Lessons from the Desert: Civil War is Civil Again

⊆ 4:26 PM by A. Liebendorfer | , , , , , , . | ˜ 2 comments »

I've been keeping up with rumblings from the Middle East a lot lately, and I've started to collect some observations.  Thinking back on all of them, I realized that most --if not all-- of them I go out on a limb or play devil's advocate in some way, but here it goes, and hopefully you can see my thought process.

To start out, when I heard Israel was attacking Gaza again, I was disappointed.  When I heard how aggressively they were attacking and about the politics behind the newest campaign, I wasn't exactly supporting the Jews like I felt I should.  It almost feels like a loveless marriage between us and the Israelis.

Then I realized how well-reported Israel is.  We almost know more about what the Israeli military's doing more than our own, daily casualty reports of combatants and civilians alike.  And all with limited press access into Gaza.

This took me back to Gandhi's method of protesting, which preached "Media exposure, media exposure, media exposure," the very method millions of Americans can trace their civil rights to.

As I previously mentioned military casualties in the current "situation" going on in Gaza are staggeringly in favor of the already much larger Israeli army.  And the Israelis have evolved.  With U.S. smartbombs, the Israelis are bombing Hamas targets and leaving relatively few innocent civilians dead, all things considered.

What I think is, is that Israel is redefining how to fight a war.  By and large, the age of world wars and front-line battling may be on its way out.  With nuclear weapons and bigger and bigger conventional bombs --not to mention ever-bubbling global interdependency-- it would seem unpractical, a waste of resources, to wage an all-out war between two world powers.

So war changes to a policing operation where one side is bad and broke the law and the other side punishes them.  Media has become its own front, and the attacking government makes up a kind of (making up a new term here) neo-propaganda, which is nothing more than good PR.  Every successful PR worker will tell you the best way to look good is do good thing (smartbombs) and be transparent, like having a YouTube channel or a blog.

Ideally, Israel would make a really smart bomb that wiped out only Hamas militants all in one blast, but for now they have to make due with their sloppy, but well-planned media strategy.

So many people are doom and gloom about journalism these days, but I'm optimistic.  There will always be a place for journalists as long as there's strife and human rights involved.

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