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  • An Embarrassment in Shanghai

    As a world leader, the United States cannot be lackadaisical about the power of symbols and images. Ronald Reagan knew this and as one of his first official acts as president, he turned the lights back on the monuments in Washington, which had literally been darkened by President Carter during … More

    State's Schizophrenic Stance on Internet Freedom

    To fund or not to fund – the State Department’s Hamlet like approach to Internet freedom. Having unequivocally declared Internet freedom one of the Obama administration’s top priorities back in January, the State Department has been sending out confusingly mixed signals ever since. In fact, what is emerging is a … More

    U.S. International Broadcasting in Leaderless Limbo

    Well into the second year of the Obama administration, U.S. international broadcasting services remain in a leaderless state of vacuum. Nor are these important public diplomacy assets of the government likely to emerge from limbo anytime soon, which is deeply unfortunate given the intensifying global competition for information dominance. At … More

    Nobel Peace Prize for Ahmadinejad?

    The popular appeal of nuclear weapon free world rhetoric has not been lost on Tehran. This is an insight the Iranian regime shares with Obama administration, which has made nuclear arms reduction arguably its top foreign policy objective. Not to be outdone by the Nuclear Summit here in Washington, the … More

    Rising and Falling on Internet Freedom

    Internet freedom could well be the defining issue of the 21st century, the issue on which authoritarian regimes stand or fall. Authoritarian regimes  are only too well aware that the greatest threat they face today is less from an outside military force than from populations empowered by information about their … More

    Voice of the Regime?

    Voice of America is finding itself in the news again, and not for reasons that should please the leadership of the institution. This time the spotlight has landed on VOA’s Persian News Network. Over the years, VOA has on occasion strayed from good judgment and allowed voices on the air … More

    Confucius to Their Enemies: China’s Investment in Public Diplomacy

    Anyone who doubts the value of money spent on competition in the world of ideas – a key aspect of public diplomacy – needs to take a look at what the Chinese are doing in this field. Aspiring to promote their own model of governance, in opposition to that of … More

    The Two Faces of Obama’s Human Rights Policy

    If you are a human rights activist or suffer under the yoke of an oppressive regime, do not expect the United States to be rushing to your assistance these days. As the U.S. government persists in pursuing engagement with less than savory regimes – such as those of Cuba and … More

    New Poll Shows Carteresque Trend for Obama

    A top priority of the Obama presidency has been to restore the image of the United States in the world; in image allegedly left in tatters by the Bush administration. Unfortunately for the president, however, Americans by a wide margin now believe that that the United States standing in the … More

    Free Flow of Information: A Great Tool Against Totalitarianism

    Of all the isolated places on earth, North Korea is a strong candidate for the most dismal. Yet it is the case in the information age that no country can be 100 percent hermetically sealed from the rest of the world. Even in North Korea, cracks are appearing in the … More