How to win friends and influence people

….on behalf of your enemy.

Iran has never been so popular in the Middle East and Asia.

The U.S. government has long been accused of botching public diplomacy in the Muslim world, where the United States is largely seen as an aggressive superpower more interested in dropping bombs than promoting democracy.

Iran, on the other hand, has been bolstering its image not only by capitalizing on longstanding religious and economic ties, but also by contributing millions of dollars for the reconstruction of Lebanon and Afghanistan, as well as informal aid to Iraq.

And while the US has been trying desperately to isolate Iran diplomatically, the efforts appear to be backfiring. The only thing they have achieved with their belligerent and pig headed foreign policy is to to rive Iran into the welcoming arms of the rising powers of the world.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization invited Iran to become an observer in 2005, sparking concern in the U.S., and Ahmadinejad called for closer ties to the group when he attended last year’s summit in Shanghai. Kyrgyzstan is hosting the one-day annual meeting in its capital, Bishkek.

The Bush administration could not have realized a more self defeating outcome if they had done so by design.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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