Re: TERRORISM: Seriousness and potential strategies

From: Michael Wiik (
Date: Sat Sep 29 2001 - 12:59:54 MDT

"Alex F. Bokov" <> wrote:

> I can see it now--
> new-agey, watered-down, PC, and 'inclusive'. Now THAT will get to
> them big time.


> Any spooks lurking on the list? I hope to god there are! Maybe not
> necesserily listening to my half-baked ideas, but at least thinking
> along the lines of meme-war and economic/cultural subversion rather
> than the bone-headed Vietnam tactics that appear to be holding sway in
> public pronouncements.

I think we can agree that memetic warfare happens all the time, so we
need a new term, maybe 'strategic memetic warfare' or something to
indicate an action deliberately planned to use memetic warfare concepts
and techniques.

And who better at it than marketing people? From reading Douglas
Rushkoff's _Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say_, I think there's
a definite use for the folks that have taken a few millenia of noble
human pan-cultural progress in hosting and gift-giving traditions and
then destroyed it all in a century of scientifically applied marketing.
Send 'em over there in vast quantities to make new advertising campaigns
that trivialize and commoditize islam. "We're announcing a fatwa against
high prices! It's a jihad of savings!!!" Bribe the folks who sing the
call to prayer to insert product pitches. How that would sound is left
up to the reader's imagination.

If you've seen the 'Behind the Veil' documentary on CNN, there's a scene
where women are buying scraps of moldy bread, ostensibly sold as animal
feed, which they then ground up to feed their starving children. You or
I might look at that, and have feelings of sympathy for their plight and
possibly be moved to take some action, contribute to the red cross or
whatever. Whereas a good television commercial producer would
immediately recognize they broke the rules: food is always shown in
motion. Pan the camera rapidly around the pile of scraps. It looks much
much better that way. With good-looking dancing afghanis all around,
munching, chatting, laughing. And they'd want a very well-lit, slightly
slo-mo closeup of a crust snap (with tiny bread particles flying) to
emphasize its crunchability. There's a use for people who think like
that. And now's the time the country needs them.

We'd put on a big patriotic sendoff, with speeches and flags and
fireworks and jet flybys, as the marketeers board ships and airplanes
for islamic hotspots. If (just by slim chance) the natives' reaction is
to kill them all in a bloody killing frenzy, well, that would be really
sad, now wouldn't it ... Yup. It'd be sad all right. Really. Really sad.



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