With objective reporting like this, who needs Fox News? The UK Telegraph appears to be a willing participant in the Bush administration's propaganda campaign targeting Iran. A recent Telegraph article, written by Damien McElroy, seems specifically crafted to send a message to somebody.
American Armada Prepares To Take On Iran
It is four and a half acres of US power in the middle of the Arabian Sea but the influence of USS Dwight D Eisenhower stretches hundreds of miles.
The aircraft carrier, backed by its sister vessel, a handful of destroyers and a shoal of support ships, has placed a ring of steel around an increasingly unstable region.
While the Eisenhower is ostensibly assisting US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is increasingly occupied by the looming threat of Iran.
Recent tensions between the US and Iran over Teheran's meddling in Iraq and attempts to build a nuclear bomb have raised the prospect of its third regional war in a decade.
Jehova! Could you bang the war drum any louder, Telegraph? Armada vs. Iran. Ring of steel. Looming threat. Meddling in Iraq and attempts to build a nuclear bomb.
We have, of course, seen no tangible evidence of Iran providing Iraqi militants with weapons or of any attempt by Iran to turn its fledgling nuclear energy industry into a weapon-building program. But that makes no never mind to the Rovewellian random noise generator. All they have to do is bounce the message off of as many walls as possible. If they can keep people scared enough, no one will ask for proof that supports their claims.
Reporter McElroy is embedded onboard the Eisenhower. I have up close and personal experience with this kind of wartime information operation. You get members of the international press onboard an aircraft carrier, get them all gee whiz and golly with a prescription dose of carrier operations (a powerful narcotic, believe me), and then feed them your message.
In the article, The Eisenhower's commander, Captain Dan Cloyd, likened the showdown with Iran to the Cold War. "There was a time when we had two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean," he told McElroy. "The world changes and we adapt."
The cognizant among us can see the flaws in the analogy of Iran with the old Soviet Union. The problem is that the target audience of this kind of disingenuous persuasion isn't cognizant.
Captain Cloyd also told McElroy that, "Our maritime security mission is about denying the use of the seas to any potential spread of weapons of mass destruction."
This is yet another attempt to make visions of mushroom clouds dance in our heads. Weapons of mass destruction are being transported back and forth across the Persian Gulf? No.
McElroy describes Captain Cloyd as "quietly spoken." I'd like to think that's because the good captain knows he's being used to feed horse feathers into the bullhorn, and doesn't want the phony-baloney message transmitted any more loudly than necessary.
Planting the Demon Seed
The Pentagon's Information Operations directorate has become a loose cannon skittering across the gun decks. It's 2003 document Information Operations Roadmap, approved by Donald Rumsfeld, states that:
…information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and PSYOP, increasingly is consumed by our domestic audience and vice-versa
But it also argues…
…the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences becomes more a question of USG [U.S. government] intent rather than information dissemination practices.
What sublime bollocks. "I wasn't lying to the whole class, I was just lying to that foreign exchange kid, and the rest of the class just happened to hear me because I said it in front of the whole class."
I've said it before, I'll say it again: we continue to tolerate behavior from our administration that we wouldn't tolerate from our children.
And speaking of children: you may not be surprised to learn that I ran across the link to the Telegraph article on the front page of Free Republic.
Geepers, Freepers. How'd you get so creepers?
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.