May 14, 2011
Naiveté in Propaganda: Ben Laden & Impact of Porn Accus
I am continuously befuddled that the US military and counterror people believe these kinds of demarches, Pornography Is Found on Bin Laden’s Computers - NYTimes.com actually carry any credibility with audiences not already pre-disposed to the US view / to disliking Ben Laden.
The discovery of the pornography, first reported by Reuters, may not be surprising in a collection of five computers, 10 hard drives and dozens of thumb drives and CDs whose age and past ownership is not known.No. Just simply no. Porn does not "tarnish" Ben Laden more with anyone who does not already loathe and despise him. First, the credibility of the accusation is .... dubious as to a real factual connection to himself (given no control on provenance, and frankly the Americans could be making this up). There are any number of non-ideological reasons to view this with scepticism.
But the disclosure could fuel accusations of hypocrisy against the founder of Al Qaeda, who was 54 and lived with three wives at the time of his death, and will be welcomed by counterterrorism officials because it could tarnish his legacy and erode the appeal of his brand of religious extremism.
Second, on the ideological side, the people who lean towards sympathy towards Ben Laden are not going to be in any way inclinced to view this as credible - indeed it feels rather smearish - and quite the contrary I rather would suspect it has rather more potential to generate sympathy than the inverse, along the line so "the infidel not only have killed the Sheikh, but now are fabricating personal smears."
A stupid idea and demarche by "counter-terrorism officials" (a discipline I have less and less respect for as time goes on, as it seems to mean 'specialist in advancing own prejudices in military-security jargon').
Rather more effective wold be to focus on his writings and things more clearly connected to him and the idealogy.
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"counterterrorism specialist"... "seems to mean 'specialist in advancing [one's] own prejudices in military-security jargon'. "
Summarizes developments of past decades in a nutshell.
Posted by: matthew h at May 14, 2011 01:58 PM