Negative U.S. media reports on Iraq linked to increased insurgent attacks

Somewhat obvious but I am glad that a reputable institution has studied this
Researchers at Harvard say that publicly voiced doubts about the U.S. occupation of Iraq have a measurable "emboldenment effect" on insurgents there.

Periods of intense news media coverage in the United States of criticism about the war, or of polling about public opinion on the conflict, are followed by a small but quantifiable increases in the number of attacks on civilians and U.S. forces in Iraq, according to a study by Radha Iyengar, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in health policy research at Harvard and Jonathan Monten of the Belfer Center at the university's Kennedy School of Government.

The increase in attacks is more pronounced in areas of Iraq that have better access to international news media, the authors conclude in a report titled "Is There an 'Emboldenment' Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq."

The researchers studied data about insurgent attacks and U.S. media coverage up to November, tracking what they called "anti-resolve statements" by U.S. politicians and reports about American public opinion on the war.

"We find that in periods immediately after a spike in anti-resolve statements, the level of insurgent attacks increases," says the study, published earlier this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a leading U.S. nonprofit economic research organization.


Liesl said...

I used to know a guy who would often emphatically state that fear is never a good basis for action. Was he wrong?

Shoegirls said...

Btw, this contradicts itself and doesn't make sense: "

Neomodernism is a philosophical position based on modernism but addressing the critique of modernism by postmodernism, namely that universalism and critical thinking are the two essential elements of human rights and that human rights create a superiority of some cultures over others. Hence equality and relativism are "mutually contradictory". Thus NeoModernism has a moral code."

Are you stating that universalism creates equality, or denies it? I can only assume you subscrbe to the universal ethic, as you subscribe to postmodernism. However, your statement above seems to confuse the issue with the added nature of equality. So, which is it, and, how does universalism or relativism subjugate equality?

Huan said...


Fear alone is never the basis for action, because it only manifest itself as reaction. Action is best when the consequences of action two or three steps ahead are considered.

But fear is a legitimate concern because without fear, and its companion hope, we would not be functional. And to be functional you must ultimately act.

Liesl said...

Then what is the purpose of pointing out that insurgent violence surges when American public opinion falls on the side of contempt? Is there something to be done about that?

Huan said...

that actions have consequences.

"loose lips sink ships"

Liesl said...

The implication being that people should not speak out against the war?

Huan said...

speak and be heard by friends and foe, and know that you help foe as well.

Liesl said...

So you are saying that speech should be suppressed. That has worked out so well for society in the past, ya know.

Huan said...

if by suppression you suggest inhibition or prohibition from the authority, then no. that is not a good idea.

if by suppression you mean that an individual recognizes that though he has the freedom to speak, but upon recognizing that said speech would embolden the nation's enemies to attack and kill his fello countrymen, and then decides not to do so publically, or to do so with tact and consideration, then yes, i am ok with that.

freedom does not absolve one of personal responsibility for the consequences of one's action.
this has already been the case. freedom of speech does not give one the right to yell fire in a crowded theatre.

nothing new here.