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Friday, October 28, 2005

Radio Free Europe?

I can't work up any interest in the whole Plame thing. I don't care. I don't care if the whole administration is indicted - I just cannot see why talking about a woman being in the CIA who talked about it herself at parties is relevant to anything or a crime. The Anchoress and Dingo are following the whole thing, so, if you are interested....

But this - this matters! SC&A cover Radio Free Europe's sponsorship of an essay contest with themes like:
“A World without America”, “A Mirage Named Zionism”, “The Wishes of a Palestinian Student”, and “The Intifada”
According to SC&A, US taxpayers provided part of the funding. See Dr. Sanity's post on the conference itself.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred also have Dr. Sanity On The Couch. It's a nice change - an interview of a sane person conducted by a sane person.

But shouldn't we be asking some hard questions about just what Radio Free Europe is trying to promote? Free Europe's mission statement:
The mission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is to promote democratic values and institutions by disseminating factual information and ideas.

From Central Europe to the Pacific, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, from Russia to Central Asia to the Persian Gulf, countries are struggling to overcome autocratic institutions, violations of human rights, centralized economies, ethnic and religious hostilities, regional conflicts, and controlled media.

Stability -- based on democracy and free-market economies -- throughout this region is essential to global peace.Based on the conviction that the first requirement of democracy is a well informed citizenry, and building on nearly a half century of surrogate broadcasting to this region:

1.RFE/RL provides objective news, analysis, and discussion of domestic and regional issues crucial to successful democratic and free-market transformations.

2.RFE/RL strengthens civil societies by projecting democratic values.

3.RFE/RL combats ethnic and religious intolerance and promotes mutual understanding among peoples.

4.RFE/RL provides a model for local media, assists in training to enhance media professionalism and independence, and develops partnerships with local media outlets.

5.RFE/RL fosters closer ties between the countries of the region and the world's established democracies.
I think they have a methodology problem.... Today I found this article regarding Iranian attitudes towards Israel on their website:
According to state radio, in his 21 October sermon at the Tehran Friday prayers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Qods Day is especially important this year for several reasons, one of which is that some Islamic states are normalizing their relations with Israel -- he described this as "the conspiracy instigated by the Americans, the Zionists, and some of their allies." Khamenei discouraged this normalization process and suggested that countries do this just to please the United States.

Khamenei is not the only Iranian official to speak out recently against normalized relations with Israel. President Mahmud Ahmadinejad told his cabinet in Tehran on 24 October that Israel's effort to normalize relations with Muslim countries is a "new Zionist plot," state radio reported. Ahmadinejad said that "Muslim nations will not let it do so on international Qods Day." Two days later, Ahmadinejad told a conference on "A World Without Zionism" in Tehran that any government that normalizes its ties with Israel will encounter the wrath of the Islamic umma (community), the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) and state television reported.
Israel can't win. If it tries to make peace, it is a Zionist plot. If it builds a wall, it is a Zionist plot. If it fights back, it is engaging in "state-sponsored terrorism".

Today the Israeli Ambassador to the UN recommended this issue be referred to the Security Council. It would be interesting to see what happens. (Probably nothing, but at least we'll see how "nothing" actually works!)
Irina, "Nothing" will be what they get...
It is hard to believe that you and I are the only ones discussing the RFE's debacle.

I just want to know the name of the person charged with RFE oversight. The buck has to stop somewhere.
No doubt someone who served on the staff of the 9/11 Commission....

Yes, this is a wild story.
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