On March 19, President Bush spoke directly to an audience that may prove to be among America's most important allies in the War for the Free World: the Iranian people. He did so by associating himself and his country with their long-denied aspiration for freedom - an aspiration that continues to be suppressed, in his words, by "a regime that says they have elections but they get to decide who's on the ballot, which is not a free and fair election."
Mr. Bush added, "The people of Iran can rest assured that the United States - whether I'm president or [it's] the next president - will strongly support their desires to live in a free society." What happens in the next eight months may determine whether these words amount to empty rhetoric, or a real program for undermining the Iranian mullahocracy that survives a presidential transition.
Interestingly, the instrument Mr. Bush chose for this salvo in the battlefront known as the War of Ideas was Radio Farda. That Farsi-language network receives financial support from the U.S. government under the sponsorship of "surrogate" broadcast services Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
As it happens, Radio Farda and its official U.S. counterpart, the Voice of America's Persian Service, have reportedly engaged in recent years in practices that have raised questions about whose side they were on. Whistle-blowers and independent monitors have repeatedly warned that these agencies broadcast into Iran programming that actually advances not the cause of freedom, but the agenda of the Iranian regime that President Bush has correctly decried. Improvements have been made at Radio Farda by Jeff Gedmin, the new and highly regarded head of RFE/RL, but concerns about program content persist. [more...]
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy, a National Security Expert, and a columnist for the Washington Times. More on Frank...
The New Guardians of Israel
By Caroline B. Glick
Moshav Tzipori, in the Lower Galilee, is a microcosm of the history of the Land of Israel. A regional capital under King Herod, Tzipori was the seat of Jewish learning and the preservation of the Torah through some of the most tumultuous periods of Jewish history. After the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, refugees from Jerusalem fled to the Galilean town. Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi, who presided over the writing of the Mishna, or oral law, moved to Tzipori from Beit Shearim, and it was there that he codified the six books of the Mishna and died. The Jews of Tzipori revolted against the Roman Emperor Constantine, refusing to accept Christianity and the city was destroyed. The Jews later returned during the Islamic period. On and off, for the next millennia, Jews settled, were forcibly removed and resettled the city several times under various conquerors of Israel. [more...]