from LobeLog: News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for October 25th, 2010:
Commentary: Max Boot blogs that, in light of Hamid Karzaiâ€™s acknowledgment that he receives $2 million a year from Iran, â€œthe Iranians have attempted similar dollar diplomacy in Iraq, Lebanon, and lots of other countries. No surprise that they should try the same thing with another neighbor.â€ Boot says Iranâ€™s policy is to give money to both the Afghan government and, allegedly, the Taliban, and its tendency to make contributions in cash is cynical and â€œseedy.â€ But the strategy is â€œnot that far removed from conventional foreign aid programs run by the U.S., Britain and other powers.â€ Karzaiâ€™s decision to take Iranian money doesnâ€™t make him a â€œdupe of Iran,â€ and he gets far more money from the U.S., says Boot. Instead, Boot takes the lesson that the revelations should be a warning that if the U.S. leaves, â€œAfghanistan will once again be the scene of a massive civil war, with neighboring states, and in particular Pakistan and Iran, doing their utmost to exert their influence to the detriment of our long-term interests.â€
Pajamas Media: Michael Ledeen writes that the Wikileaks release shows that Iran is engaging in the â€œmurder of Americans.â€ Ledeen says the documents show proof that heâ€™s â€œbeen pretty much on-target all alongâ€ and that his critics owe him an apology. â€œBut the really big apologies are due from our political leaders, whoâ€¦ have failed to respond, either politically (as I have proposed) or militarily,â€ he writes. He names many officials from the Clinton, Bush and Obama White Houses and says they are â€œall accomplices to the great evil that is the Islamic Republic of Iran,â€ and calls for overt support of Iranian opposition movements.
The Washington Post: Thomas J. Raleigh, a strategic planner at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad since August 2008, opines that while Iraq is building a stable and prosperous economy, â€œIran will be feeling increasingly isolated.â€ Iranian visitors to Iraq will see the benefits of free trade and democracy and will come back to Iran wanting a similar standard of living. â€œAs the Iraqi standard of living rises, Iranian leaders will eventually find themselves confronting an economic â€˜comparative crisisâ€™ much like that East German leaders confronted in the 1980s as their people looked enviously â€˜over the wallâ€™,â€ writes Raleigh.
The Washington Post: Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jackson Diehl writes that supporting free access to the internet should be better funded by the State Department and describes the success of such firewall breaching firms as UltraReach, a company which allows internet users to circumvent national firewalls. Diehl writes that the companiesâ€™ founders say that with $30 million in funding they could â€œeffectively destroy the Internet controls of Iran and most other dictatorships.â€ Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner has said that defeating internet censorship would be a â€œgame changerâ€ in countries like Iran. Diehl writes that the holdup in funding such projects is rooted in a fear of offending the Chinese government. â€œState is polishing its policy and preparing yet more training programs, Iranians and people from dozens of other countries are trying to get free access to the Internet,â€ concludes Diehl.