Skip to comments.Distributed IO by PSYOP Auxiliaries and Volunteer Counter Propagandists
Posted on 04/22/2007 12:01:57 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4
I was an auxiliary one cold November night in 1977. My mission was to navigate and ride shotgun in my buddy’s uncle’s dump truck as we drove through the DeSoto National Forest in south Mississippi with 30 G’s (guerrillas) in the back while evading the law enforcement OPFOR (opposing force). This was part of a Special Forces training exercise, similar in many ways to a Robin Sage, but the guys being trained were an Operational Detachment Alpha from 5th SF Group (I may have the Group wrong; it was a long time ago). The Exercise Coordinator had used the DeSoto National Forest for this purpose before, and had already recruited a number of local civilians to participate as auxiliaries, people who assist the guerrillas, sympathizers who don’t pull triggers, but help feed, cloth, move, supply and aid the fighters. Every resistance movement needs auxiliaries. He needed a truck bigger than any of his auxiliaries could get, so he called a buddy of his who happened to be an Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of Southern Missisippi, who recruited my buddy, who recruited me. We spent the first four hours of our participation in the exercise chatting with the Exercise Coordinator in the darkness of a hayfield in the middle of a pine forest that was the drop zone into which the team would arrive. We were part of the reception committee. I never did see that guy in the daylight, but he made a big impression on an impressionable youth.
For about three years I have been carrying this idea of volunteer civilian infowarriors around in the back of my mind, then they changed INFOWAR to INFORMATION OPERATIONS and I had to educate myself on the component of IO where we were getting creamed by the Bad Guys, Psychological Operations. I wondered why we were doing so poorly, and found out that the Good Guys aren’t allowed to conduct PSYOP that might encourage the domestic target audience to support the war, while the Bad Guys and their auxiliaries in the Main Stream Media have unlimited and unchallenged access to our eyes and ears and hearts and minds. PSYOP scares a lot of people, especially “civil libertarians,” and there are several laws that govern public diplomacy which, because many PSYOP products and their dissemination constitute a form of public diplomacy, also govern military PSYOP. Our military PSYOP people are forbidden by law from producing programs and actions designed to nullify propaganda or mitigate its effects on the American domestic target audience. They pretend that Other Government Agencies counter propaganda outside the AO, knowing full well that strategic counter propaganda is too hot a potato to mess with.
So what to do? At last year’s Milblog Conference Public Affairs took a lot of heat for failure to conduct counter propaganda, but counter propaganda has never been PA’s mission, and they are under the same restraints as PSYOP. These legal restraints are not going to be repealed in time to win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If the enemy propaganda
which caused partial regime change in America last November,
which persuades the majority of Americans that it is not treason for the third in line of Presidential succession to travel to enemy countries and negotiate with their dictators,
which prevents mobs of peasants with pitchforks and torches from gathering to burn down the Senate Majority Leader’s castle,
is not going to be nullified or mitigated by military PSYOP or OGA, then we can either remove all sharp objects from our pockets, place our heads between our legs, and kiss our asses goodbye
WE can do it.
Who is “we,” Kemosabe?
If you are still reading this and you’re not a troll and you haven’t accepted defeat, you can be one of the “we.”
The cure for rampaging nutters is more good men, armed. That’s encouraging if the majority of my countrymen start agreeing with me on that.
Well, I think we're there. Unanimous, no; but majority? Yes. At least, that's the way it look from where I sit.
Ping on a day when people are up and about.
Kindly add me to your IO ping list as an active contributor & IO warrior.
During my daughters first tour in Iraq, I used to copy FR articles on the war and about what the pols were doing in their support (or against it), print them and mail them. I must have done this with at least 100 articles. The troops are limited in the news they receive about what is going on, even in theater, and much of what they hear is negative.
My daughter said they liked to read the articles I sent and the received wide circulation. In fact, she told me that one article I sent early on made its way back to her after having been in the possesion of someone in another division. She was talking to the driver of vehicle that had transported several officers from that division to her AO and spotted a battered copy of one of the articles I had sent her. She knew it was from me because I had underlined an important passage and wrote a comment in the margin. Apparantly the officer who now had it kept is as a reference. She never told which one it was (I wish I knew). I would also cut articles out of the newspaper. I am continuing that practice during her present tour.
So that is one thing you can do. Help keep the boys and girls over there informed with articles you find important. It helps their morale and keeps them informed.
I also circulate these articles via e-mail. The way I do it is go to the source link, copy the text, past it directly into the e-mail body, and them provide the source link. I have a few liberal reletives that won't read anything if it looks like it came off of FR, so this tends to slide past their mental filter. I have noticed that these reletives are now more receptive to what I tell them. Hopefully they pass them on to their lib friends.
Information Warfare. Not a new term I can claim credit for, but apropos in lieu of a better one.
The troops are limited in the news they receive about what is going on, even in theater
Learn something new everyday.
I also circulate these articles via e-mail
How 'bout starting one for us?
It may provide clues as to how to organize a PSYOP Auxiliary.
I know of several people in different areas of the country who will disseminate this material to others who will (widely) disseminate it to still more, and so forth. A few clicks of the mouse and information can really travel, much like the word along a 'phone tree'.
Almost every office has people who do the same with jokes, etc.
It is really not much trouble to get the word out this way, and the material gets read more often than not.
While it sounds like tiered marketing, (and in a way it is, just with ideas), the profit potential is in having a healthy country for our great-grandchildren.
Everybody has a circle of influence to whom they could be disseminating counter propaganda. My partner in crime prefers word of mouth. There are a variety of methods. Just about everybody who is going to read this thread could do what you describe, if they chose to use their time and energy in that way. Perfect mission for blue or green sympathizers.
Are you any good at writing SOP’s?
I've been doing it for a couple of years and they ain't fired me yet.
keep me in the loop
Make it so, Number One.
Put Tainan on OUR ping list, if you would, please, sir.
I'll Freepmail you later today and we can discuss this further if you like.
Maybe SOGs are more in order....
Lurker is in
And again on Tuesday. This needs wide distribution.
It's getting to be daytime in the U.S. now, right?
It’s not so much that they hate America as that they don’t take this war seriously, it’s just another story to them, in particular the editors here at home. I recall reading a story here couple of years ago from a reporter in the field. He’d send back positive stories they’d hit the editors desk and die.
Of course the whole Bush 2000 thing feeds into it and leads to the whole “Bush lied people died” nonsense.
I’m not trying to make excuses for them as by this stage of the game there’s more than enough books/articles out there explaining the GWOT and how Iraq fits into it that they are without excuse.
It’s getting to be daytime in the U.S. now, right?
Yes it is, and now we can expect skin cancer rates to soar. You know of course that George ‘fount of all that is evil’ Bush want’s you to get skin cancer so you’ll be forced to give what little money you make to (cue the ominous music) Big Medicine.
OK, Allegra. If you say so. I agree that it needs wide distribution. It got to be daytime several hours ago. :-)
If anyone who has been pinged has a ping list that may differ from mine then please ping your list, also. Thank you! :-)
Pinging a few friends...
GREAT IDEA!! Freepmail in a minute.
An excellent article and the best explanation I’ve heard yet. Thanks for the link.
“All military action is intertwined with psychological forces and effects.” - Clauswitz, On War, 1832.
I think the Democrats have gotten away with comparing the fight in Iraq with the fight in Vietnam, which they say we lost. We and our allies saved millions of South Koreans from Communism, so I think it would be good to focus American eyes on that success
Not many Americans know that 30,000 Americans died in the first thirty months of Truman's Korean war or that 3,000 Americans died in the first 5 weeks.
We hear many stories about the Bush administration's alleged attempts to squelch opposition to the war.
Few Americans realize that full military censorship was imposed during Truman's administration. The censorship
1. placed correspondents under military authority
2. made them subject to court martial in certain circumstances.
3. forbade correspondents to report casualties without authorization
4. forbade correspondents to quote officers without authorization.
5. forbade correspondents to send dispatches which criticized the aillied war efforts in Korea
6. forbade correspondents to send dispatches which demoralized the allies
Some time ago a contractor engaged in helping set up municipal councils etc. got totally ticked at MSM selectivity, and went activist. His website is not updated, just kept open as a record of his response:
More like him would be priceless.
I’ll give this thread and your post a bump.
I also write SOPs
What kind of SOP’s are you needing?
We are still figuring that out. Lurker brought up the subject of SOP’s in the context of Post #60.
Free Republic INFOWARRIOR Ping List?
FR IO Auxiliary Ping List?
FR Counter Propaganda Ping List?
The ping list will be a major element in the rapid dissemination of identified enemy propaganda and focused counter propaganda. It needs a catchy title and a good graphic.
Please add Liberty wins to the ping list.
Tip o the hat to nuconvert
TO BRING ONE MORE IRAQI VOICE OF THE SILENT MAJORITY TO THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD
Friday, April 20, 2007
This is evidence of what I told you earlier about the very important developments taking place. I have tried to draw attention to the significant change of mood of the people which started in the Anbar province with the creation of the “Anbar Salvation Council”. This movement is spreading to other regions notably in Diala province. Meanwhile the enemy’s ability to launch painful terrorist attacks in Baghdad is mainly due to the fact that the Security Plan is not being enforced in all areas of Baghdad with equal intensity. It is concentrated in the Eastern part (Risafa), while the Western more dangerous and terrorist infested part of Bagdad ( Al-Karkh ), is just not receiving sufficient attention, for reasons which are not altogether quite clear. It is not surprising, therefore, that car bombs and the like can be rigged and dispatched from such areas to launch the kind of attacks that we have witnessed.
Meanwhile, it is evident to me that the security plan, in so far as military strategy is concerned, consists of two essential elements: firstly to regain control of Baghdad and save the city from the sorry state that has virtually paralysed life and caused the massive exodus of the population that the world is witnessing; secondly, to hand the control to Iraqi security forces after they achieve a certain level of development. There is general awareness, by all who care about the people of Iraq that continued U.S. support of the new Order is essential. However, between the extreme course of total withdrawal and the present detailed involvement with daily operations; there is a middle way that few are talking about. Complete abandon and retreat by the Americans would indeed constitute defeat and a victory for the enemy, and would turn the tables completely and ignite a larger conflagration in the region. On the other hand the level of involvement of American and other allied foreign troops with detailed street to street policing, house searches etc. etc. should not continue indefinitely. For apart from the losses and pressures that are endured by the men and women of the MNF, some mistakes and errors can be quite counterproductive. What must be realized is that as long as the U.S. is strategically present, the enemy has no hope of achieving any of his objectives. This enemy knows this only too well; and his prime objective is to bring about this withdrawal and retreat by all means. He pins his hopes on the internal situation in the U.S., and this is his most potent weapon. Therefore most of his actions and attacks are basically publicity stunts aimed primarily at the MSM and American and western public opinion.
Thus a middle course, which seems to me a sensible alternative, is for the U.S. and allied forces to withdraw to secure bases within Iraq and concentrate on providing training, material and strategic support to the Iraqi forces. This of course, hinges on bringing up these Iraqi forces to the required level of ability. But this process will be greatly accelerated by allowing these forces to work and manage on their own more and more, and ASAP. It is like any other training task. If you are teaching somebody to swim, the sooner you can let him float on his own the quicker will he become a swimmer. But of course the trainer must keep a watchful eye.
But I think, in general, the U.S. administration strategists understand all this; however, certain regional concerns seem to interfere with their good judgment at times. For instance, too much emphasis on the Sadrists and Muqtada, loathsome as they maybe; is just deflecting attention from the immediate main threat. I have warned about that before. Indeed, one of the factors that are slowing the new security plan is the preoccupation with Sadr City and similar areas while neglecting the more dangerous hotbeds of Baghdad.
To summarize, I would say that a sensible strategy would be to aim at establishing secure and strategic presence while withdrawing from detailed involvement in day to day and street to street involvement as soon as the Iraqi forces reach sufficient strength, a process which should be accelerated with renewed vigor and in all seriousness. And I think that the present Iraqi Government and political order would be quite receptive to such a strategy; not to mention that the reduction of American and allied losses to negligible figures would go someway towards reassuring the people in the West who are justly outraged and alarmed by the casualties amongst their sons and daughters.
The soldiers of the MNF are too valuable a resource to squander in dusty side streets and alleyways.
Not many Americans know that 30,000 Americans died in the first thirty months of Truman’s Korean war or that 3,000 Americans died in the first 5 weeks.
For whatever reason there’s just so much Americans don’t know about our history. I recall reading (sorry can’t remember the link) that in WWII we lost something like 101,000 American soldiers every year of the war. At the risk of sounding heartless and/or getting flamed this war is pretty bloodless.
Hey Star, in.
How about FR IO Counterthreat.......
Anyone wanting on or off Cannoneer No. 4’s pinglist*, let me know via freepmail.
(*Name of pinglist yet to be decided)
This war certainly is less bloody. Imagine someone on a tv news show attempting every day to read the names and show the pictures of all the service people who who died on one day during WWII!!
America’s Wars: U.S. Casualties and Veterans
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