Come On People
So sayeth RT. Reddit upvoted this, of course, because they'll upvote anything that contains a mass consumer product. First line of the story: "Unverified reports suggests that the Islamic State has banned Nike apparel because the brand’s name sounds like the term for sexual intercourse in Arabic. Militants have reportedly been ordered to get rid of smutty-sounding sportswear."
Color me surprised that a widely circulated, unverified, English-speaking report is being used to dehumanize an opponent and justify bloodshed.
"So great are the psychological resistances to war in modern nations that every war must appear to be a war of defense against a menacing, murderous aggressor. There must be no ambiguity about who the public is to hate." - Harold Lasswell
Here are some other scattered accusations sponsored by defense contractor media arms and NGO's, and that's just on that one site.
I'm not saying these things don't happen - of course they do. Women are raped in war, that's a pretty basic fact (which somehow eludes most history books, I guess it's not as fun as guns and explosions).
Kinky underwear - haha. Does anyone take that seriously? Show me an ISIS member in kinky underwear and I'll show you the President of the United States getting a blowjob from a White House intern.
Remember when the U.S. used the tearful testimony of Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ to invade Iraq for the first time? According to her testimony, "after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital, take the incubators, and leave the babies to die."
That's horrible, right? That shocking testimony was used by the American president (Bush) and many Senators as example of how we just really really needed to go to war, now!
In case you don't get it, let me recap. President George H.W. Bush used this story at least ten times, and seven Senators referenced it as a reason they were in favor of invasion.
Remember when it turned out that her horrific story was completely fabricated and then we, as a country, just kinda said "whatever?"
Turned out Nayirah was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador - a fact hidden from the American public. Turned out that the testimony was a carefully planned appeal to the American people in order to gain support for an invasion of another country.
What's a little white lie from a PR firm, am I right guys?
From Wikipedia -
In 1990, after being approached by a Kuwaiti expatriate in New York, Hill & Knowlton took on "Citizens for a Free Kuwait." The objective of the national campaign was to raise awareness in the United States about the dangers posed by Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein to Kuwait.
Hill & Knowlton conducted a $1 million study to determine the best way to win support for strong action. H & K had the Wirthington Group conduct focus groups to determine the best strategy that would influence public opinion. The study found that an emphasis on atrocities, particularly the incubator story, was the most effective.
Hill & Knowlton is estimated to have been given as much as $12 million by the Kuwaitis for their public relations campaign.
Of course, going into the Middle East on the backs of lies isn't exactly new. Atrocity propaganda is a time-honored art.
In the runup to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, press stories appeared in the United Kingdom and United States of a plastic shredder or wood chipper into which Saddam and Qusay Hussein fed opponents of their Baathist rule. These stories attracted worldwide attention and boosted support for military action, in stories with titles such as "See men shredded, then say you don't back war". A year later, it was determined there was no evidence to support the existence of such a machine.
I won't even bother with WMD's, too easy.
I mean, does this shit work on people anymore? Haven't we learned by now that this is Basic Propaganda 101? Do you know what ISIS supporters are reading right now?
A story about how U.S. Marines enslave their women and fuck donkeys and slaughter babies. Maybe they're replaying a few Agent Orange strafing runs, readily available on Youtube.
It's almost as if there's a vested interest in dehumanizing the opposition to allow a large population to stomach the idea of warfare. No one ever says "Those people seem reasonable and nice. Let's fucking murder them!"
You have to build strong levels of hatred for that. Isn't it interesting that a modern mercenary force such as ISIS, which has tallied something around 20,000 kills, is suddenly the biggest existential threat to America?
Hmm, 20,000 deaths attributed to them. That could be an incorrect figure, it could be 10k or 50k, but generally let's posit that it's under 100k.
Which means that ISIS is conducting a more humane and targeted operation than the United States military, which killed well over 100,000 Iraqi civilians (JUST CIVILIANS). These ISIS guys have to resort to chopping off heads and executing prisoners on video because they don't have smart bombs. They don't have satellites. They don't have an air force. They don't have anything but cheap, widely available automatic weaponry. Which, of course, is still more than enough to worry people.
So we call them primitive, savage, cowards, brutal, Huns (joking!), blah blah, I get it, they need to die. Where can I sign the blank check to send incredible expensive weaponry across the world so it can smash into a sand dune?
You're being lied to so that it's okay for you to ignore the bloodshed. Oh look, they don't like Nike. What absolute backwards morons. BOMB 'EM WITH CAPITALISM!
As we know, only enlightened American consumers truly understand the magnificence of a company that keeps getting nailed with child labor violations.