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Old 10-11-2001, 05:17 PM   #1
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Propaganda #2 (I knew it was a matter of time)

US makes use of psychological warfare

PROPAGANDA OFFENSIVE: The Bush administration is aware that wooing the support of the Afghan people will be necessary for a decisive victory against the Taliban regime.

Alongside cruise missiles and bombs, the US is also dropping food, leaflets and radios in an intense propaganda war which is every bit as decisive as the physical conflict, and in which America's enemies have the upper hand.

The importance that the Bush administration attaches to the hearts and minds conflict was clear from the first day, when German-based transport planes dropped 37,500 rations a day for malnourished Afghan civilians.

In case they missed the point, the rations were marked with the stars and stripes and a message in local dialects and pictures explaining the food and medicine were a gift of the American people.

There were also wind-up radios tuned to receive US-sponsored broadcasts in Pashtun, Dari and other Afghan dialects, sent out by electronic warfare aircraft circling Afghan airspace and jamming the Taliban's own transmissions.

Meanwhile, the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance is reported to be awaiting the delivery of two new shortwave radio transmitters donated by China, which will help the opposition movement relaunch its own broadcasts.

The loyalty of the Afghan people, shell-shocked after more than 20 years of continual war, will not be easily bought. Much will depend on whether the Taliban is toppled and what arises in its place. But the propaganda battle has a much broader target -- the Islamic world.

The immediate war aims are to eliminate Osama bin Laden, his al- Qaeda organization and his protectors in the Taliban, without sparking off a mass uprising by ordinary Muslims around the world, which could topple a string of fragile, Western-leaning governments.

It is an uphill struggle. For all the emphasis the Pentagon has put on food-drops, many Arab newspapers have interpreted them cynically. One Jordanian newspaper, al-Rayeh, printed a cartoon showing a US plane dropping food from one side and missiles from the other.

The news that the 4th Psychological operations group from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, are pumping out Pashtun radio broadcasts risks deepening the cynicism still further.

Bin Laden has only fired one shot in the propaganda war -- his video released to the Al-Jazeera television station in the wake of Sunday's attacks -- but he appears to have won the opening battle. By downplaying his own longstanding preoccupations -- the unworthy nature of the Saudi royal family, and the stationing of US troops on Saudi soil -- and stressing the plight of ordinary Palestinians and Iraqis, bin Laden sent out a message which resonated powerfully on the streets.

Washington's Arab allies, conscious of their own vulnerability, have played their own part in the propaganda war. On the day of the strikes, for example, a story was leaked to Jordanian newspapers, about a plot by bin Laden supporters to assassinate King Abdullah.

As with military operations however, Arab rulers run the risk of undermining their own credibility among their people by being seen to side too overtly with Washington in their efforts to manipulate the press. Although mostly unelected, Middle Eastern governments cannot afford to drift too far from popular opinion.


Got to walk out of here, I can't take anymore
Gonna stand on that bridge, keep my eyes down below
Whatever may come and whatever may go
that river's flowing

"Don't Give Up", Peter Gabriel

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Old 10-11-2001, 06:35 PM   #2
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It's okay with me. The Afghan people need to know what we're doing, so that they'll know we're fighting the Taliban regime, not Islam. If a few US flags and radios is what it takes, more power to them!

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Old 10-11-2001, 06:40 PM   #3
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Yeah, they got some super high tech plane that is flying over Afghanistan and can 'take over' tv and radio, beaming US stuff in. Which is pretty cool.

But now all the Afghans want to know is will Ross and Rachel ever really get it on?

Oh and 80's is right, the real point to the Aid, whether it works or not, is to show, more to the countries in the region then actual Afghanistan, that the US is attacking and means no harm to Muslims/Arabs only the Taliban and the terrorists. And in that sense it's a good idea. It is a prop. move, but still it is giving at least some of them food.

[This message has been edited by TylerDurden (edited 10-11-2001).]
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Old 10-11-2001, 09:01 PM   #4
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Originally posted by TylerDurden:
But now all the Afghans want to know is will Ross and Rachel ever really get it on?
(edited 10-11-2001).]
Man, that's pretty funny!
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Old 10-11-2001, 10:19 PM   #5
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Psychological warfare, lol! Well, why don't you report us to the UN for that one!
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