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Posted: Oct 8, 2014 - 5:18am

The Isis propaganda war: a hi-tech media jihad
Isis is using techniques plundered from movies, video games and news channels to spread its message. Who is masterminding the operation – and what is the best way to counter it?
In 1941, Hollywood director Frank Capra was commissioned to make a series of propaganda films for the US war effort. He knew he had his work cut out: he had seen Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph Of The Will – a staggering, state-of-the-art display of both film-making expertise and Nazi military might. “It scared the hell out of me,” Capra later said. “It fired no gun, dropped no bombs, but as a psychological weapon aimed at destroying the will to resist, it was just as lethal.” How could the Americans possibly compete? Capra’s solution was to turn the enemies’ weapons against them. His resulting seven-film documentary series, Why We Fight, repurposed footage from Triumph Of The Will and other propaganda films to show “our boys” what they were up against. He even copied Riefenstahl’s editing rhythms and rousing use of music. “Let their own films kill them,” Capra said. “Let the enemy prove to our soldiers the enormity of his cause – and the justness of ours.”

Fast forward to the present-day, and the situation seems to have been reversed. Just as Islamic State (Isis) has used captured American artillery against its enemies in Iraq, so it is using the west’s media tools and techniques against it. Isis has proved fluent in YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, internet memes (see: #catsofjihad) and other social media. Amateur videos and images are also being uploaded daily by its footsoldiers, which are then globally disseminated, both by ordinary users and mainstream news organisations hungry for images of a conflict their own cameras cannot access. A recent example was a recruitment video consisting of edited footage from Grand Theft Auto. “Your games which are producing from you, we do the same actions in the battlefields!! {sic>” proclaimed the YouTube clip, which was duly reported around the world. The current geopolitical situation in the Middle East is depressingly familiar, but Isis’s media sophistication is something new. It’s almost as if it looked at Osama bin Laden’s fuzzy, monotonous camcorder sermons of a decade ago and concluded that extremist Islam really needed a snappier marketing strategy. Isis is in competition with western news channels, Hollywood movies, reality shows, even music video, and it has adopted their vocabulary. (...)
The Professional PR Strategies of ISIS in Syria and Iraq - SPIEGEL ONLINE
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Posted: Oct 5, 2014 - 1:42am


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Posted: Oct 3, 2014 - 1:29am

The five-point plan used to justify fighting wars is being deployed in media again
(...) If you look back at recent conflicts, and those in the Middle East in particular, the same arguments are made. There is essentially a five-point plan that can be used to justify foreign intervention of most kinds.

Step 1. Highlight atrocities

Step 2. Communicate moral obligation

Step 3. Deny enemy’s humanity

Step 4. Say intervention is for the people

Step 5. Raise threat to national security

(...)

Compare to 10 commandments of war-propaganda a few posts down...
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Posted: Sep 25, 2014 - 3:09pm

West v Russia: Propaganda war rages on
Are the old mouthpieces of the Cold War going through a renaissance these days?

(...) Which brings me to the bill that was passed last week by the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, the so-called "Russian Aggression Prevention Bill", that authorises $10 million a year to be used to counter "Russian propaganda" in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. It all has to do with financing broadcasts by the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to these fine destinations. It is no doubt a welcome boost for these mouthpieces of the Cold War that are going through a renaissance these days. Obviously, these amounts are totally separate from other branches of the US government spending on the propaganda war with Russia. It doesn't, for example, include $100m provided by the US to NGOs in Russia and $25m to opposition bloggers, according to the respected Russian website, politonline.ru.

We already know that the US has spent a massive $5bn on "promoting democracy in Ukraine" alone, as revealed by Victoria Nuland of the US State Department. But every little helps, as they say, especially if we add all those freebies like I mentioned above. Not forgetting that the EU has its own programmes of "helping to promote democracy" in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova; so whatever the US spends, it triggers a chain reaction among its allies.

The Russian answer to that is not very impressive, if you consider that the TV channel Russia Today reportedly gets nearly $500m a year to run all of its services across the world and the Voice of Russia radio station that broadcasts in around 50 countries is said to have a modest $25m budget. Both of these services are not widely available in Georgia and Moldova and are banned in Ukraine. And if you consider that RT and VoR don't have the same access to audiences in the West as the mighty US broadcasters, it really doesn't look all that impressive.  (...)

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Posted: Aug 13, 2014 - 5:51am


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Posted: Aug 13, 2014 - 4:26am

 haresfur wrote:

More than just dissidents.  Artists etc. by their very nature are a threat. Better get rid of them before they can cause trouble.

p.s. Although, an American friend on showing us the new WWII memorial in Washington DC with it's columns, arches, and bronze wreaths, commented, "So which side won the war?{#Wink}

 

 

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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 11:46pm

 haresfur wrote:

More than just dissidents.  Artists etc. by their very nature are a threat. Better get rid of them before they can cause trouble.

p.s. Although, an American friend on showing us the new WWII memorial in Washington DC with it's columns, arches, and bronze wreaths, commented, "So which side won the war?" {#Wink}

 

 
Big corporations and the lackeys who serve them.


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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 11:45pm

 haresfur wrote:
More than just dissidents.  Artists etc. by their very nature are a threat. Better get rid of them before they can cause trouble. (...)
 
You still need some artists to make great propaganda posters/films and portraits of the new rulers along with some patriotic tunes (and some will be quite happy to get the biz!) {#Wink}
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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 11:42pm

 Peyote wrote:
If I remember correctly you are Nederlandse? ou Belgische?
 
Dutch.{#Wink} Long time no see!
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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 11:30pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

We can't have dissidents (the enemy's dissidents on the other hand are to be celebrated/publicized). See point 10.

 
More than just dissidents.  Artists etc. by their very nature are a threat. Better get rid of them before they can cause trouble.

p.s. Although, an American friend on showing us the new WWII memorial in Washington DC with it's columns, arches, and bronze wreaths, commented, "So which side won the war?" {#Wink}

 
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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 10:42pm

 Peyote wrote:


If I remember correctly you are Nederlandse? ou Belgische?


 

I remember you from the old days. I may remember completely incorrect. Are you Allemagne?
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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 10:36pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

We can't have dissidents (the enemy's dissidents on the other hand are to be celebrated/publicized). See point 10.

 

If I remember correctly you are Nederlandse? ou Belgische?



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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 7:23pm

 haresfur wrote:
With a tip of the hat to the Nazis and many governments that have learned from them.
 
We can't have dissidents (the enemy's dissidents on the other hand are to be celebrated/publicized). See point 10.
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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 6:38pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
10 commandments of war propaganda

1. We do not want war.

2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.

3. The enemy is the face of the devil.

4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.

5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.

6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.

7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.

8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause. Artists and intellectuals are deranged elitists who hate the common person and need to be eliminated from society

9. Our cause is sacred.

10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.


 
With a tip of the hat to the Nazis and many governments that have learned from them.
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Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 4:55pm

10 commandments of war propaganda

1. We do not want war.

2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.

3. The enemy is the face of the devil.

4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.

5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.

6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.

7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.

8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.

9. Our cause is sacred.

10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.
Ponsonby's book
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Posted: Aug 11, 2014 - 4:40pm

Dehumanizing People and Euphemizing War
by Haig Bosmajian
Dr. Bosmajian , a professor of speech communication at the University of Washington in Seattle, in 1983 received the George Orwell Award. Presented by the National Council of Teachers of English, for his book The Language of Oppression (Public Affairs Press). This article appeared in the Christian Century December 5, 1984, p. 1147.

In his definitive work The Destruction of the European Jews (Quadrangle, 1961), Raul Hilberg presents some insights that are as relevant to the United States today as they were to Nazi Germany a half-century ago. If we believe that we must remember the tragedies of history so that we will not repeat them, we ought to pay special attention to Hilberg’s assertion that in a Western society, destructive activity is not just a technocratic phenomenon. The problems arising in a destructive process are not only administrative but also psychological. A Christian is commanded to choose good and to reject evil. The greater his destructive task, therefore, the more potent are the moral obstacles in his way. These obstacles must be removed — the internal conflict must somehow be resolved. One of the principal means through which the perpetrator will attempt to clear his conscience is by clothing his victim in a mantle of evil, by portraying the victim as an object that must be destroyed.

(...) To remove the moral obstacles to such a course, leaders, both political and religious, euphemize killing and the weapons of destruction and dehumanize the potential victims in order to justify their extermination. (...)


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Posted: Jul 16, 2014 - 9:14am

Slippery slopes...


Creepy anti-communist propaganda from Bohn Aluminum and Brass Corporation, 1952 | Dangerous Minds
Could have a second life as Tea Party posters...
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Posted: Jun 24, 2014 - 8:26pm

Data Storms and the Tyranny of Manufactured Forgetting - Henry A. Giroux
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Posted: Jun 21, 2014 - 9:05am

Old “Yellow Peril” Anti-Chinese Propaganda » Sociological Images

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Posted: May 12, 2014 - 8:35pm

Center for Propaganda Research
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