The Summer Academy is co-organized by the Institute of International Relations, Athens and the Hellenic Foundation for Culture. ... The general themes that will be covered are the following: ● Soft and Hard power in International Relations: Different Schools of Thought ● The role of international legitimacy in Grand Strategy ● Objects and Means of Cultural Diplomacy ● Intercultural Strategic Public Diplomacy ● Interactions between Culture and Economics in International Relations." Image from entry
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN THE NEWS Kerry to Russia: Don't Interfere in Ukraine Poll - voanews.com: "In another sign of support for Ukraine and warning to Russia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that with upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine, its people should be able to forge their own destiny. ... Meanwhile, Richard Stengel, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, voiced strong U.S. support for elections in Ukraine, saying Russia could face more sanctions if it attempts to disrupt the vote. 'We want to help foster a free and fair election in any way we can,' Stengel said in an interview with VOA's Ukrainian Service during a visit to Kyiv.
He said the U.S. looks warily at what Russia might do in eastern Ukraine during the election, stressing that both President Barack Obama and Kerry have urged Moscow not to interfere. If it interferes, Stengel said the U.S. might consider imposing stricter or even sectoral sanctions. Stengel also took issue with what he called the 'Russian propaganda machine' distorting the real picture in Ukraine. Moscow's efforts need to be countered, he said: 'You have to combat lies with the truth, you have to combat fiction with reality, and that is something we are trying to do.' Stengel is also due to visit Brussels and Riga, Latvia, as part of U.S. efforts to foster greater regional engagement in support of Ukraine’s election, according to a State Department release." Image from entry, with caption: U.S. Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel. See also (1). The Shining Lesson of Dignity Being Taught by the People in the East of Ukraine - Alevtina Rea, cjournal.info: "[T]he purpose of [U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs] Stengel’s visit to Kiev is to emphasize the need for greater regional involvement in support of the presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25, to make these elections as legitimate as possible, and to ensure that all Ukrainians were able to decide for themselves their future. Well, the latter goal of ensuring that ALL Ukrainians are able to decide their future in a centralized Ukraine is busted – two of the current Ukrainian regions are in a process of secession from the rest of the country, and, as it seems so far, their residents are not going to participate in the 'all-Ukrainian' election on the 25th.
Previous visits of the U.S. officials resulted in the immediate military attacks of the junta mercenaries on the cities and villages on the east of Ukraine. What will be the immediate outcome of Stengel’s visit, I wonder? Another SNAFU? ... As a reminder, the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic was a self-proclaimed republic of 1918, when it sought independence from Ukraine and eventually failed to achieve recognition either internationally or from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Donetsk and other eastern regions were part of that short-lived republic back then. Will the fate of these regions be resolved differently nowadays? The flag of that republic is being used by the Donetsk People’s Republic on barricades in the rebellious cities and checkpoints of Donetsk region and it became a symbolic emblem of the people’s aspiration for independence and political dignity. Who else will follow its inspirational appeal?" Image from entry, with caption: People voted in Donetsk, Ukraine on May 11, 2014 to form their own region." See also (1)(2).
Biden family gas interests grow as Ukrainian crisis worsens - voiceofrussia.com: "Biden's son appointed to board of Ukraine's largest private gas producer. Voice of Russia is discussing it with Maxim Braterskiy, Professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia, Allen Lynch, Visiting Professor at Graduate Institute of international and development studies in Geneva, and German publicist, government and business consultant Christoph R. Hörstel. A roadmap for settling the crisis in Ukraine drawn up last week by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), focuses on'restraint from violence, disarmament, national dialogue, and elections' – a truly delicate task, requiring lots of diplomacy and trust-building efforts. Yet, while Kiev and its Nazi units are waging a so-called 'counter-terrorist’ operation in the South East of the country killing hundreds of civilians, the son of the US vice-president Joe Biden is getting a BoD seat in the Burisma Holdings, the biggest private energy company in the Ukraine.
Now, with the US leaders not even trying to conceal their interest in supporting the current regime – should they still be seen as reliable partners? Could anyone have any doubts left as to the nature and goals of Maidan real leaders? And why would they want to support the peacemaking in the Ukraine? Allen Lynch, Visiting Professor at Graduate Institute of international and development studies in Geneva: ['] … Personally, I think, the less we hear of people in, or connected, to the US government, or all the governments concerned, the better. Because in order for negotiations to take place, there has to be confidence, and the confidentiality of conversations, of compromises, etc. And the morepublic diplomacy we see of this kind, the more pessimistic I am…[']" Uncaptioned image from entry How the U.S. Is Its Own Worst Enemy: The U.S. has a tendency to forget some of its biggest security mistakes - usnews.com: "[M]istakes that should worry us the most ... [take] decades to develop or mature the causative factors that characterize these kinds of mistakes – and our memories tend to be generational, not historical. Some historical and more current examples – and our usually unfortunate collective responses thereto – will make this clear: [inter alia:] ... Failure to develop effective public diplomacy and information operations to reinforce our traditional diplomacy and national security policies: We have to trust our media and public affairs people to do this, right? Meantime, we can let Russia Today continue to broadcast its propaganda here, because we’re smart enough to figure that out aren’t we?"
How would George Kennan respond to Nicaragua’s ‘military dependency’ on Russia?- Jiri Valenta and Leni Friedman Valenta, ticotimes.net: "Kennan would likely have disavowed adding Georgia and Ukraine to NATO. While opposing boots on the ground in the Ukraine, however, he likely would have supported arming the Ukrainians against Russia as we did after WWII. Ukrainian partisans bled the Russians for a decade. He also would have recommended formidable public diplomacy and sizable aid to the Venezuelan democrats in their struggle. Both Nicaragua and Cuba run on Venezuelan oil."
orbit, sometimes via funding and sometimes by creating a revolving door to government jobs and 'respectability,' as a letter from over 100 scholars suggests happened to Human Rights Watch." Image from entry, with caption: Tom Malinowski, longtime director of Human Rights Watch’s Washington office, was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on April 3, 2014
US Embassy to Host Talks on Role of the Press in a Democracy - sierraexpressmedia.com: FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE – "From Monday, May 19 to Friday, May 23, the US Embassy will be hosting Kevin Smith, a US specialist in reporter protection shield laws, digital media transformation, media leadership, government transparency, and international outreach. ... Embassy Public Affairs Officer Boa Lee added that Smith’s
visit builds on the Embassy’s previous work with journalists in Sierra Leone. ... 'The United States continuously works to advance media freedom around the world through bilateral engagement,public diplomacy, programming, and multilateral diplomacy,' Lee said. 'The Embassy has a strong relationship with the Sierra Leone media and we are excited about this program’s potential to help chart the way forward for ensuring that the local press can continue to play an important role in Sierra Leone’s development.'” Image from entry
In the area of public diplomacy, and particularly on the education front, we should be directly challenging the myth that the West is opposed to Islam. We should send the message that expanding quality education is a priority across Pakistan and that religious schools play an important role in that task (as some would argue that in the West). We should also stress that violent radicalism is the main issue both for Pakistan and the West. The West should make clear that its problem is not with madrasahs but with murderers." Ullah image from entry
The best public diplomacy anywhere - ever.....................
#TBT Berlin Airlift: This week marks the 65th anniversary of the end of the Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1949.
Gov’t unhappy with West hearing those who rock the boat - hurriyetdailynews.com: "A new tendency actually started after a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on arrested journalists in Turkey, released early in 2013 before the summer’s Gezi wave of protests. When the CPJ revised its earlier report and increased its count of the number of Turkish reporters behind bars, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan became furious, and the Justice Ministry and other government bodies started to investigate who the CPJ had spoken to in Turkey during the writing of its report. ... Now we are at a stage where government people are intervening in gatherings organized by embassies, Western think tanks and universities in order to learn who is invited, and where they are trying to have names close to the government added in order to repeat what the government is already telling them. Those who ask unpleasant questions to those diplomats, politicians, academics or are giving unpleasant information about what is already happening are being identified in pro-government media by their names, making them open targets. A gathering of the U.S. assistant secretary of state with a group of Turkish journalists is a very good example of this. A 'who said what' game has started on the pages of newspapers about this supposedly 'background' meeting. Now, public diplomacy people from the government are trying to find out who Freedom House spoke to during the writing of its report that placed Turkey among the countries with no freedom of the press."
US Michael Oren, who served in Washington from July 2009 to September 2013. ... He said that he did not foresee any public diplomacy damage as a result of these stories, because while they are front page news in Israel, their resonance in the US was much, much less." Image from entry, with caption: Former Israeli ambassador to US Michael Oren
Israel won’t hand over sovereignty of select Christian sites during Pope Francis visit - jns.org: "Israel will not hand over sovereignty of select Christian sites, including the 'Last Supper room,' during Pope Francis’s upcoming trip to the Jewish state. ... Last year, Israel and the Vatican signed an agreement that would allow the Vatican a special modicum of control over the site, including an official seat in the room. Lior Haiat, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official who is handling public diplomacy activity for the papal visit, said the rumors surrounding the impeding transfer of sovereignty over the Last Supper room are 'untrue.'
Nevertheless, Israel has been in discussion with the Vatican over the status of Christian holy sites." Image from entry, with caption: The "Last Supper room" at the Cenacle in Jerusalem
Here and there: ‘Mind the gap’ - Brenda Katten: "In the past, Anglo-Jewry’s leadership would have immediately risen to the defense of Israel. Sadly, today the story is different. ... Sixty-nine years after the end of World War II, guilty feelings that countries had towards the Jews have dissipated. Yes, today anti-Semitism is
once again rearing its ugly head, but we also need to ask ourselves whether we have treated hasbara (public diplomacy) seriously enough. We live in a world of the 'word,' and of the TV/computer screen, but for too long we in Israel have ignored the importance of presenting Israel’s case." Image from entry, with caption: A poster for Israeli Apartheid Week
Stefanoski opens NATO Course for Public Relations - kurir.mk: "The first NATO Course in public relations – basic level was launched at the Regional Centre for Public Relations of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Macedonia. ... The training will be conducted by certified media trainers
in the country and the region, experts from the Department of Public Diplomacy in NATO, NATO officers for public relations and experts from the Norwegian consulting company 'Medialoven'." Uncaptioned image from entry
and promote practical cooperation with partners in the region in various areas, including defense planning and analysis, support for NATO operations, military education and training, civil emergency planning, cooperation on scientific and environmental issues and public diplomacy, according to the report." Image from entry
New EU Human Rights Guidelines On Freedom Of Expression, Offline And Online - Joséphine De Ruyck, ip-watch.org: "The Council of the European Union reaffirmed the crucial role of freedom of expression in democratic society in the online and offline world by adopting a new set of EU human rights guidelines. This includes explicit limitations on restrictions of copyright and internet operators. The Council of EU member states adopted the 'EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline,' in Brussels on 12 May. ... To achieve these goals, all available and appropriate tools will be used, including traditional ones such as political dialogues, high-level visits, public statements and démarches. But it also will include the use of financial instruments,public diplomacy in multilateral fora – especially in the United Nations agenda -, and cooperation with regional organisations, the guidelines say." See also.
A Seismic Shift in British Public Diplomacy? Didn’t Feel a Thing - Rajesh Mirchandani, uscpublicdiplomacy.org: "The best known – and, dare I say it, the most respected – example of public diplomacy broadcasting just ended. Did you notice? Don’t worry, you weren’t supposed to. You see, in April, after 75 years, the British government stopped directly funding the BBC World Service. And, according to traditional definitions at least, if the World Service is not government-funded, it is not a public diplomacy broadcaster. ... Whether the government’s politically expedient decision to cut funding will prove to be damaging to British influence around the world (because financial pressures force the down-sizing of World Service output) will only be borne out over time – and may be down to more factors than who pays for Newshour. But that is for the government to worry about."
to which the global scale and impact of the war is not well known in the UK, drawing on research carried out for us by YouGov." Image from entry
Gonzalo Vilar: branding is much more than just a logo - baltic-course.com: "A little more than a month left before the opening of the third International territorial marketing and branding Festival OPEN in Minsk. And while you’re deciding whether to apply for the contest OPEN Your World, or to register for the Congress OPEN Your Mind, we invite you to meet a member of the international jury from Spain Gonzalo Vilar. ... [Q:] Can it be possible to combine in one brand an image, appealing to the tourist or investor, and citizens’ concept of the city? [A:] A country or city brand has many purposes and objectives. As you have well mentioned, it serves to attract tourists, investors, and talent, but it also is used to foster exports, public diplomacy, and citizen’s pride.
Answering your question: Yes, it is possible to create one image for all purposes. However, there are only a few examples of territories that have successfully managed to achieve it. ... [Q:] What would you recommend to Minsk in creating and developing its own brand? [A:] In my opinion, Minsk is in a developing stage and it needs to be 'put on the map' on an international scale. But, first you need to decide which areas of the brand you want to work: Tourism, Trade, Talent, Exports, Public Diplomacy, and/or Pride. ... In what way events such as OPEN help to create and develop the field of territorial marketing and branding and can be useful for the authors of current and future projects? - Events, such as OPEN, are important in spreading the knowledge, new ideas, innovation within the field, and raising awareness about the importance of territorial branding in today’s globalized world, where countries regions and cities are in competition in the tourism, trade, talent, export, pride and public diplomacy arenas. Uncaptioned image from entry
ABC says $120 million funding cuts a broken promise - thesatellite.com.au: "The ABC's budget will be cut by $120m over the next four years as a result of decisions made by the Federal Government in the budget. ... 'The funding cuts will be disappointing for audiences. The government gave repeated commitments before and after the election that funding for the corporation would be maintained,' the ABC's managing director, Mark Scott said. ... Mr Scott
said the decision to cut the funding for Australia Network was very disappointing, given the ABC was only one year into a 10-year contract with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 'Countries around the world are expanding their international broadcasting services as key instruments of public diplomacy. ... This decision runs counter to the approach adopted by the vast majority of G-20 countries who are putting media at the centre of public diplomacy strategies to engage citizens in other countries." Image from entry, with caption: The ABC's Mark Scott. See also (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6).
China-bashing over South China Sea disputes will further endanger peace - Mark Valencias, cmp.com: "China-bashers in Southeast Asia, Japan and the US are having a field day. Indeed, China is getting hammered by a perfect storm of its own clumsy public relations, its actions and reactions, and what China perceives as the harmonisedpublic diplomacy strategy of its detractors. However, the situation is more complex and nuanced than journalists and 'experts' would have it. More worryingly, this campaign is set to end badly, probably with a smarting, angry and relatively politically isolated China. That will not be good for peace and stability in the South China Sea, or the region as a whole. The latest imbroglio involves China's placement of an oil rig within Vietnam's claimed 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and on its claimed continental shelf.
Vietnam has protested vehemently and sent coastguard and police vessels to the site to prevent the rig from drilling. US Secretary of State John Kerry has called China's move 'provocative', while Japanese officials have also criticised it. However, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations - which is closer to the situation and its ramifications - has not blamed China, at least not directly or collectively, despite lobbying by both Vietnam and the Philippines for it to do so." Image from entry
MEA drive to expands its digital footprint - Parul Chandra, asianage.com: "[F]ollowing the reorganisation of the ministry’s external publicity and public diplomacy wings, the MEA [India's Ministry of External Affairs] has enhanced its public diplomacy initiatives, especially of the digital variety, to expand its outreach in India and abroad."
Malaysia expected to be non-permanent UNSC member, says Anifah - nst.com.my: "The Foreign Ministry is taking steps to strengthen its foundation this year as Malaysia prepares to take its place as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2015-2016 term. Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said election for the non-permanent membership would take place this year. ... Anifah said the ministry had set up a transformation task force to formulate strategic initiatives to enhance bilateral diplomacy, strengthen Asean and disseminate information and public diplomacy."
Quest for peace, democracy is taking root in Afghanistan - BT, budapesttimes.hu: "[Q:] What do Hungarians really know about Afghanistan? [Afghanistan Ambassador to Hungary Najibullah Alikhil:]I would say that there are two kinds of images about Afghanistan: first, the Hungarians know that Afghanistan has a great history which produced thinkers, philosophers and poets. They know that for centuries, Afghanistan was at the heart of the Silk Road, connecting South and Central Asia and the Middle East. The second image is rather negative about the current situation of the country. As a result of a conflict and foreign invasions in the past as well as the segments of some negative media reports, there is misperception among Hungarians about today’s Afghanistan. But if you came from Afghanistan and see the reality on the ground, it would give you a different picture. As Ambassador, the promotion of the image of Afghanistan through the media and public diplomacy is one of my priorities. Despite the continuous suffering of the Afghan people, over the past decade Afghanistan has gained a lot in political, economic, social and cultural fields." Image from entry, with caption: Ambassador of Afghanistan to Hungary Najibullah Alikhil: Afghanistan and Hungary have enjoyed traditional friendly relations for decades. Over the past ten years, Hungary has contributed in many areas of reconstruction as well as security and stability in our country.
Fears for Azeri-Armenian Citizen Diplomacy: "Everyone knows what we’ve been doing all these years," says Armenian activist involved in joint projects, who is now cited in Azerbaijani "spy" case - Gayane Mkrtchyan, iwpr.net: "As the Azerbaijani authorities accuse a journalist involved in cross-border projects of spying for Armenia, NGOs in Yerevan are worried that painstaking efforts to work towards reconciliation through 'citizen diplomacy' will be derailed. Rauf Mirqadirov, an Azerbaijani journalist, was deported from Turkey and arrested on arrival in Baku on April 21. The Azerbaijani prosecution service claimed that Mirqadirov had been spying for Armenia since 2008. ... Prosecutors say Mirqadirov passed secret information to Laura Baghdasaryan, who heads the Region Research Centre in Yerevan. Baghdasaryan’s organisation has, like a number of NGOs in both countries, been involved in cross-border projects intended to build connections between the two societies. ... On April 26, Baghdasaryan and Leyla Yunus, a well-known human rights activist in Azerbaijan, issued a joint statement expressing concern at Mirqadirov’s arrest and calling for his release.
'We are two women – a rights activist and a journalist, both of us mothers – from Azerbaijan and Armenia,' they said. 'We have worked together for ten years and stood shoulder to shoulder in the difficult task of creating and strengthening public dialogue between our nations, which have been in a state of war for 20 years.' Two days later, Yunus and her husband Arif were stopped at Baku airport and taken back to the city to be questioned about the Mirqadirov case. ... This apparent widening of the net in the 'espionage case' caused even greater alarm in Yerevan. 'These are people who defend the national and state interests of their country in every possible venue and on all possible platforms,' Larisa Alaverdyan, who heads an Armenian NGO called Against Legal Arbitrariness, told IWPR. 'Their only crime is doing this in places where there are Armenians, as well. It is a blow to public diplomacy in our region.'” Baghdasaryan image from entry
Colombia: FARC guerrillas rap for peace - W. Alejandro Sanchez - voxxi.com: “The Colombian FARC guerrilla movement and the Cuban band ‘Cuentas Claras’ have produced a rap video entitled ‘Pueblo Colombiano pa’ la mesa’ (Colombian people, go to the negotiation table) featuring two well-known FARC fighters. The song praises the FARC for seeking equality and peace in Colombia, while criticizing the government for endangering the ongoing peace talks in Havana, Cuba.
While the song will not win any Latin Grammys, it is a public diplomacy tool aimed at helping the Colombian narco-insurgents gain popularity. ... The FARC-Cuentas Claras video is certainly not the first public relations stunt in which a revolutionary movement has resorted to music in order to improve their public image. Some songs have remained popular over the decades if they praise a popular hero." Image from entry, with caption: Dutch rebel Tanja Nijmeijer, center, from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, sings a tribute to FARC founder Manuel Marulanda, on the sixth anniversary of his death, in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Colombian government and the FARC delegates continue their peace talks in Havana.
Our President @goyucel attended #BCNDD14 by Diplocat via videoconference - yenidiplomasi.com: "ThePublic Diplomacy Council of Catalonia organized a conference on 8 May: 'Digital Diplomacy: Fostering a collaborative engagement' this morning. Diplomats, professionals, and experts from the communications sector in the field of international relations shared their experience and ideas and offered examples of good practice in this new discipline.
The objective of the conference was to contribute, from Catalonia, to the global debate on the use of internet and social networks in the field of diplomacy and public diplomacy. ... [S]peakers included Albert Royo, Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council." Image from entry, with Twitter caption from entry: This is Catalonia @ThIsCatalonia Takip et.@goyucel @YeniDiplomasi talking now from Serbia for the #BCNdd14 audience 4:28 AM - 8 Mayıs 2014
Professor: Public diplomat the new trend - Michelle Loubon - trinidadexpress.com: "Professor W Andy Knight, director, Institute of International Relations, has said 'the new diplomat is the public diplomat'. ... Knight said diplomacy was an 'ancient art'. But it has had to adapt to changing conditions in contemporary societies. He said: 'The traditional model of diplomacy, as an element of statecraft reserved for an elite group that develops a country’s foreign policy almost entirely in secret, is long over. Diplomacy is no longer the sole preserve of foreign ministries.
It is being undertaken by many government ministries as well as by some private sector individuals and other actors within civil society.' Knight added: 'The advent of instant media, social media, Wikileaks, and various advancements in information technology (IT) has meant the club model of diplomacy, which pretends to be hermetically sealed from exogenous and endogenous influences, is basically a dying breed. The new diplomat is the public diplomat. New diplomats must engage with domestic and external societies, within an intermestic environment, in which they are operating. And they must learn the tools of communication that facilitate the multiplication of their government’s foreign policy message.'" Image from entry, with caption: new diplomacy: Prof W Andy Knight
public diplomacy as effectively as Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF)." Uncaptioned image from entry
NGOs and Public Diplomacy - ngo-academy.org: "Public diplomacy, or NGO diplomacy does not displace traditional state-to-state
diplomacy, but it does have an impact. ... Clearly, for international NGOs active in impacting global agendas and issues, they are engaged in public diplomacy." Image from entry
frog design Offers Unique View of TEDGlobal 2009 Conference in Special Edition of design mind Magazine - nigerianventure.com: Global innovation firm frog design today released a special edition of its award-winning design mind magazine, devoted exclusively to TEDGlobal (the twin conference of the annual TED conference in Long Beach, California), which took place from July 21-24, 2009 in Oxford, England. Sixty speakers and performers as well as 700 attendees from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, and cultures came together to explore, discuss, and celebrate the conference theme, 'The Substance of Things Not Seen.' Highlights include: ... Public Diplomacy 2.0: Digital governance expert Evgeny Morozov argues that governments need to upgrade their social media outreach."
hopes to pursue a masters or a law degree and eventually work in the Department of State’s Foreign Service as a political or public diplomacy officer." Uncaptioned image from entry
Random encounters while wheeled - random-encounters-while-wheeled: "Another random encounter that came out better than expected. I was greeted by someone who works in a local store I often go to. She apologized for asking and then asked why I have a wheelchair. I swallowed my stock of snippy answers and explained my medical history in front of my child while we hung out outside some bar on Mission and I was covered in grocery bags. *eyeroll*
She was asking because her hands and feet go numb and she is worried and wonders what things will be like if she ever needs a wheelchair and how she can tell; her doctor told her probably it is because she uses bleach when she scrubs and cleans. I opined that was bogus and the good thing about doctors is you can go to another one and get a second opinion. It is sometimes easier to forgive the questions inspired by fear and personal motivations when it is truly personal. But I’m so tired of being a rolling public diplomacy and information booth. I then had to explain to my son that, as he may be aware, I don’t normally explain my medical issues to strangers on the street but in this case I made an exception and felt that she could use a friendly word." Image from entry, with caption: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence is creeping back. Image from entry, with caption: A barren field with a failing fence still serves as a soccer pitch in Sadr City. Via PVB
Top 5 Myths About U.S. Meddling in Ukraine - Michael Bohm, The Moscow Times: Here are the top five Russian myths about U.S. meddling in Ukraine and why they hold no water: 1. The U.S. has no legitimate national interests in Ukraine. 2. The U.S. orchestrated the Maidan protests. 3. The U.S. financed the Maidan protesters. 4. U.S. support for the interim government in Kiev is meddling in Russia's backyard. 5. The U.S. is guilty of “luring” Ukraine into its sphere of influence.
Russia, Israel, Poland, Sweden play crucial role in digital diplomacy network while Ukraine lags behind -– study - voiceofrussia.com: The examination of foreign ministries' Twitter network showed that although the ministries of the US and the UK have the biggest number of followers ("in-degree parameter") among their counterparts abroad and scored the first and the second place respectively followed by Poland, Russia, Sweden, Israel, India, France, Germany and Turkey which comes in at tenth place, the countries with the highest "out-degree parameter" are Iceland, Sweden, Israel, Norway, Russia, Poland, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Brazil and Peru.
The researchers claim that the out-degree parameter is especially significant as it demonstrates the ability of the state to disseminate information throughout the network. It should be noted that Sweden, Israel, Russia and Poland are the only countries being highly popular and able to spread information effectively throughout the network. While Ukraine dominates world news today, the study shows it is somewhat isolated and serves neither as an information hub, nor as a data distributor. This can be explained by the fact the country does not conduct independent foreign policy, being under control of its western sponsors. Uncaptioned image from entry
Russia Rejects Bioweapons Talk in U.S. Congress as 'Propaganda' - nationaljournal.com: Russia accused U.S. lawmakers of hosting "a propaganda event" last week to examine its biological-weapons potential, Interfax reports. The Russian foreign ministry dismissed assertions in May 7 congressional testimony that Moscow may continue to oversee a biological-arms program. The ministry blamed the United States for the absence of a monitoring system under the Biological Weapons Convention, which prohibits member nations from developing, manufacturing or possessing biological materials for use in combat.
Military Ads: Propaganda of Pride [includes video] - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: With the situation in Ukraine escalating and May 9 around the corner, it seems quite timely that the Russian Ministry of Defense released a new ad to get everyone pumped about the greatness of the Russian Armed Forces.
No holds barred in Russia’s propaganda war - Halya Coynash, khpg.org: Russia’s choice of one propaganda weapon still remains incomprehensible. Many of our fathers or grandfathers fought the Nazis, millions died, including in the Holocaust, and cynical abuse of the theme of the Second World War is a gross affront to their memory.
for Israel and its policies – published a survey ringing the alarm about anti-Semitism. Rather than advance our understanding of this serious issue, the survey seems predictably designed to stir up fear that Jew-hatred is a growing global phenomenon that puts the world's Jews universally at risk, and that the biggest culprits are Muslims and Arabs, particularly Palestinians. Image from entry, with caption: Palestinian children are denied some fairly basic human rights
Ethiopia insists this will not happen. Image from entry, with caption: A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region in this March 16, 2014.
British Pathé's Involvement In Propaganda During The Suez Crisis - neontommy.com: Last month, British Pathé, a producer of newsreels, cinemagazines, and documenters, uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 historic films to its YouTube channel. The archive of films from 1910 to 1970 is now fully digitized and available for viewing around the world. Pathé is considered one of the leaders in British cinema experience, but its involvement in British Prime Minister Anthony Eden's propaganda war glooms over the celebrated legacy of the company.
Early on during the decision to invade Egypt in 1956, the British government authorized covert plans for political warfare and propaganda measures designed to undermine Egyptian president Gemal Abdel Nasser. The government, concerned about the need to re-establish a sense of unity which in times of crisis has been non-existent in Britain, had to persuade the public that its actions were justifiable. Cinema was part of domestic media that British government wanted to get a strong hold on. The government proceeded to influence the five major newsreels in the UK: British Paramount, British Movietone News, Gaumont British News and Universal News, and lastly, Pathé News. Image from entry
Documentary reveals NFB wartime propaganda [includes trailer] - mississauga.com: The National Film Board has always been a medium for telling Canadians about Canada. But in its early years, the public film agency took that objective a step further — to produce the "boldest and most successful propaganda effort in our history," a new documentary reveals. "Shameless Propaganda," on the CBC channel documentary, examines the formative wartime years of the NFB between 1939 and 1945.
Under the leadership of founding commissioner John Grierson, the agency sought to convince Canadians they had a country worth dying for. Image from entry, with caption: Documentary reveals NFB wartime propaganda
MORE QUOTATIONS FOR THE DAY
"I crossed the street, walking past a graffiti sign declaring: 'Tu indifferencia es tu complicidad'Your indifference is your complicity. "
--Blogger extraordinaire Paul Rockower, in a comment on his visit to Venezuela; image from, with caption: The Gaza Holocaust: Israeli Attacks on Jabalia
"More importantly, who cares about my weight--I just submitted my PhD!"
--Molly Bettie, "The Anti-Climax of Submission for Examination," Public Diplomacy and Student Exchanges: Possibly the first study of the Fulbright Program to be conducted by someone who isn't affiliated with it in any way...
ONE MORE IMAGE
Image from; loose translation: "You've worked hard, now take a good [JB note: cultured? sophisticated?] break"
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" (http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/notes-and-references-for-discussion-e.html). Affiliated with Georgetown University (http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/jhb7/) for over ten years, he still shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."