Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

You have got to give credit where credit is due. The Iranian claim that the video and audio of their recent foray with US warships is made up propaganda deserves some kind of award for creativity.

First of all, their supporters and followers will instantly believe this claim because it’s what they want to believe. Secondly, the US has a reputation of technological superiority so that there is an air of reasonableness to the claim. Third, it’s incredibly timely. It would appear that they read my earlier post about taking advantage of current events.

From the Iranian perspective the mission likely served two purposes. One purpose was clearly intelligence collection. They were able to test reactions of the US Navy very much like ferret flights during the old Cold War. Ferret flights were “Training flights” used to ‘ferret out’ what the opposition would do if attacked by flying near their enemy’s border just to see what would happen. Take a look at:

The other aspect was a PSYACT. As it turned out they were able to gain some positive propaganda traction by claiming the video was made up by the Americans. I suspect that had the Navy fired on the ships, Iran would have claimed that those speedboats were engaged in legitimate peaceful operations in international waters and that the US was unprovoked.

It makes me wonder what kind of activities the US could engage in that would have a win-win perspective regardless of the outcome.

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