"Attention Taliban! You are condemned. Did you know that? The instant the terrorists you support took over our planes, you sentenced yourselves to death..."
Such begins another broadcast day on "Information Radio," the U.S. military's psychological operations arm of the so-called "war on terrorism" in Afghanistan.
Now that the military campaign is in full seek-and-destroy mode, a specially-equipped plane from the Pennsylvania Air National Guard is making daily flights over Afghanistan, broadcasting music and messages for 10 hours a day on at least two AM frequencies (864 and 1107 kHz). A shortwave station, probably located in the neighboring former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, also relays the programming on 8700 kHz.
Like any propaganda war, Information Radio has two goals: to sap the fighting morale of the Taliban and to sway the opinions of the Afghan people against their government.
Numerous messages urging surrender are broadcast; many read like this:
Some appeals are directly to the Afghan people and result an interesting mix of messages. The first is one of peace in a time of war:
And others attempt to demonize the ruling Taliban government and encourage uprisings:
There is no news yet on the effectiveness of the U.S. propaganda campaign, but with its military having bombed all but one of the Taliban's radio stations off the air, Afghans don't have too many other choices of things to listen to.
Simply broadcasting repetitive propaganda messages doesn't actually mean people will listen and connect with them - time will tell if the U.S. military is as good at the media as it is with missiles.