Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24 Public Diplomacy Review


"How Can You Help?uscpublicdiplomacy.org/story/support- -next-generation: "If you care as deeply as we do about equipping the next generation of public diplomacy practitioners, we ask you to please support CPD's Next Generation Initiative by making a donation to CPD's Annual Fund today. ...  gifts in any amount are welcome.  ... __ $100  __ $250  __ $500"; image from


Fouad Ajami, Commentator and Expert in Arab History, Dies at 68 - Douglas Martin, jenkinscontemporarymuslimbios.blogspot.com: "Ajami cautioned the United States about the likely negative consequences of the Iraq War. In a 2003 essay in Foreign Affairs, 'Iraq and the Arabs' Future,' Ajami wrote, ['] There should be no illusions about the sort of Arab landscape that America is destined to find if, or when, it embarks on a war against the Iraqi regime. There would be no 'hearts and minds' to be won in the Arab world, no public diplomacy that would convince the overwhelming majority of Arabs that this war would be a just war. An American expedition in the wake of thwarted UN inspections would be seen by the vast majority of Arabs as an imperial reach into their world, a favor to Israel, or a way for the United States to secure control over Iraq's oil. No hearing would be given to the great foreign power. ... But he also goes on to say: ['] America ought to be able to live with this distrust and discount a good deal of this anti-Americanism as the 'road rage' of a thwarted Arab world – the congenital condition of a culture yet to take full responsibility for its self-inflicted wounds.

There is no need to pay excessive deference to the political pieties and givens of the region. Indeed, this is one of those settings where a reforming foreign power's simpler guidelines offer a better way than the region's age-old prohibitions and defects. Ajami retained a positive view of the war three years later. In a 2006 book on the invasion and its aftermath, he described it as a noble effort, and argued that despite many unhappy consequences, it was too soon to write it off as a failure." Image from entry, with caption: Fouad Ajami in 1998. Image from

Fouad Ajami: A courageous scholar who was friendly to Israel: If Fouad Ajami had been brought into U.S. public diplomacy, perhaps the Obama administration wouldn’t now be stumbling in its support for the right of the Arab world for liberty - Seth Lipsky, haaretz.com: In 2007 the Sun [The New York Sun] urged President Bush to bring in Ajami as under-state secretary for public diplomacy. This was after Karen Hughes, a Bush crony, left the job. Clifford May of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy called Ajami’s candidacy the 'Last Chance for Public Diplomacy.' History doesn’t disclose her alternatives, but we wonder what might have been the impact had the job gone to Ajami. ... Seth Lipsky is editor of The New York Sun www.nysun.com."

Obama’s True Foreign-Policy ‘Weakness’ - consortiumnews.com: "President Obama has shied away from confronting Washington’s neocons who continue to exercise undue influence at think tanks, on op-ed pages and even inside Obama’s administration. With the new Iraq crisis, Obama’s timidity is coming back to haunt him. ... The neocons ... are skilled at the art of propaganda and 'information warfare.' Indeed, I first met Robert Kagan

when he was working as a propagandist in President Ronald Reagan’s Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America. Kagan was in charge of palming off propaganda 'themes' about Central America on a gullible Washington press corps. As a correspondent for the Associated Press and Newsweek, I dealt frequently with Kagan’s office and annoyed him and his team by subjecting their 'themes' to scrutiny and often revealing them to be either disinformation or hyperbole. Image from entry, with caption: Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan.

CUSIB urges management reforms at BBG - cusib.org: "At the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) board meeting in Miami, FL on June 20, 2014, Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) representatives, Ann Noonan and Ted Lipien, expressed their support for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) Radio and TV Marti journalists who, according to a ruling by a Federal Arbitrator, had been illegally dismissed in 2009 through management-imposed Reductions in Force (RIFs). Noonan and Lipien called for major management reforms at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). They had met earlier in Miami with five of the dismissed OCB journalists. They learned subsequently that the BBG may no longer challenge in court legal decisions in favor of the dismissed OCB journalists, but the final implementation of these rulings has not yet taken place and the broadcasters have not yet returned to work."

Avant-Garde Art of Selling - loziodamerica.wordpress.com; "It’s been fifty years to this day since Robert Rauschenberg became the first American ever to win the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale of Arts. And so it was that on June 20, 1964, Pop Art swept the international art scene and changed it for ever.

Backed by a clique of art dealers, museum curators, and wealthy collectors, Pop Art had enjoyed swift success in the United States in the previous couple of years and was already a transnational phenomenon, with ramifications in the avant-garde movements of other Western countries, including Italy itself, but it was launched globally as an all-American brand thanks to the fundamental support of the United States Information Agency, an arm of Washington’s public diplomacy, which organized the US exhibition at the 1964 Venice Biennale, immediately dubbed 'the Pop Biennale.'" Uncaptioned image from entry

From ‘soft power’ to ‘economic diplomacy’ - Roopa Desai Trilokekar, universityworldnews.com: "September 11, 2001 dramatically changed the landscape of international education in the US, and is often referred to as a ‘period of crisis’. International education came to be viewed by the US federal government as a risk to national security. ... Paradoxically, post 9/11, international educational and exchange programmes in the US received a boost through its federal government’s public diplomacy efforts to strengthen America’s image and understanding in the world while also increasing America’s understanding of the rest of the world.

Hillary Clinton’s talk in Austin could presage a future in the White House - dailytexanonline.com: "On Friday, Hillary Clinton addressed the people of Austin at the Long Center as part of a promotional series for her newly-released memoir, 'Hard Choices.' The former secretary of state and US Senator signed books, answered questions and opened up to Austinites about everything from Indonesian talk shows to the future of public diplomacy. ... It is people, not policy.

It is relations, not legislation. Though this passive and passionate side to Clinton may simply be another cog in her political agenda-setting machine — it seems that this wiser, softer Clinton might just see her day in the Oval Office, after all." Image from entry, with caption: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about her new book "Hard Choices" on Friday, June 20, 2014, in Austin, Texas.

Myrtle Beach mayor travels to China to participate in forum - myrtlebeachonline.com: "Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes will return on Wednesday from his second trip to China this year. Rhodes traveled to Shanghai as a speaker at the third annual conference of World Cultural Forum in Shanghai. He said he was invited to speak about public diplomacy and developing Chinese and foreign relations, and that the conference sponsor picked up the cost of the trip. ... In March, Rhodes

went with Bill Golden, president of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, to the Iagto Golf Tourism Convention to meet with golf travel agents and learn what Myrtle Beach can do to become more marketable to the Chinese golfer." Image from entry, with caption: Mayor John Rhodes looks toward the city attorney during a City Council meeting in May. Rhodes has traveled to China for the second time this year.

On Abbas, Netanyahu moves slowly from ‘No’ to ‘Yes, but’: The PM was unmoved when the PA chief condemned the Holocaust, and was critical too, at first, when Abbas weighed in against the kidnapping. But he’s changed tone, a little, this week - Raphael Ahren, timesofisrael.com: "Yoaz Hendel, who served as Netanyahu’s media advisor in 2011 and today chairs the Institute for Zionist Strategies, a right-leaning think-tank, likewise said that it was a mistake for Israel’s leadership to give Abbas the cold shoulder when he makes statements that are welcomed by liberal Israelis and the rest of the world.

'It’s a struggle of public diplomacy. It’s always better to say ‘yes, but’ than ‘no, even though.’ Still, in the end it’s a tactical question, not one of substance,' Hendel said. 'Both Abbas and Netanyahu want to score points – it’s a battle for the consciousness.'” Image from entry, with caption: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, September 15, 2010.

Widow of police officer: Death sentence for terrorists - israelhayom.com: "Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) called for Israel to 'increase pressure on Hamas in every way possible to bring back the three kidnapped teens and catch their abductors. Public diplomacy efforts should stress the fact that [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas is covering for Hamas, a terrorist organization that he chose to enter a political alliance with,' Sa'ar said."

‘I wouldn’t call it England anymore!’ - biasedbbc.org: "The BBC run this bit of anti-Israeli propaganda: The Christian family refusing to give up its Bethlehem hill farm [.] Lots of emotive language and phrasing used by the BBC to create a sense that the Israelis are oppressing these people, these victims. The BBC could have saved a lot of time and effort and just recycled this old trope:

A picture is worth a thousand words…..and that pretty much sums up the BBC’s article. ... deegee says: June 19, 2014 at 8:38 am With all the blather about Christians in the holyland the BBC misses three important issues. Firstly, Christians have been deeply involved in Palestinian Nationalism from the earliest days. This was explained to me once that realising they could never achieve equality or even protection in a Muslim society they aimed to be recognised as ethnic Arabs in a secular society. You could argue that the Christians (or at least some) were Palestinians long before the Muslims realised it would help them in the propaganda war to adopt the label. Secondly, the peace and love vibe is not typical of Christians in the area. Apart from those who actively joined terrorist groups (George Habash who lead PFLP, for example) other Christian groups are active participants in the public diplomacy war such as Kairos. Thirdly, as perhaps most importantly, despite Christian efforts to prove their loyalty to Palestine and the propaganda advantages to Arafat and later Abbas to acknowledge this their population is shrinking quickly especially in areas under Palestinian control. Land grabs by the thugs of the Authority are well known and unlike those dealing with Israel they have no real recourse to the justice system."

State funding to non-Orthodox: Advocates for religious pluralism of various Jewish denominations call for equitable distribution of government budget - Ben Sales, timesofisrael.com: "Yesh Atid lawmaker Aliza Lavie, a member of the Knesset’s Religion and State Caucus, said the core strength of liberal Jewish groups in Israel comes from grassroots activism, not government funding. 'It’s supported from the ground up,' Lavie said. 'It didn’t bloom in the Education Ministry or the Public Diplomacy Ministry. It came from a generation asking questions.'”

Activists Aiming to Steer Israeli Government Funding to Non-Orthodox - 12gates.org: Yizhar Hess, the CEO of the Israeli Conservative movement, says that as long as the Orthodox government monopoly exists, that’s precisely the tactic liberal Jewish groups should embrace. 'In Israel there isn’t separation of religion and state, so we must make sure that there will be equal funding to the different streams and aspects of diverse Jewish life,' he said. But others see the growth of non-Orthodox Jewish life as separate from state investment. Yesh Atid lawmaker Aliza Lavie, a member of the Knesset’s Religion and State Caucus, said the core strength of liberal Jewish groups in Israel comes from grassroots activism, not government funding. 'It’s supported from the ground up,' Lavie said. 'It didn’t bloom in the Education Ministry or the Public Diplomacy Ministry. It came from a generation asking questions.'”

The other 414 potentially disallowable spending items: take your pick - catallaxyfiles.com: "412.001 Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations [:] Objectives : ... (d) to deliver high-quality public diplomacy, international media and cultural visit programs, which improve understanding of Australia and Australian Government foreign and trade policies ... 412.003 [:] Public Information Services and Public Diplomacy [:] Objectives: (a) to project a positive and contemporary image of Australia and promote a clear understanding of government policies and objectives through the Department’s public diplomacy, cultural and media activities cultural and media activities and through providing an independent, creditable and reliable voice and image in the region."

Twelve Agencies to Hire Interns This Summer - nextgov.com: "A dozen federal agencies have signed on to a virtual internship program run through the State Department that fields out special agency projects to American college students. The Virtual Student Foreign Service eInternship program, which launched in 2009 by State and U.S. Agency for International Development, received 315 requests from federal agencies for e-interns this year, a record number compared to the 276 requests in 2013. Last year, State and USAID welcomed participation from three other foreign-affairs agencies – the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Agriculture and Commerce departments – as well as the Smithsonian Institution and the Education and Interior departments. Agencies this year are putting more emphasis on digital, with projects focused on digital storytelling and training, visualizing and analyzing datasets and in-depth research, Bridget Roddy, program manager for the VSFS program, told Wired Workplace. "VSFS is a key tool to drive innovation, support new initiatives and bring in fresh ideas and perspectives, all with zero cost to the participating agency,' she said. The 315 projects available this year include work in research, computer programming, graphic design, journalism, data analysis, social media, finance, blogging, STEM, food security, public diplomacy and law. ... The 320 projects will be posted on the VSFS website at the end of June."

Savory Serendipity.... - yummymummyandme.blogspot.com: "Sometimes, it's the simplest things that give us the biggest smiles. And for a foodie that often means a surprise meal. So imagine the joy when I received a box of home made Malaysian nasi tomato with chicken and achar. Sweet serendipity.... thanks to my friends at the Malaysian Consulate in Karachi - Mr and Mrs Abu Bakar Mamat. How's that for diplomacy? Tomato rice is usually reserved for festive occasions like Hari Raya (Eid) or weddings. The rice is flavored with tomatoe puree and spices and usually served with a chicken curry - Ayam Masak Merah (red chicken). There's public diplomacy. There's culinary diplomacy. And then there's Malaysian diplomacy.

The Malaysians in Karachi seem to be have culinary diplomacy down to an art. The average Malaysian's passion for food is represented in the way they engage with Pakistanis with generosity and respect. And Ramzan is the perfect season to experience this passion for food in Malaysia. However, this year, we will get to experience some of that distinctly Malaysian flair for food at a weekly Ramzan Bazar filled with Malaysian delicacies. What, where, when and how? Stay tuned!" Image from entry

Job Vacancy For Communications Manager At British High Commission (BHC) - "The British High Commission (BHC), Accra has a vacancy, as Communications Manager within the Political and Public Affairs Team, to help deliver BHC Accra’s bilateral and regional objectives as set out in our internal Country Business Plan. The Communications Manager will support the BHC’s communications work, and the High Commissioner directly, to promote the UK Government’s engagement in Ghana and the region. Main elements of the job: • Design and oversee a communications/public diplomacy strategy (including public advocacy campaigns) that helps to deliver HMG’s objectives in Ghana and the region. Engaging with HMG teams represented in Ghana, including DFID and the British Council, to project the UK in Ghana."


Poll Finds Dissatisfaction Over Iraq - Michael D. Shear and Dalia Sussman, New York Times: The poll found that 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Mr. Obama is handling foreign policy, a jump of 10 points in the last month to the highest level since Mr. Obama took office in 2009. Despite the unhappiness about Mr. Obama’s leadership, 51 percent of those surveyed, including Republicans, Democrats and independents, said they supported his recent decision to send 300 military advisers to Iraq.

Ten Reasons Airstrikes in Iraq are a Terrible Idea - Peter Van Buren, wemeantwell.com: 1) Air strikes will not resolve anything significant. 2) But air strikes now are crucial to buying the Iraqi government time to seek a political solution. 3) John Kerry flying around the world diplomizing on Iraq is an air strike of its own.

4) Air strikes are surgical. 5) Air strikes are not a counterinsurgency tool. 6) Air strikes mean the U.S. is taking sides in a pit bull fight. 7) Air strikes are just more of “whack-a-mole” foreign policy. 8) But air strikes are necessary because the U.S. must “do something.” 9) ISIS is a threat to the U.S. and has to be air struck to stop another 9/11. Uncaptioned image from entry

To contain ISIS, think Iraq -- but also think Syria - Dennis Ross, Los Angeles Times: It is time for the United States to assume the responsibility of quarterbacking the entire assistance effort to ensure that more meaningful aid — lethal, training, intelligence, money and humanitarian — not only gets to those who are fighting both ISIS and the Assad regime but is fully coordinated and complementary. The broader point is that Washington's actions toward ISIS now must be taken with both Iraq and Syria in mind and be guided by a strategy geared toward weakening those forces that threaten the U.S. and its regional friends. The more we take this approach and highlight the costs to Iran of its current posture, the more the Iranians may see that their interests could be served by a political outcome of greater balance in Syria and Iraq.

The ‘ungrateful volcano’ of Iraq - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post:  In 1922, Winston Churchill, then Britain’s colonial secretary, said this about Iraq: “At present we are paying eight millions a year for the privilege of living on an ungrateful volcano out of which we are in no circumstances to get anything worth having.” Churchill was right. Despite the sacrifice of so much U.S. blood and treasure, the “ungrateful volcano” looks ready to blow.

A questionable game of 'shut up' on Iraq - Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times: Obama's approach to postwar Iraq is that he cared almost solely about the postwar part and very little about the Iraq part. He was so determined to fulfill his promise to end the war that he didn't put much thought into what would happen after we got out. That has all but guaranteed the war will remain a mistake.

U.S. needs to press Egypt -- on freedom of the press and other rights - Editorial, Los Angeles Times: Unfortunately, both the administration and many in Congress have been far too wiling to give Egypt the benefit of the doubt, attaching more importance to strategic issues — including Egypt's continued observance of a peace treaty with Israel — than to human rights or political legitimacy. The U.S. should press Egypt President Abdel Fattah Sisi

to send a different message to the courts and to his countrymen — beginning with clemency for Al Jazeera's journalists sentenced to lengthy prison terms on trumped-up terrorism-related charges. Image from entry, with caption: Egypt President Abdel Fattah Sisi and Secretary of State John Kerry talk before a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Cairo.

More Egyptian Injustice: Alarming Convictions of Al Jazeera Journalists in Egypt - Editorial, New York Times: The conviction of three journalists by an Egyptian court on Monday for doing their jobs is the latest effort by the country’s military-backed rulers to crush all dissent. The alarming verdict sends a chilling and intimidating message not just to other journalists working in the country but to Egyptian citizens as well. The United States has interests in maintaining a relationship with Egypt to ensure that it honors the peace treaty with Israel, allows American ships to transit the Suez Canal and cooperates on counterterrorism, an issue of growing importance given the success of Sunni militants in Iraq. But Egypt benefits from ties with America, too. More than 16,000 people are in jail for political reasons and more than 1,000 have been killed during protests. This brutality could produce the same result in Egypt as it has in Iraq, exacerbating sectarian divisions and empowering a radical fringe

Beware Libya’s ‘Fair Dictator’ - Ibrahim Sharqieh J, New York Times: A Libyan general, Khalifa Hifter, has emerged and appointed himself as the rescuer of the deeply divided country. Washington must be careful. Openly accommodating or indirectly supporting a new strongman so soon after Libya overthrew its longtime dictator will not only undermine a democratic transition but also exacerbate America’s credibility deficit in the Middle East. The United States should instead put pressure on General Hifter to use his power to support an inclusive national dialogue that can eventually forge a new social contract and put Libya on a track toward peace and reconciliation.

Taking Thailand to task for high-seas slavery - Editorial, Los Angeles Times: Human trafficking is a difficult issue to resolve, and Thailand is by no means the only nation with culpability. That any consumer can reach into the freezer and touch slavery makes others complicit in the process, even if unwittingly. Only sustained international action will curb trafficking; the State Department is right to call the Thai government to task, and it should continue to press the case.

Throwing a Wrench In Russia’s Propaganda Machine - James Miller - interpretermag.com: RT, also known as Russia Today (that’s not entirely accurate anymore, but it’s a long story), is the English-language Russian media Goliath which has a lot to boast about. A 2012 Pew Research poll found that RT had the most Youtube videos of any news agency on the planet. The Kremlin-operated agency is now available to more than 86 million cable subscribers in the United States alone, and boasts over 1 million Facebook “likes,” adding to its more than one billion Youtube channel views and more than one million Youtube   subscribers. While it’s easy to dismiss the channel as a propaganda outlet (it is) with no real credibility, the fact is that it appeals to wide segments of the populace spanning both the East and the West. In countries with democratic systems that are already bitterly divided over politics and policy, influencing just a small part of the populace could be enough to tip the scales and change the course of geopolitics.  It is curious, then, that The Interpreter – a magazine which is barely a year old (RT was established in 2005), has an extremely small staff (RT has over 2,000 staffers), and runs on a tight budget (donate here because, in contrast, RT is given more than $300 million each year by the Kremlin) — should increasingly come under attack by some of the network’s staff members and television guests. Image from entry

Who is behind Isis's terrifying online propaganda operation? - Patrick Kingsley, theguardian.com: The extremist jihadist group leading the insurgency against the Iraqi government is using apps, social media and even a feature-length movie to intimidate enemies, recruit new followers and spread its message.

And its rivals – including foreign governments – are struggling to keep up.
Isis's media output is not all barbaric. Much of its propaganda is frightening: Swords IV showed Isis's captives literally digging their own graves, while on Twitter Isis has posted images of a cold-blooded massacre of Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown. But other Isis messaging focuses on its social activity – photos of supporters bringing in the harvest, or delivering food shipments. Members recently distributed an earnest English-language newsletter – a well-designed PDF since deleted from the internet – documenting the often dull details of their community work. If Isis's work seems planned and professional, that's because it is, says Abu Bakr al-Janabi, the Isis supporter in Iraq. Image from entry

Ansar al Islam releases propaganda photos showing operations in Iraq - longwarjournal.org: "al Islam (AAI), a jihadist group founded in northern Iraq in September 2001, has released a set of photographs purportedly showing its ongoing operations. Since the latest rebel offensive against the Iraqi government began earlier this month, AAI has launched attacks against the military and police.

In posts on its official Twitter feed on June 12, AAI claimed 14 attacks." Image from entry, with caption: In the second photo, AAI shows a "liberated" region in Kirkuk and claims that nine "brothers" were wounded in its operations there.

CIA Copies Star Wars for Aborted Osama bin Laden Propaganda Doll - hyperallergic.com:  American propaganda has come a long way since genteel writer Peter Mathieesen founded The Paris Review as part of his CIA gig in postwar France. The Washington Posttoday reported that the intelligence agency tapped Donald Levine, the seasoned former Hasbro executive responsible for G.I. Joe, to create a demonic Osama bin Laden toy for distribution in Pakistan or Afghanistan. (Not the first time G.I. Joe has been implicated in the condescending manipulation of kids!)

Though the project was ultimately scrapped,  the paper obtained images of the preposterous prototypes created for the agency’s consideration: A Chinese artist took publicly available photographs of bin Laden and created an image that was strikingly close in appearance to the al-Qaeda leader. The final prototype was dressed in traditional garb and packaged in a cheap box covered with plastic and presented to the CIA for approval. Levine was said to have been pleased with the final bin Laden product. Given this origin story, bin Laden’s makeover as Darth Maul seems to be a clear-cut artifact of Chinese “copy culture.” Curiously, the Washington Post does not note the striking resemblance to the Star Wars character, pictured above. Star Wars creator George Lucas has described the character’s appearance as "a figure from your worst nightmare." The concept itself reportedly unites the appearance of flayed flesh, African tribal face painting, and Rorschach inkblots. The Darth Maul character was introduced in the Star Wars franchise’s 1999 Episode I, and is the copyrighted intellectual property of George Lucas’s Lucasfilm. Though cultural propaganda might be relatively innocuous compared to other intelligence strategies, it is of course carried out covertly by the CIA and other government agencies, and the Washington Post notes that “[l]ittle is known about the kind of influence operations the CIA has run since the Sept. 11, 2001.” Image from entry, with caption: At left, CIA-commissioned Osama Bin Laden toy obtained by the Washington Post; at right, Darth Maul of ‘Star Wars’ fame. 

Group of authors including two Nobel laureates condemns Russian Federation's 'waves of propaganda' against free expression - Alison Flood, theguardian.com:  Russian authorities are "using words to destroy meaning", according to a high-profile group of writers, including two Nobel literature laureates, who have come together to condemn what they called the "waves of propaganda" emanating from the country, in the wake of the "incessant acts of aggression towards Ukraine from the side of the Russian Federation".

North Korea: Kim Jong-un's latest propaganda video reveals 'Russian cruise missile' - independent.co.uk: There is now debate as to how the country could have obtained the fast sea-skimming missile. If it was exported directly from Moscow this would breach the embargo put in place on Pyongyang, although it could also have been acquired from Myanmar or the black market, the BBC reports.

North Korea expert Jeffrey Lewis wrote on the 38 North website that the missile would be a "potentially destabilising addition to North Korea's missile arsenal.

“Hello! This is Liberty Speaking” – The Propaganda of WW I - Tracy Mueller:
100 years ago, on June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated by a Bosnian-Serb student. One month later Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia in retaliation, launching World War I. The fighting continued for four years and killed 10 million servicemen.

While industrialized weapons like machine guns, tanks and poison gas fought on the battlefields, the war back home for civilians’ hearts, minds and money was waged with dramatic propaganda posters appealing to patriotism and emotion. UT’s Harry Ransom Center maintains an enormous collection of these iconic posters, some of which are on display in the exhibition The World at War, 1914-1918, which runs through Aug. 3. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Even more of the posters can be viewed on the Ransom Center’s digital collection website."

Thee Gory and Groteque Art of Soviet Antireligious Propaganda -dangerousminds.net: The images below are from the Soviet anti-religious magazine, Bezbozhnik, which translates to “Atheist” or “The Godless.” It ran from 1922 to 1941, and its daily edition, “The Godless at the Workplace,” ran from 1923 to 1931. The scathing publication was founded by the League of Militant Atheists, an organization of the Soviet Communist Party members, members of its youth league, workers and veterans, so while it was in many ways a party project, it was not state-sponsored satire. The Soviet Union adopted a formal position of state-atheism after the revolution but it wasn’t a clean break. The expropriation of church property and the murder or persecution of clergy was certainly the most obvious supplantation of power, but the USSR was a giant mass of land, most of it rural and much of it pious, so the cultural crusade against religion was an ongoing campaign for the hearts and minds of citizens who might resist a sudden massive secularization. The monstrous, violent art you see below depicted religion as the enemy of the worker and footman to capitalism. You’ll notice a wide array of religions depicted, as the USSR was very religiously diverse. Image from entry, with caption: Mocking the “piety” of racist America with the title, “God’s country”

London show accused of “gay bestiality propaganda” - london24.com: Over 1,000 people have signed a petition accusing a controversial play - Sex With Animals - of being “shameful subliminal propaganda of bestiality and zoophilia”. The introduction to the petition, created by animal rights supporter

George Gilbert, says: “It is absolutely horrifying and disgusting that a play of this name has been staged in the name of exploration of animal sexuality.” Image from entry, with caption: The controversial show's star, Ryan the bisexual lion


From; via MAA on Facebook

No comments: