Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Syria Offers Wisdom

Category: Issue 4, News Winners

“It is regrettable that U.S. policies in the Middle East have fueled extremism, terrorism and anti-U.S. sentiment. What has happened recently in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Iraq is exacerbating the fight against global terrorism. The U.S. should take this opportunity to review its policies in the Middle East and start looking at the root causes of terrorism and broker a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.”

This statement was issued in a press release by the Syrian Embassy in Washington, DC around Sept. 12, 2006.

On page 48 of the Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication for Sept. 2004, it is noted that the motivation for the attack against the World Trade Center towers came not from a hate of our freedom, but from the tendency of powerful nations, like the U.S., to meddle in the affairs of other countries.  This is fortunately a growing sentiment.  I say fortunately because if Al Qaida realizes the power of such sentiment, and they wish us to let Middle Eastern countries develop without interference, they will put more work into spreading the sentiment and less work into destruction.

As Sahab is the media outlet for Al Qaida, and it has already begun to use up more of the organization’s resources to create and distribute videos.  Let us hope that other terrorist organizations also realize that the long term effects of media are far more helpful than the long term effects of violence.  Let us continue paying attention to ideas like the one the Defense Science Board Task Force report suggested - that violence does not find it’s source in freedom, but rather in the overstepping of bounds which is such a common activity of governments.

It is generally true that the pen is mightier than the sword, but the margin of extra power held by the pen is proportional to how much attention we pay to what is written.  If our attention is captured only when buildings are destroyed purposefully by fanatics in airplanes, then that is what will happen.  Where people have no voice, they will create one.  Let us stop making them so desperate that their creation is destruction.