Information Warfare: Making Sure No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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December 2, 2005: Islamic radicals, and their supporters in the media, are waiting for an opportunity to avoid a PR disaster in earthquake ravaged northern Pakistan. Over three million people were made homeless by the disaster, and over 100,000 were seriously injured. Nearly 80,000 died. For Islamic radicals, the real nightmare began after the quakes, when they not only found many of their terrorist training camps wrecked, but the area was flooded with infidel (non-Moslem) relief workers. At first, the Islamic radicals tried to cajole, then threaten locals to refuse help from the infidels. But the locals were desperate, and the infidels had much more assistance available than the more acceptable (to the armed and increasingly dismayed, Islamic radicals) Islamic charities.

This is all a replay of what happened earlier in 2005, when the earthquake off Indonesia, and tidal waves generated by it, killed over 100,000 people in western Indonesia's Aceh province. This was a place long noted for Islamic conservatism. But most of the aid that showed up was from infidels. Even the U.S. Navy soon arrived, with supplies and huge helicopters. The Islamic radicals in Aceh took a beating in the PR department. Years of painting foreign infidels as devils, gone in a few weeks.

But in Pakistan, the Islamic radicals see some hope in the coming Winter. Aceh was in the tropics, northern Pakistan is in the highest mountains in the world, with brutal Winters. The homeless are in danger of dying in large numbers from cold, hunger and disease. With a little cooperation from the media, this disaster can be blamed on the Western relief effort. One can get away with insisting that if the Western relief organizations had "done more," then people in northern Pakistan would not be dying in large numbers from the cold weather. This is the kind of story that media will jump on after a disaster anywhere, so there's no reason why it won't work in northern Pakistan. In the Moslem media, an additional, religious, angle will be used, accusing the Western countries of intentionally screwing up the relief effort in order to kill Moslems. Naturally, some of the Western media will try to counter this, pointing out the large number of Western relief workers in the area and the extent of their relief operations. The Pakistani government will be under much pressure to agree with the Moslem media, even though the senior people know full well the extent of the Western relief operations and realize that without it, many more Pakistanis would have died. In Pakistan itself, the media spends most of its time bashing the Pakistani government for not doing enough, but the international Moslem media will play that down, so as not to make all Moslem governments look bad.

The Islamic radicals will be making a maximum effort to turn around their fortunes. However, in northern Pakistan, the people will know the truth, that the Western relief efforts are saving lives. But some people can be found, that journalists got to, but relief efforts did not, who will provide eyewitness reports of the crimes being committed by the false Western relief efforts in northern Pakistan, and the damage being done to desperate Moslem victims of the earthquake. The local Islamic radicals will embrace this version of events, and insist that "all good Moslems" do so as well. If this works, it will be an other example of "no good deed goes unpunished", and the reasons why.

 


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