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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Monday, December 16, 2002


Iran needs meat, US is doling out milk
Well, crud. This story about American pop-culture propaganda that I mentioned a while ago in a positive light apparently is less positive than the New York Times made it seem (not the New York Times!). Apparently the hip new shows are preempting the more important aspects--like giving Iranians an opportunity to hear what is happening in their own country. An excerpt from Jackson Deihl's peice on it, thanks to Instapundit:
The protest movement, now five weeks old, rolls on, spreading from students to workers and from Tehran to other cities. Some see parallels to the popular movements that overthrew the Communist regimes of Europe in 1989 -- with a big dose of help from U.S.-sponsored Radio Free Europe. In this case, however, the tottering dictatorship has gotten a big break: Two weeks ago, Radio Freedom abruptly disappeared from the air. Iranians were no longer able to hear firsthand reports of the protests or the nightly think tanks about their country's future. Instead, after two weeks of virtual silence, the broadcasts are being replaced this week with tunes from Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston and other soft-rockers.
How did the mullahs pull off this well-timed lobotomy? They didn't: The U.S. government, in the form of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, did it. In an act that mixes Hollywood arrogance with astounding ignorance of Iranian reality, the board has silenced the most effective opposition radio station in Iran at a time of unprecedented ferment. In its place, at three times the expense, the United States now will supply Iran's revolutionary students with a diet of pop music -- on the theory that this better advances U.S. interests.
This is immensely annoying, but hopefully not overly damaging. The really frustrating thing is that the Iranians will probably be successful despite this inane policy change, and then the Board of Governors will assume that it was a good idea, and do it again.
What they don't realize--and what a lot of people don't realize--is that the time for convincing the Iranian people that the USA is a good idea is mostly over. This "popaganda" (I'm very pleased with my new word) has its purpose, and it's probably good that it's there--but the fact is that Iranians seem to already agree that democracy is a good idea and that the mullahs are not. Now they need to know how to make it a reality.

Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!

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