Today brings news of continued silencing of the free media in Morocco, brutal crackdowns on demonstrations in Nepal, plans to increase fines for Iranians with satellite dishes (which allow them to receive foreign news) from £60 to more than £3,000 and also to jail women who are deemed to flout the regime's definition of Islamic morals, and, finally, news from China that Yahoo! helped convict a pro-democracy campaigner.
In the case of Iran it is important to remember that 65% of the population are under 25 and, as a result, are probably not irreversibly anti-West. However, if George W. Bush continues to make such inflammatory statements ("We are ready to consider all options, including military operations in order to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon," Bush said yesterday. "All means are acceptable in order to prevent the danger represented by Iran.") then Timothy Garton Ash's terrifying, but utterly plausible, vision (which I would urge everyone to read) could become a reality.