David Ignatius at PostGlobal

David Ignatius

PostGlobal co-moderator David Ignatius is a Washington Post columnist with a wide-ranging career in journalism, having served at various times as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor. He has also written widely for magazines and published six novels. Ignatius’s twice-weekly column on global politics, economics and international affairs debuted on The Washington Post op-ed page in January 1999, and has been syndicated worldwide by The Washington Post Writers Group. The column won the 2000 Gerald Loeb Award for Commentary and a 2004 Edward Weintal Prize. From September 2000 to January 2003, Ignatius served as executive editor of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune. Prior to becoming a columnist, Ignatius was the Post´s assistant managing editor in charge of business news, a position he assumed in 1993. He served as the Post´s foreign editor from 1990 to 1992, supervising the paper´s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From 1986 to 1990, he was editor of the Post´s Sunday Outlook section. Close.

David Ignatius

PostGlobal co-moderator David Ignatius is a Washington Post columnist with a wide-ranging career in journalism, having served at various times as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor. He has also written widely for magazines and published six novels more »

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Free Hossein Derakhshan

When Fareed Zakaria and I created PostGlobal in June 2006, one of the first people we asked to join our panel of global commentators was an Iranian blogger named Hossein Derakhshan. He was a natural choice--smart, outspoken, unpredictable, fearless. He already had a wide following among young Iranians, inside and outside Iran, and we wanted to share his views with a wider audience.

Derakhshan has been a lively member of the PostGlobal group -- sometimes defending the Iranian regime, sometimes criticizing it. Anyone who wants to see the range of his views can go to his page on PostGlobal for a sample of his posts. He returned to Tehran a few weeks ago, after living mostly in Canada since 2000, and we were looking forward to seeing what this iconoclastic voice would say about his native country.

Last weekend we learned that Derakhshan has been arrested and accused of spying for Israel. He had traveled there in 2007, openly and publicly -- writing about his experiences for his own weblog, "Editor: Myself." We fear that his real crime in the eyes of the Iranian authorities was that he dared to visit the Jewish state and write about its people as human beings -- as opposed to the demons of Iranian official propaganda. He was traveling on a Canadian passport, which unlike that of Iran doesn't forbid contact with Israel.

This arrest will only deepen Iran's isolation from the rest of the world. We live on a planet where people are increasingly free to travel, think, talk, and communicate via the Internet. It's a global community in which millions of young Iranians feel part -- we know that from the tens of thousands of Iranian blogs, and from the Iranian traffic we get at PostGlobal. Does the Iranian government really think that it can dam this tide of free-flowing information? Does it imagine that by arresting one of its most prominent young bloggers, it will create anything other than scorn, at home and abroad?

Hossein Derakhshan is part of the international network of thinkers and commentators that is symbolized by PostGlobal. We know that members of this network -- commentators and readers alike -- join us in protesting Derakhshan's arrest and calling for his freedom.

Please e-mail PostGlobal if you'd like to receive an email notification when PostGlobal sends out a new question.

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.