Eminent Domain Stuff
New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Are Bloggers The 'Useful Idiots' of Terrorists?
In Search of Utopia seems to think so; at least of those bloggers who host Nick Berg-like video feeds. Here's the gist of what ISOU has to say:
The terrorist post these videos hoping to get exposure. They post the videos on some obscure site, and few people are able to find the video. As soon as one of the major bloggers gets it, the videos are available and searchable on a host of high bandwidth internet sites within days. In effect, the terrorist are able to expand their distribution network for their propaganda with no investment, and no fear that the message will be negated by their ISP shutting them down.
This sounds very much like the oft-used argument against even reporting incidents of children bringing guns to school. The reasoning is that reporting the incident will only put the idea into other young heads and cause further problems.
I'm not sure, however, that this argument holds here. I agree completely that bloggers (myself included) have given the Terrorists a stage of sorts for the Nick Berg execution video. Obviously far fewer would have seen it had the video only ever been available on the original site. Let me try to make clear why I offered a link to the Nick Berg video. (Bear in mind, of course, that the internet and the blogosphere are here to stay and that, being the most free and far-reaching form of communication in existence today, this sort of information will continue to be made available regardless of anyone's attempt to stop it.)
So, when the footage of Nick Berg being beheaded in cold blood was posted we could have all decided to boycott it by not linking or hosting. Had the boycott been successful (which it could not have been) then very few would ever have seen the video. This would mean that the Terrorists would have been denied their platform for wider viewing of their cowardly act. Good, right?
On the other hand, had the general public (myself included, of course) never seen the Nick Berg video I think we would all have been worse off. Let me rephrase that: Had the general public (myself included) never been given the choice to see the Nick Berg video we would have all been worse off. The fact is, Terrorists want to kill us all. I mean each and every one of us, regardless of age, gender and walk of life. They want to absolutely destroy our society and will do so by killing us one at a time or wholesale.
Do you understand this? Most likely you would answer "yes". Let me say it again: Do you understand that the Terrorists would walk up to you in broad daylight, look you in the eye and put a knife to your, personal, throat and cut the life out of you? Has any of this sunk in? No? Go watch the Nick Berg video and it most certainly will. That ISOU, is the reason that not only should we make such terribly disturbing images available, but we must do so. Otherwise it is all too easy to forget the personal nature of this battle and fall back into that bubble that so many lived in before 9/11.
I knew I'd forget something if I rushed through this during lunch. Here's the final point I wanted to make.
The fact that Terrorists are given a wide stage for their propoganda is billed as a bad thing by ISOU. I disagree. I think that this assumption relies on a certain view of Americans, and not a positive one. Those who sudder to think of the possibilities resulting from Americans seeing one of our own killed in cold blood view us as weak. These individuals seem to think that if Americans are pushed too far that we will just fold, turn tail and run. Three words: They are wrong! When Americans are pushed we often ignore the pusher for a while. But when pushed too far, we don't just shove back, we pull out the 500-pound bombs and make bad guys disappear from the face of the earth.
I am of the opinion that Americans need to see the truth, because that is the only way we can make an informed decision about how to handle our enemies. If we are not allowed to see him for what and whom he really is, then we run the risk of assuming that he can be reasoned with. That way lies destruction and doom. Our only hope is to be honest with ourselves not only about what we are...but also about what our enemy is.
How about these videos (hat tip Instapundit)? Maybe they should be shown, you know, just for the sake of...umm...what do you call it. Oh right! Fairness!