Terror and Rhetoric

The moral and political dilemma is that murder, conducted in public, will go viral. Violence, in a sufficiently large scale, will make headlines. Given an open society, this is impossible to prevent. The terrorists in Paris may advocate a tightly controlled society, but they understand the ways of liberal democracy well enough. They know us without illusions, better than we know ourselves.

Murder of innocents in the West: that is the medium. We then wonder why we should applaud the message. But I repeat: we – our dead and wounded – are the medium, we are not the intended audience. The audience is elsewhere.

-Martin Gurri, Information and terror attacks

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