Bloody Post-It Notes

Via Harry’s Place (where I seem to crib everything from these days…) a great article in the Guardian on ‘exhibition killers’ and the media’s complicity (that would include us in the blog universe) in their humiliation and killing.

Suppose, for a moment, that we in Britain faced a fascist insurgency, which kidnapped a few Jews and black people. Should we negotiate for their lives by releasing Neo-Nazi bombers and racist murderers? Or would we calculate how many more Jews and black people would, as a result, wind up in cellars with knives to their throats?

In my piece below, I called the victims ‘bloody Post-It notes‘ left for us by the terrorists. In many ways, the use of their lives in this way – as objects to draw media attention – makes their murders far worse because the murderer denies them even the small respect a killer can grant a victim; that of acknowledging the personal hate that is the basis for the killing.

4 thoughts on “Bloody Post-It Notes”

  1. I agree. We must be tough. Anyone who goes to Iraq knows that kidnapping is a possibility. People choose to work there. Coalition governments should work with the Iraqis to find those who are kidnapped, for sure. But negotiations work when there is trust. What the kidnappers are doing is extortion. They don’t want to make agreements with us. Frankly they aren’t in a position to ask for anything from us, let alone make demands. The rights I have as an American woman were earned for me by people who were far tougher than we are today.

  2. See also the paragraph before the one you quote, A.L:

    bq. “And organisations and individuals who want to help should reconsider the notion of sending appeals through “mediators”. Who are these mediators and what are they mediating? A slightly smaller eternal Caliphate? The orderly withdrawal of the Jews from the area of Old Palestine? When one campaigner in Blackburn told the Guardian that, “Mr Straw is not doing enough by simply stating that we do not negotiate with terrorists,” what was he asking for? The circumstances in which the British government negotiated with the IRA (it is often forgotten) was when that organisation indicated that it wanted to end the “armed struggle”. That’s the only negotiation that’s possible.”

    As for the Guardian article’s proposal that western media stop showing videos of the hostages, I think that’s a mistake. The videos show very clearly who and what we fight, in a why that dry text cannot. One can do this and refuse to broadcast the appeals or demands of the terrorists, simply by choosing what to show and what to cut.

  3. “The enemy gets a vote.”

    A concept that many in the mainstream media don’t understand, times two. First, that these monsters are real; ‘enemy’ is not a coffehouse concept. And second, that the ‘vote’–the actions–the bloody Post-Its–are calibrated to the reporting. To al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya for recruitment purposes, and to Western TV and newspapers for the Ho/Giap defeat-them-at-home strategy.

    Our society remains poised on the cusp of discovering that there are no good choices in war. Too many correspondents report on these beheadings as if the reporting is a thing apart. As if they are simple witnesses to a terrible “Wheel of Misfortune” or “Survivor” episode. Certainly this is the imagery that the callow National Public Radio reports bring to my mind.

    My ungenerous wish is that the issue of complicity should begin to trouble the sleep of these journalists, their editors, and the other useful idiots of the Western media establishment.

    Which side are they on?

  4. I’ll add this: these videos clearly acknowledge the personal hate involved. Daniel Pearl’s “I am a Jew” statement, anyone? And personally sawing someone’s head off while they live, all the while chanting “Allah Akbar!” makes it kind of hard to say “just business, sorry old chap.”

    I don’t give a good goddamn about what “respect” these barbarians choose to accord the people they murder. I care that they believe and practice an ideology and religion that believes in kidnapping people and beheading them to advance political goals.

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