Wednesday, May 28, 2008

“The real war is the media war”

Here's a new one: the Taliban hold a press conference to announce that they are going to wage a media war:

The Taliban are preparing to launch a propaganda offensive with greater (global) outreach by arming some of its members with requisite skills to upload videos on websites such as YouTube.

“The real war is the media war,” Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud told Daily Times. “It is our desire to learn also how one should fight the media war.” 

Mehsud paved the way for a media counter-offensive on Friday by inviting more than 30 journalists from national and international media organisations to North and South Waziristan.
“The Taliban have not been very advanced as far as the media war is concerned. But we are making efforts to catch up with the latest methods, and we will soon be available on YouTube,” a non-Pashtun and non-combatant member of the Taliban’s media cell told Daily Times, his face covered up to evade the identifying gaze of invited lenses.

Access to the latest technology does not appear to be a problem for the Taliban; their media cell employed the latest digital video cameras and laptops to record every moment of the ‘biggest Taliban media show’. 

Senior BBC Urdu reporter Haroon Rashid commented that the media show put on by the Taliban underscored the “completer control of the militants” over Waziristan. 

The Taliban media cell has already been releasing video CDs showing horrific images, apparently with different aims. One such video, screened during an army media briefing on May 18, shows a boy as young as 10 firing shots at the head of a blindfolded man and beheading another.

“Such images leave a deep impact on viewers. It is part of Taliban psychological warfare to break down opponents psychologically,” a retired army expert on psy-ops warfare told Daily Times in Peshawar.

Via C-Square

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