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News Flash: Over 100 Terrorists Cheer Sensational Media Attention. In Other Ignored News…

I will not help the terrorists’ recruitment pitch by waving my hands.  I firmly exercise the right to choose where to focus my attention.

If we must focus on death, why don’t we focus on something within the realm of our control?  Did you know that a recent study of 75 cities concluded that a 10-μg/m3 increase in springtime particulate air pollution leads to a 2.9% difference in mortality?   Did you know that according to recently published epidemiological research of stillbirths in Ohio, the risk of fetal death in the third trimester of pregnancy increases by 42% in areas of high particulate air pollution?  Did you know that you probably didn’t read about that cause of death in the newspapers, but you certainly will read all about some zany act in some place you have no power over for days on end?  Did you know who chose which story to publish?

Don’t let violent terrorists and their media companions convert your public fear into their next sales pitch.  Focus on the harm you have the power to abate.

20 thoughts on “News Flash: Over 100 Terrorists Cheer Sensational Media Attention. In Other Ignored News…”

  1. Leroy says:

    We, as individuals, have no real ability to have an effect on air pollution to a SIGNIFICANT degree.

    And why would we simply ignore terrorism? Especially global terrorism by a specific fanatical group?

    Is appeasement the only response?

    These are Irregular Times… not Pacifist Times.

    Example… the initial War in Afghanistan was a Just War. Al Qaeda had carried out the 9/11 attacks. They were sheltered, supported, provided sustenance by the Taliban (and in return the AQ fought for the Taliban against the Northeast Alliance). The Taliban refused to turn over the AQ leadership for trial. We then had a legitimate state of war against Afghanistan (as the Taliban were the de facto government of Afghanistan, controlling over 90% of the territory). And had we stayed there and stayed with our strategy there (with some modification) MIGHT have won there.

    But then in the rush of Bush – Cheney – Rumsfeld to get into Iraq, we pulled most of our resources (80+%?) out of Afghanistan into an ILLEGAL invasion and occupation of Iraq – which was NOT a Just War.

    But I still don’t grasp your wording.

    Do you support the terrorist (identified as ISIS) but just refuse to save your arms to help their recruitment pitch…as that is the way it sounds based on its wording.

    1. Jim says:

      Neither war has achieved its aims. Both wars have wasted vast resources and killed far more innocents than in Paris. This does not make ISIS good. Ask yourself what ISIS wants you to do. I refuse to be manipulated.

      1. Leroy says:

        You missed by entire point.

        I was talking about the outcome of what did happen, my point was as to what could have been had we concentrated (with full focus) on a war that was justified and we had 90% won before pulling most resources out in order to invade Iraq.

        And then when we returned (not being able to stay in Iraq anymore), it then was way too late.

        All that we accomplished in Iraq was establishing the fertile soil for the growth of ISIS / ISIL (*). All that we’ve accomplished in Afghanistan has been the solidified status of the Taliban as the major true power in that region.

        But.

        It didn’t have to be that way.

        (*) A very important difference that many non historians (or non military) don’t grasp is that ISIL and the Taliban are NATION STATES and not terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda. While ISIL does have terrorist cells, their primary position is the establishment of a Caliphate nation state across large parts of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Unlike them, the Taliban exist only in Afghanistan and the Tribal areas of adjacent Pakistan where there are no borders as far as the majority Pushtans are concerned. Even though many NATO nations supplied combat forces to fight in Afghanistan, the Taliban are not (and don’t have any plans to) establish terrorist cells in Europe, North Africa, North America, etcetera. That move would be strategically counterproductive. Something that ISIL hasn’t grasped. Terrorist groups can have a POSSIBLE advantage in that specific international activity.- but not terrorist nation States. Not in the long run.

        (Which conversely WE didn’t realize in Iraq or Afghanistan II – or Vietnam, etcetera. We never realized just What / Who we were fighting – nor especially Why they were fighting.)

        Did you also read his “What Every Person Should Know About War”?

        1. Jim Cook says:

          Sorry, but I remember all the lovely explanations for why we would have a neat tidy war ten and fourteen years ago too. I don’t agree with your fundamental premise.

          1. Leroy says:

            No, as I NEVER, EVER, EVER say anything about a “good” Iraq War. In fact, I repeatedly say the opposite.

            I never once talk using the same rationale as NeoCons did for either war – and in fact say just the OPPOSITE of the arguments that they used.

            You frequently display this egotistical approach of not really reading what a Commenter has to say, assume that you know (because of your inflated ego at having a piss ant little blog) what they are saying and then respond with something that actually sounds idiotic as it has nothing to do with the postings.

            As soon as you said “14 years ago and 10 years ago”, you BLEW IT.

            We went into Afghanistan – after having been attacked by a proxy they shielded – 14 years ago. We went into Iraq well over 12 years ago, not 10. And I have REPEATEDLY said that we should have never gonna into Iraq. Period. In fact, that Iraq was an illegal war.

            But you don’t read that stuff, eh?

            Just the parts that you want to – and that you make up as you go along.

            What agenda are you beating your chest about anyway (seeing as how you’re not waving you’re hands – you’re too busy beating your chest)?

            About being a total pacifist?

            An angry, aggressive pacifist?

            That’s all that I can imagine!

          2. Jim Cook says:

            Well, that was interesting. I read your whole comment. I don’t agree with you.

  2. Charles Manning says:

    Jim Cook, I wouldn’t use the words “violent terrorists and their media companions,” but essentially what’s going on is the usual terrorist act causing modest losses — only about 140 dead — but motivating the entire western world to amplify sales of weapons and the accouterments of war to defeat the terrorists. The terrorists are essentially criminals, and the Paris episode, together with the hype by the media, will convince more demented young people to join ISIL. But I don’t believe we have to kill thousands of innocents and passive supporters of ISIL, and destroy Middle Eastern towns to “save” them, to prevent things like the Paris shootings. Better law enforcement would have prevented Paris.

    I agree that particulate pollution probably causes more death and damage that terrorism, but until people are motivated to stop pollution the way they’re motivated to stop terrorists, not that much will be done.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Charles,

      Well, I was going to use the words “media remoras,” but I thought I’d tone it down. 🙂

      I agree with what you say.

      On the media bit, I don’t agree with a lot of what Chris Hedges writes, but I thought his book War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning was really good. In that book, Hedges reflects on his experience as a war correspondence and comes to the conclusion that journalists as individuals and journalistic institutions are hooked on the experience of violence to provide them easy direction and a sense of purpose, even if that direction and purpose are illusory.

  3. Leroy says:

    Actually, Chris Hedges doesn’t come to that conclusion as relates to journalists or even specifically war correspondents, or to political leaders, but to entire societies. In fact, he stresses that more so than journalism or the media.

    (Yes, I’m sure that there’s a segment in the book that talks about the effect with journalists, but when looking at the book as a whole… ).

    And personally, I want for the media to report what is going on around the world. I can utilize enough news sources and common sense to determine the likely facts).

    Which books of Chris Hedge do you not care for?

    He seems to me to be a realistic liberal. Burying one’s head in the sand at the existence of ugly, evil things isn’t the answer (IMO).

    I could guess that maybe it is his book “When Atheism Becomes Religion: America’s New Fundamentalists”?

    That one actually is one of the few of his that I haven’t read (yet) and I own several – including the one you mention above.

    (But then he also wrote “Collateral Damage – America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians”)

    1. Leroy says:

      Should read:

      “Actually, Chris Hedges doesn’t come to that conclusion JUST as relates to journalists or even specifically war correspondents, or to political leaders, but to entire societies.”

      1. Jim Cook says:

        Right. He does come to that conclusion regarding himself, and then journalists, and then more broadly in society.

    2. Jim Cook says:

      I haven’t read many of Chris Hedges’ books. I’m not a big fan of some of his columns, where I think some of his claims are inflated. (I’m also not a big fan of Richard Dawkins or the other self-appointed “leaders” of the “atheist community,” as if there really are or need to be either).

      1. Leroy says:

        Your wording is confusing.

        Are you referencing Chris Hedges to be atheist?

        1. Jim Cook says:

          Nope, I’m referencing the book on atheism you said you haven’t read but suspect I disagree with.

      2. Leroy says:

        This part is really hilarious:

        “I haven’t read many of Chris Hedges’ books. I’m not a big fan of some of his columns, where I think some of his claims are inflated.”

        And hypocritical, seeing that’s what you do (i.e., inflate the media’s effect on actions rather the more accurate description of them being a responder to actions and then following that then responders to the emotions of the society… plus inflating what effect individual actions could have on these situations; you COULD have just not waved your hands, but, no, you had to post that fact in your “column” – exactly what Hedges does).

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with Hedges anywhere near 100%. He is by no means any type of idol. Israel has done much wrong, but comparing Israel to ISIS? And “vindicating Marxism as capitalism’s most prescient and important critic?” (Democratic Socialism, yes, Marxism, no) I don’t even agree with his eating habits, but am glad that he (and his family) have become Vegans for moralistic reasons (more meat for me and my family).

      3. Leroy says:

        But Hedges DOES inflate things, often by actually understating the true facts.

        The first chapter of his book War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning is online via a printing of the NYT. At one point it says:

        “Approximately 850,000 Vietcong does he mean also NVA soldiers, North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese civilians also?) died in the Vietnam War, 18 times the 47,000 U.S. dead. (Woah… wait a sec, what about our allies and especially the South Vietnamese military losses? [*] ). More than 600,000 North Korean and 1 million Chinese fighters died in the Korean War, almost 50 times the 33,000 American dead (Woah, wait a sec, what about the South Korean military losses? [**] ) In World War II, 3,250,000 German and 1,507,000 Japanese soldiers, sailors, and pilots were killed, 16 times the 291,000 American servicemen who were killed (now give me a major break here…. we fought the Axis by ourselves? What about the losses of the Soviets and UK and Commonwealth countries and France and Italy, first enemy and then ally, and Poland, etcetera, etcetera? [***] ).

        And he never says where he got his (grossly incomplete) figures!

        [*] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War

        (Note that in just looking at one figure that the South Vietnamese military had roughly anywhere from 4-8 TIMES as many KIA than we did)

        [**] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War

        (Note that the South Korean military had about 4 times as many killed as we did… And that his figures for Chinese killed is WAY higher than even the American estimate)

        [***] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II

        Specifically:

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

        Here he has understated Germany and Japan’s killed, never mentions their partner Italy, nor ever mentions all of the other Allied nations deaths (especially Soviet Union, Great Britain and Commonwealth, France, and Poland!

        So, yes, he has some philosophical points )many that are personal opinion versus a scientific fact) but also can be highly inaccurate.

        Which includes in the book that you tout.

  4. Leroy says:

    Sorry, but that simply isn’t true. I have the book in my lap and am on my second day of reading it 2/3rds done – usually I could have it read in a day but am also reading one of Richard Belzer’s books… and it does not say that nor is it laid out that way.

    Actions (either factual or as pushed by leaders either for real reasons or more usually for agendas not involving true national interests) drive the emotions of the People and then journalists get involved (some, maybe many, enthusiastically), but they don’t DRIVE the responses.

    Situation, Cuba under Spanish control before the Spanish-American War. SOME of the media wrote many stories sympathetic to the Cuban rebellion movement. The Philippines, Guam, etcetera, almost never came up. The American people barely cared.

    An American warship then blew up in Havana harbor. Most likely an accident. Possibly a desperate action by Cuban rebels to get American sympathies. Possibly American (pro war) government agents. Definitely NOT the media.

    The American people went nuts and the media raced along right with them. No matter how quiet and pacifist the media may have been (and some did caution “jumping to conclusions”), the American people WANTED war, by God… And the media raced along to stay up.

    Ditto with the “Gulf of Tonkin” situation. Unlike the attacks in Paris (which had thousands of witnesses – thanks to live videos), the “Gulf of Tonkin” never happened. But once it was portrayed as such by the government, people who couldn’t have found Vietnam on a map suddenly were beating the war drums and demanding war.

    In both cases (and any just as similar), it took a more-than-willing government (leaders) to insure that the war went forward otherwise why no war with their U. S. S. Liberty? (Oh yeah, that was by our constant ally, Israel). Or the U. S. S Pueblo? (Oh yeah, already deeply involved in a war that was getting very smelly). Or the Mayaguez incident? (Ditto) Or the U. S. S. Stark? (Oh yeah, we were still allies with Iraq at that time) Or the the Movenpick Hotel and Goldmohur Hotel in Aden? Or U. S. S. Cole and the embassy bombings in Africa? Or the truck bombing in the basement garage of Tower One of the WTC?

    Hah!

    We can’t say that the fanatical fundamentalist Muslims, specifically Al Qaeda, didn’t give us years of advance notice.

    In fact, “…In August of 1996, Osama bin Laden issued his first fatwa, a 30-page polemic entitled ‘Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places,’ against the United States and Israel, and it was first published in a London newspaper…”

    All of these were carried in the U. S. media – some quite significantly (if you didn’t see it, then you weren’t paying attention). Yet none of those, even with a lot of howling media attention, resulted in war at that time (despite repeated attacks before and after their declaration of war, it took 9/11 before we responded with full-fledged war efforts… and then turned directions to pursue the OTHER war that our leaders really wanted – had Gore been the president on 9/11, I have no doubt that we’ve gone to war in Afghanistan – but also believe we absolutely would have never invaded Iraq; that was a longtime NeoCon agenda).

    If one simply read the Introduction to Chris Hedges book, one would realize that was exactly what he lays out throughout the book. There are mentions of ELEMENTS of the media pushing a war that is underway, but not pushing society into war to start with.

    I recall in Desert Storm One, when the media (tracking down every quasi expert they could find) predicted thousands, maybe tens of thousands of Allied casualties KIA. Yet true experts were quietly saying that it was going to be like the Six Day War… only worse for the Iraqis and easier for the Allies – and they were right.

    You give the media way too much credit.

    Something Hedges does not do.

    1. Leroy says:

      I put this above as a Reply under your post;

      “Right. He does come to that conclusion regarding himself, and then journalists, and then more broadly in society”

      Not sure why it came up as a separate post.

  5. Leroy says:

    Since I see so few Comments to so many of these Blog articles, and then they are mainly the same few people, just how many people subscribe to the Irregular Times? Just even a ballpark figure?

    Should be online somewhere, eh?

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Eye roll. Of course this is a minor blog written by just a few people. We’ve neither aimed for nor attained mass popularity. I’m not interested in emotional sparring.

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