Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Winning in the court of world opinion

Tony Blankley of the Washington Times implicitly supports The Monk's thought process that just because 99% of the world thinks you're crazy doesn't mean they're right and you're wrong. Simplest example: the Israeli conflict with Lebanon and the US war against terrorism. After all, as Blankley notes, "there is something to say for being in the insane majority." The reason is simple: "it is decidedly unpleasant to be opposed by an insane majority. You could ask Israel right at the moment -- or for that matter for the past 3,000 years." Or more simply: just because the majority's thought processes are dysfunctional (think Catholic Church v. Galileo) doesn't mean your lone voice is the unreasonable one. After all, a crowd collectively has the IQ of its dumbest follower.

Nonetheless, like wind against a mountain, the idiocies of a majority can infect those in the minority. Thus, Blankley warns:

. . . over time, we ignore world opinion at our peril. World opinion tends -- to some extent-- to shape American voter opinion. And voter opinion tends to shape American politicians' opinion. Thus over time world opinion may weaken American will to defend itself against the amorphous but deadly Islamist virus.

Also, to the extent that defeating radical Islamism is enhanced by winning the hearts and minds of so far non-radical Muslims, corrosive world opinion against us only deepens the deep hole in which we currently find ourselves. America needs to get a lot better, fast, at the propaganda war that we are losing by default in the court of world public opinion. During the Cold War we spent billions and employed our smartest people to fight and win the propaganda war. Today, we are hors de combat.

The Monk has raised this point as well: the information efforts of this Administration are appallingly weak even on its best days.

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