January 31, 2011

Engage in Culture’s Vital Importance

Too common in international relations, the importance of culture is belittled. But as Mark Twain reminds us, “culture is what is left after everything else is forgotten.” Conceptualizing public diplomacy has a great amount to do with culture particularly, as Geoffrey Cowan and Amelia Arsenault point out, when interpreting monolithic texts. They argue, “Messages designed for domestic or private consumption may well reach international audiences who will interpret (or misinterpret) them according to their own experiences, cultures, and political needs” (Cowan and Arsenault, 14). For this exact reason, while the authors weigh the values and limitations to the use of monologues, they articulate that dialogue and collaboration are both more engaging. Dialogue, also called “a conversation of cultures”, is an opportunity to exchange ideas between two parties, which ultimately could create greater understanding of each party involved. Collaboration is then the next step. When parties collaborate, they build bonds through collective action towards a cause.

In order to attract dialogue and collaboration, Eytan Gilboa notes the importance of creating a brand state. He cites Ham as offering that branding “implies a shift in political paradigms from the modern world of geopolitics and power to the postmodern world of images and influence” (Gilboa, 67). Furthermore, Gilboa clearly states, “Without branding they [states] would not be able to attract investments, tourists, companies, and factories; expand exports; and reach higher standards of living.” (Gilboa, 67). These brand states and cities, rated by Simon Anholt, seemingly have established images. However, images of a state or city are never static. Moreover, they are constantly in flux, especially when there is political, economic, and/or social unrest. How a state or city is perceived is greatly dependent on context of the environment.

Multilateral public diplomacy still has its limitations, particularly when voices prepared for dialogue and collaboration are ignored similar to what happened in Copenhagen during the 2009 global climate change forum. State branding and city branding, when properly embedded within the “layers” or communication methods of public diplomacy, can positively or negatively influence a targeted audience. Today, Egypt is experiencing political unrest and turmoil. For the safety reasons, students from many educational institutions are being evacuated from the country. With new conflict comes new responsibility to respond effectively and to rebrand each state’s response to crisis. Does pulling students out of Egypt send the right message that Americans support the Arab people? Only time will tell how fast American students are sent to study there again to continue dialogue and learn more about Egyptian culture. One thing is for sure- culture is the foundation from which communication is built. So understanding it and listening to what foreign publics are communicating is vital to the success of exchanges made, whether they concern “hard power” or “soft power”.

More on Egypt (Part III)

(Cross-posted from Global Chaos)

Those of you regularly stopping by Global Chaos know that I've been watching the developments in Egypt closely. With a "march of millions" planned for Tuesday and Mubarak seemingly making "in-advance concessions" (promising that the army will not shoot at the protesters and trying to start talks with the opposition), it seems like the momentum is not dying down. Yet, it is important to note that Mubarak is obviously not planning on leaving, while the people are determined to go beyond just a simple government "reshuffle".

Tahrir Square, January 31. Courtesy of Foreign Policy Magazine.

With such a crisis on hand and all the mounting international pressure, one would think that the Egyptian authorities would put some serious effort into trying to manage the story and the perceptions abroad. Needless to say, they are failing miserably.

Firstly, of course, there's the domestic side of the info management. Having shut down essentially all communication networks - including the Internet and mobile services - the government also closed down the Al Jazeera bureau in Cairo, revoked all AJ reporters' licenses, and even briefly detained six of their journalists on Sunday. (Kudos to State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley who devoted 140 characters earlier today to condemn this move by the Egyptian authorities, on Twitter.) They had blocked Al Jazeera's broadcasts in the country earlier (as had, reportedly, several other countries in the region), by which they had hoped to break the enthusiasm of the protesters. Obviously, they were wrong, and if anything, this move only shows the significance of Al Jazeera's reporting.

Instead, the Egyptian State TV offered various "alternative" news, such as the swearing in of the new government, captured here by CBS.

Yet, perhaps the most prominent ridiculousness by the Egyptian State TV happened back on Friday, at the height of the initial protests. While Al Jazeera was broadcasting live pictures of tens (hundreds?) of thousands gathered downtown Cairo, the State TV was showing a laser show at Cairo Tower. (If I were to tweet this, it would certainly deserve the "#epicfail" hashtag...!)

Image from YFrog via @OctaviaNasr.

Furthermore, today morning Al Jazeera mentioned in their live coverage that the State TV also broadcast some pictures of the mass demonstrations, while claiming that they are pro-Mubarak. Do they really think their own people are that stupid? It also seems like he has bought into all the media-and-tweet hype regarding the situation, ignoring the spontaneous nature of the uprising. Yes, without all these communications and information it might be difficult to coordinate and organize better, but the fact that mass demonstrations are planned for tomorrow (Tuesday) too, shows that people will get to the streets anyway.

But that aside, let's look at Mubarak's current "public diplomacy" disaster. Shutting down Al Jazeera's Cairo bureau on Sunday was essentially meant to prevent the network from broadcasting abroad. After all, it has become the source to turn to "on all things Egypt" these days (especially its English-language programming), revealing all that is going on in Egypt for real and framing headlines and perceptions all over the world. Not only doesn't Egypt have an international English-language broadcaster of its own (to at least try and put its own version of the story out there), but it cannot even start hoping that it could ever manage to beat the reach and the credibility enjoyed by Al Jazeera.

Image courtesy of Foreign Policy Magazine.

Nonetheless, there are exceptions to Mubarak's impotence. For example, he can always rely on Fox News or Netanyahu to sell his own side of the story to the American public...

More importantly, there are several major lobbying and PR companies, that had been long employed by the Egyptian government, to do the "DC-job" on its behalf. Of course, here we are not really talking about public diplomacy per se, and yet, influencing congressional decision-makers themselves constitutes an essential part of the country's image-management efforts. Salon's "War Room" featured an article several days ago detailing some of these long-standing agreements, which were later laid out - in graphics - by Muckety.

It's noteworthy that there have been cases, in the past, where lobbyists have dropped their clients over major political crises. Would all these companies do the same now, though? Would they truly stand up for the protection of all the values and principles America has been so enthusiastically promoting all these years?

The Mubarak regime might have deep ties with the American government, no matter who heads the administration; and yet, at the moment, it seems like the Egyptian people's public diplomacy - whether within the "New Public Diplomacy" concept, or just that promoted by Al Jazeera (still reporting, even if "illegally") - is working better than the government's one in terms of winning public support internationally.

And just to leave you with a laugh that went viral (rather, resurfaced) earlier today:

Note the location of "Egypt". From a Fox News cast two years ago. (Why am I not surprised?!) Read more on Huffington Post.

UPDATE [2/1/2011; 8:00AM]: Some of the latest images and updates from Al Jazeera. Seems like even the telephone services are down now, and yet the flow on people in Cairo has not stopped.

January 30, 2011

Egypt in turmoil: a test of U.S. public diplomacy

With Egypt in turmoil and Tunisia facing an uncertain political future, the United States is facing the greatest challenge to its public diplomacy in the Arab world. For its strategic interests and to keep oil flowing, the U.S. has always supported dictators, autocrats and monarchs in the Middle East, much to the chagrin of common people.
Hosni Mubarak, who seems to be on his last leg, ruled Egypt for no less than 28 years with full support from the U.S. (Egypt has been the largest U.S. aid recipient after Israel.) Started in Tunisia earlier this month, people's uprising is giving sleepless nights to monarchs and dictators in the Arab world.
But the U.S. seems nonplussed because it always cultivated relations with Arab rulers instead of Arab people. President Barack Obama's earlier response was that "the U.S. is not taking sides in Egypt" (as quoted by NPR) when Mubarack still seemed to be strong. However, now that the dictator's fall seems fairly certain, the U.S. president says the people of Egypt have the rights to peaceful assembly and association, to free speech and to determine their own fate.
In other words, now the U.S. stands by the people of Egypt, not Mubarak on whom Washington always counted. Mubarak and others like him in Middle East have never allowed opposition to organize and groom an alternative leadership. That is the reason that in Tunisia things are murky, Egypt is facing uncertainty while the rest of Arab countries are having their fingers crossed.
Some commentators call it "people's revolution" unfolding, but who are going to replace the dictators? The only opposition force in Middle East are Islamists/fundamentalists apart from army. This is the challenge that the U.S. is facing. If Islamic Brotherhood swings into action to lead anti-Mubarak uprising, how the U.S. will respond? If army topples the Mubarak regime and impose martial law, what options the U.S. has in such a scenario? If elections are held and these Islamists come to power, how the U.S. will react?
To stave off anti-American feelings in the streets of Middle East, the U.S. has to use its "soft power" by living up to its political values and letting not its foreign policy undercut its cultural values. Now that anti-Americanism is at its peak in Muslim world, it is because the U.S. compromised its public diplomacy for strategic and political expediencies. There has been contradictions between its foreign policy and other tools of its public diplomacy namely cultural and political values.
Crises also bring opportunities in their wake, and the U.S. has now this rare opportunity to stand by the Arab people to chose their future.

Egypt: public diplomacy and social networking

There was a fascinating article in the New York Times that echoes the past week's discussion, especially Kelley's “Between Take-Offs and Crash Landings” article describing the need for public diplomacy strategy as a part of regular diplomatic relations. While the US has been a major source of funding for the Egyptian military and an overall ally of Mubarak, “Calling for Restraint, Pentagon Faces Test of Influence With Ally” brings up the major lack of focus on public diplomacy from the US point of view.

Despite the amount of money and support provided by the US, that cash can't necessarily be turned into political sway. While US political aims in support a known ally or supporting a new democratic uprising are questionable right now, Obama is missing out on good public relations with the Middle East in not giving a clear statement on the US position. More than that, it shows how little influence the US might have in making requests of an ally and funding recipient, leaving our public diplomacy strategy lacking indeed.

An expert on the Egyptian military at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said of Egypt: “They will listen. But this is a very proud group of people. The fact that they will listen doesn’t mean we can in any way leverage them.” If cash isn't fungible into political sway, then what short of trade embargos and funding cuts could influence Mubarak? Obama has to balance between supporting the government and Mubarak, and a democratic movement, “and the military relationship could be crucial in that effort.”

As Taria points out in her post, Obama is really missing out on what could be good diplomacy with the Egyptian public, to show support of peaceful protest. The dictator that we “bought-and-paid-for” may not be swayed by our diplomatic relations, but the Egyptian people could be.

(From the New York Times, "Spotlight Again Falls on Web Tools and Change”)

Another great article in the NYT addressed the use of social networking in Egypt, including discussing “The Net Delusion,” the same Evgeny Morosov book that Cory Doctorow reviewed for the Guardian. While I agree overall with the critical eye of Morosov's book, the article, “Spotlight Again Falls on Web Tools and Change” brings up some great points:

“Fear is the dictator’s traditional tool for keeping the people in check. But by cutting off Egypt’s Internet and wireless service late last week in the face of huge street protests, President Hosni Mubarak betrayed his own fear — that Facebook, Twitter, laptops and smartphones could empower his opponents, expose his weakness to the world and topple his regime.”

As is true of most everything, social networking tools can be used for good or evil, and they aren't an answer for modern activism per se, but their power is undeniable. Mubarak's move to shut down the Internet was not only imperfect (too easy to get around) but inflammatory (to many in the US and around the world, as well as in Egypt), and clearly showed his ignorance of how information moves in 2011.

“Calling for Restraint, Pentagon Faces Test of Influence With Ally” New York Times, 30 Jan 2011.

“Egyptians Defiant as Military Does Little to Quash Protests” New York Times, 30 Jan 2011.

“Spotlight Again Falls on Web Tools and Change” New York Times, 30 Jan 2011.

“Obama's Missed Public Diplomacy Opportunity in Egypt” USC PD Blog, 30 Jan 2011.

“We need a serious critique of net activism” The Guardian, 25 Jan 2011.

Re: Obama’s Missed Public Diplomacy Opportunity in Egypt

With all of the events that have happened in Egypt in the past week, there is a great opportunity for the U.S. to reach out to the Egyptian public in a Public Diplomacy effort. In his blog post, “Obama’s Missed Public Diplomacy Opportunity in Egypt,” Philip Seib talks about such an opportunity he believes slipped out of President Obama’s hands. Seib said that the President could have come out and made a statement for the peaceful transition from current Egyptian President Mubarak and shown the Egyptian public [not to mention the entire world] that the U.S. will no longer promote, “bought-and-paid-for dictators.”

While reading this blog I thought about the Cowan and Arsenault article, “Moving from Monologue to Dialogue to Collaboration: The Three Layers of Public Diplomacy”. In this situation, Seib is clearly and advocate of the monologic layer of P.D. Seib said that a clear, one-way message from the United States that this type of government will no longer be tolerated and we were on the side of the people would help our P.D. efforts in Egypt. I would agree that a clear and concise message from the U.S. about our stance (a stance that is sans Mubarak) would be a benefit to our image in Egypt.

But could any of the other layers of P.D. be applied to this situation? For a dialogue, perhaps a U.S. high ranking official listening the plights and arguments of Egyptian citizens and taking an active role in looking for short and long term solutions. Maybe a collaborative approach could involve the U.S. embassy in Egypt actively helping to create a new government with the people? I don’t know if these options are logistically possible or if we would consider them, so I would have to say that I agree with Seib. In a situation as precarious as the one in Egypt, there is no time for the U.S. to have a play-it-safe approach. The time for monitoring the situation has long passed and there are people’s lives that are hanging in the balance. The words of the president of the United States would go a long way in helping to facilitate the transition to new leadership in Egypt and we should not let any more opportunities (if we are afforded them) pass us by.


Philip Seib, "Obama’s Missed Public Diplomacy Opportunity in Egypt." Jan 30, 2011

Geoffret Cowan and Amelia Arsenault, "Moving from Monologue to Dialogue to Collaborations: The layers of Public Diplomacy."

January 24, 2011

Public Diplomacy- Cure For Anti-Semitism?

Since I am an amateur of Public Diplomacy I decided to peruse the net and see what I could find to catch my eye. One of the first things I came across was an article about anti-Semitism in Europe. After going further into my search I was able to find several articles about a report that was recently published by the Isreali Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein regarding anti-Semitism worldwide. After looking at a few sparse articles my first thought was that the framing of these articles was very interesting. Two of the main points of the report were that 1) anti-Semitism attacks had decreased in 2010 worldwide and 2) France had the worst case of anti-Semitism in the world. Now, depending on where the article was posted the framing of the story was never the same. One website did manage to get both of the main facts into the article, but while the title focuses on France being the most dangerous place for Jews, the article barely mentions the fact that France, along with Holland, Belgium and Sweden are countries where Jews face the most danger (all in one sentence, actually).

So why all the hate? Well it looks like it’s a few issues. First, people are still upset about “Operation Cast Lead”, in which Isreali forces began to bomb the Gaza strip during a time when there was a supposed cease-fire between the Palestinians and Israelis. After this time there was a rise in Western Europe of anti-Semitism (but the situation begs the question, from me at least, by whom?? The article doesn’t say and that’s for another blog).

The article also states that social media have become outlets for anti-Semitic action through websites such as twitter and facebook. So what does the minister plan to do about this situation from a PD standpoint? The chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel said, “In light of the delegitimization wars carried out against Israel around the world, the Jewish Agency has doubled the number of its emissaries at campuses in North America," Natan Sharansky said. "There are currently 500,000 Jewish students in North America. The de-legitimization campaign is directed against those Jewish students and affects their ties to Israel."

Hmm. Ok, but the main point of the report had nothing to do with North American Jewish Students, who are these emissaries and is there a European branch to this Agency that needs to be involved? I am no PD guru, so if I am off the mark here please enlighten me. But the first thing I can think of to fix this problem of Anti-Semitism in Europe is to… I don’t know… send some emissaries to Europe! I realize that the U.S. government has ties to Israel and that the U.S. as an ally is a powerful force indeed, but it is more than a little shady to putting all ones eggs in the wrong geographically located basket. Perhaps there are more prongs to this PD approach not elaborated in this article, and for the sake of the Jewish Agency for Israel I hope so, because ethnic hatred of any kind is abhorrent and I hope they get this sorted out quickly.

Additional link to website: http://www.ejpress.org/article/news/eastern_europe/48539

January 23, 2011

No Loss For Words

Intrigued by the readings and an a current news story, below I will discuss three topics. First, I will discuss Black’s article entitled “Semantics and Ethics of Propaganda”. Then, I will discuss American cultural diplomacy briefly. And, finally, I start to discover more about sister city relationships.

Jay Black offers a history of the definitions of the word propaganda. While definitions of propaganda seem to have a rather illicit negative connotation, more contemporary definitions such as the one offered by Jowett and O’Donnell are becoming broader. They defined propaganda in 1999 as “The deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist” (Black, 127). Definitions like this one have a rather haunting similarity to definitions of public diplomacy offered by Nicholas Cull and Peter van Ham. With a close look, it is evident that the line between propaganda and public diplomacy is fuzzy and greatly dependent on one’s perspective. Black begs his audience to make informed judgments of particular aspects of communication and articulates that propaganda becomes “part of that open marketplace of ideas” (Black, 135).

Contributing to the marketplace of ideas, specifically cultural ones, I heard this piece on World News Tonight with Katie Kouric about American school children learning Chinese in California.

As I watched, I started thinking about public diplomacy, specifically cultural and exchange diplomacy, in the United States. Some anthropologists hold that language is a significant component of culture. Nicolas Cull defines cultural diplomacy as “an actor’s attempt to manage the international environment through making its cultural resources and achievements known overseas and/or facilitating cultural transmission abroad” (Cull, 19). He then admits that cultural and exchange diplomacy often overlaps. Cull argues that historically cultural diplomacy has taken its form in facilitating the export of example components of one’s culture. Similarly, he defines exchange diplomacy as “an actor’s attempt to manage the international environment by sending its citizens overseas and reciprocally accepting citizens from overseas for a period of study and/or acculturation” (Cull, 20).

With the definitions of cultural and exchange diplomacy in mind, ponder this. Reportedly, only nine percent of Americans speak a foreign language compared to 44 percent of Europeans. Reporter Terry McCarthy notes, “Americans generally assume everyone speaks English. Often, they exceed our expectations. Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin surprised Mike Wallace in 2000 by reciting the Gettysburg Address in English.” The clip of the Chinese President is juxtaposed to a clip where President Obama painfully admits, "I don't speak a foreign language - it's embarrassing." The Obama administration is working to promote learning other languages beginning in kindergarten. Learning languages, in turn, allows young children the opportunity to learn more than another culture too. It allows them to grow and become intellectually curious about the countries or societies who speak the language they are learning. While this is great, the language divide is significant in that only 50,000 Americans are learning Chinese. In China, by contrast, there are 200 million students learning English. While the numbers are increasing in America, I fear that clips like this one hurt the American cultural image both internally and externally (either through diasporas communicating America’s inability to speak more than one language or through exchange diplomacy programs where students are trying to learn to speak another language). Clearly, America has some work to do.

In class, sister cities were briefly mentioned. Curious, I looked up Washington D.C.’s sister cities and found that the District has ten. They are Bangkok, Thailand; Dakar, Senegal; Beijing, China; Brussels, Belgium; Athens, Greece; Paris, France; Pretoria, South Africa; Seoul, South Korea; Accra, Ghana; and, Sunderland, United Kingdom. Part of Sister Cities International’s mission statement is to “stimulate environments through which communities will creatively learn, work, and solve problems together through reciprocal cultural, educational, municipal, business, professional and technical exchanges and projects.” While DC is culturally diversified, it is hard to believe that DC has so many agreements. More needs to be done to make it apparent to the public that these relationships exist. Moreover, if there is such a desire to learn more languages, why can’t Americans start learning more from sister relationships that already exist?

While these three topics are loosely tied together here, it is clear that public diplomacy and/or propaganda (however you see it) has a plethora of fascinating components. Each one poses its own questions and concerns for individuals to discern.

Education: socialization or propaganda?

In “Semantics of Propaganda,” Black specifically referenced two differing views of education in society:
In 1929, Martin had a more optimistic view of education, calling it “independence of judgment” over telling people what to think. Gordon (1971) called education, or at least most books and teachers, “inherently propagandistic” and Ellul (1964/65) defined “sociological propaganda” – the adaptation of society to a certain order of things, or molding individuals to conform to society – much like the term “socialization” in education.
Calling education “propaganda,” if for no other reason than its connotation, is a touchy subject and not one I’d be willing to bring up to the PTA. But its surprising how often the word is thrown around.

One of the biggest debates continuing in education started in 1925 with the Scopes “Monkey” trial over, of course, teaching about evolution in schools. The arguments have waxed and waned in different parts of the country since then, but seems to have become more heated again. At what point does advocating creationism over evolutionism (yes, I’m biased) become more than expressing your point of view? It leaves out information that a decent part of the population that would agree with (for with either opposing viewpoint), and starts to toe the line of mis-information. But if the better part of the population of the community believes one way or another, socialization according to that viewpoint makes sense, right?

As for the rampant derogatory use of the term “propaganda” to denote “what the other guy believes”…
I did a quick Google on the terms “evolutionist propaganda,” and I admit I’m a little terrified by the results. I’ll let you replicate this experiment at your own risks. (In the interest of fairness, creationist propaganda yielded a similar result, just a few thousand less results.)

For example, this cute little fella was called propaganda, “swaying” us into thinking that monkeys are what we evolved from (because of the thumbs, I think…).

Its very much a two-sided debate, where each believes they are right and the other wrong. But the issue isn't that simple, and it illustrates the trouble of adding values to the study of propaganda or public diplomacy.

Then again, how often has this plotline been used: kid from semi-conservative, typical middle-class family goes off to college. Comes home a liberal-hippie-socialist, infected by ideas. (Gordon argued, for example, that “one failure of the American educational system is that there is not enough propaganda in the lower grades, and too much in graduate schools.”)

Which is the propaganda – the family and education that made him, or the college professors that changed him?

- - -
Personally, I would put propaganda, socialization, education, public diplomacy, advertising et al on a continuum, or a scale of variables. I don’t think, like Black also discusses, that anything, let alone something as complex as public opinion manipulation, can be defined as right/wrong, true/false, intent/outcome or good/evil. Language simply confines us to our reality.

Big Daddy: http://www.acorscadden.com/creationist-bashing/some-hilarious-creationist-propaganda-big-daddy/
Baby monkey propaganda: http://christwire.org/2009/02/cute-baby-monkey-eating-an-apple-video-is-evolutionist-propaganda/
The Trotsky: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1295072/
Modern Education: http://www.adambohannon.org/edward-hall-education/

January 21, 2011

PD or Propaganda?

Back to "class blogging," again! This time, we'll be exploring the domain of public diplomacy with Dr. Craig Hayden. Given the subject and my interest, most (if not all) of my posts will inevitably be cross-posted on Global Chaos: a disclaimer I felt I should state before we embarked on our grand, semester-long group endeavor.

To begin, I'll just share a post from today, hoping to start a discussion. Would appreciate thoughts, insights, and comments!


As we started the new class on Public Diplomacy this semester, the first couple of sessions and readings were  - of course - devoted to the discussion of the (hard-to-define and often ambiguous) differences between "propaganda" and "public diplomacy". I won't be reproducing the entire discussion here. Instead, I wanted to raise the question (and hope to get insights from the readers of this blog): which category would this Voice of America program belong to?

Courtesy of The Washington Post, December 31, 2010

I never watch or follow VOA Persian (primarily due to my non-existent Farsi skills), and I heard about Parazit only recently. Yet, it seems to have gotten quite a lot of attention from mainstream American media lately, so much so that Jon Stewart himself ("the Prophet" of satire, as Parazit's creators called him!) hosted them at his Daily Show last night.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Kambiz Hosseini & Saman Arbabi Extended Interview
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

There's no denying, political humor and satire is a whole different animal. The case of Iran itself, is very... difficult, for the lack of a better word. The limitations on freedoms and the strict regulation of speech make the production of such programming within Iran practically impossible. So yes, in that sense VOA Persian is "breaking" taboos and raising legitimate questions.

But the way it is done, the language and symbolism used, as well as its method - the appeal to emotions and indirect influence through humor - seem controversial to me. Moreover, one should not forget the fact that this is a part of a country's international broadcasting, paid for by American taxpayers and targeting the public of the very same government the show so vehemently attacks.

That is why, as much as I appreciate VOA's work in bringing uncensored and more objective information to the Iranian people, I'm finding it hard to define such programming in any terms that do not involve references to propaganda, in some shape or form. After all, the difference between propaganda and public diplomacy is based on the "element of morality" and, more importantly, on one's perspective. The former aims to tell people what to think, while the latter supposedly informs, raises questions, and suggests what the audience should think about.

So, what do you think?