The Unthinkable: The PR[t] of war

What happens when the line between generals and public relations barons is muddled?

Arad 311 (photo credit: (Ariel Jerozolimski/Courtesy)
Arad 311
(photo credit: (Ariel Jerozolimski/Courtesy)
Israel Defensive
Public Relations Forces Ltd.

‘By way of perception thou shalt do war’
Internal memo.
CC: Members of the General Staff General Ronen Tzur; General Eyal Arad; General Lior Chorev, General Eyal Chomski; General Reuven Adler; General Moti Morell; General Shalom Keital; General Amir Dan, General Roni Rimon, General Moshe Debby, General Rani Rahav
Overall Campaign Goal
: To avert war on the northern and southern fronts in accordance with the strategic marketing needs of our customers.
Note to Operations and Client Services Directorate: Since there is no longer any real difference between actual physical fighting (i.e. shooting, bombing, stabbing etc) hasbara, lawfare and diplomatic policy, we have identified the main campaign aim, which is to create and maintain a hasbara deterrence. Furthermore, since nobody actually wins wars anymore (the last undisputed military victory went to the Vietcong) the primary mission is, as always, to create the perception of victory. Since actual war is too costly and not an option currently available to us due to budget constraints, this campaign does not require any real soldiers doing any real fighting. This is a situation we must maintain at all costs. To this end, one of the central pillars of our strategy is to get the Operations Division to insert into their target bank all the buildings and offices housing newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, Internet sites, and the private homes of bloggers who are critical of Israel (include homes of popular Twitterers, occasional freelancers and stringers). Make sure that these bombings (or shootings of reporters and editors and cyber attacks on enemy Web sites) are carried out by proxies we have created and cannot be traced back to us.
Note to graphics department: Remember to insert into all documentation the phrase: “War is not cost-effective.”
Note to manpower division: Some soldiers may actually want to go out and fight and may even volunteer for this; keep a watchful eye on these troublemakers and make sure they are loaded with administrative work and not promoted.
Northern Front: Action items: 1. Get Military Intelligence Productions subsidiary to set up a new dummy terrorist organization, do not deploy our existing Global Jihad Affiliates Ltd., and get them to recruit some young and eager extremists inside the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Blindfold them and transport the group in unmarked vehicles (keep receipts) to our “Yemenite terrorist training camp” outside Yeroham. For the next month, give these young extremists some, but not too much, training in firing crude rockets, and drench their minds in radical Shi’ite militant philosophy, and make them believe they have joined an elite Hizbullah force (make sure they don’t leave the camp!). Blindfold them again and insert them quietly back into Lebanon. Give “the terrorists” a few rockets with instructions to aim them at northern Israel. Once the rockets are in the air, activate the internal override GPS device (installed in the rockets beforehand by us) and divert the rockets to their new targets: a packed Maronite church in Lebanon. Make sure to have select journalists from the foreign press, preferably from Christian publications, TV and magazines, in that specific area (by offering them a travel junket in that region – coordinate this with our Foreign Liaison and Travel unit) with cameras ready. The death toll from the attack should be somewhere around the 60 or 70 mark (must make sure there are women and children present), depending on the time of day (ask Planning Division to prepare a timetable for Christian holy days). Death toll needs to be sufficiently high to raise the ire of the entire Christian world against Muslim extremists, but not too high as to cause uncontrollable Christian-Muslim fighting in Lebanon, which the Christians will quickly lose.
We want a slow burn, not a region-wide conflagration.
Get the Foreign Ministry to offer to send a delegation of IDPRF Homefront Rescue Unit and Combat Engineers, together with some of our Christian soldiers (convert some if none are found) to the bombed church, carrying with them large fragments of Jerusalem stone with which to rebuild the church. The goal should be to keep Lebanon unstable while showing our willingness and generosity to send holy stones from Jerusalem to rebuild their destroyed church. This should also gain us valuable points and good PR in the Christian press, especially since, as is to be expected, the Lebanese authorities refuse our humanitarian team’s entry into the country. Make sure to have TV and bloggers at the border where our “rebuild the church” convoy languishes, and have local TVs counter those images with the destroyed church.
2. Coordinate with Tshuva to puncture the vast underwater gas reserve off the northern Israeli/ southern Lebanese coast (along the lines of the BP oil leak) so that a constant flow of flammable gas bubbles make their way up to the sea’s surface.
Create a music and fireworks festival for Rosh Hanikra that will run for a few months but make sure that none of the fireworks are aimed at the sea, for now. This should be a sufficient deterrent to any flotillas heading south towards our territorial waters, and will give Rosh Hanikra a much-needed boost in culture and tourism.
3. Classic character assassination for Nasrallah, since we can’t seem to actually assassinate him.
Find appropriate lookalike and get Military Intelligence Productions film and makeup department to create a series of short films called “Scenes from Nasrallah’s bunker.” These films, shot in grainy hidden camera style, will show visits to the bunker by young prostitutes, poker games with his friends, and just general footage of Nasrallah lounging around in his underwear watching Israeli TV soap operas. Disseminate on YouTube anonymously, and also create mock “Nasrallah bunker films” to keep the hype going.
Southern Front: Action Items: 1. Deploy national airline carrier, and competitors, as well as expanded Air Force’s 669 Unit to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt in a massive humanitarian airlift of approximately three million African refugees for resettlement in Israel. Concentrate them around the crossing points into the Gaza Strip (Erez, Karni and Kerem Shalom).
We’ll gain valuable empathy in the Western European and Egyptian press for saving so many desperate people and providing them with a brighter future in our country. Set up 24-hour webcams at these “refugee camps” at an angle that shows the human mass juxtaposed with trucks carrying humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip to deal with humanitarian situation there.
Avoid at all costs a real humanitarian crisis amongst the African refugees, but rather create a perception of humanitarian crisis (no pictures or stories of marketplaces or malls sprouting up at the camps – coordinate with Military Censor).
Images of hundreds of trucks per day driving into Gaza with pasta and jam while all around them millions of refugees ‘appear’ to go hungry should create hasbara parity with the situation in the Gaza Strip. DO NOT ALLOW HAMAS TO DELIVER AID TO OUR REFUGEES. As the world naturally redirects all its aid to “our refugees” – the ones we have saved from certain persecution and rape in Africa – the real humanitarian situation in Gaza should deteriorate rapidly, prompting Hamas to lash out at us, perhaps even conducting cross-border raids to kidnap some African refugees or attack their camps. Offer to pay huge sums of ransom for the abducted refugees, to be paid directly into the Hamas government bank account. The constant flow of abductees, and the vast sums of money paid for them, should naturally make Hamas leaders wildly rich and corrupt, and not keen on war with us.
2. With unprecedented generosity, offer to dry up a large segment of the sea off the Gaza coast and build artificial Dubai-type islands. The money will naturally come from the defense budget, and this should leave all incoming flotillas stranded.