The media can effectively stop a war
By MICHAEL D. EVANS
The wars of the 21st century, unlike those of the 20th century, are media, economic, and proxy wars. Muslim fundamentalists learned two things from the Vietnam War: that asymmetrical terrorism works—a war of attrition works by exhausting democracy; and that the media can effectively stop a war.
I asked a former Israeli chief of staff this question: What determines when wars begin and when they stop? He replied, “The media.”
Israel has been brutalized by the secular Liberal Left media for fighting a war against terrorism despite the fact that Hamas has been using children as human shields. During the Persian Gulf War, I had the privilege of traveling on one occasion with Sheikh Mohamed Khalid, the commander of the Saudi Multinational Forces.
I appealed to him because I saw a great number of American journalists sitting in the hotels, not being allowed to go to the battlefield to cover the war. The US joint operation command had a very strict policy forbidding them to leave the area. Why? They tended to exploit civilian casualties with the “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality.
The command monitored all the stories. If that particular type of story was submitted, the report was pulled from the pool. This is the reason the American people saw few stories of that nature during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, during which 250,000 civilians were killed. Unfortunately, that is not true of today’s news stories that denigrate the nation of Israel.
The Hamas terrorist organization was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, and from it came the chief architects of the 9/11 attacks. Sheikh Abdul Rahman was responsible for the first bombing of the World Trade Center towers in 1993 and Mohammed Attah is considered to have been the engineer of the second bombing in September 2001. Attah piloted American Airlines flight 11 from Boston that crashed into one of the towers. Little has been said about the Muslim Brotherhood during Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, and nothing has been said about the correlation between the media and terrorism.
Without media coverage, terrorism does not work; the oxygen is sucked out of the attacks. Hamas bragged that it would have 3,000 suicide bombers who would blow themselves up against Israel. Why, then, didn’t they do that? The reason is that no suicide bombing will happen without press coverage. When the media report on an event, radical jihadists have the ability to recruit more terrorists, raise funds for their cause, memorialize the terrorists, lionize the terrorist organizations, and maintain their ultimate goal—to spread more terror.
The business of terrorism is the only organization worldwide that receives free publicity. The people in Israel are not targeted for their land—they are killed for being Jews. I have not met one person in Israel who did not confirm this. A rabbi told me this when his teenage son was slaughtered in a cave in the Israeli desert. A mother said to me when the only part of her daughter that could be found after a suicide bombing was her hand, “They kill us because we are Jews.”
This should not be shocking to the media; it is the same reason Christians are being massacred in Syria and in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Nor has the story been told of the connection between the largest cable news network worldwide with 200 million viewers—al-Jazeera—and Hamas. The country of Qatar, the primary source of funding for Hamas, also owns that network. In other words, Hamas is in the Netflix business of providing videos to the news network in exchange for money.
The Liberal Left media are beating their figurative head against the wall, believing there is no military solution to the current problem. It sees the governments of the US and Israel as repositories for evil, and views terrorism as the punishment for past sins. Thus the bromide, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
The lack of an impressive Islamist military machine leaves the Liberal Left media with a feeling of disdain. Box cutters and suicide belts make it difficult to perceive terrorists as worthy opponents. Therefore, terrorism is seen as a perfect foil for an anemic America that embraces the perpetrator and castigates the victim.
The Liberal Left media have brutally attacked Israel simply because they do not believe Hamas should be held accountable for the wrong it does. The media do not believe in moral clarity, because they are moral relativists. They reject an absolute standard of right and wrong. The secular humanists make excuses for evil; or worse, deny its existence.
What causes and grows the Ebola virus of terrorism? Is it ideological? Theological? Sociological? The Liberal Left media wear themselves out trying to build their case on this. Rather than ponder the cause of terrorism, the question should be asked: What can stop it? If the media would stop fueling and feeding terrorism by publicizing it, it would stop.
During the war in Gaza, there has been little if any mention that Hamas uses civilians as human shields by the reporters in Gaza. The reason: Had that been reported, the reporters would have been targeted by Hamas. They were forced to find a way to describe what was happening without using the words “human shields.”
The media could have an enormous impact on stopping terrorism if they would only stop taking the bait offered by terrorist organizations.
Dr. Michael Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His book, Persia: The Final Jihad, is available at www.TimeWorthyBooks.com.