Iran's Future

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Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria nicely sums up the problems in Iran, and offers this advice for the U.S.:

"The most hopeful aspect of Iran's tragedy is that it has dimmed the allure of Islamic politics. Iranians now have a visceral disgust with clerics in power, a backlash that is more likely to produce the separation of mosque and state than scholarly writings about an Islamic reformation. Washington should make a major effort to publicize the mullahs' greed. It can obtain—from Switzerland, Luxembourg, wherever—the hard evidence that will show Iranians that their sainted leaders are as corrupt as Africa's worst tin-pot tyrants. Iranians already suspect this, but they cannot know the extent of the damage.

Washington should also fund the satellite-television stations, many beaming out of Los Angeles, that have become manna for information-starved Iranians. Most of their programs are not particularly political, but news, entertainment, fashion—all harmless windows into the modern world—are the slow killers of a closed society. Many of these stations are struggling for lack of money. Small sums could make a big difference."

(Charles Paul Freund explained how commercial culture can liberate Islam here.)

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  1. It’s beyond commercial culture, the revolution is happening, but like a hard birth, if someone doesn’t help it, it will die, stillborn. The US is losing a golden opportunity here.

    A political tip: when an Axis of Evil power is teetering into revolution, you keep your eye on the ball, and gently help them to help themselves, you reap what are known as “rewards.” Call it the Berlin ’89 strategy. Allow Iranians to speak to each other and plan this. Especially pro democracy pro US Iranians. Put exiled former leaders in touch with todays youth. Let them capitalize on our technology to build lives for themselves. They’re using chat rooms, blogs and mobile phones to organize. They want to use Radio Freedom.

    Unfortunately, someone in Washington has a better idea. Feed the people of Iran Whitney and Britney instead.

  2. (ok, HTML gets sanitized? My mistake. URL is in my Namespace)

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