The Media To Help Spread Terror Politics Essay

Philip Seib contends in his book, The Al Jazeera Effect, that terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda have made good usage of new media, taking advantage of satellite telecasting intelligence channels hungriness for content and utilizing it to circulate propaganda, show sureties, addition exposure, and on a grander graduated table, they count on the media to assist distribute panic ” ( pg. 3 ) . Terrorists are unconventional in their attack to conflict and operate with the belief that force is a worthy cause in order to force out any organisation or authorities that does non portion their beliefs. Due to terrorist groups ability to utilize telecasting and the Internet “ to proselytise, recruit, train, and despatch orders to their followings, governments-especially those that protect free speech-have been at a loss as to how to cover with the usage of mass communicating for such evil intents ” ( pg. 3 ) .

Because of the unconventional nature that terrorists chose to pay war, off from the traditional battleground, but through propaganda and bullying, assorted methods and costs in which States can counter terrorist act through the usage of the media and Internet must be explored. In add-on, when contemplating certain costs involved in “ using counterterrorism steps to media and cyberspace beginnings, certain tactics could supply authoritiess and bureaus tools with which to go against privateness, curtail the free flow of information, and most significantly, the ability to curtail the freedom of address ” ( Weimann, pg. 1 ) .

Several serious issues that the media pose on authoritiess today include the media ‘s ability to carry public sentiment sing personal businesss of province that can frequently coerce leaders to take action before they have had a opportunity to carefully analyse the state of affairs, uncover classified national security information, and unwittingly helping terrorist groups in distributing their extremist political orientations and panic to the international population. The Internet on the other manus provides “ over a billion persons world-wide easy entree to huge sums of information rapidly, small or no ordinance or censoring by authoritiess, namelessness of communicating, multimedia environment, and potentially immense audiences throughout the universe ” ( Weimann, pg. 3 ) . These same advantages are being manipulated by terrorist organisations by “ carry oning psychological warfare, garnering information, preparation, fundraising, propagandizing, recruiting, networking, planning, and organizing terrorist Acts of the Apostless ” ( pg. 2 ) .

In Algeria in the 1950 ‘s, “ National Liberation Front ‘s ( FLN ) head theoretician, Ramdane Abane, formulated a new scheme to urban terrorist act famously known as directing figure nine ” ( Hoffman, pg.58 ) . Abane stated, “ Is it preferred for our cause to kill 10 enemies in an oued [ dry riverbed ] of Telergma when no 1 will speak of it, or a individual adult male in Algiers which will be noted the following twenty-four hours by the American imperativeness? “ ( qtd in Hoffman, pg. 58 ) . Old ages subsequently, when the Chechen ‘s began contending with the Russian ‘s in the early 1990s, “ Chechen leader Ibn al-Khattab realized that with the new inventions in media engineering and widening the thought of Abane ‘s “ Directive Number Nine, “ terrorists could now movie their ain terrorist onslaughts and cut out the middleman-the Western newsman ” ( Dauber, pg. 9 ) .

The FLN were among one of the first groups to “ acknowledge the promotion value inherent in terrorist act and to choreograph their force for an audience far beyond the immediate geographical venue of their several battles therefore puting the foundation for the transmutation of terrorist act in the late 1960 ‘s from a local phenomenon into a planetary security job ” ( Hoffman, pg 62 ) .

Bruce Hoffman points out in his book, Inside Terrorism that On July 22, 1968, three armed Palestinian terrorists, belonging to the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine ( PFLP ) , besides associated with the Palestine Liberation Organization ( PLO ) hijacked an Israeli El Al commercial flight en path from Rome to Tel Aviv going the coming of what is considered modern international terrorist act. What made their attack different from other old aircraft highjackings was that the terrorists discovered that they had the power to make major media events-especially when guiltless civilians were involved by uniting “ symbolic ” aiming, making a dramatic political statement, and a crisis-induced de facto acknowledgment ( pg. 64 ) .

Even though this event served to “ elicit the consciousness of the universe and awakened the media and universe opinion-more efficaciously than 20 old ages of pleading at the United Nations, the seizing and slaying of 11 Israeli jocks by the PLO at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games ” thrust the terrorist group and their cause onto the universe phase ( pg. 66 ) .

As farther noted by Bruce Hoffman,

The Olympic calamity provided the first clear grounds that even terrorist onslaughts that fail to accomplish their apparent aims can nonetheless still be counted successful provided that the operation is sufficiently dramatic to capture the attending of the media. For the Palestinians, Munich was in fact a dramatic promotion putsch. The undivided attending of some four thousand print and wireless journalists and two thousand telecasting newsmans and crew already in topographic point to cover the Olympiad was all of a sudden refocused on Palestine and the Palestinian cause. An estimated 900 million people in at least a 100 different states saw the crisis unfold on their telecasting screens. The barbarous dimensions of the operation, and its culprits ‘ despairing supplication for attending and acknowledgment, convinced many across the universe that the Palestinians were now a force to be reckoned with and possessed a cause that could no longer justifiably be denied. During the hebdomads that followed the incident, 1000s of Palestinians rushed to fall in the terrorist organisation. It is possibly non wholly coinciding, so, that 18 months after Munich the PLO ‘s leader, Yasser Arafat, was invited to turn to the UN General Assembly and shortly afterward the PLO was granted particular perceiver position in that international organic structure. By the terminal of the 1970s the PLO, a non-state histrion, had formal diplomatic dealingss with more states ( eighty-six ) than the existent established nation-state of Israel ( 72 ) . Within four old ages, a smattering of Palestinian terrorists had overcome a one-fourth century of disregard and obscureness. ( pg. 69-70 )

Furthermore, Hoffman states that “ harmonizing to the RAND Terrorism Incident Database, the figure of organisations engaged in international terrorist act grew from merely eleven in 1968 to an amazing 55 in 1978 ” ( pg. 70 ) . Of this sum, “ more than half ( 30, or 54 per centum ) were ethno-nationalist/separatist motions, all seeking to copy or capitalise on the PLO ‘s success ” ( pg. 70 ) .

Over the following 20 old ages following the Olympic calamity, “ terrorists Acts of the Apostless were easy transformed into international media events-precisely because they are frequently stage specifically with this end in head, and media ‘s ( and populace ) captivation with terrorists became resistless for circular and tabloid journalists likewise ” ( pg. 194 ) . However, as journalists strived to be the “ first with a timely and dramatic narrative mixed with their privation to protect society ‘s right to cognize, many media members began to interpret this liberally to include popular and dramatic coverage, e.g. , aerating emotional reactions of victims, household members, informants, and “ people of the street, ” every bit good as information withheld by jurisprudence enforcement, security, and other variety meats of authorities. “ ( CRS, Perl ) . Furthermore, “ in hostage-type incidents, where the media may supply the lone independent means a terrorist has of cognizing the concatenation of events set in gesture, coverage can perplex deliverance attempts ” ( CRS, Perl ) .

One such case was on “ June 13, 1985, when two Hizballah gunslingers hijacked TWA flight 847 en path from Athens to Rome terminated dialogues with the Red Cross and forced the pilot to wing to Beirut after a wire service and other erroneous media studies that Delta Force had flown to the part and was headed to Algeria ” ( CRS-Perl ) . After the sureties were released, “ Pentagon Spokesperson Michael Burch accused the American intelligence media of supplying information on U.S. military and diplomatic moves that might turn out utile to highjackers ” ( Perl ) . In add-on to potentially “ helping ” the terrorists, ABC besides aired extended interview with both highjackers and sureties including a staged exposure of a handgun aimed at the pilot ‘s caput ” ( Perl ) .

The function of the media is “ critical for terrorists as it needs promotion, particularly free promotion when a group can non afford to purchase airtime ” ( Perl ) . For illustration, many terrorists view “ an unedited interview with a major figure to be a cherished award, such as CNN ‘s Peter Arnett ‘s 1997 interview with Osama Bin Laden ” ( Perl ) . On the other manus, intelligence webs often view “ entree to a terrorist to be a hot narrative and is treated as such ” ( Perl ) . What ‘s more, “ terrorists believe the public “ demands aid ” in understanding that their cause is merely and terrorist force is the lone class of action available to them against the superior evil forces of province and constitution ” ( Perl ) .

In the interview by CNN newsman Peter Arnett in March 1997, Osama Bin Ladin was asked a series of inquiries that were submitted in progress in which he responded to about all of them ( Arnett ) . One inquiry posed by Arnett was that “ If the presence of the United States in Saudi Arabia were withdrawn, would he so stop his call for jehad against the United States? Bin Laden responded by saying that the reaction came as a consequence of the US aggressive policy towards the full Muslim universe and non merely towards the Arabian Peninsula. So if the cause that has called for this act comes to an terminal, this act, in bend, will come to an terminal. So, the driving-away jehad against the US does non halt with its backdown from the Arabian Peninsula, but instead it must abstain from aggressive intercession against Muslims in the whole universe ( Arnett ) .

Peter Arnett subsequently asked in the interview what Bin Laden ‘s future programs were and his response was: “ You ‘ll see them and hear about them in the media, God willing. ” The last inquiry Mr. Arnett asked was: “ Mr. Bin Laden, you ‘ve declared a jehad against the United States. Can you state us why? And is the jehad directed against the US authorities or the United States ‘ military personnels in Arabia? What about US civilians in Arabia or the people of the United States? Part of his answer was “ We declared jehads against the US authorities, because the US authorities is unfair, condemnable and oppressive. It has committed Acts of the Apostless that are highly unfair, horrid and condemnable whether straight or through its support of the Israeli business of the Prophet Night Travel Land ( Palestine ) is. And we believe the US is straight responsible for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq ” . The reference of the US reminds us before everything else of those guiltless kids who were dismembered, their caputs and weaponries cut off in the recent detonation that took topographic point in Qana ( Lebanon ) . We do non vouch American civilians ( remaining in the Middle East ) their safety, because we are in a society of more than a billion Muslim and in our faith, it is non allowable for any non-Muslim to remain in our state. As for what you asked sing the American people, they are non exonerated from duty, because they chose this authorities and voted for it despite their cognition of its offenses in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and in other topographic points ( Arnett ) .

On September 11, 2001, Osama Bin Ladin and his terrorist group, Al Qaeda, accomplished his end of successfully assailing the United States every bit good as accomplishing 100s of media beginnings undivided attending across the Earth. In add-on to the “ 1000s that were killed on 9/11, 1000000s of persons were terrified by the images the media delivered to them while others who saw those media studies regarded them as grounds that the mighty can be humbled and that back uping al Qaeda would be worthwhile ” ( Seib, pg. 3 ) .

Since so, “ challenges policymakers face is to research mechanisms heightening media/government cooperation to suit the citizen and media ‘s demand for honorable coverage while restricting the additions uninhibited coverage may supply terrorist or their cause ” ( CRS, Perl ) . One of the most of import cardinal elements in any scheme program “ between the authorities and the media is communicating in order to forestall terrorist causes and schemes from predominating and to continue democracy ” ( CRS, Perl ) . With the “ media ‘s ability to act upon public sentiment, opportunities are that it may impact non merely the actions of authoritiess but besides on those of groups engaged in terrorist Acts of the Apostless ” Raphael Perl ) .

Some authoritiess on the other manus, wish “ to divide the terrorist from the media-to deny the terrorist a platform unless to make so is likely to lend to his at hand licking ” ( Perl ) . One instance in point, “ Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli premier curate, maintains that “ unreported, terrorist Acts of the Apostless would be like the proverbial tree falling in the soundless wood ” ( qtd by Hoffman, pg. 184 ) . The “ obvious deduction being made is that if the terrorists could someway be “ starved ” of the promotion on which they “ thrive, ” both their malignant influence and the frequence with which they act would be greatly reduced ” ( pg. 184 ) .

However, “ during 1988 and 1989, “ RAND conducted a study that sought to place through empirical observation public perceptual experiences of both terrorist act and terrorist and analyse how public sentiment is affected by terrorist Acts of the Apostless ” ( pg. 184 ) . More significantly, the “ timing of the study was important due to it instantly following a drawn-out period of heightened international terrorist activity, characterized by perennial onslaughts on American marks abroad ” ( pg. 184 ) . RAND ‘s study found that despite the media ‘s continual and frequently intense attending to terrorist activities over a period of old ages, showed the public blessing for terrorists “ was efficaciously zero ” ( Hoffman, pg.184 ) . In add-on, “ the survey besides revealed that even though the huge bulk of Americans have small sympathy toward groups that sponsor or commit terrorist Acts of the Apostless, they however evince a profound and staying captivation with both terrorist and terrorist act ” ( pg. 185 ) .

However, terrorists and authoritiess are non the lone groups to utilize the media for propaganda. In an article written by Elizabeth Dickinson and Joshua Keating in Foreign Policy titled “ The Horror, The Horror… and the Pity, ” the writers discuss how the recent U.S. midterm elections “ attracted more international attending than usual and provide assorted states ain alone return on America ‘s anti-incumbent motion, the Tea Party ” ( FP, Dickinson, Keating ) . One state in peculiar the writers highlight is Pakistan ‘s Dawn newspaper. The “ narrative to its position of the Tea Party is that it is an Islam-bashing political forepart and has become synonymous with the recoil environing the “ Ground Zero mosque ” and proposed Quran-burning in Florida ” ( FP, Dickinson, Keating ) . Dawn continues on by saying the “ Tea Party is driven mostly by the “ bigoted demagogue ” Glenn Beck who attacks President Barack Obama as a “ cupboard Muslim. ” Furthermore, Dawn contends that “ the same “ predatory inherent aptitude ” that led Americans to enslave Africans and pass over out Native American ‘s is “ garnering mass, one time once more, ” this clip with Muslims as the primary mark ” ( Dickinson, Keating ) .

In Gabriel Weimann ‘s article, “ How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet ” in the United States Institute for Peace Special Report, he states that, the Internet is in many ways an about perfect incarnation of the democratic ideals of free address and unfastened communicating ; it is a market place of thoughts unlike any that has existed earlier. Unfortunately, the freedom offered by the Internet is vulnerable to mistreat from groups that, paradoxically, are themselves frequently hostile to uncensored idea and look. Ironically, the same decentralised web of communicating that the U.S. security forces created out of fright of the Soviet Union now serves the involvements of the greatest enemy of the West ‘s security services since the terminal of the Cold War: international panic ( pg. 2 ) .