Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Paul Linebargers Psychological Warfare and it's application to current day US policy.

Linebarger Psychological Warfare

This is from Paul M.A. Linebarger's "Psychological Warfare" 1954 edition Pages 128-131 which is the "primer" for PSYOPS operations. Linebarger's fear was that this would be used in peace time which a lot of it ufortunately has.

"On the other side of the coin, it is very hopeful to note that the many and dangerous techniques developed by the OSS (Precursor to the CIA) for covert propaganda, some of which were applied with considerable success in Europe, have not been introduced into domestic U.S. politics, commercial competition or other froms of private life"
-Paul M.A. Linebarger

Anyway, this following passage applies to US policy and attitudes towards Iran and also applies to Israel's policy to Palestine and USA non-engagement with North Korea.

"Over and above the direct contribution to straight news or intelligence, enemy propaganda in times of war or crisis affords a clue to enemy strategy. If the co-ordination is not present the propaganda may do the enemy himself harm. But the moment co-ordination is present, and one end of the co-ordinate is handed over to us, we can start figuring what the co-ordination is for. Sometimes propaganda is sacrificed for weightier considerations of security; German propaganda gave little advance warning of a war with the USSR, and Soviet propaganda gave none. In other instances,the co-ordination does give the show away."
The Manahattan project is one instance of being kept secret until it was used.

"In 1941-42 the Japanese radio began to show an unwholesome interest in Christmas Island in its broadcasts to Japanese at home and abroad. Christmas Island, below Sumatra, was pointed out as a really important place, and tremendously important to Naval strategy. Subsequently the Japanese armed forces went to and took Christmas Island. The home public was delighted that this vital spot had been secured. Of course Christmas Island was not as important as Japanese radio said it was, but the significant thing was that radio talked about it AHEAD OF TIME. For what little it was worth theJapanese had given us warning......"
This section one paragraph later applies to Israel in particular but also applies to Iran:

"A nation getting ready to strike a la Pearl Harbour may prepare by alleging American aggresion. A nation preparing to break the peace frequently gets out peace propaganda of the most blatant sort, trying to make sure that its own audience (as well as the world) will believe the real responsibility to lie in the victim he attacks. Hitler protested his love of Norwegian neutrality; then he hit, claiming that he was protecting it from the British. No hard and fast rules can be made up for all wars or all beligerents. The Germans behaved according to one pattern; the Japanese

"For example, the German High Command sought to avoid bragging about anything they could not accomplish (The-Open-Mind: see USA's performance on North Korea which would involve the possibility of engaging China with it hundreds of millions of ready-for-war population) They often struck blows without warning but they never said they would strike a blow when they knew or believed they could not do it. The British and Americans made a timetable of this, and were able to guess how fast the Germans thought they were going to advance in Russia."

"Knowing this, the British and Americans planned their propaganda to counter the German boasts; they tried to pin the Germans down to objectives they knew the Germans would not take, in order to demonstrate to the peoples of Europe that Nazi Germany had finally bitten off more than it could chew."

"Later the Allies remembered this German habit when the Nazis on the radio began talking about their own secret weapons. When the British bombed the V-1 ramps on the French coast, the German radio stopped that talk. The British had additional grounds for supposing that the ramps thay had bombed were part of the secret weapons that the Germans bragged about. The British further knew that the Germans would try to counter the psychologigal effect of the announcement of Allied D Day with some pretty vivid news of their own. When the German radio began mentioning secret weapons again, the British suspected the Germans had got around damage done to the ramps. D-Day came; the Germans, in one single broadcast designed to impress the Japanese and Chinese, announced the secret German weapon was about to be turned loose, and that more such weapons would follow. One day later the first V-1 hit London."
And the final chapter ends thus

"For peacetime purposes, it is to be remembered that tough enemies may hide their scientists, their launching ramps, or their rockets, they cannot hide their occasion for war, nor their own readiness measures. No government can afford to seem the plain unqualified aggressor. Propanal ( Propaganda Analysis) may prove to be one of the soundest war-forecasting systems available to usin a period of ultra destructive weapons. Psychologicalmobilization may be disguised; it cannot be concealed."

Since the re-appointment of GW Bush, the US has been talking "peace" and "diplomacy", while at the same time portraying Iran and Syria as "terrorist states". A close reading of the above tells us what is in store....

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  • I've been looking to get a copy of this book, in any form, for a while now. If you have any ideas, I'd appreciate it.


    Andrew Mass
    New York, NY

    By Blogger Andrew Mass, at 10:05 am  

  • Its now in reprint, available on Amazon & the Book Depository UK etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 am  

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