Friday, August 19, 2005

Whip Iraq Now Buttons?



Never let it be said that the Republicans are not solidly grounded in reality, or that they are not sensitive to the pyschological aspects of difficult problems. When Gerald Ford's administration faced rampant inflation due to the unwillingness of the US government to finance the Vietnam War with tax increases (hold that thought), they responded with surgical precision with the "Whip Inflation Now" campaign, and stirring buttons like these:

The Reagan team, perhaps guided by Nancy's astrologer, took on the complex problem of drug use by adopting campaigns to tell kids "Just Say No," and "DARE" (which I though stood for "Drugs Are Really Excellent," but I must have been wrong.)


Well, boys and girls, that kind of out-of-the-box thinking is back:

The Pentagon, looking for innovative ways to thwart deadly roadside bombs in Iraq, has launched an $11 million program using robots, body armor and a "first-ever advertising campaign aimed at the Iraqi" people, the weekly Inside the Army reports.

An Army-led joint task force, called the Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Task Force, will spend $7.7 million to have an Iraqi ad agency produce "a series of media products . . . designed to influence Iraqi target audiences to support efforts to eliminate the IED threat," the Pentagon said last month.

The effort against improvised explosive devices will include video, audio and print campaigns. "The task force is looking at solutions across a wide spectrum, really," a spokesman told Inside the Army. "It's not just technology, it's not just jammers, it's not just armor. It's a holistic approach to solve the problem."

Also on the media front, the Pentagon in June said the U.S. Special Operations Command put out contracts worth up to $300 million to three U.S. companies for "media approach planning," producing and distributing media "products" and analyzing effectiveness.

"Whip IEDs Now" buttons? "Just Say" bumper stickers for your Hummer? How can we not win their hearts and minds with slogans like these?

Be sure to get yours soon, and display it with pride.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Sandy47 said...

Trust 'American Ingenuity' to fail to grasp any sense of the reality in any given situation and then applying, at great cost, exactly the wrong kind of solution to the perceived problem.

I bet getting the hell out would be cheaper, but what do I know? I'm not an American.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Al V. said...

maybe if they actually spent the money on clean water and garbage removal they would be more effective?

12:58 PM  

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