Wednesday, August 09, 2006

They who win the propaganda war win the world

Mosque with smoke in Beiruit The more we read or see on the Israel-Lebanon conflict the more we see people who aren't in Israel, Lebanon, or nearby, tending to side with the whoever is currently winning the propaganda war. Okay, perhaps it's not all propaganda. Perhaps there is some fact buried beneath the spin and partisan slant &ndash not to mention endless opinion. Either way, the current situation is the best confirmation I've ever seen of the old maxim that the pen is mightier than sword. Or, put another way, media-brokers are the foot-soldiers that win or lose the war.

Before I start, note that I'll use the acronym POSBT to mean "pro-or-slightly-biased-towards". Now let's see... In the short time since Israel entered Lebanon, we've seen/heard: Beiruit burning, as photoshopped by Adnan Hajj
Certainly, I can see far far more POBST-Israel content on the web, but that's likely to simply reflect the United States' domination of the Internet in general. More access to information makes it much easier to see shades of grey. I confess I don't see much value in my earlier POBST-Israel post (here), because it's written from the point of view of someone trying to create white from a thousand shades of grey.

Mosque with smoke image credit: AP/Hussein Malla
Israel girls image credit: AP/Sebastian Scheiner
Beiruit burning images credit: Reuters/Adnan Hajj

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Blogger Μαύρος Γάτος said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 09, 2006 10:57 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Sincere apologies. The comment was inadvertently deleted after I made a really clumsy mistake by reposting this in a new post to correct the timestamp.

Note to others: I have asked Mauros, in an email, to repost the original comment with his identity.

August 09, 2006 11:24 pm  
Blogger hc said...

Hezbollah is launching missiles from civilian areas in Lebanon into civilian areas in Israel. It wants to kill Jews and claim dead Lebanese civilians as a propaganda victory.

Hezbollah seeks the destruction of the state of Israel.

The evil religious fanatics driving this conflict from Iran have much to answer for.

I support Israel without ambiguity.

August 09, 2006 11:34 pm  
Blogger Μαύρος Γάτος said...

In that case I am very sorry I have been so agressive towards you. Sorry again.

Here is my original comment:

Hi Lisa, since you've mentioned my blog, I'd like to say that I do not
consider myself a propagandist. I mentioned the event with the little
girls and the bombs because it's awful, from any point of view, even
though some people like Lisa Goldman have tried to justify the

FYI, I have also posted here the sad pictures of Lebanese children parading dredssed up as Hezbollah fighters carrying dummy katyusha rockets. Of course this has nothing to do with ISRAEL being evidently ( for me, at least) the unjustifiable and criminal agressor in this terrible war....

August 10, 2006 12:33 am  
Blogger Μαύρος Γάτος said...

Breaking news: the Israeli Parliament has just decided to send more troops in Lebanon and occupy the country up to the Litani river, thirty km from the borderline...

August 10, 2006 12:37 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

Interesting that the comments so far have mainly been:

a) "Israel is right/justified"; or
b) "Israel is wrong and should know better";

rather than identifying more examples of how both sides have attempted to influence -- especially via blogging -- public opinion towards siding with them.

Also, Mauros, I don't intend to slap the label of propagandist on you, or Lisa Goldman either for that matter. Nevertheless, a lot of what I read about the conflict though is revealed later to have holes so I do think a lot is propaganda -- in that it is largely design to influence opinion rather than report facts (admittedly distinguishing this is difficult).

Frankly, HC, I can't see how anyone could support either side "without any ambiguity" at all, unless one allows emotion to cloud the judgement of what one sees and hears. We have such a strong desire as humans to remove ambiguity. Too bad, it exists!

August 10, 2006 11:56 am  
Blogger Sarah said...

I hadn't seen the actual doctored photos by Adnan Hajj until now, and if you ask me the photos he doctored needed no embellishing. Crazy!

August 11, 2006 6:39 pm  
Blogger Dima said...

Well, propaganda is a very strong word and i am not sure it is correct using it applying to those posts. It is a rather natural process that we tend to look for information agree with and this is why you may see people repeating facts that can easily be of a propagndastic nature. Actually on the web wthere is a great variaty starting of blind hatered to serious analysis. But yes, probably most of what we see is trying to justify/blame that side or another. That the easiest thing to do (cognitively).

And i would defenitely agree that "pen is mightier than sword" and images seem to be even stronger. This is why all the contemporary wars they are actually wars for public opinion (even though real people suffer from them).

August 13, 2006 1:05 pm  
Anonymous mick said...

1 month Lisa!

September 08, 2006 9:58 pm  
Anonymous Richard Tonkin said...

The last splatter of cluster bombs before the ceasefire said it all to me So did the Irish activist breaking in to Raytheons Derry office and creating havoc in retaliation for the company's technology being used to deploy said cluster bombs. Not that I agree with the action, but I do believe that those who create the killing technology should be prepared to be held accountable for the deaths and injuries their equipment creates.

September 21, 2006 10:26 am  

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