Roundup 11/12: How to Win the War of Ideas

News & Opinion on Terrorism & Strategic Communication — November 12, 2007


How to Win the War of Ideas. “Our goal is to help anti-Islamists prevent extremists from controlling public space, public speech and public behavior.” (Robert Satloff, Washington Post, 11/10).

Information Trumps Language. “ntellectual honesty about the gathering and use of facts and data is a riskier and more precious part of a free society than is intellectual honesty in language.” (Nicholas Lehman, Columbia Journalism Review, Nove/Dec 2007).

Exaggerating the Threat. “Marc Sageman…has estimated the number of extremists who could and would do violence to the United States at less than a thousand. There is a larger group that supports the creation of Taliban-style rigid theocracies in their countries and who are willing to deploy violence to achieve that goal. While their ideology may be unpleasant, they do not necessarily pose a security threat to the United States.” (Juan Cole, The Nation, Nov 2007).

Trust Us, We’re From the Government. “Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people’s private communications and financial information.” (The Guardian, 11/11).