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Friday, January 27, 2006

U.S. Firms Aiding Iran's Internet Censors

Even as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other U.S. internet firms are getting much-deserved grief in this country over their support of the censorship requirements of the Chinese communist regime for doing business in that country, other domestic firms are aiding similar efforts of the Islamofascist regime ruling Iran.

Democracy Project's Bruce Kesler has a roundup of evidence from a variety of sources that paint a disturbing picture:

"While much attention is focused on the willing, profit-driven complicity of U.S. and Western technology firms in furthering China's Internet censorship, similar behavior in Iran is even more troubling. Simply, the immediate threat from Iran is more pressing, and some Western firms' trade behavior is even more contradictory to peaceful transition hopes."

Those transition hopes are essentially the argument that totalitarian regimes will soften and perhaps even fade into history as a result of the U.S. and other Western nations continuing their political, commercial and other relationships with nations like Iran.

That's the argument just made by Microsoft's Bill Gates regarding his company's involvement in China. President Reagan had a word to describe that approach - appeasement. It's bribing the alligator to eat you last.

The more immediate problem with Iran is the prospect that the ruling fanatics will succeed in developing a deliverable nuclear bomb and use it to destroy Israel before any such softening process - assuming one actually exists - has time to have an effect.

This is a serious problem and it seems almost inevitable that more revelations are coming of corporations in the U.S. and other Western nations aiding the many authoritarian and totalitarian regimes that remain the world, always as a price of doing business and with the comforting rationalization that doing business with tyrants can also be doing good.

Go here for the rest of Kesler's post.