Egypt Independent

The way Saudi Arabia propagates ‘Decisive Storm’



Saudi Arabia is very pleased with the “Decisive Storm” raids waged against the Houthis, as it is the first military operation the country has ever launched to defend its national security.
 
Although the operation is carried out by a larger Arab coalition, Saudi Arabia considers the support from other countries to be minor, claiming to be fighting alone, as it considers itself to be the only country in the region with an army that is capable of taking action.
 
The Saudi media machine has also presented the matter as if it were fighting a fierce, World War II-like battle, sweeping deserts and attacking from mountains, seas and skies.
 
This way, military facts have been turned into psychological propaganda aimed at Saudi citizens, proud that their country is safeguarding their national interest.
 
According to its own standards, Saudi Arabia is waging a legitimate war against the Houthis and Iran, who stage provocations around her borders.
 
Yet the Saudi media quickly turned the matter into propaganda, aimed at inducing enormous pride in the invincible Saudi army. Saudi citizens have been posting news about the glorious battle on Twitter, where it was mixed with official media reports. 
 
Then came the pictures, such as that of Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, who was born in 1985, studied law and never had any military training, standing in the task force room, following up on the course of events.
 
Other pictures showed Saudi soldiers praying or kissing their children, before answering the call of duty.
 
Then came the long-awaited hashtag, which became, in a completely not spontaneous manner, the most shared one in just two hours, showing different points of view about the most important event in the Middle East at the moment.
 
For reasons related to the military history of Saudi Arabia, Saudi citizens were very enthusiastic and felt they were experiencing a matter of cataclysmic nature, thanks to the media that has portrayed it as such.
 
Saudi newspapers celebrated the military spokesperson as a living legend and one of the most skilled pilots of the world. This may be true, but presenting it in such a way was still a bit of an exaggeration.
 
The papers also presented the young defense minister as a remarkable prince and law expert, although royalty and law expertise have nothing to do with military affairs.
 
Embarking on a move of this magnitude and propagated in such a way, Saudi Arabia under the new king seems to assume a different course, and a different role in the regional political equation.
 
However, the ground intervention in the next few days will reveal the strength of Saudi Arabia, showing whether it is really able to engage in the hell that awaits in the rugged mountains of Yemen, or leave the mission to be accomplished by Pakistani soldiers.
 
 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm