The Propaganda War

Meryl Yourish has a great piece on how Hizballah and other terrorist groups manipulate the Western press.

If we’re going to win this war, we need a press corps that understands that their responsibilities as a citizen don’t end when they become a “journalist”. Journalistic freedoms are bought and paid for by the blood of those who fight for this country – and yet enemy propaganda is treated with unquestioning obesiance while the word of our own military is instantly suspect. No wonder the press is the most distrusted institution in American society today.

Yourish concludes:

The message is clear. Jewish lives have never counted for much in the history of the world, except to Jews. Israeli lives—even Israeli Arab lives, apparently—don’t muster a whit of sympathy from the world. Part of it is due to the losses in the propaganda war. Part of it is due to the hatred of Jews the world cannot seem to abandon.

But the effects would be lessened, I think, if the media did their jobs more thoroughly, and stopped playing into the enemy’s hands by publishing their propaganda so readily, and so uncritically.

The Jihadis don’t distinguish between combatants and civilians. They have threatened journalists in Lebanon on more than one occasion. I don’t think they’d hesitate to kill reporters, and if they did, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they then put the body in a site hit by Israeli shelling. And get Green Helmet Guy to direct the video.

This war has many fronts, and the propaganda front is not the least of them.

The Jihadis are winning.

Sadly, I think she’s right. The terrorist strategy from the beginning has been to use the media as a force multiplier. Going head-to-head against the US military is abject suicide. Using the soft underbelly of American self-doubt to do what no military force on this planet can do not only will work – it already did. It’s no at all surprising that Osama bin Laden studied the strategies of North Vietnamese General Giap and how he turned the military disaster of the Tet Offensive into a win for the North. He’s doing it to us again.

Sadly, once again the media is doing their part, intentionally or not. We’re in an information war, and many of our own guns have been turned against us.

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