Saturday, May 26, 2012

For the Win

I'm not saying there can't be problems with the Pentagon engaging in propaganda (tip to Instapundit) to support a war effort. But if it is true information, I'm not convinced it is a bad thing to engage in information operations to counter enemy propaganda that often is false. There is opposition to lifting the ban on domestic information. I'm honestly not sure where I stand on that. I lean toward keeping the ban, but I could be persuaded my first impulse is wrong.

But what gets me is that some propaganda directed at the American public is perfectly legal, it seems:

The Department of Health and Human Services have an ad campaign that, oddly enough, falls right in the middle of the midterm elections that “advises” seniors on the wonders of ObamaCare.

Fancy that. Call me cynical, but perhaps it just depends on who you think you are at war with and what you are willing to fight for. Enemies abroad? Well, we probably deserve their anger and we should really engage in lengthy debates about why they hate us. Enemies in the election campaign? Well, you have to do what it takes to win.

Part of my impulse against lifting the ban on domestic information operations is that it should be the job of the administration that sends the Pentagon to war to bolster morale on the home front by explaining why we fight. But even as I despaired that President Bush didn't do more on that issue, I now look at that period as a golden age of presidential attention on the war. And at least I never doubted that President Bush was committed to winning. President Obama just can't be bothered to explain why we must fight and win our wars. It's all about "responsibly ending" them.

But he can still work up a good rage about Republicans.