"My ideal elementary-school curriculum would ... require all children to learn: (1) the times tables up to, say, 25; (2) a foreign language, preferably obscure; (3) the geography of a foreign land, like New Jersey; (4) how to use basic hand tools and cook a cassoulet; (5) how to raise a bird or lizard (if the child is vegetarian, then a potato); (6) poems by heart, say one per week; (7) how to find the way home from a town at least 10 miles away; (8) singing; (9) somersaults."
--William Logan, author of “Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure: The Dirty Art of Poetry”; image from
EARN $2,000 IN THESE HARD TIMES
Apply Now for 2014-16 CPD [USC Center on Public Diplomacy] Research Fellowship - uscpublicdiplomacy.org: "CPD is now accepting Research Fellowship applications from scholars and practitioners of public diplomacy for the 2014-2016 term. ... The selected candidates will each receive a $2,000 stipend awarded at the successful completion of the fellowship." Image from
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN THE NEWS
Russians dedicate song to Jen Psaki [includes video] - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "About a week ago I had a post about the 'popularity' of the State Dept's spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, in Russia. A friend notified me about further developments in that regard, so I thought I should have an update here, too: Psaki
has become the subject of a satirical song by Murzilki International, a group of morning radio hosts on AvtoRadio, which has now 'gone viral' on RuNet. ... Could the proponents of American public diplomacy be asking for more? How often does an American official get to have an entire song - which suddenly gets this popular - dedicated to them in a foreign country? Yes, we have reached a whole new level in diplomacy..." Image from
State Department spokesman Jen Psak [sic] considers himself [sic] a victim of the Kremlin propaganda machine [Google "translation"] - Lyudmila Kliment'ev, Vedomosti.ru: "U.S. State Department spokesman Jen Psak [sic] said that was among the U.S. officials are directed at discrediting the Kremlin propaganda efforts. 'Many people know about the efforts and the Kremlin propaganda machine aimed at discrediting a number of officials,' - she said, responding to a question during a press briefing. The reason, in its opinion, that the United States supports a strong democratic Ukraine. 'I take it as a badge of honor,' - said the representative of the State Department. Last week Psak known their statements justifying a military operation in the Ukraine, was forced to deny rumors of his [sic] dismissal."
Генконсул США в преддверии завершения работы в России опубликовал сборник стихов, вдохновленных жизнью в Петербурге [Loose translation: The USA General Consul [Terner], completing his work in Russia, published a collection of verses, inspired by life in [St.] Petersburg [Google translation of article evidently not available] - "В скором времени у генерального консула Соединенных Штатов в Санкт-Петербурге истекает срок службы в России. Казалось бы, это обычное явление для дипломатов, однако случай Брюса Тернера имеет одну интересную черту - для американца пребывание в России послужило источником вдохновения, и незадолго до своего отъезда он решил опубликовать сборник стихотворений, посвященных Северной столице, передает ИТАР-ТАСС. Тернер, как заявили в американском диппредставительстве, на протяжении нескольких лет сочинял стихотворения. Via HS on Facebook
'Генеральный консул довольно часто сопровождал записи в блоге стихами собственного сочинения, именно они вошли в сборник', - рассказали представители ведомства. Всего в сборнике, который называется 'In Petersburg. In Black and White' ('В Петербурге. В черном и белом'), 65 стихотворений, которые написаны под впечатлениями от российской действительности, от петербургской жизни. Сборник стихотворений размещен на домене Госдепартамента США." Uncaptioned image from entry
Letters to the Editor: Voice of America requires our support - Hans N. Tuch, Washington Post: "Regarding the June 8 editorial 'An independent voice': The Voice of America (VOA) has a twofold mission: to present the policies of the United States and responsible discussion of and opinion on these policies; and to serve as a consistently reliable, authoritative source of news. These two missions are inextricably joined: VOA audiences must be confident in the truthfulness of what they hear in news broadcasts before they will accept as legitimate what they hear in other programming. The VOA has been a vital instrument of public diplomacy. In many areas of the world, it has often been the only instrument available for the United States to communicate with foreign audiences. That is no less true today than in 1959. Hans N. Tuch, Bethesda The writer was deputy director of the Voice of America from 1976 to 1981."
Austin attacks Reilly, distorts his views on reforming Voice of America - BBG Watcher, bbgwatch.com: “Former Voice of America (VOA) Director Dan Austin, who in 2008 ended all direct VOA radio and television broadcasts to Russia, does not like former VOA Director Robert Reilly who presided over one of the most successful periods in VOA’s history, and it shows. In a letter to the Editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Austin makes his points, but he also distorts Mr. Reilly’s points in his Wall Street Journal op-ed to such a degree as to make them appear ridiculous while presenting himself as a knight in shining armor in defense of the truth.
Readers of Mr. Austin’s letter are led to believe that Mr. Reilly and all the members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who had unanimously voted for the bipartisan H.R. 4490 – the Royce – Engel U.S. International Broadcasting Reform Legislation, do not want the truth and are only interested in fighting propaganda with propaganda. Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are hardly naive or stupid. They do not want to turn VOA into a propaganda or even a direct public diplomacy arm of the U.S. government, that role is reserved for the State Department and possibly the proposed the United States International Communications Agency, in which VOA would reside as it was part of the former United States Information Agency (USIA) while still operating under its Charter that protected its journalistic independence.” Image from entry
CUSIB adds Albanian American voice to its Advisory Board - BBG Watcher, bbgwatch.com: "An Albanian American political and civic leader has joined the Advisory Board of the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org), an independent NGO which supports international media outreach of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).
CUSIB announced that Mark Gjonaj, a Member of the New York State’s Assembly for the 80th Assembly District, will work with CUSIB to protect Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) broadcasts to the Balkans." Mark Gjonaj image from entry
Isaac Patch, who led CIA-financed program to distribute books in the Soviet Union, dies - Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, posted at: Isaac Patch, a Cold Warrior who led a CIA-financed book distribution program that smuggled hundreds of thousands of banned or hard-to-find texts into the Soviet Union, died May 31. ... Political warfare — to win the hearts and minds of adversaries — played out in many forms during the Cold War. One of the least known but most effective was a CIA-funded effort to get reading materials, including modern novels and medical texts, behind the Iron Curtain. ... In the early 1950s, he joined what became best known as Radio Liberty, a CIA-underwritten network similar to Radio Free Europe but aimed directly at the heart of the Soviet empire. A colleague from those years later described him as 'a tall, shrewd string bean with a deceptively mild appearance and manner.' In 1956, Mr. Patch became the New York-based director of special projects at Radio Liberty.
His chief legacy was orchestrating the distribution of banned Russian-language works as well as Western books never before translated into Russian. His work was modeled on Radio Free Europe’s CIA-financed book-printing operation, which had been in operation for several years. In his memoir 'Closing the Circle,' Mr. Patch described the mission: 'To communicate Western ideas to Soviet citizens by providing them with books — on politics, economics, philosophy, art, and some technology — all denied them by the Soviet dictatorship.' ... Yale Richmond, a former State Department official, wrote in his book 'Cultural Exchange and the Cold War' that Bedford and successor organizations brought more than 1 million books into the Soviet Union over the decades. ... Mr. Patch was involved in efforts to racially integrate public schools in Englewood, N.J., in the 1960s, and he later became a naturalist when he moved to Vermont. Of his many interests, the most abiding was baseball. He had tried to teach the sport to Russians — a task far more difficult than his later career getting books into the country." Image from entry, with caption: Mr. Patch, shown here in the 1950s, died May 31 at 101.
Kurdistan's Public Diplomacy Imperative - Philip Seib, uscpublicdiplomacy.org: "Public diplomacy is never easy, but it will be essential in building the future of Kurdistan."
Zhao: Under the current diplomatic situation, the Chinese are not alone how [Google "translation"] - Zhao Chinese People's University School of Journalism Dean: "'Public diplomacy' is a term imported noun, English is public diplomacy, with the original definition of China's propaganda almost pass, is a government of a country to foreign public to promote their ideas, their policies on foreign resolving questions and confusion, thereby increasing their impact on foreign, foreign to improve the country's public opinion. If a foreign public opinion for their own good, it is easy to be taken by foreign governments for their own more favorable policies. It is clear, for example, the Japanese are now each other's opinion is not good, so are more difficult for any government to take a relaxed and friendly policy towards each other, so the importance of public opinion in this. In fact, Premier Zhou Enlai in 1949 raised the 'people's diplomacy' concept. He proposed a government diplomacy, folk diplomacy, government and civil mixed together diplomacy. Unfortunately, because at that time in the context of the Cold War, China was relatively isolated in the world, together with our Chinese popular enough, our ability to communicate is weak, so the 'people's diplomacy' is the word did not proliferate in the world. Once the popularity of the 'public diplomacy' of the word does not appear there is no relationship, then use the 'people's diplomacy' is the word the. After the concept of 'public diplomacy' has been developed, it can be said of contemporary or relatively new public diplomacy is a lot of civil society, non-governmental organizations, influential figures, they bear the description of the country's foreign missions. As some of the seminar, as some entrepreneurs in foreign investment activities, is a public diplomacy; such as the World Expo, is the public diplomacy of countries, some borne by the government, some private commitments; like the United States to participate in the World Expo held in China USA Pavilion is not the U.S. government money, the money of the American folk. So people assume public diplomacy increasingly rich up. In China, the 'eighteen' as the turning point, or a sign of 'public diplomacy,' the term officially entered the party documents. 'Public diplomacy' spread the word in China is less than 10 years, but gradually spread. However, most still remain in various seminars on the definition of public diplomacy, as well as general principles of public diplomacy, but the principle is not deep, the problem is difficult to practice, how to do it hard. ... We need public diplomacy, but how do businesses in all areas of public diplomacy? Here done some preliminary discussion. ... Nye said, how the expression of soft power? In fact, it is the expression of the process of public diplomacy. Such broadcasts are not public diplomacy? Writing a book is not public diplomacy? Negotiations are not public diplomacy? Exhibition is not public diplomacy? Seminar is not public diplomacy? He said very clearly. He said: 'soft power expression is the process of how to express public diplomacy?.' This is the meaning of public diplomacy a little more clearly."
NPM hopes exhibits in Japan will highlight the nation's 'soft power' -
chinapost.com.tw: The director of Taiwan's National Palace Museum (NPM, 故宮博物院) said she hopes upcoming historical exhibits of NPM cultural treasures in Japan will showcase Taiwan's 'soft power.” Fung Ming-chu's (馮明珠) remark came as over 200 sets of precious works from the NPM are set to be exhibited at the Tokyo National Museum from June and later this year at the Kyushu National Museum. It marks the first time NPM treasures will be displayed in an Asian country other than Taiwan. 'For the National Palace Museum, (it is an opportunity) to show our nation's soft power through our collection,' Fung said in an interview with CNA and Japan's Kyodo News. 'We eagerly hope that it will increase cultural exchanges between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Japan' and boost bilateral tourism, said Fung."
Conference to focus on the future of journalism - arabnews.com: "Media persons from around the world congregated in Seoul, S. Korea, on Sunday to discuss the future of journalism as the World Journalists Conference (WJC) will kick off in the city on Monday.
According to the organizers of the event, around hundred representatives of mass media from various countries are participating in the conference. Organized by the Journalists Association of Korea (JAK), the theme of the conference is 'peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula and global journalism' with focus on public diplomacy in the global age and objective reporting.'" Image from entry, with caption: Journalists Association of Korea (JAK) President Park Chong-ryul
Oz to aid film conservation - Kathik Subramanian, thehindu.com: "The office of the Australian Consul General in Chennai [India] has offered to lend a helping hand to the Tamil film fraternity in figuring out ways to preserve its rich heritage. Taking note of a news
report in The Hindu that only 100 of the earliest films in Tamil have found a place in the 2,000-plus films of the National Film Archive, the Australian Consul General for South India Sean Kelly has initiated a public diplomacy programme, bringing senior conservator Mick Newnham to the city to hold talks with various producers and trade bodies." Image from entry, with caption: Senior film conservator Mick Newnham from Australia was in the city
Ido Daniel, one of the #BringBackOurBoys campaign managers, talks strategy - Noga Gur-Arieh, jewishjournal.com: "On Thursday nights, three Israeli teenagers went missing in Judea and Samaria, and on Saturday night were officially announced kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. As the Israeli Defense Forces continue the search for Eyal (19) Gil-Ad (16) and Naftali (16,) a group of Israeli students ... Ido Daniel, one of students leading the campaign, talked to 'Israelife' about the idea behind the campaign, overcoming obstacles and not giving up on the three boys. 'The campaign launched on Friday, soon after the official statement saying the boys are presumed kidnapped. It is a collaboration between several students, Public Diplomacy activists.
I, for instance, work with the organization WhatIsrael. We gathered after noticing that the foreign media almost completely ignore the story. Under the 'Middle East' section on almost every major news website, there will be news about Iraq and the World Cup. Not a single word on the kidnap, because we’re facing a situation where Israel is the victim, not the aggressor.ts have launched a viral campaign to help raise awareness for the story, which got little coverage on foreign media. ...'"
Image from entry
Brazil: Campaign to combat sexual violence against minors during the football World Cup [Google "translation"] - A new campaign to educate the public about the sexual exploitation of minors in Brazil during the World Cup has been the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, launched on Wednesday (12).
The campaign 'Não Desvie o Olhar' (not look away) is ... explains ... that sexual exploitation is a criminal offense. ... [T]here are projects prepared for providing additional resources for cooperation with Brazil in various sectors, including climate change, renewable energy, public diplomacy, and trade and investment promotion." Image from entry
How Effective Is the BBG in 2014? –- Radio World asks - BBG Watcher, bbgwatch
Nation Branding Reconsidered - uscpublicdiplomacy.org: "[C]onceptually, the study of nation branding sits at the nexus of soft power, public diplomacy, and
brand communication, which naturally calls for an interdisciplinary approach to arriving at a theoretical synthesis." Image from
Can Obama pull a Nixon with the Iraq crisis? - Andrew J. Bacevich, Los Angeles Times: Ending the U. S. diplomatic estrangement from Iran could yield a strategic realignment, its effects rippling across the greater Middle East.
There, rather than in misguided proposals for renewed U.S. military action, lies Obama's chance to demonstrate that he has grasped the lessons that Iraq has to teach. Image from entry, with caption: Iraqi Shiite tribal fighters deploy with their weapons while chanting slogans against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
Only America Can Prevent a Disaster in Iraq: Without U.S. help, the civil war may spiral into a regional conflict as other countries, including Iran, intervene - L. Paul Bremer, Wall Street Journal: After a feckless and hesitant American policy against any intervention to stop Bashar Assad's slaughter in Syria, the Middle East region needs to see that we understand the risks by demonstrating a clear commitment to help restabilize Iraq.
Iraq highlights for Obama the threat of disengagement - Fred Hiatt, Washington Post: Now Iraq is disintegrating. Of course, as many commentators write, Iraq’s politicians are to blame. But if the United States had maintained a presence, it might have steered Iraqi politics in a more constructive direction.
In Iraq, Obama has a choice: Bad guys or bad government - Daniel Byman, Washington Post, posted at: Yes, the United States can and should offer more help to Iraq in exchange for social and electoral reforms. In the end, though, such efforts are likely to fail.
Are Attacks on America Coming? - David Ignatius, Washington Post, posted at: As al-Qaeda splits and morphs into different affiliates and offshoots, U.S. counterterrorism officials worry about what one calls a "potential competitive dynamic" in which different factions -- including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now sowing civil war in Iraq -- seek to bolster their credibility by attacking the United States.
This new danger of attacks on the U.S. homeland is what concerns the Obama administration most about the splintering process that has created ISIS, a group so extreme that it has been denounced by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the nominal leader of the core al-Qaeda group. Uncaptioned image from entry
How to Stabilize Iraq and Stop the March of ISIS - Room for Debate New York Times: Conflicts in Syria and Iraq have converged into a widening regional crisis spearheaded by a powerful extremist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Sunni militants have mounted their boldest offensive in Iraq since the departure of American troops at the end of 2011, driving the military forces from territory north and west of Baghdad and taking the cities of Mosul and Tikrit with little resistance. What can be done to stabilize Iraq and stop the march of extremist groups? What should the United States do to follow up on its military and economic commitments in the country?
The Fog Machine of War: Chelsea Manning on the U.S. Military and Media Freedom - Chelsea Manning, New York Times: The process of limiting press access to a conflict begins when a reporter applies for embed status. All reporters are carefully vetted by military public affairs officials. This system is far from unbiased. Unsurprisingly, reporters who have established relationships with the military are more likely to be granted access.
Less well known is that journalists whom military contractors rate as likely to produce “favorable” coverage, based on their past reporting, also get preference. This outsourced “favorability” rating assigned to each applicant is used to screen out those judged likely to produce critical coverage. Reporters who succeeded in obtaining embed status in Iraq were then required to sign a media “ground rules” agreement. Army public affairs officials said this was to protect operational security, but it also allowed them to terminate a reporter’s embed without appeal. Image from
Shouldn't Europe pay more for its own defense? - Graham Allison, Los Angeles Times: As the Ukraine crisis reminded Europe's leaders about threats on their continent, it is past time for Europeans to ask less what America can do for them, and more what they can do for European security.
Fighting Terrorism With More Money: Obama Counterterrorism Fund Needs a Broader Focus - Editorial, New York Times: If all goes according to President Obama’s plan, the United States will soon be making a major new investment of $5 billion so that other countries can help in the fight against extremists. Regardless of how sensible such a proposal might sound, many things can go wrong, and the new program already seems too heavily dependent on military responses. An emphasis has to be placed on good governance. There also needs to be investment in community projects, education and moderate groups that build civil society and discourage extremism. As Iraq demonstrates, just training troops to shoot and providing generals with expensive weapons will not address the threat.
Lifestyle: A look inside the training of the Diplomatic Security Corps [images with some text] - Washington Post
"[T]he base evokes the same odd feeling of America-on-another-planet as big bases in Iraq and Afghanistan that boast fast-food outlets. About 5,000 troops and civilians live and work here. You'll find McDonald's and Subway and a coffee house that's not quite Starbucks but serves its coffee. You can sip your latte in front of a view of the turquoise Caribbean and low mountains of Cuba."
--Tom Vanden Brook, "Gitmo: No place quite like it," USA Today
Image from; via AH on Facebook
AND EVEN MORE AMERICANA
From: quizony.com/which-us-state-should-you-live-in; via RB on Facebook
AND EVEN MORE, MORE AMERICANA
From: "This map shows every school shooting since Sandy Hook," vox.com; via Facebook