Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Show Biz Strategy for Victory in Iraq

"We can't kill our way out," Gen. David Petraeus has said of Iraq, but now there is an effort to entertain them as we exit

The Defense Department, according to the Washington Post, will pay private U.S. contractors up to $300 million over the next three years "to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to 'engage and inspire' the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government."

The Pentagon was moved by the media operations of al Qaeda, which include slick Web sites with high-tech videos and audio tapes starring Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants.

"We're being out-communicated by a guy in a cave," Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has complained.

The media offensive, which will include TV talent-search shows and talk radio programs, "may or may not be non-attributable to coalition forces. If they thought we were doing it, it would not be as effective," an American official says.

So part of the strategy of emerging from Iraq with victory and honor, as John McCain might put it, is flummoxing the locals anonymously with hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of "American Idol" and Rush Limbaugh to help them appreciate the fruits of freedom and democracy.

Sounds like a plan.

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