Saturday, July 02, 2005
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin'
So Iran's elections are over. Think President Bush is still going to herald Iran as an example of his Democratic reforms moving across the Mid East? Anti-Americanism was certainly a factor in the election, and the new leadership has already made clear their determination to continue the nuclear program.A great editorial in the Beirut Daily Star ( http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&article_id=16421&categ_id=17) shows that Iran's neighbors are about as excited by the election results in Iran as Americans are. However, the deep distrust of America that exists in the Middle East; we cannot use this local fear of Iranian power to contain Iran as we contained and isolated communist states in the Cold War.
The situation in Iran is another illustration of the failures of our foreign policy in the Arab and Muslim world. We're not making friends. We're not winning the hearts and minds of the people that are making the decisions, and its not just a problem with our leadership at the top. There has been a xenophobic reaction to 9-11 in our media and popular culture; and our leadership has preyed on it to further unrelated causes in the Muslim world.
As much as I think we need to stay put in Iraq until the country has stabilized; I know we need a new plan, a more complete plan, to win the public relations battle that is a crucial borderline in the War on Terror.