Tuesday, April 29, 2003
The Middle East now has yet another 24-hour news station. Its name is al-Alam, it is sponsored by Iran, and it has become the major news source for Iraqis who can't afford a satellite dish to watch al-Jazeera and find the American broadcasts superficial. What I'm going to spell out in more detail when I have time is that Iran's two major neighboring enemies - Saddam Hussein and the Taliban - aren't there anymore, and Iran is playing now playing a decisive role in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Added to their influence in the West Bank and Lebanon, it leads to the possibility that if current trends continue, one long-term effect of the Bush foreign policy will be to leave Iran as the pre-eminent regional power between Central Asia and the Mediterranean.