By Edmond Y. Azadian
Pundits and observers of the Western press have noticed recently the intensification of criticism of the Azeri government and its authoritarian ruler, Ilham Aliyev. One can surmise a real deterioration in US-Azeri relations. But that is only the tip of the iceberg, because powerful undercurrents — including regional realignments and tectonic changes in world politics — are all playing their roles.
In the integrated world today, any political action will create a domino effect, influencing policies far away in another region.
Despite absolute freedom of the press in the US and Europe, there is a tacit collusion between the governments and the major news outlets. For example, any far-reaching policy change in the last Bush administration would be heralded in the editorial and op-ed columns of the Wall Street Journal. Similarly, recent improvement in the US-Cuban relations was preceded by a series of editorial comments in the New York Times encouraging the administration to abandon its 50-year-old isolationist policy toward Cuba. Either the Times editors were extremely prescient or they had received a nod from the administration to lay the groundwork with the American public for the policy shift.
And when Mr. Obama’s dramatic announcement came to change course in US-Cuban relations, some people were led to believe in the power of the press to impact policy.