Terrorists Treat Internet as Weapon

(Philadelphia Inquirer) David Perlmutter- Terrorists have a webbed, wireless, and digital platform for all their violence and rhetoric. Anytime, anywhere, any madman with a laptop, a modem, and an axe can horrify the world. We know that; worse, the madmen know it, too. Another factor in the terrorists' favor is the expansion in what we define as "the media." We couldn't censor terrorists even if we wanted to. There is one way to convince terrorists that their tactics undermine their cause, through visible public outrage in the nations and among the peoples for whom the terrorists claim to fight. That such a popular uprising in favor of human decency has never occurred in Saudi Arabia (or in Iraq) further encourages terrorists to believe that they are following their God's commandments and their people's will. Al-Qaeda's reality show, thus, is winning the media war - but only because its audience lets them. The writer is a senior fellow at the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at Louisiana State University.

2004-07-02 00:00:00

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