Instances where presenting the specific got across the broader idea well.
An effective way to counter propaganda is to find, explore and present a concrete case and let it speak for itself.
1. Global warming.
Talk talk. But to show the polar bear, show it sliding off, drowning, hits the gut. Talking points fail at that sight.
See the 2007 "Body of War", ://www.bodyofwar.com/. Watch the Bill Moyers program on it - at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/03212008/profile.html. We can't listen to all the talking points any more, without getting into the microcosm. One soldier, Tomas Young, paralyzed from mid-chest down. A day in the life. A year in the life. The family.
That family remains divided as to the worth of the war, but that was in 2007; and also makes the film more credible - they did not go out to find a family united against the war.
Co-directors - Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro - see ://www.bodyofwar.com/donahue-statement.php.
3. Next Microcosms:
Please, Mr. Donahue and Ms. Spiro, and Mr. Moyers:
- A specific soldier's story, where the soldier committed suicide. Here is a start, with the personal: ://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A41189-2004Nov10?language=printer. Or, from CBS, ://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/29/eveningnews/main596755.shtml.
- A specific soldier's story, where he or she was killed. Was there adequate armor, training for an unidentifiable enemy, the constant regroup so the "enemy" is never defeated in his or her time frame, but merely lays low, to attack another day. Compare that soldier's pay to Blackwater. Privatizing again - who benefits. Then again, what choices do our leaders have, given the givens, see Blackwater at ://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/10/world/middleeast/10blackwater.html
- Show the tentacles of war. Entrenched bureaucracies in the military as elsewhere, co-dependence, mutual backscratch.
- Show the effect of Failure to Innovate - the military wearing its concrete boots, not even teaching its people the language, etc. Military strategy and evolution - See the focus on the "valor of man" in the 2003 "Military Theory and the Force of Ideas," at ://www.clausewitz.com/CWZHOME/Achenbach2.htm. Four years later, would they please update? Then read all the military strategies listed at ://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-thry.htm. And click on "The American Way of War" and get a bibliography including on issues like the need for innovation.
4. How to spot the propaganda in the first place. Propaganda From High Places:
What information can you trust.
Can you trust this: "Irregular Enemies and the Essence of Strategy. Can the American Way of War Adapt?" 2006, from our own US Government at ://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ssi/irreg_enemies.pdf.
Then go to the Strategic Studies Institute, at ://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ssi/irreg_enemies.pdf; and download away. Public domain.
Then, read about military people not offering neutral assessments, but only parroting White House policy and selecting what supports that, and weep. See ://www.commonblog.com/story/2008/5/27/105834/654; and ://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a050808mediarefuses. Rosa DeLauro, Congresswoman D-Conn, thank you.
But if we cannot counter propaganda with facts we get because the sources are tainted, how do we counter propaganda? It is still coming.
Samples of The propaganda:
The war is going better. Casualties are down.
For that one, note the flaw. Our time frame for success measures in months or innings; while that of the east is measured in years, even centuries. See Joy of Equivocating, Cultural Time Frames and Measuring Military Success.
Continuing: The enemy is on the run. Just give it more time.
Engaging in the debate does not work. No, it isn't, we say; and cite this and that. Etc. Noone changes position. . We know we cannot counter propaganda with more propaganda, but we can show it fall of its own weight, when we focus on the heart of it.