Censorship isn’t a smart strategy…(it) turns the video into “secret knowledge.”…, displays a complete misunderstanding of how online discussion works. IF it had been allowed online, it would have ignited tens of thousands of discussions required to turn this into learning event…(and) gives the impression that the West is weak and in retreat…(and) weakness invites aggression.
Isn’t it amazing how the “establishment” and its “victims” (the people) insist on clinging to their old models? They just don’t seem to recognize that the internet has changed the world. But on second thought, maybe they do. After all, they are sure trying their best to gain control over it. — jtl, 419
PS. The video has already been taken down.
by John Robb from Global Guerrillas
ISIS executed (burned to death) a Jordanian pilot this week. To maximize the impact of the event, ISIS released a slickly produced video of the event. The video was a “complete trial” that included >>
- An interview with the pilot (the “testimony”).
- Some footage of western airplanes blowing things up (the “crime”).
- The brutal execution of the pilot (the “punishment”).
Censorship as a Non-Strategy?
What was the west’s response? Censorship. Here’s a full version of the video I’ve found (it won’t last long). The US government is putting on Web hosts around the world to remove videos like this. So, it will be censored and removed soon. Censorship isn’t a smart strategy.
- Censorship turns the video into “secret knowledge.” Accessing it in defiance of dictates of a state adds to its allure, particularly for young people targeted by ISIS.
- Censorship displays a complete misunderstanding of how online discussion works. IF it had been allowed online, it would have ignited tens of thousands of discussions required to turn this into learning event.
- Censorship gives the impression that the West is weak and in retreat. The danger is that weakness invites aggression.
ISIS targets the Air War
- Media: ISIS is mindlessly brutal. JR: a more insightful analysis shows that these brutal punishments (Christians would call them “old testament” punishments) are taken from the pages of the Quran. They are specifically selected to recruit Muslims schooled in scriptural literalism by pointing out that modernist Islam ignores scripture when inconvenient. This punishment was specifically selected for its brutality because the “crime” was push button bombing (the US claims this air war has killed ~6,000 members of ISIS).
- Media: This execution was unjustified. The pilot was innocent. JR: The video spent quite a bit of time justifying the execution. In parallel, ISIS tied the morality of airstrikes to the morality of suicide bombing by offering to trade the pilot for some prisoners in Jordan. That was successful, Jordan confirmed this connection by immediately executing these prisoners in retaliation for the death of the pilot.
- Media: ISIS wants to intimidate the west. JR: Not really. ISIS had a more specific target in mind. They are trying to intimidate the pilots of the air campaign. At the end of the video, ISIS offers 100 Gold Dinars (~$18,000) for the heads of specifically named Jordanian pilots they consider criminals. By personalizing this, they have just pierced the veil of anonymity that protects the pilots that make push button air warfare possible.
The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of the betrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.