So far it appears that the attack on Charlie Hebdo
, though probably merely at first a revenge attack by several disenchanted and deranged individuals, has worked in the favor of the "long term thinkers" in the "radical Islamic" movement. Huge publicity has been garnered by several groups claiming responsibility with a large increase in support including attracting more fighters. Cracks and double standards have been exposed in France and elsewhere allowing anti- Western propaganda to gain further traction.
We know the main focus of the real terrorist with political ends in mind is to cause the other side to react with rage and fear thereby provoking an irrational response. In the case of the Middle East this over reaction usually means a demand for further intrusions into the region militarily but also carries with it the further alienation of the Muslim population in the West. The over reaction also works to the favor of the political agenda by further alienating the population of the Middle East most prone to feelings that the West is against them and their religion, all we care about is oil etc etc.
Here in the US media such as Fox News has taken the bate and has taken full advantage of the anger and fear while adding to it along the way. Attacks on the President claiming lack of leadership and American weakness are useful to the "terrorists" propaganda machine as well as the encouragement for more American direct involvement in the region. More American involvement has almost always resulted in more money wasted, more American lives sacrificed, more divisions at home and further alienation of substantial portions of the local population that can be taken advantage of by the "terrorists". What the people at media such as Fox don't understand is that the long term thinkers WANT more American involvement. They WANT us to help the so called "moderate" rebels in Syria. They WANT us to help topple the Assad regime. They WANT the media to exaggerate the threat they pose. They WANT us to surrender more personal liberty at home, champion things contrary to stated beliefs such as torture so we can be shown to be phoneys and two faced in the propaganda they feed their local supporters and would be supporters. Iraq has proved a valuable lesson to any long term thinker wishing ill of America or with a local political agenda against our interests. Get America to do something stupid like invade Iraq thereby upsetting the apple cart and all sorts of opportunities will occur.
ISIS is a direct result of our invasion of Iraq.
The sick thing is that these radical groups have learned to their great pleasure just how helpful our Western media can be in advancing their cause. The huge increase in sales - 35,000 copies going to 5 million copies - that Charlie Hebdo got as a result of all the coverage had equal advantage to the terrorist groups in Yemen and Syria. This gives them the belief that they can beat us or at least hurt us by using our own media against us. Unfortunately, they are right. You don't attract advertising revenue by being socially responsible, you attract it by ratings. Anger, fear, "if it bleeds it leads" gets ratings and works for the "sound bite" style of our news today. Well thought out careful deliberation is both boring and time consuming exactly opposite of what our short attention spans will put up with. It is even being used as a sign of weakness. Unfortunately for us and fortunately for the "terrorists" at a time when careful deliberation without over reaction is most needed, is not what we are going to get.