The government has decided to balance the money it spends running pro-enemy propaganda at home on National Public Radio with some propaganda for our side in Iraq and, predictably, the media that clamor for balance aren’t happy with the situation. (The holier than thou New York Times is also apparently upset that plagiarism was involved. Something about pots, kettles and the color black might be appropriate here.)
In addition to paying newspapers to print government propaganda, Lincoln has paid about a dozen Iraqi journalists each several hundred dollars a month, a person who had been told of the transactions said. Those journalists were chosen because their past coverage had not been antagonistic to the United States, said the person, who is being granted anonymity because of fears for the safety of those involved. In addition, the military storyboards have in some cases copied verbatim text from copyrighted publications and passed it on to be printed in the Iraqi press without attribution, documents and interviews indicated.
In many cases, the material prepared by the military was given to advertising agencies for placement, and at least some of the material ran with an advertising label. But the American authorship and financing were not revealed.
More seriously, criticism of propaganda efforts by those who claim to “support the troops” and want them to come home alive is disingenuous at best. Of course, there are many things said by those who oppose the effort in Iraq that are disingenuous at best, not least of which is the claim that they support the troops. They “support the troops” fighting battles in which they are not allowed to shoot at the enemy even when fired on, not allowed to use any tactic beyond “pretty please” to gain intelligence that might save their lives or the lives of innocent civilians and now are not allowed to demoralize the enemy in the field with propaganda that could spare lives on both sides. Apparently the only tactic these great supporters of our military will “support the troops” in is retreat.