Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Prop Agenda

Conflict as we know is fought at least on two grounds: the battlefield and the minds of the people via propaganda. In every quarrel or debate there are people depicted as good people while others, bad. Both of them are guilty of misleading their people or followers with distortions, exaggerations, subjectivity, inaccuracy and even fabrications, in order to receive support and a sense of legitimacy.
During the times of war, or build up for war, messages of extremities and hate, combined with emotions of honor and righteousness interplay to provide powerful propaganda for a cause. These are some of the props used as part of a larger agenda hence the name "propaganda". What we have witnessed in Bahrain is the proper vehicles of a well constructed, book abided, thoroughly executed propaganda plan. The protestors in Bahrain, have promoted the negative image of the "enemy" which has been reinforced with the rhetoric about the decency of themselves, with an inner fused attempt to congregate support and nurture the belief that what is to be done is in the positive and beneficial interest of everyone. Like turning Salmaniya Hospital, one of the largest medical facilities in the country into a terrorist hub, the instigation of violence at schools, the call of a nation-wide civil disobedience to hurt the country's economy and many more of these plots. If it benefits everybody, then why were the kids and adults denied the basic human right of education and healthcare? If it benefits everybody then why were the people not agreeing with the protest subjugated and denied their right to go out and enjoy the beauty of their country?
The protestors knew exactly what they were doing, many of them were spoon fed the basic principles of demonizing the other and while not judging the self, leading to accusations of double standards and hypocrisy. For instance, some of the major symbols in Bahrain, have been demonized by these groups to further their cause and rally people behind common grounds.
These props were exploited to depict one side over the other, but let's not kid ourselves, there are many more elements that have been employed, knowingly to prepare themselves and use the media to the best of their extent. The elements used by the protestors in Bahrain's "uprising", were the demonization of the enemy's leader, this was done by comparing the leader with Hitler for an instant reaction to what Hitler's name provokes. Secondly, the use of selective stories in reporting Bahrain's "peaceful" protest. Where only the peaceful face was shown and not the brutally grim. Thirdly, the manufacturing of atrocity, by assembling stories to whip up and strengthen emotional reactions. This was evident in Alwasat newspaper stories that  were known to have been fabrications and outright lies. Not to mention the many paid local and international journalists that have been reporting false and unsupported news to the world like we have read in the New York Times recently. Fourthly, demoralizing the "enemy's'" morale (i.e. the government). This is a primary objective of propaganda aimed at the government to break down their will to fight back. It seeks to lower the government's will to resist and it is not blind to everyone, how this was attempted, by the misuse of modern media and the building up of boastful bogus speeches which was a strategic plan to intimidate the leaders, to separate them from their people and to break down resistance by producing fabricated evidence that the mass of the enemy leaders have been deceived and mislead.
While propaganda influences the behavior of individuals, it is important to bear in mind that is only one of the powerful means by which man's behavior is influenced. But the question still remains, which did the protestors exploit in their demonstration, were they ready to die or lie for their cause?
Brave Bahrain

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