Steve Hammons: Mind Wars
- Mind wars: Americans, global community are targets of deception on
Iraq, threats to peace
September 29, 2006 -- The people of Iraq, the Middle East, Europe, and
around the world may have something very important in common with
According to some published reports, we have all been the targets of
deceptive information operations and psychological operations by
elements in the current U.S. administration and certain groups
associated with it.
The latest indication of attempts to improve the "public relations"
about the current administration, and the invasion and occupation of
Iraq, is that yet another multimillion-dollar PR effort has been
funded and launched.
This program includes the use of The Lincoln Group, according to news
reports published Sept. 26. The Lincoln Group has been one of many
contractors that have come under scrutiny for earning huge profits
while providing questionable services.
In late August, news accounts described a new $20 million program to
monitor media reports in not only the Middle East, but also within the
U.S. This program is probably only a fraction of taxpayer money spent
on these kinds of activities at home and overseas.
Whether implemented by private contractors or military and
intelligence professionals, the usefulness of information operations
and effective communications is not the issue.
Appropriate efforts of these kinds can be very helpful in
accomplishing legitimate goals as well as creating goodwill and
effective public diplomacy for the U.S. and Americans.
These kinds of activities can also benefit the entire international
community and the human race, if used in an honest and ethical way and
for worthwhile goals.
Like military force, information operations and effective
communications can be used for positive purposes, or for goals that
are not necessarily worthwhile or morally good.
PUBLIC RELATIONS AND DECEPTION
What appears to have severely damaged the credibility of the current
U.S. administration at home and globally is that many or most of their
information operations seem to have been deceptive and have presented
inaccurate and untrue information.
Inaccurate intelligence and psychological manipulation have reportedly
been components of planned efforts to justify the invasion and
occupation of Iraq as well as other domestic and foreign policy
This is part of what concerns and angers Americans and people around
And this is part of what has so damaged the reputation and honor of
the U.S. and the American people in the eyes of the world, and in our
Propaganda and false information from the current administration seem
to have begun during the time frame of the 9/11 attacks. Then, the
well-documented "cherry-picking" of often inaccurate intelligence and
outright lies were put forth to justify the invasion and occupation of
The untruths and half-truths from the administration seem to have
continued to the present day.
This apparently has become obvious to most Americans and most people
around the world, according to many national and international polling
In a previous information operation program implemented by The Lincoln
Group in Iraq, news and opinion articles were planted in Iraqi
newspapers. The articles, which were represented as being written by
Iraqi journalists, were actually created by U.S. military information
The new contract for The Lincoln Group will reportedly monitor media
outlets, both English and Arabic-speaking. They will also create
speeches, talking points and similar communications products for U.S.
military operations in Iraq.
What is of interest to many Americans is that the same kind of
information and psychological operations used in Iraq and in target
populations around the globe have also been implemented within the
U.S., targeting American citizens.
Reports surfaced over the last couple of years about American media
personalities and others being covertly paid significant sums of money
by the current administration while writing articles and creating
media presentations that favored administration goals.
Every day we see certain TV networks and publications attempting to
convince Americans and others around the world that administration
actions have been and are appropriate, intelligent and morally correct.
These efforts include trying to convince us that the invasion and
occupation of Iraq was a good idea, and that staying on the same path
is an equally good plan.
They tell us that suspending the Geneva Conventions is appropriate and
that actions that were previously universally considered war crimes
should now be practiced by U.S. military and intelligence professionals.
We are told that the precious Constitutional rights, legal rights and
human rights Americans have fought and died for are now to be modified
or suspended indefinitely.
As polls seem to indicate, many Americans don't believe them.
But with hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to spend on
spin and propaganda, these persuasion and manipulation efforts have a
measure of success with some people.
However, despite what some elitists, media talking heads and
Washington think tank propagandists think, most of the American people
are not that stupid.
Deceptions by the administration and their associates have repeatedly
been uncovered by brave patriots in the military, the intelligence
community, defense-related businesses, the media, from within the
administration itself and elsewhere.
At this point in time, it is probably reasonable to conclude that no
amount of public relations gimmicks, information operations or
psychological operations can persuade the majority of Americans and
people around the world to fully support the administration or their
"stay the course" plan for Iraq.
An attack on Iran by the current administration would likewise
probably not be supported by the majority of Americans.
The perceptions of millions of intelligent people at home and abroad
seem to be that people in the current U.S. administration do not tell
the truth, cannot be trusted, are dangerous to world peace and have
seriously damaged the honor of the American people and our nation.
This is why we should all remember that the American people and the
current U.S. administration are not the same things.
Americans know this. Most of our friends and even our current
adversaries around the world also know it.
And as the eyes of the international community are upon us in coming
days, Americans may prove that we still retain our honor, human
decency, liberty and moral integrity as well as our strength.
We may show the global community, and ourselves, that Americans can
regain an intelligent and beneficial direction as a society and
nation, admit and correct our mistakes, ensure that justice prevails
and work with the rest of the human race to create a better world for
our children and grandchildren.
WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE
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