American propoganda as Iraqi journalism


Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The pages of Baghdad Now, an Arabic-language newspaper, portray a country on the upswing. …

That the paper has no publicly known editor, no bylines and no ads is no mistake. It is part of America’s huge psychological warfare campaign to influence Iraqis’ behavior and attitudes, Ernesto Londono reports for The Washington Post.

“The millions spent on this is wasted money,” Ziyad al-Aajeely, director of Iraq’s nonprofit Journalistic Freedom Observatory, said as he flipped through a recent edition of Baghdad Now. “Nobody reads this.” …

Some campaigns have been designed to encourage Iraqis to turn their backs on insurgent groups and cooperate with the U.S. military and Iraq’s security forces. Others have loftier themes: democratic values, sectarian reconciliation and national pride.

In a country where few things work well, where security forces have a checkered reputation and sectarian tension remains high, many Iraqis have grown dismissive of the flood of propaganda they know or assume comes from the U.S. government.