Friday, April 11, 2014

April 10 Public Diplomacy Review

"these days known as public diplomacy"

--Propaganda, according to Robert Dujarric, Director, Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan; image from

"Whereas the U.S. perspective may be the dominant perspective in PD [public diplomacy], the danger is it is not the whole perspective."

--Scholar R.S. Zaharna


Bruce Gregory's Public Diplomacy Resources: Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #69 April 7, 2014: "Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest. Suggestions for future updates are welcome. Bruce Gregory Adjunct Professor George Washington University Georgetown University"


Вся суть майданутых [AGE RESTRICTED: not for minor dirty old men] - Pertains to Ukraine's political situation: From Facebook; provenance of site unknown

Dave Brubeck on Fighting Communism with Jazz  -; via MC on Facebook


Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State John Feeley delivers remarks on press freedom at the Inter-American Press Association Mid-Year Meeting in Barbados - Press Release, "As our new Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Rick Stengel has noted, 'Every day all over the world, there is a great global debate going on. It is about the nature of freedom and fairness, democracy and justice. It is happening in all the traditional ways, in coffee shops and on street corners, but it is also taking place on the new platforms of social media. As a result, the reach, the scale, the speed of that debate are like nothing before in history.' And although we benefit from greater and quicker access to more information than ever before in human history, not all citizens are necessarily accompanying this change with the skill to discern what sources are more credible than others, and how to bring a sharpened media literacy to this new information environment. Even though it is easier than anytime in human history to find information to rebut lies, it does not happen automatically or organically. Those of us committed to informing publics – whether journalists or diplomats like me -- have to engage this challenge directly. Edward R. Murrow, one of the United States’ finest journalists, and selected by President John F. Kennedy to direct our public diplomacy efforts during that administration, said, 'To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful. It is as simple as that.' Old style modern communication was a one-way street -- newspapers, radio, television. Because of new technology, the narrative is now a two-way street. It is a dialogue not a monologue. It is no longer governments talking to governments. Everyone with a smart phone has a voice in this global marketplace. The issue is not whether social media is replacing traditional media – it all still starts with quality content, and it is a continuum of platforms on which that content will be available. ... We urge all people – members of news organizations, civil society and think tank institutions; political leaders, scholars, and citizens of every faith and ethnicity – to call for accountability.

To demand that governments enforce human rights that protects journalists and human rights defenders which share their common cause. To shine a light on long-standing and emerging repressive restrictions on, and threats to, freedom of expression whether they are through traditional media or online. The U.S. Government will continue to speak out in defense of these principles both publicly and privately, to fund programs to provide media organizations and journalists with the tools and resources they need to produce high-quality stories without fear of retribution, and to supporting technological innovations and an open internet that expands the space for freedom of expression, so citizens around the world can speak out and stand up for their human rights." Image from


Under Secretary Stengel attends a meeting at the White House. 3:00 p.m. Under Secretary Stengel hosts a Steering Committee Meeting for the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), at the Department of State." Image from blog heading

Nine Questions About The Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask - Lesley Warner: "Last week, I published The Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership: Building Partner Capacity to Counter Terrorism and Violent Extremism ... The Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership is the U.S. government’s multi-year, interagency program to counter violent extremism and terrorism across ten countries in the Sahel and Maghreb: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia. In order to understand the program outside of traditional agency-specific stovepipes and illuminate areas in which the roles and missions of interagency stakeholders overlap, the study derived six broad functional categories of TSCTP engagement: military capacity-building, law enforcement anti-terrorism capacity-building, justice sector counterterrorism capacity-building, public diplomacy and information operations, community engagement, and vocational training. ... After 9/11, the United States became concerned that the region’s weak states could become a safe haven for terrorist groups linked with al-Qaeda to launch attacks against U.S. interests. Between 2002 and 2004, the United States trained and equipped company-sized partner nation, rapid reaction counterterrorism forces in Mali, Chad, Mauritania, and Niger under the Pan-Sahel Initiative (PSI). The U.S. government recognized that a more holistic approach to the region would allow development assistance and public diplomacy to become part of an overall counterterrorism strategy, and PSI was expanded in 2004. The new concept, then called the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Initiative, was approved in January 2005, and subsequently became a program of record called the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership."

U.S. Education NGO American Councils Ordered to Cease Operations - Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, "The Justice Ministry has ordered the Russian branch of American Councils, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that administers student exchanges and other educational programs, to cease its operations indefinitely, in what appears to be part of an ongoing crackdown on NGOs funded by the U.S. and other foreign governments. American Councils runs programs for both U.S. students in Russia and Russian high school and college students in the U.S. The action by the Justice Ministry apparently will not affect the programs for U.S. students but leaves the future of those for Russians, which include the FLEX program for Russian high schoolers, unclear. Dr. David Patton, executive vice president of American Councils, said he believed the current situation was linked to restrictive legislation on NGOs passed after President Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012. 'NGOs have been treated differently since Russia adopted its new legislation on nongovernmental organizations,' Patton said in a telephone interview from the American Councils head office in Washington, D.C. The government move comes at the height of tensions between Russia and the U.S. and amid growing anti-American sentiment in Russia encouraged by state-run media and prominent politicians. The action also carries echoes of bans on other U.S. and foreign groups, including the U.S. Association for International Development in 2012 and the British Council in 2007. In 2012, Russia tightened control over NGOs, adopting legislation that requires nongovernmental organizations to adopt the politically charged label 'foreign agent' if they receive foreign funding and conduct 'political' activity. That same year, Russia ordered USAID, which had been working in Russia since 1992, to cease its operations in the country, accusing it of using grants to influence Russian domestic politics and the country's elections and institutions. On Monday, Putin told senior members of the Federal Security Service that Russia would not tolerate NGOs working toward "destructive purposes" while receiving funding from abroad. Patton said that American Councils had been told it needed to re-register in order to continue operations and that the need to take this action had been discussed with the Russian authorities over the past year. But this is the first time American Councils has had to halt its activities during its re-registration process. The organization, which has operated in Russia for 40 years, had last been re-registered in 2006. The Justice Ministry said in a statement sent to The Moscow Times that American Councils had not properly registered its regional branches in accordance with the Russian law on non-commercial organizations. The ministry said it had issued American Councils a warning on Feb. 26, which gave the organization one month to rectify the supposed irregularities, but that the organization had failed to take the necessary actions. The ministry also said that American Councils' activities went beyond its legal standing in the country and that it operated "practically like a corporation." Carter Johnson, the director of the Russian branch of American Councils, said he could not speculate about the reasons behind the Justice Ministry's actions, but he said that he remained optimistic that the move would cause only a temporary disruption of the organization's activities in Russia. "We are currently gathering the necessary documents to re-register," Johnson said in a telephone interview. "We expect this process to take two months. We have to cease our operations until we are re-registered, but we expect to be up and running again in the near future." One former American Councils employee who worked at the Moscow office several years ago said he was not surprised by the ministry's decision to halt the organization's activities. 'It's the type of thing they were always threatening to do,' the former employee said, referring to the Russian authorities. The former employee asked to remain anonymous in order to preserve professional relationships. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, which has ties with American Councils because the U.S. State Department is among the organization's funders, declined to comment on the situation when contacted on Thursday.

American Councils administers more than a dozen educational programs in the U.S. and Russia, ranging from language training to academic and cultural exchanges. In 2013, roughly 1,800 people participated in American Councils programs in both countries, with about 1,200 Russian participants and 600 from the U.S. Many of the programs have extensive alumni networks, which American Councils helps maintain. The FLEX program alone, which organizes exchanges for high school students from Russia and the former Soviet Union, has had more than 23,000 participants since 1993. Worldwide, American Councils administers 250 programs in more than 60 countries and has more than 50,000 alumni. It employs more than 450 people internationally and operates with a $86 million dollar budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. According to both Patton and Johnson, Russian and American universities should not be affected by the temporary cessation of the organization's operations. But the fate of the FLEX program remains unclear in light of the new circumstances. The organization was informed of the Justice Ministry decision on Monday, and no deadline has been set for the cessation of its activities in Russia. But the organization's dozens of employees have already begun winding down some of its operations, including at its seven EducationUSA centers across Russia, which operate to inform Russian students about education opportunities in the U.S. and host events with American speakers. When contacted by telephone, an employee at one of the centers said that her office was "packing up." The employee also expressed concern about how the moratorium on operations would impact her livelihood. 'It's still not clear what will happen during this break,' said the employee, who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media. 'We haven't been informed about what will happen with our pay.' American Councils said it had ensured that its Russian employees would be compensated in accordance with Russian labor law during the cessation of its activities. The organization is currently in the process of determining how to proceed with its non-Russian employees." Image from

Culture Posts: Propaganda by Default in Ukraine - R.S. Zaharna, "In any type of public communication, including public diplomacy, it is absolutely critical to understand the public from the public’s perspective. Understanding the public’s perspective requires going beyond listening to perspective taking. ... Whereas the U.S. perspective may be the dominant perspective in PD, the danger is it is not the whole perspective. If the PD field is to grow beyond the US public diplomacy experience and model, it needs to make room for exploring the practices of other countries without delegitimizing or dismissing them as propaganda."

Sister city delegation returns from Russia: Trip marks 25 years of relationship [includes video] - Mike Reagan, "Local leaders showed off gifts they received during a visit to Greater Portland's sister city in Russia. The delegation from Portland and Westbrook went to Arkhangelsk in Russia to make the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship. Arkhangelsk has about 350,000 people and shares similarities with the Greater Portland region. It was a relationship that Phil Spiller Sr. helped to forge a quarter-century ago. 'I don't think anybody in their right mind could have fathomed what this relationship has gone through in the last 25 years and the friendship and the relationships that have grown to this day and have many more years to grow, they're still growing to this day,' said Phil Spiller Jr. of Westbrook. The younger Spiller was a member of the delegation that traveled to Russia. The group encouraged gay and lesbian leaders in Arkhangelsk to continue their efforts despite the Russian government's crackdown on LGBT groups."

Letter to the Editor from Mario Corti - "According to an article by Petra Prochazkova in Czech newspaper 'Lidove Noviny' of April 7, 2014 (title in English: 'He had the wrong opinion on Crimea. Removed'), which has just been brought to my attention, Andrei Babitsky, the chief editor of the RFE/RL Russian blog 'Caucasus Echo,' was dismissed from his position for sharing Putin’s thesis that Russia had the right to take the population of Crimea under Russian protection. ... As far as Andrei Babitsky is concerned, an internationally well known journalist, RFE/RL in Prague and the BBG

in Washington have yet to provide to the public a valid reason for removing him from his previous position. ... The motto of RFE/ RL has always been, and I very much hope it still is, a quotation from article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 'everyone' has 'the right to… seek, receive and impart information and ideas… regardless of frontiers.' ... Incidentally, Andrei Babitsky is one of those foreigners deprived by RFE/RL of any defendable labor rights. Again, should it be true that Babitsky was removed from his position for expressing an opinion, then RFE/RL, I believe, is betraying its own mission and putting at great risk its credibility with the audience." Image from entry, with caption: According to an article by Petra Prochazkova in Czech newspaper 'Lidove Noviny' of April 7, 2014 (title in English: 'He had the wrong opinion on Crimea. Removed'), which has just been brought to my attention, Andrei Babitsky, the chief editor of the RFE/RL Russian blog “Caucasus Echo,” was dismissed from his position for sharing Putin’s thesis that Russia had the right to take the population of Crimea under Russian protection.

Russia takes Voice of America radio off air - AFP, "Russia has pulled the U.S.-funded Voice of America radio station from the air, a senior state media official said Wednesday, calling it 'spam on our airwaves.' Dmitry Kiselyov, the head of the Rossiya Segodnya state media conglomerate, said a contract to broadcast Voice of America on AM radio would not be renewed. ... 'It’s as if they broadcast from the underworld. Or at least a world that no longer exists,' Kiselyov said of VOA and U.S.-funded Radio Liberty, which still broadcasts in Russia through a partner station. ... In 2006 Russian regulators forced national stations to stop broadcasting Voice of America shows, a move seen as politically motivated.

But the station continued to be broadcast in Moscow on a local AM radio frequency under an agreement with Voice of Russia, a state-owned station now controlled by Kiselyov’s conglomerate. Radio Liberty, which is funded by U.S. Congress, continues to exist in Russia for the time being in form of Radio Svoboda, which broadcasts through a partner station on FM and a popular website." Image from entry, with caption: Voice of America is the official external broadcast institution of the U.S. government.

Orwellian US propaganda tool VOA finished in Russia - "The US Broadcast [sic] Board of Governors, the organization which runs the US Government's media and internet operations, recently received a letter from Dmitry Kiselyov, the head of Rossiya Segodnya, in which he stated that the Voice of America and Radio Liberty would not be allowed to broadcast in Russia any longer after their contract with Russia ran out. ... With headlines from the Orwellian alternate universe that the United States exists in like 'Experts Liken Ukraine Crisis to Soviet's Afghanistan Invasion" it can be no wonder that the Russian Government and in fact any truth loving country or citizen of the world might want to ban the voice of the aging recidivist Cold War propaganda machine seeking to stay relevant by creating its own bogeymen and brainwashing the masses to promote knuckle dragging caveman policies of force and subservience. ... President Putin's plans for Russia are more in keeping with American Indian thought than anything the West has come up with.

The Americans Indians believe we must regulate our moves and actions with the well-being of 7 generations ahead in mind, and from what I have seen (and I may be wrong here perhaps it is more), President Putin's vision is somewhere about 400 years ahead." Image from entrySee also

Critchlow on Crimea - John Brown Notes and Essays: Crichtlow: "The 'democratically expressed wish of the Crimean people people to return where they belong, and have always belonged'? Leaving aside the fact that Catherine stole Crimea in the eighteenth century, how was this wish 'democratically expressed,' given the abundant evidence that foreign observers were prevented by force from witnessing the plebiscite and that quasi-military Russian forces had been deployed there? ... Putin chose gratuitously to create a major threat to world order, and to this the West needs to respond vigorously with sanctions and other means at its disposal. ... James Critchlow

went to Munich in 1952 to help set up the future Radio Liberty and was for a time head of its research, then in 1972 switched to USIA as head of Soviet research. In 1976 he began work as Planning and Research Officer at the Board for International Broadcasting. On retirement in 1985 Critchlow spent a year as Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), after which he became affiliated with the Harvard Russian Research Center (now Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies)." Image from

Japan: A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing: The Japanese government seems not to understand how its country is perceived overseas - Robert Dujarric, "Japan has an excellent but minute corps of diplomats and bureaucrats who excel at interaction with foreigners. Beyond this, though, most of its officialdom, including many in the Foreign Ministry, have not received the necessary training to, as the American expression goes, 'make friends and influence people' overseas. ... Japan as country under-invests in cultural and educational diplomacy. Japanese corporations funded Japan Studies programs during the bubble years, but that era is long gone. With some exceptions, wealthy Japanese contribute little in this field. As for the government itself, it is unwilling to make the necessary financial investments in programs that would foster a large cadre of Japanese who could function outside of the archipelago and make more foreigners aware of Japan.Japan, like the United States and its allies, faces a challenge from a rising China. The extent to which the challenge is an actual threat is unknown, but it is only prudent to be prepared. In a prewar environment, and even in wartime itself, international propaganda (these days known as public diplomacy) is one of the arrows in the quivers of the belligerents. Unfortunately, this is an area where Japan, led by the proud grandson of a Minister of Munitions, practices unilateral disarmament worthy of Article 9 (the war-renouncing section of the Constitution)."

The Post-Deng China: The End of China's Soft Power? - Richard Javad Heydarian, "[T]he post-Cold War era saw not only the demise of the Soviet threat to China (a critical factor in binding Washington and Beijing in the twilight years of Chairman Mao) but the emergence of a capable diplomatic core that impressively burnished China's public diplomacy and international image. The first decade of the 21st century saw a perceptible shift in public opinion with respect to China, thanks to the Bush administration's aggressive display of unilateral hubris. But there was also a critical economic component. China's economic miracle not only represented an attractive model of state-led capitalist development (with a so-called 'Beijing Consensus' supposedly reshaping the terms of international trade and investment) but created a 'commodity boom' that dramatically enhanced the economic fortunes of many developing and emerging economies. This represented the 'peaceful rise" dimension of China's unrelenting national development.”

Introducing … Gastrodiplomacy - "Food, meet diplomacy.  It shouldn’t be surprising that food plays an important

role in statecraft–but that appears to be changing (hereherehere and here) [.]" Image from entry


State Dept. will post ambassador qualifications online - Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY: The Obama administration has agreed to start publicly posting certification detailing the competency of their ambassadorial nominees, a move that comes after President Obama has faced questions about whether some of his nominees were qualified to represent the USA overseas. The State Department's decision to post the certificates online — which were previously only available to lawmakers — was announced by the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) on Friday and comes after a string of confirmation hearings in which President Obama's nominees – who were also major donors to his presidential campaigns—made headlines after offering curious answer to lawmakers.

West propaganda machine targets Russia –- journalist - Andre Vltchek, a journalist and film maker from Bangkok, about a statement released by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen saying Russia will be committing a historical mistake if it further intervenes in Ukraine: "I worked very closely with the leaders of the left group in Kharkiv in Kiev and today basically... I am absolutely clear that there is no funding or help they are receiving from Russia - I’m talking about one of the major opposition movements. I think this is basically propaganda, which is coming from the West, which tries to discredit Russia. Basically Western countries destabilized Ukraine. They are fully responsible for the situation in which the country is right now and they are trying to pass the blame on Russia, which actually did not take any action at the beginning because it was during the Olympics."

Photo of the Day: Shhh! Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake – Domani Spero,Diplopundit:

Secretary Kerry Views ‘Casablanca’ During Visit to Rick’s Cafe in Morocco U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry watches a scene from the film ‘Casablanca’ during a visit to Rick’s American Cafe – started by a former State Department Foreign Service Officer – in Casablanca, Morocco, on April 4, 2014.


Walking in Vegas - John Brown, Huffington Post: "Frank Sinatra's town ... has become a walker's city (Did I fail to notice this 10 years ago?). Americans are actually walking on the Las Vegas strip!

And I don't mean just streetwalking! I mean, yes, walking! Like, I mean using your legs to get around! Image from


"Others are not so enamored with his blog."

--To Inform is to Influence: IO, SC, PD, what's in a name? regarding the Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review

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