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Smart Power Failure: Iran Cracks Down on Freedom

John on November 24, 2009 at 1:03 am

From the NY Times:

After last summer’s disputed presidential election, Iran’s government relied largely on brute force — beatings, arrests and show trials — to stifle the country’s embattled opposition movement.

Now, stung by the force and persistence of the protests, the government appears to be starting a far more ambitious effort to discredit its opponents and re-educate Iran’s mostly young and restive population. In recent weeks, the government has announced a variety of new ideological offensives.

It is implanting 6,000 Basij militia centers in elementary schools across Iran to promote the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, and it has created a new police unit to sweep the Internet for dissident voices. A company affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards acquired a majority share in the nation’s telecommunications monopoly this year, giving the Guards de facto control of Iran’s land lines, Internet providers and two cellphone companies. And in the spring, the Revolutionary Guards plan to open a news agency with print, photo and television elements.

Obama gave Iran an open hand. Iran gave him the finger.Besieged government declares war on unfavorable media to consolidate power. Why is this sounding so familiar?

The President promised to reach out to Iran. He’s done that. These actions represent the Iranian response. Obama gave Iran an open hand. Iran gave him the finger.

At what point does the President reassess his stance toward dictators around the world in the same way he’s reassessing his position in Afghanistan? It should be clear by now that the President’s ill-considered approach has accomplished nothing. It’s time to change strategy before these Islamic tyrants have nukes.

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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