Propaganda war off targets

By Noble Johns

Atlanta (BNW) — America is trying to convince the Islamic world that it is the good guy, and Osama bin Laden is the face of evil, but our country is being hypocritical about it so-called “good guy” done wrong status in the world and everyone knows it. As is its instinct, the U.S. propaganda is self serving and is fraught with lies and untruths. Acting like this is a great humanitartian country that has never done any harm to anybody, but that's a lie! America has never answered for the crimes it has done and is doing to Native Black America, not even apologizing for slavery.

What if God is finally paying this country back for the terror is has done to Black Americans for over four hundred years? While some Blacks may be stupid enough to forgive America for what it has done to us over the years, All Mighty God will never forgive America, and this maybe payback for slavery.

I don't hear anyone talking about that while our national is in a time of mourning.

Now, they are spreading lies around the world about how that are trying to help the Afghan people while claiming to be feeding them while bombing them beyond the stone age. Take it from me, these people are liars because they constantly lie about the mistreatment of Blacks in this country while making the world think the we are the problem.

"We're working to make clear to the Afghan people that we support them, and we're working to free them from the Taliban and their foreign terrorist allies," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday, October 15.

One leaflet features a Western soldier shaking hands with an Afghan civilian.

The Afghan people are getting the propaganda now from the the American government, and they ain’t buying it either. Afghanistan, Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi can only shake his head when he sees or reads news accounts about efforts to win the hearts and minds of Afghans with leaflets and meals dropped from the skies.

The effort may be heartfelt as U.S. and British forces take the fight against terrorism to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, said Ghamari, an assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University who specializes in Islamic society.

He fears, though, that the leaflets and meals may not score as many direct hits as the coalition's missiles and bombs.

"First, the great majority of people cannot read those leaflets," Ghamari said Sunday. "It also has created sort of a schizophrenic feeling on the ground -- dropping the bombs, then dropping the leaflets and meals."
For more than a week, the U.S.-led effort has augmented its assaults against mortar and brick emplacements with a war for Afghans' allegiance.

"The partnership of nations is here to assist the people of Afghanistan," the leaflet reads. Another leaflet lists the frequencies and times in which Afghans can tune in to U.S. broadcasts produced from aircraft flying in the region.

The plastic-wrapped meals consist primarily of grain and vegetable items. They contain no pork or other meats or additives that might be considered offensive to Muslims, Pentagon officials said.

By mid-October, planes had dropped more than 275,000 packets of food rations, Rumsfeld said.
But the leaflets and food may be insufficient without a thorough understanding of the culture at which they are aimed, according to an article in New Scientist, a British weekly magazine, in its October 10 issue.

In an article titled "Psychological warfare waged in Afghanistan," writer Emma Young noted that psychological operations -- PsyOps, in military parlance -- could backfire, sometimes spectacularly.

Young cited, for example, attempts by Iraq's Saddam Hussein to demoralize U.S. troops during the 1991 Gulf War. While they were away fighting, Iraqi broadcasts warned, movie stars like Bart Simpson were seducing the troops' sweethearts.

Culture clashes

Allied forces' PsyOps efforts could fail because they are similarly ignorant, said Ghamari, a native Iranian who immigrated to the United States in 1985.

For example, he said, conservative Muslims are periodically offended by Western values -- Saudi Arabian shopping malls, filled with goods from the West, have inflamed anti-American sentiment in that country and elsewhere in the Middle East, he said.

Confounding U.S. efforts are images that Afghans may have trouble forgetting.

Al Jazeera, the Arabic-language television network, has released video that shows Afghans picking through rubble of what used to be their homes -- the sort of pictures that may make the United States appear less benevolent than its leaflets proclaim.

Other pictures show Afghan refugees fleeing toward the Pakistan border, running the risk of inadvertent bombing or getting caught in mountain passes that soon will be freezing.

Sources in Afghanistan have told reporters that such images may do more to put the United States in trouble with the Islamic world than leaflets or meals can rectify.

A more resilient opponent may be upbringing. Children who are taught enmity toward a common foe do not soon forget their lessons, as underscored by recurring acts of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Children raised in extremist households who have been taught that America is Satan, that Israel is a usurper, are hard to win over. Leaflets dropped by U.S. planes say, "The partnership of nations is here to help."  

Talking with the young son of a man who ended his life in a suicide bombing aimed at Israelis, Boettcher asked the child if he wanted to follow his father's example. "Yes," the child answered without a pause.

Why? "To kill our Zionist enemies, and to drive him out of our land," the youngster answered.
History cannot quickly be changed, Ghamari suggested. Efforts to win over Afghans will take time, and will involve reaching out to moderate Afghans who can set an example for the rest of the nation.

The military "needs to be more in touch with the local intellectuals and local media," he said. "Unfortunately, they never do that."

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