The Rumor War
Vol: 18 Issue: 30 Sunday, March 30, 2003
The Rumor War
Rumors of a four to six day operational pause are being denied at every level up and down the military chain of command. And while those denials continue to echo through the various briefing rooms, a new rumor says that the operational pause may be extended to four to six WEEKS.
Most news reports this morning aren’t even characterizing Pentagon denials AS denials, saying instead that officials are ‘playing down’ those reports, suggesting they believe the reports are still accurate, but that the coalition wants to keep it a secret.
It is difficult to determine whether or not the rumors have any basis in fact or if they are a concoction given legs by reporters like ABC’s Terry Moran or Helen Thomas, both of whom have proved themselves willing to repeat anything, true or not, that makes the White House look bad.
Rumors are always a part of war, although in this war, the most public war in history, they have a much shorter shelf life than in wars past.
But the fact is that the coalition has indeed called an operational pause — the only part that is still speculative is its duration.
The coalition has effectively halted its advance toward Baghdad, giving the bulk of the troops an opportunity to rest and regroup after an advance that saw major elements of the force going as long as sixty hours without sleep.
There is another rumor that also lends itself to an operational pause of indeterminate length. That rumor says that Secretary Rumsfeld, confident of a mass Iraqi surrender, overruled his generals on the size of the invasion force, currently numbering around 100,000 ground troops.
Pentagon generals wanted at least twice that many boots on the ground, according to reports to be published tomorrow in the New Yorker.
Seymour Hersh, (writing from the extreme left), said in the piece that Rumsfeld insisted at least six times in the run-up to the conflict that the proposed number of ground troops be sharply reduced and got his way.
“He thought he knew better. He was the decision-maker at every turn,” the article quoted an unidentified senior Pentagon planner as saying. “This is the mess Rummy put himself in because he didn’t want a heavy footprint on the ground.”
I noted with interest that ABC News wasn’t content with Hersh’s characterization of his source as merely an ‘unidentified Pentagon planner’, referring to him in its own story as both a ‘former official’ and a ‘SENIOR planner.’
It should be stressed that Hersh quotes an ‘unidentified Pentagon planner.’ There is no way of knowing if that means someone who plans the conduct of the war in Iraq or the menu planner at the Pentagon cafeteria.
The April 7 New Yorker article also says Rumsfeld had overruled advice from war commander Gen. Tommy Franks to delay the invasion until troops denied access through Turkey could be brought in by another route and miscalculated the level of Iraqi resistance.
Reading Hersh’s piece, one comes away with the distinct sense that the coalition is in big trouble, whereas the ABC News piece selectively quotes the now SENIOR planner as intimating the coalition’s situation is hopeless.
Condensing Hersh’s article to what ABC considers its salient points;
“Much of the supply of Tomahawk cruise missiles has been expended, aircraft carriers were going to run out of precision guided bombs and there were serious maintenance problems with tanks, armored vehicles and other equipment. . . .The only hope is that they can hold out until reinforcements arrive,” ABC quotes this increasingly important ‘former official’ as saying.
You can learn a lot about how much credibility to assign to a rumor by considering the source. Sticking with ABC News for a minute, the war stories they thought were important this morning were headlines like, “No Smoking Gun” about the coalition’s failure (so far) to find WMD.
ABC’s coverage of the war is so pessimistic that when reporter Terry Moran asked Ari Fleischer if troops were prepared for a chemical attack that Fliescher paused and asked, “Is ABC news now saying Iraq might have chemical weapons after all?”
Another headline; “Iraqi VP Threatens More Suicide Bombings”; another – “Martyrdom Seekers Flock to Iraq”; do you see a pattern here?
You can find the same kind of pessimistic negative coverage of the war at CNN and CBS. MSNBC and Fox are the only two networks who aren’t presenting the war as an impending US defeat at worst, or a Pyhrric victory at best.
Few of the left-leaning news sites I checked this morning even mentioned the strike in Basrah in which the coalition took out 200 leaders of the Ba’ath party in a single strike. I found that odd, considering it was a major military success.
(One report suggested that taking out that many leaders would only enrage the Iraqis who would fight even harder and kill even more American troops).
What do we learn from this? Clearly, we aren’t learning much about how the war is actually going.
Instead, we can see what are the subtle, but discernible fingerprints of the propagandists who now openly slant their coverage to advance their own political agendas. Stay with me here.
Think of the power to shape and influence popular thinking that rests in the hands of ABC or CNN. It has been argued that Ted Turner had more to do with the collapse of the Berlin Wall than Ronald Reagan did.
There is some merit to that. Once CNN began broadcasting images of life in the West across the Iron Curtain, the pro-Soviet propagandist was defeated. And shortly afterward, the Soviet system collapsed. East met West to embrace our supermarkets, not our politics. Enbracing Western politics was a means to an end, not the objective. First food, then freedom.
The most important element to any successful campaign is control of public opinion. Don’t think so? If we could convince the Iraqi public not to fight for whatever reason, the war is over.
That’s why the Pentagon had such high hopes for the ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign in combination with the psyche-ops (propaganda) operations. Convince them not to fight, and we win.
The liberals have a campaign as well. Destroy the Bush presidency and vindicate themselves after Election 2000 – by whatever means necessary. And, thanks to ABC, CNN, the New York Times and others, they have the means.
It is transparent enough if one looks hard enough, but it is an effective tactic; turn good news into bad, turn bad news into headlines, and in every case, put the blame squarely on the administration.
I hammer away at propaganda regularly for a reason, and the war provides plenty of evidences of its application.
It is the gateway through which the antichrist will make his entrance, the magic carpet upon which he will rise to power.
Your Omega Letter is dedicated to making you as propaganda-proof as possible as we move out to our own respective battlefields.
Proverbs always links ‘wisdom’ with ‘understanding’. Knowing HOW a car works (wisdom) means you can drive one. Knowing WHY a car works (understanding) means you can figure out what is wrong with one when you can’t.
It is our mission to show you WHY propaganda works, so you can figure out for yourself what is broken with the facts don’t add up. And to connect the dots to show that they draw the same picture portrayed by Scripture for the last days.
Knowledge is power, Scripture says. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” laments Hosea 4:6
Daniel and the Revelation tells us the antichrist will control a powerful army, but his power rests in public opinion, not military might.
“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:2)
Note the bow, but no arrows.
“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (Daniel 8:25)
Note that his ‘policy’ (politics) prospers (politics is public opinion harnessed to acheive a political agenda), and that by “PEACE [the antichrist] shall destroy many.”
When asked of the signs of His coming, the FIRST thing Jesus said was, “Take heed that no man deceive you” [Matthew 24:4], and Paul warns in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 of a coming ‘strong delusion.’
The antichrist will, according to the Apostle John, exercise intimate control over the global economy, (the one that never existed until now) will launch a war against Israel, (that didn’t exist until now) using an ability to demonstrate his power to the whole world at once (a capability that didn’t exist until now) to engineer control over a global ‘new world order’ (that was a practical impossibility until this generation).
As we get closer to the end of the age, the propagandists will grow more bold with their successes. Don’t ever doubt their successes so far.
American propagandists successfully turned ‘anti-life’ into ‘pro-choice’ and turned ‘pro-life’ into ‘anti-choice’, convincing most Americans that the majority shares that worldview, in spite of polls that demonstrate the contrary.
They’ve turned the Bible into hate literature, homosexuality into an ‘acceptable alternative lifestyle’ and convinced the majority of Americans that guns are more dangerous than the people who use them.
It is in this generation, to the exclusion of all generations past, that the events of the last days are even possible.
And it is in this generation, the Bible says, that all these things will take place.
“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” [Matthew 24:34]