U.S. Psy-Ops Countered By Islamic Digital Propaganda
By Scoop Co-Editor, Selwyn Manning
The United States' dominion over 'psy-ops' and propaganda is no longer unchallenged. Islamic insurgents throughout the Muslim world are producing digital video clips with ever-increasing sophistication.
The products of this technological revolution carry a double-edged message of 'glory' for youthful 'martyrs' and
vengeance against the West.
Scoop has obtained video footage - delivered via underground networks and otherwise - originating from Iraq, Iran,
Afghanistan, Chechnya, Turkistan, Algeria and Palestine.
The propaganda's message suggests the Islamic fight against US and western imperialism is spreading - and becoming more
Propaganda originating from the United States is high on emotion, and no less deadly in its threat.
Should you support to United States' foreign interests you will be shocked. Should you subscribe to the insurgency
cause, you will be disturbed. Such is the nature of psy-ops: it is a battle between two civilisations for your opinions.
While some in America debate the pros and cons of pulling troops out of Iraq, an enemy is mobilising and preparing for a
war without end and without borders, that is more than mortal - that can continue from beyond the grave.
American 'psy-ops' (psychological operations) is legendary. The United States mastered the art during the Cold War –
today operations emerge from a skilled network of departments within the US security apparatus. The defence and
intelligence spin is designed to confuse the enemy and render recipients compliant to United States propaganda - to
distributed chosen messages through enemy networks.
The Internet phenomenon has accentuated the superpower's ability to manipulate and control.
These communications technologies are now being utilised by enemies who have caught on to how wars are won and are
distributing their own version of psy-ops and propaganda around the world. Their targets are potential supporters in the
Muslim world – but also in their sights is the United States soldier in Iraq and, ultimately, those who support the War
On Terror in the USA and around the western world.
One effective legend that has emerged is that of Juba. The scenario is similar to one the Soviet Union created in WWII
during the Battle for Stalingrad, and made more famous by the movie Enemy At The Gates.
There, a Soviet sniper, Vassilij Grigoryevich Zaitsev, became a legend both in Russia and in Germany. Between 10
November and 17 December 1942, Zaitsev killed 114 soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht and other Axis armies,
including 11 snipers. His military rank at the time was Junior Lieutenant.
The Iraqi insurgents' equivalent to Zaitsev is Juba.
In 2005, the UK newspaper, The Guardian, reported how US troops at Camp Rustamiyah in Baghdad claimed to use the
nickname "Juba" for a crack sniper thought to have killed or wounded up to several dozen US soldiers.
Reports suggest US soldiers have never seen Juba. They hear him, but by then it's too late: the crack of the bullet was
only heard on impact, leaving those standing near the victim to look about in all directions for the location of Juba's
lair He fires only once before moving from his position, leaving few traces.
The United States soldiers were haunted by this figure - a skilled marksman who could take out Americans without a
Recognising a legend waiting to be created, the insurgents seized their opportunity.
Juba has been elevated to propaganda stardom in the underground anti-American circuits of the Internet. The video clips,
sometimes crude, sometimes more skillfully edited, drive a propaganda campaign run by a network of insurgent groups. The
propaganda is directed at Muslims, definitely, but it contains a message to those many see as the invader: 'You have
taken our blood and we will take your blood, anytime, anywhere, and at Allah's will.'
Then there are the video clips of insurgents firing rockets into the sky day and night. There are clips demonstrating
how to manufacture roadside bombs and bombs lined into jackets, designed for the youthful Muslim who wishes to be a
martyr for his or her religion.
It all makes for a very disturbing scenario – and one the United States Department of Defense would prefer you do not
see or hear of.
In February 2006, the Australian newspaper, The Age, reported one of American's leading terror analysts, Bruce Hoffman
of the Rand Corp, as saying that the insurgency film clips are spreading the jihadi propaganda at a quickening pace.
"A depressing aspect of these videos is how they reveal the insurgency perfecting the low-risk means of war — it's
unique stuff. Seeing them show people how to stage various attacks ratchets things to a new level. The arms race we grew
up with during the Cold War is unfolding at a different level and as quickly as the counter-insurgency catches up with
it, the insurgency finds new ways."
Motives are many, but it is clear there is no shortage of insurgent recruits from the towns, villages and urban environs
of the Sunni Triangle and the greater Muslim world. Fuelling these young fighters is a disgust at abuses such as: the
Abu Ghraib Prison Tortures, the U.S. soldiers trading mutilated images of Iraqi dead for porn (see Scoop article: U.S. Soldiers Trade Images Of Iraqi Dead For Porn
.), the abusive conduct of British soldiers in the south of Iraq, unreported instances of rape and murder throughout
Iraq's cities, towns and villages, the psychological methods that abuse Islamic custom and doctrine - centring on what
is considered obscene - to extract information from Iraqis who may or may not be involved in the anti-American
All this is factored into the Jihadist propaganda.
The insurgents can be heard in the video clips chanting to Allah as the rockets launch, as the bombs explode, as a
sniper marks another kill.
In 2003 Scoop displayed graphic images of innocents, including children, killed by the United States led coalition
forces. Scoop justified the publishing of those images in an editorial that stated:
To sanitise the reality of warfare is abhorrent to those serving the public interest. To censor images of capture, of
death, as a consequence of war, is wrong. If Scoop were to do so, it would be subscribing to the glitzy rah rah top-gun
Hollywood-façade-style of reportage that the mainstream United States based media has become obsessed with…
The founding purpose of information sharing is to empower individuals to make informed choices. If publishing these
images causes those who would otherwise send more to their deaths or support the killing of innocents to consider the
true consequence of their decisions, then publishing is justified.
Today, Scoop's position remains the same.
Scoop Audio: Scoop's Selwyn Manning and 95bFM's Simon Pound discuss:
the Scoop doco " Psy-Ops - The War On Your Opinions" and how NZ's intel agencies failed regarding Timor Leste.