February 10, 2008

Insurgent Diaries ... and the IO Campaign

Kip and Abu Muqawama are at odds with respect to the job the U.S. is doing in the information campaign. We both think the military has done a crummy job in the IO fight since 2001, but Abu Muqawama thinks the U.S. military, at least, is learning. Slowly, yes, but surely.

In the past week alone, there have been several good examples of the U.S. actually fighting the information campaign as opposed to just conceding it to al-Qaeda. The clumsy statements made after al-Qaeda used women with effing Down's Syndrome in a bomb attack in Baghdad were one example, albeit a poor one. So too was the release of that video of al-Qaeda training the Real Madrid youth team in terror attacks. Now, today, we learn the U.S. has released an "insurgent diary" chronicling the demise of an al-Qaeda unit. You might title this memoir "All Shitty on the Anbar Front." Kip may justifiably wonder why it took this long to release a diary found in November and why the Washington Post -- and not al-Jazeera -- was the media outlet to which the diary was released. But Abu Muqawama, being a glass-half-full kind of guy, takes heart from this quote:

"It is important we get our story out," a U.S. military official said on condition of anonymity. "I firmly believe the information part of this conflict is as very vital as the armed element of it. . . . We don't want to lose that to al-Qaeda."

Okay, granted, it's taken a while for the U.S. to realize this. But hell, we're now as far from where we started as we are from where need to be.

Abu Muqawama is now off to watch the Manchester Derby and perhaps the second half of the England-Italy Six Nations match. Hopefully Italy understands what to do with the damn ball better than our beloved and hopeless Scots did yesterday.