Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hope this time it works better than before

Round two:
The Bush administration made an emergency request to Congress yesterday for a seven-fold increase in funding to mount the biggest ever propaganda campaign against the Tehran government, in a further sign of the worsening crisis between Iran and the west.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, said the $75m (£43m) in extra funds, on top of $10m already allocated for later this year, would be used to broadcast US radio and television programmes into Iran, help pay for Iranians to study in America and support pro-democracy groups inside the country.

We here believe that there couldn't be a better way to deal with Iran. The US should be inviting all qualified students to students from contentious countries to study at their universities. We never understood why the government thought making visa restrictions on students was going to fight terrorism.

American politicians should be doing everything in their power to revive the old American image as "Exporters of Hope" as T. Friedman put it.

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