Sunday, May 07, 2006

Guns, War and Videotape

It has been argued that the American war against terrorism is not a war which can be won solely with bullets. Such suggestions seem to be deflected by the White House as they have already waged two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) and the likelihood of a third (Iran) is becoming ever so great. However, it is apparent that the United States still understands the power of propaganda and perceptions during a time of conflict.

Osama bin Laden and co. have released countless tapes threatening the United States and her allies, and displaying an air of bravado and machismo to the rest of the world. In the latest tape released by Zarqawi, the United States decided to show the entire story.

An important moment has taken place in the Global War Against Terrorism. Technology and mass media has been used many a time by terrorist groups in order to gain support and communicate. The United States government has come out before and told the world that Al Qaeda is weak and non-functional, but very few believe such words (especially when the latest edition of “Osama Threatening From a Cave” is released). But by releasing video images of Zarqawi, apparently not quite with it, the US government has found a way of attacking Al Qaeda where it was still relatively strong. Al Qaeda is not so much an organization as it is a philosophy now. One doesn’t have to be part of Al Qaeda to fly airplanes into a building. As long as there is a strong leader, delivering a coherent message then that philosophy will ring strong and survive. But by showing the “prophet” of this message as nothing more than a senile old man, the US government has used a relatively inexpensive and efficient way of kicking Al Qaeda where it hurts.


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