The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

How Do You Escape a Color Revolution?

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In a special report for Color Revolutions and Geopolitics, Eric Pottenger and Jeff Friesen have written an important essay prepared in the style of an “open letter” intended to be read by leaders and policy-makers of nation-states targeted for “regime change” by the West:

This presents the principle challenge: how to develop an effective self-defense strategy. The trick is to provide a remedy that doesn’t fuel more discord. Coercion sows discord. The movement tacticians anticipate and use ham-handed, unsophisticated, strictly coercive local responses as part of their operational templates. They derive strength from these responses, not weakness. Ultimately the coercive response is a recipe for defeat. If the coercive response appears to be necessary or inevitable, at least it should be provided with some balance.

Better instead to learn how the imperialist game is now played. The new battlefield of warfare is in the informational realm, the psychological realm. More than at any point in history, war is primarily a media war. The reason the United States, in particular, has been so effective in this style of warfare is because the whole structure of U.S. society has been built around promotion and consumption as a pathway to wealth and power. In the United States, the corporate marketing and advertisement industry has merged seamlessly into the operational templates of foreign policy. There is little difference between selling Coca Cola and selling a particular foreign policy initiative. Corporations sell commodities through marketing campaigns and advertisements; governments sell policies through a myriad of techniques of information control and propaganda.

Like corporate advertising, propaganda is primarily effective as a form of emotional communication, not one of critical analysis. The purpose is to promote a prescribed behavior, whether that behavior result in the purchasing of a new pair of blue jeans, the supporting of a social initiative, or advocating one’s inclusion amongst a battalion of protesters, each of them dragged willingly into the streets to weaken the stature of a particular government.

One identifiable technique the propaganda specialist employs to overthrow unwanted leaders is the exact same one used in the corporate realm: “branding.” In essence, the propagandist attempts to strengthen the “brand” of the opposition movement while weakening the “brand” of the targeted leader or system.

All critical details are removed from the propaganda message; only the emotional imprint of the “brand” remains. The propagandist will rarely explain in substantive terms either the problems of society or the concrete solutions. Instead he will brand the issues in broad emotional terms. The opposition movement will likely be branded as “fun,” “rebellious,” or “revolutionary,” etc., whereas the problems of the entire society are made unspecific, reduced to the actions of a “corrupt,” “greedy,” “power-hungry” “dictator.” The goal is to broadcast this message simply and incessantly; and especially to make people believe that it’s true.

This branding logic works the same for Western governments to achieve domestic public consent for aggressive foreign policy initiatives. For example, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is known throughout the West as “Europe’s Last Dictator.” That is Lukashenko’s brand in the West. This brand has been created to prepare Western audiences for his abrupt removal from power. Like Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi: allegations of corruption and sponsorship of terrorism had for years been attached to the image of Gaddafi, a fact which later made it permissible for NATO to not only remove him from power illegally, but to even kill him. This should be seen as no surprise. Gaddafi had been branded beforehand for such a fate. The Western public had already been prepared to react uncritically to this violation international justice. For many Westerns, the killing of Gaddafi was even seen as a victory for “the people.”

The only defense against the strength of these branding techniques is to challenge the brand.

Continue reading here.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

January 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. “The reason the United States, in particular, has been so effective in this style of warfare is because the whole structure of U.S. society has been built around promotion and consumption as a pathway to wealth and power.”

    To be precise, the capitalism of seduction (marketing replaces productive national economy with an aggregation of consumers) has been a pathway to wealth and power for American elites, but not for the disenfranchised 99%.

    “The only defense against the strength of these branding techniques is to challenge the brand.”

    An effective tactic–especially when the pieties of the jargon of domination can be turned on their head and exposed as forms of manipulation.

    But victory is only possible when the capitalism of seduction is no longer the dominant social and economic system. This would require going beyond tactics and achieving a deeper understand of the prevailing system–Michel Clouscard has already done the heavy lifting, here–

    http://www.scriptoblog.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=369:le-capitalisme-de-la-seduction-m-clouscard&catid=55:sociologie&Itemid=55

    http://www.editionscheap.fr/news/41-Clouscard-Tout-est-permis-rien-n-est-possible

    maoilriain

    January 26, 2012 at 11:46 pm


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