Information Warfare: Toadying to Terrorists


May 24, 2007: Terrorists in Iraq have been getting more aggressive in trying to control the international media. For the last three years, it's been too dangerous for Western journalists to wander freely around central and southern Iraq. So Iraqis, and other Arabs, were hired to go and to do the interviews and get the video images TV news demands. The terrorists quickly made these agents of Western media know that survival depended on how cooperative the journalists were with terrorists goals. Journalists responded by trying to hide their identities, and working closely with the Iraqi army and national police for protection.

However, in many parts of Iraq, especially the Shia south, the police are heavily infiltrated by members of secular (Shia) militias. The police keep records of who is a journalist, and even in central Iraq, you can usually get the information out of the cops with a sufficient bribe. Once the identity of an Iraqi journalist is known, you can threaten him, and his family, to get the kind of reporting you want.

Many journalists resist the pressure, but some will simply back away, rather than outright lie, when the terrorists come after them. That works, because what the terrorist want to do is get stories out that makes the government and American forces look bad. It doesn't have to be true, it just has to be reported. And followed up with more reports and videos to back up the lie. Many media outlets want to believe, and report, the worst about American efforts in Iraq, and the terrorists are eager to help out. This takes heat off the terrorists and demoralizes both Iraqis and Americans.  


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close