Re: MEDIA/TV: How to present the 'War on Terrorism'

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Sep 25 2001 - 14:42:09 MDT

Michael Wiik wrote:
> Mike Lorrey <> wrote:
> > Fortunately, we have the Northern Alliance to help out on the ground.
> No doubt, but how telegenic are they? Wouldn't they be seen by the
> american television-watching audience as just more nondescript
> un-uniformed towel-heads running around with AK47s? Would sincere media
> interviews with these people provide insights into the nature of god,
> religion and how society be structured that would be in-line with
> western ideals? I think not.
> Maybe providing clean uniforms, a shave and a haircut would help here.
> Ooops, maybe not :-/

I think so. Nothing transforms a soldier like a change of uniform. Send
the NA a hundred thousand sets of Desert Storm style BDUs and they'll
start thinking that they follow in such a martial tradition. If one
thing is true about Afghans, it is that they love their weapons, and
salivate at the chance to get new and better toys to play with. Frankly
I'm surprised that arms makers around the world have not been setting up
R&D testing facilities for infantry level weaponry there prior to this

> > I think strikes on the Taliban's remaining military assets: it's Sukhoi
> > fighters, Tu-54 and 55 tanks, etc would also help tip the tactical
> > balance.
> Tactical balance aside, showing downing of enemy fighters -- especially
> if accomplished by america's islamic allies, as televised during the
> gulf war -- would be a big ratings hit. Tu-54's and 55's are getting a
> little old and don't look anywhere near as formidable as our own M-1
> tanks, thus perhaps not the most photogenic of targets.

Actually, the Russians transformed some of these, along with some T-64s
they also left behind, with reactive armor, so they look pretty military
with their chained together blocks of explosive armor plates jangling
along. Our M-1 series looks more like a Lamborghini, certainly, but
things that go boom turn people on no matter what their age.

> > I thought of something like this, but more along the lines of a bounty
> > on Taliban: $100 US for each rifle and Taliban head brought in.
> It would be interesting to know the average cost per dead enemy soldier
> for the various wars of the 20th century. I think $100 may be a
> pittance, perhaps $1000/taliban head is doable. I dunno how well
> bounty-induced killings would fare on the evening news, however,
> especially if it looks iffy that this dead guy in a turban with a long
> beard is actually an enemy combatant.

Well, Afghanistan is supposed to be the poorest country in the world
these days (behind Bangladesh, if you can believe it). $100 is likely
equal to a years income for the average Aghani fighter. Offer too much
and you'll ruin the economy with excessive inflation.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:57 MDT