State Department Requests Funding For Middle East TV Network

"The budget request for the State Department for 2004 reflects the changing foreign policy priorities of an administration set on winning the global war on terrorism and the hearts and minds of the countries where terrorists recruit," UPI's Eli J. Lake writes. "It includes $30 million to launch the Middle East Television Network, an Arabic language satellite station. Also, the budget will double funding for the Voice of America's Indonesia channel. ... Big losers in the budget include both big and small programs. The request for military assistance for international peace-keeping operations is just under $95 million -- less than a third of the $375 million allocated in 2002. But estimates for peace-keeping, because it is so controversial on Capitol Hill, are often underestimated in budget requests."