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The Latest Jihadist Butchery, Desperation And the Media

Michelle Malkin links to reports of the latest act of jihadist butchery. What has become almost certain to follow any reports of progress in Iraq or in the War on Terror, has been a string of horrific kidnapping/torture/beheadings. Terrorists knew that the deaths of two more American soldiers would not attract much media coverage or attention from most of the public. So after the killing of Zarqawi and an Iraq visit from President Bush, terrorists followed their tried and true method for commanding media attention. They kidnapped two U.S. soldiers and tortured, mutilated and murdered them. Unfortunately, that is an effective way to get media attention. That is how to terrorize people, too. It is when those incidents get widely reported, anyway.

Those politicians and journalists who use such media-driven atrocities as an indication of the overall situation in Iraq or of the status of the War On Terror (and there were many of them last week) mislead their readers/viewers/voters. Iraq is a very dangerous place, at least certain cities there are very dangerous, but what happened in Iraq could just as easily have happened down the road from me in Jacksonville or Fayetteville, NC. It would probably even be easier to snatch a couple of soldiers or Marines in one of those two U.S. cities, while they are going about their business in town -- banking, shopping or stopping off for a beer or two. Just look at what Jeffrey Dahmer did in Wisconsin, and there was only one of him. There really isn't much to keep a group of determined jihadists with the proper weapons from doing the same to someone, even a soldier or sailor or Marine, here in the States.

But the goal is not to convince the American public that the U.S. military is failing in Jacksonville or Fayetteville, NC, is it? The goal is not to create public pressure on politicians to cut off funding or to call for a pullout of the troops based at Fort Bragg or Camp LeJeune. Evidently, the U.S. media does not grasp this concept because if they did so many would not have reported the heinous, barbaric murders of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas Lowell Tucker in the context of the status of the war effort in Iraq. Instead they would have focused on the desperation those in the jihadist movement must be experiencing to have to sink to such depths of depravity and brutality in order to draw attention to their cause, which is experiencing major setbacks every day. They might also have done a few pieces about how a movement claiming religious motivation could employ such sub-human methods. If such terrorist attacks were reported in that context, there wouldn't be as much point carrying them out in the first place either though, would there?

[Note: I made a slight revision to the end of the first paragraph because when I read back over the original it just sounded awkward.]


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Comments (7)

What may happen is what hap... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

What may happen is what happenned to me.I no longer read Big Media.

I glance at the headlines on Drudge. Go to selected media sites for detail then the blogs for ideas and arguements.

I use Strageypage for war info. Human Events for domestic news. Of course whizbang for viewpoints. But read Big Media. No way. Ain't healthy...

Lorie:Excellent po... (Below threshold)
epador:

Lorie:

Excellent point and good words.

I delivered newspapers as a... (Below threshold)
914:

I delivered newspapers as a kid( MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE ) and will use them to start the woodstove. but thats as close as I will ever get to reading that depressing tripe again.

But the goal is not to c... (Below threshold)

But the goal is not to convince the American public that the U.S. military is failing in Jacksonville or Fayetteville, NC, is it? The goal is not to create public pressure on politicians to cut off funding or to call for a pullout of the troops based at Fort Bragg or Camp LeJeune.


Just so!

And everyone needs to ask themselves: Does the probability of hyped media coverage make it more or less likely that captured Americans, soldiers or civilians, will die horrific and brutal deaths?

Cui bono?

õ¿õ

but what happened in Ira... (Below threshold)

but what happened in Iraq could just as easily have happened down the road from me in Jacksonville or Fayetteville, NC

Hmmm did it? No? So what is your point exactly?

Anything like this happen:

A parked car bomb struck a popular market in the Shiite slum of Sadr City on Saturday, killing at least 66 people and wounding dozens.

At least 1,009 Iraqis, including civilians, soldiers and policemen, were killed in rebel attacks in June, government officials said Saturday.

*RAMADI - A suicide car bomber attacked a joint Iraqi and U.S. military checkpoint in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, police said. There were no details on casualties and no comment was immediately available from the U.S. military.

*HADITHA - Five people were killed and 12 wounded when an explosion, apparently caused by a mortar, destroyed three houses in the village of Khafajiya, just outside the western city of Haditha, local residents said.


BAGHDAD - Police said they had found six bodies dumped inside a house under construction in the violent southern Baghdad district of Dora.

KIRKUK - Police found the bodies of four Iraqi soldiers near Kirkuk, 250 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad. They had been kidnapped on Friday during an attack on a military checkpoint in which five soldiers were killed.

MOSUL - A suicide car bomber killed two policemen and wounded six people, including three women, when he attacked a police patrol in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

MOSUL - Clashes between police and insurgents killed one civilian and wounded a policeman in Mosul, hospital sources said.

KIRKUK - Gunmen killed a traffic policeman in Kirkuk. Police said gunmen had distributed leaflets in Kirkuk warning police to resign.

FALLUJA - Gunmen shot dead a policeman in Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - Gunmen kidnapped a female lawmaker and seven of her bodyguards in Baghdad, police and colleagues said. Taiseer Najah al-Mashhadani is a member of the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni bloc in parliament.

No? So really Iraq is nothing like where you live so it's a rather silly comparison huh?

And yes if the reporters didn't report the attacks the terrorists would just give up and go home.

Hmm. Maybe you didn't read... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Hmm. Maybe you didn't read the entire post. The point I made was not that Iraq is exactly like here. The point I made was that if jihadists wanted to, they could snatch a Marine and behead him here, but they aren't doing that. I wondered why they aren't when in many ways it would actually be easier to do so here. My suggestion is that they aren't because they are strategically manipulating the media. If there is good news from Iraq, snatch a soldier and chop his head off. It is a safe bet to guess that good news story will get dropped to make room for the beheading. That is just a fact of life. If there are dozens of stories of progress in Iraq, one beheading can negate the rest. Instead of a story about a region making progress, in spite of continued violence, you will get a story about how the beheading or bombing is proof that the country is without hope and a complete failure, regardless of what is going on in 95 percent of the ocuntry that is not getting bombed daily. I just wish the media would stop being so easily manipulated by murderers. Do you want to address that point or do you want to change the subject again?

>Hmm. Maybe you didn't read... (Below threshold)

>Hmm. Maybe you didn't read the entire post. The point I made was not that Iraq is exactly like here. The point I made was that if jihadists wanted to, they could snatch a Marine and behead him here, but they aren't doing that.

You do not understand what happens in Iraq. It's a war zone, America is not. "They" in the case of Iraq are 99% Iraqis made up of various factions looking to drive the Coalition out by making the occupation as expensive in all facets (politically, diplomatically, economically) as possible. Why on Earth would they go to America to do that?

>I wondered why they aren't when in many ways it would actually be easier to do so here.

No, not really. You really should study insurgencies of the past such as the IRA or the Vietcong to understand how they work. Like most enterprises they require an infrastructure of cover and support. That simply would not exist in The States.

>My suggestion is that they aren't because they are strategically manipulating the media. If there is good news from Iraq, snatch a soldier and chop his head off. It is a safe bet to guess that good news story will get dropped to make room for the beheading.

Yes! Of course it would, why wouldn't it? The fact that the terrorists can strike anywhere at anytime against history's most lethal army is more important news than fresh paint on a school or purple fingers. Do you really think if the media didn't cover these stories (which is y'know, their job, has been for oh about 400 years now) they wouldn't happen?

Habbib: What the hell? My bombing yesterday, CNN, Fox, it's nowhere!

Moh: I know! I killed a whole family of Sunnis yesterday, and nothing! Not even a mention on the MSNBC ticker!

Habbib: That's it, I thought I was fighting to create an Islamist theocratic state but if I'm not going to get any props from Wolf Blitzer than forget about it, I'm going back to selling camels.

Moh: Me, I just wanted to be the next Saddam, but I can't even get Barbara Walters on the phone anymore! You're right, it's back to the bakery for me!

>That is just a fact of life. If there are dozens of stories of progress in Iraq, one beheading can negate the rest.

No, one act of violence wouldn't but it's not one is it? They find bodies all over Iraq EVERY DAY. That does negate progress, how couldn't it? You don't seem to grasp what has happened for the last three years, the terrorists have gotten stronger despite counter attack after counter attack by American forces. Remember all those operations? Remember after Fallujah the generals saying they're "broken the back" of the insurgency? How many goddamn times does Lucy need to yank the football away from you before you get you're being suckered? They don't know how to stop the terrorists and every time they try they make more!

>Instead of a story about a region making progress, in spite of continued violence, you will get a story about how the beheading or bombing is proof that the country is without hope and a complete failure, regardless of what is going on in 95 percent of the ocuntry that is not getting bombed daily.

If that were true you'd be right, but it's not. Far more than 5% of Iraq is under constant and random violence. Look at the stories, look at that list, compare the locations to a map, and notice that they're in a wide variety of areas. And oh gawd, please don't pull out that color coded map showing most of Iraq as peaceful. I fully conceded that the desert is IED, kidnapping, torture, car / suicide bombing and unremitting mayhem free. It's the bits with people in them that have the problems and it's far more than 5%.

You're complaining about "manipulation" yet that's exactly what you're doing. You're dismissing by attempting to spin it into a smaller size what is an intolerable situation that the Bush Administration and by extension America is responsible for. Iraq is crumbling and pedantically insisting that it isn't doesn't help. Egos and jingoes don't win wars, reality and dealing with it does. If Iraq falls into the new Iran or into a new Somalia the world will be a worse place. Do you honestly think that ignoring the method by which this is happening is a good idea?

>I just wish the media would stop being so easily manipulated by murderers. Do you want to address that point or do you want to change the subject again?

I have, the media are doing what the media does, reporting on the important issues.

Say, on 9-11, do you really think it would have been helpful if CNN had gone "Uh something happened in New York but we don't want to be manipulated by the terrorists so we're not going to talk about it. Here's sports!"

So why should Iraq be any different? Ah right, 9-11 wasn't Bush's fault... well not entirely.

The truth is you don't want to hear those reports because you don't want to face up to the fact that Iraq is a disaster and that the whole invasion was a goddamn stupid idea.

Well Sparky guess what? As we enter year five of this mission accomplished cake walk to save the world from Saddam's programs related to the creation of theoretical WMD things are going to get even worse. Pretending there isn't a problem isn't a solution, grow up and help find one rather than wallowing in denial and looking to blame everyone but the ones actually responsible for this mess.




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