Saturday, July 21, 2007

Brand America

By Libby

The Pentagon apparently had a epiphany about the Iraq occupation. Being at a loss to explain why the Iraqis aren't grateful to be living under Stone Age conditions while facing the daily prospect of an untimely death at the hands of any number of competing players, they turned to their long time favored contractor, the Rand Corporation, wisely deploying $400,000 of the taxpayers' money to find out why "they" hate us.

And they weren't disappointed. The same corporation that absolved them from guilt by dismissing Gulf war syndrome as virtually imaginary in 1998 and produced the now forgotten study that in August 2002, "declared Saudi Arabia an enemy of the United States and advocated that the United States invade the country, seize its oil fields, and confiscate its financial assets unless the Saudis stop supporting the anti-Western terror network," has nailed the problem down for the military brass.

It's so obvious, they're probably slapping themselves in the forehead wondering why they didn't think of that themselves. It's not the daily carnage, the destruction of the infrastructure and the virtual non-exixtence of essential services like electricity. It's simply a marketing problem.

They sure got their money's worth with pearls of wisdom like this.
In an urban insurgency, for example, civilians can help identify enemy infiltrators and otherwise assist U.S. forces. They are less likely to help, the study says, when they become "collateral damage" in U.S. attacks, have their doors broken down or are shot at checkpoints because they do not speak English. Cultural connections -- seeking out the local head man when entering a neighborhood, looking someone in the eye when offering a friendly wave -- are key.

Yep. Nothing says "we care" like a hearty grin and a friendly wave before we bomb your neighborhood into rubble in search of the "bad guys." One wonders what the slogan will be for this new PR offensive will be. Something along the lines of: "USA - the friendly country who kills you with kindness, every single day." Sure to be a winner.

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