Thursday, June 28, 2007

Propaganda Machine: Mimic, Mock - Equate, Erase

Anyone ever notice how Syria's Hizballah-led allies in the country have successfully (to some extent at least) deflated every new, creative, and uniting initiative launched by those working for a free Lebanon?

I'm not talking about hardcore politics here but simple grassroots, mass media oriented, popular initiatives.

Their strategy has been simple really, take a new initiative launched by the anti-Syrian movement, evaluate its national appeal and undertones, then destroy that appeal and any unifying message therein by mocking and mimicking it until it is void of any symbolism or meaning*.

Take the popular protests that followed directly after the assassination of the country's former Premier Rafic Hariri. After the initial drawing in of the various factions in the country, each under their own banner, a new initiative was launched to have all subsequent protests held under one flag, the Lebanese flag. It was an exciting time, one of fear and new found hope as members of the country's various religions and factions came together in an unparalleled show of unity. These successive demonstrations against the Syrian occupation and campaign of violence would eventually lead up to the largest gathering of Lebanese ever to be recorded, that demonstration would take place on March 14th, 2005.

Before it would take place however, Syria's allies in the country would mobilize, launching a massive demonstration of their own - ripe with Syrian filled buses rushed through the country's porous border - with Lebanese flags in ample supply, and with Hassan Nasrallah, Hizballah's Secretary General, at their head declaring his undying gratitude to Syria and its President Bashar al Assad. That demonstration took place on March 8th, 2005.

The move was meant to drain any meaning from the unity derived through the Lebanese flag, to wilt away at the blossoming of a new Lebanon driven by its people's desire for freedom and sovereignty, and united in their respect for Lebanon as their country and their state - as symbolized by the flag. As was mentioned above, the March 14th demonstration still took place with resounding success, but the purity of its meaning, symbolism, and marketability would take a hit.

And to this day the hits continue. Some, such as pro-Syrian opposition MPs' newly found penchant for referring to the March 14th movement as the February 14th movement - again trying to negate the symbolism and national unity generated on that day and equate it with one sect, represented by one man now dead - have had a negligible effect.

More successful campaigns have included pro-Syrian groups' malicious assault on the "I Love Life" media campaign launched by the country's anti-Syrian coalition in rejection of the deadly and destructive war Hizballah had precipitated on the entire country in the summer of 2006. In response to the "I Love Life" campaign Syria's allies launched a textbook mimic-and-mock campaign titled "I Love Life - In Color" and replete with its very own rainbow, either proclaiming those groups' support for Gay and Lesbian groups in the country (which I doubt) or aimed at undermining another vital factor of the country's anti-Syrian drive: its ability to unite Lebanese from different sects and factions in support of the country's sovereignty.

While those campaigns mentioned above had sought to counter creativity and symbolism with charades and mockery, head on, other far more damaging campaigns have used this mimicry and assault on symbolism only as a second objective - pushing their partisans first and foremost towards an assault on the state itself. Here I am talking about the events of December 2006 - which in turn resulted in the devastating national calamities of the pro-Syrians' coup attempt on January 23rd and the internal strife that attempt resulted in on January 25th, 2007.
For a review of those events, and the pro-Syrians' mimicking of the anti-Syrian drive to oust the Syrian installed puppet-government of Omar Karami in their campaign against the country's first post-Syrian-withdrawal government led by Fouad Siniora, I leave with the posts of those tumultuous times.

For now, I leave you with the words that have begun to precede the pro-Syrians' next attempt at seizing power. The propaganda machine is hard at work, but the most destructive action is yet to come.
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*Although this negation factor is the focus of this post it is not, on its own, the ultimate driver behind the defeaning propaganda machine operated by Hizballah and its cohorts in the pro-Syrian opposition. No, the first and foremost objective of any and all of this machinery is to try and imprint on the psyche of the Lebanese populace a false moral, ethical, and institutional equivalence between the words and actions of those factions fighting to preserve Syria's interests in the country with those fighting to eliminate Syrian interference and domination in Lebanon.

40 comments:

  1. Arabic Coffee Pot9:50 PM

    Doesn't this tactic have a name in the marketing or propaganda literature?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous10:11 PM

    both sides do the same crap...exactly the same crap...you guys are really brainwashed, just like the HZ side...same exact crap.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Arabic Coffee Pot10:15 PM

    Give one example anonymous - one example of the exact same crap.

    ReplyDelete
  4. anonymous may have a point. Finally we all get our information from the same common sources, whether the media outlet is pro-one over another, we know it. Just like in Britain, it is obvious which newspaper speaks on who's political affiliations or inclinations behalf.

    Look at Aoun's movement. When the FPM leader had a different attitude towards Hezbollah, the whole FPM community moved along with him, and became convinced and argue just as much as any Hezbollah advocates; of course all this was absurd before the meeting between M. Aoun and S.H. Nasrallah.

    "Perception is selection". When you select, you also reject, what you don't select.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sure everyone sees things through their own subjective filter, but the issue here isn't perception but projection.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Arabic Coffee Pot10:48 PM

    BSJ I think you were right to point out this thing with making the two sides equivalent, that is the reason anonymous said what he did I think, and why he won't be able to give a counter example.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous11:20 PM

    i'm back...a counter example? its called LBC, a counter counter example, Al Manar, a counter counter counter example is Future TV...I mean, who's information breast do you want to nurse from? There is no such thing as unbiased news in Lebanon; then you have sites like this (i do enjoy it), that cannot write more than two sentences without immediately showing their affiliations and their narrow POV. The situation in Lebanon needs smarter people, not better defenders of this side or that side. BTW, that whole "I love life" campaign was a load of crap (so was the HZ one)...Everybody is arming themselves to the teeth in Lebanon and saying that they are doing this to "defend" themselves!!!! F THAT!!! Its like USA's 700 billion dollar "defense" budget...ugh

    i have to and hit my head on a wall. a nice stone wall from the jabal, one that has been standing up there for 140 years, one that has seen all this ignorance, hypocricy, hatred, racism, greed, and fear before...all these sides were in one another's beds in the past, only to improve their own miniature feudal goals. ALL OF THEM. and now they cry that this side is righteous and that side isn't. PLEASE!!!

    Yalla, lets partition Lebanon into 70 miniature countries!!! That way the big bad Syrians or Israelis or Iranians, or Americans will be happy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Arabic Coffee Pot11:45 PM

    Oh please yourself!

    I love all these people who want to come in and proclaim how self righteous THEY are for not picking a side and for sitting on their couches b*tching about everyone else.

    The country is going to hell and yeah those guys in M14 have some major issues, but they aren't the ones killing the MPs, Ministers, and journalists.

    So do us a favor and cut the whining about how everyone is a meany (what did you expect, angels?) and be prepared to get a little dirty if you want to stand up for the country. Otherwise stay up in your ivory tower while the people on the ground fight to keep a Syrian boot off your neck.

    And yeah, I have a brain AND I see evidence and infer that Syria is behind a lot of this mess...I just blew your mind!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous12:01 AM

    i think you blew yourself...yalla, go bash some heads in...allah ma3ak...another generation of Lebanese down the toilette...

    you do not pick the side of Lebanon, you pick the side that benefits your political agenda, and that agenda is not Lebanon.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous12:01 AM

    Wishfull thinking [censored], Lebanon cannot win from your ivory towers of BS...
    There is a clear cut battle going on, choose ur sides, either Lebanon or Hezbollah state, there is NO third option

    Ciao suckers

    Post censored by Blog Administrator

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:01 AM

    yes, this is how Bush does it, you're either with us or against us. you people are pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Arabic Coffee Pot12:04 AM

    Haha, is that it then? Who said anything about bashing heads in? You're the only one so far!

    And now I have a political agenda!! Go on then, whats my political agenda?

    This should be rich!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Administrative note:
    Guys keep it clean please. I'm not gonna sit here and censor every comment.

    Mind the language please.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous12:08 AM

    one other thought from my ivory tower, all you racist lebanese sure look silly from up here...

    --> "and be prepared to get a little dirty" "while the people on the ground fight to"

    them sound like fightin words to me, you're the one hopped up on the blood thirst, not me.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous12:11 AM

    the "clear cut battle" is which foreign country is going to rape and pillage our lebanon...thats the only clear cut battle i see...i have to stay up in my ivory tower so that i dont run into war hungry,short term memory, trigger happy children...i know you are boiling up inside, and full of anger, but, shou bideh i3milak? thats your problem.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Arabic Coffee Pot12:17 AM

    LOL! Racist kamein. Man (woman) just provide one backup reference to the garbage you're spitting out.

    You were happy naming Manar and FTV before. But you didn't address one issue that was brought up, did M14 steal any campaigns from M8? No, because they have no real standing, nothing, they just want to be an obstacle and take everything, no compromise.

    But back to you. Ivory tower is for academics, you don't even deserve that, you're down in the mud with everyone else, except instead of trying to clean the place up like other people you're sitting there wallowing in it.

    You bring nothing to the country - just cynicism.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous12:29 AM

    yes, you're right...i bring nothing to the country...

    you guys, on the other hand, bring lots of young and willing bodies to a war that will not have any good outcome...

    i will go back to my concrete tower (since i've been downgraded)

    you guys can continue to stroke each other's fantasies about uncovering all the world's conspiracies against lebanon by way of syria and iran...

    ciao, tough guys

    ReplyDelete
  18. Arabic Coffee Pot12:34 AM

    Still nothing.

    Are you talking about a civil war? Did I say I would fight in a civil war? Why are you making things up? I'll tell you why, because you're the one living in a fantasy, one where if you oppose Syria you're a greedy, corrupt, war mongerer. Its a fantasy buddy, smart Lebanese people don't want Bashar choosing their president, don't want his secret police arresting them or their friends or their family.

    Yeah, you don't bring shoot to the conversation or the country, you want to sound smart by making fun of everyone. Well you're the joke, and when everyone stops laughing they see you have nothing to say - you're empty.

    And empty people run away, so ciao yourself, run away from providing any real content and run away from your country when she needs you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous12:55 AM

    feudal is a term that applies to the middles ages in Europe, only ignorant persons use it when they talk about leb, like this aounist posting here...YET BSJ u are supposed to accept him as an 'unbiased' ret...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous12:56 AM

    I am in my country, and i'm doing my part by not running away to dubai or usa or canada. I choose to stay here and work, regardless of how difficult it is...

    the only reason you want an "example" or "arguement" from me is so that you can flex your old worn out reasoning for blaming everything on Syria...its like you want to get your arguement fix on me or something...blahh

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous1:01 AM

    god forbid someone says something that doesn't line up with your political views...man! lebaneez to the core!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous1:02 AM

    this anonymous guy is full of it. he doesn't see that syria wants to step all over us, and kill all of us, and control us, and rape us, and make us wear sunglasses that dont match our jeans...ahhhhhhhhhh

    ReplyDelete
  23. Jimmy1:04 AM

    What a bunch of noise all to say nothing...

    ...anonymi, if you have nothing interesting to say, then don't say anything at all.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous1:05 AM

    It's very ironic how those Aounist anonymous' can't give back a single decent piece of opinion/analysis. They're just there to lament their fate... Tell me Aounist kids, who do you balem Hariristan ? Ohhh the all greedy billionaire who's fighting the angelic pious muslims of Iran and Syria to earn more money.... Seriously, there are online IQ tests, take one....

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous1:11 AM

    The Aounists are so lame...I mean, why do they go off and think outside our box? Can't they just line up like us and put on the brown shirts?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Arabic Coffee Pot1:16 AM

    Oh whats this anonymous? You like the Aounists now?

    Yes OTV with its $30 million budget from Iran and its news editor bought and sold by the Syrians too many times to count, yes they will give u your happy fantasy news! (Look it up, go ahead)

    Man, you're a joke, through and through - all you keep doing is getting funnier and funnier...

    ...wake me up when your next joke comes along...I won't bother waiting for you to say anything substansive.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous1:25 AM

    ok, one more joke...Hariri Jr.
    another joke...March 14
    the punch line...GaeGae & Jumblat

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous1:29 AM

    and for a encore, by far the funniest joke ever...

    The USA is Lebanon's friend, and Israel cares about Lebanon's future.

    real kickers, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous1:30 AM

    Who ever this anonymous is please go away, we were trying to have a discussion here about how to fix Lebanon.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Arabic Coffee Pot3:22 AM

    Anonymous: 13, 14, 15 comments...

    ...0 substance. Keep laughing, no one cares.

    All the questions we asked to help you formulate a real opinion and you didn't have a single answer. You're an airhead.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Don Cox10:55 AM

    "The USA is Lebanon's friend, and Israel cares about Lebanon's future."____Both true. Both the USA and Israel would be better off with a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Lebanon. Both would be worse off with a Lebanon dominated by Iran and Syria, or another civil war.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Your right, it is false to equate the moral, ethical, and institutional equivalence between the words and actions of those factions fighting to increase America's interests in the country with those fighting to eliminate american and israeli interference and domination in Lebanon.

    I would definitely not choose the side whose morals and ethics have allowed them to murder and pillage Lebanon for decades.

    I would definitely not choose the side that chooses to hug and kiss those people that encourage and cheer on the bombing of Lebanon.

    I would definitely not choose the side that made Lebanon the number one most indebted country in the world and yet cannot provide basic services.

    I would definitely not choose the side that wants to leave Lebanon defenceless and at the mercy of Israel.

    I would definitely not choose the side that can spout such hypocrisy as Mr Cox statements above.

    Mimicry and mockery? Attempted coups? The same group? Strange extremes of strategy on their side or skewed logic from yours?- Rhetorical question as the answers from either side are known.

    You guys want a Lebanon free of Hizballah? Tough. The true heroes of Lebanon are the ones that put their lives on the line for the coutnry and do not enrich themselves in the process. There are too many members, too many supporters. You can't fight them and you can't get rid of them, no matter how big your "friends" are.

    Deal with it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Arabic Coffee Pot3:15 PM

    So if we don't want Syria's secret police to arrest us whenever we want, and if we don't want them to pick our president, prime minister, and speaker, and if we don't want them to swindle money from every branch of our gov't....

    ...THEN! ladies and gentlemen, we must be zionist collaborators!

    Damn, I'm so sick of these people who's thinking has been framed by this BS!

    If you don't want Hizballah, a fundamentalist organisation without a hint of democracy, and involved in human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, diamond trafficking, kidnapping of Lebanese, killing of Lebanese - summary executions of Lebanese!!!! not to mention causing the death of 1000 people last summer...yeah if you don't want them to run your life, then you're corrupt and greedy!

    Tough on me anonymous? Tough on you!! Delude yourself buddy, go ahead, make it all up. We don't want Hizballah's supporters to disappear, we want Hizballah's weapons to disappear...disappear into the army, THE ONLY LEGITIMATE DEFENDERS OF LEBANON...

    ...DEAL WITH THAT!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Arabic Coffee Pot3:18 PM

    And Mr. Don Cox, Israel doesn't have our best interests in mind...please!...

    ...the only reason the regime in Syria has survived this long is because the Isrealis have purposely let them survive, they like them there!!!

    So if the people want to stop rockets from the north and hamas from the inside they should go after them where it matters...

    ...otherwise the bullshit gov't in israel in an accomplice in the death of israelis.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Arabic Coffee Pot3:21 PM

    Sorry for double posting but I want to make sure this new genius-anonymous understands this:

    NOBODY WANTS TO GET RID OF THE SHIITES - HIZBALLAH IS LYING TO YOU, MIXING UP THE ISSUES AND TALKING SH*T JUST SO THEY CAN CONTINUE DOMINATING THAT COMMUNITY! - EVERYBODY WANTS TO GET RID OF HIZBALLAH'S WEAPONS, AND ITS OUR RIGHT TO WANT THAT!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Why don't all the M14 tough boys get rid of their weapons if they insist that the Lebanese Army (dominated by Shiites) is the only one that should carry weapons in Lebanon?

    Oh, wait...I know the answer to that...because they need to "defend" themselves....

    haaaahaaa

    ReplyDelete
  37. Arabic Coffee Pot6:31 PM

    There it is again, BSJ, that equity!

    You want to equate Hizballah's 30,000 rockets with a few kalashnikovs everyone in the country already has?

    You want to equate it with piles of explosives uncovered in SSNP weapons stashes?

    You can't. So keep laughing, thats all you're good for.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Arabic Coffee Pot6:32 PM

    And please don't turn the Army into one dominated by Shiite or led by Maronites or whatever...

    ...the fight in nahr el bared showed that it belongs to all lebanese.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous6:57 PM

    yeah, especially how they shot up those protestors today. our heroes, the army!!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Jimmy7:07 PM

    Those that attacked the Army were a minority there to instigate trouble:

    YaLibnan

    The state news agency ANI said that about 100 protesters had rushed an army checkpoint in the Beddawi area, outside a Palestinian camp close to Nahr al-Bared, forcing troops to open fire after they refused to pull back.

    Correspondents said several demonstrators were left with gunshot wounds, although the spokesman denied that soldiers had fired at them but were forced to keep the protesters at bay for their own protection.


    Most residents of the camp appreciate the fact that the Army evacuated over 30,000 of them to get them out of harm's way after they went after the terrorists.

    "Fatah al-Islam are criminals and need to be wiped out. They are causing division between us and the Lebanese," said Mustapha Ibrahim, 55, another resident of Nahr al-Bared.

    And yes they are heroes, and they are the only heroes we want...to 'mimic' your sign off:

    Deal with it!!

    ReplyDelete

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