It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The Real 'Long War': The Battle For Our Hearts And Minds

page: 1

log in


posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 10:52 AM
Death and destruction, who here claims to support it? No one right? Yet we are constantly beset by groups of people that want us to condone it. We are being lobbied on a daily basis, in the media and "popular opinion", to acquiesce to the taking of lives and to the degradation of our most cherished ideals. I for one dont stand for it, and after reading what I have to say, I hope you dont either.

Think of a conflict zone.

Odds are you thought of the Middle East. It is an eternal conflict zone, it has been fought over since at least the start of recorded human history. Thanks to it being the birthplace of the World's monotheistic religions it is a region that is important to billions of people across the globe. This Op/Ed focuses on the Middle East conflict yet is applicable to all conflict the World over.

What we believe becomes our own reality; if we believe something then it is the truth to us. This is human nature but it is an integral concept of modern conflict. Propaganda is the crudest attempt at bending our own personal realities. If you can manipulate people's beliefs to conform to your agenda then you have made them your ally. If you can manipulate an entire democratic countries' popular opinion to reflect your agenda you have a willing nation allied to it.

It was no accident that a "battle for the hearts and minds" of Iraqis was a priority of the American-led invasion force in Iraq. The beliefs of the average Iraqi were of paramount importance in successfully, and quickly, carrying out the military campaign. If the average Iraqi supports the coalition troops, via the campaign for hearts and minds, then they increase their allies and lessen their enemies. It is not a complicated concept and it has parallels in politics, boardrooms and playgrounds.

What does this have to do with your or me? Well we are all forced to take sides in these hearts and minds campaigns, just the like the Iraqis. We are categorized and pigeon-holed based on the sides we take in these battles. We are labelled pro-war, anti-war, fascists, left-wingers, right-wingers, terrorist sympathizers or anti-Semites. These adjectives all carry very powerful and emotive connotations in our minds. That the power of these adjectives could be used to manipulate our beliefs shouldn't shock you.

So who is using these powerful adjectives to manipulate us? Who is waging a campaign for our hearts and minds? The answer is simply, everyone. We will always be beset by people who want us to agree with them, some are overt and some others are social trends that have been cultivated for generations.

This is nothing new, but what gives me cause for concern though is when these campaigns try to get us to condone death and destruction. With respect to the Middle East we have two distinct groups vying for our hearts and minds: the Radical Islamic Militants and the Zionists.

Radical Islamic Militants, we all know these guys. They're the Osama Bin Laden's and the Zarqawi's. They try to use the plight of the Palestinian people to bend our beliefs into justifying death and destruction.

But Zionists I hear you gasp, "They’re a people not an ideology, you can’t tar them with a sweeping brush". If you believe this then you are a victim of their hearts and minds campaign. There aren't many Westerners in doubt about the lack of validity of the Radical Islamic Militants cause. There can be no excuse for death and destruction. But there are many, many of us who have succumb to the Zionist hearts and minds campaign.

Jewish Zionists claim to be representative of all Jews, and that if you are Jewish you’re automatically a Zionist. Conversely they claim that if you are against Zionism you are an anti-Semite. This is not the case as a Zionist can be atheist, Christian, Muslim, in fact any human being can be a Zionist, just like any human being can be a terrorist. Zionism is a belief, not a race or religion:

Zionism an international movement orig. for the establishment of a Jewish national or religious community in Palestine and later for the support of modern Israel

Definition of Zionism - Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Like Radical Islamic Militants who have hijacked Islam to suit their agenda, so too have the Zionists with Judaism.

One of the precepts of Zionism is the security of Israel over any other consideration.

Sharon: I was ready to make painful compromises, but I made it very, very clear that I am not going to make any compromise when it comes to the security of Israeli citizens or the security of state of Israel.

Interview with Ariel Sharon September 19, 2005

Understandable sentiments, but when death and destruction is carried out under the auspices of "security for Israeli citizens" we cannot afford to simply condone it outright. Yet that is what many, many people in the West do.

Security over any other consideration is not as understandable as it apparently seems. Let’s say, hypothetically, there was a suburb with a terrorist safe house in it. Levelling the entire suburb would naturally remove the security threat So should we condone that course of action because it was designed to increase security? Of course not! There are many other ways security can be increased, they may not be as effective or as easy as levelling the hypothetical suburb but we should not condone acts of security over any other consideration.

The same is true when Radical Islamic Terrorists attack Israeli citizens. There are those who automatically condone it outright because of their beliefs towards Israel. But there could never be any justification for bombing a bus carrying Israeli school children. Yet the Radical Islamic Terrorists carry out their hearts and minds campaign and win over otherwise rational and compassionate people so they will condone it.

Where our true allegiance, where our hearts and minds, should lay is in never condoning death and destruction. If we are unswerving in this belief we can never fall on the wrong side in the real Long War. When this belief becomes the dominant belief amongst the World's people we will have a chance for real lasting peace. Until then we are doomed to experience death and destruction - because we condone it.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment - The Bible

He [God] has ordained for you the faith which He enjoined on Noah, and which I have revealed for you; which He enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, saying: 'Observe the Faith and do not divide yourself into factions' - The Koran

From all the writings of the Zionists we can clearly see that their main aim and activity is to create the impression among the Jewish People that the whole purpose of the Torah and the commandments is merely to strengthen national feeling. This theory can easily be adopted by the youth who regard themselves as instruments prepared for the fulfillment of the Zionist ideal. They regard themselves as completely liberated from Torah and the commandments. They think nationalism has replaced religion - Grand Rabbi Sholem Dov Ber Schneersohn

Hijacking Planes, terrorizing innocent people and shedding blood constitute a form of injustice that can not be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts. - Shaykh Abdul Aziz al-Ashaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia

Violent, extremist Islamists invoke on their own head the true jihad. Challenging all the peoples of the Earth, and first of all traditional Islam, professed by the overwhelming majority of the Islamic world, these forces put themselves in opposition to Islam. And reacting against them is a religious, moral, social and political duty of each Muslim. - Sheikh-ul-Islam, Talghat Tajuddin, Supreme Mufti, Representative of the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims for Russia and the East-European countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States

It is not because they are Zionists that they are evildoers. It is because they are evildoers that they are Zionists. - Rabbi Avraham Yoshe Freund

The rabbis of the generation should gather together and issue a writ of excommunication against the Zionists and eject them from the Jewish People, and make decrees against their bread and wine, and to forbid marrying with them, JUST LIKE OUR SAGES DID WITH THE SAMARITANS. - Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin

The Grand Sheikh of the al-Azhar mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, has condemned the suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

Speaking at a press conference in Cairo on Monday, the sheikh, who is acknowledged as the highest spiritual authority for nearly a billion Sunni Muslims, said Islam condemned terrorism in all its forms.

In a wood-panelled room in Cairo's medieval Islamic district, the sheikh said that Islam considers anyone who kills an innocent person as killing the whole of humanity.

He says that in the name of Islamic law he rejected and condemned the aggression against innocent civilian people, regardless of whatever side, sect or country the aggression came from.

BBC News

Related News Links:

[edit on 22-3-2006 by asala]

new topics

log in