Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The West--reluctant self-propagandists

Belmont Club's Richard Fernandez has written this thought-provoking post on the enlistment of Batman--yes, you heard me right, Batman--in the fight against Al Qaeda.

Batman, of course, is not real--I assume that at least we can all agree on that. But he is nevertheless entering the arena of public opinion--otherwise known as propaganda--in this war.

The author of a planned book featuring the Batman character fighting modern-day terrorists is far from apologetic about this development:

Miller doesn't hold back on the true purpose of the book, calling it "a piece of propoganda," where 'Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass."

The reason for this work, Miller said, was "an explosion from my gut reaction of what's happening now." He can't stand entertainers who lack the moxie of their '40s counterparts who stood up to Hitler. Holy Terror is "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against."

It's been a long time since heroes were used in comics as pure propaganda. As Miller reminded, "Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for."

"These are our folk heroes," Miller said. "It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there."


Belmont Club writes:

Like politics, to which it is related as much as to war, terrorism is a vehicle for the propagation of ideas...Foad Ajami, writing in the Toronto Star understands that al-Qaeda has nothing whatsoever in common with the classical Islam of his memory. It's a made for television psychodrama, a comic-book scam...And what we need, apart from robotic fighting platforms, laser gunships and networked battlefields is something that can reach into the realm of ideas and engage Osama Bin Laden -- and Khomeini too for that matter -- on their own level of reality. It sounds like a job for Batman.

Or, I might say, for Ymarsakar, frequent commenter here on the subject of propaganda.

As usual, the Belmont Club post raises an important and complex subject: the use of propaganda by the terrorists and their supporters, vs. the use (or lack of use) of propaganda on the other side.

It was famously said by Robert Frost, of all people, that "a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." These days, however, we can see by the evidence on the liberal side of the blogosphere that this problem has been remedied, and perhaps even overcorrected--today's liberals certainly don't seem to be shy about sticking up for their point of view in an argument.

But in the larger sense, as a liberal (read: pro-Enlightenment) society, we have indeed somewhat lost the ability to take our own side in the rather intense argument with extreme and violent Islamicists. They, in the meantime, have become master propagandists who are not the least bit hesitant to enlist every tool of the trade to further their cause, including lies.

This reluctance on our part was certainly was not present during WWII against the Nazis, even though we were fighting foes who had a master propagandist in Goebbels. And Radio Free Europe, in my youth, had a similar effect--on Europe, that is. In those days, domestic propaganda was taken care of, at least partly, by what has now become known as the MSM.

I've taken a lot of time to write about how and why this changed during the Vietnam/Watergate era. Some of the impetus behind the change was good, I am certain: the idea that blind and simplistic rah-rah support of country can lead to wretched excesses and wrongdoing. But, like most corrections, this one was an overcorrection. The pendulum has swung so far the other way that our press sometimes appears to effectively function as propaganda for the other side, although I don't believe this is intentional.

Am I guilty of hyperbole here? I don't think so. But, as I said, it's a complex dilemma. We are all behind the idea of a free press, and a free press will always speak some unpleasant truths that go against our own interests. But it's a question of balance, and I think the balance at the moment is skewed in such a way as to be counterproductive to our own ability to defend ourselves in the marketplace of ideas.

This is another post that could turn into a book if I tried to trace just why and how this has happened, and I don't intend to do that here. But I think one of the reasons I've labored so long and hard (and in such picayune detail) on criticizing media such as the NY Times is to make it clear that, not only are such sources no longer acting as supporters for our side, they are doing so with slipshod methods and with a decided lack of devotion to the truth. In fact, they have often become de facto propagandists--if not exactly for the other side, then certainly against ours.

There is some history of this in the Times going back even before Vietnam. One famous example that comes to mind is that of Walter Duranty, Stalin apologist who wrote for the paper back in the Thirties. He was a particularly egregious but fairly unique case at the time.

Now, however, it appears to be a relatively common point of pride for journalists to refuse to jump on the bandwagon of our present war, and to emphasize instead the errors we have committed. Again, this is all well and good, up to a point--we very much need what Socrates called "gadflies" to point out errors, and this should be one of the functions of a press. But it is not the only one, and if the gadflies predominate (and especially if they play fast and loose with the truth), we become weakened in our ability to prosecute this war effectively. Propaganda is part of the prosecution of this or any other war, and we ignore that fact at our peril.

Thanks to Goebbels and others, the word "propaganda" has become synonymous in many people's minds with "lies in the service of a political cause." But propaganda need not be lies. It is simply information spread to influence a populace towards a certain opinion (see definitions here; most of the definitions make no mention whatsoever of deception).

Propaganda, by its very nature, is of course not a reasoned and leisurely debate in which both sides are given equal time and equal measure. Neither is it an academic exercise in politically correct fairness, nor a well-intentioned effort in being kind to the other side. It is most-decidedly one-sided. But the best propaganda is truthful, especially in this day of internet fact-checking. The best propaganda understands the arguments of the other side and counters them effectively. But all propaganda does have one thing in common: a conviction that it is acceptable to use it.

I believe the West, to some degree, has lost that conviction--or, at least, its press has. I'm not totally sure of the reasons behind this, although I've explored the historical details in my Vietnam "change" posts. Some of it is mere habit, no doubt. Some comes from an entrenched belief that the press should function more in opposition to the government than in lockstep with it. Some of it, I'm afraid, stems from the fact that it's a Republican administration that so far has been in charge of this particular war, and most journalists are Democrats. Some of it is a real denial of the seriousness of the foe we face. Some of it is a repugnance towards war itself. Some is a lack of understanding of the military, stemming partly from the fact that a smaller percentage of journalists have served there as compared with earlier conflicts.

But this doesn't account for the government's lack of ability to get into the propaganda business, as opposed to the press. There have been a few recent efforts at the foreign market, but domestic propaganda is not very effective at present (although some would say that bloggers and Fox News are taking up the slack).

One problem is Bush himself as orator. But in fact, oration has become a dying art in the last few decades. One way that domestic propaganda has always been delivered is through Presidential (or Prime Ministrial) speeches: think, if you will, of Roosevelt's fireside chats and Churchill's stirring and somber words. They both were masters of domestic propaganda at a time when the Western world had not yet turned its back on it, and both realized its great importance in the fight against Nazism.

Let me repeat: propaganda should not consist of lies. This is true both for ethical reasons (although some would say--especially today, on Valentine's Day--that all's fair in love and war) and for practical ones. I believe that truth is a far more effective weapon than lies, because it is much harder to discredit, and far less likely to backfire, especially in our modern world of sophisticated communications.

Somehow many of us have become convinced of the idea that patriotism is identical with chauvinism, and that both are identical with bigotry; also, that propaganda is equal to lies. None of this is the case. And, in fact, we need to reclaim both patriotism and propaganda, or we may find ourselves in a struggle similar to the one described by that master of propaganda, Winston Churchill (which I hereby offer without a hint of apology):

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, and still yet if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you, and only a precarious chance for survival. - There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

And here is another example. It is how Churchill appealed to his fellow-citizens in the first speech he made as their new Prime Minister, during the dark days of 1940:

You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.


A different situation, of course. Certainly a different man, and a different time.

But one thing is quite the same, and that is his thought: without victory, there is no survival. I believe that we are actually fighting for the survival of the Western world of the Enlightenment, of the protection of human rights, and of respect for all of humankind. If those ideals are sometimes violated by the West--and there is no doubt whatsoever that they are--these are nothing as to what would occur if jihadist Islamicists were to be triumphant instead.

And to that end--the survival of the Western world of the Enlightment--and towards that victory, I'm willing to enlist Batman, as well as other propagandists such as Churchill--Winston, that is, not Ward.

31 Comments:

At 4:23 PM, February 14, 2006, Blogger greg wirth said...

I'd prefer our federal government eliminate Al-Qaeda rather than a fictional vigilante. They could start by, stopping the flow of Taliban supported Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (remember that country?)as well as securing loose nukes and power plants, making sure we are safe within our borders. I really think neoconservatism has succeeded in placing Al-Qaeda in the same mighty league as the Nazi Party in the eyes of many, it really is a shame.

 
At 5:14 PM, February 14, 2006, Anonymous erasmus said...

I agree with you, but what does "victory" mean in the current war? A substantial element within Islam is dedicated to 1.Conquering Europe through immigration and replacing liberal democracies with Muslim theocracies. 2. Thereby isolating America and harming its economy. 3. Destroying Israel and its people.
How to stop them? The most accomodating of the European countries (Netherlands, Denmark) bear the brunt of the anger and attack. The more accomodating Europe becomes, the bolder and faster its conquerors will move.
Will Europe ultimately act,and if so, when and how? (See David Hanson: "What Will Europe Really Do?" in realclearpolitics.com.) His conclusion: "So now Euope is being thrust right into the middle of the so-called war against Islamic fascism. Once threatened, it will either react with newly acquired Churchillian maturity to protectr its civilization, or cave, in hopes that even more Chamberlain-type appeasement will satisfy the Islamists."
Man, I'd LIKE to believe in the resurrection of "Churchillian maturity," but I'm not overwhelmed with signs of it.
So, how to win? The old WWII strategy, but without the invading armies, which aren't going to materialize. Which would be the old Curtis LeMay bombing approach to winning a war, namely "Kill enough of them, and they'll stop."
So, what will we do?
Churchill stood alone in 1940. Will we, much, much stronger and able to inflict a great deal of damage, stand alone and act until they stop, whether or not Europe eventually joins us?
If I were a betting man...?

 
At 5:23 PM, February 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, neo, I think you are just emphasizing what a lot of us believe. It isn't enough to win military battles. We HAVE to win the war of ideas. We have to be able to argue convincingly and honestly for the points that underlie our civilization: democracy, freedom, and tolerance. These arguements have to be based on OBJECTIVE truth.. things we can prove. Otherwise, the message will continue to be undermined from the right(where truth is based on religiosity) and the left(where truth is relative).

Z

 
At 6:31 PM, February 14, 2006, Blogger David said...

Here are some scary poll resuts:

59% percent of Americans thought Iran would use nuclear weapons against the United States, and 80 percent thought the Iranians would hand them over to terrorists to use against the United States.

Yet, *even if diplomacy were to fail*, only 36 percent of those who responded to the survey thought military action would be appropriate.

That means there are a substantial number of Americans who would prefer to let an American city be destroyed than to take military action first.

The only way I see of escaping this conclusion is if the questions were asked in such a way that some of the 59%/80% don't really believe that Iran will ever develop the weapons, and were responding to what they took as a purely theoretical question.

 
At 7:22 PM, February 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No David.
You see in that 26% (59% - 36%) the part of America that has adopted the mantra of The Left, "Western Civilization has no value."
Why should we live when all Western (white-heterosexual-male) Civilization has brought is slavery, rape, environmental destruction and capitalist repression? Better to abort the baby, destroy the family, break the will of the individual to the state.

 
At 7:37 PM, February 14, 2006, Anonymous ElMondoHummus said...

"Batman, of course, is not real--I assume at least, that we can all agree on that."

He's.... not? (**tear forms on the corner of his eye**)

 
At 8:26 PM, February 14, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

"This reluctance on our part was certainly was not present during WWII against the Nazis, even though we were fighting foes who had a master propagandist in Goebbels."

Don't forget Leni Riefenstahl. She was quite good at visual propaganda, far better than Michael Moore ever was. I have got to find and watch her masterpiece sometime.

"It was famously said by Robert Frost, of all people, that "a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." We can see by the liberal side of the blogosphere, however, that this problem has been remedied, and perhaps even overcorrected--today's liberals seem to be less shy about debating for their own point of view."

I don't think that is the right description of them. To me, they seem like spoiled children with a superiority complex/inferiority complex, and they go to extreme political isolation stances in order to support their needs and whims. People like Daily Kos's "Screw them" philosophy. They have never had a shred of compassion in their hearts, that didn't benefit them financially, morally, and intellectually. The rot in their characters, minds, and souls are deep, deeper than I would ever care to know. There are those who feel so much guilt that they end up being sacrificial lambs to the cannibals of course, those human shields and what not, but I do not believe that they are the fire behind the liberal blogs. Perhaps they never were.

"But in the larger sense, as a liberal (read: pro-Enlightenment) society, we have indeed somewhat lost the ability to take our own side in the rather intense argument with extreme and violent Islamicists. They, in the meantime, have become master propagandists who are not the lesat bit reluctant to enlist every tool of the trade to further their cause, including lies."

That's what I like about you Neo. You focus so much on the whys, the history, and the motives. I am far too pragmatic to care or wonder how things arrived at the state they are in, insofar as it does not affect my ability to fix the problem. Oh ya, watch out for that typing circumvention, as to sa, least to lesat ; ) I used to do that a lot for recieve and receive. Then there was... ah nevermind.

I am certain: the idea that blind and simplistic rah-rah support of country can lead to wretched excesses and wrongdoing.

Back then, Americans were too much Hick and not enough Cosmopolitanism. Now we have so much "Cosmopolitanism" that men are acting like women, the infamous metrosexuals. Jeez louis.

The pendulum has swung so far the other way that our press sometimes appears to effectively function as propaganda for the other side, although I don't believe this is intentional.

I am sure that is an important distinction to you, but honestly, in my pragmatic view, it doesn't matter what someone's intentions are. Dead are still dead people. My purpose isn't to punish, I leave that to the PC police, my purpose is to counter-act, to understand, and to destroy. If there was a weapon I could use against the propagandists in this nation, rooting for terrorism, that relied upon the "intentions" of the MSM, then I'd use it. But sadly, there are no counter-propaganda techniques using a person's intentions against him. Not when they don't really care to take responsibility for their actions. It could work against people who are intelligent, who have integrity, if you convince them that their intentions are leading them to the road paved with good intentions. But I tend to believe that those people, the ones with good character, are already on the side of liberty and the Iraqis. Nobody to convert, nobody to convince, just the MSM to destroy, to counter-act, and to expose. Heartless people require heartless tactics devoid of intentions. In some ways, it is no different from a military campaign or to be more accurate, a propaganda-guerrila campaign. You separate the hardcore terroists from the soft-core insurgents. Meaning, those who had intentions of fighting us because they wanted food for their family, safety for their loved ones, and peace from those who had intentions of fighting us to get access to free virgins, women, money, and power.

We are all behind the idea of a free press

I wouldn't say that, because it is inaccurate and obsolete. I am behind the purpose that the free press is supposed to serve. The purpose is to dissimilate the truth to Americans and the voters so that we know the facts and the information required to render guilt and innocence upon our fellow citizens and upon the legislation posed before us. A nation full of educated, smart, intelligent, and wise citizens with full access to the TRUTH would not need a press, free or otherwise.

My idea is not of a free press. If it requires something free, then free information, unfiltered and voluminous.

and a free press will always speak some unpleasant truths that go against our own interests.

A press that covers up and distorts information vital to the need of Americans to know true information, is a press that needs to be purged. We cannot afford demogagues convincing people to hang minorities, themselves, or that X, Y, and Z are good things when they really aren't. It is not in the interest of the democratic voter, to be told disinformation, wrong information, and lies. The truth is never against the interests of law abiding citizens in a free society.

But it's a question of balance, and I think the balance at the moment is skewed in such a way as to be counterproductive of own ability to defend ourselves in the marketplace of ideas.

It is only a question of balance in my view if you have no choice but to tolerate a free press, because otherwise you would either get full censored gov Truth or no truth at all. But those are not the alternatives here, only or otherwise. We are not caught between Charbydiss and Scylla, the rock and the sea, the devil and the unknown. It isn't a choice between great evil or lesser evil. Not when technology has FREED humanity from the shackles of disinformation campaigns. Just as Gutenberg freed the peons from having to trust the Catholic priests to tell them what the bible said. Just as the Cotton Gin and reapers FREED the farmers from toiling for days of 24 hour backbreaking work to harvest the grain before a rain ruins them. Just as it FREED the need for cheap slave labor, when a machine did far more and cost far less.

Technology has freed more humans than any war or legislation ever has and ever will.

I too am annoyed by the utter crap the NYTimes hand out. If they want to do propaganda, at least do it right. They insult my intelligence with such subpar material, so transparent and easy to tear. I'd respect them, even if they were enemies of liberty, if they just did it right. But they don't, so all I feel is contempt.

One famous example that comes to mind is that of Walter Duranty, Stalin apologist who wrote for the paper back in the Thirties.

Stalin was quite perceptive, even though he was a psychotic killer. "useful idiots" indeed.

Propaganda is part of the prosecution of that or any other war, and we ignore this at our peril.

In some ways it is a lot more than "part of the prosecution" of a war. As Sun Tzu said, the epitome of battle skill is not fighting a battle and winning, but winning without a fight. To paraphrase badly. And the only way to win a war without fighting, is to convine the enemy not to fight. And the only way to do that is with propaganda. Because whether a person fights or not, is in his mind, not his body. Not his communications, logistics, and bunkers. Those do not convince him to do anything. The reason why the Japanese were so brutal and feared was because of their propaganda, propaganda they used to instill undying loyalty in their women, men, and children. Even to the point that they would jump into the sea at Tarawa with their babies (IIRC) instead of being captured by the "Devil Americans". And the reason why Japan stopped fighting, was because of the expertise of United States propaganda. The difference between 300 million dieing and 1 million dieing is one word, propaganda. Some people might not care how many die before they win, but I do.

It is simply information spread to influence a populace towards a certain opinion (see definitions here; most of the definitions make no mention whatsoever of deception).

The best kind of manipulation is the kind where the person thinks he came up with the idea by himself. Not noticing that it was you who planted it there in the first place. Deception has many varieties. Outright lying is actually a pretty crude weapon compared to witholding key information, deceiving someone into believing one thing by ambiguous statements, and other very subtle workings.

I'm not totally sure of the reasons behind this,

The West has not lost our stomach for propaganda. The Media does it all the time, it just won't do it for Bush, America, or the troops. That is their choice and their intentions, nobody can change their will. Unless you want to kill them or something.

The White House has lost their stomach for propaganda, which includes the entire Republican. And there is a very very good reason for that.

I think what accounts for the government's lack of versatility is probably Vietnam, Watergate, Bush's father, Read My Lips No more Taxes, and various other wack stuff. Take Bush for example. He wants to be super-honest, maybe because he realized that his father really didn't uphold a lot of his promises. To Americans and Iraqis. Bush has always been a rebel, he would like to out-do his father all right. Then there was Clinton, which Bush promised to erase the stain of and increase our prestige. Double heck.

Then Watergate and vietnam. This really really really freaking rally, made the Republicans cringe when "lying" comes up. Uho, lying, better hide, we've been scarred, we no fight, no fight, take what you want, go away. Like a battered victim, lack of aggression is common place. The military suffers from Vietnam, where they were accused of "propagandizing" to the American people. So they no longer do it. What is the result? The result is that the Army information offices told Michael Yon to withold reporting on the ABU MUSAB AL-ZARQAWI LETTER to Osama Bin Laden. Michael obeyed like the good trooper he is, and guess what happened? The AP got it and ran with it, and turned it into a "love letter" story. The Army stole Michael Yon's exclusive, threw away a chance to tout American strategic successes, and a chance to propagandize the weakness and the vulnerability of the terroists. Why, oh Fracking Thank You, Army of the United States, I feel SO MUCH better now that you aren't in the propaganda business.

One problem is Bush himself as orator. But in fact, oration has been a dying art in the last few decades.

it's not a dying art in the CIA, cause their guerrila insurgency manuals cover it quite in depth.

(although some would say--especially today, on Valentine's Day--that all's fair in love and war.

Maybe people don't realize that NOTHING is fair in war. That is why everything is fair. You get it?

lSomehow many of us have become convinced of the idea that patriotism is identical with chavinism, and that both are identical with bigotry; also, that propaganda is equal to lies.

I don't think that is the reason. A lot of people still value patriotism, but they don't understand how to do propaganda, how to recognize it, how to analyze it, and how to counter-act it. like militar history, tactics, logistics, and strategy. There are amazing numbers of people who try to learn the iraq situation, but always go for the Mil Bloggers for knowledge. When I summarized the Iraq War, people emailed me and said that this cleared things up when hours of listening to Bush hadn't made a single dent in their confusion. It took me half a decade just to get started on military history and tactics, it gets faster once you got a foundation, but still. You cannot fully understand psychological operations without the military background. You can see what happens when people try to do propaganda and don't know jack about the military, "Fake but accurate" happens. Because propaganda is almost entirely a mixture between politics and guerrila warfare. In which regular war forms the background and the foundational supports. The visual is not exactly right, but still. It helps if you know military science first, then guerrila warfare, then psychological operations, then propaganda. Or you can do politics, propaganda, psychological operations, etc and go backwards.

nd, in fact, we need to reclaim both patriotism and propaganda, or we may find ourselves in a struggle similar to the one described by that master of propaganda,

It is never a good idea to allow your enemies to choose where the battle will take place. The propagandists in the MSM, have restricted the use of propaganda to themselves only. A sort of monopoly that they will die before giving up. Can't fight a propaganda war, if you don't even have access to the word propaganda. That is like fighting a war when nobody can tell each other's ranks.

Victory is nice. But again, those who don't know the military history, the military science, the propaganda arts or the arts of war might have a little trouble understanding what VICTORY means.

Understandable. If you don't know how to win with the tools you got, then what exactly is victory to you except some nebulous cloud in the silver lining?

There are different kinds of victories. But I'd settle for the one Japan got. It works, it'd work great in the Mid East. Not so great in Europe though. At least I hope not.

Was that long or what?

 
At 8:41 PM, February 14, 2006, Anonymous ElMondoHummus said...

Okay, all kidding aside (even though I'm still all broken up about Batman...):

What has happened to our most effective propoganda? I remember soon after 9/11 that Bush hired some marketing exec to lead the distribution of information or some such to the Middle East. What ever happened to that? As far as I can tell, it's fallen flat on it's face.

And yet, I remember reading about dissidents in the old Soviet Union listening to VOA, reading about the west, knowing that there was a better life somewhere. Who was it -- Sakharov? Havel? -- that talked about hearing Reagan's "Tear down this wall" speech in jail? And hearing his jailmates rejoice? In jail, yet the information got to him. In jail. And it gave him and his fellow inmate the heart to continue.

That's an effective information war. What's happened since then?

 
At 9:19 PM, February 14, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Here's some links I scrounged up. The White House has a cornucopeia (did I spell that right the first time?) of propaganda, if they would only use it. Nobody, least of all me, is asking them to make stuff up or fund a propaganda department. Waste of money in the 21st century.

Trade Union in Iran gets busted

Cia Insurgency

The bad, the ugly, and the helpless

Oh, btw, deja vu. I thought I wrote something about batman being a cop and not a soldier, and the author being a libertarian that doesn't like the power war gives government, but I somehow misplaced that piece somewhere around here. OH well.

Batman's still Kerry. The law and order people got a great victory with Barry Al_Sarion, oh boy that's a mangle, which must be good news for criminal trial Terror vs United States.

Terroists 1

Law and Order -1

Hey, we can still win against terrorism in the courts, we just have to get it so low it will flip to a positive. Too bad we'd be dead by then.

Honest to God, the Batman propaganda... won't work. Not. Even. Close.

What has happened to our most effective propoganda? I remember soon after 9/11 that Bush hired some marketing exec to lead the distribution of information or some such to the Middle East.

You call that propaganda? *chuckles*

That ain't propaganda, that is PR. And Al-Jazeera killed that one pretty easily. It is kind of hard to call it the most effective propaganda when it fell flat on its face...

Our best propaganda teams are American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It's too bad they don't get jack in support, but they do what they can with what they have.

That old truism, it isn't Generals that win wars but sergeants and lieutenants is a very true one. Especially if you look up Task Unit Taffy III.

It's too bad Bush won't show videos of our SF operators in Afghanistan burning a Taliban dude Alive. That's be a very good psych ops. Or as John Ringo calls it, a CNN Operation.

 
At 9:53 PM, February 14, 2006, Blogger James Becker said...

Hi Neo,

I think I disagree with a tenant of your article. You ask where all the great propogandists are that we once had.

Most propogandists of the 40's were leftists. They loved their work because Hitler had betrayed their ally Stalin. In the sense of pure belief systems, the left is far less confident in its own ideas, and a much smaller portion of American power than it was in the 1940's. What was then the left and its propoganda against Hitler is now Hollywood and Daily Kos.

You might ask why Hollywood doesn't dislike Bin Laden as much as they hated Hitler - given some of the similar philosophy. The answer is two fold.

1) Fighting and winning the war against OBL and fanatical Islam helps George Bush - at least they think it does. They hate free market capitalism almost as much as they hate fanatical Islam - maybe more. So its not worth it.

2) Defeating Hitler meant helping to bring about the new Socialist/Communist utopia. The result would be glorious.

Come to think of it - they seem like the same answer.

James

 
At 10:09 PM, February 14, 2006, Blogger Harry Mallory said...

I agree with James. I would also add that it would be hard for a lefty to criticize radical Islam for rioting in the streets for their cause while torching that Starbucks around the corner.

 
At 11:12 PM, February 14, 2006, Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

A relevant article in this month's Commentary Magazine:

Israel’s Media Problem by Hillel Halkin

 
At 12:56 AM, February 15, 2006, Blogger gcotharn said...

Positive stories are being reported on a U.S. supported (and popular) television station inside Iraq. The same effort should be directed at American citizens. It would not be overly expensive to open a cable TV channel in the U.S., or to make trailers for movie theaters, or feature length documentary movies(using combat photographers to show work on sewage pipes and electrical grids).

It could not be done, maybe, b/c Democrats would go crazy over the expenditure. Yet, oddly, such a cable channel might be justified, on grounds that the American public needs to know what is really happening with the Iraq reconstruction. It is our tax dollars at work, after all. And it is the blood of our sons and daughters.

It's an information war, dang it. The military needs to devote more resources to getting out information - and Democrats be damned. Getting out true information is more important than acquiring another AWACS plane.

 
At 6:12 AM, February 15, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"It's too bad Bush won't show videos of our SF operators in Afghanistan burning a Taliban dude Alive."
Pointless brutality didn't work for the Russians, did it?
The only propoganda that will work is KICKING ASS. When we beat down the Islamists, the 'moderate' muslims will see that Allah wasn't on their side after all (since Allah can't be defeated), and will have an opportunity to turn Islam in a different direction. The rest is a waste of time, because you can't out propagandize Islam- it's the ultimate propaganda.

 
At 8:05 AM, February 15, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

My simple take on the propoganda war? You can't use propoganda to motivate the massive hunk of Americans whose main concerns are being able to buy cheap chinese merchandise in Wal-Mart rather than fondling it and not having to pay more than $3.00 a gallon for gas. That's the bottom line. I don't have an answer and I can't speak for people who won't fight. As such, it is easier and perversely more meaningful to hold self-made victims in more contempt that their aggressors. I honestly believe that half of America would put their women in burqas for $2.00 a gallon gas. Batman to counter the arab street? You can't be serious.

 
At 10:14 AM, February 15, 2006, Anonymous Tom said...

Neo-neo,
Our side has lost. Human events move in great cycles, and it is clear, to me at least, that we are inexorably cycling downward into a multigenerational long and very dark night. The causes of the decline are legion, but the net effect is akin to a cancer that becomes therapy-resistant, metastasizes, causes great suffering then death. For the sake of our past greatness and for the sake of my kids and grandkids I wish it were not so, but it is.
The best we can do is to take some of the bastards out with us, a la Winston Churchill.

 
At 10:35 AM, February 15, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Pointless brutality didn't work for the Russians, did it?

Actually, it did. During the Lebanese Civil War, they stopped kidnapping Russians cause the Russians started doing the same things to their family and sending the body pieces back. Everyone knows the Mob runs Russia. Russia has problems with Chechnya because Russia sucks at guerrila warfare, perhaps as much as the Jews. Look what happened to them in Afghanistan. There are times when ruthlessness is required, but how such incidents are used and set up in advance, matters a lot.

If you look at the psychological profile of the Middle East, it is pretty fragile. They think they are tough and Holy by burning effigies of Bush, show them that we are tougher and we'll burn people alive while they're burning effigies. Re-direct the hate and anger of the MOB to the fear of personal self-destruction. The only way to disperse a mob and prevent it from achieving critical mass or destroying it once it has achieved critical mass, is to make the mob think on an individual level. This dampens out the hate, the anger, and the rage. This also incrues respect among the Arabs, and they feel safer knowing that if we say we're going to protect them, that we're not pansies and paper tigers bout it. Which, most Americans, would agree is a good thing for the Middle East that they learn to trust us and give us help against terroists. Especially with the Jihad against Cartoons going on and how much rage is left unfettered laying around.

Do not leave the battlespace to the Islamic propagandists, you do not want to do that. There is only two choices you have here. Either use propaganda and kill 5 people. Or don't use propaganda and kill 5,000 people. There are no other choices. If you think psychological ops are too brutal and infringe upon human rights or just useless and pointless, then be my guest, the blood of children, men, and women killed in the bombings will not be on my hands. And the blood of Americans that have died in an unnecessary military campaign will not be on mines either.

There could be problems and over-reactions on the domestic front against "human rights" violations and all that. But if the White House initiated all the propaganda projects I would advise them to do, it would not be that big of a problem.

The only propoganda that will work is KICKING ASS

That's called Jihad, and the terroists eat it up. More are coming everday. Thanks for contributing to the Jihad fund. You can kick ass, but any Americans that die is gonna be on your hands.

Most tank commanders will tell you that kicking ass is good, (Especially with a main tank round) but not if you run out of gas and the logistics is across the border.

When we beat down the Islamists,

You will NEVER beat down the Islamists without beating down the psychological wall of terror around the moderate Muslims. So called moderates. Go here, and read Palestinian Princess if you don't believe me. Go ahead, tell me Israel is beating down the Islamists.

Palestinian Princess

the 'moderate' muslims will see that Allah wasn't on their side after all (since Allah can't be defeated)

Okay, if you say so. But read Wretchard first. 3 conjectures

Israel beat the Arabs, but oops, they just came back for.

The rest is a waste of time, because you can't out propagandize Islam- it's the ultimate propaganda.

That's right, give up like Bush has. Just let people walk right over you, who cares if people die cause you've given up, right?

It's just a waste of time saving the lives of innocents and American service men and women, truly, I see now, the enemy is too powerful, all heil the Moderates.

Give Me. A Break. Here.

You can't use propoganda to motivate the massive hunk of Americans whose main concerns are being able to buy cheap chinese merchandise in Wal-Mart rather than fondling it and not having to pay more than $3.00 a gallon for gas. That's the bottom line.

The bottom line is, "Ya, you can".

There are three emotions that are malleable. Hate, anger, and guilt. It is easy to ramp up hatred against rapists. Even women can be convinced to support the death penalty against cruel, unusual, and sadistic criminals. Since there are and were a lot of rapists in the Taliban, Iran, Saddam's regime, etc it ain't that hard to ramp up hatred against them.

Once you have the hate, then you start working on the national and individual anger against the target. For Iran, you had that 365 day hostage crisis. Just imagine if 24 hours got ahold of that, it would never end, ever. Make America remember what it was like to be helpless, and stoke that anger, and then redirect it against Iran or whoever you want to target.

After you pass a critical threshold, people will stop caring whether you are burning people alive or not, if you can give them pictures of cruelty and what not that you are trying to stop by burning these criminals alive so they stop killing Americans and their own people. People will stop caring, just like they stopped caring about GitMo and what not. And they don't hate the people at GitMo.

If you burned Osama Bin Laden alive, transmitted it on national tv, and had Special Forces grouped around him, do you really believe that this propaganda does not have the power to motivate the massive hunk of Americans whose main concerns are being able to buy cheap chinese merchandise?

People who understand psychology and war, understands the weak points in every human's mind and body. There is no one, who is human, and immune. That is the other bottom line.

Btw, the guilt can easily be trumped up through usual tactics, like presenting the cruelty of Iran in executing a girl that defended herself against a rapist. You think 50% of Americans don't care about that?

The Republican party has a natural disinclination against propaganda, maybe cause they suck at it. I don't know. you have engineers and electricians and blue/white collar workers. But do you have wordsmiths, do you have camera experts, media consultants, advertising moguls? Nope. Those are on the LEFT. The few you do have, like Michael Yon and Reagan, have their effectiveness cut in half because of the kind of things they have to work against.

If the Republicans are willing to pay the price for not using propaganda, which is countless more body bags than necessary, then I suppose they might, just might have the will to do it. But that does not mean the majority of Americans will be by their side at the end. Bush recognized that there were two centers of gravity in the WoT, America and the Mid East.

The hard core Republicans have the will, the hard core Democrats have the propagada to sustain that will, and never the twain shall meet if some comments on this thread is common theory among the Republican rank and file.

Propaganda and psychological operations saved hundreds of thousands of American lives in the war against Japan, but it seems saving American lives is not enough against the perception that propaganda is useless.

In an ironic sense, the Democrats will not take up arms against Al-Qaeda because they are anti-2nd Ammendment and anti-war. Republicans will not take up the propaganda arms against Al-Qaeda because... well just because.

It's an information war, dang it. The military needs to devote more resources to getting out information - and Democrats be damned.

It is true to that. but the military cannot authorize itself to propagandize against Americans. The President has to do that, and he won't, ever. We have to wait until his term expires. I knew that like in 2005, if not 2004. I just hope Iran doesn't blow up cause Bush is bad at intimidating people.

You have to really really admire and respect, if not agree with, the propganda of the enemy.

Look how effective it is! The Islamists have won the propaganda war without even trying, because Republicans have given up. Or independents, whatever their stripes and colors, don't matter. They have given up fighting.

The rest is a waste of time, because you can't out propagandize Islam

Oh, how Americans wish the Arabs would say

The rest is a waste of time, because you can't beat the Americans. America is the epitomy of power

I don't think they even realize this, but enemy propaganda has already worked its magic in their psyches.

That is the elegance, do you not see. The best way to manipulate a person is to allow him to think that he came up with the idea all on his own. Then he will never connect his conclusions with your goals, and be defeated thus.

 
At 10:59 AM, February 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed. He who molds opinion is greater than he who enacts laws.

President Abraham Lincoln

 
At 11:08 AM, February 15, 2006, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

The Israelis, for various unfortunate reasons, have never forced their enemies to expend capital.

The excess young men and the destroyed equipment can be made up in five years by the population issues found in a horribly misogynistic society awash in oil money and with a supply line to the USSR, less so to France and Brazil and China.
The Israelis have occupied no enemy capital, hanged no enemy leader, destroyed no enemy's infrastructure.
They have forced their enemies to expend only interest.
The Israelis are in the position of a boxer who strikes only at his opponent's forearms, and then only when the opponent has launched a blow.

This didn't work for us in Viet Nam.

 
At 11:30 AM, February 15, 2006, Blogger Michael Cox, England said...

As a biased Englishman, who fully supports my Government in their stance regarding Iraq, I am concerned that we may not be able to sustain an equal degree of support for what lies ahead. Iran will not be satisfied until Western Culture as typified by America and its few allies, is detroyed; and they are prepared to take their time. Our governments have a responsibility to take the initiative and carry out pre emptive strikes, either nuclear or convential, against Iraq and possibly North Korea. A long fight will lie ahead but if we do not, we will be ushering in the end of western democracy for most of Europe, the Middle East and the Far East leaving America completely isolated(I guess it feels like that now at times).

I served in the British Army in the 60s and served 3 years in Germany and 3 years in Singapore. Whilst in Germany I was told that the reason for being there was to stop the spread of Communism into Western Europe; in Singapore I was told that we were there to stop the spread of Communism into South East Asia. We succeeded in Europe and partially succeeded in Asia.

Believe me the threat from radical Islam is far worse.

I am not politically educated but I know right from wrong and I like to refer to myself by that supposedly outdated word as a patriot. I for one am with you America.

Michael Cox
England

 
At 1:06 PM, February 15, 2006, Anonymous armchair pessimist said...

Propagandea? In the days after 9/11 there was plently of propaganda. You couldn't get away from it. As if it had all come from one secret US Government Dept. of Public Reactions, we were enouraged to mourn, to remember, to weep, which is what victims are supposed to do. "The Tragedy of 9/11", remember?
Well, f- your tragedy and f-you is what I felt at the time, and I bet I wasn't alone.
We should have been told to get mad and get even. We should have been told to sign up. We should have been told that the dirty cowardly scum who did this to us and their evil baboon of a prophet were to receive the full wrath of the United States of America. We should have been allowed rage, hate and vengeance.
In war it's good for public morale to call a Nip a Nip, a Kraut a Kraut, and a Raghead a Raghead.
Well we didn't get that. We got to see the Budweiser horses kneeling and we got to go shopping. Is it any wonder that the public's so lukewarm?
So, go Batman! Go Ann Coulter! Go anybody who give us, nationally, a good boot in the ass.
Well, not anybody. The I-nazis are probably planning to deliver that boot right now.

 
At 3:01 PM, February 15, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I think Bush was worried that fear would grip the character of America and produce riots, back lashes, and hate crimes that would not help us fight back in any honorable fashion.

I believe he said that he wanted us to get back to our normal lives because he did not want terrorism to make us afraid. Yet that is hard to do, when Bush did not use Flight 93 to reassure us. If he wanted us to not fear another 9/11, all he had to say was, "imitate the bravery and sacrifice of Flight 93" on national tv.

Bush perhaps did the prudent thing, he made efforts to calm people down, he dispersed the hate, the anger, and the fear.

The media will always make people out to be victims, to them there is nothing but oppressor and victims. They just can't help it.

It would not have helped us in the here and now. The rage and the pain of 9/11 did fade into time, as it was meant to.

There seems to me two ways to create national will. National Will, the Determination to fight against all odds because of personal loyalty, integrity, and virtues. Neo worries that we as Americans are losing this fundamental survival requisite.

That is true, but there are 2 ways I know to create national will.

Propaganda through persuasion and oration.

And an enemy attack providing body bags of Americans, stacked 3 stories tall.

If the people of America is not persuaded through the art of propaganda or prepared by those tools, to attack or be attacked, then the hate, the rage, and the guilt will be caused by the enemy's attacks.

There are two intentions for terroist attacks. Either they want you to become mad with rage and committ atrocities, giving them a propaganda event to destroy you with. Or, they want you to surrender and give them appeasements that they use to propagandize your weakness and recruit more suicide bombers.

In Russia, it was the former. In Britain, it was the former and the latter. In Spain, it was the latter, capitulation.

Only in America, did they not get either of those responses. They did not get a hate spewed rage that made Americans kill women, men, and children indescrimnately through terror tactics. They did not get a surrender either. They still aren't, contrary to the Left's wishes.

They got a furious response tempered in the discipline known throughout American history.

The American Marines at Tarawa and Saipan were the best examples of this American trait of steely determination with compassionate spirit. As in Iraq, they gave out candy, as in Iraq, they carried out the bodies of children, victims of their nation's unwillingness to limit war between the armed only.

We should have been told to get mad and get even.

As Neo wrote so productively about the My Lai Massacre, and so I will tell you not to make so common a mistake.

America needs warriors and soldiers, not criminals out for revenge. We need weapons, not rage poisoned hotshots.

We don't need people susceptible to enemy attempts at distorting our ability to tell civilian from combatant, non-combatant from uniformed soldiers.

Thank God that the US military has corrected many of the discipline problems, with the help of an all volunteer army. There is much pride we may feel at the strides Americans have made in the decades since.

Nevertheless, our goals should not be to "get even" for anything. Being even with the murderers, rapists, dictators, and terroists of the Middle East is exactly what they would like in their misery. They want company, and misery loves company.

Our goal should be to get ahead. If you heard that from a Lefty, a pacifist, well you might figure me for someone that didn't care to get my hands dirty with revenge. But I know very well the savor and the addiction of rage, but it is a corrosive force.

The art of propaganda is a tool used to mold and shape that emotive force in the souls of man, for good or evil.

As the US military knows so well, aggression is very useful. But it has to be trained, it has to be harnessed, it has to be DISCIPLINED. Otherwise it is more of a danger to our allies than to our enemies.

That applies to civilians and military personnel.

A lot of the things done to raise morale isn't even propaganda. It's just raising morale. It's just psychological balms to sooth a ruined soul and a tortured mind.

I wouldn't exactly put my faith in coulter and batman. They just don't have the steel, no insult intended.

Thank you for your solidarity, Michael, of England. The United States is tough, I think we can handle a few more years of fighting a lone battle. Everyone remembers the times Winston Churchill lived in, and probably the only regret I have is that we cannot help dig Britain out of the socialist hole her citizens have allowed to be dug. Our powers don't extend that far, even if we had the will to use them to help out our friends. The friends that we have left in the world that is.

I think the Americans have enough strength for one more World War. Our strength is not infinite, but I think with the support of our friends, we can acquire the support of the new blood in East Europe, Afghanistan, and Iraq. That might make the difference, as new blood from America made the diff in WWI.

Don't worry about the Propaganda War, it won't cause us to lose. Losing the Pro War will only cause us to lose a lot of lives, but we will still win in the end. catch 22 you might say.

If we get bombed and our casualties are an order greater than 9/11, we will get all the national will we can ever handle.

If our casualties are 3.0 X 10^5, or 3.0 X 10^6, or 3.0 X 10^7. then America might become insane. I don't want to see that, and I think the world prays that they don't see it either.

Not even the United States of America could handle 3,000,000 casualties at once, and remain sane. And if America sustains 30,000,000 casualties at once... I don't think even the hand of God could protect our enemies, as they dance in the streets jubilant over their great victory.

Because our military will still survive intact, and they have been trained to channel their emotions.

Rage, Hate, Anger, and Fury are not your little pop pistols bought for children.

Don't play with them or wave them around. Don't talk about getting even unless you're willing to expend your entire life force in vengeance, death, and annihilation. I've never liked people who said one thing and did another.

 
At 3:12 PM, February 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's an effective information war. What's happened since then?"

The media wised up, that's what.

I remember all the mockery Reagan was subjected to in the media, for his warmongering speech. Hell, I even joined in on it, childish liberal that I was. The media happily spread that speech far and wide, thinking that it would be everlasting proof of what an imbecile Ronnie Ray Gun was.

They played right into Ronnie's hands. The speech wasn't for them, but for the people oppressed by communism, people the media didn't believe existed, people they carelessly allowed that speech to be seen by, in their haste to discredit Ronnie. They paid the most horrible price imaginable for that mistake, when the wall actually did come down and the hope of a global worker's paradise, with the media as its queen, seemed shattered forever by forces they could not even comprehend.

They are determined not to make the same mistake with Dubya and Islam.

 
At 3:15 PM, February 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead they will make all new mistakes, like assuming Muslims are just Communists with turbans.

 
At 3:16 PM, February 15, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Reagan was good. So is Arnold.

*Sighs* I suppose the internet might surprise the media once again.

 
At 4:29 PM, February 15, 2006, Anonymous armchair pessimist said...

Ymarsakar:
You're a little cerberal for me, but I'll try to meet you halfway. To the armed forces, yes, self-control and utter professionalism-- The disciplined valor of Roman arms, to quote Gibbon, or something like that. To us civilians, not fear but a burning malevolence, subliminated into warbond drives, civil defense volunteering, gas rationing, and the determination to see it through. And, I'm afraid, 9/11 was just the appetizer.
But I do repeat: hatred, contempt and mockery of the enemy are the fuel that keep that constructive malevolence burning merrily.
Batman and Coulter can't do it alone. You, me, and all the others got to pitch in.

 
At 6:14 PM, February 15, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

But I do repeat: hatred, contempt and mockery of the enemy are the fuel that keep that constructive malevolence burning merrily.

My point is that I don't think a Jesse Jackson, a black Islamic paramilitary wing, or a Farakan in the White House "extorting the hate and the hate and the whitties(islamics)" is going to help win the war.

People who hate the enemy do not understand the enemy, and therefore are unable to win against the enemy. For public sentiment, hate is a valuable emotion to stoke up the support, but do not be fooled into thinking an orator can turn hate on and off at will.

It's not like natural gas here. And it tends to grow a life of its own.

I don't pretend to know how you might want to go about stoking up the hate, but if you are talking about reminding people of 9/11, then I just have to say that that doesn't really last long. So if you still want to stoke up the hate, you either need new incidents to talk about, need to make up new incidents to talk about, or just lie and hope people are so enraged they won't care.

The warbond age is over. Most of the things frustrated Americans can channel their emotions into are beneficiary, like helping Iraqi children, Operation Iraqi Children, sending care packages to the troops, sending candy to the troops so the troops can win over the hearts and minds of the populace. Perhaps even winning an extra tip that helps save one extra American life.

I've said it before, that America in WWII was far too parochial but anti-Japanese and other kinds of racism didn't help. It would be nice if everyone was good enough to hate only evil people, bad things and actions, but that's not how it happens.

The point is to raise the morale of the nation and to increase its fighting spirit. There are cheap ways of doing that, via inciting hatred against someone like the Islamics do, but that is not the best way to go about it if you can help it. And we can help it.

The way the current war on terror is structured, American compassion and care wins more propaganda points than focusing our hatreds upon someone or some nation. There are useful benefits to psychological operations, but not against the American people.

It's the wrong weapon for the wrong war. In WWII, people weren't educated enough to understand the issues and had to have hate to cover up the fear. Those were the days of rah rah, don't criticize Roosevelt.

Americans today are different people. They don't need to run on corrosive fuels such as hate, to sustain national determination anymore.

What you can do is simply tell the truth and make sure as many people as possible know the truth, and let them come to decide whether Iran is worth getting angry or not.

hatred, contempt and mockery of the enemy are the fuel that keep that constructive malevolence burning merrily.

No, it is willpower, determination in the face of great odds, compassion, and the willingness to kill and be killed for something greater that allows the United Statse to win in the end.

To the armed forces, yes, self-control and utter professionalism

What makes you believe that the best of America, in the United States military, uses self-control and professionalism, but that civilians are somehow not good enough for self-control and professionalism? As I hinted before, that might have had some merit in 1950, but this isn't 1950.

 
At 5:48 PM, February 16, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

The problem with the media is the confusion between "liberal" and "left". The left is more concerned with countering the right than defending liberal values, such as free speech. Many in the media are actually liberals, but unable to differentiate themselves from the left, are constantly enlisted in the left's battle vs. the right.

 
At 6:40 PM, February 16, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

That's because the Left believes they are standing up for liberal values when they "counter" the Right. After all, if you believe that the Right Wing Religions are more of a danger than Islam, then why would fighting against the Right be against liberal values?

The liberals don't even believe in free speech, but they still call themselves that. In doing so, they have redefined liberalism to mean something entirely else.

A related link occured because of a war between O'reilly
and NPR, which was overed by Buzz and Jay Rosen on the topic of media bias, the non-traditional view.

 
At 2:42 PM, February 20, 2006, Blogger Latin's Lady said...

Video slots on the web has a fan club of there own, people just can’t get enough. Even when news slots are launched by the different software developers they get a standing ovation and are attacked with an intensity of a wolf mother protecting her cubs. It is like the New Years sale in Bond street where the entire population of crazy housewife’s fight over every garment and will draw blood if need be.

Lucky us the since the slots are online there is no such thing as a queue and you can play when you want. You don’t even have to get dressed.

Not that this has any relevance to who plays slots and who don’t. There is clearly according to the latest polls more women playing slots then men. Men seem to drift towards the poker and table games. But here is something us men have to watch out for, they are coming. And they are also coming in swarms.

And since we men can not do more then one thing at a time (at least that is what the women say) we are in trouble. Take Blackjack, they should be better at handling two and three hands then us. Texas Hold’em is up for grabs because of the pace and many factors in the game. So when you are playing against a women you might want to hold on to your chips (and maybe your hart as well) she could end up owning both of them. Women know we are simple beings, and do have this factor over us when playing face to face. All men are suckers to a nice smile, so in all fairness any poker game that has both men and women in it should be played online.

At least you will not be distracted by that nice perfume drifting in from the women next to you. It is so faint but a man has certain instincts and will try to get a good sniff. So leaning in (ever so careful) I still get booted from a game for trying to look at other peoples cards. And I had a straight lined up. Even the big smile I got from the women next to me did not really soften the blow of getting booted. At least the dealer understood me and just told me to take a break for a while. That is my 2 cents worth on the topic of women and gambling.

Signing off for now and heading towards the slots, someone told me there is a good chance of meeting women there. At least that is what they tell me on http://www.streetslots.com

 
At 5:34 AM, April 08, 2006, Blogger Greg said...

work at home mailing self help books what about it..work at home mailing self help books Here it is now its up to you...

 

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