Quotable (#7)

Win-win isn’t always on the menu, Walter Russell Mead reminds us:

What Obama’s belief in the possibility of deals with countries like Russia and Iran leaves out is that some countries around the world may count the reduction of American power and prestige among their vital interests. They may not be hampering and thwarting us because we are unnecessarily and arbitrarily blocking their path toward a reasonable goal; they may be hampering and frustrating us because curbing our power is one of their central objectives. This is not necessarily irrational behavior from their point of view; American power is not a good thing if you hate the post-Cold War status quo, and it can make sense to sacrifice the advantages of a particular compromise with the United States if as a result you can reduce America’s ability to interfere with your broader goals.

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How Terror Works

The primary motive of terrorism is to draw media attention to the perpetrators’ grievances.

When Western media cover a terrorist incident, they reflexively focus upon the perpetrators’ grievances.

Coverage of this kind isn’t about terrorism. It’s an organic component of terrorism.

ADDED: Kaiser Kuo makes an important point: “… people are for the most part writing and talking about the situation as though it’s happening in complete isolation, as though the rise of radical Islam in the rest of the world since the 1980s doesn’t figure in.”

ADDED: US State Department does the right thing.

ADDED: Gordon Moore: Has the Global Jihad Reached China?

ADDED: Some righteous indignation from People’s Daily Online: “There was extensive evidence at the crime scene to leave no doubt that the Kunming Railway station attack was nothing other than a violent terrorist crime. But regardless of this evidence, some western media organizations were unwilling to use the word ‘terrorism’ in their coverage. CNN’s report on March 3 put the word ‘terrorists’ in quotation marks, and offered the view that ‘mass knife attacks’ are ‘not unprecedented’ in China. The intention here was to associate this terrorist incident with a number of attacks that occurred in 2010 and 2012, all the more disgusting because these attacks happened at schools, they were conducted by individuals who were clearly mentally disturbed, and their victims were children. None of the perpetrators had any political connections, or any political motives. The Associated Press report used the term ‘described by the authorities as’ to qualify their use of the word ‘terrorists’. The New York Times and the Washington Post called the terrorists ‘attackers’.”
— Lessons in basic decency from the Chinese media (you’re welcome).