Sylvain and Lex: Is the U.S. government’s early emphasis on “shock and awe,” a concept which our media predictably hyped, itself a calculated tactic to intimidate the Iraqi leadership? Certainly we have plans to bomb heavily, and will do so when and if necessary. But the Iraqis watch the same TV news as we do. It would be well worth it if we could scare them, or at least as many of them as possible, into surrendering. Maybe that’s the intention.
If so, it marks a new high in sophistication for our government’s use of information. This is the kind of thing the Iraqis are supposed to be good at. It would be both excellent and ironic if it turned out that we were as competent in this area as we are in so many others.