In his introduction to a report on CBS This Morning on Wednesday February 17, Charlie Rose made reference to Secretary of State John Kerry’s sending a photo of his meeting with some studio executives in Los Angeles, as a Tweet.
Viewers were subjected to a short clip from an actual video that has been used to recruit terrorists on the internet, to do battle against Americans here at home. A State Department aide, and former author and managing editor of Time magazine, Richard Stengel clarifies further:
“This is not just a military battle. It’s a battle of ideas between competing narratives. Hollywood is one of the greatest competitive advantages we have as a country. It’s revered all around the planet. It’s our second largest export.”
The meeting, with about a dozen or so top Hollywood executives lasted approximately 90 minutes, included concerns about the piracy of original content, which violates copyright protections, on the ‘commercial’ side; as well as including a conversation about the way that the American show-business industry is perceived in various countries around the world, on the ‘moral’ side.
For his part, Secretary Kerry said that he had convened the meeting, now, in order to discuss a range of ideas about how best to counter what he refers to as the “narrative” geared toward military recruitment of the entity which calls itself the Islamic State – either of Iraq and Syria, or of the Levant (a term sometimes used to describe the Eastern Mediterranean populations in Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and the Hatay Province in Southern Turkey) – entirely self-titled by fundamentalist extremists currently waging atrocities in western countries under the moniker: ISIS, which has now been re-named (by those same western countries and others). using the Arabic-derived acronym: DAESH. The United Nations General Secretary customarily refers to this entity as: ISIL, although one notes that the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon has also used the term: “Un-Islamic Non-State.”
CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy observes that the video used by this warring group “has all the hallmarks of a Hollywood movie trailer,” and is especially designed to appeal to individuals who fit the profile of the kind of energetic youth who are particularly invited to match themselves up against American soldiers.
Vice President of the New America foundation – who also produced the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997 – Peter Bergen’s most recent book, “The United States of Jihad,” is a book about home-grown Islamic terrorists, which is comprehensive in scope, from September of 2001 to the present. Professor Bergen – who is a fellow at Fordham University’s Center on National Security and national security analyst for CNN – points out that just 60 miles east of Los Angeles, a man and his wife ‘unleashed a barrage of bullets’ in an effort to kill a mass number of employees of the San Bernadino county public-health department, and stresses that they were not ‘the dispossed,’ in any way, appearing to be fairly well integrated into their community:
“Farooq and Malik were married parents and college graduates. They were solidly middle-class, without criminal records or documented mental-health issues. He was a native-born American, she had recently emigrated from Pakistan, and there was nothing in the basic details of their backgrounds to suggest that they were any special threat.
They were, in short, very much in the social mainstream of American life—and that, perhaps surprisingly, turns out to be typical of homegrown jihadists, whose numbers have been increasing in recent years. In 2015, the FBI investigated supporters of Islamic State in all 50 states, and more than 80 Americans were charged with some kind of jihadist crime, ranging from planning travel to Syria to plotting an attack in the U.S. It was the peak year since 2001 for law-enforcement activity against Americans who had chosen to join a group or accept an ideology whose goal is to kill fellow Americans.”
In an interview on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal this morning, Mr. Bergen – noted:
“We in the United States are protected by our geography (you can drive from Damascus to Paris; but you can’t drive from Damascus to Washington, D.C.; we are also protected because the American Muslim community is pretty well integrated into American society.”
The State Department suggests it could be helpful to Americans, evidently, to understand the nature of this challenge to our well-being in the phrase:
“Countering Violent Extremism”
A more fulsome explanation of the concept can be found in The U.S. State Department’s Soundcloud account.