An effective weapon against terrorists: Ridicule

"Is America taking terrorists too seriously? In the wake of continued threats, that might seem like a ridiculous question. But in terms of the psychology of the war on terrorism, it's a question that needs to be asked."


Nadir said...

This is ridiculous.

The reason there is any fear of terrorism is because the Bush administration has fomented that fear. There was real concern right after 911, but since nothing has happened on US soil, people don't think about it.

And it's terrorism. Who are you going to ridicule? Muslims? They aren't the only terrorists. The KKK? That would offend the right-wing base. Saddam Hussein? He's in jail, so he isn't a threat. Iran? They aren't an enemy. They haven't done anything. If you want Americans to stop being afraid, stop being a fear monger.

The real enemy is the Bush regime. This is why The Daily Show is such a hit. This is why you guys love those Bush photos I put up on the site. So in that regard, I would say the author is correct.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: Offending the KKK would not offend the right-wing base, no matter how many times you insist that right-wingers in the US have any ideological affiliation with racism.

If you think that "Bush is the enemy" and that this statement is validated by the success of The Daily Show, then what does this logic make of the absolute domination of news talk radio and TV shows by people with rightist views?

Paul Hue said...

To a great extent, I believe that Islam is the enemy, in that wild-eyed midaevil religious backwardsness dominates that religion. As many of its Arab critics have pointed out, unlike judiasm and christianity, islam in general has not yet undergone a transformation into the modern age. I very much believe that ridicule by outsiders and insiders is essential for islam to finally succumb to the advance of civilization. But I agree that a president can't do this; it's up to the rest of us! I think it is essential that muslims in the west experiance their rediculous fairy tales subjected to the same well-deserved ridicule as judiasm and christianity. Otherwise, we are treating them like babies, and that's one of the reasons that they haven't grown up.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: Where on this earth can you find a meeting of clerics unifying behind a call to execute a man for leaving their religion? Only one: islam. Why do you have pointed disdain for America's "religious right", but not for a similar fraction of the world's muslims? How do you think those muslim clerics would view abortion rights, women's rights, gay rights, prayer in govt schools, and warrentless international wire taps? If Bush is "the enemy", what does that make the world's conservative muslims?

Nadir said...

All Muslims are not terrorists. All Muslims are not even extremists, as you have pointed out.

The article stated that ridicule was a way to diminish the public's fear of "the enemy", and he stated that this worked during WWII and the Cold War.

The so-called War on Terror, however, fails to identify an enemy. The "enemy" is such a vague term because it could mean anyone who is determined to be against stated American interests. And not just American interests. Anyone can be a victim of terror.

So when the Israelis bulldoze Palestinian homes, do you ridicule them? This is state-sponsored terrorism.

The Janjaweed in the Sudan... Do you ridicule them? Does that make them less likely to murder innocent people?

The article says "Ridicule raises morale at home. Ridicule strips the enemy/adversary of his mystique and prestige."

How does it help Americans if we ridicule all Muslims? You simply insult the very people who will be the greatest asset in stopping Islamic extremism - moderate Muslims.

This is a stupid thought, but perhaps it could raise morale. Big deal if it pisses off potential allies.

Nadir said...

I mention the ridicule of Bush by those who perceive him to be either a political or real enemy. Many people (me included) perceive him as such.

Right-wing talk shows and reformed leftist bloggers do not think of him as an enemy and as a result, you don't like the photos or jokes that make fun of Bush. It doesn't raise your morale.

It raises my morale. But it doesn't help to get him out of office.

Paul Hue said...

All Muslims are not terrorists... How does it help Americans if we ridicule all Muslims?

Nobody's advocated "ridiculing all Muslims". Instead, we advocate affording islam the same respect we afford grown-up religions, like christianity, judaism, and hinduism: lampoon it. The more we make special cases out of muslims, and treat them like retarded children, the more of them that will act that way. Let's get Mohammad onto the elevators and rowboats with Jesus, Moses, and Racheal Welch.

As for making fun of George Bush, go right ahead. Nobody demands that you do not. But comedy depends on truth, and putting Hitler mustaches on Bush will only draw laughs from those who see truth in that; for those who don't see truth in that, the caracature won't help persuade them that Bush has Hitler tendancies. For me, I believe that Bush's torturing is bad. Thus I thought it was funny when a comedian said that he doesn't spank his children, as he considers it cruel, but that he does apply the Alberto Gonzelez memo, holding his kids's heads under water, and that this only counts as torture if they think they're going to die.

If you want to just post photos of Bush with Hitler mustaches, Six could post the photos of Howard Dean and Julian Bond with the same mustaches; what would that prove?

Lampooning Mohammad is important because many people, including important leaders around the world, have declared such expressions capital offenses. People who value freedom should violate those decrees, and ensure that those who issue them do not have their brutish and ignorant views appeased; this is the same as when KKKers and slavers ordered death penalties to anybody who advocated abolition or black equality.