Friday, April 15, 2005
U.S. Military Don't Do Propaganda
Edward Harris wrote a story called "U.S. Troops Engage in War of Words in Iraq" for the Associated Press about the "war of words in Iraq, where U.S. troops patrolling the northern city of Mosul constantly inspect handbills and graffiti on sun-scorched walls, searching for insurgent messages that they counter with their own psychological operations — or "psy-ops.""
But according to this story, the U.S. military don't do propaganda.
""It's a fine line, but propaganda is more based on untruth," says Capt. Corbin England, 34, of Puyallup, Wash., who helps coordinate the U.S. military's coercive efforts in Mosul."
Nope. Captain. No fine line.
Propaganda is defined as "the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: wartime propaganda" (dictionary.com).
It doesn't matter if it's true or not; still propaganda if it's being disseminated by a government.
But at least the troops are only disseminating propaganda based on truth.
Or are they?
From the same A.P. story: "A booklet distributed by the Americans recounts the tale of a young boy, Ahmed Hussein, who finds a magic ring and has premonitions of an unexploded mortar round on a soccer field. He tells police of his vision before his brother Ali, about to step onto the field, can be hurt by the ordnance."
Unless I'm mistaken, "magic rings" that work do not exist in the real world. But there's always the chance that Haliburton's been given a multi-billion dollar secret contract by Cheney and Co. to manufacture "magic rings" so I could be wrong.
It's still propaganda, though. "Magic rings" or no "magic rings" "journalists" like Edward Harris should know better than to allow unreality-based denials to run unanswered in their articles.
Mr. Harris doesn't counter this "propaganda" about propaganda so that makes him just as much of a propagandist.