Yesterday there were two incidents that I wrote about involving the use of enemy propagandists by our MSM. Now take a look at the latest “all hell is breaking loose” report on Iraq, from the AP of course:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Gunmen broke into two Shiite homes and killed 21 men in front of their relatives in an Iraqi village, police said Saturday, as Vice President Dick Cheney sought Saudi Arabia’s help in calming
Iraq after an especially violent week of sectarian violence. U.S. and Iraqi forces also killed 58 insurgents during fighting north of the capital, they said.
Baghdad remained under a 24-hour curfew two days after suspected Sunni insurgents killed 215 people in Baghdad’s main Shiite district with a combination of bombs and mortars.
Another 87 people were killed or found dead in sectarian violence across Iraq on Friday. The chaos cast a shadow over the summit next week between Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Bush in Amman, Jordan.[…]In Diyala province, a hotbed of Iraq’s Sunni-Arab insurgency, gunmen raided two Shiite homes Friday night. The attack targeted members of the al-Sawed Shiite tribe in the village of Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad, according to a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his own security, as officials often do in the increasingly volatile province.
Earlier that day, rampaging militiamen burned and blew up four mosques and torched several homes in the capital’s mostly Shia neighborhood of Hurriyah, police said. Iraqi soldiers at a nearby army post failed to intervene in the assault by suspected members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia or subsequent attacks that killed a total of 25 Sunnis, including women and children, said police Capt. Jamil Hussein.
The U.S. military said Saturday that Iraqi soldiers securing the Hurriyah area had found only one burned mosque and could not confirm reports that six Sunni civilians had been burned to death with kerosene.
As we have learned quite well over the years the enemy will try to stir the pot with doctored photo’s or outright lies as Patterico documented. Now the story about those Sunni’s being burned alive appears to have been a fairy tale also.
You think we will hear that this raid on two houses maybe embellished also?
I mean the only think I can take away from this report that has a ring of truth to it is the fact that the US and Iraqi forces engaged the enemy north of town killing up to 60 more of the enemy.
In Diyala, Iraqi police killed 36 insurgents and wounded dozens of others during in clashes on Saturday in different areas of the province, police said.
And U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 22 insurgents and an Iraqi civilian, and destroyed a factory being used to make roadside bombs, during several raids north of Baghdad.
During three of the coalition raids, soldiers killed 10 insurgents near the city of Taji, 12 miles north of Baghdad and home to a major U.S. air base. An Iraqi teenage boy also was killed and a pregnant Iraqi woman was wounded in the crossfire, the military said.[…]In another area north of Baghdad, coalition forces attacked three vehicles carrying 12 insurgents, including one they were searching for because he allegedly was involved in the manufacture of car bombs, the coalition said.
But it appears that our MSM is getting the “anarchy” stories from the enemy themselves. That cannot be trusted. I mean the big story yesterday was these six burned alive and now no one can find any evidence that this happened except the word of the enemy.
How many more of these stories are embellished?
Doing a search via Google I began reading the stories printed about the burned six and each and every one had one thing in common. The only person stating that this incident happened was one Capt. Jamil Hussein. Every news report printed this man as the source of the information.
If you do a search for this name you come up with ten pages of pretty much the same article describing the burning six.
Trying to dig up some information on this man as we speak.
Since this guys name is in every single story printed about the burning six I have to dig way down to get to older stories involving this guy.
This one from April:
In yesterday’s worst violence, the bodies of six handcuffed, blindfolded and tortured men were found in the Baghdad neighborhood of Dora, said police Capt. Jamil Hussein.
This one from May:
Violence resumed Saturday as a bomb in a parked car exploded near a busy bus station in southern Baghdad, killing at least four civilians and wounding seven, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.[…]Elsewhere, a policeman was killed and an officer wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy in Baghdad’s western district of Mansour, Razzaq said. He also said three policemen were wounded when gunmen ambushed a convoy of Interior Ministry commandos in the southern neighbourhood of al-Bayaa in the capital.
Gunmen in three speeding cars also ambushed a patrol in western Baghdad, wounding 10 people, including six policemen, and two other policemen were injured in drive-by shootings in a nearby neighbourhood, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.
Two other policemen were injured Saturday in drive-by shootings elsewhere in western Baghdad, when gunmen in two speeding cars attacked their patrol in Amiriya neighbourhood of western Baghdad, police Capt. Jamil Hussien said.
Here is one from June:
Two explosions struck an Interior Ministry patrol and a market in the Baghdad area on Monday evening, killing at least seven people and wounding 16, police said. The first attack was a car bomb that struck an Interior Ministry patrol in western Baghdad, killing four commandos and wounding six, Capt. Jamil Hussein said. About 30 minutes later, a bomb exploded in a market in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 10.
Gunmen also ambushed a bus in the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Amariyah in western Baghdad, killing six passengers, including a woman, and the driver, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.
A suicide truck bomb slammed into a Baghdad police headquarters on Wednesday, killing seven and wounding at least double that many, in a deadly 24 hours that saw more than 45 killings in Iraq, including two American soldiers, authorities said.
The truck bomb attack in the southern Baghdad neighbourhood of Dora came at 07:45 as policemen were coming on duty and the blast razed the building, said captain Jamil Hussein. He said the number of casualties was expected to rise.
His name is mentioned quite a bit when Sunni’s are attacked it seems.
Now all I have to go on is the earlier AP report in which Iraqi and American forces say they cannot find evidence that these six were burned alive, no proof yet that the incident didn’t happen. But if it turns out that this story is a fairy tale how much more of the information given from this Capt is suspect?
Here is the office press release from the military:
Contrary to recent media reporting that four mosques were burned in Hurriya, an Iraqi Army patrol investigating the area found only one mosque had been burned in the neighborhood.
Soldiers from the 6th Iraqi Army Division conducted a patrol in Hurriya Friday afternoon in response to media reports that four mosques were being burned as retaliation for the VBIED attacks in Sadr City on Thursday.
The Soldiers set up a checkpoint near the Al Muhaimen mosque at approximately 2 p.m. and found the mosque intact with no evidence of any fire at the location.
While investigating the Al Meshaheda mosque, the patrol received small arms fire from unknown insurgents. The patrol returned fire, and the insurgents broke contact and fled the area. A subsequent check of the mosque found the mosque intact with no evidence of a fire.
At approximately 3:50 p.m., a local civilian reported to the patrol that armed insurgents had set the Al-Nidaa mosque on fire by throwing a gas container into the mosque. The patrol pursued the insurgents but lost contact with them.
The Soldiers called the fire department and set up a cordon around the mosque. Local fire trucks responded to the scene and extinguished the fire at approximately 4:00 p.m. The mosque sustained smoke and fire damage in the entry way but was not destroyed.
An alleged attack on a fourth mosque remains unconfirmed. The patrol was also unable to confirm media reports that six Sunni civilians were allegedly dragged out of Friday prayers and burned to death. Neither Baghdad police nor Coalition forces have reports of any such incident.
So the Baghdad police had not received reports fo this burning either? Who in the hell is this Capt. Jamil Hussein then? Is he part of the Iraqi police or an insurgent stringer for the AP?
Jeff from Protein Wisdom took a stab at my question on whether this Capt. Hussein is the Police or a insurgent:
Well, Curt. He could, perhaps, be both. After all, allowing one’s ideology to color one’s behavior toward one’s own country seems to be one of those universals that crosses the bounds of Otherness with little or no need for cross-cultural translation.
Very true Jeff. He indeed could be one and the same. Every news report I have found mentioning this guy is always quoting him about Shiite violence against Sunni’s. Coincidence? I doubt it.
And now the violence this guy alleges yesterday may in fact turn out to be fabricated which will call into question many of his quotes.
Got an update from Centcom. I sent them an email asking if they had any information on this Capt and I received:
We are checking with the Iraqi Government to verify that Capt. Jamil Hussein is a legitimate Iraqi Government spokesperson. We haven’t heard back yet. Unfortunately, people posing as government officials often do call the media to make statements.
We have no confirmation that this event happened; so it is very likely that this is not a legitimate source. In addition, of the four mosques that were suppose to have been burned/destroyed at that time; we only confirmed one mosque was damaged by a fire that lasted an hour and then was extinguished with no casualties.
Now the NYT’s has their own piece with hysteria written all over it:
Defying a government curfew, Shiite militiamen stormed Sunni mosques in Baghdad and a nearby city on Friday, shooting guards and burning down buildings in apparent retaliation for the devastating bombings that killed more than 200 people the day before in the capital&;s largest Shiite district, residents and police officials said.
Militia fighters drove through neighborhoods in Baghdad and the provincial capital of Baquba, firing at mosques with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades on the Muslim day of prayer.
Wow…sounds pretty bad huh? But how much of this can we believe when they print this a few paragraphs down:
From morning until afternoon, at least four mosques were attacked in Hurriya, a mixed neighborhood in the capital. Two were destroyed, and at least 5 Sunnis were killed and 10 wounded, an Interior Ministry official said. A hard-line Sunni Arab group, the Muslim Scholars Association, said 18 people had been killed when one of the mosques burned down.
Iraqi security forces were absent, unwilling or unable to stop the attackers.
I live near Akbar al-Mustafa Mosque, which came under attack by gunmen around 7 this morning, said a man who gave his name as Abu Ruqaiya and lives in Hurriya. Around 3 in the afternoon, those gunmen bombed this mosque and destroyed part of it. They left only after American and Iraqi soldiers arrived.
We already know that four mosque’s were not burned to the ground nor were their any casualties. So how much of this reporters reporting is from these insurgent stringers? The whole basis for much of this story is this man:
My daughter lives near Mishhada mosque in this neighborhood, and she says gunmen killed and wounded some people there, Abu Ruqaiya said in a phone interview. There were clashes with the guards of the mosque. Another resident of Hurriya said militiamen burned down the empty home of a former member of the Baath Party.
Which in law enforcement circles is called hearsay.
And then they quote another source who said more kerosene burning took place:
Fanned by fear, rumors spread quickly throughout the day. In the evening, a resident named Imad al-Hashemi said in a telephone interview on Al Jazeera, the Arab news network, that gunmen had doused some people with gasoline and set them on fire. Other residents contacted by telephone denied this.
Get that? One person said a burning took place while other residents (plural) denied this. But hey, why not print it anyway. We have hysteria to drum up people!
Not to be outdone The WaPo decided to get into the hysteria act with this report:
In the mixed Hurriyah neighborhood, Shiite militiamen torched at least five Sunni mosques on Islam’s holiest prayer day, police and residents reported. Other mosques were attacked by gunmen spraying bullets from the rooftops of nearby houses, witnesses said.
In one mosque, militiamen detonated a cooking gas cylinder. In another, they declared that it was now a husseiniya, a Shiite mosque, and posted pictures of Sadr, whose stronghold of Sadr City was attacked Thursday. At least 18 people were killed Friday and 24 injured in the mosque attacks in Hurriyah, said Adil Mahmoud, a physician from al-Nouman Hospital in the nearby Adhamiyah neighborhood.
“They started attacking with grenades and RPGs,” said Abu Abdallah, the imam at one of the attacked mosques, referring to rocket-propelled grenades. “Then shooting started from nearby houses. Then they entered and burned the mosque before they left.” Abdallah, interviewed by telephone, asked that his mosque not be named. “I might be killed,” he said.
More intelligence from those who are probably are a bit biased. As you can tell from all the reporting, none of it has been seen firsthand by those writing the articles. They are all relying on secondhand information from supposed witnesses, or those who know somebody who knows somebody who saw it.
Pulitzer prize here they come.
I decided to google the name of the physician above and only came up with this hit:
In the nearby town of Samarra another bastion of Sunni militancy Sheik Adil Mahmoud of the influential Sunni Association of Muslims Scholars delivered a more tempered sermon. “I will go to the polls and vote ‘no,’ but I leave the choice to you,” he said.
Is he one and the same? Who knows. But if this doctor is indeed a Sunni scholar who was telling those who would listen that he would vote no on the Constitution vote last year then I would say his reporting of the number of casualties is not to be trusted.
But either way these reporters seem to be relying on stringers and others to do their reporting for them instead of going to the scene and gathering real facts..
Throughout Friday, rumors of new atrocities committed against Sunnis floated across Baghdad, including one in which six Sunnis were doused with kerosene and torched to death in Hurriyah. But two local imams, in an interview, denied such an attack took place.
In the next few paragraphs the reporter gives us all the information that HAS been confirmed:
But there was no shortage of confirmed incidents. In Hurriyah, militiamen Friday morning expelled Sunni families who were living near tea warehouses, and more than 90 Sunni families received letters threatening them if they did not leave their houses within 72 hours, authorities said.
In the Amiriyah neighborhood, Sunnis started to form neighborhood militias under the guidance of local clerics to protect themselves. By Friday evening, 25 volunteers signed up, and those without weapons were handed AK-47 rifles, residents said.
By nightfall, the imams of mosques in three Sunni neighborhoods — Ghazaliya, Amiriyah and Adhamiyah made a joint announcement to their followers.
So after all the hysteria all they can confirm is that some Iraqi’s are showing up to help protect mosques.
Yup, that’s a civil war.
UPDATE VIII 2320hrs PST
Since September we have been engaging CPATT to verify the legitimacy and employment status of various MOI/IP spokesmen. Our contact at CPATT has been quite helpful, however, I know helping us is not his full-time job. Interestly, MOI has apparently issued an edict that no one below the level of Chief can speak to the media. We have reminded AP of this but without proof that these spokesman are not employees, they have pretty much ignored us. (If you were a reporter, would who give up a primo source because of rank? Probably not.)
I personally engaged CPATT about Capt. Jamil Hussein’s legitimacy within an hour of seeing the burning alive story — which we cannot verify from any source, but how do you prove a negative.
Of note, we definitely know that one IP spokesman – Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq of the city’s Yarmouk police station (a.k.a. police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq) is not authorized to speak on behalf of the IP and the MOI supposedly issued a warrant for his questioning. That happened a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t seen his name recently.
Below is an incomplete list of MOI spokesmen we are tracking since the middle of November and trying to verify.
MOI/IP spokesman (mostly AP)
- police Lt. Ali Abbas
- police Capt. Mohammed Abdel-Ghani.
- Police Brigadier Sarhat Abdul-Qadir
- Mosul police Director Gen. Wathiq al-Hamdani
- police Lt. Bilal Ali
- Ali al-Obaidi, a medic at Ramadi Hospital
- police Maj. Firas Gaiti
- Police Captain Mohammed Ismail
- Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the Interior Ministry spokesman (a.k.a. Police Brigadier Abd al-Karim Khalaf, Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, Brig. Abdel-Karim Khalaf)
- Mohammed Khayon, a Baghdad police lieutenant
- police spokesman Mohammed Kheyoun. (a.k.a. Police Lieutenant Mohammed Khayoun)
- Lt. Thaer Mahmoud, head of a police section responsible for releasing daily death tolls
- police Lt. Bilal Ali Majid
- police Lt. Ali Muhsin.
- police 1st. Lt. Mutaz Salahhidine. (a.k.a. Lieutenant Mutaz Salaheddin)
- Col. Abbas Mohammed Salman
- policeman Haider Satar
I added the bullets so that the email read a bit easier.
So what we now know is that not one person in the Iraqi police below the rank of Chief is supposed to talk to our media but of course they all ignore this. Our MSM would rather get some hysterical lies that sound good, that sound like anarchy, rather then getting their facts straight.
Sad state of affairs our MSM is in, and the gullible (read Liberals) keep on buying it.
UPDATE IX 11/26/06 1030hrs PST
SeeDubya at Junkyard Blog took a look at my post and ran with it, he has a great analysis of the situation:
In both stories, the worst scenario is that the Western press is negligently or carelessly (I’m not ready to believe knowingly) passing along terrorist propaganda disguised as news. But even the best case scenario in each one involves some notable journalistic malfeasance. With Patterico, the LA Times story quite clearly refused to include CENTCOM’s denial that the Ramadi airstrike ever happened. At FA, an e-mail from a CENTCOM media guy explains that the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior has recently cracked down on unofficial spokesmen within the national police, and that no one below the rank of Chief may speak with the media.
Now a good reporter won’t let that stop him; if he has an eyewitness who will give an account–especially an on-the-record one–of what went down, that’s certainly preferable to some sanitized official version. And this AP reporter got his incorrect information from an Iraqi Captain named Jamil Hussein. Hmm…so maybe he was supposed to be an eyewitness to these (mythical) mosque-burnings in Hurriya? That’s what one might infer from the article. At the very least one might think this was a policeman who was tasked to investigate this particular incident and thus would have some knowledge of what occurred. But the value of Curt’s investigation here is that he sheds a little light on Jamil Hussein’s background–this guy comments on Iraq stories all the time, usually reporting chaos and mayhem in Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods all over Baghdad–Sadr City, Dora, Mansour, and others.
In other words, it looks less like Capt. Hussein is an eyewitness to this event, and more like he’s just an unofficial spokesman. But a spokesman for whom?[…]As you see in FA’s last update,Centcom tells FA that they’re investigating who the hell Jamil Hussein is…if there even is a Jamil Hussein. For all we know this could be Ayman Al-Zawahiri calling up the AP to give his version of events. After all, the Centcom guy points out that there was another “volunteer” spokesman in another police department unmasked quite recently, and there’s a warrant out for him to be questioned. There are several more being verified now, most of them quoted in the AP
And sure enough I took a look at some of the other names given by the Centcom LT. in the news and lookie lookie:
In Thursday’s deadliest attack in the capital, gunmen opened fire on a bakery, killing nine people, including employees and customers, police Capt. Mohammed Abdel-Ghani said. Such attacks are usually carried out by Sunni militants since most of the bakeries in the city are run by Iraqis from the country’s Shiite majority.
New checkpoints popped up on major roads, including within the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses Iraqi government offices and the U.S. and British embassies.
A heavy police presence and larger than normal numbers of U.S. troops patrolled the streets.
“We received orders to tighten security measures and to use any available policemen to tighten the security,” police Lt. Ali Abbas said. The U.S. military refused to discuss specific measures planned for Sunday.
Fighting involving US forces also left nine Iraqi gunmen dead in Kirkuk, 288km north of Baghdad, police Brigadier Sarhat Abdul-Qadir said, without giving details. The American military had no comment on the report.
Brig. Gen. Wathiq al-Hamdani, deputy to Mosul’s police chief, said the people of Mosul owe much to the Wolf Brigade, which helped restore order in the city, and said individual mistakes shouldn’t be used against the whole force.
A car bomb exploded in a parking lot in central Baghdad on Wednesday, killing 11 people and wounding 32, police said. The car exploded near a gasoline station in the Bab Shargi neighborhood, police Lt. Bilal Ali said. A series of car bombs exploded around Iraq Tuesday, killing and wounding scores.
You get the picture. Every name mentioned by Centcom has been quoted by the MSM for their stories. It’s dishonest reporting basically. They are relying on secondhand and sometimes thirdhand information to state a fact. Namely that Iraq is going to hell in a handbasket. But if the reporters would leave their comfy hotel rooms and actually go out and survey the scenes themselves then I am sure we would get a completely different picture.
UPDATE X 1350hrs PSTT
There were also unconfirmed reports that gunmen may have killed at least 11 college students in Baghdad’s southern Dora district.
According to Capt. Jamil Hussein of the al-Yarmouk police station, gunmen opened fire on a minibus in Dora’s predominantly Sunni Arab Mahdiya neighborhood. He said 11 people were killed, but Al-Yarmouk hospital reported receiving only two bodies from a shooting. It was unclear if the victims were Sunni or Shiite. There was no one available at Baghdad’s main morgue to confirm if it had received any bodies.
Wonder if this guy is regular at KOS? His attempts to spread disinformation would fit in quite well with that crowd.
Also I have to pass on a few quotes that a commentor
Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.
– Mark Twain
I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.
– William T. Sherman
I think the difference 100 years later may be that many in this country hold the media up on a pedestal and believe everything these biased reporters print. In fact we should look at our media nowadays with an even more pessimistic eye because they have shown themselves to be a very biased profession.
UPDATE XI 11/27/06 0900hrs PST
BIG UPDATE..Centcom has confirmed this Capt. Jamil Hussein is NOT a Police Officer nor is he employed by the Ministry of Interior:
Dear Associated Press:
On Nov. 24, 2006, your organization published an article by Qais Al-Bashir about six Sunnis being burned alive in the presence of Iraqi Police officers. This news item, which is below, received an enormous amount of coverage internationally.
We at Multi-National Corps – Iraq made it known through MNC-I Press Release Number 20061125-09 and our conversations with your reporters that neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. A couple of hours ago, we learned something else very important. We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee. We verified this fact with the MOI through the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team.
Also, we definitely know, as we told you several weeks ago through the MNC-I Media Relations cell, that another AP-popular IP spokesman, Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq, supposedly of the city’s Yarmouk police station, does not work at that police station and is also not authorized to speak on behalf of the IP. The MOI has supposedly issued a warrant for his questioning.
I know we have informed you that there exists an MOI edict that no one below the level of chief is authorized to be an Iraqi Police spokesperson. An unauthorized IP spokesperson will get fired for talking to the media. While I understand the importance of a news agency to use anonymous and unauthorized sources, it is still incumbent upon them to make sure their facts are straight. Was this information verified by anyone else? If the source providing the information is lying about his name, then he ought not to be represented as an official IP spokesperson and should be listed as an anonymous source.
Unless you have a credible source to corroborate the story of the people being burned alive, we respectfully request that AP issue a retraction, or a correction at a minimum, acknowledging that the source named in the story is not who he claimed he was. MNC-I and MNF-I are always available and willing to verify events and provide as much information as possible when asked.
Michael B. Dean
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
MNC-I Joint Operations Center
Public Affairs Officer
Not only is Capt. Hussein bogus, but another source the AP has used extensively is bogus.
The insurgency knows what they are doing here. They understand the ONLY way they are going to win against us is to borrow a page out of the North Vietnamese playbook. Namely, forcing the morale of this country down to the point where funding is withdrawn and we leave.
So they employ fake Police Captains and other assorted informants to contact the MSM and create a picture of utter chaos.
Will it work tho? Sure seems to be working so far….
UPDATE XII 1100hrs PST
Also, some have asked me if I should create a whole new post with the new information. The main reason I have continued to update this post without creating a new one is for those coming to the story cold can see how the investigation started and it’s continued growth in one spot. So for now I will continue to update this post.
Patterico has an excellent update to this new information:
In short, the AP has been relying on a bogus source for much of its reporting on Shia violence against Sunnis since at least April.
For those who continue to suggest that the mainstream press has a negligible impact on elections, consider that the majority of Americans who bothered to pay any attention whatsoever to this story will be left with an account of horrific sectarian violence against women and children and the belief that sectarian strife in Iraq is not only inexorable and savage, but pandemic.
Underlying this reportage, then, is an unseemly subtext: that Arabs in Iraq and perhaps even Arabs in general are incapable of working toward a free society, one that, through a series of ratified political documents and elections, has merely pretended to be taking its first tentative steps toward the acceptance of a baby pluralism.
This has been my main point all along. The average American picks up a paper or watches 10 minutes of the evening news and believes they are well informed. The MSM prints stories that show all this chaos and mayhem and the average American swallows it all.
But as I’ve shown here, a lot of it is not to be trusted.
They are doing the insurgents job for them by printing this stuff from unverified sources. Hell, why don’t they go out and see it for themselves. That asking too much of our MSM?
UPDATE XIII 1200hrs PSTST
If I were an Islamist, a terrorist, a sworn foe of democracy, here is what I think I would have learned from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is what I would write down in my hard-earned manual of instruction.[…]Today, the purpose of war is sharply political, not military; psychological, not physical. The main purpose of war is to dominate the way the enemy imagines and thinks about the war. Warfare is not, these days, won on a grand field of battle. Nor is it won by the force that wins series after series of military victories. Nor is triumph assured by killing far higher numbers of the enemy. The physical side of warfare no longer holds precedence.
The primary battlefield today lies in the minds of opposing publics.[…]Experience shows that the mainstream press of the United States is alienated from the U.S. military. In addition, the American press is extremely vulnerable to anti-U.S. propaganda. Thus, the American public will be fed nearly everything that foreign adversaries–our band of brothers–wish to feed it about the war. Therefore, I write: Maxim # 1: To defeat America, impose upon the imagination of its media your own storyline.
Even if you can muster only 10,000 soldiers over the entire countryside of Iraq, paint the narrative like this: The Americans are irresistible occupiers, and yet they cannot prevent small (even individual) acts of destruction. Daily, unrelenting acts of destruction demonstrate that chaos rules. The American strategy, and the American storyline of the war, are invalidated by continuing chaos, highly visible, every single day, on worldwide television. The new dominating story is that the Americans cannot win.[…]To defeat the United States, then, it suffices to demonstrate that their vaunted military, for all its awesome power and tactical bravery in the field, cannot halt daily “chaos.” To achieve this victory over America, it is not even necessary to create actual “chaos,” but only its appearance. This definition of chaos cannot be made on cerebral, analytic, statistical, or comparative grounds. (In October the Times of London reported, “An average of 112 cars a day have been torched across France” this year, with 15 attacks a day on police and emergency services and nearly 3,000 police officers injured. We don’t need comparisons like this or comparisons with traffic deaths and violent crimes in individual U.S. states.)
No, the shadowy existence of this “chaos” in Iraq is projected by a steady stream of stomach-churning, atavistic, destructive acts, staged day by day where the cameras of the U.S. press cannot resist them. Some of these acts bring orange explosions and black smoke, others consist simply of dumping dead and tortured bodies where the public cannot avoid discovering them.[…]The aim of our terror is to induce surrender before the great battles are even fought. This is the true meaning of “asymmetric” warfare. The weaker side in military strength may demonstrate conclusively that it has a stronger stomach for relentless, unstoppable acts of terror.
Besides, brothers, there seems to be a psychological tic in the minds of American journalists, which prevents them from understanding that our terror is ultimately aimed at them.
That is indeed what has played out word for word.
UPDATE 1300hrs PST
I’ve decided to end this post and will post new updates s here. Please check there for anything new.