Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Tom on Gitmo, MSM bias, and Public Diplomacy

I started this weblog partly because of some advice from my friend Tom. Everyone seems to be upset over imprisoning radical Islamists at Gitmo. Tom indicated that we should be more worried about the larger ideological battle. If we, right thinking people can stand up to those anti-American and anti-Western Civilization apologists and propagandists, and demonstrate to the general public the falseness of their ideas and the danger of their plans then we can win. If we fail to counter the mis-education our opponents spread at every level, then we can’t build enough Gitmos to win. A broad education campaign on the merits of our system, and the emptiness of the Islamist, fascist, socialist, and communist thinking is needed for America and Western Civilization to prevail in the 21st century. I do not have the linguistic talent to engage in the multi-lingual public diplomacy that Tom thinks is necessary; but I do have the ability to add another voice to the blogosphere, so I’m doing what I can.

I fear I don’t do justice to the wisdom of Tom’s advice by paraphrasing or explaining it, so I will reproduce it here verbatim:

“We hear a great deal in these days about radicalism, for example, and I have no doubt that the greater part of what we hear is true. We are trying to fight this by locking up some dangerous people, deporting others and trying thus to warn them all.

“With these methods I have not the slightest quarrel. Doubtless they are necessary. They may check the immediate dangers arising from constantly regrowing. It is conceivable that they may help.

“Used alone certainly they won’t permanently help us much. We must put soap-box orator against soap-box orator, if we wish, as the opponents of our present system do, to produce results, print pamphlet against pamphlet, in every conceivable way put argument against argument.

“The best way to combat a campaign of mis-education is to conduct a campaign of education. The undesirables are gaining ground not because they are permitted to speak, print and scheme but because their falsities are uncontradicted. Putting a few of them in jail won’t cure the evil, although I don’t say keep them out of jail.

“The thing which would destroy them utterly, making all their efforts unavailing with the American public, would be to prove them to that public to be liars. If we adopted tactics of that sort we could run them out of the country in a year. We wouldn’t need to deport them; they would deport themselves, and be glad to have the chance to get away. A man will run a good deal faster from a hostile population than he will from a hostile Secret Service or police force.

“We’ve got an immense foreign-born population to deal with. They don’t read the English-language press, in which most of the arguments against radicalism are printed. Why should they be expected to? They don’t know how, and it will be years before we can teach them to.

“But most of them probably can read some language, and there are not so many languages that it would be impossible for the United States of America to use all of them as effectively as the radical workers and propagandists now use them.”

-Thomas Alva Edison

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