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  • U.S. Funding for the BBC?

    Just what is it with the Obama Administration and state broadcasters? Not content with sticking by NPR after the House of Representatives voted to cut off its funding, it now emerges that the administration has been giving money to the BBC and, according to one report, is considering increasing that … More

    U.S. Job Performance as Global Leader: A Mixed Report Card

    Americans are rightly concerned about the United States’ ability to remain a global leader. In Iowa, Republican presidential aspirants have voiced concerns over President Obama’s lack of decisiveness, and the battle over the U.S. budget currently underway on Capitol Hill has caused people to question whether the United States can … More

    Clinton to Congress: We are Losing the Information War

    News flash: “We are in an information war, and we’re losing that war.” This source for this conclusion was not one of the at least 15 reports on U.S. public diplomacy that have appeared over the last decade; it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking before the Senate Foreign … More

    Internet Shutdowns Drive Protestors in Middle East

    Shutting down the Internet did precious little good for Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. It is not likely to do Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi much good either. In fact, it appeared to intensify the determination of the Arab protesters, who found themselves cut off from the world. Yet on Friday, that was … More

    Iranian Days of Rage

    Has the Obama Administration finally reached agreement on its policy toward the Middle East uprisings? The State Department and the White House have been articulating a variety of different foreign policies on events in Egypt and Iran, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken the lead on supporting the … More

    Iran, the Mullah’s Worst Fear

    From the perspective of the dictatorships of the Middle East, the most obvious conclusion from the demonstrations in Egypt and the resignation Friday of embattled President Hosni Mubarak is undoubtedly that a little freedom is a dangerous thing. On the other hand, keeping a tight lid on any kind of … More

    Mubarak Shuts Down Social Media: Big Mistake

    The decision of the Egyptian authorities to turn on the Internet yesterday after a week of interruption reversed a massive, shortsighted mistake. While controlling the Internet may have seemed like an obvious solution to a situation rapidly spiraling out of control, the Internet actually provided an outlet for the pent-up … More

    Turmoil in the Middle East, Confusion in the White House

    There was a time when the U.S. government boldly supported democratic movements and spoke out unabashedly in favor of political and human rights. It wasn’t even that long ago—under the Bush and Reagan Administrations, actually—but it seems like eons. Consider President Obama’s comment in the State of the Union speech … More

    A Show of Iranian Unity

    Iranian political dissidents are notorious for their bitter factions and for not being able to work together—probably the single biggest cultural asset the Islamic Republic regime has. However, the Iran Democratic Transition Conference showed Iranians finding unity on a common purpose, bringing democracy to their home country where the longing … More

    The End of Diplomacy As We Know It

    There is no such thing as secret diplomacy anymore, maybe not even plain old diplomacy. This week’s mammoth WikiLeaks dump of State Department Internet traffic has ensured that henceforth all diplomacy may end up in the public domain at the push of a button. WikiLeaks is nothing less than an … More