February 24, 2003


Firing Leaflets and Electrons, U.S. Wages Information War: The U.S. military is using an arsenal of electronic and psychological weapons to break the Iraqi military's will to fight and sway Iraqi public opinion. (THOM SHANKER and ERIC SCHMITT, 2/24/03, NY Times)
As of last week, more than eight million leaflets had been dropped over Iraq — including towns 65 miles south of Baghdad — warning Iraqi antiaircraft missile operators that their bunkers will be destroyed if they track or fire at allied warplanes. In the same way, a blunt offer has gone to Iraqi ground troops: surrender, and live.

But the leaflets are old-fashioned instruments compared with some of the others that are being applied already or are likely to be used soon.

Radio transmitters hauled aloft by Air Force Special Operations EC-130E planes are broadcasting directly to the Iraqi public in Arabic with programs that mimic the program styles of local radio stations and are more sophisticated than the clumsy preachings of previous wartime propaganda efforts.

"Do not let Saddam tarnish the reputation of soldiers any longer," one recent broadcast said. "Saddam uses the military to persecute those who don't agree with his unjust agenda. Make the decision."

Military planners at the United States Central Command expect to rely on many kinds of information warfare — including electronic attacks on power grids, communications systems and computer networks, as well as deception and psychological operations — to break the Iraqi military's will to fight and sway Iraqi public opinion.

It's great fun listening to doves who think they can still stop the war and hawks who think it's up to them to stiffen W's backbone, even as the operation proceeds as planned. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2003 10:13 AM

Good point re the hawks

The past day or so the blogosphere has been full of hawks, who, now seeing war start dates in mid to late March rather than the no-moon date of the 1st, are screaming that Bush is going soft again and really isn't going to do anything.

Posted by: AWW at February 24, 2003 2:25 PM


Then when the attacks are announced you'll get the obligatory round of back-patting as they declare that they forced him to act.

Posted by: oj at February 24, 2003 3:29 PM

OJ - Agreed. We've talked about this before.

Besides, what are these people going to do - not vote for Bush because the war started in March (assuming it does) rather than December or January? What they'll probably do is begin to criticize Bush for delaying on the next target (N. Korea, Syria, Saudia Arabia, France)

Posted by: AWW at February 24, 2003 3:53 PM

Well, one can only hope that eventually Bush will get tired of being kicked around by the corrupt leader of a third rate European nation of has-beens. But why is all of this necessary ? Yet another round of demonization of the US. Yet another charade of disgusting grandstanding on the part of those three morally bankrupt veto powers. Yet another opportunity for unwashed idiots and loons to parade through the streets defending Saddam's right to commit genocide. I'm sick of it. Get it over with, please.

Posted by: Peter at February 25, 2003 9:04 AM