How can so many people watch this as if they were spectators, handicapping and rating the successes and failures from some imagined position of neutrality? Do they suppose that a defeat in Iraq would be a defeat only for the Bush administration? The United States is awash in human rights groups, feminist organizations, ecological foundations, and committees for the rights of minorities. How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of 'missing' Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East? Is Abu Ghraib really the only subject that interests our humanitarians?The New York Times ran a fascinating report (subscription only), under the byline of James Glanz, on July 8. It was a profile of Dr. Alaa Tamimi, the mayor of Baghdad, whose position it would be a gross understatement to describe as 'embattled.' Dr. Tamimi is a civil engineer and convinced secularist who gave up a prosperous exile in Canada to come home and help rebuild his country. He is one among millions who could emerge if it were not for the endless, pitiless torture to which the city is subjected by violent religious fascists. He is quoted as being full of ideas, of a somewhat Giuliani-like character, about zoning enforcement, garbage recycling, and zero tolerance for broken windows. If this doesn't seem quixotic enough in today's gruesome circumstances, he also has to confront religious parties on the city council and an inept central government that won't give him a serious budget.Then go back to these classics on 4th Generation Warfare:
The third idea that shapes our understanding of fourth generation warfare ties in our situation here at home. In the United States of America, our traditional, Western, Judeo-Christian culture is collapsing. It is not collapsing because it failed. On the contrary, it has given us the freest and most prosperous society in human history. Rather, it is collapsing because we are abandoning it.And
Starting in the mid-1960s, we have thrown away the values, morals, and standards that define traditional Western culture. In part, this has been driven by cultural radicals, people who hate our Judeo-Christian culture. Dominant in the elite, especially in the universities, the media, and the entertainment industry (now the most powerful force in our culture and a source of endless degradation), the cultural radicals have successfully pushed an agenda of moral relativism, militant secularism, and sexual and social "liberation." This agenda has slowly codified into a new ideology. usually known as "multiculturalism" or "political correctness," that is in essence Marxism translated from economic into social and cultural terms.
This new, cultural Marxism has had remarkable success in discrediting America's common culture and substituting for it cultural fragmentation based on ethnic groups, gender, sexual identity, and class. If this trend continues, Americans will increasingly find they have less in common with each other as Americans. National identity will weaken. Other, mutually hostile identities will strengthen, until the nation comes apart: region vs. region, minority vs. minority, and gang vs. gang. When one nation comes apart at its cultural seams, eventually it turns on itself and fights. ("Fourth Generation Warfare: Another Look"
William S. Lind, Maj John F. Schmitt, and Col Gary I. Wilson, Marine Corps Gazette December 1994, Pages 34-37)
Highly sophisticated psychological warfare, especially through manipulation of the media, particularly television news. Some terrorists already know how to play this game. More broadly, hostile forces could easily take advantage of a significant product of television reporting — the fact that on television the enemy's casualties can be almost as devastating on the home front as are friendly casualties. If we bomb an enemy city, the pictures of enemy civilian dead brought into every living room in the country on the evening news can easily turn what may have been a military success (assuming we also hit the military target) into a serious defeat.("The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation,"
William S. Lind, Colonel Keith Nightengale (USA), Captain John F. Schmitt (USMC), Colonel Joseph W. Sutton (USA), and Lieutenant Colonel Gary I. Wilson (USMCR),Marine Corps Gazette, October 1989, Pages 22-26
Update: Ranting Profs hammers home the point:
The people being killed and maimed mean so little to the terrorists because they are less people then they are props, serving a purely instrumental need. I wonder if the press would cover these attacks differently if they would start thinking of them as the staged news events that they really are?I'm sure they wouldn't, for they are as anti-American as the jihadists and though they may not desire the same outcome, they are clearly "useful idiots" for the Islamofascists.
Update2: corrected an incomplete thought
Update3: Also see this on the Jihadist use of the internet...and this.