Propaganda as a Military Tool - Page 3




 
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March 3rd, 2005  
A Can of Man
 
 
Yup. Language in itself is biased to begin with. All words referring to the unfamiliar just never does any justice to them.

But I think we can agree that a bomb blowing up in the middle of the market is an act by terrorists.
However, does targeting Iraqi recruits by those guys constitute as an act of terror? Because if you look at it, it IS a legitimate military target after all.

Something to think about.

Much easier if you think about them as "people we should kick the crap out of." Then it becomes simple again
March 12th, 2005  
Dokthorov
 
Was this one really used?
" American Soldiers and Marines. While you are far from home and lonely. (Bart Simpson: i think it would say: someone else) is in America sleeping with your wives and girl friends."
It's remarkable as it is the propaganda used by the germans in WW II to influence english soldiers:
" English Soldiers. While you are far from home and lonely(substitute dying) Americans are sleeping with your wives and girl friends."

I wonder if this kind of propaganda would work as it requires a certain difficulty in veryfing the facts: with modern mass communication you can easily call you parents/wife/friend/family to check(if you would believe it). In the days of the WW II if would be more difficult to check.

About propaganda I observed these points:

- start small and close at home.
- use something people find believable.
- use a source that people find reliable.
- use something which is easy to prove and difficult to disprove.
- use a logic or fear which is inescapable.
- use a source which is difficult to miss.
- offer the people something


Most propaganda is striving towards the unbelievable. The reason propaganda is often unbelievable, is because those who make propaganda don't understand those who are the target of the propaganda. And this is maybe the major obstacle: you need feedback to see if your propaganda is working.


Propaganda maybe exists in two forms:
a negative one:
a positive one:


The negative has as purpose to create doubt. Try to make someone doubt himself, his friends and allies. Doubts about who you are supposed to achieve. Or doubts about you environment: will you be our next target? Or doubt if it is al worth it: is all this killing, maiming etc worth it? It is usually aimed at the enemy.

The positive one is to promote your own case and has exact the opposite function: create certainty. What we do is right. We will not surrender etc.
An insidious way was used by Goebbels: the allies want to exterminate the german people/state. We can't surrender! Thus one is usually aimed at your own people.

The difficulty is when the propagandist is to successful: stressing that his enemy is the devil incarnate will pose a great problem when dealing with them in diffusing a situation or taking them prisoner. It has the danger of uniting your adversaries, when it might be better to divide them.

The challenge of modern mass communication is that obvious lies are easily discovered. You can't claim a war is going successfully or that thousands of soldiers are dying each day when it is easy to find information that the opposite is true.
But while this is true the vice verse is also true: more ways are opening to manipulate, deceive and spread wrong and worrying information. It wasn't easy for instance for germans to spread propaganda in the US or in the UK. Now it's possible to overstep the boundary and spread lies and deceit across the borders out of control.

One can even imagine that people will be called by terrorists who then will tell them that they (or their family) will be next to die. Sort of like the japanese or vietnamese used to do in broadcast now is possible by phone or mobile phone: a very scary thought indeed....
March 12th, 2005  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
It's remarkable as it is the propaganda used by the germans in WW II to influence english soldiers:
" English Soldiers. While you are far from home and lonely(substitute dying) Americans are sleeping with your wives and girl friends."
Hehe one of the funniest things my father brought back from Italy after WW2 was a German propaganda leaflet that went:


Quote:
When the Luftwaffe flies over British lines the British take cover.
When the RAF flies over German lines the Germans take cover.
When the Americans flie over the lines everyone takes cover.
It seems they really went all out to drive a wedge between the US/British troops.
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March 12th, 2005  
Dokthorov
 
I visited a friend yesterday who had bought a book about dutch reporters serving the SS (called kriegsberichters a sort of mix between reporter\propaganda writer).
I read the germans stressed the theme: when you are fighting, americans are taking care of your friend/wife and the bombing as you remarked. They even had the guts of stressing that the allies were purposely bombing cultural places just to destroy them. The strange thing is that the german concern would strike the reader as unconvincing as he would say: if you germans would not have occupied countries, the allies would have had no need to bomb.
In general the propaganda aimed at the allied soldiers and at the occupied
countries looks clumsy to me.
The propaganda aimed at their own people is sometimes of a better quality.

I saw a propaganda leaflet from Iraq showing Saddam as a decisive battle commander taking command in the heat of battle. The leaflet was dated 2003. I wonder what use it would be to create this image: even his own people couldn't fail to see he had be soundly beaten in the first gulf war?
The gap between image and reality looks to great and this might have a tendency to backfire.

By the way, did you Father serve in WW II, if so what did he thought of the leaflet? And was there an image of US troops bombing indiscriminately?
March 12th, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dokthorov
I visited a friend yesterday who had bought a book about dutch reporters serving the SS (called kriegsberichters a sort of mix between reporter\propaganda writer).
I read the germans stressed the theme: when you are fighting, americans are taking care of your friend/wife and the bombing as you remarked. They even had the guts of stressing that the allies were purposely bombing cultural places just to destroy them. The strange thing is that the german concern would strike the reader as unconvincing as he would say: if you germans would not have occupied countries, the allies would have had no need to bomb.
In general the propaganda aimed at the allied soldiers and at the occupied
countries looks clumsy to me.
The propaganda aimed at their own people is sometimes of a better quality.

I saw a propaganda leaflet from Iraq showing Saddam as a decisive battle commander taking command in the heat of battle. The leaflet was dated 2003. I wonder what use it would be to create this image: even his own people couldn't fail to see he had be soundly beaten in the first gulf war?
The gap between image and reality looks to great and this might have a tendency to backfire.

By the way, did you Father serve in WW II, if so what did he thought of the leaflet? And was there an image of US troops bombing indiscriminately?
hhmmmmm how to put this, i think there is an attitude (even up to today) of american inaccuracy of fire ....i'm refering to friendly fire incidents.

i think it was winston churchill that said "i'd rather have a battalion of the enemy in front that a battalion of americans behind" if that's true i don't see how it would be hard to believe propaganda of this sort!

more recently in afghanistan & iraq....kiwi and canadian FAC's bombed by F-16's, british challenger tanks shot at by abrams etc etc
March 12th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
I seriously doubt Churchill said anything of the kind. If anything, he was critcized for being too pro-American by some Brits. I'd like to see you show some proof of that "quote".

As to inaccuracy of fire, happens all too often in war it's true. Americans, however, are no more given to it than any other nation. For every incident you can find of American friendly fire, I can find them for other nations as well.
March 13th, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
I seriously doubt Churchill said anything of the kind. If anything, he was critcized for being too pro-American by some Brits. I'd like to see you show some proof of that "quote".

As to inaccuracy of fire, happens all too often in war it's true. Americans, however, are no more given to it than any other nation. For every incident you can find of American friendly fire, I can find them for other nations as well.
i'm not saying they are or not...what i am saying is that there is a PERCEPTION of it....and that this may even go all the way back to Nazi propaganda.

xXxEDITxXx

well you were right charge, it wasn't winston churchil that said it, it was actually patton talking about the french...i had read a modifcation of this existing statement;
General George Patton, a great general known to be a little pompous himself, said he would rather have a battalion of Germans in front of him than a battalion of French behind him.

which really only goes to proove my point about the PERCEPTION of americans & friendly fire

but here is one by winston that made me chuckle;

"The Americans will always do the right thing... After they've exhausted all the alternatives."
- Winston Churchill
March 13th, 2005  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
By the way, did you Father serve in WW II, if so what did he thought of the leaflet? And was there an image of US troops bombing indiscriminately?
He sure did, he snuck into the army at 17 year old (NZ required its troops to be 20 years old) but was caught just before joining his unit in North Africa so he spent three years taging through Africa as an observer before finally joining the New Zealand forces at Monte Casino.

As for the leaflet he thought it was funny which is why he kept it I assume and it is one of two things about americans that made him laugh, the other was about american troops wearing "US" badges when US in commonwealth armies was painted on broken equipment and stood for "UnServicable".

Other than that he really didnt have much to do with US troops and rarely spoke of them although oddly enough he was impressed with the Germans.
March 13th, 2005  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
I seriously doubt Churchill said anything of the kind. If anything, he was critcized for being too pro-American by some Brits. I'd like to see you show some proof of that "quote".
I cant prove he said that but he certainly said this:

Quote:
The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives.
March 13th, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Quote:
I seriously doubt Churchill said anything of the kind. If anything, he was critcized for being too pro-American by some Brits. I'd like to see you show some proof of that "quote".
I cant prove he said that but he certainly said this:

Quote:
The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives.
SNAP!