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Forums > Social Discussion > Does the end justify the means? Can propaganda be justified?

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200512/s1531243.htm
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Written by:


The Pentagon plans to launch a $US300 million operation to place pro-American messages in foreign media and on items such as T-shirts and bumper stickers without disclosing the US Government as the source, USA Today said on Wednesday.



Run by psychological warfare experts at the US Special Operations Command, the media campaign is aimed at countering terrorist ideology and swaying foreign audiences to support US policies, one of the military in charge of the program told the daily.







Im wondering how people feel about this? I see this as another indicator that much of the behaviour of all world powers these days (or in my awareness / paranoia) seems to be Machiavelian.



Surely unethical / immoral behaviour is what the western world is denouncing terrorists for (not their political views, just their methods)?


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:$300 million isn't that much money.

However, this reads like "Desperation" or possibly "Pathetic" to me. They've worked out that their actions aren't impressing anyone, so now the government is trying to impress people with words.

Also, there is a huge difference between "Anti-Terrorism" and "Pro-American". I'm all for one of the above, and I'll give you a hint, it's not the one with "American" in it. eek

Why not run pro-British stories with an anti-terrorism message? Why not pro-Spain? Pro-Australia? Why is it America who seems to need the image polishing? Could it be because of the utter lack of anything praiseworthy that the international media is commenting on? I can't remember the last pro-American article I read in a British newspaper, and we're one of their closest allies (apparantly).

Gah, the rant is building up steam so I'm going to shut up. Right now. Thanks for listening, I'm here Thursday and the weekends... wink


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:The best form of propaganda would be for America to begin treating other countries with respect rather than in terms of What They Can Do For Us. Machiavelian machinations have always been part of American foriegn policy. Sadly those ham-fisted yanks aren't very good at it. Think about the revolution in Iran, Osama bin Laden or Sadam. All were covertly supported by America and have turned into serious problems, but now I'm straying away from propaganda.

There is a lot of positive perception of the west in the middle east but this has lately been overshadowed by negative perceptions stemming from recent wars and such. I don't believe this campaign will do anything to change opinions but a more ethical foriegn policy would do wonders.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:The first thing I ask myself is whether the "means" need to justified. Your post seems to imply that some might think that it is somehow unethical for the pentagon to put pro-American messages in foreign media, and on items such as T-shirts and bumper stickers, without identifying the government as the source.

Some in the world no doubt object to pro-American messages because they disapprove of America. This is a substantive issue that I will not address.

The procedural aspect is the interesting one. The word propaganda is technically a value neutral term meaning something like The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. By this definition, HOP is a propaganda site.

The issue seems to be whether it is unethical for the author (in this case, the pentagon) to remain anonymous. Ignoring the fact that there is a news story announcing their secret plan, one could try to make the case that proponents of a cause have an ethical duty to identify themselves.

I do not accept this as a normative value, but instead I would like to see a case laid out for why this would be true (if anyone thinks that it is.

My initial reaction is to say that it is ok to be anonymous, especially if your audience may have something against you that will cause them to not evaluate your information objectively. Of course, many people on this forum maintain a level of anonymity. For all you know, I could easily be a Pentagon agent. If I identified myself as such, you would probably read this post in a different light.

I lean towards allowing people, organizations, and even governments to distribute their opinions without having to disclose their identity. On the other hand, I can see reasons why this might be a bad idea. If Al Qaeda were leaving flyers on doorsteps here in America advocating troop withdrawal from Iraq, I would evaluate the flyers differently than if a local Church distributed the same flyers. In this scenario, the author makes a lot of difference, and I tend to want to know who wrote a particular thing.

However, I am a proponent of freedom in expressing an opinion, and I believe the ability to remain anonymous protects that freedom. The only question remaining, in my mind, is whether the military should be treated differently. I cannot think of any good reason to restrict them more than others. On the contrary, I see subterfuge and secrecy as an integral part of warfare, both psychological and conventional.

In conclusion, while I concede that some may object to this program based on the content of the message, I think they would object regardless of the method of distribution. I can think of no good basis for condemning the Pentagons actions, so I am compelled to allow it unless someone can show me a reason not to.


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Domino
SILVER Member since May 2004

UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK

Total posts: 757
Posted:Hmm...

The US, sponsered by the US Goverment. Just another form of advertising surely. Hell, Nike puts it's swoosh in all those places - now the have another brand to compete with.

Mah it's late - if anyone can turn the above into a valid point and/or interesting musing then you're welcome to it.

Hot chocolate time, night all.


Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.




I think you need to add in "For political purposes" to that definition. Propaganda is almost exclusively the preserve of monolithic organisations such as Government, Churches and Multi-National Corporations. All of these have substantive interests in politics. HoP doesn't. It really doesn't. That, IMO disqualifies it from being "Propaganda".

And if you present subjective information to an audience, then why should your identity be hidden to stop a subjective reaction? The information by definition is not "Fact" because it is subjective information. Surely objectively examining subjective evidence is worse, because then you don't know that the info is subjective?

Or am I babbling because I'm up too late and have to write another 500 words of an essay tonight? rolleyes


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:I recently went to the communism museum in Prague (/Praha) and was amazed by the number of similarities between the propoganda methods adopted by the Stalinist communist party and those now used by the US and UK (I'm not entirely sure about the rest of the world). Most of this is directed at their own people.

It all seems slightly ironic really.

But then Americans generally dont get irony. Take Alanis Morrisette for example wink


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Seye

I recently went to the communism museum in Prague (/Praha) and was amazed by the number of similarities between the propoganda methods adopted by the Stalinist communist party and those now used by the US and UK (I'm not entirely sure about the rest of the world). Most of this is directed at their own people.



Please give some examples, I'm curious (and have a slight niggling suspicion you're exaggerating slightly wink).


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Im with jeffake, The best message would be for America to begin treating other countries with respect rather than in terms of What They Can Do For Us.

The pro-American propaganda will fail because America is not well respected in the International community, and people will see it as another American invasion.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Josh, it's a moot point.

Neither the ends nor the means are justified in this case.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:without knowing the author, how can you evaluate the intent?



actually by masking the author of the information and presenting it as authored by someone else, is being deliberately misleading.



I think intent is important - especially when it comes to information that can not easily be objectively evaluated.



Alls fair in love and war (and everything else)? I would hope that there are some traits like empathy that might be able to distinguish humans from bacteria or viruses - however the behaviour of many people lead me to think that there really isnt that much difference...



much of the war on terror is supported through a moral high ground stance...bringing democracy to the east and all that. Surely it is highly inconsistent for the power that is waging that war to employ tactics which are themselves unethical?


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:See, I do think the ends may sometimes justify the means.

Killing is bad and wrong. But if you need to kill some terrorists to keep them from killing innocents, then I'd say the end justifies the means. If it means killing terrorists and ten innocent families living around said terrorist then I'm a bit less enthusiastic about that.

If the end in this case is to use non-violent means to counter terrorism, then a bit of propaganda is hardly a horrible thing to do. You aren't really hurting anyone.

ON THE OTHER HAND... if the end is not only to counter terrorism, but to advance US policy, then everything changes. Because in that case I don't think the end is justified. I don't care whether the terrorists stop because their support networks decide to support US policy or because they finally open their Q'urans and see the various admonitions in there about not killing innocents. But trying to fool people into supporting US policy is not a justified end OR means.

My point, Josh, is that I think you're confusing your means and your end.

Which isn't terrible. I know people who routinely confuse their arses and their heads, which is far worse. wink


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:"does the end justify the means" --gg--

if you want to refer to "the end" check

www.newamericancentury.org eek

and you'll be a lot smarter... biggrin

"think locally - act globally"... you might have to extend - to broaden your view and include all kinds of media, political activities (also "counterproductive"), economical and ecological occurances to get the "whole picture"...

Similarities between propaganda (west), propaganda (east) - and commercials by the way - are intentional... ubbidea

Basic laws of propaganda have been defined by an infamous Austrian loco, getting the chance to run for chancellor in Germany - and succeeding with all this. eek

But I know one that I could justify:

Keep your brain propaganda free - iop yalp !!! wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Pyrolific

without knowing the author, how can you evaluate the intent?

actually by masking the author of the information and presenting it as authored by someone else, is being deliberately misleading.

I think intent is important - especially when it comes to information that can not easily be objectively evaluated.

Alls fair in love and war (and everything else)? I would hope that there are some traits like empathy that might be able to distinguish humans from bacteria or viruses - however the behaviour of many people lead me to think that there really isnt that much difference...

much of the war on terror is supported through a moral high ground stance...bringing democracy to the east and all that. Surely it is highly inconsistent for the power that is waging that war to employ tactics which are themselves unethical?



I'm not sure I quite follow your reasoning. Your main points as I see them are:

1. Information without an author makes it difficult to determine what the intent behind the distribution is.
2. Intent of the speaker is an important tool in evaluating information
3. Therefore, denying someone the opportunity to evaluate your intent is unethical.

I am not able to make the leap between 2 and 3, and am still having a hard time understanding why someone might think the means are inherently unethical. Distributing pro-American T-shirts and bumper stickers are obviously offensive to some, because of the content of the message. I can understand those who mock the effort. However, calling it unethical seems unjustified.

A government has the right, in my view, to promote its message in the same way that any other organization is able to. I see bumper stickers all the time that do not cite a source of funding, but instead merely proclaim a message. I do not consider these to be unethical.

It would be an entirely different thing if the Pentagon were to lie. For example, I might feel the need to object if they published a bumper sticker or pamphlet that claimed to be authored by Al Qaeda. I might object to them publishing false information (unless its purpose were to deceive enemies).

This article says they will do no such thing. According to it, they are merely trying to get pro-American messages out, and will sometimes not reveal their role in its distribution. They wont be lying about the authorship, they simply wont sign it. While I can see why some who dont like the message would dislike this action, I still cannot see why someone would object to the method itself. There seems to be nothing inherently wrong with it.


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Red_RaveN
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

Neo - Hippie
Location: Sala, Slovakia

Total posts: 358
Posted:Written by: Seye

I recently went to the communism museum in Prague (/Praha) and was amazed by the number of similarities between the propoganda methods adopted by the Stalinist communist party and those now used by the US and UK (I'm not entirely sure about the rest of the world). Most of this is directed at their own people.




Communist nations had excellent propaganda methods, that's why the US uses them tho they will not say it. Or read 1984, see how that's similar with the way US acts.


Smile.. It confuses people..:)

Wonders never cease as long as you never cease to wonder.

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:New American Century... Gods. I could pick holes in their energy use article and I'm not even an environmental scientist. angry

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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loki.c1687
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

loki.c1687

addict
Location: Leeds

Total posts: 546
Posted:well(u think i rock) this is just(you love me) sad the US will never step out of the pro-mike propaganda campine shadow (give me your cash cards and pin numbers) see the trick is(buy me manys things) to be rlly sneaky so people dont know what your up to!
mike.c


Rules and responsibities:
These are the ties that bind us.
We do what we do,because of who we are.
If we did otherwise,we would not be ourselves.
I will do what i have to do
And i will do what i must..

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:I got sent stuff on hotmail before, including pro-Iraq war wallpapers with planes and some heroic-sounding operation name... if the American government actually wants to improve their image in other countries, all it'd take would be a phone call apologising for some attitudes here and there and the permission to put that into print.

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

Please give some examples, I'm curious (and have a slight niggling suspicion you're exaggerating slightly wink).


Its disturbingly true. I cant remember exact details but I do have a book of the script from the museum. Unfortunately its in a box as I'm moving next week but as a rough idea...

The USSR constantly bombarded its people with 'information' detailing how capitalist states were intending to kill them and destroy their value system. (if you have seen the posters you'd understand that this was amazingly exagerated - they even gave out gas masks to persuade the people that they were likely to need them).

What we have is opportunist scare tactics in much the same way that the USSR did. Our governments constantly tell us that there is an enemy who threatens our way of life and our moral codes.

Now with all the fuss about (not to) 'secret' CIA prisons in europe we are starting to see that even the methods used of control used by the Stalinist regieme are becoming acceptable to their former opponents.

I will follow this up at some point - I need to get into the new house and dig the book out first though.

To be honest watch the news - think back to what you know about the communist state and you'll see. Its disturbing to say the least. But then thats what you get for employing communist / nazi party psychological war experts.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Perhaps that's more the work of the media rather that an organised government attempt at propaganda. After all, fear sells papers.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:The media are well and truly controlled by central government. They realised what story's the media will run a long time ago.
As a result they now fully control the content and direction of the media. Any apparent deviations in this are usually smoke screens to draw the public's attention from a more serious issue.
There seems to be a lot of... "Quick they're on to something... Release a statement about division in the party or something, make it look like an accident. " ...going on.

Again - similarities with the Stalin era communist state. Its just move covert now. Thats the result of the psychological war experts though.

There are, of course, fully independant news organisations. Ones who do not draw their information from edited government press releases or supposed 'leaks'. They tend to be small and unknown to most of the general populus though.

On the other hand I may just be cynical. British politics makes me laugh. The process we see now stands for very little and almost all power has been removed from the elected body (who are absurdly out of touch with reality anyway) and placed in the hands of people that were picked by the prime minister.


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:
I started this thread to see whether people thought that the use of what I thought were unethical or immoral methods to achieve positive outcomes was acceptable (obviously to what extent of each comes into play etc etc), using the example of use of deception (psychological warfare) in the war on terrorism.

to restate my argument;

I think the use of deception as a weapon in a war on terrorism is inconsistent.

my question to HOP;

Is it wrong to use a wrong method (deception) against a wrong method (terrorism)?

Now Patriarch do you think these methods are not deception?

I think hiding the intention of information that is part of a program of psychological warfare with a goal that is pro-american and not pro-whatever the country it is being conducted in is deception.

I reckon deception is wrong (we can start a whole nuther thread on this one tho smile)

Therefore this part of the war on terror is not moral or ethical.


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:None of the "War on Terror" is moral or ethical. Or indeed gramatically correct... rolleyes

I found a nice little quote that fits in with the propaganda side of things:

Written by: Antonio Gramsci

The centre [of a society] is not so much a set of values commonly taken to have sacred significance but the home of a dominant class that promotes a world view to the population at large that serves it's own interests at the expense of others. This world view comes to be accepted by subordinate groups as common sense, and so they conspire in their own subordination, accepting beliefs and values that justify the unequal distribution of power and rewards in society.




You gotta love socialization. Does socialization come under the heading of propaganda? Especially with regards to political structures?


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:Written by: Pyrolific
I think the use of deception as a weapon in a war on terrorism is inconsistent.



my question to HOP;



Is it wrong to use a wrong method (deception) against a wrong method (terrorism)?



[...]



I reckon deception is wrong (we can start a whole nuther thread on this one tho smile)



Therefore this part of the war on terror is not moral or ethical.



Yes smile

Deception is wrong.



As Sethis said, the war on terror is not ethical. Every time a new piece of information is given to us to support it it turns out to be false. A war that is based on lies can never be ethical as far as I'm concerned.



Written by: Immanuel Kant
Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law.



So something is ethical if you would wish that anyone in a given situation would act in the same way.

If every nation that could be seen as a threat or was 'harboring terrorists' was invaded the UK would have been flying a different flag for years.



There are ethical codes that would argue the opposite though. Utilitarianism could argue that the spreading of proganda could lead to a greater state of world peace and as such any means to this end would be justified.



I could argue this all day from different views. Unfortunately now its night though. So I'll just say "When it comes to ethics everyone is wrong." wink


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Looking for a safe stance on ethical issues?

Me neither!

So let's start arguments for the hell of it... biggrin wink

But Kant does have some dodgy ideas... and the above quote is just a paraphrasing of the Biblical golden rule:

Written by: The Bible (So Pay attention!)

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.




And no, that doesn't apply to grabbing them and kissing them, shame on you for thinking of it! ubbangel ubbloco


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:I do not believe that the conduct as described in the news article is truly deception, at most it is a failure to provide additional information (authorship and funding) that some readers might want. Deception would be putting a false name on the bumper stickers.



Regarding the ends justifying the means... that depends on your ethical system. A Utilitarian would simply weigh the difference between the two. A hardcore materialist might reply that there is no true good or evil, but that these are merely preferences.



I tend towards believing that the end does not justify the means, but rather that the means may in fact justify the end. In other words, you should always do the right thing, even if it leads to unpleasant consequences.



However, I do not think that it is fair to label deception as being inherently unethical. A police officer who disguises himself as an undercover cop is deceiving the criminals. I do not consider this to be wrong, I consider it to be a heroic act. However, a terrorist who deceives people into training him to fly airplanes into buildings is certainly doing something wrong.



While the Pentagon does not appear to be particularly deceptive according to this article (they are merely being anonymous), I know that they are constantly involved in actively misleading both enemies and the American public as to their activities. If they have secret plans for something (D-Day comes to mind), I do not mind them deceiving me about it, and I certainly would like them to mislead enemies.



In conclusion, I cannot agree with the statements made by Pyrolific and Seye that deception is wrong. Deception is not inherently wrong, therefore we are not asking for a wrong action to be justified by a good consequence. Instead, we are talking about a neutral action, and the consequences are what we should be concerned about.


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

A hardcore materialist might reply that there is no true good or evil, but that these are merely preferences.



Yup, but of course luckily humans have generally similar minds due to shared biology so we can mostly agree with each other.

The big problem with the-ends-justify-the-means is that nothing really ends. The execution of Christ in 28AD for example is still having massive consequences. Likewise many covert ops from America lack any kind of long term planning, creating many future problems when sloppily approaching a present problem.

Of course it is possible that these propaganda messages won't acually contain lies since even the CIA must realise that the Arabs would notice and use it against them as propaganda themselves. I suspect that these broadcasts will more resemble tourist adverts than traditional style propaganda.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:Ethical theories.... oh boy!

I think of ethics like this. There is no cosmic good or evil. However because of the types of things we are (ala Jeff, human) we hold certain instincts about what we would like and wouldn't like. ie I wouldn't like someone to stab me, or kidnap me, etc. So we can call these things "bad". Basically its a simple pleasure / pain balance. Ethics is a simple matter of applying this principal to include other human beings, ie a society. They are the minimum operating specifications for our society. Some things we consider even more good because they appitomize this principle, applying these personal beliefs to the others in the society selflessly is one of our highest virtues, ie being nice. Therefore morals shape our society and society shapes our morals. Years of living in societies has shaped our view of "good and evil" based on past experiences of what made life better or worse for us and our societies, and these views have shaped future societies.

So while good and evil have no intrinsic properties of material objects, they do exist as operational variables in a system. The real good or evil of something is judged on its effects much later on. Ethics is the art of applying our knowledge to extrapolate to that point accurately. So even then I guess its a matter of opinion, but as Jeff stated, because of the type of thing we are, we will all recognize a semi-similar good or bad end.

So the ends CAN justify the means... but to view it in terms of only one variable is misleading, ie does "safety" justify "propoghanda" and lying to your people and colrolling their news, etc. etc.? It depends. We also value freedom. THere is a tradeoff between the two, and its been argued over for hundreds of years. We recognize there is a balance, and we need to decide where to draw the line. The nice thing is that that line is flexible and will evolve as needs be. We already see this type of thing now in the US: the Patriot act hasn't been made permanent. It's a rather startling little piece of legislation that many of us feel infringe too much on freedom, but its just a reflection of that line moving more toward the safety side of the scale.

What I mean to say is, I think it more beneficial to ask "Does THIS PARTICULAR end justfy this PARTICULAR means"... its clear the ends do not ALWAYS justify the means, but given the current world climate and the attitudes and societies involved, etc., propoghanda may very well be justified. ie if your religion brainwashes your fundamentals to believe its a good idea to go blow themselves up to hurt lots of people, perhaps propoghanda is justified (not saying this so, just extrapolating).

** There was a comic book a while ago about a guy whos daughter got killed by palestinian suicide bombers. He happened to be an israelie air force pilot and he stole a plane and flew over heavily palestinian areas, threatening to drop bombs. When he finally did what he actually dropped were thousands of pictures of his daughter, with a message that basically said "I could have killed you but instead chose to appeal to your heart to stop the violence". This kind of reminded me of that story...

However, given the US government, would I trust THEM to do this... now thats a whole different question..


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)


The big problem with the-ends-justify-the-means is that nothing really ends.



that is a great point.

thanks!


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Written by: i8beefy2
"I could have killed you but instead chose to appeal to your heart to stop the violence"



That's the kind of message I would love to see on bumper stickers...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted:' Written by:
'given the current world climate and the attitudes and societies involved, etc., propoghanda may very well be justified. ie if your religion brainwashes your fundamentals to believe its a good idea to go blow themselves up to hurt lots of people, perhaps propoghanda is justified (not saying this so, just extrapolating).



Given the current climate in Muslim states, where the majority of the population are faced with poverty, high unemployment, and death from treatable diseases due to lack of capital, it'll take a lot more than some tv ads and bumper stickers to persuade ther masses to love the US when it props up unpopular dictatorships such as the royal house of Saud, imposes policies such as the economic sanctions which killed over half a million Iraqi children, has an army which is broadcast torturing and humiliating captured Muslim soldiers and unequivocally supports Ariel Sharon and Israel.

Given those reasons (among others) is it really that surprising that a lot of young and poor Muslim men with little prospects for a meaningful or fulfiling life end up choosing to spend their lives fighting what they see to be the wealthy, powerful enemy they blame for their plight?

That the pentagon believes a bit of publicity will turn its image in the middle east around is a fairly good suggestion of how out of touch with reality the US government is. Perhaps another would be the Iraqi elections, where Ahmed Chalabi, the man the US sought to install as their new Iraqi leader/puppet before the war, won less than one percent of the vote.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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