It is surprising to discover how classical music performances are used to introduce foreign audiences to American culture. An explanation comes from pianist Michael Sheppard,..."The State Department probably uses classical music because there aren't words attached it," he said. "It's hard to be inflammatory when you're just playing piano pieces."
This is the first attempt at cultural diplomacy in the area and the concert discussed is part of a series designed to fulfill the requirements of a grant that provided instruments to the Mosul Academy of Fine Arts Institute. The diplomats who organized the concert are trying to balance the needs of the majority Kurdish Yezidi and minority Arab Muslim and Iraqi Christian populations.
...Several new programs were created to advance the transformational public diplomacy agenda in today's communications environment. In this connection, there is a Rapid Response Unit that monitors foreign broadcasts and blogs and produces a daily one-to-two page report..
The anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks in recent days has dramatically accelerated the pace at which it posts confidential State Department cables, exposing the names of people who spoke to American diplomats in confidence. The development has alarmed U.S. officials and human rights groups, who say it will endanger foreign nationals who helped the United States and make it less likely that others will do so in the future.
According to McEldowney's report, "the goal of the Embassy's public diplomacy initiative is to spur debate and discussion about biotechnology, create positive public opinion, and to provide broader availability of scientific information about agricultural biotechnology to both the media and consumers...Gaining key opinion leaders' support will help increase the public's awareness...
The Embassy's advice was that if the US wanted to encourage a New Zealand deployment then they would have to find public diplomacy opportunities to explain choices in Afghanistan to New Zealand media.
Ryan Suto...is the President of the Syracuse chapter of the American Constitution Society and recently moderated a panel discussion on the issue of WikiLeaks and the Constitution. He writes on how the US Supreme Court must begin to engage in public diplomacy through its rulings...
While intelligence analysts squinted at their reporting ... struggling to understand who the Libyan rebels were, the exiled diplomats recognized some surprising old contacts. A number of the opposition leaders, it turned out, had participated in the U.S. embassy's public diplomacy programs.