How Much of 'News' is Psy-War and Propaganda?

M. Junaid Alam redjaguar at
Sun Mar 23 09:05:07 MST 2003

I remember the opening briefing after Shock and Awe, Rumsfeld was
ridiculing some Iraqi minister for saying that Al-Faw Peninsula wasn't
captured, when in fact, he said, it was. 48 Hours later, there was still
skirmishes and fighting around the port of Um-Qasr in the area. So that
was a lie.

All news media and ex-generals were gloating over the 'swift advance'
and speed with which American armor was rolling through the desert. But
the forces are totally avoiding any major cities and are bypassing them.
How do you capture a country without taking over its cities? They are so
afraid of casualties or that they will not be warmly greeted that they
will not enter Basra, where apparently the Iraqi army has switched to
guerrilla tactics.

For all the talk of regime cracks, mass surrenders, and leadership
breakdown, only 2 out of the existing 20-30 Iraqi divisions surrendered,
plus a few hundred extra. Notable resistance has been met at at least 3
key areas so far, and this from the ill-equipped conscripts.

For two days it was said that the 51st Iraqi division capitulated. Today
Marine commanders are saying they "fought and defeated" elements of this
division in battle.

The speculation on Saddam's fate is endless. If this is a regime which
depended upon one man, one would expect that if he is dead or wounded,
it would have fallen apart even if there wasn't a war going on. Moreover
if he was hit, how could the forty bombs that fell around him not have
taken out the entire Iraqi leadership that was with him as well? First
the Americans denied that it was him on the latest video, now they say
that it was taped beforehand. Adding to this is the commentary that he
looks shaken. But why would he look shaken if he tape himself

A lot of the news just seems like psychological warfare, well-rehearsed
and reiterated, as if Iraqi high command is watching TV and needs

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