When the Going Gets Tough, Fake It?

On Political Violence @ A Glance When the Going Gets Tough, Fake It?
This January the Iranian government announced that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and returned it safely. The announcement became comical when, even to the untrained eye, it was obvious that the monkeys photographed before and after the flight were not one and the same (the Iranian government maintains that the discrepancy was due to a mistaken photo release). Equally laughable was Iran’s recent release of clearly Photoshopped pictures of a new “stealth” fighter jet — a model that critics claimed was undersized and seemingly made of fiberglass. While Iran’s technological leaps would be cause for concern if they were legitimate, they have been nothing more than elementary hoaxes.Why would Iran (so weakly) seek to deceive the United States, a country with powers and capabilities far exceeding its own? Perhaps these announcements aren’t directed at the American government at all — instead, they are a form of international signaling about the internal Iranian state. The ease with which Iran’s faked technological achievements have been disproven suggests that these claims do not serve to destabilize the international environment; rather, they are directed at improving Iran’s crumbling domestic situation rather than threatening the US. Fearful of heightened internal strife, Iran’s government did what any reasonable, struggling regime would do: it staged a diversionary campaign.
Less costly than overt military moves, reports of technological advancements serve a diversionary purpose by attempting to rally public support through distracting citizens. Yet unlike other regimes’ bellicose diversionary threats, Iran’s attempts to divert the public’s attention away from economic struggles and towards recent scientific achievements creates national pride predicated on economic potential.
In light of these apparent motivations, Iran does not seek to threaten the US and other world powers with announcements of technological innovations. Rather, another possibility consistent with the evidence is that these pictures are forged so as to signal that the announcements are primarily directed at the Iranian people. Ahmadinejad wants the public to believe Iran’s tech programs are thriving, and highly censored media allows him to accomplish this. However, the photos are clearly bogus so that other countries are aware that Iran’s technologies still pose no threat to them.
This interpretation suggests that it would be unwise to take any immediate action. Ahmadinejad is claiming technological breakthroughs to salvage a deteriorating domestic situation, and making such claims known internationally serves two primary ends: (1) it makes his claims credible nationally, and (2) it creates some transparency and avoids confusion that could result in the security dilemma.
Of course one might argue that the threat presented by the creation of a stealth fighter jet and the one suggested by a monkey’s trip into space are different. But the technology necessary for launching a rocket into space is fundamentally the same required to build an ICBM. Thus, that astronautical monkey could actually induce the security dilemma — had it truly made it among the stars! The stealth fighter jet, were it real, does not represent the same grave threat an Iranian ICBM technology. Curious George, on the other hand, does. In either case, however, both were nothing more than farces: George has likely not yet experienced the unique sensation of zero-gravity, and the “fighter jet” remains firmly grounded… as does Iran’s technology programs. Properly analyzed, the security dilemma is induced in neither case.
[FONT=Georgia, Times, serif]Iran offers an important lesson on how to cope with internal upheaval: when the going gets tough, fake it. Don’t pick fights with someone many times your size. And most importantly, be self-deprecating abroad and deceptive domestically. The US should keep this in mind so that no rash actions are taken. Intelligence proves most useful when it’s collected and interpreted with domestic political motivations in mind.[/FONT]
This does seem a bit comedic, Teheran's malagn midget mayor pumping up the national morale with transparent fakery. What fools the Iranian public are, this stuff is like the wobbly set of Blake's 7. It might make a fella a bit skeptical about their nuke program, ah but perhaps that is their design in this.

However, holdup with the braying laughter. It's obviously damn cheap and the wily Persians are a 3rd world country under heavy sanctions with not two chick peas to rub together. If it keeps the average semi-literate TV watching Iranian punters that make up Ahmadinejad's large base patriotically ******* the air what's not to like?

More sophisticated Persian tax payers could point a mocking finger at billion dollar Iron Dome, which the Israelis judging by their secretiveness about the scientific data on its hit rate seem to be pumping up way beyond its real capabilities. And what of the
colossal F-35 and F-22 statist boondoggles delivering over engineered stealth aircraft that show up on WWI vintage radar if it rains and suffocate the odd pilot into unconsciousness Oh and of course the great British comedy entry multi-billion quid carriers built by very slow handed Scotsmen... and without any jets to go on them.

Perhaps we should be getting a bit creative with the fibre glass, sticky back plastic and bog rolls. Their are plenty of former Blue Peter presenters who could take some time off from deviant sex to help the MoD out.

I wonder what LOL is in Farsi?


Book Reviewer
^death to america seems to fit the bill for everything
Our Type 45s look fake, even close up . Has anybody actually served on one here? I'm convinced they are mock ups designed to keep the matelots happy
I'm beginning to suspect lots of work with a foot pump and a couple of peddalos is all that's needed to keep Trident credible.

I hope there's no Lib-Dems on here, that could end up in a position paper.


We could build a couple of Aircraft Carriers out of empty Fairy Liquid bottles and arm them with papier mache F35s. The crew could be benefit scrounging yoof fitted out in RN gig, who would notice?

We could also take out of perspective photos of Action Men kitted out in MTP. An ideal replacement for the RAF Regiment! And again, who would feckin notice the difference!!!
We could also take out of perspective photos of Action Men kitted out in MTP. An ideal replacement for the RAF Regiment! And again, who would feckin notice the difference!!!
Steady, you'll undermine the deterrent capability of our Action Men.
It's not like we've got form for that sort of thing - inflatable tank armies in WW11 parked up at Dover.
I recommend Churchill's Wizards: The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945.

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

― Sun Tzu, Sun-Tzu: The Art of Warfare
It's a bit tinfoil hat-ish. I don't think the Iranians are engaged in any sort of a double-bluff. The reason why Iran trumpets its technological "triumphs" is the same reason that a lot of developing countries do. The people genuinely want to see their country progress, and every engineering marvel is one more sign of the government delivering on that. Have a look at the "world beating technology" that India also announces on a regular basis and how they claim that whatever they do is better than whatever Pakistan will ever do.

The difference of course is that India actually has the money and the manpower to at least often deliver something that more or less works, even if it isn't the best. Iran has fewer resources to work with and so has to puff up whatever they do accomplish.

The fighter jet isn't an example of how clueless the Iranians are. It's an example of how clueless the western media are. The Iranians never claimed it was anything other than an R&D project at this time. It was the western media who first assumed it was a working plane ready for service, and then started blaming the Iranians for being made to look like a bunch of buffoons when it turned out not to be. However, Americans presidents routinely pose in front of mockups of proposed aircraft, and tests of American working aerodynamic models routinely show up in news releases and nobody accuses the Americans of fakery. The Iranian plane may get built if the Iranian parliament can scrape up the money to complete development and tool up for production. The press fanfare was intended as lobbying for more money to continue development.

Iran builds their own arms because foreign arms merchants stopped knocking on their doors for some odd reason a while ago. They don't actually build a lot of them though. Their current production fighter is either a copy of the old F5 which the Americans sold to them, or a modified rebuild of existing airframes. They only build a handful of them per year though because they tend to spend their national budget on welfare benefits rather than arms. The F5, even an improved one, is looking a bit long in the tooth as compared to the foreign kit the Saudis are splashing out on these days, so the Iranians are working on something that is a bit more up to date. Their experience at rebuilding and upgrading old kit has given them the confidence to attempt an all new design.

The nuclear power (as distinct from nuclear weapons) project is a combination of several factors. Some of it is yet another example of creating a "technological triumph", as nuclear engineering is considered to be one of the pinnacles of achievement in science and engineering. Some of it is simply trying to make use of existing assets, as the plant was "almost complete" when the Germans pulled out of it years ago (they had been looking for an excuse to get out of the contract, as they were losing their shirts on it). Some of it is because they want to export their oil and gas, rather than burning it themselves (they want to phase out the consumer energy subsidies which are a massive drain on the Iranian budget).

As for monkey photos, the Iranian press is a poor source of information. They routinely don't bother sourcing proper photos for anything. They just google for pictures and pick one that looks good. A good example is the hovering UAV they announced a while ago. The photo the press report had was actually a roughly similar Japanese UAV that they nicked off the Internet. It's certainly cheaper to do that than it would be to send a proper press photographer to do some real photos. I don't know if the monkey is alive or dead, but I would be very reluctant to trust Iranian press photos to tell me the answer either way. It's more a case of incompetence and lack of money to do the job properly though, rather than some elaborate deception plan.

It is true though that most of the Iranian "feel good" propaganda is intended for domestic consumption. That shouldn't surprise anyone. It's what every other country in the world does. Ahmadinejad is a lot more concerned about what Iranians think about him than he is as to what foreigners think. Ahmadinejad is an engineer and he is well placed to exploit popular Iranian interest in technology.
We could also take out of perspective photos of Action Men kitted out in MTP. An ideal replacement for the RAF Regiment! And again, who would feckin notice the difference!!!
The massive increase in combat effectiveness would be sure to give the game away.

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