It's become increasingly clear in recent weeks that a second front has opened in the War on Terror. Now, not only is the United States battling Islamic terrorism and its state supporters, it's facing another enemy. That enemy is the mainstream news media that is aided by its allies among so-called international human rights organizations, the anti-American left, and detractors within our own military, government and intelligence services who are leaking as much dirt as they can muster. The mainstream news media is doing all it can to defeat the United States abroad.
The mainstream news media for the most part has long had it out for President Bush as well as being transparently opposed to the war in Iraq. But beginning with the Abu Ghraib story, it started focusing almost solely on the U.S. military. The obsession with Abu Ghraib began a narrative in which U.S. soldiers were always the bad guys and the terrorists they fought just innocent victims of American "oppression" or even "imperialism."
This was familiar territory for the news media that led the charge against U.S. soldiers in Vietnam and, along with the anti-war movement, managed to stain Vietnam veterans' honor for generations. ABC White House correspondent Terry Moran even admitted to the news media's Vietnam Syndrome during a radio interview last month. While the news media held off for a bit after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it didn't take long for them to return to form. And today we find ourselves back in "babykiller" territory, only this time it's all about the poor, abused terrorists in prison at Guantanamo Bay.
It was there that the mainstream news media's latest campaign against the U.S. military has centered. It all began with a Newsweek story (tipped off by an unnamed government official) of alleged "Koran abuse" at the hands of guards at Gitmo. An allegation was made that guards had flushed a Koran down the toilet in front of a prisoner, something that defies the laws of physics, if not common sense. But it was soon disclosed that the story was false. Still, fellow members of the media continued to make excuses for the Newsweek gaffe and began pushing a shameful "fake yet accurate" narrative that persists to this day.
It wasn't enough that the bogus Newsweek story helped spark riots across the Muslim world leading to 16 deaths and over 100 wounded, or that it gave the terrorists a major victory in the propaganda war, or that it was eventually retracted. America's new enemy just couldn't let the "prisoner abuse" story go. So they pressed on with their offensive.
A week later Newsweek and other media outlets again insisted that "Koran abuse" had occurred at Guantanamo Bay, this time according to leaked FBI e-mails. This retread of the original story was based mostly on the claims of terrorist inmates, making it almost as reliable as the original falsehood. Apparently, none of the reporters involved bothered to read the al-Qaeda manual, which instructs terrorists to claim torture or desecration of the Koran no matter what. Either unable or unwilling to comprehend the strategies employed by America's enemies, the mainstream media is now openly doing the bidding of Islamic terrorists.
The next attack came from Amnesty International that used the news media to compare U.S. treatment of prisoners at Gitmo to the Soviet Union's gulag system, which killed tens of millions of people. Amnesty's report called Gitmo "the gulag of our time." They must have missed the concentration camps in North Korea where people are being gassed to death as in Auschwitz. Or the slaughter of black Christians by Muslims in Sudan, or the hundreds of dissidents rotting in Cuban prisons. Then there's the ongoing destruction of Zimbabwe at the hands of the mad dictator Mugabe. But according to Amnesty International, the United States is worse than all of them.
One argument is that the United States should confer Geneva Conventions rights on the prisoners at Gitmo. But this would be folly at its worst. These terrorists claim no nationality nor do they wear the uniform of any military. They are only loyal to the jihadist cause. In fact, their tactics involve manipulating the West's adherence to the Geneva Conventions. So while our Army tries to tiptoe around the sites protected by the Conventions - mosques, hospitals and schools - the terrorists have no such scruples.
They routinely hole up in mosques and have no compunction about blowing them up either. They use ambulances as moving bomb receptacles and hospitals to house ammunition. They store suicide bomber's vests in schools and take school children hostage. They attack civilian targets as a rule and engage in torture, beheadings and the mutilation of hostages. And, according to the defenders of terrorism, the West should handle this savagery with kid gloves.
When it comes to allegations of torture, the media and its allies just can't seem to make up their minds. The media flips out at any hint of physical torture, but when the military utilizes psychological methods to unsettle prisoners, it turns out they're against that too. Claims that guards at Gitmo used female interrogators to get information out of terrorists and thereby capitalize on Muslim hang-ups about sex were met with shock by the media. This sudden prudery was ridiculously overwrought. Isn't knowing your enemy and using his weaknesses against him what psychological warfare is all about.
The terrorists certainly know how to capitalize on the naivete of the mainstream news media, as well. All one has to do is to read passages of the Koran to see that adherents are instructed to use any means necessary to deceive the "disbelievers" or non-Muslims. The practice even has a name - it's known as "al-Takeyya." Chilling tales have been told by former Muslims about the cold-blooded lies told to "infidels" in the name of spreading Islam. Whether it be Palestinian terrorists battling Israel or al-Qaeda terrorists attacking the United States, all use deception to defeat their enemies.
None of this information is hidden from the public. In fact, it's available all over the Internet and particularly at the website for the Middle East Media Research Institute. Memri.org is the place to find translated and archived print and television media from the Muslim world. One would think that the erstwhile reporters of the mainstream news media would have access to all this information. To continue claiming ignorance while the terrorists themselves brag about lying on a routine basis demonstrates either a willful blindness or an outright hostility towards one's own country. I'm betting it's the latter.
In the end, it turns out that many of the alleged incidents at Gitmo involving "Koran abuse" were actually non-events, such as a Koran being accidentally knocked on the floor or, worst of all, touched by a non-Muslim (horrors!). In one case, a detainee himself ripped up pages of a Koran and stuffed them in the toilet, presumably to stir up the other inmates. Of course, what's lost among all the hoopla is the fact that the inmates only have Korans because the U.S. military furnished them with them. But none of this matters to anti-American Muslims who continue to protest "desecration" even as we speak.
Even if the trumped up "Koran in the toilet" story was true, would that really constitute torture? And if we're talking about the desecration of holy books, how did the mainstream media manage to overlook Saudi Arabia, where bibles are shredded on a routine basis? Incidentally, they don't allow Judaism or Christianity to be practiced in that country either. Coming from the staunch secularists in the news media who shriek in horror at any expression of Christianity in America, this sudden concern for religious symbols seems just a tad hypocritical.
The media wouldn't be able to put forward these stories without their informants. What about members of the military who keep leaking supposedly classified information to the media? What about government officials who mysteriously disclose America's secrets to the media and by extension, its enemies? The fact that U.S. intelligence services seem to be in on the assault is not reassuring. These all constitute treasonous activities and every effort should be made to track down and punish the perpetrators.
Even when the leak is done with good intentions, as in the photos of Saddam in his skivvies, the end result is the same. Since America seems to have so little control over such information, it does not bode well for success in the War on Terror. We face a nihilistic enemy that seeks to use weapons of mass destruction against us and we can ill afford such leniency.
No one is suggesting censorship, but how about some wartime security standards? Remember the WWII phrase "Loose lips sink ships"? It seems impossibly quaint by today's standards, but there's no doubt that such precautions helped America and the allies win the war against fascism. Just imagine what this war would be like if we had the news media on our side. Short of that, providing aid and comfort to the enemy should at least be considered unacceptable. The news media may be eager to embrace dhimmitude, being second class citizens to Muslims, but the rest of us don't have to facilitate such a surrender.
No longer can the War on Terrorism simply involve soldiers fighting on the battlefield or for the liberation of millions of Muslims from a tyrannical dictator.
If we don't start paying attention to the enemy within, it could very well take us all down.
Cinnamon Stillwell is a Bay Area writer. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.