Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy
Isn't it obvious? If the original publishing of Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Mohammed drew little attention and outcry, due to modest exposure, whereas greater coverage with republishing the cartoons and with the intention to purposefully incite, inspired rioting followed by death, doesn't it then follow that publishing 31 consecutive frontpage stories on abu Ghraib might....um....piss some Arabs off and create more "jihadists"?
Periods of intense news media coverage in the United States of criticism about the war, or of polling about public opinion on the conflict, are followed by a small but quantifiable increases in the number of attacks on civilians and U.S. forces in Iraq, according to a study by Radha Iyengar, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in health policy research at Harvard and Jonathan Monten of the Belfer Center at the university’s Kennedy School of Government.
The increase in attacks is more pronounced in areas of Iraq that have better access to international news media, the authors conclude in a report titled “Is There an ‘Emboldenment’ Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq.”
The researchers studied data about insurgent attacks and U.S. media coverage up to November, tracking what they called “anti-resolve statements” by U.S. politicians and reports about American public opinion on the war.
“We find that in periods immediately after a spike in anti-resolve statements, the level of insurgent attacks increases,” says the study, published earlier this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a leading U.S. nonprofit economic research organization.
In Iraqi provinces that were broadly comparable in social and economic terms, attacks increased between 7 percent and 10 percent following what the researchers call “high-mention weeks,” like the two just before the November 2006 election.
The study also found that attacks increased more in parts of Iraq like Anbar province, where there is greater access to international news media, measured by the proportion of households with satellite TV, which its authors say increases the credibility of their findings.
The researchers conclude that the increases in attacks are a necessary cost of the way democratic societies fight wars and say they are concerned that the research may be seized upon by the Iraq war’s supporters to try and silence its critics.
“We are a little bit worried about that,” Mr. Monten said in an interview. “Our data suggests that there is a small, but measurable cost” to “anything that provides information about attitudes towards the war.”
Look at the media-driven hysteria that surrounded the Katrina coverage as another example of how the media can influence the news stories, creating perceptions and misperceptions.
The anti-occupation left may not like it, but the fact of the matter is, the anti-war and anti-occupation movements have interests and common goals, shared by America's enemies. I'm not accusing the left of being in league with the terrorists; just that in many cases, they are "useful idiots" for those who are at war with us.
How can anyone deny that if Islamists could vote in our elections, that in 2004 they would not have voted for Kerry? That in 2008, when Hillary and Obama are talking endlessly about withdrawal dates and failed war policies and mistakes of the Bush Administration, while McCain is talking about keeping the terrorists on the defensive, remaining 100 years in Iraq, and who staked his political career on the success of supporting the Surge, that the Islamic Holy Warriors would not prefer seeing a Democratic presidency than a Republican win, that will continue to engage them on the war-front?
The Left may not be aligned with our enemies, but is there any question that our enemies aren't aligned with them when it comes to criticizing our president, our military, and our foreign policy? How is it that Democratic talking points are sometimes indistinguishable from the rhetoric of bin Laden?
I know liberal critics don't like hearing this disturbing fact, but it's just the way it is. It doesn't mean they should not criticize; that their criticism doesn't have validity; it doesn't mean they are "on the side of the terrorists" if they aren't "with us"; but how can one not see that if liberal anti-war, Bush-hating Democrats oppose the Bush Administration at every turn...and Islamic terrorists oppose the Bush Administration at every turn....?......?......!
And how about perpetuating media myths in the attempt to delegitimize reasoning behind the war?