One of my areas of interest in blogging here is to understand how intelligent people, many of whom I know and respect, can have so much difficulty recognizing what we are facing in the War on Terror (as with so many others, a poor choice of names, but it is what we are stuck with now). After all, if we are not at war with Islamic fascism, then much of what we have been doing since 9/11 is overkill. Our invasion of Iraq was never necessary, we should never have reelected Bush, and we should be getting out as quickly as possible (as we are doing, of course, but not how the Ted Kennedy's of the world want.) A number of items have come up recently that bear directly on this question.
Yesterday, Lynne Stewart, always referred to as a Radical lawyer, a champion of the down trodden,a feminist and activist was found guilty of aiding and abetting Islamic terrorists. Here we have a sophisticated, intellectually gifted woman who professes to care deeply about the poor and victimized and yet can convince herself that the system is so corrupt that it needs to be destroyed even if so many of the victims of the destruction will be the very poor and down trodden she purports to be working toward. After all, as a feminist, how could she not see the contradiction between feminism and Islamism? The Powerline folks have some interesting perspectives on this story, worth taking a look at.
On another note, the Eason Jordan imbroglio continues apace. Some wonder why this should be such a big deal; why are the bloggers jumping all over this story? Clearly, the MSM does not see it (yet) as very interesting. Here is Bill Roggio's (from Easongate) take on the question:
The War on Terror is not only fought in the trenches, we are fighting media bias against American culture and Western civilization. Our terrorist enemy has mastered manipulating the media to promote them in a neutral light and the Coalition in a negative light. The media’s ease of use of the terms “rebel”, “resistance”, “militant” and many more clearly shows they have refused to properly frame this fight as against an evil and abhorrent enemy. Mr. Jordan’s statements, if true, demonstrate that some in the media are actually on the other side.
Hindrocket at Powerline reported yesterday on another story of bias in a Washington Post article about the recent Tsunami, seemingly unrelated ti the War on Terror (but intimately related, which I will attempt to show). He writes:
Very few people realize how often mainstream media sources say things that just aren't true. Sometimes the reason is malice, more often it's ignorance or prejudice. A fascinating example of a libel directed against the Catholic church--undoubtedly the world's most frequently defamed institution--was brought to our attention by reader Matthew Kowalski. On New Year's Day, the Washington Post published an article by Jose Antonio Vargas titled "Seeking the Hand of God in the Waters". The article reported on various efforts to find theological meaning in the South Asian tsunami.
The other item I would like to connect is today's Victor Davis Hanson article. For any who do not know who VDH is, he is one of the clearest thinkers in the blogosphere and in the media. He is a classicist who has a very long view of history and can often help place things into a historical perspective sadly missing in most reporting. In his article Why Democracy? VDH comments:
While modern forms of democracy are sometimes hard to define, we more or less know them when we see them: All citizens are eligible to vote and hold office, a free press flourishes (emphasis mine-SW), and the rule of constitutional law trumps fiat. Thus should Iraq become a true constitutional government, it is less likely to invade a Kuwait, pay subsidies to suicide murderers, send missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia, or gas its own people.
In all these citations, there is a common thread. The War on Terror is being fought not only in the Middle East, but in tour living rooms, on our televisions, and on our computers. We are fighting an information war, and the terrorists have know this for 30 years. Most terror is Theater. It is meant to demoralize the enemy so that he will surrender without putting up much of a fight. When Western Intellectuals and Media mavens slant their reporting and use their language to undermine the war, they are effectively aiding the enemy. When the New York Times prints upwards of 45 front page stories about abu Graib, this is not in the service of preserving our democracy (though that is what they tell themselves) it is undermining our ability to defend ourselves. When a few low lifes put panties on prisoner's heads in an Iraqi prison, this is not torture; it is humiliation, which can be profoundly infuriating, but it is not torture. In my earlier posts on Language, Memory, and Distortion and Language, Perversity, and the MSM I explored some o f the ways in which language is used to disguise rather than illuminate reality. If the left wing bias in our MSM does not self correct and continues to resist the self examination that would illuminate their own biases, our free press will continue to endanger themselves. We are no longer living in a world in which the New York Times, CBS, NBC, and ABC news control what we see and hear. Yet, we still need the MSM; only they have the resources to bring important stories to the majority of the people who do not have the itme or the inclination to spend hours a day searching out the news themeselves. I would add that our Universities, with their continuing efforts to constrict free speech (always in the name of PC sensitivity and never restricitng the language of the left) are furthering endangering our freedoms by their abuse; freedom without responsibility cannot remain free for long.
" Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me. " George Orwell
Today, it is not just pacifism that is pro-fascist.