Friday, December 02, 2005

US Propaganda Incompetence.

These two pieces of news are more fun to read next to each other:

The Iraqi security forces, as I mentioned, are making solid progress, and that's a big deal. The country is -- has a free media, and they can -- it's a relief valve. They could have hundred-plus papers. There's 72 radio stations. There's 44 television stations. And they're debating things and talking and arguing and discussing.

  • Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported this:

The U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.

While propaganda has been taking place on 'both' sides, there is a major difference, as the LA Times reminds us:

The military's effort to disseminate propaganda in the Iraqi media is taking place even as U.S. officials are pledging to promote democratic principles, political transparency and freedom of speech in a country emerging from decades of dictatorship and corruption.

The other funny thing is that the binary good-v-evil philosophy of the Bush Administration seems to have adapted quite well to “real-politik”:

"Absolute truth was not an essential element of these stories," said the senior military official who spent this year in Iraq.

The worst part is that this administration keeps getting caught in their own lies and contradictions. They’re just as incompetent in their propaganda as they are in everything else. I'm not naive enough to think that politicians and military are going to tell us the truth, but I'd expect them to lie and propagade false information well at least, and be subtle and smart about it. It is the lying but the incompetence that is the scariest part of the whole business.

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