On iconography and soft power

I remembered recently what all the fuss over Ahmedinejad’s Lebanon jaunt reminded me of. According to press reports, pretty much every surface in Lebanon had a welcome message, with huge pictures of the Iranian president and slogans in Farsi welcoming him to the country. All of which was reminiscent of what I saw when I was in Beirut: posters every hundred metres or so featuring the rotund Emir of Qatar and the words ‘Shukran ya Qatar’, i.e. thank you Qatar, a phrase which I found quite amusing (thank you, Qatar, for the enormous dollop of money you gave us to rebuild Beirut in a tasteless fashion). Anyway. All of this is a roundabout way of saying that the international media, obsessed with Ahmedinejad and his kooky plans to throw stones over the border at the Zionist entity, forget that Iran is by no means the only country with interests and influence in Lebanon. Including huge dollops of money.

On the subject of Ahmedinejad, here is a video bonus, with a large hat tip to my Cairo correspondent and partner in crime AMW. (Article in Arabic but the video really transcends language.)



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Filed under Politics

One response to “On iconography and soft power

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