July 27, 2006
The Ho Chi Minh Trail to BeirutBy Marc Sheppard
A bizarre moral inversion grips most of the world's media, in particular America's legacy press.Those who defend against aggresion are castigated, while the aggressors are celebrated. Modern warfare involves information war, and the strategy and tactics of moral inversion derive from the Vietnam conflict, the crucible of the sensibilities of the media Establishment.
On April 12 this year, the AP reported the 'bloody' killing of Hadil Ghraben, an 8 year old Palestinian girl, and the injuring of 7 of her siblings, in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya. Almost 3 � months later, The Los Angeles Times recounted the horror inflicted upon members of the Srour family, who were visiting the southern Lebanese city of Tyre. The father's charred body had been left behind in their shelled car, while the remainder lay dead or severely injured at Najem hospital, with 8 year old Mahmoud's face 'burned beyond recognition.'
In each instance, the world reflexively imprecated the Israeli shells which delivered the carnage and demanded 'restraint' and 'proportionality.' Meanwhile, the cowards who intentionally placed innocent women and children in harm's way in order to maximize their own civilian casualties enjoyed yet another victory in the increasingly vital battle for public opinion.
Indeed, the ruthless modern architects of terror have learned to strategically exploit the susceptibility of the media and other western liberals in order to weaken their enemies' resolve. This should surprise no one —— Their mentors had successfully employed similar tactics over 35 years ago in a little skirmish called Vietnam.
The PLO enrolls in Media Manipulation 101
Former PLO leader Yassir Arafat had always been a great admirer of Ho Chi Minh. In his 9/23/2005 analysis of Arafat, whom he refers to as 'the godfather of 20th century terrorism,' David Meir—Levi recounted:
In an earlier 1997 article, 'Arafat's Peace Process,' Yossef Bodansky tells the story of Palestinian terrorist Abu Iyad. Iyad's book, Palestinian Without a Motherland, relayed the saga of his journey with a high—level PLO delegation to Hanoi in early 1970 to meet with a Politburo team to learn how North Vietnam could help the Palestinian struggle:
The Teacher's Tet
The head teacher was General Vo Nguyen Giap, the North Vietnamese Army mastermind behind myriad battle campaigns, including the 1968 Tet Offensive. While a military failure for the NVA, Tet's psychological impact upon both the American press and political support for the war had forever changed the shrewd headmaster's play book.
From the beginning, the mission — to occupy major South Vietnamese cities — was a military failure for the NVA. Accordingly, one can only imagine Giap's relief when Walter Cronkite — "the most trusted man in America' — after reading the initial bulletin on the Tet attacks, stupidly asked the country:
Then, three weeks later, Uncle Walter delivered Giap an unexpected victory when he spoke these words during his 2/27/1968 CBS News broadcast:
Tet also taught the Vietnamese the incredible power of visual imagery on the weak—minded. Early in the campaign, AP photographer Eddie Adams had captured the lurid moment of a Viet Cong officer's summary execution on a Saigon street. The now famous — and Pulitzer Prize winning — photo graphically detailed the terrorist's death—scowl as the bullet bore though his head.
Amazingly, the widespread publication of this single picture by a hysterical press caused American support for the war to drop precipitously overnight. Celebrities and other clueless liberals soon jumped aboard the MSM led anti—war bandwagon, inspired by Cronkite's capitulation and the Adams photo. Mission accomplished —— The 'useful idiots' course became requisite study for anyone pursuing a degree in modern guerrilla warfare.
Yassir goes to the Head of the Class
Thus, the terrorist journeymen were tutored to specifically exploit the MSM and other US liberal groups and institutions by proven masters of the malevolent process. Their deadly curriculum placed great emphasis on perverting the fact that 'the west could not stomach the sight of blood and casualties.'
Throughout his tenure, Arafat the student strived to employ these tactics by provoking Israel through gradual escalation and expansion of violence — especially 'suicide' bombings. This, he knew, would incite the Israeli Defense Forces to 'invade' cities controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Then, the very same Palestinians guilty of the horrendous act of strapping explosive belts onto brainwashed children to do their dirty work would scream their outrage at the civilian casualties. This, in turn, would agitate the 'peace' opposition while creating photo—ops of 'carnage against Arab civilians (to be placed intentionally in harm's way and in front of TV cameras).'
Giap's prot�g� certainly did his master proud.
Teach your booby—trapped children well
The PLO's uncanny PR success soon spread the word throughout the jihadist world. In fact, following the recent and long overdue conversion to inanimate carbon of Iraq al—Qaeda leader and human butcher Abu Musab al—Zarqawi, a document was recovered in his 'hide—out.' Believed to be his mission directive, it included a call 'to use the media for spreading an effective and creative image of the resistance.'
Consider the propaganda value of media outlets referring to the animals responsible for the horrific slaughter of thousands of innocent people as 'freedom fighters' and their odious acts as 'resistance.' Clearly, modern day Islamic extremists have absorbed the lessons originally imparted to Arafat's delegation by the North Vietnamese over 30 years ago. Vo had emphasized that the reason the Palestinian 'armed struggle' was considered terrorism while the Vietnamese struggle was ultimately lauded and supported throughout the West was merely a matter of disparate media packaging.
Enter the Class of 2006 — The Party of God
July, 2006. Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon are storing Katyusha missiles in civilian homes and apartments, and launching them intentionally on Israeli civilian targets from within spitting distance of their abodes. When Israel moves to take out the missile launchers, they, in turn, kill Lebanese civilians. These civilian deaths lead to broad reporting by the western media (without the benefit of crucial background context) which then leads to worldwide condemnation of Israel and demands for a 'proportionate response.'
Despite a profound (and media minimized) Israeli campaign to clear all targets of innocents prior to requisite retaliation, the MSM has played its predictably useful role. And, while the IDF reports that Hezbollah is actually 'preventing civilians from leaving villages in southern Lebanon,' the media focus is crystal clear.
From Reuters on 7/15/2006 —
From the Guardian on 7/15/2006 —
And, unbelievably, from North Korea Times on 7/14/2006 —
Of course, while the Lebanese people initially blamed Hezbollah for visiting the chaos upon them by provoking Israel, the 38 year old strategy taught by the Vietnamese soon proved itself timeless.
According to the Associated Press:
Sympathy for the Devil
Indeed, each new day brings new uses of terms the likes of 'Israeli aggression' and 'disproportionate retaliation.' Fouad Siniora, Lebanon's prime minister, complained his country has been "torn to shreds," and demanded that Israel pay for the "barbaric destruction.' On the 7/23/2006 edition of CNN's Late Edition, Siniora told Wolf Blitzer that Israel was guilty of 'serious crimes against humanity.' Blitzer accepted the preposterous avowal and later remarked that 'These are very, very trying times for all of the people of Lebanon.'
Meanwhile, the Hezbollah human shield gambit has successfully managed to divide our country by generating sympathy for terrorists. Additionally, it has driven a further wedge between the so—called 'Neo—Cons' and 'Paleo—Cons' by forcing a debate over Israel's influence on US policy.
Responding to a 7/20/2006 editorial by Pat Buchanan in which Buchanan actually found it necessary to state 'None of this is written in defense of Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran,' conservative David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine writes:
Then, in his truly shameful 7/21/2006 article, 'The Shame of Being an American,' Paul Craig Roberts stoops low enough to take Lebanon's prime minister's rant a step further. The former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary dares suggest that Israel is intentionally missing Hezbollah in favor of civilian targets as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign. Most disturbingly, he describes the Israeli army as 'Satanic.' His intentionally incendiary fantasy concludes with this admonition:
These words would normally be the perfect marching orders for such useful idiots as Cindy Sheehan. Alas, they're currently engaged in a 'rolling' hunger strike which they affirm (with straight faces) will bring an end to the war in Iraq. Perhaps hearing that Jan Egeland, the humanitarian chief of their beloved U.N, recently said the "disproportionate response by Israel is a violation of international humanitarian law" will mobilize them back to their microphones. Then the imbecilic rhetoric from those who successfully escalated Abu—Ghraib to the level of Mi Lai will surely flow like sewage through a Sadr City street. History suggests these as possible results:
Those who refuse to learn from History
Speaking of Generals, 94 year old General Giap may relish the irony in the fact that cultures which may appear to be stuck in time are, in truth, the superior students of history. To be sure, refusing to learn from the mistakes of 35 years ago would literally be our doom. Surely, liberals were on the wrong side of history then and continue to be now.
But the stakes are significantly higher now! The NVA was not aligned with fanatical visionaries of the apocalypse who were striving toward making their deadly dreams come true. Meanwhile, Nasrallah warns of an impending second wave of missile attacks which will surely reach deeper into Israel and of 'surprises' in Hezbollah's plans. While the childish among us will surely minimize the implications of such threats; the adults in the room dare not.
As such, today's deliverers of 'appeasement' must never be allowed to repeat the damage done by yesterday's. For the very survival of civilization, the only thing we need deliver to those who seek to literally destroy the United States or any of its allies, including Israel, is that which they wish delivered upon us.
Marc Sheppard is a business owner, software developer and writer residing on New York's Long Island. He is a regular contributor to The American Thinker and othr publications. He welcomes your feedback.