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March 26, 2003

ISRAELI EXPERTS say that there is so much disinformation about that it is impossible to assess the actual progress of the war. That's my sense, too. Best quote:

Most of those interviewed agree that, paradoxically, despite the unprecedented media coverage of the war, including the many correspondents who are embedded in fighting units, nobody knows what is really happening in Iraq. Yossi Peled, former GOC Northern Command, thinks the U.S. has shown great skill in its control of the media. "You have lots of television crews in the field, yet as someone watching TV you have no overall picture."

Military historian Prof. Martin van Creveld goes further: "Everyone is lying about everything all the time, and it is difficult to say what is happening. I've stopped listening. All the pictures shown on TV are color pieces which have no significance."

"There is a lot of disinformation," he concludes. "Every word that is spoken is suspect."

Shahak says that until now the Americans have managed to conceal their true battle plan. "Do you know what the Americans have planned? I don't. They also never said (what they were planning to do). How do you topple a regime in 48 hours? In a week? Seventeen days? If we don't want to make fools of ourselves, we should wait patiently. It would just be arrogant to judge from what we see on TV."

What's been frustrating about the television coverage is exactly what Van Creveld describes: lots of information, none of it adding up to a very useful big picture. Which, I suspect, is the point. (Via The Command Post).