local media are caling an informant, even suggesting the journalist in question was an agent of the CIA, in place to promote US policy and business deals. According to a confidential state department cable published by Jornal do Brasil and other online media, the person of interest is William 'Bill' Waack. The 59-year-old Waack moderated a crucial presidential debate in last year's election and has been an anchor with Globo TV. Waack did a high profile interview with secretary of state Hillary Clinton that set the stage for president Barack Obama's 36-hour visit to Brazil and later helped facilitate the objectives of U.S. businesses and policymakers during the tour in March.

The state department cable reveals that Waack told U.S. officials that Dilma [see - JB] is not the most qualified candidate and that she seems 'incoherent,' statements consistent with his subsequent efforts to characterize her as an unflattering candidate during the presidential campaign. ... Because Waack is a media icon in Brazil his reputation is unlikely to be damaged by a WikiLeak. But the outing is a reminder to press freedom and open internet advocates of how U.S. public diplomacy folded into local media culture can construct political reality in emerging democracies that can change the outcome in the ballot box. Uncaptioned image from entry

Featured Story: US Syrian-American Group Tied To US Muslim Brotherhood; Group Is Close With US State Department - gmbwatch, "Born in Hama, Syria to a family of eleven children, Dr. Yahya M. Basha was educated in Christian Orthodox and Muslim schools and graduated from the University of Damascus, Syria, where he earned his Doctorate of Medicine. Dr. Basha came to the United States in 1972 as an intern at Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital and completed his residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. In 1980, he began his own radiology practice ….In 2006 he was appointed a 'Civilian Ambassador' by the U.S. State Department, traveling to the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, as part of Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes’ efforts to improve and clarify the U.S. image abroad."

U.S. International Media Reach Record Audiences, With TV Overtaking Radio - "Programming across the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ global media networks reached an estimated 206 million people per week in 2013, including large audiences in countries that are strategically critical for U.S. foreign policy. The 206 million weekly reach reflects the combined TV, radio, Internet, and mobile audiences of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Martí, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks

(Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa) and is a net increase of nearly 31 million from last year’s total, as detailed in the BBG’s 2013 Performance Accountability Report. For the first time, TV audiences have surpassed radio, with the TV audience measuring 110 million and radio reaching 109 million people per week. The Internet audience has grown substantially from last year, with 22 million reached online. Some of the increase represents data from countries that were not surveyed previously." Image from entry, with caption: Alhurra TV’s correspondent Omar Twati reporting from Libya

Voice of America did not report WIN/Gallup Int. poll finding US is a threat to peace - BGG Watcher, BBG Watch: "While BBC, RT (Russia Today), the Voice of Russia (VOR) and many other international media reported on WIN (Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research) / Gallup International global End of Year survey result showing that the U.S. is considered to be the greatest threat to peace in the world, followed by Pakistan and China, U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America ignored this news on its English website and on VOA websites in more than 40 other languages. See: 'US greatest threat to world peace – poll,' Voice of Russia (VOR), January 2, 2013. ... Ironically, at the December meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), Director Ensor spoke proudly of his work as an American television network correspondent in Poland during Solidarity’s struggle for freedom. Ensor said in a media interview that 'Voice of America is not a propaganda organization and it is not a mouthpiece of the White House or of anybody else.' 'It is a proud journalistic organization more than seventy years old,' Ensor added. A good way to prove that VOA is a proud journalistic organization is to report hard news, such as the shocking WIN/Gallup International survey results, which show the failure of U.S. public diplomacy around the world. Reporting breaking news is what VOA has often failed to do under Director Ensor. A good way to prove that VOA is not a mouthpiece for the U.S. administration would have been to report criticism by former Polish President Lech Walesa of President Obama’s leadership in world affairs. Walesa, who is not exactly nobody, was commenting on U.S. foreign policy in an interview for a U.S. and international television network."

What’s VOA For? - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "VoA has a long term future ... that ... might be better achieved by a merger of VoA with the RFE/RL axis and possibly handing the whole lot over to the National Endowment for Democracy to run."

The recently approved NATO Policy on Strategic Communication defines Strategic Communication as 'the coordinated and appropriate use of NATO communications activities and capabilities – Public Diplomacy, Military Public Affairs, Information Operations and Psychological Operations, as appropriate – in support of Alliance policies, operations and activities, and in order to advance NATO’s aims' [.]

Strategic communication (SC) refers to focused US Government efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of US Government interests, policies, and objectives through the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with and leveraging the actions of all instruments of national power. The US military plays an important supporting role in SC, primarily through information operations, public affairs, and defense support to public diplomacy. SC considerations should be included in all joint operational planning for military operations from routine, recurring military activities in peacetime through major operations. - Defense Support to Public Diplomacy (DSPD) DSPD

are those activities and measures taken by the defense components to support and facilitate public diplomacy efforts of the government. They may include the public affair activities. - Social Media e.g. the Facebook, Myspace, Bloge [sic], and etc. - Physical Destruction: by military assets and/or other means." Images from entry. Comments [as of ca. 2:30 pm Jan 8] on Facebook:
Like ·  · Promote · 

Canada, the G8, and a New D10 - Diplomat: "NATO remains primarily focused on Euro-Atlantic defence co-operation and excludes Asian partners. Current threats and challenges require a wider set of partners and actions, from sanctions to foreign assistance to public diplomacy.

Important objectives, such as the promotion of human rights and transnational justice, remain outside NATO’s purview." Image from entry, with caption: Through NATO, Cold War allies worked to unify military capabilities and co-ordinate strategies to contain Soviet expansion.

Sochi, Tsar Vladimir's Black Sea St. Vladimirsburg - John Brown, Huffington Post:" [T]oday, when nuclear blackmail is less of an option than ever to exert national power, the politically powerful in Russia are hoping to influence the 'near abroad' (former Soviet [r]epublics) by soft coercion/public diplomacy (PD) so as to enhance their country's own security (and their own influence at home) -- rather than to spread American-style PD universal 'values. The Olympics fit the bill -- the very expensive bill."  See also, "Сочи - черноморский Санкт-Владимирсбург царя Владимира,"; via PG

India is where real democracy is: Bilimoria on AAP success - "India is the place where there is real democracy, highlighted by the stupendous performance of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that swept aside the ruling Congress to form the government in Delhi, Indian-origin British entrepreneur Karan Bilimoria said here Wednesday. Addressing a session on soft power at the ongoing Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the largest gathering of Indian diaspora in the world, Bilimoria said Britain may have its Magna Carta on democratic reform and Westminster, 'but this (India) is where the real democracy is'. 'This is where the real democracy is, where a party can start from nothing and in one year win a state election,' said Bilimoria, to loud applause from the audience. Bilimoria's reference was to the AAP, which won the Dec 4 Delhi elections to oust the Congress after 15 years of uninterrupted rule. The AAP was formed in November 2012. Bilimoria, the owner of Cobra beer, also said Indians vote much more than in Britain. He said evidence of India's soft power could be seen in the 10,000 Indian restaurants in Britain and with Indian cuisine becoming a favourite food in the country. However, he said the Indian foreign service needs to be strengthened from the 600 at present to push ahead with public diplomacy."

Burma puts its stamp on the world: Philately and foreign policy - "When subjects like soft power and public diplomacy are discussed in forums like this, few people have postage stamps in mind, but there has long been a close connection between philately and foreign policy. In themselves, stamps express sovereignty, but they are also examples of political iconography and visual indicators of official attitudes and policies, aimed at both domestic and international audiences. The use of stamps as projections of national identity can be traced back to their origin in 1840, when stamps carrying portraits of Queen Victoria began to be used throughout the British Empire. Even before the Universal Postal Union was formed in 1874 to permit the free flow of international mail, stamps were used to mark a country's independence, stake territorial claims, record military victories, honour statesmen and support multilateral institutions. There are now about 600 stamp-issuing entities, or 'authorities', around the world. Over the last century and a half they have produced an estimated 250,000 different designs. Through the use of unique and often striking visual statements in a small two dimensional space, they have covered themes as far ranging as nationalism, history, politics, economics, art, cultural identity and foreign relations. Authoritarian governments in particular have been quick to recognise the propaganda value of stamps, and to use them in international campaigns. During the Cold War, for example, the Soviet Union used stamps to trumpet the glories of communism. North Korea is still one of the most prolific issuers of stamps portraying icons of its own and other revolutionary movements. Cuba's stamps also display a stubborn attachment to such themes. These days, China has become particularly adept at promoting its relations with other countries through the issue of commemorative stamps, usually celebrating the establishment of diplomatic ties and other major events. Some joint issues have been paid for entirely by Beijing. Not only do such stamps promote China as a friendly global power, but they help strengthen its ties with strategically important states. It is also possible, through the study of a country's postage stamps, to see the historical development of its foreign relations. ... It is possible that in this era of emails, Skype and social media, the heyday of the postage stamp is over, but they are still important.

This is particularly so in countries like Burma, where electronic communications are under-developed. In any case, given the dearth of reliable information about Burma's domestic politics and foreign relations, no source should be seen as unworthy of serious consideration." Image from entry

New division for Bangladesh in Indian ministry - "Indian newspapers said the new foreign secretary Sujatha Singh effected the changes soon after she assumed charge. The public diplomacy and external publicity were combined into one division, among the many changes effected by Singh."

Uganda’s envoys should market Vision 2040 - Amama Mbabazi, Mbabazi [prime minister of Uganda and secretary general of the NRM]: "The ministry of Foreign Affairs organises biennial ambassadors’ conferences to take stock of planned achievements and the way forward. Government is focused on ensuring that there is a coordinated effort by all stakeholders – both in government and the private sector – to transform Uganda into a modern and prosperous country within 30 years. ... government is, nevertheless, aware of a number of challenges that we need to jointly surmount in working towards realising the implementation of Vision 2040. For example, there are negative elements in the diaspora, who are increasingly propagating falsehoods aimed at projecting the president and the NRM leadership as Uganda’s problem.

In addition, they highlight corruption, torture of the opposition, political transition, the public order management legislation, and the recently-passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill as areas where government’s efforts are wanting. Such detractors wrongfully distort both the real progress Uganda is making, and also tarnish the image of Uganda in the international community. This subjective propaganda should be challenged by simple presentation of facts on the principles and values that guide the progress that Uganda has made and continues to make. It is the responsibility of all our representatives abroad, to systematically carryout vigorous and strategic image-building programmes in their countries of accreditation to ensure that the image of Uganda is protected and promoted. In this regard it is important that every mission assigns an officer to be in charge of public diplomacy in addition to the other diplomatic roles. ... It is important to enhance the exchange of information between government departments and the ministry of Foreign Affairs to enable timely response to address both opportunities and challenges through sustained projection of the achievements of the government and opportunities in Uganda at every opportunity. This should include social media, at international conferences and any other fora that our diplomats are able to access." Uncaptioned image from entry

Danny Seaman: The Israeli official whose career died from foot-in-mouth disease: The former director of the Government Press Office never let Israeli policies get in the way of provocative propaganda - Matthew Kalman, "I shall miss Danny Seaman, the former director of the Israel Government Press Office. Seaman was suspended from his position as social media guru and deputy director-general for information at the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry last August after a series of flaming Facebook posts that insulted Muslims, Palestinians and Japanese in equal measure.

Seaman is no longer in government. I mistakenly placed him there this morning when I shared his latest wisdom – a measured response to the untimely death Wednesday in Prague of Palestinian Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal, killed when an old safe exploded in his home. 'Guess you can say that the Palestinian ‘Ambassador’ to the Czech Republic died of natural causes,' Seaman commented. Minutes after I shared it with my own Facebook followers, he removed it and, sadly, demoted me from his list of 'friends.'” Images from entry

Chinese Media Forum Votes Pope Francis a "Key Man of the Year 2013": Holy Father Came Third in Top Ten List - "A group of Chinese media and diplomatic representatives has voted Pope Francis one of the world’s top ten 'key men of the year 2013'. The 'China International News Forum', made up of 50 representatives from the most important media and diplomatic associations on mainland China, placed Pope Francis in third position among the top ten most important men in the world, according to Fides news agency. Others included the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the former Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi. No Pope or religious personality has ever appeared in the annual ranking of the organisation, Fides reported. The selection was made at the forum’s 15th annual conference on December 15 in Hainan, and made public on December 24. The event was cosponsored by Guangming Daily, China Public Diplomacy Association and Hainan Daily Press Group with the support of the China Telecommunications Corporation. Launched in 1999, the 'China International News Forum' is aimed at raising the quality of international coverage by China’s media, and improving coordination between media groups. Since it started, it says it has 'played a positive role in expanding Chinese media’s influence' and 'adhering to the correct direction of public opinion.'”


Congress Pulls Plug On Pentagon's Central Asia Propaganda - Joshua Kucera, It appears that the Pentagon's propaganda outlet in Central Asia is going out of business. The recently passed U.S. defense budget bill eliminated funding for the Trans Regional Web Initiative, a program that published a variety of regional "news" websites, including Central Asia Online.

Dennis Rodman gets angry in Pyongyang - Calum MacLeod, USA Today: "Former NBA star Dennis Rodman lashed out Tuesday at suggestions that he is playing a patsy to dictator Kim Jong Un by putting on an exhibition

game in one of the world's most brutal dictatorships. ... Fellow player Smith said the players were invited by North Korea to take part in a 'cultural exchange' with other Americans and to 'put smiles on people's faces.'" Image from entry, with caption: Dennis Rodman prepares to leave after he and other U.S. basketball players completed a television interview on Jan. 7 at a hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. Rodman and a team of U.S. basketball stars will play an exhibition game on Jan. 8, the birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong UnSee also.

An atypical orchestra offers music for China's masses: The American Hollywood Film Orchestra, an ensemble definitely not from Hollywood that travels without instruments, rolls with the punches on its tours - Julie Makinen, The orchestra's grueling schedule — 5:30 a.m. wake-ups, 11 p.m. dinners, with travel, rehearsal and performances in between — attests to the popularity of Hollywood fare in China as well as the seemingly insatiable demand for Western orchestral music as the country invests heavily in new concert venues and classical music education.

In just the last few months, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Canada's National Arts Center Orchestra and even Pierce College's L.A. Symphonic Winds have staged China tours. Also known as the Hollywood Concert Orchestra and the Hollywood Festival Orchestra, the movie-themed ensemble has been making the rounds in China for several years. Image from entry, with caption: Members of the American Hollywood Film Orchestra rehearse at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The screen behind them reads, "Classic Oscar: The American Hollywood Film Orchestra New Year's Audio-Visual Concert."

India Halts 'Commercial Activity' at US Embassy - India has demanded an end to all commercial activities at a club at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, in what appears to be the latest retaliation for the arrest of an Indian diplomat. India's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday gave a deadline of January 16 for the U.S. to stop allowing non-diplomats to use the facilities at the American Community Support Association.

U.S. diplomats and other American expatriates pay thousands of dollars each year to join the club, which houses a bar, restaurant, swimming pool, gym, bowling alley and other amenities. Indian officials also announced they have pulled diplomatic immunity for U.S. officials who receive traffic violations. The moves stem from the December 13 arrest in New York of Devyani Khobragade. The diplomat has pleaded not guilty to charges that she hired a household maid at much less than minimum wage and lied about it on a visa application. Image from entry, with caption: A private security guard stands outside the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, Dec. 18, 2013.

John Kerry, Secretary of Unreality: The secretary of state hasn't outlawed war, as Frank Kellogg did in 1928, but his Mideast initiatives are a good imitation - Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal: The world won't live in illusions forever.

Too bad the same probably can't be said for John Kerry. Image from entry, with caption: Frank Kellogg outlawed war in 1928. Kerry wants Mideast peace in 2014.

Not Just About Us - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: Naïve is thinking that everything is about the absence or presence of American power, and that the people of the Middle East region have no agency.

The moral case for ending America's cold war with Iran: The stakes are higher than restraining Tehran's nuclear program. Improved relations may be our last best hope of ending the Syrian civil war - Peter Beinart, Ending America’s cold war with Iran would deny Iran’s regime a key pretext it uses to repress domestic dissent. And it would increase the chances of ending a war in Syria that should shame the world.

France, Iran and the 'Front of Mistrust': Tehran makes a sly offer on nuclear talks; Paris leads the opposition - John Vinocur, Wall Street Journal: In the midst of the West's Christmas to New Year's snooze, Iran's ayatollahs demonstrated their share of big-time cunning. The result: remarks that look like an offer to the U.S. of one-on-one talks on Tehran's nuclear program, which would maximize its chances of getting a concession-laden deal from the Obama administration.

Is Mideast peace possible? Skepticism is understandable, but there is a glimmer of hope in the U.S.-led effort to broker a deal - Editorial, For Palestinians, being required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state would be a ratification of second-class citizenship for Israel's Arabs. Disagreement over this issue shouldn't be a deal-breaker. The Jewish character of Israel doesn't depend on any blessing from the Palestinians. If an agreement is reached in which the Palestinians recognize Israel and commit to ending hostilities — and in which both sides agree on borders, Jerusalem, security and the refugee question — that would be an extraordinary achievement that would be felt around the region and around the world.

Syria's Assad: Still the wrong choice: The U.S. should press Iran and its ally Russia to abandon him in favor of a more balanced and representative government - Nabeel A. Khoury, Rather than giving Assad a boost by talking to him, now is the time for the U.S. to encourage Iran (and its backer Russia) to abandon him in favor

of a more balanced and representative government in Syria. Image from entry, with caption: A Syrian boy sells sweets as civilians and emergency personnel inspect the damage in a street after government forces allegedly shelled the northern city of Aleppo.

The repercussions of America’s uncertain tone in the Middle East - James Jeffrey, Washington Post: How will Maliki, a Shiite, respond to U.S. admonitions that he take a different tack with Sunni Arab Iraqis if we take pains to emphasize that this is his fight, not ours? In purely realpolitik terms, this is our fight. A destabilized Iraq with a western region overrun by al-Qaeda is obviously not in U.S. interests if we want a calm Middle East and a secure homeland. Nor if we hope to see a functional Iraq export the 6 million barrels of oil the International Energy Agency estimates it could provide to world markets daily by 2020.

Preventing Civil War in South Sudan - Room for Debate, New York Times: South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, was formed in 2011 after more than 20 years of brutal civil war. The international community,especially the United States, was instrumental in the peace agreement that ultimately led to South Sudan’s independence. But since violence escalated last month because of tribal-infused political tensions, the rest of the world has been mostly hands-off. Given the critical role the United States and other foreign entities played in the creation of South Sudan, what is their responsibility as the region faces another civil war?

The end of human rights - Stephen Hopgood, Washington Post: America’s notorious skepticism about most human rights treaties has in the past been tempered because international rights seemed to go hand in hand with Washington’s goal of spreading democracy. But opponents can now see U.S. ambivalence about strengthening global liberal institutions — outside the trade and finance realm — and know there will be little pushback when the stakes are high.

China Confronts the Online Rumor Mill - Yu Hua, New York Times: The best way of putting an end to Internet rumors is for the government to stop disseminating lies. But the government will never do that, and so Internet rumors will continue to sprout and spread — even after the crackdown.

China-Japan propaganda war continues, compares to Lord Voldemort - China lambasted Japan on Tuesday for comparing it to Lord Voldemort, the villain in the Harry Potter stories, after both countries used the character to describe each other in a tit-for-tat diplomatic spat.

In an op-ed in Britain's Daily Telegraph, the Chinese ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, wrote last week: "If militarism is like the haunting Voldemort of Japan, the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo is a kind of horcrux, representing the darkest parts of that nation's soul." In British author JK Rowling's best-selling series Harry Potter, Voldemort uses horcruxes to hold bits of his soul and extend his life. Image from entry, with caption: China-Japan propaganda ear continues.

Italian cardinal decries propaganda campaign to redefine marriage - In a strongly worded homily that he delivered on December 29, the feast of the Holy Family, the Archbishop of Bologna, Italy has decried the campaign to redefine marriage, saying that laws regarding marriage should not be revised “on the basis of fashionable trends.” Cardinal Carlo Caffarra charged that “powerful lobbies which are quite often in control of the means of producing consensus” have thrown their support behind the effort to redefine marriage. The propaganda campaign, he said, has managed to “distract men and women from listening to the voice of God speaking in their consciences.”

Public Service or Propaganda? Top Handout Photos of 2013 - Many images published around the world on a daily basis are not taken by news organizations or commissioned by magazines, but are instead provided by third-party vendors who are, for various reasons, closer to the source of the story. Whether viewed as a public service or as propaganda, widely-disseminated handout images provide visual material the public would otherwise rarely see.

They can also, at times, constitute a minefield for the sources and publishers working with the material. Handouts are often provided to news organizations and media companies — by governments, event organizers, private companies — in instances where access for photographers is either denied or not possible. Image from entry

Not your typical treat: Grand Rapidians buy into chef's doughnut propaganda - Propaganda doughnuts are fried in trans fat-free shortening special orders. Jams and jellies are sourced locally and made with organic ingredients (when available). It doesn’t make his doughnuts healthy, per se, you’re probably worse off eating a Snickers candy bar than a couple of his doughnuts.

Image from entry, with caption: Chef and owner of Propaganda Doughnuts Tory O'Haire stirs a Rose Turkish Delight used for his White Witch doughnut at his 117 Division Avenue South location in Grand Rapids on Sunday, January 5, 2014. O'Haire makes the pastries from scratch using organic ingredients.


Key to the Map of U.S. Special Operations Forces around the world, 2012-2013 - Red markers: U.S. Special Operations Forces deployment in 2013. Blue markers: U.S. Special Operations Forces working with/training/advising/conducting operations with indigenous troops in the U.S. or a third country during 2013. Purple markers: U.S. Special Operations Forces deployment in 2012. Yellow markers: U.S. Special Operations Forces working with/training/advising/conducting operations with indigenous troops in the U.S. or a third country during 2012. -- From

ASU Halftime 2012 at Magic City Classic: Marching Hornet Band of Alabama St. University performing at halftime of the Magic City Classic 2013


--Peabody Library (Carol M. Highsmith) : The George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Opened in 1878 as the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore, it features five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies and a skylight 61 feet above the floor. From: "Remarkable libraries across America," Los Angeles Times


"I did not enjoy being secretary of defense."

--Former defense secretary Robert Gates; cited in Bob Woodward, "Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama’s leadership in ‘Duty,'" Washington Post; image from


PD News – CPD Blog
JAN 6, 2014Posted by Jami Fullerton
All posts by Jami Fullerton

I received a letter from the U.S. State Department last week. It was from a program officer in the office of International Visitors thanking me for hosting three Chinese journalists who were visiting the United States as part of the State Department’s Edward R. Murrow exchange program. It was a very nice thank-you note. The last line read: “Your generosity and kindness made a lasting, positive impression, helping advance the cause of America’s public diplomacy effort.”

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed having the Chinese visitors in our home. We even took them to a college basketball game, which was mentioned as a highlight of their trip in the State Department’s note. We learned a little bit more about China that day. I am a strong supporter of person-to-person citizen diplomacy and the State Department’s educational and cultural exchange programs. We often host international visitors in our home. However, I was slightly amused that this one dinner earned me a personal thank-you for advancing the cause of U.S. public diplomacy. After all, I’ve dedicated over a decade of scholarship to the topic without any acknowledgment from State.

My colleagues who research and write about U.S. public diplomacy may feel as I do. We have devoted portions of our careers to shed light on U.S. public diplomacy efforts through our writing and research, but wonder if the State Department officers ever read a word of it. I can understand that the theoretical stuff may not be overly helpful to the folks who work in the public diplomacy trenches day-to-day, but much of what I publish (usually with Alice Kendrick of SMU), is very practical. For example, our recent article in American Behavioral Scientist contains evidence of how U.S. tourism advertising to international audiences can serve double-duty for the government, both economic and in terms of public diplomacy. Our university-funded data showed that among a large sample of Australian adults, not only did the tourism ads work to increase interest in travel to the U.S., but also in improved overall attitudes toward the U.S. government and U.S. people.

I’m not completely sure, but I suspect that the State Department barely considered the positive spill over (what we have been calling Bleedover) effects that the Commerce Department’s “Brand USA” tourism campaign is having toward winning hearts and minds. And if they did, I doubt they saw our experimental research supporting the idea.

Or maybe they have seen it and I just haven’t heard from them yet.

That’s okay. The note last week was still a really nice gesture and greatly appreciated.
Read Comments (7) | Add Your Own

Laura Belmonte on January 6, 2014 @ 5:56 pm
Wonderful to see Jami Fullerton blogging here. Her current work on nation branding is excellent.

Nick Cull on January 7, 2014 @ 1:12 am
The whole issue of academic contact with government remains in play in various ways. Both sides need practice to be mutually intelligible -- like any two cultures -- and exchange visits work here too. I has helped USC to have diplomats in residence over the years, but conversation and readiness to express core ideas in shorter forms seem to help too. The 180,000 word monograph is not a form that plays well in DC -- I speak from experience!

john brown on January 7, 2014 @ 8:09 am
Public diplomacy is essentially something you do rather than write about. That in part may explain the existence of "two cultures," to use Professor Cull's words.

Jami Fullerton on January 7, 2014 @ 10:37 am
I think that there is an opportunity to do and to write. We've been trying to engage in both in Oklahoma -- in the form of hosting/sponsoring the many international exchange programs, Fulbrights, working/teaching overseas on State Department grants and generally participating in citizen diplomacy, like sister cities. But I also think that the work we do as scholars is valuable, much of which could be useful to the practitioners.

Perhaps, it is the same difficulty that academe has with bridging to industry. We're in our ivory towers and they are in the trenches. 180,000 words is too many - but maybe there's a way to do a "Research in Brief" and share that with our colleagues in Washington. Or a joint conference around a particular public diplomacy topic, like the one I participated in after 9/11 at the University of Michigan.

From the academic side, I'm sure we could do a better job reaching out to them with our work rather than just waiting to be noticed.

Jonathan Henick on January 8, 2014 @ 3:46 am
Speaking as just one practitioner, I must confess that we rarely have time to dig into the academic research. We tend to be overwhelmingly consumed with the day-to-day work of programming, information work, overall management, and simply keeping up with current events, not to mention policy!

Academia has quite a bit to offer, however, and we would all do well to make efforts to bridge the gap more often. I have noticed, for example, that much of the academic research overly focuses on Washington structures and programs and fails to take into account the field perspective and innumerable programs, initiatives, and approaches taking place every day at our overseas missions. The Department needs to find better ways to make such data available to researchers.

Conferences help (when we have time to attend!) and perhaps we could incorporate more of the literature into Foreign Service Institute training. Our PD Fellows at universities (and it is my privilege to be in such a position now) also can play a key role. I guess we'll all have to keep plugging away at it!


Donna Oglesby on January 8, 2014 @ 10:45 am
I am currently researching how diplomats and academics teach diplomacy (including public diplomacy.) Specifically I ask what, if anything, is different about teaching and learning in diplomacy courses offered by practitioners and academics in American colleges and universities.

I am finding -- through examination of syllabi and interviews with those teaching -- that what the two distinct communities teach in terms of skills and procedures as well as the beliefs that inform them, the values that sustain them and the theories that lie behind them differ significantly.

I do find that some more theoretical literature in diplomatic studies is valued little by teaching American diplomats. I am not, however, finding any evidence for Dr. Brown's contention, that an understanding of an an appreciation for the practice of [public] diplomacy cannot be taught. Approaches may differ between those who come to teaching from practice and those who come to it from scholarship but there can be integrity and value in both paths to knowledge and excellence abounds.

Craig Hayden on January 8, 2014 @ 11:47 am
I think Prof. Cull's notion that "Both sides need practice to be mutually intelligible" is spot on, if the objective is cultivate and encourage a relationship that yields benefits that might not otherwise be available to either parties.

That said, I don't think it's the job of public diplomats to consume academic work (they have a lot to do already) - but it couldn't hurt. This is especially obvious when there are meso-level theories (such as media effects concepts or cross-cultural communications concepts) that could directly inform thinking about PD practice. Theory serves the purpose of guiding questions and shaping analytical conclusions; it's not *just* navel-gazing or critical hand-wringing.

At the same time it's not the job of the academic to craft his or her work in a manner that is on face useful to the practitioner. Academics, I would argue, have a rather distinct vocational obligation to think about questions that do not necessarily fit with the imperatives of policy or practice. Of course this doesn't mean they cannot or should not work to produce knowledge that can be helpful to planners and practitioners.

As Emily Metzgar, Efe Sevin, and myself reported to the US advisory commission on public diplomacy last month, the fact of the matter is that most PD "research" pubs are not that theoretical and much more speculative than grounded in empirical study (obviously, Prof. Fullerton's work is an exception). As public diplomacy becomes a more mainstream object of study for more established theoretical frameworks, disciplines, and research methodologies, I think we can (and should) see a more robust agenda of rigorous and indeed useful writing.

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