Peace through victory - the American way.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

How Publishing The Offensive-To-Islam Cartoons Both Helped And Hurt The War Effort.

There are a host of issues swirling around the offensive-to-Islam cartoons controversy. Hugh Hewitt (here) believes one issue is paramount.
"But the central issue is largely unaddressed: Does the press in the West owe the war effort against the jihadists nothing, or even anything at all? The jihadists are hungry for information and for propaganda. If the West's media is eager to supply either or both, there isn't much anyone can do to stop that supply --nor should there be-- except via careful reminders to responsible journalists that there's a war on, and everything that is printed is part of that war.
"Many commentators want to define the debate as an either/or choice between the cartoonists and the jihadists. That's not the debate at all, and suggests an inability to grasp the real complexity here. It is not only consistent but compelling to both demand that the jihadists who threaten the press or who burn embassies be defeated and to also conclude that the cartoon fiasco was an unnecessary and expensive diversion from the central confrontation with the jihadists."
Earlier in his post Hewitt gives evidence for his conclusion that the cartoons have hurt the war effort.
I see that Jordan's King Abdullah visited some areas in Mississippi and Louisiana that were hammered by Katrina.

And in Lebanon, it looks like the Syrian secret police got their hat trick when it comes to burned embassies.

There are allies and enemies of the United States among the nations that are home to most of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims.

Jordan is an ally; Syria is an enemy. Did the cartoons help Jordan or Syria?

Hewitt raises an excellent question about whether the Western press tends to help or hurt the war against the jihadists. First, if the Moslem reaction to the cartoons causes publishers to think about consequences to the war before they publish something that will be a good thing. The press could use an injection of responsibility.

But the answer to the question of whether the cartoons helped or hurt the war effort is both yes and no.

The harm to the war effort is as obvious as the enraged demonstrators in Europe and the Middle East and the destruction they have wrought. Publishing the cartoons gave the Islamist terrorist leaders a weapon to use against the West and an issue to rouse their rabble. There's no sugarcoating the propaganda victory the cartoons handed to the jihadists.

But there is a benefit too. The benefit to the war effort is the addition of clarity to the conflict and the tendency of that clarity to push Europe and America closer together.

Publishing the cartoons helped to smoke out the Islamist enemy within Europe. Weeks of Moslem youths rioting in France could not convince most Europeans of the threat posed by radical Islam to European identity. But the reaction of Moslems in Europe who carried signs during demonstrations that said the blasphemers of Islam should be beheaded, among other hateful messages, appears to be waking up some Europeans.

This global war on terror is actually a war against Islamist extremism. It's a long ideological war. Democracies have a hard time maintaining the will to fight long wars. It benefits Western democracies in a long war to be reminded once in a while of the nature of the enemy and the stakes of the conflict.

Opponents of the war often mock President Bush's claim that the Islamist terrorists hate us for our freedoms. The enraged reaction of extremist Moslems to the mere publication of offensive words and images is a brutal reminder to weak-willed Westerners that our enemy does hate our freedoms and that if they were to win, they would take those freedoms away from us. That reminder helps the war effort because it carries the potential to strengthen the West's resolve to win.

Moderate Moslems stuck in the middle have the hardest decision to make. They are going to have to decide for themselves at whom to be angrier: the offensive cartoonists who tar Islam and Mohammed as violent terrorists; the Islamist terrorists who commit barbaric acts of violence in the name of Allah; or their fellow Moslems whose violent reaction to the cartoons helps to prove the cartoonists' point.





Anonymous Anonymous said...


This article is well written, Europeans are really good people, they take things for granted. It is time to cleanse the world of radical muslims,Islam is a monolithic satanic cult, dangerous and deadly. Throw away muslims from europe.

7:18 AM


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