The riots and murders precipitated by a fictitious May 9, 2005, article in Newsweek magazine -- describing how a Quran had been flushed down a toilet in Guantanamo -- certainly validated how quickly bad news is spread, not just in Iraq but throughout the Muslim world. When a U.S. senator likens American troops to those who served Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot, it not only disheartens our sons and daughters in uniform but also encourages our adversaries, as well. When the senior U.S. commander in Iraq is depicted as "General Betray Us" in the pages of The New York Times, those who hate us are exultant.
The Harvard study also confirms that our adversary in Iraq is very media savvy. They pay close attention to U.S. news and use it to exhort attacks and recruit new supporters to their jihad. To believe that they are not paying attention to the current U.S. presidential campaign is to deny reality.
The message in this study is not just a cry for responsible reporting -- but a charge for American political elites. It's also very likely that this study is a prediction of the next nine months on the ground in Iraq.
In the aftermath of this study -- and this week's spike in violence in Iraq -- how can there be any doubt that the Iranians and al-Qaida will do all they can to ensure that the next occupant of the Oval Office is a person pledged to "get us out of Iraq starting on Day One." Duh!
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.