Irvine, CA–The U.S.-financed TV channel Al Hurra, broadcasting in Arabic to the Middle East, has come under fire for failing to win popular support for America in the Arab world–a goal Washington calls “public diplomacy.” Critics attack the channel for providing “friendly coverage” to Islamist groups, such as Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaeda.

According to Republican and Democratic critics, better oversight is needed to ensure that in the future the channel will not, as it did recently, broadcast a 30-minute speech by Hezbollah’s leader or devote coverage to Iran’s Holocaust-denial conference. But the very premise of this TV channel is preposterous and immoral, said Elan Journo, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand institute. “America’s self-interest demands not that we fix Al Hurra; but that we scrap it–along with all ‘public diplomacy’ initiatives.

“The goal of this channel, and of the State Department’s other ‘public diplomacy,’ is to appease the hostility of the Arab world and thereby supposedly discourage Muslims from ‘radicalizing.’ To that end, Washington funds Islamic radio and TV shows, cultural workshops, the restoration of mosques, the building of Islamic schools. But this is perverse. Our goal should be to defend American lives and uphold our own values, not to apologize and pander to hostile peoples.

“Contrary to the administration’s evasions, the enemy is an ideological-political movement–Islamic totalitarianism–that is widely endorsed and supported in the Arab-Islamic world. The only rational means of eliminating the threat from Islamic totalitarianism is to defeat its state representatives–Iran and Saudi Arabia–by military force–and thus demoralize its many supporters.

“Doing that will demonstrate to hostile peoples in the Arab-Islamic world that the cause of jihad is lost–and that fighting for this cause can bring them only destruction. Only demoralized people will reject the ideals and leaders that inspired their belligerence and promised victory; only humiliating defeat will drive them to renounce the fight as hopeless.

“America’s fawning ‘public diplomacy’ in the Middle East is self-destructive, because it can only strengthen the appeal of Islamic totalitarianism by lending plausibility to the charge that the United States is cowardly and morally bankrupt. It is high time Washington declared that America stands for–and will defend to the death–the ideals of individualism, reason and freedom. Our lives depend on bringing our enemies defeat, not an Arabic version of ‘Sesame Street.'”

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