November 13, 2005

Victim of Fashion?

Fashion gives, fashion takes away. Even in politics. Even in war. Steven Den Beste (he's back!) reports:

Even given that the western press tends to be more sympathetic to the terrorists than to western governments in the war, an ongoing campaign of car bombings in Iraq eventually becomes boring and gets consigned to the rear pages of the newspaper.

That means that the terrorists have to come up with increasingly spectacular escapades in order to maintain the attention of the western press. A couple of years ago the new innovation was video decapitations, but eventually the novelty wore off.

But the other side of the coin of headline fatigue is revulsion. Increasingly spectacular escapades become increasingly vile atrocities. They get the headlines, alright, but repel more people than they attract. This week's bombing in Amman is a good example of that; the reaction to it in Jordan was universally extremely negative on the "Arab Street" and al Qaeda's apparent anonymous-public spokesmen (online) found themselves trying to do spin and damage control.

When publicity and mind-share are your only real weapons in a war, you eventually become caught between the Scylla of boredom and obscurity and the Charybdis of nearly universal aversion for you and your cause. This is often how terrorist campaigns begin to wind down.

Applying this closer to (my) home, I think the effects are only indirect. The great overlooked factor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that it is driven by outsiders, mostly Arabs and other Muslims, and their money. If Israelis and Palestinians were left alone to work out our own problems, I think we would.

Posted by David Boxenhorn at November 13, 2005 12:12 PM | TrackBacks
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