Friday, March 10, 2006

A voice divided

Austin Bay quotes Timothy Garton Ash with respect to what America doesn't do in the field of information warfare.

Our universities should invite their academics and students, who have often been in the vanguard of standing up for free speech and human rights in Iran. Our newspapers and journalism schools should bring over their journalists. Our trades unions should hitch up with their unionists, some of whom have organised major strikes. Our parliaments should establish links with their parliament which, though far from fully democratic, has been giving Ahmadinejad a rough ride.

Writers, artists and filmmakers should be encouraged to travel to and fro, carrying ideas in both directions. Women’s movements in Iran, representing half the population systematically discriminated against, should be supported by women’s movements in Europe. Iran’s Islamic thinkers and jurists, both reformist modernisers and conservatives, should be engaged in dialogue by theologians and scholars from other faith traditions. All this should be done less by our governments than by our own societies, and not just by America and Britain - traditionally distrusted by many Iranians - but by all European countries, working separately and together. We need a European Iranpolitik.

Commentary

The underlying reason why America is doing so poorly in the field of "information warfare" against the Jihad is that its traditional organs of articulation -- the academy, media, Hollywood -- are largely hostile to the War on Terror itself. It's conceivable that an Iranian might flee persecution only to be taught at a US university that he ought to embrace it by the many academic departments whose point of view is exactly that. In a fundamental sense, the War on Terror is twinned to the greatest single issue dividing the Left and Right, which is whether the United States, as a nation, is legitimate or whether, as some would maintain, it is Amerika: an abomination whose demise must be hastened by any means necessary.

44 Comments:

Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

its traditional organs of articulation -- the academy, media, Hollywood
But now we have the blogverse. ;)
These guys absolutely rock.

3/10/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Traditionally, we in America don't go to them -- they come to us. We just don't think about exporting our culture or our system because we think of them as being so superior it's self-evident, and verges upon bragging. American everything is so popular it pretty much sells itself from our movies to our music to our blue jeans.

You can see the reception that Karen Hughes got in Saudi Arabia, and I'm pretty sure that would be the reception any perky chirpy little Americans would get if we tried to go to other countries and lecture them on how to do journalism, how to vote, how to make movies, how to make wine ... how to ANYthing.

The only time that anything like that has ever been remotely successful is in the Peace Corps and there's just not a whole lot of successful Americans who are willing to live in huts without running water to teach other people how we do things.

I think if you had people from other countries coming HERE, you'd get that bridge-building "eduation on Islam" that the Arabs so fervently think are going to solve all their problems. That if we Westerners were just more familiar with Islam, then we'd understand that being beheaded is just business and nothing personal.

And if they didn't try to educate us about Islam, then they'll try to figure out how to get a green card while they're here, or take it on the lam and melt into the landscape like millions of other illegal aliens, a ploy beloved by cross-cultural exchanges dating back to the Russians who were always losing ballet dancers and athletes.

On paper Wretchard's thoughts sound like a peachy idea. But given the nastiness of human nature, I'm thinking it probably wouldn't play out quite that way.

3/10/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mannning said...

What do we do about this issue? In former times, ostracism of the offenders was effective, as was simply ignoring them.

Today, it seems that creeping step by creeping step, we have lost our ability to deal with these traitors to America. We are beyond being polite and politically correct now. If we have the will to rid ourselves of these parasites of the left, neutralize them, to take action now, and not debate endlessly.

What action is needed? That is the question.

3/10/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

It's certainly not a given that America is "doing so poorly". That is only an assumption.

A simplistic view: What you have are two cultures, namely the "Western" and the "Islamic culture" that are not talking to each other in a dialogue, but rather, are talking mainly within their own constituencies. They are not even talking against each other. The West is not generating counter-propaganda against the Islamic culture. The Islamic culture, on the other hand, is mainly talking to its own constituency as it revs up the base emotions of the jihadi participants.

As for the West, the pseudo-intellectuals who presumably dominate the dialogue are tainted by the toxic poison of the Vietnam era.

The West is not yet engaged in a propaganda war against the actual fundamentals of Islamic culture, as it was against the fundamentals of Nazi culture during WWII.

On the other hand, the Islamic culture is propagandizing mainly within its own domain, and peripherally the West hears about it when it is intended to do so, as in the cartoon jihad case. It is preparing itself, whipping itself into a fury. It is in a stage analogous to the build-up to WWII.

3/10/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Raw Data said...

"...its traditional organs of articulation -- the academy, media, Hollywood -- are largely hostile to the War on Terror itself."

That's an awfully broad condemnation. Certainly there is dhimmitude in abundance -- the NYT article on ghe Brooklyn iman as one recent example -- but can you really back up such a very broad statement?

3/10/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

All this should be done less by our governments than by our own societies or by individuals and volunteer groups.

The underlying reason why America is doing so poorly in the field of "information warfare" against the Jihad is that its traditional organs of articulation -- the academy, media, Hollywood -- are largely hostile to the War on Terror itself.

That is the crux of the matter. Government is paralyzed. The traditional organs are hostile. If the job is to get done non-traditional organs must arise.

There is a milbloggers conference next month. Milbloggers, bloggers, and commenters are a logical nucleus for a Civilian Information Militia / Information Warfare Volunteer Corps.

3/10/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

This was posted last Tuesday on the Center of Gravity thread:

Starling David Hunter said...
Wretchard said: "I am somewhat disappointed with Secretary Rumsfeld's response to the subject of the disinformation campaign he himself brings up: "that would be like trying to stop the tide. The last time out he described the enemy as winning the information war. Here he speaks of it again. But what to do about it?"

One thing that can't be done is to openly court bloggers the way Wal-Mart has done. See yesterday's NY Times article entitled Wal-Mart enlists bloggers in PR campaign

What can be done is that individuals can form loose-knit, issue-centric "citizen information militias" as I think I termed it in the comments of a previous thread.

Each CIM would be organized around 1-2 major and a handful of minor issues.

Each CIM would be formed of at least two major departments or functional areas- research and retail and possibly and third operations.

The Research department would work on information gathering and analysis.

The Retail department's basic responsibility would be to identify channels through which, the means by which, and the audience to whom the CIM's messages could delivered. They might also cultivate feeders who could send useful leads to them and/or the research group.

If there is an "Operations" group it's job would be to maintain the critical infrastructure (websites, blog, etc) and to provide technical support and evaluate the cost and feasibility of adopting software applications, adding features (e.g. podcasting, video).

In the CIM's early stages the Operations function could be subordinate to "Retail".

At the top of the food chain would be a farily small cadre of writers whose primary responsibility is to craft compelling content.

If that group has a leader, it would also be his or her job to set the broad agenda for the CIM, in consultation with the other team members, as well as to look for opportunies to collaborate with other CIMs on projects of mutual interest.

The smallest number of people required for a CIM to be effective would probably be 5-6 excluding the occasional feeder. While the structure could theoretically scale up by an order of magnitude, in practical terms it would probably be best to split them at about a size of 12-15. It is my feeling that anything larger than that requires communication and organizational design practices that are overly formal for what should be a rather organic undertaking. Even a CIM of 12-15 should be able to be broken into two if new issue arise that require it.

6:40 PM

3/10/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

I think the hostility from the MSM, Hollywood etc. is towards Bush and not the war. They feel they have no dog in this fight and couldn't care less about the war, except as a vehicle to destroy Bush.

3/10/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

Wretchard, Nahncee:

one of the ways that the needed dialog has been taking place- at least the academic part of it- is via the establishment of authentically American universities in this region.

I don't mean ostensibly American uni's like AU Cairo and AU Beirut with over 95% ME faculty. I mean branch campuses of major American Universities staffed predominantly by American trained faculty and administrators.

In Qatar the Education City initiative has seen the establishment of 5 US universities, each specializing on a unique area:

Virginia Commonwealth - arts & communication

Cornell - Medical School

Texas A&M - engineering

Carnegie Mellon - computer science and business

Georgetown - School of Foregin Service

For more informationEducation City, Qatar

Here in the Emirates there are a dozen more UK and US based schools: Here's what David Ignatius said about the American U. of Sharjah where I now teach:

"To appreciate how cockeyed America's Dubai-phobia is, you have to spend a little time here, as I did this week. The truth is, this is one of the few places in the Arab world where things have been going in the right direction - away from terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism and toward an open, modern economy. That's why congressional opposition came as such a surprise here. People in the UAE think they're America's friends.

The ports deal was part of the UAE's embrace of things Western. Wednesday night, I traveled with the minister of higher education, Sheik Nahayan bin Mubarak, to the dusty city of Al Ain to attend a Mozart festival performed by the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. And I visited the American University of Sharjah, created nine years ago as a beacon of liberal-arts education."

Link: Burning US allies -- and ourselves :: David Ignatius, Washington Post

Nahncee, you got two things right in your post. This isn't the Peace Corps and we don't live in huts. The demand for a US education in this region of the world far outstrips supply. More on why some other time.

American University of Sharjah

3/10/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

SDH, you're doing good stuff--bravo!

3/10/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

As some have noted we have not engaged in a real propaganda war with our enemies as we did during WWII. Why not? I have no idea.

This leads back to Wretchard's previous post 'The Cult' and the propaganda war waged by President Harry S. Truman and his man Col. Edward Lansdale.

Truman was a tough guy. He did what was necessary to win WWII and stabilize Korea. I am wondering if that has to be repeated today.

The propaganda effort by Col. Lansdale appears to have worked is some instance but not in all. The question is could it work now?

I did a quick google of Col. Edward Lansdale and I find him to be demonized on the left and kept in good standing on the right.

His profile is filled with mystery and intrigue. The stories run the spectrum: "Ed Lansdale was responsible for destroying the Huks and saving the Philippines, Ed Lansdale was responsible for getting Oppenheimer's Security Clearance revoked, Ed Lansdale was responsible for Vietnam, Ed Lansdale was responsible for the Taiwan Straight showdown, Ed Lansdale was involved in the failed mission to kill Castro, Ed Lansdale was in Dallas Texas when Kennedy was shot..." And on it goes.

There were two "semi-fictional" books written about Ed Lansdale: 'The Ugly American' and 'The Quite American' And, someone ghosted his own book, 'In the Midst of Wars: An American's Mission to Southeast.' But, which one is correct?

Because Ed Lansdale was a self promoter and psychological warfare specialist it hard to judge his success or failure (given what is available publicly). Would an Lansdale style propaganda war work today?

3/10/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

For Freedom, 7:12 wrote:
On the other hand, the Islamic culture is propagandizing mainly within its own domain, and peripherally the West hears about it when it is intended to do so, as in the cartoon jihad case. It is preparing itself, whipping itself into a fury. It is in a stage analogous to the build-up to WWII.

The west may not be propagandizing but it is arming itself. A friend who works in management at a gun powder plant tells me that can hardly keep up with the demand.

He said that he shipped powder all over the world and recently for the first time to Finland.

What's up with that?

3/10/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

Interesting even if it is out of thread:
http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD111206

3/10/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Jimmy Carter made a huge mistake giving amnesty to the Viet Nam draft dodgers. That gave credibility to the so called counter-culture and their supporters in the press. It emboldened the left and the amnesty itself was further corrupted as the draft dodgers and traitors were further portrayed as the real Viet Nam heroes. This corruption spread so that the term "Anti-American became a quaint anachronism. The left has had the agenda to itself ever since. They need to be crushed.

3/10/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Yes, interesting. But is it credible?

3/10/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Little Finland put up a helluva fight against the pre-WWII USSR invasion.

3/10/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

He said the Israelis were difficult to deal with. Very shrewd negotiators. But the French are the absolute worst; impossible "liars."

3/10/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

milan:

Purported "Al-Qaeda Undercover Soldier, U.S.A": Last Warning to American People - Two Operations Will Occur; Your Homeland Security Agency Must Surrender; States Far Away From Washington, D.C. Such as Arizona Will Be Hit; We Await Orders From Our Commander Osama Bin Laden; America Will Be Brought to its Knees

Hardly a coincidence it appeared right after America's disgraceful ports debacle.

Too late to effectively counter that. The ground work that makes it effective was never countered.

3/10/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

whit.:
problem with French is I would not say "liars."
Maybe different thinking in diplomacy and overly selfish.Clausewitz:
"...war is continuation of diplomacy by other means."It was valid even for "Nazis."It is not valid for France.That why we run into problem with Iran.Over "slickness."Richelieu,
Talleyrand.

3/10/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger anonymouscoameq said...

Because the media, and other political opponents make such a fuss over any known efforts to get the US side of the story accross to the enemy population, information war efforts are mostly covert. Therefore it is very difficult to know if we are doing badly or well. I would guess that we are actually doing well but it is not obvious because we don't know how bad off we'd be without the covert efforts that we don't know about.

(Of course, the recent Dubai fiasco did not help.)

3/10/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

deVillipin, same mold.

3/10/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

can.#4.:
I would like to have 1/1000 of money USA spent to "do" proper ground work.
From times of Cold war to Muslim war.
Sometimes certainty could be only empty song.Sometimes where is not-a-thing today,tomorov....?

3/10/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard - The underlying reason why America is doing so poorly in the field of "information warfare" against the Jihad is that its traditional organs of articulation -- the academy, media, Hollywood -- are largely hostile to the War on Terror itself.

Aww, come on Richard! You know that there is no global war on the "tactic of terrorism" and it took Bush longer than the time WWII was fought to actually define who the enemy was - radical Islamists.

The Bushies have no coherent strategic communications strategy and spent many years denying Islam had anything to do with it.

We are so far behind the Islamoids in being honest about what we are all about and presenting that to global media that the real communications will have to start 7 years after 9/11 when an honest strategic effort to 1st influence the West inc. the media -, then non-aligned, then Muslim nations - starting with whoever Bush's sucessor is - to get past the "Global War on Terror", "Cowardly Evildoer", "Religion of Peace", "You'd Love How Great America Is If You Only Knew" - nonsense we churned after 2001.

It will take a new President to get past the counterproductive Bushisms.

Bush had his chance and fucked it up in "evildoer", ROP, war on the tactic of terror...don't name the enemy rubbish while the Islamoids carefully spelled out who their enemy was and what their strategy and call to arms exactly was..

You can't blame the media when folks like Reagan got his message out clearly. Nor the Euroweenies when Bush I and Clinton handled them.

Lets hope a smart, articulate President can redefine and rescue Bush's GWOT and "domocratizing' fouled up places to the approval of the West and the masses.

Could be Hillary, could be McCain, Rice, could be Romney, or some other intelligent, well-spoken leader who can work with others.

But it won't be Bush in his last 2 1/2 years.

The historical argument on Bush may be that he was bad, and a total whore to enriching his wealthy benefactors at the expense of the average American, screwed up royally with Katrina, the Iraq postwar....but he was less worse than Kerry or Noble Algore would have been.

3/10/2006 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

buddy:
----yes,Richelieu,Taleyrand,de Villipin. And Schirac?Is he better?
They will pay first for what they are.

3/10/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

One hopes, Milan, that everyone in the end will get what they deserve. I have a feeling that Mr. Chirac is already tasting the ashes.

3/10/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

cedarford
if we are trying we must avoid two things:
Hatred of Bush.
We must not accept Hillary for one reason:remember her first days at WH and many others.Thinking of her as "moderate" is waiting at black hole for light.
War with islam is old around 1400 years.We are going to win,or losing means terminal end for us.Maybe that `s what is written in Book Of Fate for ours civilization.Half of USA is willing to step aside and make road for islam.Is that possible?????????

3/10/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Wretchard said:

In a fundamental sense, the War on Terror is twinned to the greatest single issue dividing the Left and Right, which is whether the United States, as a nation, is legitimate or whether, as some would maintain, it is Amerika: an abomination whose demise must be hastened by any means necessary.

Wretchard said
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Playing to the Galloway 2

for so long as they get to write the history, to raise the monuments, to tell the tale. What they are unprepared to do, what they will resist at all costs, is to surrender the pen of the recorder.
////////////////////
Yeah man, since Melville, they have been calling themselves Ishmael.
///////////////
My reference probably bears some explanation:

I was seconding Wretchard's mention that the left wants to the teller of the tale--the narrative voice. The source for this I think--comes from Moby Dick

"... And I alone am escaped to tell thee." Melville took the quote from the Book of Job to characterize Ishmael, the lone survivor of the wreck of the Pequod, clinging to the coffin that was, for him, a life-raft.
/////////////////////////
Job 1

12And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

13And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:

14And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

15And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

16While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

17While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
/////////////////
Needless to say, Job did not curse God.

And even when the burden became too much God, graciously sent his Son to die for our sins.

3/10/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I think the left has more vested in an Iraqui civil war than is properly understood.

3/10/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/11/international/middleeast/11sultan.html?hp&ex=1142139600&en=4fdceb6c0558787e&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Wow - not a moment too soon. This is what I consider the "manifesto" that ought to be getting 56 day front page intercontinental publicity. And all it is is a plain picture! This is a truly courageous woman.

3/10/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Americans are so out of touch. This is the meme that has been popular in Europe for decades and as narcissistic as the US may be I think it has become in many ways a universe in itself, self promoting and introspective, lacking tremendous depth and understanding of the greater world, but as dynamic as America is, it tends to have its own weather, makes its own news, and in so many ways draws attention to itself.

I don’t see this vanity as particularly unique or shameful but as such Americans are often poorly informed of other cultures. I for one openly admit that I know little or nothing of UAE in general and Dubai in particular and I find it curious that they feel that they have been betrayed by Americans for being suspicious of a company that is directly controlled by a nation that is in so many ways foreign to us. Americans have little to register regarding an enduring friendship with that country. I for one do not feel the slightest animosity for citizens of the UAE and welcome learning more about them. But any friendships that cannot survive some ups and downs in business are not likely to be very strong in the first place so can we give it some time?

Next year the US is opening up, once again American universities to record numbers of foreign students and hopefully it won’t be to new cadres of Jihadis hell bent on destroying our trust, our openness, and our democratic ways.

Ostensibly terrorism is the method of breaking the spell of self-absorption and drawing attention to the plight of those who have been oppressed by the Jews and their allies, the Great Satan. There is also no other excuse for it, save an infidel here, a separatist movement there.

I look forward to cultural exchanges but hope those who would have us as their guests would too be considerate of our sensitivities when being our guests.

3/10/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dan, Mika, er Mat linked to her a few days ago.
Most remarkable and impressive.
I hear tell men of letters once had her courage.
Now it is "courageous" to laud the transgendered and invite the Taliban to go to Yale.

3/10/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Cedarford,

Which Presidential candidate in 2008 is likely to forthrightly identify Islamism as the enemy? Any possibility of that will be the result of a sea-change in public opinion. That sea-change may be occurring now. The WaPo says Islam's negatives are mounting but goes on to say its because of "intolerance".

Which goes back to the premise of the post. I'm not sure whether public policy can be conducted so far in advance of a mainstream half of which was willing to vote for Albert Gore. The institutions have to change somewhat before the enemy can be named.

3/10/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

What is particularly odd about this is that what this war is really all about is that as a culture we communicate very very well - better than anyone in history. Even in the Third World, you can bet that more people know about Gilligan's Island than they do Osama Bin Laden. (Interesting story about that was one related by Dawn Wells.)

The Jihadists are attempting to stop this communication, or better yet, turn it to their advantage. They are presented with our dominance as a culture constantly, every day, as a result of our superior means of communcation.

But they are still using the means of communication we devised and deployed - and that we did with no help from their culture. Even their message is a reflection of our culture; in many repects they sound more like the 60's Civil Rights movement than they do the Nazis. The reason is simple: The Civil Rights leaders are honored in our culture while the Nazis are baffoons that always lose.

Perhaps recognizing all this is the best way to address the communication problem.

3/10/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"In a fundamental sense, the War on Terror is twinned to the greatest single issue dividing the Left and Right, which is whether the United States, as a nation, is legitimate or whether, as some would maintain, it is Amerika: an abomination whose demise must be hastened by any means necessary."

The sense of America as Amerika was palpable last I lived in Europe (until the summer of 2001). It was truly disturbing, and a startling deterioration from a handful of years before. It seemed to reach an ominously high point about the time of the notorious Durbam Conference. (Little did I know it would get worse.)

But the sense of America as Amerika, among so many Americans themselves, seems tied not to ideology but to an implacable hatred of Bush that preceded the war. The hatred is transferred to the War on Terror, in all its guises, because it is seen as Bush's War.

Absolutely poisonous atmosphere in which an already deeply confused nation has to somehow prosecute a war in its own defense.

3/10/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Oops.

Durban Conference.

3/10/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The demand for a US education in this region of the world far outstrips supply. More on why some other time.


A US education is highly over-rated. Everyone in Saudi Arabia has spent time in the American educational system and a fat lot of good it has done, both in helping them to build up their country, and in convincing them of the need to change their 13th century Wahhabi system.

How many of the 9/11 terrorists spent *their* time in American colleges and universities learning enough here in America to massacre us?

There's an old saying, "If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow." We just need to find their balls under those white dresses they all wear, and their education and civilization will automatically follow.

3/10/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

One other observation: Years of watching European news led to the sudden realization upon returning home that, sole superpower and Masters of the Universe though we are, we are at the same time, paradoxically self-absorbed. As if there were not much that existed or happened beyond our own shores. The War hasn't changed this much.

(Years of watching European news also demonstrated how very conservative our own Left is compared to the European counterpart.)

3/10/2006 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Keeping Kids From Becoming Suicide Bombers

3/11/2006 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The information war isn't with the explode-a-dopes. It's with the editors of the NYT, Jay Bennish and his MSM enablers, the ACLU, and hundreds of other points of darkness that want to scrub your brain of any notion of the goodness of free-markets, traditional families, spirituality, and individual liberty.

Bullet points from the Soviet's 1930s disinformation playbook are the ideological table of contents of most of the people who control the Conversation. Forget the jihadis. We aren't going to convince them of anything. Worry about the people in DC, New York and LA who tell you every day that your life is not worth living.

3/11/2006 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

America Will be Brought to its Knees

What juvenile beetlejuice. I tried to read the entire 'manifesto' but didn't have the stomach for it. Nahncee is absolutely correct that Americans don't do teaching - we do Windows and that should speak for itself. Given the dubious distinction of having the opportunity, what exactly would you teach the addled author of this poor imitation of Holden Caufield with a turbo-nuked beretta?

Hard to bring any measure of gravitas to this table.

3/11/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger luc said...

The best example of what information warfare is or isn't is REUTER's picture of Vice President Cheney with the word "RETIRE" shown above.
I think that, unfortunately, this is the battlefield on which the war will be won or lost, not in the islamic press! And I am sad to say that at this moment it does not look like victory is in sight for my side....:(

3/11/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

luc,

Not to worry. We're just starting our trip down the river.

3/11/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

PeterBoston notes:

The information war isn't with the explode-a-dopes. It's with the editors of the NYT, Jay Bennish and his MSM enablers, the ACLU, and hundreds of other points of darkness...

I have to agree with you on that. Most left-wing journalists and lawyers make their living on "points of darkness." It's a sad statement - but true.

3/12/2006 01:59:00 AM  
Blogger SeekerBlog.com said...

Ash offers a "no regrets policy". Speeding up the "democracy clock" is a good thing, regardless of the speed of the nuclear clock. So there's a clear opportunity for real leadership - leading the people to engage the corresponding levels of Iranian society. Ash cautions against putting all focus on the nuclear clock. Agreed - let's not do the inverse - meanwhile there are at least three issues hampering this strategy:

[1] First, there is motivation. Iran is not part of Europe, and thus is really of no interest to the Brussels mob, nor is it a priority for the average old-European on the street. However, Iran is a market - by far the primary EU interest in Iran continues to be as a customer - including military and nuclear technology [recall EU military sales to China].

[2] The second problem is illustrated by Wretchard - the nominated "information warriors" have their weapons pointed the other way - the academy, media, Hollywood -- are largely hostile to the War on Terror itself. Richard describes the reality in America today - but doesn't this apply equally to the corresponding European organs?

[3] The third problem is urgency. Can you envision the initiation of European and American bottom-up Iranpolitik in less than a decade? And perhaps another Iranian generation or two before these new relationships lead to kicking the mullahs out?

So, yes, let's put some energy into Iranpolitik. But a far higher priority should be given to forging a solid, joint hard-line position by all of Iran's western trading powers. "Prove termination of your nuclear weapons program - then you'll have not only trade, but assistance, and a security alliance." I see the security alliance as a powerful lever on Iran's internal politics as well. That leaves few arguments for the mullahs to justify their stranglehold on the country.

3/12/2006 09:12:00 PM  

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