Friday, November 24, 2006

The battlefield of the media

Michael Totten warns that the US army's incompetence in handling the media will cost us dear in Iraq and Afghanistan. I must admit that, before reading this I was ready to put down the distortions in the media image of events there to bias, the nature of television and the usual Western self-hatred. Totten makes it clear that the American authorities do bear some of the blame.

By way of contrast, he gives an example from the other side. When Zarqawi began his web-broadcast beheadings, Zawahiri wrote to him to stop.

However, despite all of this, I say to you: that we are in a battle and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our Umma. And that however far our capabilities reach, they will never be equal to one thousandth of the capabilities of the kingdom of Satan that is waging war on us. And we can kill the captives by bullet. That would achieve that which is sought after without exposing ourselves to the questions and answering to doubts. We don’t need this.
(Emphasis added)

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