Are they one and the same thing? Matt Armstrong makes the case:

Today, bullets and bombs often have a much smaller impact than the propaganda opportunities they create--opportunities to influence public opinion and build public support. For the insurgents, the most common weapon of strategic influence is the improvised explosive device. Tactically, IEDs force the military to be more defensive and less accessible to the Iraqi population. The actual death of Coalition Forces from IEDs is secondary to their utility as propaganda. IEDs simply cannot kill enough personnel to reduce or eliminate American operational capabilities. Instead, they give the world the perception that Iraq is explosive. They are also used in insurgent recruiting all over the Middle East. An Islamic version of the story of David and Goliath, IED videos posted on YouTube and elsewhere are the new “war porn.” Whereas Americans are addicted to grainy green images of high-tech bombs raining down on the enemy, insurgent supporters prefer images of grassroots combat that sticks it to the Man.

No wonder this PR campaign, road-tested in selected cities in Iraq, may soon be ready for wider release.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.