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January 25, 2003

Emma of Late Night Thoughts offers an excellent primer on how to recognize propaganda, with specific reference to some of the zigzags and U-turns we’ve recently seen from the war enthusiasts as the true size of antiwar America becomes clear.

The author knows a thing or two about propaganda: she grew up in Castro’s Cuba. (Thanks to Jane Finch on Stand Down for spotting this.) [01:23 PM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Emma:

Yehudit ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2003, 02:38 AM:

". . . the taint by association screed appeared, and every major right-wing blogger adopted it immediately."

Simply not true. I've been reading critiques of ANSWER & Co. for months, some of it even from leftist bloggers! who were pissed off at how ANSWER controls the stage. But after the bigger marches the issue finally made the mainstream press.

"2.Code words are used to discredit the opposition....."Communist lover" is especially good, since it raises the hackles of past-middle-age Americans who remember Stalin, and especially that of folks who actually fled communist regimes."

I blogged on this:

But: "babykiller." "chickenhawk." "cowboy." "brutal occupation." "Nazis = Israel."
Pot. Kettle. Black.
And don't tell me this is a tiny minority of the antiwar movement. I have been to too many left websites and had too many arguments on email lists with people who were normal 2 years ago and then began to speak in mindless cliches. I know this with my own eyes and ears: you urbane literate sensible rational folks are the tiny fringe of the antiwar movement. But if you get out of denial about your allies maybe you can turn that around.

"3. It accuses the opponent of ulterior motives."

"No war for oil." Pot. Kettle. Black.

"If you answer the argument and the reply is yet another argument only distantly related to the first one, you are in the presence of propaganda."

Well hell, us "warbloggers" have been complaining about the left doing this for months. I personally have been seeing furious illogical cliche- and non-sequitor- filled screeds coming from the left ever since the anti-globo movement heated up, on both websites and in email lists.

So let's agree there are fanatics and nutjobs everywhere, not to mention people who can't write a coherent paragraph. But to ascribe this behavior to the pro-war side while totally ignoring its proliferation on the antiwar side (which you are doing more than this blogger, actually) is willful blindness.

EMma ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2003, 09:12 AM:

Dear Yehudit,
since you seem to be chasing my comments all over the net (I read the same thing at Stand Down), let me just say this:
I stand by my remarks on the appearance of the taint by association screed. I had read several comments before the marches, both from the right and left, about the wisdom of associating with ANSWER. However, the escalation of the remarks that started after the photos appeared in the Net and the mainstream newsmedia picked up on them was classic propaganda. It went from "you should really think about this" to "you did it and you are their dupe" to "you did it and you are their collaborators" to "you did it and that makes you a member".

The rest I'll have to say we view the world differently. What can I say? This is America. You are allowed to do that.