Monday, March 10, 2003

Isn't Dropping Powerpoint Presentations from the Sky Prohibited by the Geneva Convention?

Here we have an interesting site (via Pejman Yousefzadeh) showing us the propaganda leaflets that the Americans are dropping on Iraq. This site is provided to us directly by US Central Command, and they have provided us with nice English language versions of the leaflets as well as Arabic. Besides illustrating that the Pentagon is apparently as enamoured with modern technology as is the corporate world, their content is pretty straight and to the point, a standard mixture of threat and reassurance. Besides lots of leaflets giving the frequencies of American propaganda radio, we have straightforward stuff about "Do not risk your life, and the lives of your comrades. Go home now and watch your children live, grow and prosper". (This is presumably if the poor bastards can do this without being shot by their commanding officers), the message that the Americans will only be attacking military targets and not civilians ("Coalition forces do not wish to harm the noble people of Iraq") combined with a pretty straightforward message that if you shoot at the Americans, you will really regret it. And if you are responsible in any way for the use of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, we will track you down personally with our scary all-seeing satellites, and you will really, really, really, really regret it.

And the production values of the leaflets has gone way up since World War One. I can imagine a few conversations.

"Hey, Abdul, this says that if we shoot at them, we will die".
"Yes, Saeed, and it is also clear that they have Microsoft Powerpoint and glossy four colour printing. These are clearly not people to be trifled with. Let's surrender at once".

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