History is a witness, America has always fallen in its own trap that it laid for others; truth does surface sooner or later.
By Dr. S. M. Rahman
“Who” says “what”, to “whom”, with what “purpose” and what “effect”, is the method to analyse propaganda, as its manifest content usually conceals its latent content. Therefore, for analytical purpose ‘who’ represents the communicator. Unlike Black propaganda, in White propaganda, the identity of the source of communication is not distorted. It is part of the credibility management that the authenticity of the source is established – a vital gimmick necessary so that the message is not summarily pooh poohed. Some truths are contained in the communication cock-tail where the ‘lies’ are finely blended with the prevalent ‘images’ of the country and the ‘individuals’, as it would do no harm in saying what is quite obvious. So to agree with audience’s perception of realities, political or otherwise is to establish rapport with the listeners/readers of the message. This technique is known “flogging the dead horse”.
A communication has to be evaluated as to what are the core messages interposed with the others mainly to augment the credibility of the communicator. The ‘who’ aspect is the source through attributed to be a mischief of one man – Julian Assange, projected as a villain of the cyber net, a psychopath, a very shrewd person and a master hacker, and so forth, capable of intruding into the private world of the diplomats. A single person howsoever dexterous one might be as eavesdropper, it is rather impossible to gather such a flood of information, that too right from the horse’s mouth, covering such a wide array of subjects.
Ordinarily, one would contend that the “real” source of the communication are the personnel of US establishment, specialized in the psy war trained at Fort Brag, North Carolina. USA at Special School which provides competent propaganda warriors to be embedded in the war operations, as in Gulf Wars, ‘war on terror’ notwithstanding. They influence the minds in the targeted countries – i.e, the ‘whom’ dimension is the audience to which the message is designed to reach. A careful look at the contents shows that Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Arab Emirates are the prime targets.
Propaganda is the weapon used to influence behaviour of nations, for the attainment of national goals and objectives. The first generation of propaganda weapon was termed “psychological warfare”, and it is a recorded fact of history that in the outcome of World War II, it played a vial role in the defeat of Nazis and the victory of the Allied Forces. Hitler’s propaganda warrior Dr. Goebell’s strategy was to use false messages to be repeated over time, so that people would come to believe it. This actually backfired and the ‘propagandist’ learnt quite well that lies have to be tempered with truth to appear credible.
The second generation of propaganda war was termed ‘Psychological Operations’(abbreviated Psy Ops), as ‘warfare’ is emotionally loaded word, and during ‘peacetimes’ it would not be appropriate to call it ‘warfare’. Moreover you don’t influence the minds of neutral and friendly countries to achieve national objective by calling it ‘warfare’. So it was changed, so that Psy Ops could be waged during peace time as well, and use psychological activities like giving economic aid, military assistance, flood and other reliefs due to natural calamities and providing scholarships to students etc, to create the desired attitudinal change among the targeted audience. Psy Ops, became a combat support weapon that the commander applies to assist in the accomplishment of his mission. It is effectively used in any type of operation – strategic or tactical, besides unconventional and counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. Psy Ops is also used during peace time, or crisis situations, e.g., in the context of Pakistan, pressure is being mounted to extend its military operations in North Waziristan, so that Pakistan alienates itself from the Pushtoon belt, which is the major ethnic group in Afghanistan. The mass media – Voice of America, CNN, Fox, besides the British, the French and German media are all orchestrating the gross deceptions behind the so called war on terror, to be able to create propaganda harmony. The ‘neo-con’ ambitions are camouflaged through the jugglery of words constantly hitting the minds of the people all over the globe
The third generation of propaganda war is its massive extension into what is called “cyber war”, which is excessively being used by USA and its allies. China, India and Israel are not lagging behind. Compared to other propaganda devices, it has a colossal reach and tends to be the more penetrating and, if it not properly guarded it can prove detrimental to national security, much more than what conventional warfare could achieve. It is waged in cyber space, and its weapons are cyber espionage, cyber vandalism and disrupting vital infrastructures through virus and worm release. China quite effectively countered “goggles”, which was penetrating into their cyber space. A great hue and cry was made that China was obstructing freedom of expression. The Wikileaks, ironically has been condemned by USA for compromising what was supposed to be the confidential messages from the diplomats working in different countries. Internet is its handy weapon which can target vital installations, government computer system and financial markets. More than hundred countries are engaged in the cyber warfare. It is estimated that till April 2009, Pentagon had spent more than 100 million dollars in just six months in cyber war alone besides the usual propaganda through psy ops. In October 2010, US Army created its cyber war command structure under a 3-star General.
Is Wikileaks an aggressive cyber propaganda war or just an act of nemesis? USA has created havoc under a Machiavellian strategy of misleading the people of the world. The real face of USA has been exposed, by Assange, an Australian, who has lived in Sweden for long. He was arrested on the flimsy charge of sexual assault on Swedish women, when in reality these women had consensual relations with the cyber wizard. This goes to show how the West reacts, when some one exposes its deplorable duplicity. It is indeed ironical that despite the huge paraphernalia of propaganda weapons, being used round-the-clock through media and the cyber net, somehow the truth has come out which is shocking to the ‘power wielders’ as they are caught in their own trap, as a poet said: “Khud aap apne daam main sayyad aa giya” (The garden looter is caught in his own trap. Seeds of mistrust is being sowed between Arab and Ajam as US diplomats are set to create an impression that Saudi Arabia hates Iran, more than it dos Israel – a very nefarious game indeed! The proponents of so called democracy, human rights and all those glittering constructs do not practice themselves. In Pakistan, knowing that the politicians are ‘dirty’ and corrupt are being supported by USA, as this lot is very compliant to its demands. The fact is well known to the America and the other westerners that India’s hands are red-in-blood by enormous atrocities it is committing against the freedom seekers of Kashmir. But it is Pakistan, which is being dubbed as ‘terrorist’, besides covertly involved in fanning insurgency in Balochistan and tribal areas of Pakistan. Wikileaks has nothing added from its own. Only it holds the mirror to depict what are the stark realities. “History” as Lawrence Durrell said, “is endless repetition of the wrong way of living.”
Dr S. M. Rahman is Secretary General FRIENDS founded by General Mirza Aslam Beg, the former Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan. He is widely acclaimed for his intellectual and scholastic contributions through various mediums. He is widely travelled and has lectured in many renowned universities of the world and Think Tanks.
He has authored several books on global and regional issues. Now he is a regular contributor to Opinion Maker.