Monday, August 07, 2006

On the media's ignorance

I tend to shy away from blunt blanket statements, but we as a nation are screwed as long as my profession continues to serve up things like this as some sort of big revelation:

It may be, say military experts, the future of warfare: a powerful army frustrated by a much weaker enemy. As Israeli ground troops flood into southern Lebanon in a bid to create a buffer zone to protect its territory from rocket attacks, some military analysts believe Israel has made the same mistakes as the US in Iraq. They say its focus on high-technology warfare and tactical advantage has led it to underestimate the strategic importance of public opinion.

"Local, regional and global perceptions of the conflict will be as important in sustaining a war, and in terminating a conflict on favorable and lasting terms, as the numbers of enemies captured or killed," Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington wrote. "Israel has failed to understand this in Lebanon as the US to some extent failed to understand it in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq."

Or Vietnam. Good grief. If the media's understanding of guerrilla warfare is still at this gee-whiz stage, God help the public in trying to grasp the concept. It's only been, what, five years since 9/11 -- the mother of all "asymmetric" attacks. (Hat tip to Sam Smith.)

But wait! This just in -- further evidence of how the media fails the public in matters of war and peace abounds.

It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.


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