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First, the news media. Al-Qaeda is a “narrative” and a gripping one. Everybody loves a mystery story. Everybody loves a thriller. Everybody needs a plot. All journalists have an in-built tendency to make links between things and find unifying forces at work. A series of random and unrelated facts makes for a shapeless account. Report without implicit explanation is baffling and finally boring. No British journalist I know would invent or consciously distort a report in order to exaggerate the involvement of al-Qaeda; but most of us are drawn to explanations that, well, explain.
Secondly, the Government. I would not be so rude or stupid as to suggest that ministers take any sort of satisfaction from terrorist atrocities. But leadership is made easier if there is a visible, tangible threat; and easier still if it can be represented as completely alien. Us v Them is the narrative a politician is most at home with. The BBC’s The Power of Nightmares made an important point: fear silences opposition, and governments walk tallest when an external threat can be identified and they can lead us against it. “Evil” is a more convenient opponent than stupidity, inadequacy and human dysfunction. We hold our leaders’ hands a little more tightly in the dark.
Thirdly, the security services. The police, British Intelligence, and our counter-terrorism apparatus, are all flattered in their work by headlines that suggest that the enemy is formidable, incredibly sophisticated and hard to catch. Any failure on the part of our security services to detect in advance or prevent a terrorist outrage, or to catch the terrorists afterwards, is easily explained if the terrorist movement is widely agreed to be fiendishly clever and well organised. It is not flattering to a counter-terrorism chief to suggest that his quarry is a muppet. The tale of a police mastermind calls for a criminal mastermind, too.
Finally, of course, the terrorist himself. A reputation for fearsomeness and sophistication is nothing but a boon not only to his self-esteem, but also to his efforts to recruit others to his cause. Never think that speeches about the wickedness and cruelty of al-Qaeda do other than burnish the legend.
Originally posted by XphilesPhan
LOL oh this is hillarious, hey i got a joke, what do you get when you mix souljah and some BS? giveup? ................a conspiracy theory!