It looks as if the House is going to pass the Banker Bail Out Bill just in time, because the Pentagon is getting ready to shell out $300 million “to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to ‘engage and inspire’ the local population to support U.S. objectives…”
That’s America for you: when we court bankruptcy, we court it in style.
It will be quite a challenge for whoever wins the contract. How do you put a positive spin on fecal matter in the water? On the other hand you can point out that having only two hours of electricity a day means a lower electric bill and a child blown apart by one of our stray “smart” bombs means one less mouth to feed. Best of all, being forced out of your home opens up a whole new world of opportunities.
But, fear not! “Defense officials maintain that strict rules are enforced against disseminating false information.” As one official put it, “Our enemies have the luxury of not having to tell the truth.”
Slipping the Pentagon’s bons mots into the Iraqi media without attribution is not subterfuge; it is a pragmatic requirement. As one official put it, “They don’t know that the originator of the content is the U.S. government. If they did, they would never run anything.”
The contracts are part of what the Pentagon calls its “information/psychological operations,” which involve the creation of media events designed to reshape and redefine reality by ignoring it. Of course, that phrase is not used in the specifications for the contract. The military erased information/psychological operations and wrote in “media events” in its place.
The brass complains, “We’re being out-communicated by a guy in a cave.” Granted, bin Laden has an advantage of communicating with people who despise us. The Pentagon’s challenge is to make them love us for destroying their country.
I do have one criticism of the program. It seems the Pentagon was considering producing an Iraqi version of “American Idol”, but scrapped the idea because it would have been too expensive. Big mistake, George. The American experience proves that third-rate “reality” programs distract the public from its misery. The challenge would be to find a time slot for the program when the power is on.
It is encouraging to see that the Pentagon is not only thinking outside the box, but they’ve blown the goddamn thing up. Maybe you should ask your lapdogs in Congress for a couple more billion just to cover more operations of this caliber.