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Rummy Ups the Ante

chicago dyke's picture

This is a classic case of clapping harder so Tinkerbell won't die. I guess I will never understand, living in the Reality-Based community as I do, what it must be like to live as if your own lies were truthy facts. But I'm not Rummy or any of his minions, so what do I know.

U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.

The contract calls for assembling a database of selected news stories and assessing their tone as part of a program to provide "public relations products" that would improve coverage of the military command's performance, according to a statement of work attached to the proposal.

There's this little thing we call "objectivity," and I'm pretty sure you can't have that and be on the payroll for the express purpose of promoting discourse of one kind. Let's note who is to be the recepient of all this Good News: command. I guess the boys and girls on the ground getting the asses shot off can just shut up and die.

The request for bids comes at a time when Bush administration officials are publicly criticizing media coverage of the war in Iraq.

The proposal, which calls in part for extensive monitoring and analysis of Iraqi, Middle Eastern and American media, is designed to help the coalition forces understand "the communications environment." Its goal is to "develop communication strategies and tactics, identify opportunities, and execute events . . . to effectively communicate Iraqi government and coalition's goals, and build support among our strategic audiences in achieving these goals," according to the statement of work that is publicly available through the Web site .

Honestly, this kind of "logic" still astounds me. As an abuse survivor I feel very highly qualified to assert: no amount of Happy Feely Ads in the media about the man who abused me will ever make me like him. Similarly, the Klan could take out front page ads in the NYT from now until the Rapture, and I'm not going to believe they are working for my best interests. I'm sure the extended family of the girl our troops raped, shot and burned will totally forgive us if they get a few flyers and watch an Arabic language ad promoting US-Iraqi goodwill.

A public relations practitioner who asked for anonymity because he may be involved in a bid on the contract said that military commanders "are overwhelmed by the media out there and are trying to understand how to get their information out.

"They want it [news] to be received by audiences as it is transmitted [by them], but they don't like how it turns out," he said. As an example, he said, there are complaints that reports from Iraq sometimes quote Shiite cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr more than military commanders.

Wow. Imagine that, our Big Strong Leadership is afraid of the utterly cowed and enabling SCLM. I wonder what they would think of a couple of the more shrill members of the blogosphere? I had no idea I was so Tough. Time to start forwarding Corrente posts to the big brass, I'll have them whimpering to end this war in a New York minute.

And you know, there's a reason why some of us want to hear what Sadr and others actually on the groud, who have actual support from large numbers of Iraqis are saying. I'm sure the Green Zone is very nice, but Iraq's a big country, you know? The Brass should turn off the TV and take a tour now and again. Like, with the troops n shit.

The proposal calls for monitoring "Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international and U.S. national and regional markets media in both Arabic and English." That includes broadcast and cable television outlets, the Pentagon channel, two wire services and three major U.S. newspapers: The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

Monitors are to select stories that deal with specific issues, such as security, reconstruction activities, "high profile" coalition force activities and events in which Iraqi security forces are "in the lead." The monitors are to analyze stories to determine the "dissemination of key themes and messages" along with whether the "tone" is positive, neutral or negative.

The media outlets would be monitored for how they present coalition or anti-Iraqi force operations. That part of the proposal could reflect Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's often-stated concern that the media does not cover positive aspects of Iraq.

So I'd say the short version of this is: making a list of those who don't suck with the force of an experienced whore, and pass it on to the party planners in DC. Bad presstitutes won't get the juicy, hot scoops and invites. Again, I find it funny that these morons have no idea how many people are reading, writing and talking about all the Scary things they don't want discussed here in the blogosphere. Hey, tough guys, I just made another convert yesterday. Take a look at the numbers, and tremble.

The proposal suggests a team of 12 to 18 people who would provide support for the coalition military command as well as the Iraqi government leadership.

Prospective contractors are also asked to propose four to eight public relations events per month, such as speeches or news conferences, including "preparation of likely questions and suggested answers, themes and messages as well as background, talking points."

The Rendon Group, which has represented organizations such as the Iraqi National Congress, currently holds a much smaller year-to-year contract with the military command in Iraq. That contract includes creating an Arabic version of the command's Web site,

I suppose someone could help them with their hair and makeup- that usually works for fading Hollywood stars. Perhaps some snappy new uniforms, a little Carnegie speech training...

I'm sure the press conferences will completely change the minds of Americans and Iraqis dissatisfied with the progress of the occupation. I mean, look how successful Rendon's efforts have been. The insurgency is practically in it's last throes, and the American Left is falling apart.

As always, Republicans know only two things: cronyism with your tax dollars for projects that produce nothing but richer cronies, and how to lie. Our lives are made simpler when we put these two things in the forefront of every analysis we make of them. Pincus.

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