Information operations

Do not go gentle into that good night


Do not go gentle into that good night”

-Welsh poet Dylan Thomas

Judge Jeanine Pirro
Image from FoxNews.com

Information Operations, Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication are usually about quietly sharing the truth, a message or, in other words, gently persuading people of other nations that they want to help the United States, that they should be understanding of our needs, wants, desires and plans or that they should remain neutral in our quest to promote democracy around the world. We provide fair and objective reporting, facts that support our position and coordinate aid for needy people.

…and then I saw this video on LiveLeak, of a clip from Fox News.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8ff_1367140787

I agree with almost everything Judge Jeanine says, with one rather large caveat.  Perhaps it’s a clarification, you be the judge.

Too often, I believe, the Western world is politically correct, refusing to shout out “this is wrong”, when we might offend someone with a different political, religious or [fill in the blank] opinion.  In this case it is about Jihad that has been overtly declared against the United States, and the US has not and will not conduct a crusade against Muslims. Judge Jeanine, in this video, says “they hate us”, meaning Islamic extremists.  The US, however, is so cowed into submission and political correctness that even though we are confronted by Islamic extremism in this case, our government refuses to accept and declare that we are locked into a religious struggle.  The mother of the two Boston bombers (alleged, another <expletive deleted> PC term) is claiming persecution by the US (my lazy interpretation), whereas she and her two sons were the recipients of our state-required generosity.

This is a secular versus religious war, which is somewhat like two sports teams lining up in a stadium, but one team plays football while the other plays soccer.   In this case the United States is the good guys (for argument’s sake), but our rules and ethics are constricting us. In the information environment we are maintaining a fortress mentality, which allows us to only win within the castle walls.  We have not taken the offensive, we have not established a century’s worth of programs to help the world to evolve.  There is no Marshall Plan.  Heck, we can’t even pass a budget.  Oh, wait, we just passed our first in four years.  Pshaw, we still are spending way too much.   This indicates we are going to lose the long war. We think, plan and execute in terms of days and weeks, not years or millennium.

Our government does acknowledge, through an established program, that Islamic extremism is a problem and we are fighting it.  The problem is even the title has been made politically correct.  Countering Violent Extremism, or CVE, is the name of the program housed at the US Department of State.  The budget for this program is large when compared with programs designed to influence the rest of the world.  While the program is mostly classified, the Modus Operandi is largely the application of Information Operations, but ‘We the People’ aren’t privy to the operational discussions, the operations or the results. And, if one uses the Boston Bombings as a Measure of Effectiveness, we can largely judge CVE to be ineffective.  But that is one small program compared with a ‘Whole of Government’ approach.  The rest of the US Government is quiet. They shot their collective wad in the days following the bombing.

The President had harsh words immediately following the Boston bombings, that placated us in our immediate time of grief, rage and shock.  But there is no follow up.  The United States has been rendered docile through bloviated sound-bites.

I realize that the White House and their spokespeople must be politically correct, but where is the rage?  Have we been neutered?

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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