The Right Wing Media Just Don't Get It

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by Drew O’Neill by Drew O’Neill

I turned on the radio to hear the right-wing reaction to the terrorist bombings in London. What I heard was expected. It's the Democrats’ fault. It's the Democrats’ fault because they dare to voice dissent about the war in Iraq. "When will they get it?" said Hugh Hewitt, a syndicated right wing talk show host referring to the Democratic party. "Does this make the renewal of the Patriot Act a moot point?" Hewitt continued.

No it doesn't Hugh. I'll mail you a copy of the US Constitution.

Meanwhile back at Fox Headquarters, Brit Hume, managing editor, told news anchor Sheppard Smith that the first thing he thought of when hearing of the London bombings was the stock market and that "futures" would be a good buy. I don't know about you but the first thing that ran across my mind when I heard of this horrific attack was the senseless murder of innocent people. That's just me though. I'm kind've a bleeding heart.

But hey, there's more

Bill O'Reilly of Fox News called Europe cowards and accused the BBC of hiring Osama Bin Laden as news editor for how they have been reporting on the War on Terror.

Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends pondered how the timing of the attack worked to "our" advantage.

Greta Van Susteran stopped looking for a missing blonde girl. (Don't worry, Alan Colmes is still in Aruba.)

As of tonight Fox has run FOX NEWS ALERTS about suspicious packages in London.

Fox news is in post-terror mode. Two tablespoons of propaganda, add a dash of fear.

But I got to thinking…Maybe it's the right wing media that don't get it. They got us into this war in Iraq and now they want to make a scapegoat out of the anti-war movement. During the build up to the Iraq war the rabid right wing launched a jihad on debate and it was their way or go away. Now they preach to potential converts, they have diehards and they attempt to silence critics of their "war on terror."

There is a serious threat of global terrorism but it's being fought in such an uncalculated manner that it is counter productive to global safety. The dissent in this country is not against catching these murderous criminals. The dissent realizes that this Islamic threat is a movement. Somehow the Bush administration can't comprehend this. Once we start treating it like a movement and not a conventional war that you can throw might and bombs at, we can then start to make progress. The absolute worst thing to do to fight Islamic terrorism was to invade Iraq. For the jihadists it was a rallying cry and an enormous recruiting tool. For them having "American infidels" on Muslim soil invading an Arab country as fertile as Iraq has helped spread their jihadist movement and has created more terrorists. Every movement has its potential converts. Potential converts must have a nationalist rallying cause. We gave them one. The leaders of these jihadi movements are fueled by obsession and ambition but without the potential converts their movement would not grow. Osama Bin Laden wanted us to invade Iraq. He knew without it his movement could not grow as it has.

So if the question is how we prevent terrorism we first must remove the incentive for potential converts. Before we can prevent terrorism we must first prevent the growth of the terrorist movement. We must fight a more subtle shadow war against terrorists. Hunting them down with special operations. As it is now, when we kill one terrorist in Iraq we create three more. We continue to fight an insurgency that is fueled by nationalism with an influx of jihadists who are now part of the movement. How many of these jihadists were inspired to jihad by our invasion of Iraq we do not know. The potential converts to the jihadi movement is frightening. If we continue to fight this war with bombs and not brains we will not win.

But if you listen to the rabid right, the anti-war crowd has no solutions. "The anti-war crowd has no ideas," they say and then they claim "to dissent is fine but what's your solution?" If they believe this then why is it after we dissent the first thing they question is our patriotism? Why is it when we voice dissent we become part of the blame America crowd? Maybe they want their jihad and to eat it too.

I wish I could come up with a phrase for how much damage I feel the right wing media and the Bush administration have done to this country. I have one right now, but it's an FCC violation. I think it's a sad state of affairs when I fear not the next terrorist attack on our country as much as I fear the frenzy our media may get us into and the frothing at the mouth jingoism that may result.

There will be another terrorist attack on our country and I hope we come together in solidarity to go after those who attacked us. I also hope that we do not fall for the propaganda from our media and allow policy to be conducted under fear. I think we've learned our lesson. A not so wise man once said: "Fool me once…fool me, you can't fool me again."

Drew O'Neill [send him mail] graduated from Cal State Northridge and works at an internet marketing company in San Diego, California.

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