Prof. W. says what needs be said and the devil take the ratings and polls!
But then that is the issue - polls and public opinion (or rather public perception). This is an electronic media age and both the Terrorists' activity and our War on Terror are reflections of the role the electronic media age plays in events.
The terrorists need the media's response or their actions are utterly ineffectual. The author lays it out plain and it is not a matter of empathy but of the bigger picture.
Our response was also media driven. Politicians present an image and put it into practice. After 9/11 Bush/Cheney wanted to present a major mobilization all out response as if it were another Pearl Harbor ... but it wasn't an attack by another country but by a small group of fanatics (a death cult). Nevertheless, the White House wanted to present a total war position... so they went for Iraq instead of Bin Ladin.
Media driven for both the terrorists and for the USA's response.
The author illustrates that intrinsic media connection in the age of Terrorists. Had politicians made an attempt to form alliances with anti-terror elements in the Middle Eastern nations and spent this money making the fanatical terrorists seem less justified or insane, if we had show the sane people they were welcome and the terrorists not, we would have never ended up in an endless war that we continually encourage and inspire.
Shock and awe was a media event... we should have sensed something was very wrong right then. It wasn't even the right country nor targeting the fanatics.
Media driven ... the terrorists have the advantage there. We have the weapons to fight nations while they have no need of such weapons.