Posted by lex, on April 12, 2006
Read Jeff Goldstein on the media’s view of the pro’s and con’s of the US having an information operations strategy in Iraq.
And yet, (publicizing [to the Iraqi’s] the depravity of a foreign terrorist who is responsible for many of the deaths of their countrymen, might help spur resistance to the insurgency) is met, instead, with furrowed brows and the thinly-veiled suggestion of impropriety—as if a campaign to discredit the enemy is somehow against the rules of wartime discourse (while a campaign to discredit our own Commander in Chief is a duty of every real and true patriot!).
This is suicidal nonsense, quite frankly, and it further illustrates my point about the subtle (and not so subtle ways) that the framing of the narrative of the war has can have an appreciable impact on its outcome. For Americans who aren’t political junkies, the WaPo’s intimation that something unsavory is happening here is the “lesson” many casual readers will take away from this story. And when such messages accrue, they can (and do) effect the public’s will to support the campaign.
Keep in mind that it’s very possible that this is a conflict that will either be won (or lost) in the hearts and minds of Araby, or else fought to the bitter death somewhere closer to home.