A voice divided
Austin Bay quotes Timothy Garton Ash with respect to what America doesn't do in the field of information warfare.
Our universities should invite their academics and students, who have often been in the vanguard of standing up for free speech and human rights in Iran. Our newspapers and journalism schools should bring over their journalists. Our trades unions should hitch up with their unionists, some of whom have organised major strikes. Our parliaments should establish links with their parliament which, though far from fully democratic, has been giving Ahmadinejad a rough ride.
Writers, artists and filmmakers should be encouraged to travel to and fro, carrying ideas in both directions. Women’s movements in Iran, representing half the population systematically discriminated against, should be supported by women’s movements in Europe. Iran’s Islamic thinkers and jurists, both reformist modernisers and conservatives, should be engaged in dialogue by theologians and scholars from other faith traditions. All this should be done less by our governments than by our own societies, and not just by America and Britain - traditionally distrusted by many Iranians - but by all European countries, working separately and together. We need a European Iranpolitik.
The underlying reason why America is doing so poorly in the field of "information warfare" against the Jihad is that its traditional organs of articulation -- the academy, media, Hollywood -- are largely hostile to the War on Terror itself. It's conceivable that an Iranian might flee persecution only to be taught at a US university that he ought to embrace it by the many academic departments whose point of view is exactly that. In a fundamental sense, the War on Terror is twinned to the greatest single issue dividing the Left and Right, which is whether the United States, as a nation, is legitimate or whether, as some would maintain, it is Amerika: an abomination whose demise must be hastened by any means necessary.