Monday, November 27, 2006

“We Are Planting a Future”


Matt Armstrong over at MountainRunner came across The Other Iraq, a chamber-of-commerce play by the de facto Kurdistan Regional Government. Three :30 spots on the site highlight Iraqi Kurdistan as thankful for American intervention, stable for investment, and democratically forward-looking in imagery resembling those defense-contractor spots from the Sunday-morning talk shows—or the ADM spots on Jim Lehrer’s program.

Iraqi Kurdistan has been nominally independent for the past 15 years and it’s no surprise to see business and government leaders (and maybe a few Western helpers) there promoting the country to Western investors. It’s the only section of Iraq that’s not currently at daggers drawn with itself, and getting additional Western investment now means the U.S. and European business communities will stay interested after U.S. forces vacate Iraq, providing insurance against bullying by Turkey or Iran.

As Armstrong says, is The Other Iraq public diplomacy or infowar? I think the former if it's purely a Kurdish project, and infowar—directed at Western publics, not just the business community—if Westerners inspired and directed it.

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