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(Another from the archives. Original post: 2006-10-20 01:43:38)
I really didn't expect to see the American media even acknowledge the existence of al Qaeda's "Working Paper for a Media Invasion of America", much less to see them openly embrace it. They've done both. (Live and learn.) It started a couple days ago with Tom Friedman's "Tet" column, and continued yesterday with CNN's first release of a made-to-order video from our enemy in Iraq.
Over at Blackfive, a quote from CNN:
CNN has obtained graphic video from the Islamic Army of Iraq, one of the most active insurgent organizations in Iraq, showing its sniper teams targeting U.S. troops. The Islamist Army says it wants talks with the United States and some Islamist Internet postings call for a P.R. campaign aimed at influencing the American public.But click over to CNN and you won't find that quote on the web site any more.
But James Taranto captured it too, and in fact he screen captured it - "for posterity". A wise choice, given that CNN's acknowledgement that they are aware that they are airing an enemy propaganda piece has since disappeared.
From a distance, possibly hundreds of yards away, a sniper watches for his opportunity to strike as a fellow insurgent operates a camera to capture the video for propaganda purposes.And the quote about the terrorist "P.R. campaign aimed at influencing the American public" is actually heard in the audio narration of the video report itself.
Taranto's comments on the CNN story focus on the growing media theme that President Bush agrees that current events in Iraq are similar to Tet. He also mentions the Tom Friedman column that started that Tet discussion in the first place. (One we also discussed here previously.) But since the CNN story isn't about Tet, Taranto misses the disturbing thread that actually does tie both those stories even more directly together.
To catch it, we'll go back to Friedman, who says:
A friend at the Pentagon just sent me a post by the “Global Islamic Media Front” carried by the jihadist Web site Ana al-Muslim on Aug. 11. It begins: “The people of jihad need to carry out a media war that is parallel to the military war and exert all possible efforts to wage it successfully. This is because we can observe the effect that the media have on nations to make them either support or reject an issue.”And here's the real connection between the two stories: both Friedman at the Times and the folks at CNN acknowledge their complete awareness that they are fully participating in an enemy propaganda ploy. Freidman says he has a copy, and the CNN video includes clips of what it implies are the original Arabic web postings of the "media jihad" call.
...the Web site suggests that jihadists flood e-mail and video of their operations to “chat rooms,” “television channels,” and to “famous U.S. authors who have public e-mail addresses ... such as Friedman, Chomsky, Fukuyama, Huntington and others.”
That particular story - al Qaeda's "Working Paper for a Media Invasion of America" - first broke right here in downtown Mudville, so it's entirely possible we brought it to their attention in the first place - though it's also possible CNN had it earlier, and didn't see fit to report it. Whatever the case - it's stunning to see them acknowledge it and go right on ahead with what they are doing.
As Taranto says:
By airing this video, CNN is participating in what it acknowledges is "a P.R. campaign aimed at influencing the American public" in ways favorable to America's enemies. And the network does not even seem to realize what a shocking admission this is.No indeed - nor does Friedman, who says "It would be depressing to see the jihadists influence our politics with a Tet-like media/war frenzy. But..." and then immediately attempts to launch what can only be called a Tet-like media frenzy.
To get the full "shock value" of this, you must read the same things they've acknowledged reading - that "working paper":
Najd al-Rawi, the document's author, begins by noting that although they've been successful in many ways, the jihaddists haven't fully exploited the opportunities presented by the US media. Inspired by a video from bin Laden addressing the American people with subtitles in English, the author notes that "It seemed the Shayk wanted to send a clear message to his brother mujahadeen to pay more attention to this part of the mission." He points out that videos from the "Shayks of jihad" are in great demand in the western media.al-Rawi declares the purpose of this campaign is to "throw fear into the American people's hearts", then...
As an example of the sort of video material the group should provide, the author suggests "Video of attacks on US foot patrols with the caption 'Operation against the sons of the US people whom Bush cast into the fire of war against the Muslims'."Of course, two of those suggested locations are TV Networks, and Tom Friedman.
Lastly, the paper points out what the author considers the best locations for providing this material, and suggests dissemination via the world wide web, following efforts to ensure the origin can't be traced.
Make no mistake about it, CNN is not dismissing the propaganda plot, nor are they presenting their information as an example of the sort of thing we should be aware of and respond to accordingly. In fact, they offer no description of the working paper beyond an acknowledgement of it's existence, perhaps because CNN's own description of the video and how they received it is all too familiar to anyone who has read the document described above. CNN admits they "passed written questions" through "intermediaries" to the terrorist group, and in response received the footage of sniper attacks on American foot patrols, including a "professionally produced" video interview with the insurgent leader in which he answered CNN's questions and denounced "Bush's war fought with taxpayer's money and the blood of Americans". The CNN narrator went the extra mile in reviewing the high-quality production, and lauded the "attention to US domestic politics and public mood" found in this "direct message to the American people."
In my comments on the original working paper story, I added my thoughts on how to respond to this sort of threat:
But like it or not, Mr and Mrs Average American are involved in a propaganda war, the only battle of the war on terror currently being fought on U.S. soil - and those who choose not to be victims of that battle may wonder what the appropriate response should be. Perhaps just this - bear in mind the stated goal: "to throw fear into the American people's hearts", divide and conquer, weaken resolve, and defeat America. Be aware of the plan to reach that goal, and recognize it for what it is when next you see it in action, as you undoubtedly will. (And while you're at it, spread the word - this won't be on the evening news.)And that newly bolded text is where I admit a failing - never in my wildest imagination did I anticipate the evening news - or one of the named desired participants - mentioning the enemy's propaganda plan while gleefully participating in it.
I'm afraid to ask if they can sink lower.
Other links found above:
Tet's Real Lesson - James Taranto, Opinion Journal's Best of the Web Today
CNN Airs Islamic Death Porn - Charles Johnson, LGF
CNN airs video of jihadi sniper shooting American soldier - Allah, Hot Air, who also creen captured that CNN page before it disappeared. (But the video actually contains sniper attacks on 10 American soldiers.)
(Original post: 2006-10-20 01:43:38)
I, too, thought the race to the bottom was finished. Wrong.
I have naught I can do but voice my displeasure to CNN, and make sure they understand that I will not watch them, nor will I link to their website while they do such as this.Posted by Major John at October 20, 2006 01:00 PM
Media subversion of U.S. foreign policy has been standard fare for literally decades. Absent any restraint, over time an incredibly seditious mindset has taken hold. "Crying 'Fire!' in a crowded theater" encapsulates First Amendment issues.
Why LBJ or Nixon did not suppress these urges sub rosa as did FDR --and pressure on cowardly and feckless media barons is easily applied (note recent D-rat threats to rescind opponents' broadcast licenses)-- is mysterious to many. Kerry's extraordinary 1974 statements in particular, his clandestine contacts with North Vietnam in Paris during peace negotiations, were far more treasonous than Gadahn's "Teheran Tommy" rants. To this day, Kerry's full-scale statue stands as Hero of the Revolution in Hanoi's War Museum.
Failure to prosecute cannot be merely a political
consideration. For all GWB's resolve, his administration's avoidance of Treason as an issue represents a profound failure-of-nerve. Not only are unending slanderous statements, explicit enemy propaganda, knowingly sought out, wilfully dispensed to every possible constituency, but there is never any countervailing recognition by mass-media that in materially hindering America's war effort, destroying troop morale, draining public/political support, they purposely endorse murderous tyrannies whose victory would eliminate the very rights and liberties they so vociferously claim.
So rather than complain --again-- of treacherous Left-liberal enablers, we think the time is long since past for action. We also are convinced that this Bush Administration (for whatever reason) will never lift a finger. But eventually a confrontation will become inescapable, and then... when axes fall, chips may range entirely too far afield.Posted by John Blake at October 20, 2006 01:06 PM
This would be a perfect opportunity to work up a standard interview script and interview the collective MSM in a blog setting. Bear with me because what I'm describing is new if not particularly complex from a programming point of view
Instead of dealing entirely in text, imagine if you could repeat an interview over and over, put the results in a database, and characterize each response so that they can be tabulated. That allows you to say not only "the New York Times embraced Al Queda's call for media jihad" but x% of newspapers comprising y% of interviewed circulation did the same.
It's a task that would be beyond any one blog but an army of blogs? It wouldn't be too hard once the software gets written.Posted by TM Lutas at October 20, 2006 01:06 PM
Glad to see you're back to blogging on a regular basis. I excerpted and linked at Bill's Bites ("an Old War Dogs satellite site.")Posted by Bill Faith at October 20, 2006 01:51 PM
Now that you've caught hold, dont let go.
We need to come alongside and grab hold, and not let go.
Once the participants in this propaganda effort can openly acknowledge how they're manipulated, and there's no (serious) consequence, then any possibility of shaming or shocking the American people to awareness is gone.
Awake to righteousness.Posted by dadmanly at October 20, 2006 02:56 PM
"I have naught I can do but voice my displeasure to CNN"
Voicing ones displeasure at CNN won't do much, writing to the CEO's of advertisers on CNN/Time/Warner and explaining how you really like their products but won't be purchasing them anymore does make a difference.
Companies don't spend millions of dollars to lose customers.Posted by Soldier's Dad at October 20, 2006 03:00 PM
Even were it not a propaganda tool, it infuriates me to think that a major news outlet (ok, once-major) would play a video of American soldiers being killed FOR ANY REASON. And to think that CNN thought to make money on the blood of America's soldiers! If they truly thought it news (who the hell doesn't know that American soldiers are being killed -- CNN never lets anyone forget!), they could simply have told what viewers they have left that such a video existed. Their behavior is disgusting and deplorable on so many levels.Posted by Some Soldier's Mom at October 20, 2006 04:36 PM
What kind of sick people likes to see American soldiers getting killed , and what possible reason could CNN have to show those videos.
I suppose this is the lowest the MSM can go , but you never know whats next.
Posted by mmh at October 20, 2006 06:10 PM
The terrorists recognise the effects of ordinary media behaviour and design their actions to use it to their advantage. The fact that media will not change to reduce the benefit of terrorism is an act of wilful collusion.
Similarly, the media profiteering from massacres create the next massacre, as an imitator grabs the benefits the media pay and use the methods the media teach.
I back these points up here: http://www.c-l-a-s-s.net/Ideas%20Kill%20-%20Science%20and%20the%20Massacre%203.pdfPosted by ChrisPer at October 23, 2006 03:28 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(9) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)