Information Warfare: Why Iranian Media Dumps On U.S. Troops

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November19, 2006: Iran has been running a propaganda campaign inside the country for over a year now, to convince people that war with the United States would result in a great victory. All foreigners see are the numerous, highly publicized, military exercises that have been staged lately. These include well photographed missile launches and numerous firepower demonstrations. All this is mainly for internal consumption, along with a massive, and ongoing, campaign of interviews, radio and television shows touting the power of the Iranian armed forces. The government wants to reassure people that the Iranian military is mighty, and can even handle the Americans. Iranian military officials, however, go out of their way to denigrate American troops, and their performance in Iraq. This is considered very important, because Iranian military commanders, and Iranians in general, were shocked by the speed and ferocity of the American 2003 march on Baghdad. Iran tired to take Saddam down in the 1980s, and after eight years and over half a million casualties, had to call it quits. This was humiliating for Iranians, who have been the big dog, militarily, in the region for thousands of years.

The government has tried to recast the American soldiers as wimps because of all the violence in Iraq since 2003. This has not been easy. Most Iranians know exactly what the Americans did, and are doing, in Iraq. The violence there is largely the work of Saddam's followers, who refuse to give up, out of fear of retribution of the Kurds and Shia Arabs. The Americans saw to it that elections were held, and the Shia majority now runs the Iraqi government. For most Iranians, the anti-American spin from their government is not very convincing. But the government persists, because they cannot forget the popular talk among Iranians, after Baghdad fell, about whether the American soldiers would come liberate Iran as well.

Iranians are less concerned with all the government hype about all those wonderful, Iranian built, weapons. Those that believe, believe, but many Iranians have figured out that the government weapons industry is a scam. It's another hustle by the clerics to steal money, and cover their tracks with phony stats and outrageous claims.

Of some concern to the United States are the Iranian claims that they can mess with American satellites. Iranians have already done this, from their Cuban embassy, in an effort to interfere with Iranian-language television shows, produced in the United States by exiled Iranians. It doesn't require high-tech electronic skills to interfere with communications satellites. Electronic hobbyists have been doing it for years. But it shows that the Iranians possess at least that level of skill, and are willing to use it.

 


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