Several noteworthy links for your review are below the fold.

Public Diplomacy is not Public Relations, in case you missed it

The Expeditionary Imperative by John Nagl (h/t GK)

As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has noted, the national security community continues to devote the vast majority of its resources to preparing for conventional state- on- state conflicts, but “the most likely catastrophic threats to our homeland— for example, an American city poisoned or reduced to rubble by a terrorist attack— are more likely to emanate from failing states than from aggressor states.” For that reason, Gates has been a vocal advocate of increasing the resources devoted to accomplishing U.S. objectives abroad without relying on military power. In what he describes as a “man bites dog” moment in political Washington, he has argued outspokenly for reinforcements for his comrades in arms in other departments, including Justice, Agriculture, and Commerce….

The already underfunded State Department was in no position to devote money to the information fight, and the department’s culture of reporting on foreign countries’ policies is in direct opposition to the very idea of public diplomacy, which focuses on changing, rather than merely talking about, the actions of foreign governments. As a result of these misguided organizational decisions, American efforts to fight the global war of ideas are badly coordinated and often contradictory. How many of our friends and allies abroad, or even our own citizens, realize that the extremists we are fighting in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces have thrown acid in the faces of girls who dare to attend school? While the insurgents regularly present exaggerated claims of American “atrocities,” we consistently fail to “be first with the truth” in explaining our efforts to help the local populations and how those efforts contrast with the horrific brutality of our enemies.

Revolution, Facebook-Style by Samantha Shapiro

As the street protests went on, young Egyptians also were mobilizing and venting their anger over Gaza on what would, until recently, have seemed an unlikely venue:Facebook, the social-networking site. In most countries in the Arab world, Facebook is now one of the 10 most-visited Web sites, and in Egypt it ranks third, after Google and Yahoo. About one in nine Egyptians has Internet access, and around 9 percent of that group are on Facebook — a total of almost 800,000 members. This month, hundreds of Egyptian Facebook members, in private homes and at Internet cafes, have set up Gaza-related “groups.”

Same as No Mas FARC? Depends on who you ask.

Learn English the Obama way by Preeti Aroon

Barack Obama’s speeches are proving to be more than just moving. They’re providing English lessons to many Japanese. The English-language textbook, The Speeches of Barack Obama, has become a bestseller in Japan, topping the list at Amazon’s Japanese Web site. The 1,050 yen ($11.81), 95-page paperback book features Obama speeches with Japanese translations. Yuzo Yamamoto of Asahi Press, which published the book, told Reuters:

His speeches are so moving, and he also uses words such as ‘yes, we can,’ ‘change’ and ‘hope’ that even Japanese people can memorize.

To Combat Obama, Al-Qaeda Hurls Insults by Joby Warrick

"The leadership of al-Qaeda is very concerned about the wide support that Obama has been receiving from Arab and Muslim countries," Katz said. "To combat this threat, al-Qaeda has embarked on a propaganda campaign against Obama, not only by linking him to the policies of the Bush administration, including the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, but also by accusing him of actions in which he had no part."

See also Ayman al-Zawahiri’s racial epithet 

The World War That Never Happened: US Occupies USSR

In its edition of 27 October 1951, the US magazine Collier’s devoted a special 130-page issue to a theme titled “Russia’s Defeat and Occupation, 1952-1960; Preview of the War We Do Not Want.” The cover showed an American soldier in a helmet emblazoned with US and UN insignia, and the text Occupation Forces.

Inside, Collier’s Magazine devoted 60,000 words to the hypothetical aftermath of a Third World War, to start in 1952, in which the US and UN would defeat the Soviet Union. The articles described, among others, an “A-Bomb Mission to Moscow” (in which the famous broadcaster Edward R. Murrow detailed his part in the B-36 raid that destroyed the Soviet capital).

In the introduction, Collier’s proclaimed that it had chosen this theme: “To warn the evil masters of the Russian people that their conspiracy to enslave humanity is the dark, downhill road to World War III; to sound a powerful call for reason and understanding between the people’s of East and West — before it’s too late; to demonstrate that if the war we do not want is forced upon us, we will win.”

The Hidden Networks of Twitter by Zen Pundit

…if the IC or military or law enforcement are worried about terrorists or criminals using twitter or Facebook for nefarious purposes, the bad guys will not be a
ble to conceal their cells amidst a large list of nominal “friends” because their manic activity stands out like neon lights against the passivity of the non-members of the network.

2 thoughts on “Noteworthy

  1. The Colliers is good.I’ve been frantically hunting the web for copies of the old civil defense manuals they gave away at police stations and elsewhere that showed how to build simple fallout shelters out of a 55 gallon steel drum, or by burying your car (don’t get me started…), adding snorkel tube, some rations/blankets and Presto!
    However, there IS this

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