Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Signs of Influence

Via Praktike, I found this article which bothered me more than a little. The Moroccan government was allegedly wondering how they could influence U.S. government policy. So they looked at interest groups that had power in Washington, and found one they could win over fairly painlessly. Specifically, they decided to have some politically active evangelical Christians do a rock concert. That in itself was fairly harmless, but what frightens me is that it seems to be working, as one of the group's leaders is now saying the religious right needs to "reassess their position on Western Sahara."

Let's leave aside the question of whether a Christian religious group really needs a position on Western Sahara. Are they really that easily influenced? I found some echoes of our worst Cold War mistakes, when foreign powers could easily win American support by painting their opponents as communists. Beyond that, what does it say that foreign governments now look at the religious right as a valuable foreign policy conduit? Do we really like where this could lead?


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