Rumsfeld: US losing media war to al-Qaeda

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. is absolutely right

  2. is somethat right

  3. is right on some points and wrong on others

  4. is somethat wrong

    0 vote(s)
  5. He is absolutely wrong


  2. Rummy's minions have carried out enough "bombarding" of their own...metal confetti at wedding parties, shooting up cars at road blocks etc...
  3. Anytime you want to venture out of the moderately safer--relative to the Sunni Triangle--area of the Shia south and belly up to take over the Sunni areas along with very sizable increase in belligerents let us know. Pardon my smug look when you have that 'oh sh*t' epiphany and realize you're no longer in Kansas anymore. The Sunni locals'll hate you not because you treated them in any certain way but because they can't extort the rest of the population as they did under Saddam, you're taking ten times more casualties than you did in the south and smiles with berets in Fallujah ain't working. I'll give you twenty minutes before you 'blokes' start lobbing steel down range. See what mistakes happen when your personnel, ops and insurgents increase tenfold then get back to me.

    Virgil- a 'minion'
  4. I'm slightly disturbed by the idea of 'winning' someone's mind.

    For a start, do you put it on the sideboard or a shelf?

    And is it de rigeur to put it in a container or just leave it dripping everywhere?
  5. 1. How much money did the USA spend during WWII in an attempt to persuade the French, Italians, Belgians, Czechs, Danes, Norwegians, et al that the Nazis were not nice guys?

    2. What part of the United States Constitution authorizes the national government to create and disseminate political propaganda?

    3. How much credibility is the typical Arab likely to ascribe to websites, newspapers, television and radio broadcasts bearing the imprimatur of the U.S. government?
  6. The Shia South is moderately safe because the Septics didn't get their clumsy, ignorant mitts on it. Asking the British Army to rectify the disasterous mistakes of the knuckleheads who caused the problems in the first place is the easy way out.
    Why don't the Septics try to make amends in that they change their ROEs in light of the experience they've had to date in Iraq? What they're doing didn't work then and it's not working now. So how about a change of tactics? Something on the same lines as the British Army is doing in the South.
    Or would that mean that Bobby-Ray would feel emascualted?

  7. Good question. Not sure of the answer but certainly a lot of efforts were made on the US population with filmmakers like Frank Capra making shorts like "Why We Fight". I do know of substantial leaflet campaigns, especially in Europe, targeting German and Italian troops. One specific leaflet late in the war that was effective itemized the meals and calories German POWs received under American treatment, targeting their lack of supplies. Another method was devised--again late in the war--to target areas where individual Germans might end up at, like a latrine, with artillery whenever feasible. Theoretically it was to show them we had ammo to burn on one soldier while they were short supplies. Not sure of the practicality or effectiveness.

    Off the top of my head the Constitution gives Congress a specific enumerated power to establish and fund an army. PSYOP activities are military in nature and not specifically prohibited by any Constitutional ammendment but are prohibited to be done internally by Congressional statute (the Constitution allow Congress to make laws like this as long as they aren't in conflict with the it.)

    Really good question. I think the overall efforts have been sort of lame so far, although in Iraq the Army's running them full speed with the assets they have. The methods you cite above would have to be done by non-military goverment organizations--Army PSYOP just can't handle it frankly--and they haven't made enough of an effort in my opinion. And you wouldn't have to necessarily use government assets, you could contract out to avoid the US stamp--though I'm not sure on the legal parameters. Certainly a few more counter arguments might help, check out this Arab-American psychologist arguing about the negative effects of some Islamic teachings on Al Jazeers. Absolutely worth a look.
  8. Neither side is winning the propaganda war both sides are losing.
    Any ‘support’ or popular feeling for Al Qaeda is based on the belief that it is only they who are striking at the imperialist giant.
    Firstly, no American media operation would work because quite frankly the American government does not understand the peoples of the Islamic world and makes not attempt to try. Whether it’s the ‘mission civilisatrice’ that seems to inform American thinking now, I don’t know! But, imho, the only thing that that could change people’s attitudes is a change in America’s own attitude.
    They are perceived as being arrogant and self interested and American policy in much of the non-western world seems to justify this view to the non-American. If the Americans are not prepared to change their ‘imperial’ attitudes, then they just have to get use to being unpopular. Otherwise silly policies like the new American initiative to sponsor ‘pro-democracy’ Syrian groups (no doubt all based on the Avenue Foch in Paris) are doomed to end in failure for all concerned and no more so than for the Americans.
  9. Utter bullsh*t.

    I was in Al Kut, Al Hillah, As Samawah and Ad Diwaniyah--predominately Shia areas just like Basra--for months with the Marines and Army. There were very few insurgent attacks and a moderately friendly to apathetic population who we co-operated with and gave us little trouble at least until Sadr's guys got into Najaf when the Spaniards took over. I spent time in the Sunni Triangle afterwards, same Army, same Marines--different Iraqi culture from the Shia south.

    Frankly the Marines tried the same friendly approach they did in the south when they moved to the Sunni Triangle. Same Marines, same approach done successfully within the Shia areas. Drastically different reactions. That's as close to a 'proof' as I can give you and having been to both areas that's good enough for me. Don't know the answer I'll admit, but candy and softcaps sure as hell didn't work.

    You might want to read up on how the Shia were hammered under Saddam and the predominately Sunni Baathists and understand their receptivity to the invasion. Then follow the reading up a bit on the Sunni participation in the Baathist party, Saddam's rewarding of them, it's exploitation and murder of Iraqi non-Sunni Shia's and Kurds as well as get an intel dump on the anger they feel not being the kingpins in Iraq anymore. You may have an epiphany. It ain't the Army and Marines fault, as I said before, the politicians gave us a sh*t sandwich and we had to eat it.

    Six months after the invasion in position in the Shia south and the whole Marine division had two or three killed in action/KIA from Najaf to Al Kut to Nasiriyah. Almost as long in the Sunni north and a smaller Marine contigent of a Regiment plus & Army assigned and the KIAs were in the double digits monthly. Color/colour me skeptical.
  10. I have every sympathy for US soldiers in this difficult situation but none whatsoever with the idiotic and arrogant politicians who started this nonsense in the first place - most of whom are "chicken hawks" who dodged active service in Vietnam and also appear reluctant to encourage their own offspring to enlist.
  11. There is one measure that will work no doubt. Withdrawal. There is no WMD, there is no Saddam at power. What are you doing there?
  12. That's fine, take it up with the White House. It's not the Army or Marine's decision Sergey.
  13. Money wise not too much, PSYOP has always been a cheap resource. Propaganda to enemy and enemy-occupied countries was handled by the US Office of War Information (OWI), with black propaganda done by the Morale Operations section of OSS. After D-day the main producer of PsyWar in the Western European theatre was by the Anglo-American Psychological Warfare Division of SHAEF - it was made up of both civilain and military staff from OWI and the British Political Warfare Executive (PWE).
    PWD/SHAEF was mainly concerned with tactical PsyWar.

    Most of the propaganda directed towards the Occupied Countries was truthful news.
  14. Rumsfeld is quite right - the opposition is winning. However, not by being any good at this info ops caper but by the US (sorry cousins, but it has to be said) being very, very bad at it. His statement of the problem misses the point - which is that they provide their enemy with the ammunition they use against us. A few examples - Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Fallujah and so on. No doubt all of them achieved success to some extent - but I'd assess that the blowback has far outweighed the benefits.

    The facts behind the symbols are irrelevant unless our target audience believes what they are being told - and here the US has real problems. Bluntly, the people you wish to influence and stop from joining the ranks of your enemies think you're a bunch of dangerous, ignorant, arrogant crusaders out to impose your way of life on others by force. Being a cowboy is not seen as a good thing outside the US. Unless and until you change that people will continue to want to kill you.

    Part of the problem is the naive and fatally flawed belief that this war will be won by events in the kinetic arena. It won't. If the US don't subordinate kinetic ops to info ops they'll continue to kill one enemy in manner that recruits another - or if they're really insensitive they'll recruit two.
  15. Of course, it was a decision made by White House. I understood your post as a doubt that victory in propaganda war with al-Qaeda is doomed to failure at least in Sunni triangle. I mentioned a possible solution.

    I don't mean you soldiers, mariners (God save you) could do it. You must obey orders. But politicians could call insurgents and propose them a deal: withdrawal from Sunni triangle with prohibition of any terrorist activity in return.