In our ongoing war with Iraq, the U.S. government has found itself making a fatal error – creating a two-front war. These two fronts are military battles and public relations battles. Initially, they were doing well in both.
But now, as we enter our third week of war, the administration has found itself bogged down, both militarily and PR-wise. More importantly, the PR war must be won so that support at home is gained for the soldiers at war.
The Bush administration has, of course, taken to media-spinning – otherwise known as propaganda – to keep Americans complacent about the war.
The best example of this is Bush’s insistence that the United States has international support for the campaign.
Bush currently lists 49 countries as part of the coalition. I don’t deny him his figures. However, the conclusions he draws from their support do not make sense logically, logistically or in any other sane way.
First, let us address the international support idea. The United Nations currently recognizes 191 countries. The coalition currently has 49 members. 49 out of 191 is only 26 percent of the world’s countries. We don’t even have a third of the world’s support. Only two of the five major world powers are in on this coalition – the United States and Great Britain. China, France and Russia all refuse to enter this war. Somehow, I don’t see too much international agreement here.
Well, okay, forget international support. Bush made his point clear when he attacked Iraq without securing a Security Council resolution to attack – the United States does not need the world’s support. So maybe the other 48 members of the coalition are providing some sort of military support.
A quick check of the CIA Factbook Web site brought up some interesting information. Out of the 49 countries, 13 do not even have standing armies. 27 percent of the coalition can’t even take one soldier into Iraq because they have no soldiers.
But the other 36 must, right? Britain has sent 25,000 troops. The United States has 250,000. Eight other countries have sent token forces of 200 troops each. Yes, definitely a significant number there.
However, President Bush is quick to point out that Denmark is making a significant contribution. They have given us a submarine for the purpose of “monitoring Iraqi intelligence [and] providing early warning.”
You are telling me that the United States, with the world’s best navy, needs one extra submarine to do that? I would like to use a different word for this sub. It was not a contribution, it was a token gift.
And possibly most humorously of all, Morocco is giving us 2,000 suicide monkeys. They will be used to find and detonate land mines. Hey, maybe Bush will be number 2,001. Who knows? But the fact remains – the U.S. propaganda machine is in first gear.
To be educated people, we must be able to understand the information we are given and to think analytically about it, without relying on someone else’s reporting to do our thinking. Don’t believe what I said. Go look it up and find out for yourself.
He can be reached at email@example.com.