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While the Russian's do have internet, most of them don't speak English and can't consume any English media.

They donít need English media. There are plenty of anti-government websites in Russian some of which regularly publish information about the local corruption scandals.
At current funding levels Voice of America does reach 187.7 million people weekly.

This is what VoA governing board claims. Given the obvious incentives to inflate the number, Iím not sure we can trust it.
At the same time it can reduce the power of Iranian hardliners.

Not really. Most people who might listen to VoA and trust its claims about corruption scandals are the people who are already pro-western in their orientation. It is actually the same in the West. The audiences of the Fox News and of MSNBC do not overlap. So the FOX can publish plenty of compromising material about BHO without most of the MSNBC audience ever becoming aware of it.






"Most people who might listen to VoA and trust its claims about corruption scandals are the people who are already pro-western in their orientation. It is actually the same in the West."
I think you are wrong on multiple levels.

When asked which newspapers she reads Sarah Palin famously said "all of them". People who persue the news for entertainment might only consume news from one newssource but stakeholders in a society who actually act based on the information and who want to inform themselves read broadly.

While you do have anti-government websites in Russian the amount of research that they can do is limited because most of the aren't well founded. Soros gives them likely a few million. It's hard to found well researched regime critical Russian language content.
There a difference between news outlets who can research new stories and outlet's that just repeat what was published elsewhere.

Then non-Western countries are more vulnerable to the free press. Julian Assange that free press is legal in the West because the system is robust, so that you can't change the power structures with it. The same is not true in third world nations.
Wikileaks/TheGuardian turned that one Keynian election through reporting on corruption.
The Chinese do frequently have scandals where officials get sacked.

In times of crisis loyality matters. The Egyptian military didn't back Mubarak because it didn't believe in his government. Coup d'ťtats frequently happen when the government loses support of their military.

Dictartorships don't have everybody in the government believing that the dictatorship is good. A person who in power in Iran and wants to change the status quo has a lot of alternatives of orienting himself. They can orient themselves towards Saudi Arabia. They can orient themselves towards China. They can orient themselves towards Russia. They can orient themselves towards the US.

A person who believes in the Chiense way will take different actions than a person who wants to orient themselves towards the West.

Ukraine likely wouldn't have had elected a pro-Western government when the US wouldn't have spend $5 billion dollar since it's secession from the US on proping up Western voices in it.

The amount of money spent it took to get Uganda to go after homoexualities likely wasn't that high. On the other side after the Guardian decided last year to have a campaign against female genital mutilation Gambia and Nigera banned the practice this year.
You need a lot less to have political effects in those countries than you need in the US.
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ChristianKl
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