Sunday, July 22, 2007

Duchamp would be proud

Today's Washington Post carried an article on a newly-released RAND study on how the US military can use Madison Avenue techniques to "market" its operations to Iraqis to create a "brand identity" that puts it in the best light.

If that in itself isn't enough to trigger a Dada alert, add the fact that the corporation got paid $400,000 for the study. Still not high enough on the bizarro-meter? Well, okay, look. If there was a world-wide competition for the Biggest "Duh!" Award, this surely would take top honors:
In an urban insurgency, for example, civilians can help identify enemy infiltrators and otherwise assist U.S. forces. They are less likely to help, the study says, when they become "collateral damage" in U.S. attacks, have their doors broken down or are shot at checkpoints because they do not speak English.
Wait. In fact, take back the "duh!" part and go back to the Dada. Because, it appears, it was necessary for the US military to be told that. It was not something the big brains at the Pentagon could figure out for themselves. But don't worry, they'll get the message - and surely apply it at the first opportunity. In, say, Iran.

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