Propaganda, Iraq Style

Iraqis "find themselves under a propaganda bombardment from all sides," reports the Associated Press. One recent anonymous advertisement, "aimed at Arab sensitivities to family and tribe," denounced al-Qaida in Iraq as "followers of the devil." AP couldn't find out who paid for the ad, though a senior editor at the paper that published it said "it was placed by an advertising agency." The Iraqi government "routinely televises interrogations in which alleged insurgents confess their brutal crimes while encouraging citizens to call anonymous tip lines to report insurgent activities." U.S. officials flood reporters "with good news of schools opened after U.S. military refurbishment, water systems repaired and al-Qaida leaders captured." And insurgents "have used the Internet to show brutal hostage beheadings and to declare war on Iraq's Shiite majority, U.S. forces and the American-backed government."