In compiling the commentary section of our Media Roundup each day, we browse the opinion pages of many tens of international newspapers, journals and magazines. Given that opinion editors follow the news cycle, its not unusual to see distinct trends in commentary coverage.
However, the heavy focus on Iran today caught our eye because it was so pronounced, and because there was no one news event that obviously triggered the deluge. Iran, of course, has been a prominent subject of international coverage for many months now, and Ahmadinejad did set off on a tour of Central Asia this week (we noticed the tour was seen as a positive for Iran on today’s Global Power Barometer).
But reading today’s opinion pieces, we were struck by Iran’s seemingly disproportionate ability to influence world politics. Is this a testament to a) the Iranian government’s strategic brilliance, b) the ineptitude of the United States and other of Iran’s adversaries, or c) a tendency among foreign affairs commentators to exaggerate Iran’s power and significance?
Read the following, all from today (Aug. 14), and judge for yourself:
Iran Blacks Out Day of Protest By: Amir Taheri | New York Post
Iran’s Disruptive Hold Over Afghanistan is Rising By: Amin Tarzi | The Daily Star
On the Brink By: Michael Ledeen | National Review
A New Cold War With Iran? By: John Tirman | The Boston Globe
Why Europe Has Leverage With Iran By: Roger Stern | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
Iran Plays the Central Asia Card By: Kaveh L. Afrasiabi | Asia Times
The Middle East’s Nuclear Surge By: Joseph Cirincione and Uri Leventer | International Herald Tribune
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