New weapon of WAR
The document, which began circulating on the Internet this month, illustrates the techniques terrorist's are using in what President George W. Bush has called the "war of ideas."
"The people of jihad need to carry out a media war parallel to the military war ... because we can observe the effect that the media have on nations," said the document, signed by Najd al-Rawi of the Global Islamic Media Front, a group associated with al Qaeda.
It lists targets for a public relations campaign ranging from the obvious -- Internet chat rooms -- to the surprising -- "famous U.S. authors with e-mail addresses" and mentions New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and the academics Noam Chomsky, Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington. The author suggests that video of attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq could be a weapon in the media war and sway U.S. public opinion.( even world opinion )
The Lenonan Israeil war is a good example. Lebonan suffered $3,000,000,000 ( billion ) in damages and Israel had $10,000 worth of pot holes to fill in. Israel had 400 dead, Lebonan had 4,000 dead and the world seemed to view Israel as the looser. All based on Internet postings and media coverage of same.
In the past, similar strategy messages from al Qaeda and other groups have often remained in the relative obscurity of password-protected Arabic-language Web sites and message boards.
By contrast, the call in the document for a parallel media war traveled from the Internet to a mention in a New York Times column, the White House briefing room and eventually Bush himself. In his weekly radio address on Oct. 21, Bush specifically referred to the Global Islamic Media Front and said "the terrorists are trying to influence public opinion here in the United States.
They have a sophisticated propaganda strategy ... to divide America and break our will." Experts agree on the sophistication. "They (the jihadists) are more effective than us" on the propaganda front, said Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert at the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.
Our TERRORISM INITIATIVE:
WAR OF IDEAS To what extent gruesome images from the military fronts can affect U.S. attitudes toward an increasingly unpopular Iraq war is open to debate. But if global public opinion polls are a gauge, the United States is losing the overall war of ideas Bush declared part of U.S. national security strategy four years ago.
Today gruesome videos will serve in place of actual deaths in their propaganda operations.
"In most of today's Middle East, the U.S. is seen as hostile to Islam and hostile to Arabs." But while videos showing Americans inspire the radicalized and serve as recruitment tools.
An "armchair mujahid" becomes converted via the internet propaganda, from a sympathizer with the general aims of the jihad to a motivated foot-soldier, jihadist. A little spin and Americans start believing maybe WE are evil.
This is a new weapon of war in converting the minds and hearts of people, this could win or loose wars.
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