Your Tax Dollars at Work

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

An Arabic-language magazine hitting newsstands in the Middle East this week may be America’s newest weapon in the war on terrorism, a White House official said Monday.

Hi magazine, which is subsidized by the U.S. State Department, will be sold in countries across the Middle East — including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Morocco and Algeria — for roughly $2 an issue….

U.S. officials hope the new monthly magazine, targeted toward 18-to-35-year-olds, will dispel misinformation and misconceptions about the United States by focusing on similarities between American and Middle Eastern cultures with articles about lifestyle, technology and health….

Along with the new magazine, [director of the White House Office of Global Communications Tucker] Eskew cited plans for an Arabic television network funded by the U.S. government as critical to communicating America’s messages to the Middle East.

I have my doubts about the TV network, but Hi magazine might really work. This month’s feature on actor Tony Shalhoub is great (or would be if I could read Arabic)– probably enough to make everyone forget the billions we send to Israel every year.