"Why didn't they have George Bush paint it? That could have been GREAT."

--Princess Sparkle Pony, regarding the unveiling of the official portrait of Dr. Condoleezza Rice (see below), former Secretary of State and present at the creation of the War in Iraq; see also.


Maliki, Iran, Saudis Point Fingers at One Another Over Iraq's Sectarian Strife - Jordan Schachtel, breitbart.com: "Although President Obama personally requested in his most recent Rose Garden speech that Iraqi PM Maliki reach out to his Sunni counterparts, it appears Obama’s wish has fallen upon deaf ears. ... Meanwhile, the Iraqi government has continued to largely shut down internet and social media platforms.

What was once a ban in a few different provinces has now turned into a shutdown of private networks and mobile phone data. Some argue the media shutdown is occurring in an effort by the Iraqi government to shut down ISIS’s communication abilities. Many worry the jihadi group’s public diplomacy has enabled it to garner further support among Iraqis and the international community. The jihadist group has consistently broadcast images of mass executions and beheadings." Uncaptioned image from entry

House provides flat funding for exchanges in FY15, and small increases for Fulbright and citizen exchanges [subscription]- "The House State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations subcommittee released their FY15 spending bill yesterday evening, in advance of the subcommittee mark-up this evening. Department of State educational and cultural exchanges are funded at $568.628 million – flat funding at the FY14 enacted level." Via LJB

Hive of activities to mark Lincoln Corner’s 10th anniversary - Eve Sonary Heng, theborneopost.com: "The State Library and Lincoln Corner Resource Centre Kuala Lumpur have lined up a string of educational and fun activities this week in conjunction with Lincoln Corner’s 10th anniversary celebration. The celebration kicked off with an English camp featuring speakers Angie Mizeur and Kumutha Malar Kandasamy yesterday for selected secondary school students aged 13 to 15. “This camp was held to improve the students’ communication skills in English by giving them a chance to communicate directly with American English speakers. 'This programme has been held since 2004,' revealed librarian Razak Rambili yesterday. According to him, there are only eight Lincoln Corners throughout the country including one in East Malaysia, which is located inside the State Library. The rest are located in Penang, Johor, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and two in Kedah. One of the speakers, Angie

who is a public diplomacy officer said the camp was aimed at sharing and exchanging experiences and cultures between Malaysia and United States of America (USA), while aiming to help students practise English with American English speakers." Image from entry, with caption: Angie distributing task sheets to students who are divided into groups at the English camp

Waste and Abuse of Power at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, According to Audit — Foreign Policy Blog reports - BBG Watcher, bbgwatch.com: “[T]he U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is accused of wasting taxpayer money — again. The State Department and BBG’s inspector general revealed mismanagement and abuse of power in a new audit released Tuesday.”

Modi's Thimpu Visit: Deepening India-Bhutan Relations -- Analysis - Roomana Hukil, eurasiareview.com: "In his maiden foreign visit as premier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently went to Bhutan to strengthen development cooperation and further enhance economic ties. ... The PM is set to lay the foundation stone of the 600 MW Kholongchu hydropower project, however, his visit exemplifies that India does not regard Bhutan’s hydroelectric sector as the prime vantage point for future India–Bhutan relations. Both India and Bhutan comprehend that trust and public diplomacy are the primary leverages that can take the relationship forward."

A different narrative for the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict - Vilen Khlgatyan and Armen Sahakyan, csmonitor.com: "With the recent developments happening in and around Ukraine, Svante E. Cornell’s June 10 op-ed 'Why America must step up its role in resolving Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict' attempts to compare the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh in Armenian) conflict with Crimea. This attempted comparison disregards important historical, geographic, legal, and political differences that exist between the two conflicts. ... Azerbaijan’s PR campaign has been to conflate the Artsakh conflict with the separate issue of Armenia-Turkey bilateral relations. This is yet another attempt at misdirection that some observers have tried to make. Turkey and Azerbaijan are separate states, with different ethnic identities, divergent strains of Islam, and do not have identical national interests. It took Azerbaijani threats of raising the price of natural gas it supplies to Turkey as well as a fierce public diplomacy campaign to rally support among Turks for their 'little brother' Azerbaijan in order to place Turkey’s peace protocols with Armenia in limbo."

EU Team ready for fellow Ottawa Dragon Boat newbies - ottawacitizen.com: "Team EU is among 40 new entries in the 183-team field at the festival [Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival], which over two decades has become the largest of its kind in North America in both participant numbers and the size of the crowd drawn to the races and related free concerts and other events. ... For Team EU, getting involved is a

way to make a contribution and show some 'public diplomacy,' says Auster [Petra Auster, captain of the first-time entry sponsored by the European Union delegation to Canada]. The EU delegation, though a fully fledged diplomatic mission established in 1976, is less known in Ottawa than some individual missions." Image from entry, with caption: EU Team practises for 2014 Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival race.

Klayman Loses Appeal on Facebook Intifada Page - courthousenews.com: "Facebook need not face a federal lawsuit over its delayed removal of a page that encouraged a third Palestinian Intifada, the D.C. Circuit ruled. Larry Klayman, the conservative activist behind defamation and conspiracy complaints across the country, took aim at Facebook three years ago when he came across a group called ‘Third Palestinian Intifada’ with more than 360,000 members, which exhorted Muslims to kill Jews. Facebook removed the page from its website when Israel's Minister for Public Diplomacy wrote a letter to the company, but not soon enough for Klayman, who claimed in court that Facebook's delay in taking down the page constituted intentional assault and negligence. He said that the Intifada page ‘amount[ed] to a threat of the use of force against non-Muslims, and particularly Jews,’ causing him ‘reasonable apprehension of severe bodily harm and/or death.’ But the D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal of the case Friday because, ‘even under a generous reading of the complaint, the Communications Decency Act forbids this suit.’"

Netanyahu to Abbas: I expect your help in rescuing our boys - Reuven Berko, israelhayom.com: "For the first time in over a year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, demanding assistance in rescuing three Jewish teens believed to have been abducted by Hamas terrorists. ... Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel Radio Monday that officials in the U.S. and Europe

were critical of Hamas over the abduction, and added that Israeli missions worldwide were instructed to increase their public diplomacy efforts, specifically by illustrating how the link between the PA and Hamas has contributed to the abduction." Image from entry, with caption: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas: No conversation in over a year

Hamas must pay a price - Yoav Limor, israelhayom.com: "Details of the abduction of Gil-ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel continued to surface Sunday, but their location remains a mystery, and their fate continues to be a matter of great concern. ... Israel is also expected to increase its public diplomacy efforts against Hamas, which has been able to gain some legitimacy in the West following the induction of the new Palestinian unity government, but was denounced as a terror organization once again on Sunday, by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. It is doubtful that such efforts will truly undermine the new Palestinian unity, whose bizarre structure has so far been able to partially serve Israel's interests, especially when it comes to the coordination and collaboration between the Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinian security forces."

'Military campaign should eradicate Hamas' - Dan Margalit, israelhayom.com: "'We are in the midst of a military and diplomatic campaign,' a senior political source said Tuesday. 'The prime minister and the cabinet are dividing their time between the tactical and strategic aspects of undermining Hamas. We are preparing for the fact that this might take a while. Patience is key,' he said. According to the official, Israel is also focusing on public diplomacy efforts meant to debunk the partial legitimacy the Fatah-Hamas unity government has garnered internationally. The efforts focus on the anti-Israel incitement prevalent in the Palestinian Authority, especially in the Palestinian education system, which legitimized the abduction and murder of Jews."

Why Values Matter in Australia’s Relations with China - John Fitzgerald, theasanforum.org: "China is determined to change the status quo in the region, to project its values through public diplomacy, and increasingly to link trade and investment with political trade-offs." See also.

Sustainable development: Show, don't tell - Stanislav Saling, trust.org: "International organisations, statesmen and women, philanthropists and celebrities perhaps overvalued the assumption that the weight of their authority alone would convert the masses into sustainable development activists.  Undoubtedly, persistent public diplomacy has had an impact.

For example, 'sustainable development', as a concept, has been adopted in many languages. It has made its way into legislation, agriculture, urban planning, business management and many other areas. It surfaces in culture too - Avatar, the top-grossing movie of all time, was at its core a story about sustainable development. Nonetheless, it’s been mostly ‘talk’ so far.” Image from entry, with caption: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) gestures towards a building with solar panels during a tour of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, Jan. 17, 2011.

Ogilvy Hires Tony Silva For Social Marketing - holmesreport.com: "Ogilvy Washington hired Tony Silva as EVP and group director of its social marketing practice. Silva replaces Jennifer Wayman after her promotion to US managing director of the social marketing practice. Prior to joining Ogilvy, Silva  ... led a complex, public diplomacy program launch on behalf of the US Department of State entitled 'The U.S.-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research,' which included coordination with and participation of the First Lady of the United States and foreign dignitaries and the development of partnerships among the private sector, international governments and NGOs. Other clients include the Water Research Foundation, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, We Energies, DOE, and the EPA."


What America Thinks About Iraq: Two administrations' deadly incompetence has shaken their faith in the political class - Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal: The American people do not want to go back into Iraq. They will be skeptical of all plans, strategies and decisions because they lack faith in their leaders. If they hear "We are sending 300 military advisers," they will think: It won't end there. They don't think the U.S. can solve Iraq. They think only Iraq can do that.

An enclave strategy for Iraq - Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post: The United States should recognize that Iraq is turning into a country of enclaves and work to ensure that these regions stay as stable, terrorism-free and open as possible.

The world of enclaves already exists. Washington simply has to realize that parts of Iraq are now in it. Image from article, with caption: Iraqi men brandish their weapons as they show their willingness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militants who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities on June 19, 2014, in the southern city of Basra.

America Shouldn't Choose Sides in Iraq's Civil War: Obama has made mistakes but so did Bush by invading. There's no good case for U.S. military intervention now - Rand Paul, Wall Street Journal: We should not put any U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq, unless it is to secure or evacuate U.S. personnel and diplomatic facilities. And while we may not completely rule out airstrikes, there are many questions that need to be addressed first. What would airstrikes accomplish? We know that Iran is aiding the Iraqi government against ISIS. Do we want to, in effect, become Iran's air force? What's in this for Iran? Why should we choose a side, and if we do, who are we really helping?

U.S. 'advisors' will look like American boots on the ground to ISIS - Paul Whitefield, Los Angeless Times: Exactly what kind of advice can Americans offer that will make a difference? I mean, if the Iraqi army doesn’t know how to fight by now, how is hearing it from the Americans likely to change things? But just because it’s only 300 Americans, and just because you call them advisors, that doesn’t mean they aren’t boots on the ground — and targets.

When another Iraq war is pointless: This time, America must resist the temptation to slay monsters - Andrew P. Napolitano, Washington Times: We should gather all Americans in Iraq, take what moveable wealth is ours and come home — and stop searching the world for monsters to destroy, as that will end up destroying us.

Iraq: U.S. broke it but now someone else needs to own it - David Horsey, Los Angeles Times: The grim despot Hussein was keeping a tight lid on religious and ethnic divisions that had festered and occasionally flared in the Islamic world for more than 1,000 years.

The American invasion blew off that lid. A reintroduction of U.S. troops now cannot put the genie of hate back in the bottle.This truly is not America’s fight. Image from entry

A Balancing Act on Iraq - Editorial, New York Times: President Obama has, so far, struck the right note on Iraq, where Sunni extremist militants are seizing territory and threatening the existence of the state. He has been cautious — emphasizing the need for political reform in Iraq and reaching out to other countries that could have an impact on its fate. President Obama has said Iraq needs support to “break the momentum of extremist groups” and that he is considering his options, including military action. If there is a case for military action, Mr. Obama still needs to make it.

Obama's Iraq Feint: Public maneuvering to dump Maliki is likely to backfire - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal: What the Administration can't do is presume to dictate Iraqi politics as if we had 170,000 troops in the country.

The Diplomacy of Force - Roger Cohen, New York Times: In his recent West Point commencement speech, Obama said: “U.S. military action cannot be the only, or even primary, component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.” This is true. It also missed the point. Force can be, sometimes must be, an essential component of persuasive American diplomacy advancing the national interest. Obama also said: “The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it: when our people are threatened; when our livelihoods are at stake; when the security of our allies is in danger.” The advance of the ISIS jihadis in Iraq meets this test; the United States cannot accept a jihadi state within a state closer to Europe and itself than Afghanistan was in 2001.

Abdication has a price - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post: The jihadist revival is the result of a double Obama abdication: creating a vacuum not just in Iraq but in Syria. Faced with a de facto jihadi state spanning both countries, a surprised Obama now has little choice but to try to re-create overnight, from scratch and in miniature, the kind of U.S. presence — providing intelligence, tactical advice and perhaps even air support — he abjured three years ago.

ISIS -- is it too extreme to survive? - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times: Obama hoped he was done with Iraq after the last U.S. forces withdrew in 2011. "We're leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq," he said at the time. But the prospect of a terrorist-ruled mini-state sprawling across much of Syria and Iraq gives him little choice.

It will take deft diplomacy as well as military aid to keep Iraq from sliding back into civil war. Much as most Americans, like the president, would prefer to stay out, the only country capable of providing both is the United States. Image from entry, with caption: Two members of the Al Qaeda breakaway group ISIS are seen earlier this year next to a burning police vehicle in Iraq's Anbar Province.

Obama’s tough choices in Iraq - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Good policy for Iraq and Syria can’t rely on military force alone. The United States’ misadventures after the 2003 invasion of Iraq surely teach that lesson. What will stabilize this part of the world (slowly, slowly) is political action backed by military power — conducted under a series of umbrellas: The first umbrella is a new Iraqi unity government; the second is a U.S.-Iranian dialogue that draws in Saudi Arabia and its GCC partners; the third is an international coalition backed by the United Nations.

What to Do With the Twins? The Conundrum of a Unified Iraq and a Unified Syria - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: We removed Iraq’s dictator; NATO and tribal rebels removed Libya’s; the people of Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen got rid of theirs; and some people in Syria have tried to topple theirs. Each country is now faced with the challenge of trying to govern itself horizontally by having the different sects, parties and tribes agree on social contracts for how to live together as equal citizens who rotate power. Pluralism came to Europe only after many centuries of one side or another in religious wars thinking it could have it all, and after much ethnic cleansing created more homogeneous nations. Europe also went through the Enlightenment and the Reformation. Arab Muslims need to go on the same journey. It will happen when they want to or when they have exhausted all other options. Meanwhile, let’s strengthen the islands of decency — Tunisia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Kurdistan — and strengthen our own democracy to insulate ourselves as best we can.

Here's what the U.S. can do about Iraq - Max Boot, Los Angeles Times: To stop the advance of ISIS, Obama should immediately offer to send into Iraq a limited number of special operations forces and military trainers who can call in airstrikes and buttress the battered Iraqi security forces. At the same time, the president must get personally involved — this isn't a job that can be delegated — in pressing the Iraqi government for serious political reforms that include embracing Sunni tribes, ending the persecution of Sunni leaders, curbing the prime minister's authority and weeding out political hacks and sectarian actors from the security services.

Don’t Fight in Iraq and Ignore Syria - Anne-Marie Slaughter, New York Times: What course of action will be best, in the short and the long term, for the Iraqi and Syrian people? What course of action will be most likely to stop the violence and misery they experience on a daily basis? What course of action will give them the best chance of peace, prosperity and a decent government? The answer to those questions may well involve the use of force on a limited but immediate basis, in both countries.

Enough force to remind all parties that we can, from the air, see and retaliate against not only Al Qaeda members, whom our drones track for months, but also any individuals guilty of mass atrocities and crimes against humanity. Enough force to compel governments and rebels alike to the negotiating table. And enough force to create a breathing space in which decent leaders can begin to consolidate power. On the legal side, we should act in both countries because we face a threat to global peace and security, precisely the situation the United Nations Security Council was established to address. Image from

The Collapsing Obama Doctrine: Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many - Dick and Liz Cheney, Wall Street Journal: Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America. President Obama is on track to securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.

A message to the Cheneys: No, Iraq isn't a political opportunity - Paul Whitefield, Los Angeles Times: The Cheneys from penning a nasty op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday aimed at Obama with these oh-so-clever punch lines (stolen from one Winston Churchill and sportswriters too numerous to name).

The fact is, no one has lost Iraq. Iraq isn’t, and never was, ours to “lose.” Image from entry

Our Friends the Mullahs: Tehran and the U.S. don't have a shared interest in the Mideast - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Journal: Such is America's strategic disarray in Iraq that the Obama Administration has come up with a new version of an old idea—court Iran as an ally. So in order to defeat Sunni extremists who want to form a potentially terrorist state, we are going to get in bed with a terrorist-sponsoring Shiite regime that wants to dominate the Middle East.

Iran Is Not an Ally in Iraq [subscription]- Michael Singh, Wall Street Journal: ISIS would likely welcome deeper involvement from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

Piecing together the shattering Middle East - David Ignatius, Washington Post: History tells us that the only way to restabilize the Middle East is to gather the essential players around a table and begin framing a new security architecture. The participants would include Saudi Arabia and Iran, joined by the United States and the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: Russia, China, Britain and France. Turkey and Egypt should attend, too, since they have big militaries that could play a stabilizing role.

The Middle East Turned Upside Down: As power shifts violently, will Obama help restore a sustainable order from today's chaos? - William A. Galston, Wall Street Journal: International agreements have always been needed to ratify large changes in the Middle East (and elsewhere). Once the front lines stabilize, farsighted diplomacy would begin planning for an all-parties conference to bring a new and sustainable order out of today's bloody chaos. It is far from clear that President Obama is willing to invest his dwindling political capital in such a task, but we would all be better off if he did.

Stop the Iraq blame game: What matters most now is saving the country [subscription] - Michael Gerson, Washington Post

The U.S. should not abandon those who helped in Iraq - Becca Heller, Washington Post: Six years after Congress passed the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act to provide safe passage and protection to U.S.-affiliated Iraqis, tens of thousands of people remain stuck in the bureaucracy or have been rejected for reasons that are often either unspecified or nonsensical. Now, in response to the current crisis, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has suspended refugee processing as part of its evacuation of nonessential personnel. While this has made a perilous situation even worse, it is not the source of the problem. For the vast majority, the bottleneck is located within the United States, where cases are stuck in redundant background-check processes that no agency is prioritizing.

In the Land of Mass Graves: Are There Lessons for Iraq in Rwanda? - David Brooks, New York Times: Iraq is looking into an abyss, but the good news is that if you get the political elites behaving decently, you can avoid the worst. Grimly, there’s cause for hope.

Playing With Fire in Afghanistan - Editorial, New York Times: Political uncertainty regarding the presidential election in Afghanistan could lead the United States and other international donors to rethink their commitment of monetary aid and other support in the future. That is not an outcome that Afghanistan can afford.

Inside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: "As the U.S. “relocates” personnel (it’s not an “evacuation”) out of the World’s Largest Embassy in Baghdad, I thought it would be fun to look at that one billion dollar monument to American hubris. Though likely tens of thousands of people have been inside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and a great many of them have scattered photos of the place across the social media landscape, actual official photos of the embassy have been limited to a handle of narrow views. The stated reason for all this is 'security.' Of course a simple Google search will reveal many images, even a 3-D model of the place. Still, what has been missing is a really nice color shot of the lawn. We have that now, posted online by someone:

... The ambassador, who fancied himself a sportsman, ordered grass to grow on the large sandy area in front of the main Embassy building, a spot at one time designated as a helicopter landing zone, since relocated. Gardeners brought in tons of dirt and planted grass seed. A nearly endless amount of water was used, but despite clear orders to do so, the grass would not grow. Huge flocks of birds arrived. The birds had never seen so much seed on the ground in one place and ate passionately. No grass grew. The ambassador would not admit defeat. He ordered sod be imported into Kuwait, and then brought by armored convoy to the embassy. No one confessed to what it cost to import, but estimates varied between two and five million dollars."

U.S. Embassy Iraq: By The Numbers — Still The Post With the Mostest – Domani Spero, DiploPundit:

See also: John Brown, "They're Supersizing the Baghdad Embassy. Big Mistake," Washington Post (July 11, 2004) and "A Modest Proposal: Let's Just Have The New American Embassy in Baghdad in Second Life!" (Common Dreams, June 11, 2007)

The Would-Be Ambassador To Norway Who Has Never Been There Himself - npr.org: It wasn't expected to be a controversial nomination. After all, ambassador to Norway isn't a very high-profile position. But the nomination of George Tsunis, a major fundraiser for President Obama and other Democrats in 2012, has turned into a minor embarrassment for the administration. The reason? Several prominent Democrats

say they won't vote for him on the grounds he's not qualified. Tsunis image from entry, with caption: George Tsunis, the Obama administration's nominee for ambassador to Norway, at his January confirmation hearing

CIA crafted prototypes of bin Laden 'demon' doll - Natalie DiBlasio, USA Today: The CIA once considered a 12-inch, red-faced, devil-eyed action figure of Osama bin Laden to spook U.S. families into hating the al-Qaeda leader. But the government-contracted demon doll never made it to store shelves. The Washington Post reports that in 2005 — while bin Laden remained the most wanted man in the world — the CIA developed three prototypes of the doll featuring faces painted with a heat-dissolving material designed to peel off and reveal a red face with piercing green eyes and black facial markings. The code-name for the bin Laden figures was "Devil Eyes." The project was discontinued after the prototypes were developed in 2006, the Post reports.

Fake Russian propaganda - 2 [Google "translation"] - How to manipulate the public opinion of Russia, producing photos and videos from different parts of the globe for talent Ukrainian events - svoboda.org: Among the ten sets of images:

Scene from the Russian-Belarusian film "Brest Fortress" (2010) used as evidence "atrocities" of the Ukrainian army in the Donbass.

Photo 1992 Bosnia: Serb soldier "Tigers" finishes dying on the street Bosnians. Served under the slogan "Save the Ukrainian Donbass from the army."

Photo from Chechnya issued for a picture of Ukraine. See also.

From Primitivism to Propaganda - L. Brandon Krall, nyartsmagazine.com: A museum quality exhibition of 35 Russian Constructivist and early modernist works on paper by 16 artists are on view in the main salon of the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South. Curated from the collection of Marina and Nikolay Shchukin by Matthew Drutt, the show is on view through June 14, and it is rich with works from this fertile and socially turbulent period of world history. The show features a marvelous set of costume designs: a fabulous Erté, a striking costume for the Pushkin production of The Golden Cockerel by Natalia Gontchorova, and Smeraldina, a delightful black character wearing curly-toed slippers by an unknown artist.

These costume designs and finely executed studies for propaganda posters and book covers make us realize that they were made in an epoch when the theatre and stage spectacles engaged most people, decades before movie theatres and television in the 50s. These inventive paintings, drawings, and collages were contemporary and cutting edge, and many retain that vitality from artists working in the pre-digital age. Suprematist works by Nikolai Suetin, less known to a Western audience, freshly express their idealism. Designs in red and black on a white field for radio speakers and Communism MUSIC Americanism by Gustav Klutsis arouse admiration and still conjure today some of the revolutionary spirit they invoked a century ago. Image from entry, with caption: Gustave Klutsis, Communism MUSIC Americanism, circa 1920. Collage, gouache, and ink on paper. 11 х 8.3 in. Image courtesy of Gallery Shchukin


"Is Rick Stengel, since he left Time Magazine, alive or dead at the State Department as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs?"

--Question asked by a valued PDPBR subscriber, to which your PDPBR compiler has no answer; check with Public Affairs at the State Department; image from

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