Spamming for America

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The New York Times reports that America's "growing arsenal of psychological weapons" includes spam and telemarketing.

American cyber-warfare experts recently waged an e-mail assault, directed at Iraq's political, military and economic leadership, urging them to break with Saddam Hussein's government. A wave of calls has gone out to the private cellphone numbers of specially selected officials inside Iraq, according to leaders at the Pentagon and in the regional Central Command.

Presumably the subject line on the e-mail solicitations promises the "Secret of Life Extension!!!" and the telemarketers ask to speak to "the henchman of the house." If such tactics provide the key to an easy victory, direct marketers may see their reputations improve. In this case, though, a response rate below 1 percent probably won't do the trick.

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  1. Even if it worked, I don’t see why that should make me detest intrusive solicitations any less. Killing the enemy outright is sure effective, but that doesn’t mean I want soldiers pointing guns at me.

    Anyway, this is just more proof that war is hell!! 🙂

  2. Does this mean we can sue telemarketers for attacking us with weapons of mass destruction?

  3. does anybody remember the good joke from sept/oct 2001 where the cia telemarketed (what a great verb — it embiggens the smallest!) the taliban to death (“hello, mr. tale-ban, would you like to know how aluminum siding can improve the value of your home?”)

    cheers,
    drf

  4. The juiciest bit of news actually happened about a week ago but I was told about it today. A couple of days ago it was rumored that all top officials had their phone numbers changed, well who cares it?s not like I call Saddam every night to chat, but today a friend explained why. Around six days ago the phone lines of the Iraqi air defense units were ?attacked?. When you picked up the phone in some of the command units you didn?t get a dial tone but a male voice speaking in broken Arabic. What it said is close to what the infamous email said, don?t use chemical or biological weapons, don?t offer resistance, and don?t obey commands to attack civilian areas and so on. This went on for a couple of hours. Now everyone has new numbers. I have no idea how that is at all possible. I do know that for some rural areas we use microwave signals for phone connections but they can?t be so stupid as to use it for military purposes.

    Way to go uncle Sam. This is going to make one hell of a James Bond movie. Where is Raed ?: :: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 ::

  5. Dear Mr. Saddam.
    Your name has been given to me as someone who can be trusted in a matter that requires the highest secrecy.
    I am night watchman in a U.S. mint. I noticed one night that my new gum-soled shoes would stick to money when I walked over it, and stay secure until I got home and removed it. Naturaly, from then on I walked only on hundred dollar bills, and I now have over 30 million dollars in new currency in my attic. I can not spend this money without raising suspicion, so here is my proposal. I will send all the money to you, addressed to your personal bank account, then you can send 25 million dollars back to me as a gift, and keep 5 million dollars for your troubles. Just let me know your account number and pin number and we can do business.
    Incidently, if you are prompt in your response I wll send you the secret of lengthening your penis three inches, and give you the password to an account where you can watch Co-eds fooling around – if you know what I mean.

    Yours in confidence,
    Gene 6-Pack

  6. Ahhh, yes.

    An attack with the dreaded WMM — Weapons of Mass Marketing.

  7. He who lives by the sword…
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Iraq, or more likely Al-Qaeda, launched a cyber attack in response to a U.S. military attack (on Iraq). Of course this would necessitate expanding the powers of government enough to allow the Dept. of HoS to regulate the internet… and probably all communication everywhere just to be safe.

  8. Yes, I do indeed remember the audio production that made the internet rounds some months ago. It was one of the funniest things my family and I have heard, before or since. On the other hand, I am getting used to life quickly catching up with satire in these surrealistic times.

    Let’s hope that the prediction of a mudfight between the two great leaders, predicted in Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s hilarious “Two Tribes” video, comes true as well, with Bush and Saddam starring in the real-life remake.

    What strikes me is that the people of the middle east don’t seem to hate those of the US, or vice versa — or if they do, then not nearly as much as our respective leaders seem to hate each other. Even then, the retaliation of one side is always in response to injuries caused by the use of command resources by leaders of the other side. The people get caught in the real and metaphorical crossfire.

    To wage our war on terrorism, it looks like we will have to become the antithesis of a free country. Remind me again,: if we can’t be free, why will we be fighting?

  9. Maybe “Secret of Life Extension!!!” wouldn’t be such a bad subject line for the emails — join us and we’ll try not to shoot you too much.

  10. IT JUST HIT ME (LIKE THE PROVERBIAL TON OF BRICKS) THAT SDUCH AN E-WAR WITH saddam MIGHT, JUST MIGHT, HAVE A OMINOUS EFFECT ON OUR ABILITY TO DOWNLOAD “PORN” …horrors! I’d hate 2 miss out on the screen debut of “BONDAGE IN BAGHDAD,”
    “SADISM WITH SADDAM” & (EVERYONE’S FAVORITE) “MY BIG, FAT IRAQUI WEDDING! …THE SURPRISE ENDING BEING THAT THE GROOM NEVER, EVER SEES THE BRIDE TILL AFTER THGE WEDDING!

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