Monthly Archives: August 2007

Calling a Spade A Spade

Suek, on a comment at SotC — Disinformation Practical Exercise, shares with us The Big Picture(s) from Karl at Protein Wisdom.  Good comments make a weak blog stronger.  Thanks, Sue.

The Big Picture(s) is long and link rich.  Book mark it and come back when you have some spare time and spare brain cells.  I’m still trying to digest it myself, but when I do I’ll gin up something to say.  But don’t wait on me. 

I am generally loathe to attribute to malice that which may be explained by incompetence, but it is possibile that both influence the coverage of Iraq.   — Karl

Malice, Bush Derangement Syndrome, Political Correctness/Cultural Marxism, white liberal guilt, a propensity to Blame America First, abyssmal ignorance of all things military, and compatible short-term objectives make the English-language Main Stream Media aiders, comforters, accomplices, and promulgators of the enemy’s Strategic Communications.  I do not share Karl’s hesitation.  A spade is a spade. 

See also Protein Wisdom Hits The Bullseye from Subsunk at Blackfive.

Don’t miss More Big Picturingthose who engage in intentional misrepresenting of facts in the service of an agenda are engaging in behavior that can best be described as collusive. And taken together, these individual actors — having been stamped out of the same ideological molds by schools of journalism — form a kind of de facto conspiracy, one that I’m sure they are dimly aware of, though they would prefer we called what they were engaged in advocacy.

if the press doesn’t understand the dynamic on the ground, why are they so committed to pushing a particular version, one that happens to favor the propaganda efforts of al Qaeda?

All one has to do is read the transcript of bin Laden’s most recent ramblings to find that both Democrats and Osama are “singing from the same sheet of music.”

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Filed under Idea War, Morale Operations

Gen. Petraeus’ Pivotal Report

Perhaps we are entering new historical terrain, where the commanding general’s pivotal strategic gambit is a media event.

Petraeus’ pivotal moment is the rare opportunity to correct what media analysts call “the dominant narrative.”

Go over to Strategy Page and read the whole thing.

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Filed under Old Media

SotC — Disinformation Practical Exercise

Read The Haditha Series by Robin Boyd at Chickenhawk Express.   Read all three parts of this series, then channel your rage into constructive deconstruction of left/liberal/tranzie drive by media.


Filed under PSYOP Auxiliaries

School of the Counterpropagandist — Opposing Information

Opposing information is intentional or unintentional truth based on information coming from anyone that represents an opposing view based upon factual evidence.

The enemy is not required to tell the truth.  They only use it when it serves their purpose.  Bad things happen in war.  Even some of the Good Guys do the wrong thing sometimes.  Even the right thing can be described negatively.  The truth cannot be refuted.  It can only be explained.  This is where context becomes critical.  As irregulars, few of us will be in positions enabling us to explain the event presented as opposing information, but we will be able to question the agenda and ulterior motives of the source of the opposing information, keep records on the accuracy of that source in the past, and analyze who benefits from the dissemination of the opposing information.  We can remain sceptical until the information proves to be true, then we can disseminate the explanation provided by the regulars.  A few of us may be able to add context to the explanation that the rest of us can spread around our individual circles of influence.

In the war for the battle space between the ears of the American voter, opposing information must be met with even more information.  The response to free speech with which you disagree is more free speech.  The counter to pessimism is optimism.  True bad news degrades optimism, as it should, but context in explaining the bad news can mitigate some of that pessimism.   There are a whole lot of people working very hard to convince you that the war is lost.  It is up to you whether to be convinced or not.

Homework:  Read How Al Qaeda is Winning Even as it is Losing


Filed under PSYOP Auxiliaries

Adios, Al Taqaddum

I’m going to the house. 

I will miss TQ.  Hard to explain why.  It can be an aggravating place.  Beautiful sunrises, though.  I am thinking seriously of moving out West.  The desert agrees with me.

It was my honor to live and work alongside some fine Marines.  I am a better man for it. 

I haven’t blogged much about TQ.  Maybe I will start.  Others have done a better job of describing this place than I could.  OPSEC means I haven’t identified people I work with, or where I work, or what I do.  This blog was never meant to be all about me, or my travels.

For me, the war is not over.  I am just redeploying from the Iraq Theater of Operations to the Zone of the Interior.

School of the Counterpropagandist will start back up when I get home.

I wrote the above last night in Kuwait.  This is what I wrote yesterday:

 I am sitting in the waiting shed at the TQ Joint Air Cargo Operations Terminal, typing this on Cannonette’s laptop that I brought back with me.  I have been here many times before.  They have some new blue seats in here, now.  Big improvement over metal folding chairs.  Last time I flew out of here I hung out with J.D. Johannes of Outside The Wire and Gene Blanton of The Fourth Rail.  I was stuck here for hours with them and never said a word, because I didn’t know who they were.  I finally recognized Gene on the C-130, but by then conversation had to be shouted over the engine noise.  A picture of him at a feasting on goat  clicked in my brain and I nudged his knee and hollered “Don’t you write for the Fourth Rail?”  He smiled and nodded.  We three conversed down at Ali Al Salem while we waited for our baggage pallet to show up.  Good guys, both of them.

Lots of citizen journalist New Media embeds on the way out.  That’s good.  Send money.  Money talks.  Comments on blogs are cheap.  Sending embeds out here isn’t.

In a few hours there will be one less blogger in Al Anbar.  I haven’t really blogged that much about my personal experiences out here.  I haven’t discussed my job, or the people I work with, or the things I’ve seen.  That was never the purpose of this blog.  It wasn’t supposed to be all about me.  My contribution to the war effort has been honorable, and I am proud to have been accepted by some fine Marines, but I just don’t have the war stories some people do.  I haven’t suffered the hardships, seen the horrendous sights, watched buddies die.  I’ve been rocketed and mortared.  Indirect fire and ambushed convoys which reduce the variety of fodder in the DFAC are about the only things the bad guys have ever done to me.  The bad guys have always been a minor irritant to me, safely ensconced behind the wire, surrounded by Hesco bastions and blast walls.  The enemy rarely manages to annoy me nearly as much as the friendlies.  Too many people standing in line waiting for too few of whatever it is we are patiently waiting our turn at.   Met some truly outstanding young Americans standing in lines.  So many Americans just have no concept of the high quality humans serving in the military.  It has been my honor to be alongside them.I’m moving back in with Cannonette.  I want to come home to her every night.

UPDATE:  I’m back in the world.  The lovely and talented Cannonette welcomed me in our traditional fashion and now she is asleep behind me.  Should have another lesson of the School of the Counterpropagandist up by Tuesday. 


Filed under About

Lesson No. 3 in the School of the Counterprogandist

Misinformation is inaccurate information.  When the inaccuracy is pointed out to the source, the source usually runs a correction, which will never be seen by 90% of the people who saw the original incorrect piece.  It is usually assumed that the inaccuracy is caused by ignorance and not willful disregard of known facts.  Misinformation about military affairs is extremely common nowadays.  Very few “journalists” and even fewer editors know jack about the military.  Way too many of them carry around in their heads a negative narrative of the U.S. Armed Forces, the same template Beauchamp was appealing to with his hoax.  Embedded journalists usually wise up pretty quick, but there just aren’t that many from the MSM.  “Citizens of the world” who consider “objectivity” more important than getting the story right prefer to stay in the Palestine Hotel and re-write the emails they get from their “stringers,” who feed the ignorant want they want to hear.  Now when the stringers are working for the bad guys, that’s disinformation.  When the stringers aren’t working for the bad guys and the “journalist” re-writes the story and gets it wrong either out of ignorance or ideological prejudice, that’s misinformation.

Anybody remember when CNN claimed Special Forces used poison gas in Laos during the Vietnam War?   Was that an intentional effort to muddy the waters over Saddam’s weapons of mass distruction?  What that story did was create a big stink, monopolize a lot of good people’s time who should have been working on other things, and cost the tax payers for investigations.  Was that all unintentional?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  On purpose or by accident, the ability of elements of our government and our military to deal with more pressing issues was degraded. 

Misinformation may be the propaganda most vulnerable to  Irregular counterpropagandists.  If enough of us are on the look out for it, chances improve of  one of us picking up on it and throwing the BS flag, recognizing the inaccuracy, bringing attention to the inaccuracy, and aiding the Good Guys to acquire the target and debunk it with opposing facts.  Dan Rather doesn’t do the SeeBS Nightly News any more.  That kind of operation is what I’m talking about.  Lots of smart people online.  Every “journalist” should know by now that somebody in his readership knows more about what he writes about than he does.  The Regulars often choose to ignore misinformation, because the work of debunking it may not be worth the effort.   It is time-intensive, resource-intensive, and in the end the Regulars are betting their credibility against whoever is putting out inaccurate info.  It can turn into a Death By A Thousand Cuts.  But the blogosphere doesn’t suffer from the same limitations.    There are a lot of us, so our time-restraints are different.  We are volunteers, so the resources come out of our hides.  Most of us won’t be able to pick up on the inaccuracy until it is pointed out to us, but once we become aware of it we can get smart on it and spread it around.  Blog about it, link to it, ping it, email it, talk about it, comment on the vector’s website, and generally raise enough Hell to make them run a correction this time and fact check better next time.  


Filed under PSYOP Auxiliaries

Well Here I Go Again

Today was another one of my SCARY days.  Cannoneer’s  FOB was in the news.  5 people were killed when a helo went down.  I know this sound so very crude and unrefined, But DAMN!!! I almost messed my panties today.  I had just got home from helping my girlfriend at her store, came in dropped my purse on our bed and was changing into my Jammies, I hate to wear un-comfy clothes at home.  As I was pulling my jeans off an Alert came across Fox News ( I leave it on all day so I can keep up with what’s going on) as I fell to the floor I tried very hard to keep my wits about me so I could hear what was being said.   After hearing what was on I went to the computer to see if I could get anymore info… Nothing was there, No E mail from Cannoneer  or any info about the FOB.  So here I sit at the computer waiting to hear from him.  I am pretty sure the phones and computers are cut off and he’ll call me when he can.  I know in my heart he’s fine and I’m not freaking out as bad as I usually do?  Does that mean I’m getting use to all this?  I feel so scared most of the time for the safety of my Boys, The other Boys are safe in the rear for now but what can I do other than pray for everyones saftey.  I have yet to hear from Cannoneer, I feel he’s alright, I would feel a disturbance in the Force if he wasn’t,  but still there is a nasty little voice in my head telling me all the things that could go wrong over there.

I know there are other people out there going through this too.  I pray for all of you and all our families who are doing what they feel is the right thing to do. And today 5 families lost someone they care about dearly so lets all say a prayer for them.


Update:  I’ve heard from Cannoneer today and he’s fine and doing well!

Thanks  your prayers and well wishes!

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Filed under About

School of the Counterpropagandist — Terminology

Before we can walk the walk we got to learn to talk the talk.

What is propaganda? Google the word and spend the next week reading all the definitions. I wish I had that kind of time. For our purposes propaganda is the spreading of ideas, information, facts, allegations or rumors for the purpose of injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. There are plenty of other definitions, but this is my blog and my class so this is the one we’ll go with. We can discuss other definitions later. The institution. being injured that most concerns me is the nation-state known as te United States of America. The cause being injured is the Global War On Terrorism. The persons being injured who need our help the most are the Commander-in-Chief and Commanding General, Multi-National Force Iraq.

White propaganda — true and we know who sent it.

Gray propaganda — we’re not sure of the source and we’re not sure it is true.

Black propaganda — the source claimed is not the real source, and we’re sure it is lies, fabrication and deceptions.

Disinformation is information disseminated primarily by the enemy’s strategic communication apparatus designed to distort information and deceive or influence the decisions of the American people, American politicians, American commanders, allies, and key individuals via indirect or unconventional means. The Soviet’s blamed the creation of AIDS on the United States to discredit the U.S. and disrupt the movement of U.S. naval forces. They got the MSM to to print stories that AIDS was invented in an American biowar lab, and when the stories appeared in enough papers the U.S. Navy was persona non grata in foreign ports. The Soviets forced extensive AIDS testing of all U.S. military personnel before deployments, which cost us a lot of money, time and flexibility.

The enemy plants the story in sympathetic media.  It gains traction and gets picked up by other media.  Eventually the friendlies have to recognize the attack and respond, but the lie has spread around the world by the time the truth has got it’s boots on.  The conduit for disinformation is sympathetic media.  More on how to break U. S. -based sympathetic media of their bad habits later.

Read Information Warfare 101 by Douglas Hanson

 Next lesson:  Misinformation


Filed under PSYOP Auxiliaries

School of the Counterpropagandist

Distance learning for civilian irregular PSYOP auxiliaries and virtual information militia.

America is not at war.  The Marine Corps is at war.  America is at the mall.

Contemplate that.  Does that sting?  Are you uncomfortable with the implications?  Are you frustrated that more has not been asked of you?  Would you like to do more but don’t know what you could do?  Well, bookmark this and come back to it when you have some free time and brainpower and a cup of coffee.

Welcome back!  You obviously are interested enough to get this far.  So, why are we here?  To attempt to harness the collective mental energy and leisure time of hundreds of thousands of computer-literate Americans in a virtual militia of volunteer information operators to fight the War of Ideas on the home front.  What’s in it for you?  The opportunity to contribute to victory. 

Of course, if you don’t believe victory is possible, or are scared to death of victory, you are excused.  Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice life.

This post is an overview of the program of instruction which I intend to present between now and General Petraeus’ Dog & Pony Show next month.  Somebody more qualified than myself should  have seen the need and filled it by now, but nobody has stepped up so I am presumptious enough to take it upon myself.  The Good Guys are running out of time.  Somehow or another the American people must be persuaded to give them more time. 

Americans have short attention spans, little patience, and small tolerance for failure.  Any rag tag and bobtailed gang of Ali Babas can defeat the world’s only superpower by exploiting those characteristics.  They can’t beat our troops in kinetic combat.  They don’t have to.  They just have to convince the voters that victory is not worth the cost and politicians will pull the plug for short-term electoral gain.  Convincing the enemy that he can’t win works.  Our enemy is doing that to us.

Wait a minute, you say.  Don’t we pay taxes to be protected from enemy psychological operations?  Well, if you do, you aren’t getting your money’s worth.  The very phrase “psychological operations” invokes scary images of mind control and hallucinagenic drug experiments and eeevil Rovian conspiracies to manage perceptions and manufacture consent.  This pejorative view has crippled US Government strategic communications efforts for decades, just as the Soviets intended.  The enemy in this war benefits enormously from the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield accomplished by our enemy in the Cold War.  The Soviets are gone, but their aiders and abettors and comforters are still around, and many of them are now key influencers in American politics, entertainment, academia and news media.  The laws and Executive Orders and regulations which prevent the military from conducting psychological operations on Americans also prevent the military from countering enemy psychological operations conducted against Americans.  

Well, if that is true, why don’t we just change the law?  How do laws get changed?  By the same body that made them.  And what political ideology dominates that body?  Variations and remnants of the same ideology that the Soviets sought to spread.  America defeated the Soviet Union, but freedom and liberty did not vanquish collectivism and cultural Marxism and transnational progressivism.  There are billions of people who can’t forgive us for the fall of the Soviet Union.  Many of them can’t forgive us for liberating Afghanistan and toppling Saddam.  We have to share a country with millions of such.  They are our fellow citizens.  And our military has sworn an oath to protect them, too.

Well, why can’t the President do something?  He tries, but his hands are tied in so many ways.  The Soviet technique of demonizing the leader  started long before he took office.  He has not had the support of a large portion of his constituency for most of his terms in office.  He has had opportunities to assume and exercise vast and sweeping dictatorial powers, but has chosen not to.  He has a bully pulpit, but for reasons unclear to many of us uses it poorly.  As a strategic communicator, he leaves a lot to be desired.  He doesn’t punish his domestic enemies and break them of their bad habits.  He is what he is.  We accomplish little busting on him.

Why aren’t Other Government Agencies countering the enemy propaganda? That’s a very good question.  I don’t know.  I suspect it’s because they don’t see much chance for success.  Far too many would not welcome success.  The President’s leadership of OGA strategic communications efforts does not appear to me to place much emphasis on counter propaganda.  Maybe he is a victim of psychological operations, and is beaten before he starts.  Or maybe he knows his hand is weak, and folds.  Or maybe he is waiting on us. 

The counterpropagandist must know the terminology of propaganda, disinformation, misinformation, opposing information, the counter propaganda process, propaganda analysis, preventative actions, propaganda techniques, and counter propaganda techniques.  Still want to be one?  Stay tuned.


Filed under IW, PSYOP Auxiliaries

PSYOP Surrogates and Propaganda Proxies

It sure is easier to read other people’s blogs and leave comments on their blog than it is to tend to your own. Lots of good stuff in the blogosphere lately. Another Infiltraitor outed, thanks in large measure to real warriors who have been to FOB Falcon and called bullshit on that asshole.

The whole sad affair just illustrates how many “Americans” are pre-programmed to expect the worst from the people who keep them free. This pre-programming is ideological. It is a legacy of Soviet psychological operations that merged with the Vietnam-era anti-war movement that provides the Democratic Party with its leadership today. War is just not Politically Correct and so no war effort can be supported, unless the issues at stake are not in the national interest and the war can be fought from 20,000 feet.

The Amazing Grim, for whom I have the utmost respect and great admiration, writes about the danger of politicizing the military and adds further details about the Blogger Roundtables which have been attacked as nefarious Surrogates who can be counted on to parrot the Bush Administration’s line on national security issues. Read what Grim has to say, and read the comments.

The Generals of this war were commissioned during Jimmy Carter’s administration. Regardless of what their political views were at the beginning of their careers, they have sucked it up and drove on and continued the mission regardless of which assclowns are running things in Washington. The Army is politically aware, but they have to serve whatever masters the voters see fit to saddle them with. And they can’t say a lot of things out loud that they know to be true.

Somebody needs to say it for them.

They have polite fictions they must maintain.  Public Affairs has to build rapport with journalists.  Building rapport with unpleasant people is difficult, but necessary.  Letting them know how you really feel about them is not conducive to mission accomplishment.   “All enemies, foreign and domestic”, cannot really be treated as enemies, no matter how hostile they are.  Some enemies are off limits altogether, some have to be treated as potential allies that just haven’t come on board yet, and some just have to be ignored so as not to advertise the inability to deal with them.  

“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”   Harry Reid, John Murtha , Nancy Pelosi, get a pass.

PA aren’t the people whose job it is to counter enemy propaganda, either.  Counter propaganda is a PSYOP mission, but PSYOP maintains the polite fiction that Other Government Agencies perform counter propaganda to mitigate the effects of enemy propaganda directed 24/7/365 by ostensibly “American” media at the American domestic target audience. 

There are a lot of reasons and excuses, but the bottom line is that the regulars have left the home front undefended in the battle space that counts the most in this war, the area between the ears of the American voter.  Nobody in the government is going to do much to oppose the enemy’s strategic communications campaign. Half of their political masters profit from the enemy’s unchallenged, unopposed, unmitigated 24/7/365 barrage. 

We’re going to have to counter the propaganda ourselves. 

Relentless, destructive critique of MSM persons and publications is among the most important tasks of bloggers, commenters, and tipsters of the Right.  — Kralizec, in a comment at Hot Air.

We are going to have to blog swarm and harness the collective wisdom of Been There Done Thats to directly refute the misinformation and disinformation our own Main Stream Media partners with the enemy to deliver to us.  They must be fisked, debunked, discredited, exposed, relentlessly between now and September, so that when the enemy pulls off their big mass casualty event just in time for General Petraeus’ Dog & Pony Show for Congress, we have already done an IO Preparation of the Battlefield and conditioned the target audience to be sceptical of the doom and gloom quagmire schtick.

We have five weeks.  Get busy.


Filed under PSYOP Auxiliaries