Pew Research Center
While Americans have an overwhelmingly negative view of Castro, attitudes in many Latin American countries are far more favorable to the longtime Cuban leader.
"There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it."
Notwithstanding a conviction still popular in certain circles to the effect that diplomacy is a special calling or vocation, there is nothing sanctified about it. To cope with the myriad requirements of effective practice in the 21st century, diplomats have to chill out and loosen up.
For all the seething scorn and vitriol Americans have hurled toward Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in recent years one would never suspect a kindly word of either uttered privately, let alone publicly. But when it comes to public diplomacy such inhibitions seem to disappear even amongst the highest ranking political leadership and in the most public fashion. In a speech on November 26 before an audience at Kansas State University, it was Defense Secretary Robert Gates' turn to wax profoundly on the subject.
This article originally appeared on the USC US-China Institute's web magazine US-China Today.
Dear User: Due to the large number of text messages you’ve sent to the opposite sex, creating the worst and their negative influence on society, we have already suspended your text message service. Tomorrow, please bring your wooden stool to the police station to execute moral re-education!
(Translated Chinese Text Message)
This September, the United States Department of State launched its own blog – Dipnote. The blog is described as an “alternative source to mainstream media for U.S. foreign policy information” and an “opportunity for participants to discuss important foreign policy issues with senior Department officials.” Seems pretty ambitious. If anything, this belated foray into the blogosphere is a necessary if not crucial step towards making the State Department more relevant to its U.S.