Youtube War Propaganda

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by annakey, May 21, 2008.

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  1. This is doing the rounds in US chatrooms, with alleged patriots jerking off to it.

    Very moving, but obscene the cameras were there in a private, special moment. Presumably the father agreed to it, or planned it, or was pressured into it by Pentagon spin doctors. There are similar tapes on youtube, but none quite so moving, and no British ones. US TV networks haven’t quite made up their minds whether such material should be accompanied by patriotic or slushy music. The above goes for slush.

    One of the music techniques used is familiar. Bach deploys it in the Passions: whenever Jesus appears it's within a halo of violins. It's a technique much used in war films too - think Ryan, Thin Red Line, Platoon.

    The obvious propaganda message: this is what we're fighting for, to defend such little (white) boys from dangerous A-rabs with beards. Pretty sick. I like the way US culture is emotionally less buttoned-up than British but happy not to see British squaddies on the telly, fresh from Iraq or Afghanistan, embracing their weeping kiddies to wailing violins stolen from Bach's St Matthew Passion. Note how the US serviceman is in uniform in a school. I’ve not seen that in the UK either.

    Does the MoD keep cameras off the tarmac when British families are reunited? If so, good. Long may it last. What do others think of the vid and the culture/politics behind it? Should the British public, via BBC News, be exposed to such material?
  2. No we should only watch what your comrades tell us is good for the party.

  3. Keep on topic there's a good chap. 8)
  4. I remember Ross Kemps Afghanistan showing the Anglians coming come. It was clear their families had missed them, but I think its more a personal moment.

    I wouldn’t want it to be a regular thing on the news. Show the boys coming home, but not the first time they see their partners and children, that’s a private time I think.
  5. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    As mentioned in the clip the class that the boy attends has been corresponding with the father whilst he has been deployed and this has featured on (inter)national TV before. It was probably natural that they would want to continue this human interest story even if it is a bit cloying.

    Part of the US national effort to support troops and their families. Despite the 'smaltz' I get the feeling that in the US the media are actually supportive, contrast that with the UK where media and public at large say they are supportive, but with a few honourable exceptions, one feels that these are just words that are required to be mouthed.
  6. Exactly my feelings. An old school friend turned up unannounced to see my mum recently. He was in full uniform, cuts a dashing figure, and she (an old lady in her eighties) was obviously very moved just to see him on her doorstep. I suspect she had a little cry afterwards and quietly remembers him in her prayers.

    The combination in this vid of uniform, weeping child, father back safe from harm, and slushy music, is very powerful. I don't like being manipulated, or seeing children used for propaganda purposes. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the various wars, it sticks in the throat.
  7. Kids and propaganda go togeather so well.........

  8. The pope?

  9. For once, Anna, I agree with you.

    There is a thing they do on BFBS radio every now and then in various theatres (and have done for decades) where a crew visits a garrison and records personal messages from families for squaddies who are deployed on ops. It's quite moving to listen to ('Happy christmas Daddy, come home soon, love Darren') and does provide a certain degree of inspiration. But if a snippet was used by the Government to manipulate the emotions of the general public, that would be a whole different ball game.
  10. I get your point like whenever us/uk planes bomb somewhere they always seem to hit a childrens hospital/orphanage gay lesbian transgender outreach centre etc. Anywhere that will cause the useful fools in the western media to howl with outrage
  11. Fair enough. I'm sure British school children correspond too. Perhaps not in an organised way - "We're all going to write to Corp Bloggs today children" - but I signed cards to school friends' fathers and friends of my parents as a child.

    But why let the cameras into the classroom at the very moment of reunion, why add slick music, and why do that devastating slow motion recapitulation at 00:49? It takes up the final third of the piece with the network presenter silenced. It’s extremely powerful stuff, which pushes all the buttons. It's also obvious a professional cameraman is used - high quality material cut to look like a shaky amateur (CSI and The Shield use the same technique). It's a pro bit of work, with each element straight from the text book. I feel very sorry for the boy and his dad. I suspect they've both been used by some Pentagon propaganda sh*t.

    Again, fair enough. Part of my motivation in posting this thread was to ask whether British service personnel would welcome such techniques being used by the MoD/UK media on their behalf. It would be easy to arrange. I suspect they wouldn't, but may be wrong. A cultural difference between Britain and the US? A more sophisticated viewing public? A less desperate political class?

    <looks out window to check sky hasn't fallen>

  12. I think it's called Pali-wood, because HB got so good at recreating events. Digging the same child out of the rubble seven times, wounded "Medics", schools being hit (while they are being used as ammo dumps). There is always two sides to every story and I feel sorry for the poor buggers who are innocent and end up getting killed.
  13. We have this strange expectation that, because we speak roughly the same language, we will readily understand US culture. It's v different - go and watch the Pentagon Channel in Baghdad to see just how alien it is to us.

    It always surprises me that we expect the French (30 miles away) to behave in away that is incomprehensible to us. Whereas we are amazed the Americans over the pond are different.
  14. You are jumping to some pretty bold conclusions.

    First of all, in the US it's quite common (particularly in towns near military bases as this school obviously is) for class rooms to "adopt" a soldier deployed overseas, and then meet and have a day with the soldier upon his/her return. It's also common practice on a slow news day for local TV stations to tape military homecomings and use them as filler, and I suspect that's what this was, and it was eventually pushed up to a national broadcast because of the boy's dramatic reaction. It's not propaganda. It's feel-good fluff.

    If I were to put on my tinfoil hat and imagine it to be manufactured Pentagon spin, there's no way it would be airing on NBC news, and there's no way Peter Jennings would present it. Fox, possibly CNN, but not NBC. They are generally extremely anti-war and anti anything to do with Dubya.

    From my perspective the American public in general is very good about knowing the difference between supporting the troops and supporting the war, probably to do with some collective guilt over the way soldiers in Vietnam were treated upon their return (it's well-deserved guilt, IMO).