Sunday, March 19, 2006
# Posted 10:30 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
The terrorists seem to recognize that they are losing in Iraq. I believe that history will show that to be the case."Blogs on Web sites?" As opposed to blogs not on websites?
Anyhow, since today's op-ed is supposed to represent Rumsfeld's thoughts on the first three years of the war in Iraq, one ought to consider some of his other points in greater detail:
In each of [Iraq's] elections, the number of voters participating has increased significantly -- from 8.5 million in the January 2005 election to nearly 12 million in the December election -- in defiance of terrorists' threats and attacks.That's certainly a point the critics often avoid, but the elections still haven't produced a government.
Despite the [terrorists'] acts of violence and provocation, the vast majority of Iraqis have shown that they want their country to remain whole and free of ethnic conflict.I'm not so sure. Strangely enough, it is the Sunnis who seem most committed to Iraq remaining whole. As for "free of ethnic conflict", just imagine if American forces left Iraq tomorrow.
Iraqi security forces have a greater ability than coalition troops to detect a foreign terrorist's accent, identify local suspects and use force without increasing a feeling of occupation.Things are going right in some units, but Iraq is a long way from having non-sectarian armed forces. For Sunnis, an army of Shi'ites may well be an army of occupation.
Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis.No comment.
What we need to understand is that the vast majority of the Iraqi people want the coalition to succeed.Success is often a matter of definition. The Shi'ites and Kurds certainly want us to crush the insurgency, but it's an open question as to how much of our vision of a true, multi-ethnic democracy they share.
So, all in all, how should one evaluate this essay? Well, in the military, there is a category of activity known as "information operations", or IO. Its purpose is to defuse an adversary's propaganda and shape public opinion.
By itself, this essay might be persuasive. Yet on the very same op-ed page, there is an essay entitled Bleakness in Baghdad by George Will.
The success of information operations depends on context. Very rarely does any target population rely on the Pentagon for its facts and opinions. Instead, target populations turn to those who have greater credibility as independent arbiters of political debate.
The success of IOs also depends on credibility. No matter how right you are, it may very hard for your arguments to get heard before an audience trusts you. (3) opinions -- Add your opinion
Information Operations - such a simple term. The ability to get a truthfull message out without compromising ongoing operations.
Their is a full blown grown propoganda effort being aided by most of thbe organs of the free press. Unfortunately, the effort is not in support of the coalition but against it.
The coalition IO is made more difficult because any effort is derided as propoganda by the very people that spew forth the enemy line at every breath, the MSM and opposition political parties.
No corroboration required for any negative information. Print or publish then possibly retract. The Koran in the toilet seat is the most simplistic example.
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