Exporting U.S. PSYOP that Fools No One

U.S. military psychological operations (PSYOP) campaigns continue in Iraq, though many question their effectiveness. "They have a very crude tone and content, and the narrator sounds like Saddam's own propagandist," said political science professor As'ad AbuKhalil. "The Arabic used also is awkward, clearly translated from English texts most likely drafted in some office on K Street." An Iraqi lawyer criticized the money spent on PSYOP: "If those funds had been given to the poor and the widows, Iraq would have been a pioneer in social welfare. Millions of dollars go into the pockets of war profiteers who believe victory in Iraq can be won through the media using underground movies." The head of Iraq's Journalistic Freedom Observatory dismissed the PSYOP newspaper "Baghdad Now," which the U.S. military has published and distributed since at least 2004, saying, "Nobody reads this." Yet "Richard C. Holbrooke, President Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, recently told lawmakers that the administration is working on a strategic communications plan for that region that draws on the lessons of Iraq," reports the Washington Post. "Electronic media, telecom and radio" should be used "to counter the propaganda that is key to the insurgency's terror campaign," Holbrooke said.