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Writer Usama Hussein recently reported on an increase in both anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks in the United Kingdom, including one attack against a London synagogue and one on the daughter of a Muslim leader in London. The fact that such violence came after flare-ups in Gaza showed many nations that a top public diplomacy priority involves facilitating real dialogue, within and beyond their borders, among Jews and Muslims. Indeed,... >
HONG KONG-The media in this commerce-fueled city have been fascinated by the fallout from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's recent Senate testimony asserting that mainland China "manipulated" its currency. The South China Morning Post prominently ran a Reuters analysis today that argued that "manipulated" is too harsh a term, and that "managed" would be better; besides, the article argued, the U.S. itself could equally be accused of currency manipulation.
Newly minted President Obama offered an address this morning that can be viewed on many layers. An inaugural address is primarily a message to Americans and secondarily a message to the governments and peoples of the world. But in 2009, more than in most years, this address is a message from Americans to a global village about what America is, what America seeks to be, and how America intends to work with that global village.
If we consider public diplomacy in the narrower sense, as one government's efforts to speak to the public of another nation, President Bush's visit to Iraq this weekend would be a, well, "fitting" symbol of the state of American PD. He narrowly ducked rage that was aimed at him by a new manner of shoe bomber, one equipped with both ninja skill and ferocity.
Given that President Bush told journalists this summer that Pakistan will be the next American president's biggest foreign policy challenge, let's take a moment to consider the public-diplomacy issues for both sides now that the U.S. has a new President-elect.
My brother and I, accompanied by his brother-in-law, were driving to the posh and overpriced Dynasty Chinese restaurant in Islamabad’s Marriott hotel recently. Yet the tightwad in me convinced them that we could enjoy ourselves just as much by going to one of the many cheaper Chinese local restaurants. Soon after we heard the Marriott explosion a few miles away, it became clear we had saved more than money.
Why good razor wire doesn't make good neighbors
The United States Embassy in Islamabad is a wary and reluctant piñata. Scheduled to meet the embassy's cultural affairs officers at 2 pm on a weekday afternoon in late May, I found myself running at least twenty minutes behind as I navigated a labyrinth of razor-wire-topped walls, car inspectors, metal detectors and interrogators.
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