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<nettime> Tactical Media Efforts of the Iraqi Sunni Insurgency -- an ext
Bruce Sterling on Sat, 30 Jun 2007 11:47:26 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Tactical Media Efforts of the Iraqi Sunni Insurgency -- an extensive case study


(((My, this extensive document certainly rewards close study by the
digital-media and graphic-design scholar.)))

" RFE/RL has released a book-length study entitled 'Iraqi Insurgent
Media: The War Of Images And Ideas.' The study documents the media
efforts of the Iraqi insurgency and how global jihadists are using
those efforts to spread their destructive message."

http://www.rferl.org/insurgentmediareport

(((A few choice excerpts:)))

Biographies of the best-known martyrs are sometimes lavish affairs,
Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the most famous jihadist to have died in
Iraq, was the subject of a downloadable "encyclopedia" that includes
not on numerous materials on the Jordanian militant's life, but
also a complete collection of his statements, essays on his beliefs
and influence, and statements on the jihad in Iraq by Osama bin
Laden. Formatted as a 7.7-megabyte self-contained mini-browser,
the "encyclopedia" provides users with a table of contents and a
conventient graphics interface.

The development of martyr biographies illustrates the growing
professionailism of the insurgent media network. In May 2005, a
participant in a jihadist Internet forum posted a collection of 430
biographies of martyrs in Iraq culled from newspaper accounts, forum
posts, and transcribed "wills" recorded by suicide bombers before
their final attacks. Formatted simply as a Microsoft Word document,
the biographies are uneven in length and tone, and the overall
impression of the collection is somewhat chaotic.

A collection titled *Stories of the Martyrs of Mesopotamia,* though
undated, appears to have been published later. Produced by the
Mujahidin Shura Council, it is formatted more elaborately, with a
full-cover cover, graphic logos, and a background for each page.
Moreover, some of the martyrs who appeared in the collection in May
2005 as single-line entries, such as Abu Ahmad al-Karbuli, are the
subjects of multi-page texts in the Mujahidin Shura Council collection
(...)

A number of insurgent groups and sympathetic media units produce
monthly and weekly publications. These are usually posted to forums
through free upload/download services as both Microsoft Word and
Adobe Acrobat documents. The more sophisticated periodicals are
professionally laid out and feature lavishly formatted covers, full-
color photographs, and charts and graphs. (...)

Just as the operational press release is the basic unit of insurgent
textual production, visual records of attacks are the basic units of
insurgent video production. The two genres are closely related, and
insurgent groups sometimes issue operational press releases along with
links to download a video record of the attack. (...) Most insurgent
groups take care to "brand" themselves, placing their logos in a
corner of the screen for the duration of the video...

Films cover a variety of subjects but break down into a number of
established genres. The most common of these are:

*Compilations of attack videos, frequently organized as a "greatest
hits" collection.(...)

*Profiles of martyrs and insurgents(...)

*Detailed overviews of individual operations and campaigns(...)

*Motivational films on the outrages and excesses committed by
insurgents' enemies.


(...)

The impressive array of products Sunni-Iraq insurgents and their
supporters create suggests the existence of a veritable multimedia
empire. But this impression is misleading. The insurgent media network
has no identifiable brick-and-mortar presence, no headquarters, and
no bureaucracy. It relies instead on a decentralized, collaborative
production model that utilizes the skills of a community of
like-minded individuals. (...)




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