"War Made Easy" A Movie On How Government Deception and the Conservative Media (includeds NYT & NPR, national pentagon radio) has fostered War.
“War Made Easy" is a documentary with Sean Penn narrating, and is based on a book by Norman Solomon . This is an award winning expose on how the American Public has been led into a 50-year pattern of government deception and spin, dragging the United States from one war into another. Remarkably this film exhumes archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations. Brutally persuasive this film presents disturbing examples of propaganda from those we want to believe in.
Persistence of Myths Could Alter Public Policy Approach. "The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies (PDFs) show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths." [Via Firedoglake, more at MindHacks.]
Recently deceased Leona Helmsley left $12 Million to her dog, as predicted by Soviet propagandists in 1963. Other predictions have been less than accurate.
Presidential Advance Manual [pdf] has been leaked, apparently. WaPo reporter Peter Baker discusses the "rally squads" to be set up by the advance team, whose job is to drown out potential protesters with chants of "USA! USA!" Slate's Dahlia Lithwick opines as well, and relates the document to the recent payment of 80,000 dollars to two people who had the unmitigated gall to wear anti-Bush T-shirts at a public event.
My Right Wing Dad is a new-ish and rather informal blog that aims to provide "a chance for folks to examine the unrestrained rhetoric that is quietly passed from in-box to in-box in America," by hosting a collection of the emails that form an often untraceable and unacknowledged part of public discourse in the U.S., especially on the Right. Tagged by category (for example: God, college, flag, liberal, and World War II), the amateur archive presents a range of colorful opinion, not all of it strikingly accurate, and some of it offensive. In efforts to understand liberal and conservative habits of communication, it may be worth considering the role of forwarded email in the electoral process, and the reasons that the forwarding of email is popular among some people, and whether this behavior tends to correlate with particular political opinions. The emails hosted on MyRightWingDad may in any case be enlightening, unless you're already on the forward list of someone in the know.
That the first space race was politically motivated shouldn't detract from your enjoyment of Soviet propaganda space art. More here and here.
Russians plant flag on North Pole Sea bed. Russia has attempted to assert it's sovereignty over the North Pole by planting a Russian flag 4,200 metres under the ice. Norwegians, Danes react with amusement.
"Japanese Relocation" - A short propaganda film created by the US government & the "Office of War Information - Bureau of Motion Pictures." The subject has been much discussed previously on MetaFilter. Here and here, among other threads.
The "same people who attacked us on 9/11"? It may be the very latest talking point from the Administration, but it's actually true--altho it's not Al Qaeda in Iraq, but Saudis. Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia ... A historical note: 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis.
FBI 101 -- "Essentials for Writers," an "exciting and informative" interactive workshop for writers being offered to members of my union -- the Writers Guild of America, East - by the FBI Office of Public Affairs and FBI New York. ... -- Very interesting account of a workshop the FBI puts on for writers in NY. What's in it for the FBI? ...The only question we have for you is 'Will it show us in a good light?'" ...
The War against the libr'l media ? The Governmnt of Venezuela (read Hugh Chavez and his supporters) decided not to renew the broadcasting licence of RCTV station. RCTV issued this statement and consequently stopped transmissions. Some welcome the move, others observe the many facets of this event, many sustain it's outright government censorship and protest. [Previous] post and documentary on distortions by and in media.
"The station's gaffes have included broadcasting in December 2006 a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah..."
Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program. That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, ... from their About US page: Alhurra is operated by non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the American people through the U.S Congress. US Govt. Accountability Office abstract about other MBN problems here.
The Soviet Army fights its way into Berlin and then, in a Very Special Episode, Uncle Joe drops in for a visit.
warnings: YouTube; violence followed by extreme melodrama
warnings: YouTube; violence followed by extreme melodrama
War vs. Democracy: Untold Stories from the Lynch / Tillman Hearing -- ...U.S. soldiers whose injuries or deaths remain mired in secrecy. Pat Tillman's brother and fellow Army Ranger Kevin Tillman advocated strongly for other families still waiting for answers. ... "The family was told, it was -- quote -- 'an ambush by insurgents.' Two years later, they found out that those -- quote -- 'insurgents' happened to be the same Iraqi troops that he was training. Before his death, he told his chain of command that these same troops that he was training were trying to kill him and his team. He was told to keep his mouth shut." ... Thorough and eye-opening examination of the many ways the military spun, lied, withheld information on soldier deaths and injuries for propaganda purposes (and even delayed action until cameras were present in the Jessica Lynch rescue).
Them dirty l.....ls ! Some students examined six months worth, or 115 episodes, of some very well know "show" using propaganda analysis techniques made popular after World War I. The IU researchers found that the host called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average. Who's this sizzling firecracker ? We make audience , you decide ! Link to full paper.
Llaguno bridge is a documentary offering an alternative point of view on some of the violent events that took place in Venezuela during the coup d'etat attempt of 2002 . Some local private television are accused of deliberatedly picking some facts in an attempt to support the ongoing coup ; different videos taken from different angles show how some people were wrongly accused of shooting at unarmed masses of demonstrators. Regardless of political preferences and actual events, it is an interesting documentary on how easily facts can be misrepresented.
Chinese Public Art The Workers' Paradise has always produced propaganda artwork. Lately, though, the subjects are sometimes at odds with tradition.
If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1971). This film based on the pro-Jesus/anti-Commie teachings of Baptist minister Dr. Estus Washington Pirkle (3/12/1930–3/3/05) warns what will happen to America if the citizens do not give up their depraved ways and turn to God and Jesus for salvation. Fun for the whole family! Also by Reverend Pirkle: The Burning Hell & The Believer's Heaven. Good times.
Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted. A newly declassified report (PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful. [Via TalkLeft.]
Propaganda. The death of Horst-Wessel . A clip from a documentary about the rise of the Third Riche and how it used Horst-Wessel's song "The flag on high" and his death as a tool of propaganda. Then ending with a clip about propaganda from the film Network.
Beautiful early Zionist propaganda posters, courtesy of the Swann Galleries. The first 73 items in this large batch of vintage posters up for auction are related to Israel, Jews or anti-Semitism. [via Paperholic]
Added January 8, 2007: The US Navy has a message for you(Tube) concerning the Navy Seals: "They are warrior diplomats and trusted teammates in the war against terrorism. They understand the political and cultural sensitivities of the countries in which they operate." Added October 22, 2006: This former Marine commander has a message for you(Tube) as well, concerning "cultural sensitivities". Speaking of his part in the assault on Fallujah: "I started to cry... the woman seeing my reaction... put her hand on my cheek and said Insha'Allah... cause these people over there can accept it as God's will... but no, it wasn't God's will, it was my fucking order. I gave the order to fire those rockets into the building, and I killed her family. I have to live with that..."
Zvukovye Pis'ma: Musical letters from the Soviet Union during the 1950s, with images and audio. More information for those that can decipher it.
The Agronomist. Is a documentary about bananas and the republics (?)  where they are grown. Exquisite, tasty ,yellow and refreshing, this fruit was cultivated by some determined people. Get a video sample on agronomism or learn more about juicy melons.
A Nazi Christmas Since its most ancient days, the Christmas holiday has been continually reshaped to serve commercial, social, and political ends. These Nazi-era Christmas materials, including an Advent calendar and an essay on how to turn Christian holidays into National Socialist ones, come from the German Propaganda Archive of the Calvin College library. Of course, the Allies also enlisted Christmas in both pop culture and propaganda with cards, V-Mails, and posters.
This video about the history of petroleum industry propaganda used old archived footage found on the WayBackMachine. It shows some ridiculous propaganda videos from the past and leads us to the campaigns that the oily, slick PR-types and marketers are using today. It's hard to believe that companies like Ford Motor Company and ExxonMobil still get away with funding these industry front groups.
Psyops or Pyschological operations are those which "alter the behavior of an enemy, without altering his beliefs". Airborne leaflet propaganda. Airborne leaflet's Iraq 1991. Psyop leaflets over Iraq 2002 - 2003 (thumbnail index halfway down the page). Coalition Propaganda Leaflets to Iraq 2003-2004. British Propaganda Leaflets to Iraq 2003-2005. Psyop leaflets dropped over Afghanistan. More Afghanistan leaflets 2001 - 2002.
Whether it's mislabeling his affiliation, or starting conspiracy theories, the party of responsible government (and their right-wing media organizations) are doing all they can to downplay the Foley scandal.
Back in the dark days of World War II, the man who would become Dr. Seuss was in the business of military propaganda . One of the characters he created was Private Snafu. Private Snafu was an animated depiction of a bumbling soldier in military training films, whose voice sounded suspiciously close to Bugs Bunny's. Warner Bros. animation studios produced the cartoons with the talents of Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, and Bob Clampett. Private Snafu has been discussed here previously but now you can watch some of the original cartoons on youtube and download them here! (unfortunately, I am still unable to locate the awesomely-titled "Private Snafu vs. Malaria Mike")
Suicide Bombing: Just Say No. Hollywood-style anti-suicide bombing PSA now in heavy rotation on Iraqi TV. Previously discussed here before the spot was finished.
"Al Gore's Penguin Army" (YouTube) is an amateur movie making fun of Gore professional produced by an Exxon-funded PR firm.
An official comic book adaptation of the 9/11 commission report is due to hit bookstores this month. The U.S. Army seeks an Arabic-speaking comic book creator. Meanwhile, an Israeli blogger suspects a Kuwaiti company of misusing Marvel and DC comics. These are just the latest incidents in a long-running history of using comic books for propaganda purposes, ranging from Mussolini and Hitler to Captain America vs. the Nazi-affiliated Red Skull to anticommunist comics for Catholic parochial schools to a phony Black Panther comic book created by COINTELPRO to a comic book of the American invasion of Grenada. However, my favorite site of comic book propaganda tends to focus on more innocuous domestic issues such as bicycle safety, USDA nutrition standards, and fighting crack cocaine. (OK, that last issue isn't so innocuous, but comic book propaganda about health & safety issues still generally blows.)
How To Put Your Thumb on the Scales of World Opinion. In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special “megaphone” software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate.
"God's Army Has Plans to Run the Middle East" is an article that argues that Hezbollah is Iran's "spearhead" towards controlling the entire region. The author? Amir Taheri. You might remember him as the guy who fabricated the story about Iran imposing "yellow star" regulations on religious minorities (previously on mefi). James Wolcott connects the deceitful dots.
History of the Israel/Paestinian conflict from a pro-Israel point of view. Like many Americans I have no real idea what's going on "over there." Also like many Americans when I need some "truthiness" in the answers to my questions, I consult Canada and the UK. NPR can be trusted up to a point (drawn from a previous thread), but it's also good to hear from the other side too.
Art Under Control in North Korea. A slide show from Jane Portal's book by the same name (Reaktion Books, May 2005). You can find an essay by Portal here.
The Punch Below The Belt is a WWII U.S. Government propaganda pamphlet scanned & hosted by our own fake & jonson. [Via Projects]
How to Spot a Jap... scan of a 1942 US military educational comic strip, illustrated by Milton Canniff.
Ava Lowery is a 15 year old master of flash-based propaganda, and burgeoning media sensation. Lowery's clips (especially this one but also ones like this and this (more here)), have been described as mere facile emotionalism. Others however regard her work as courageous and truthful. She was enlisted to express the soul of the movement for the recent Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas. One thing's for sure: Lowery's method of story telling leaves traditional media confused and bewildered.
Those Clever Conservatives... The outrage from the right hemisphere of the internet over the latest domestic spying on financial records "leak" seems centered on "treasonous" activity by the NYTimes, even advocating violence against reporters. The dominant theory is that "leaks are bad" except when the President or Vice-President does it, an artifact of the Nixonian Era. This has spurred the creative genius of some to create photoshopped propaganda, although the quality is lacking as compared to others (see posts tagged with propaganda on Mefi). In light of the satirical guidelines described here (MeFi), perhaps it's time to remix this poster.
Finally, Hollywood is getting on side in the War On Terror :an anti-suicide bombing commercial is soon to be unleashed on all those jaded Iraqi couch potatoes.
The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed. "The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful 'black propaganda' campaign with links to the White House." (Via Sic Semper Tyrannis.)
With all the public smoking bans coming in effect over the past few years, the anti-tobacco movement seems en route to achieve its favored objective: prohibition. Michael Siegel keeps a careful eye on them at The Rest of the Story.
World War II Posters from the large collection at the Northwestern University Library.