Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 4 Public Diplomacy Review

"We do not pay for the VOA to be just another news outlet.”

--A  House Foreign Affairs Committee spokesperson adding “We pay for the VOA to provide news that supports our national security objectives.”  Image from


May 8, 2014: The Fulbright Effect - "You are invited to the following event: The Fulbright Effect [.] Event to be held at the following time, date, and location: Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (EDT) | 22:00 -23:30 Brussels time/CEST.  The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and The Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars invite you to participate in a discussion on: The Fulbright Effect. How do we shape the future of public diplomacy and global education? Thursday, May 8, 2014 – 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EDT. Join us live-stream at"


(W)Archives: The Tale of the Tape - Mark Stout, "“In late March, the Russian government released what it said was a recording of a phone call involving former Ukrainian Prime Minister

Yulia Tymoshenko, in which she reveals a foul mouth and (more importantly) seems to call for violence against Russia and Putin, up to and including the use of nuclear weapons. Tymoshenko responded by saying that the recording was a 'montage' that misrepresented what she had meant, though she did apologize for the obscenities.  Just this week, as part of a powerful blast against the agitprop operation of Russian state-backed television network RT, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel sounded the same note, calling the tape ‘selectively edited’ and just the sort of lies and incitement to violence that are typical of RT.” Image from entry

Troops on the Ground: U.S. and NATO Plan PSYOPS Teams in Ukraine: Effort reminiscent of CIA’s Radio Free Europe during Cold War - Kurt Nimmo, "The United States is working closely with members of the NATO club in Eastern Europe to help the junta in Ukraine better manage its propaganda effort, U.S. News and World Report said on Thursday. 'We are starting some projects together with others, understanding the time factor is of the essence,' Janis Sarts, the state secretary of defense in Latvia, told the news magazine. Asked if the plan includes sending troops and trainers to Ukraine, Sarts said, 'Yes. I think that would help.' He added the United States is currently involved in discussions. The Pentagon, however, refused to comment on any possible mission 'that would help Ukrainians to deal with the propaganda that is going on,' as Sarts characterized Russian reportage on the political and military crisis.

NATO, however, is more forthcoming, although it prefers to speak in generalities. 'NATO Allies are actively considering ways to further strengthen our long-standing cooperation with Ukraine, including in the area of public diplomacy,' a NATO official said. 'Allies are also providing assistance to Ukraine on a bilateral basis.' NATO’s use of the phrase 'public diplomacy' is significant. The term was coined during the Cold War when the United States engaged in a concerted propaganda effort to influence public opinion on the Soviet Union. Public diplomacy is defined as 'white propaganda' whereas psychological operations are considered black propaganda." Image from article, with caption: Military PSYOPS in Europe: 1) German Combat Camera Team CCT – Combat Camera is a PSYOPS Center controlled function in Bundeswehr. 2) German and Belgian Tactical Psyops Team patch. 3) German OPINFO Team Kunduz – PSYOPS Team 4) NATO ISAF patch 5) Non Kinetic Working Group Advisory Team – 109th AFGHAN Corps. Non Kinetic Warfare – an interesting term comprising CIMIC, INFO OPS AND PSYOPS 6) Regional Command Public Affairs Office 7) Tactical PSYOPS Team Task Force Northern Lights TPT 6C23 8) NATO INFO OPS ISAF 9) ISAF INFO OPS 10) German IEB – Intercultural Ops Advisor – part of the German OPINFO Center.

VOA reform push sparks propaganda fears - Julian Hattem, "The House is moving to overhaul the handful of taxpayer-funded media organizations, but critics say the changes would turn the Voice of America into a tool for pro-western propaganda. Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed a bill to make 'dramatic reforms' to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees the government-backed outlets. ... Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed a bill to make 'dramatic reforms' to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees the government-backed outlets. One of the highest profile changes in the new bill is an explicit statement that news at the Voice of America, the U.S.’s flagship foreign broadcaster, 'is consistent with and promotes the broad foreign policies of the United States.' ... The Kremlin-funded Russia Today, which is itself the subject of criticism for its Moscow-friendly stance, wrote that the new bill calls 'into question how much editorial independence Voice of America (VOA) will have left.' But lawmakers and other supporters say the bill is just getting the broadcaster back to its roots. 'Public diplomacy is not propaganda – it’s telling America’s story; it’s explaining our policies to foreign audiences,' a committee spokesperson said in an email to The Hill. 'The U.S. spends a lot of money every year to help people in foreign countries; we do a lot of good in the world.' 'We do not pay for the VOA to be just another news outlet,' the spokesperson added. 'We pay for the VOA to provide news that supports our national security objectives.' ... A Senate counterpart to the House bill has yet to be unveiled, but is expected to also spin off the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, according to a person with knowledge of the issue. The office operates Radio and TV Marti from within VOA’s formal structure. As lawmakers hammered out the details last week, BBG Chairman Jeff Shell promised employees that little would change for them. 'People around the globe depend on [U.S. international media] for high-quality journalism,' he wrote in a letter to staffers. 'This will not change, no matter the outcome of current efforts on Capitol Hill.'" See also.

Voice of America wasted estimated millions on improper contract payments, Radio Free Asia gets clean bill of health - BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "Yet another Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigationshows that while Voice of America (VOA), the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) — all three within the federal structure of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) — are mismanaged and waste taxpayers’ money on improper payments to contractors, BBG’s semi-private grantee media outlets, such as Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), which receive far less money than VOA and IBB, are better managed and spend federal money wisely.

Image from entry

Kenneth Y Tomlinson, 1944-2014 - The Federalist, BBG Watcher, BBG Watch: "Mr. Tomlinson’s

tenure as VOA director is perhaps remembered as one of the better times in the agency." Image from entry, with caption: Kenneth Y Tomlinson, R.I.P.

Public diplomacy in the target of Aliyev’s government - Aravot -- News from Armenia: "Yesterday, the Azerbaijani political analyst Zardusht Alizadeh stated that the Azerbaijani Constitution and other laws do not prohibit public diplomacy, and that she is also an active participant of public diplomacy in the events organized since 1989. ... To argue that there is ... [a] powerful opposition in Azerbaijan, and a critical mass that can be a threat to Aliyev’s government, of course, would be an exaggeration, therefore, to this respect, the connection today between the fear and atmosphere of horror created in Azerbaijan would not be right. As to what is Aliyev’s actual purpose, what problem he solves, perhaps, it will be seen more clearly over the time. At the moment, the only available fact is that the public diplomacy has appeared in the target of Aliyev’s government, the Azerbaijanis communicating with Armenians in the international conferences and the programs funded by Western foundations."

Iran’s Foreign Ministry to Enhance Public Diplomacy: Spokeswoman - "Iran’s foreign ministry spokeswoman said the ministry seeks to boost the public diplomacy, adding that every Iranian citizens can play an active role to promote public diplomacy. 'We are trying to expand public diplomacy as every Iranian citizen has the potential for (playing a role in) this diplomacy,' Marziyeh Afkham said on the sidelines of her visit to Tehran International Book Fair.

She added that other Iranian institutions can also come to support the country’s public diplomacy. According to Afkham, Iran’s public diplomacy is aimed at introducing a true picture of the country to the world based on the Iran’s capabilities and the progresses it has made. Last year, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani highlighted public diplomacy and referred to tourism as one of the most effective means of public diplomacy that can help improve interactions between nations and lead to peace, fraternity and mutual understanding of cultures and traditions." Uncaptioned image from entry

ABC kept embassy out of the loop - Sharri Markson and Peter Alford, The Australian [subscription] - "The ABC announced a 'historic deal' to broadcast content into China without seeking approval from the Chinese embassy in Canberra before issuing the ­statement."

American University [-] Posted on April 29, 2014 [:]School of Communication Political Communication Program Director/Faculty Search, AY2014-2015 - "The School of Communication at American University is seeking a highly qualified candidate who has significant expertise in political communication to teach in the Public Communication Division as well as work with the School of Public Affairs (SPA) in overseeing the MA in Political Communication program. Rank will be dependent on experience and stature in the field. The non-tenure track position, which is expected to be renewable, begins in Fall 2014. ... The Public Communication faculty has a national reputation for work in political communication, public affairs, advocacy communication, social media, and public diplomacy."

Today’s Leaders, Tomorrow’s Decision Makers - "Karima Rhanem (Morocco) Opening Speech full transcript ... It’s so funny how many people around the world are so unaware about your country geography, culture, history, politics and economy. It’s also unlikely that several people have lots of misconceptions and stereotypes about your country, and this contributes in a way or another to many conflicts.

It is only through getting to know people and cultures through such international or regional opportunities as Model United Nations and similar public diplomacy meetings that we get a better idea about others’ cultures." Uncaptioned image from entry

Waite awarded international fellowship - [scroll down link for item]: "Cynthia Waite of Newnan was awarded a 2014 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship following a highly competitive nationwide contest. The Rangel Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. ... Waite plans to attend graduate school in the fall at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program. She will study US foreign policy and security, with a focus on public diplomacy and East Asia. The Rangel Fellowship will provide Waite with approximately $90,000 in benefits over a two year period to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs. As part of the Rangel Program, she will work for a Member of Congress on issues related to U.S. foreign policy this summer. In the summer of 2015, the U.S. Department of State will send Waite overseas to work in a U.S. Embassy to get hands-on experience with U.S. foreign policy and the work of the Foreign Service. Upon graduation, she will become a U.S. diplomat, embarking on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers of service to her country."


Ukraine: Lies, propaganda and the West's agenda: Is the Western narrative obscuring what's really going on in Ukraine? - Alastair Sloan, "Washington and Brussels are the heroes of the Ukrainian saga, if you believe the Western media. Russian President Vladimir Putin is cast as the Big Bad Russian Bear, US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are the Democratic A-Team. Russia is supposedly using dirty KGB-inspired tactics: secret agitators backed by masked paratroopers. The West makes the same tired claims to back democracy and freedom and denounces Putin's foul play.

The hyperbole is extraordinary. In the face of clearly hypocritical Western lecturing - Putin's ratings at home have soared. And the people of Ukraine have also been betrayed - their push for democracy co-opted by US interests, and their economy having lost up to $80bn, according to latest reports. Will Western leaders be held to account? Probably not if this thundering and incorrect narrative continues to play out across the media. This is why Western leaders are so keen to demonise Putin - it gets them off the hook. Image from entry, with caption: Pro-Russian protesters attack pro-Ukrainian supporters during a rally for a Single Ukraine in Donetsk on April 28

Ravenous Russia? Thirsty Crimea: Back to basics like water and power. Taking Ukrainian territory is one thing, holding on to it is quite another - Oleg Shynkarenko and Will Cathcart, Daily Beast: A lack of water could influence dramatically this year’s harvest and could potentially render the Crimean peninsula an agricultural wasteland.

So much for the dreams of security and prosperity that were part of Moscow’s psy-ops. As millions learned under the Soviets, propaganda doesn’t grow beans.

Video: Ukraine and US Propaganda - Eric Draitser of appears on RT (Thursday April 24, 2014) to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Specifically, Draitser examines the narrative constructed by Western media and senior Obama administration officials in which the “case against Russia” is built entirely upon fabrications, distortions, and outright lies. Image from entry

Castronoid lobby launches propaganda campaign on Twitter, on the Web, and in Washington D.C. - Carlos Eire, A sickening display of Castronoid propaganda has made its way to Twitter, the internet, and the Metro train stations in Washington D.C.

One of the chief selling points of this new propaganda blitz is the fact" that Cap'n Obama's Cuba policy is responsible for creating a colossal wave of "reforms" in Cuba over the past four years. Image from entry

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