“Tolerance means respect in the face of disagreement,
not that all opinions are valid.”
“I want something good to die for,
to make it beautiful to live.”
Queens Of The Stoneage
“You just bought a one way ticket on the Pain Train!”
‘Cop’, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Wars Are About Marketing And We’re Losing Again
While Iran tries to convince the world every potential word in every possible UN resolution is another debasement of their country, it has been strange to watch the same people who protested for over a decade to have nuclear power banned, now bend over backwards to defend Iran’s right to build reactors.
There is a rational sense of reality missing from the current discussion of Iran’s nuclear future. It is clear Iran is not going to stop its nuclear program at providing light for a few city blocks. Iran’s leadership desperately wants three things: a nuclear weapon, Israel destroyed and America humbled.
What’s happening now is all about winning ‘the history’. Will the history books label Iran as the Obstinate Victim, or will America and Europe be the Rational Resolute? Who wins the marketing war will determine what gets written in the history books. And right now America and Europe are losing in a rout.
Iran, like all militaristic totalitarian states, has looked at the modern world and asked “why not our way, why are we not the centre? How can we be totalitarian in the face of others who claim superiority?” To the leaders of Iran, North Korea, Syria and Cuba modernity is a disease. “The world must not only stop”, said the Taliban, “it must turn backwards four-hundred years to a time when Islam was the most powerful force.”
Fundamentalism — as in Fundamental Islam or hyper-Evangelical Christianity — means knowing there are no other ways to salvation. Convert or die, submit or be the infidel. Within a religious-totalitarian state like Iran there can only be a single religion and a single State, so because there is no role for these nihilists in the modern world they must therefore — to justify their existence to their people and to justify their power over their people — stop the modern world from existing. There must be no better, there must be no invention, no thought which does not come from Islamic mind. Of course the Islamic paradise they preach of never existed at any time, but the fantasy of a past world where Jews, Christians and Hindus were subservient to their fantasy version of Islam is part of the marketing campaign.
But that reality seems to get lost in translation. People in the modern world dismiss the hyperbole as though it were meaningless American-style campaign attack ads and instead point to “root causes,” as if school dances in the American suburbia of the 1950’s, Internet pornography or the European colonial imperialism of the 19th and 20th century drove the planes into the World Trade Center or keep the people of North Korea and Cuba from voting or enjoying electricity.
The world was not a utopia before man climbed out of the trees, or Europe’s collapse, or Israel’s creation, or America’s ascendancy.
These people typically point to America’s “unconditional support” of Israel as if there could be any other way, as if Israel’s reaction to provocation by Iran and Hezbollah should be bloodless. Within this community ending “unconditional support” has always been code for “you must abandon the Jews to be attacked.” If Israel was a failed state, a Rwanda or Somalia, the Iran’s of the world and its supporters would have no problem with Israel’s existence. If Israel was as successful as it is today, and the Palestinians had their State, there would still be mortar attacks and demands that Israel be torn from the map. The problem isn’t the Palestinian issue, it’s that the State of Israel is thriving despite not being Islamic. And even then it would have to be a specific brand of Islam.
Hezbollah, Syria and Iran have all claimed recent victories which are added to those from 500 years ago all while standing in front of a modern microphone, but they know if they had truly won Israel would be destroyed and America would be begging Allah for forgiveness, these are their victory markers. Despite these claims they have actually, by every marker, lost every military engagement against “The West”.
They are, however, winning the marketing war. These groups are stronger in mind than people in the West and they have already convinced large media outlets around the world of the uselessness of fighting against them. They have already won the hearts and minds of large portions of our society when we listen to their blatant desire to slaughter Jews and “wipe Israel off the map” and dismiss it as hyperbole. We cannot imagine sane people guiding journalists to charred bodies in Lebanon as part of a marketing campaign, we just look at the dead baby and condemn Israel for its barbarism forgetting Hezbollah deliberately deployed rocket launchers in occupied homes hoping Israel would bomb them. Then there is the insanity of Hezbollah members volunteering to be martyred in this fashion, but that isn’t much of a leap from Iran’s announcement it has a 50,000 strong force of volunteer suicide bombers.
If the West cannot sustain its war against terrorists because their own citizens refuse to allow their military the time needed to do what must be done then we have already lost, and stopping Israel before Hezbollah was crushed is a lost battle.
At this point open-diplomacy (the stuff we hear) is about creating preparation time and generating sympathy for the respective positions of America, Europe and Iran (and the totalitarian states who want the visibility Iran is receiving). For the next eighteen months it will be all about marketing, about using confusing truths to create a misleading point of view.
George Bush is challenged to a debate to be broadcast live to the world by the Iranian president — a man who has predicted the world will end within three years. Hugo Chavez calls Bush “a donkey” and “the world’s most dangerous terrorist” while persecuting Venezuelan opposition political parties and arresting journalists. Fidel Castro speaks for hours on end about the “evils of the American government” while banning political opposition parties, jailing tens of thousands of Cubans for being “class enemies”, banned a free press and executed thousands of political prisoners.
North Korea launches several missiles towards Japan, releases statements threatening to turn South Korea, Japan and America into a “fiery hell.
Stunts and threats like these are the only methods for totalitarian countries to remain relevant in the world. Instead of trying to produce entrepreneurs, philosophers and a safe environment for their people these countries would rather destroy our civilizations. These countries turn their citizens and us into civilians with their paranoid orgies of terror continuous threats.
One of the most important aspects of government is to punish those who murder, in a totalitarian state it is the leaders who kill their own people — people who are beaten into submission and learn to expect their journalists and activists to disappear.
After only a few months in power a significant number of the Hamas leadership were ready to give a low-level acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist. As soon as this became public the still militant totalitarian Hamas leaders banded together and executed an attack on a small Israeli military compound, killing three soldiers and kidnapping a fourth.
Iran’s nuclear program was to be prominent on the agenda at the G8 meeting in St. Petersburg until Hezbollah crossed the Lebanese border into Israel, attacked a small military patrol killing several Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two more. This is marketing on a regional level, creating a lie easy enough for the greatest amount of people to believe.
History is repeating itself and once again large parts of our society are backing without question the same jackbooted thugs who ultimately throw artists, philosophers, teachers and student activists into Gulags and ovens. We’re losing the marketing war, just like we lost it to the Soviet Union, China and Cuba during the 1970’s and early 1980’s.