Yesterday, my week off the DC routine officially started. As I was walking around Times Square last night, I was reminded, again, that politics is present everywhere: even at the center of the "Cult of Consumerism."
I wonder how much did it cost the UANI to have the billboard up there? Also, is it a call to join a certain cause or, rather, a conspicuous statement of political (and/or financial) influence of the organization that put it up there?
And if you hadn't noticed, Ahmy has become the latest celebrity in DC as well. (Seems like a textbook example of a bad public information campaign: bad visuals + unclear text + the lack of information/connection.)
Public opinion "management"? Seems to have been working, especially when the efforts are in unison with other "interested" parties.
Implications? A poll conducted by CNN in February showed that 7 in 10 Americans believe that Iran already has nuclear weapons, while 1 in 4 support immediate military action. All this despite the continuous IAEA statements that "there is no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapons program in Iran" (although, yes, the latter is not being cooperative with the Agency).
Iran is dangerous and Ahmadinejad needs to be dealt with. But public education - even if limited to the location of the country on the map, its history, and its real current politics - would be much more useful and truthful, unlike such irrelevant references (DC) or "partial" but conspicuous statements (NYC)... Having a better informed public could open a door for further dialogue and understanding, and especially so, when it comes to people-to-people public diplomacy.
Such pieces of "art", however, perpetuate the ever-presence of the "evil Iranian" and go a long way in curbing that possibility.