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The Dark Side of War Propaganda

Jim Harrison’s novella Legends of the Fall, made famous by the 1994 film starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, recounts the tragedies that ensue when the three sons of an aristocratic Montana rancher ride north in 1914 to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Given that an estimated 17 percent of Montana’s young men volunteered or were conscripted to fight in the bloody trenches of France and Belgium during World War I, Harrison drew from the real history of a young state that was largely enthusiastic about that war.

Such ardor can, however, have a darker side. In 1918, Montana passed the nation’s harshest sedition law, which criminalized criticism of the war effort and served as a model for the federal government’s own Sedition Act enacted a few months later. Although the war was nearly over when it was passed, 200 Montanans, many of them German immigrants beset by a nationwide anti-German hysteria, were charged and 79 were convicted for being vocal in their opposition to the war.


Walking through a new exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco entitled Weapons of Mass Seduction [2], one gets more insight into how such fanaticism was whipped up. Drawn from the extensive collection of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, the exhibition chronicles martial propaganda from countries on both sides of the two world wars. Visitors see French recruiting posters, German calls to arms, and copies of sheet music for cheery Great War ditties meant to be sung by family and friends around the American parlor piano. Posters, films, leaflets, and other items in this well-curated exhibition highlight the ways in which tools being developed by burgeoning advertising and entertainment industries were pressed into service to shape public sentiment and gin up popular enthusiasm.


The iconic Army recruiting image of a finger-pointing Uncle Sam saying “I Want YOU” greets the visitor entering the gallery. Recruitment, however, plays a surprisingly small role in the exhibition, perhaps because of the dominant role that conscription played in both world wars. The Uncle Sam poster made its recruiting debut in 1917, the same year that the draft was instituted.

Much messaging was instead aimed at affecting morale on the home front and at changing domestic habits to avoid waste and stretch resources. A cluster of posters records the push for Americans to garden, can their own food, eat less meat, and collect and turn in everything from scrap iron to rags to kitchen drippings. Multimedia exhibitions seem to be the thing these days, and visitors here are treated to a collection of animated short films produced for the U.S. government by Walt Disney during World War II. One features Minnie Mouse in the kitchen—when suddenly a stern voiceover stops her from putting leftover bacon grease into Pluto’s dog dish. Initially angry at losing his treat, Pluto ends by proudly carrying a bucketload of grease to the local butcher shop, where such renderings are collected to make bombs that, as the viewer is vividly shown, will be dropped on Hitler’s Germany.

A curatorial note informs us that, far from merely contributing a bit piece here and there, Disney Productions devoted more than 90 percent of its output to the war effort between 1942 and 1945. Disney animators and artists created internal training films for the military, propaganda posters, patriotic comic books, and even war bond certificates featuring Disney characters. Mickey Mouse and other such figures became so associated with America’s war effort that they were employed in German and Japanese propaganda as sinister enemy figures. Mickey’s likeness is even found on one of the Japanese “propaganda kimonos” that provide an unexpected caesura at the exhibition’s midpoint.

Because the exhibition is arranged by subject, one sees commonalities: an Allied poster from World War I might be found next to a similarly themed one from the Axis side in the second war. From the perspective of the universality of wartime imperatives, this makes sense. Obscured, however, is the subtler record of increasingly sophisticated techniques that a more chronological arrangement might have shown. A Charlie Chaplin silent film from World War I, in which Chaplin bonks the Kaiser on the head and then hawks Liberty Bonds, may have been cutting-edge persuasion at the time it was made. If it had been allowed to stand next to, rather than across the room from, the highly advanced cinematography of a World War II Army film portraying GIs listening to Japanese radio broadcasts from “Tokyo Rose” (multilayered propaganda about propaganda), the contrast would have been striking.

The posters from World War II likewise are subtler in their messaging than their predecessors, and hence perhaps more effective, even though the artwork from the first war is generally superior. One wonders how much of this more nuanced presentation was due to advances in advertising techniques in the intervening 25 years and how much to the fact that war propagandists knew how badly they had overreached during World War I. A fascinating concluding display tells of Columbia University’s Institute for Propaganda Analysis, formed in 1937 to study and disseminate information about the techniques used in modern propaganda. It emerged in part from public awareness of foreign propaganda efforts to influence America’s decision on whether to enter World War I.

World War I-era poster urging Americans to buy more Liberty Bonds to keep bloody German boots off of American soil. Artist: John Norton, ca. 1917-1919. (public domain)

This November will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of “the war to end all wars,” and at a century’s remove it is Allied propaganda from that particular conflict that is perhaps most intriguing. One poster features the “mark of the Hun” (a bloody handprint), helpfully telling us that Liberty Bonds are the antidote. Another continues the Liberty Bond theme by portraying a ghoulish “Hun” with bloody hands holding a dripping bayonet and who is peering over the horizon with a none-too-large expanse of water separating this black and barely human creature from the vulnerable viewer. A third exhorts the viewer to “Keep These off the USA” by buying yet more Liberty Bonds; “these” are blood-soaked boots and spurs bearing the imperial German eagle.


A certain amount of dehumanizing of the enemy is a natural part of any war effort, but Allied propaganda against the Germans in World War I is particularly striking in its crudity and ferocity, especially since one would have a hard time finding Americans today capable of explaining, even in the broadest of terms, exactly what our country was doing in that war. One of the more visually arresting World War I posters in the exhibition portrays a slumbering, rosy-cheeked, and classically-garbed female personification of America. “Wake Up, America!” the poster admonishes. “Civilization Calls Every Man, Woman, and Child!” No arguing with that.

Against such a backdrop some stories from that time come into focus. One involves Hermann Bausch, a Montana farmer who was dragged from his home and nearly lynched in 1918 when neighbors surrounded his house and demanded that he buy Liberty Bonds to prove his loyalty to the United States. He survived the day but only because he ended up in the state penitentiary for sedition. The Montana connection was unexpectedly brought to mind during the exhibition because of a passing curatorial note about Hollywood’s involvement in the war effort: “Some in US Congress believed film propaganda to be a threat to democracy. In 1941, Senator Burton K. Wheeler wrote to Paramount News that ‘the motion picture industry is carrying on a violent propaganda campaign intending to incite the American people [to war]…’”

Although not identified as such, Wheeler was a Montanan who first became famous as a U.S. attorney in Butte who refused to indict anyone under the national Sedition Act during World War I. He later became a four-term U.S. senator and steadfast opponent of American involvement in World War II until Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. But it’s noteworthy that Montana produced strong antiwar leaders such as Wheeler and Jeanette Rankin (the only member of Congress to vote against entering both world wars) while also being a hotbed of patriotic war fervor. Such skepticism about foreign conflicts, mixed with patriotic support for the troops, is characteristic even today of much of Middle America.

At such an exhibition, one expects to see some links with contemporary America, in which the drums of war are always within earshot. But there are substantial differences. With limitless federal borrowing, the government no longer needs to hawk Liberty Bonds to finance foreign adventurism. Military actions are kept just small enough to stay within the limits of a volunteer force, so conscription need not be justified in the public eye. Social pressures and secular pieties now drive recycling and self-rationing in the service of climate change and veganism. In short, governments today don’t perceive a need to mobilize broad public support before waging war. They just do it.

Weapons of Mass Seduction [2] runs through October 7 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.  

Bradley Anderson writes from San Francisco, California.

29 Comments (Open | Close)

29 Comments To "The Dark Side of War Propaganda"

#1 Comment By David J. White On August 23, 2018 @ 10:45 pm

My grandfather was born in Ohio in 1898 to German-speaking immigrant parents. He spoke German at home, and went to Confession in German until the First World War broke out and people felt pressure to stop speaking German. He enlisted in the Merchant Marine, because he felt that he had to volunteer for some kind of service to “prove” his loyalty. He apparently spent the entire war in port somewhere in the East doing routine maintenance work; he used to say that he helped beat the Kaiser by cleaning paint brushes.

In grade school in the 70s I had a nun who was from a German family (her last name was Elmlinger) and who was a schoolgirl in Berlin, Ohio during the First World War. She said that one day the Ohio National Guard came to her school and burned all their German books.

#2 Comment By Stephen J. On August 24, 2018 @ 2:13 am

The writer states: “In short, governments today don’t perceive a need to mobilize broad public support before waging war. They just do it.”
They certainly do. Just look at all the wars being perpetrated by “governments” and their shills illegally.
August 23, 2018
Illegal Wars

They voted for illegal wars, but they don’t fight
“Leaders” and politicians that like to incite
Others also support wars, as do some in the corporate media
As do some in think tanks and others in academia

“Warriors” and their “wisdom” parade on the world stage
Dressed in suits and dresses, products of this mad warmongering age
They are the “experts” that feed the masses propaganda
They participate in the flag waving and other extravaganzas

The marketers of murder and mayhem also get in on the act
As do the producers of weapons and that is a fact
“Creating jobs” for the masses is the slogan they sell
And the “coalition of the willing” kills and creates hell

Destroying countries that never invaded them
Reducing them to rubble, again and again
Millions are dead, their homes and jobs are destroyed
Other victims still living have nothing; of things they once enjoyed

Sovereignty was violated in a number of countries
With bombings, killings and many other atrocities
Illegal wars were planned and actions were taken
Now chaos reigns in a number of victim nations

Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries are drenched in blood
And missiles and bombs continue to land, with a hellish thud
Many of the people of these countries would still be alive
If the “liberators” had not invaded and dropped hell from the skies

Are those that run the system to powerful for justice?
Do gangsters and villains “rule the roost” among us?
Has law and order become words that mean nothing?
When those in control; control almost everything

Refugees are in the millions, trying to find a safe haven and peace
Instead they live in squalor and the wars never cease
What is the solution to all this criminal carnage on many lands and shores?
Should the perpetrators be put on trial, that voted for illegal wars?…

[much more info at link below]

#3 Comment By Local Number 1 On August 24, 2018 @ 2:34 am

“In short, governments today don’t perceive a need to mobilize broad public support before waging war. They just do it.”

Yes. Presidents like Clinton, Bush II, Obama, and Trump seem to spend most of their time in office enjoying long, leisurely p***es on the Constitution.

Last time around I was sure I was voting for someone who’d end the wars. Boy was I wrong. And boy am I going to make that SOB pay at the polls this fall and in 2020.

#4 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 24, 2018 @ 7:02 am

There are some unrelated images on this sight, but there were too many relevant references to pass up.


I do think there is a war on, bu the threat is not an obvious one and certainly less overseas than right here at home.

And while certainly needed to deal with the actors of 9//11,m a nation state war was probably the least effective choice and but by the slimmest of contentions justified.

#5 Comment By polistra On August 24, 2018 @ 9:32 am

Propaganda has to be wilder when the natural support for war is low. Most Americans are part German, and Germany hadn’t invaded or attacked us directly in 1914. Germany was attacking France, which was our ally. So the propagandists had to work fairly hard to gin up a war.

Their job was easier in 1941 because very few Americans are part-Japanese, and Japan had actually attacked us.

The current propaganda against Russia and Persia is even harder than 1914, in that Russians and Persians are relatively rare here, and Russia and Persia are not attacking us at all. We have to write bizarre fictional stories first, then enact the stories on TV, then blame the “enemies” for the events we write in our stories.

#6 Comment By TJ Martin On August 24, 2018 @ 9:44 am

No war propaganda in the modern era ? Seriously ?

So where was the author when GWB and his Gang of Four were constantly and consistently spouting off more propaganda than Mao Zedong in order to justify their ill conceived military actions as well as justifying them stripping away more of our Constitutional and Civil Rights during their eight years in power than the entirety of the Cold War did in fifty ( re; ” What We’ve Lost ” ; by Graydon Carter )

Or to put it in a more recent context : how about the current ( so called ) POTUS and his ‘ chickenhawk ( political idiom ) minions drumming up propaganda and fear mongering among their supporters in collusion with FoxNews etc in order to justify the wars in the Middle East and SE Asia they’re damned and determined to start ?

And that my friends is barely scratching the surface when it comes to war propaganda in the modern era . Oh sure .. maybe its not being done with bold type over the top graphic poster this days .. but it still exists proliferating the subconscious via subversive ,concealed ( under a veil of fake facts and alternative realities)
and extremely divisive tactics all means to the same end

Suffice it to say in direct contradiction to the authors erroneous and grossly misinformed claims … war propaganda is alive and well in the US of A in the 21st century

#7 Comment By Conewago On August 24, 2018 @ 10:08 am

The beautiful German-American Bank building of Buffalo, New York was renamed the Liberty Bank Building when the company changed its name thus. The German-American owners, under pressure from mainstream society, added two replicas of the Statue of Liberty. They remain today. I have always thought they look like contrivances on top of a nice building.

Of course the ultimate insult of the war-mongering anti-Germans, who got us into two world wars in which we accomplished little of value except death, is to destroy and suburbanize the pretty farmland of the heartland – the home of many millions of the world’s greatest all-around agriculturist, the Deutscher Mann. The German way in this country was a red Pennsylvania Dutch bank barn, and peace; the way since World War 1 is endless housing tracts paid for by war.

#8 Comment By Stephen J. On August 24, 2018 @ 10:20 am

“War Propaganda” is published daily in the corporate media. “The Dark Side” is still operating today, and the war criminals are Free! More info in article links below.
October 23, 2016
Are The Corporate Media Propaganda Pushers For The War Criminals?

“The effective propagandist must be a master of the art of speech, of writing, of journalism, of the poster and of the leaflet. He must have the gift to use the major methods of influencing public opinion such as the press, film and radio to serve his ideas and goals, above all in an age of advancing technology.” Josef Goebbles

There is overwhelming evidence that there are war criminals that plotted and planned a number of wars in various countries. [1] Yet, you won’t hear or see most of the corporate controlled media exposing the criminality of the powerful war perverts in our midst, or the victims of the war criminals and their war business. [2] Syria is just one of example of many countries, where the media are protecting the criminal actions of governments and their treacherous “allies” that are consorting with terrorists….
[read much more at link below]

See also:
“The Propaganda Peddlers, the War Criminals and Their 21st Century War Crimes”

So, “Rally Round Your Flags Boys”

Rally round your flags boys; get ready for World War Three
Your “leaders” will be in their luxury bunkers, watching it on T.V
Millions will be killed and millions will be maimed
Ask yourself this question: Are your “leaders” bloody insane?

Millions will be dead and dying, and the earth will be all aflame
Will “victory” be assured and “won” in your name?
Then if there is anybody left breathing and dreadfully still alive
Your “leaders” will hand out medals to those who might survive…
[more at link below]

#9 Comment By collin On August 24, 2018 @ 10:20 am

Being a huge animation short fan, I have seen a lot of the Disney, Warners, and other studio Hollywood work and I do take with a grain of salt. (Der Fuehrer’s Face is funniest Disney cartoon they did in shorts and that song is great.) And I do find it striking in propaganda is:

1) Really until summer of 1944, victory was still in question for the Allies and possible Nazi victory was possible.
2) It is a good to learn how to see bias any media material.

Anyway, I still think the greatest piece of WW2 Hollywood pro-war is also among America greatest movies: Casablanca!

#10 Comment By mrscracker On August 24, 2018 @ 10:29 am

polistra says:

” Most Americans are part German, and Germany hadn’t invaded or attacked us directly in 1914. Germany was attacking France, which was our ally. So the propagandists had to work fairly hard to gin up a war.”

That’s true. And the Lusitania sinking was really exploited to get us to enter WWI.

My grandma was both French & German & she remembers having to ask for “Liberty Cabbage” & Salisbury Steak” at the store instead of sauerkraut & hamburger.

I read that D.W. Griffith felt ashamed in later years for helping to make WWI propaganda films.

#11 Comment By mrscracker On August 24, 2018 @ 11:01 am

David J. White,

My daddy joined the Merchant Marines in WWII For most Merchant Marines that was a very dangerous choice. Casualty rates were the highest in the branches of service. If you could knock out the supplies, you could stop the war. So Liberty ships were constantly in the enemies crosshairs.

I had the privilege of touring though one of the few surviving Liberty ships when it was docked near us for Memorial Day. You have no idea how cramped & claustrophobic the spaces in those ships are until you enter one.
Imagining being out in the North Atlantic in one of those vessels with only a couple Navy gunners along for protection from U Boats really gives me respect for what those men went through.
My daddy always said the only thing he was afraid of was being in dark waters not knowing what was underneath.
The saddest thing is that the Merchant Marines who served in WWII received no military benefits, not even a flag for their funeral. I’ve read this changed later on but not soon enough for my daddy.

I saw this from the Smithsonian:

The Merchant Marine Were the Unsung Heroes of World War II

These daring seamen kept the Allied troops armed and fed while at the mercy of German U-boats

“The U-boat war was particularly unforgiving to merchant mariners. The Merchant Marine suffered a higher casualty rate than any branch of the military, losing 9,300 men, with most of the losses occurring in 1942, when most merchant ships sailed U.S. waters with little or no protection from the U.S. Navy. In March 1942 alone, 27 ships from six Allied nations were sunk off U.S. shores…”

Read more: [8]

#12 Comment By Matjaž Horvat On August 24, 2018 @ 11:16 am

There’s a light side?

#13 Comment By Bradley Anderson On August 24, 2018 @ 12:45 pm

David White: The burning of German books was a staple in the Montana experience I cite. Whole communities of German-speakers fled for Canada until the war was over, notably Hutterites who had, ironically, left German-speaking lands in no small part because they were pacifists. It wasn’t like they were going to fight for the Germans.

Stephen J.: Regarding the first line of your poem, I am, myself a veteran, and as with many of my generation, one of the things that started to stick in my craw about the neoconservative intelligentsia pushing for war around the globe was how virtually none of them had any military service–not even the “fig-leaf” sort that Presidents Clinton and Bush II had. At least those two men had some sort of exposure to military culture. I never saw combat and would never dare to speak for those who have experienced it, but at least I experienced overseas deployments and the possibility that one *could* find oneself in harm’s way. It gives perspective that the chicken-hawks can never know.

Local Number 1: You really shouldn’t pick on President Obama like that. It’s not nice, he’s out of office, and there’s no reason to make him “pay” for all of his drone strikes, regime changes, etc. As to the current occupant of the White House, one could do worse, and in the future we almost certainly will. Remember that the reason so many warhawks jumped ship for Clinton is that they knew who was more likely to go to war with Iran and Russia, and they are still making noises accordingly. And as this magazine has documented, Senator Rand Paul plays an outsized role–there is no-one on the either side of the aisle that can hold a candle to him in terms of his sensible approach.

EliteCommInc.: Thanks for the link. One of the strengths of the SF exhibition was that propaganda from both sides of both wars were featured. It was not at all an “America is uniquely evil” project, which I found refreshing. While some local SF press reviews and discussion events at the De Young seemed to want to make the exhibition about current domestic partisan squabbles, it was nothing of the sort. The curators did a magnificent job of sticking to the art and the facts–it was an exemplar of how such things should be done.

polistra: You make a number of excellent points, most important of which is that in WWI, full mobilization of American support was necessary, and yet the case was thin from an American perspective, so the propaganda had to be intense. Historians have made robust cases in recent years that British involvement in that war wasn’t senseless: that Germany really was intent on war to dominate the European continent and Britain was in a fight for vital interests. But the American case is more problematic, as they like to say these days.

TJ Martin: My point was not that propaganda doesn’t go on today–that would be a silly assertion. It what exactly what I said: American governments have increasingly not felt the need to mobilize broad public support before getting involved in foreign conflicts that have the possibility of turning into major affairs. This goes back at least to LBJ, who in his desire to protect his domestic agenda tried to escalate and prosecute the war in Vietnam in such a way that most Americans didn’t even know a war was on, insofar as it touching their daily lives.

I personally see the period from the first Bush administration through the Obama administration as a time of remarkable bipartisan agreement on foreign adventurism–and not in a good way. I have hopes for something better with the current administration, since I think that Trump’s fundamental instincts (although not those of Bolton, et al), for all of his occasional bluster, are very close to those of Rand Paul. But then, I had great hopes for the last administration, too, and was left with disappointment.

#14 Comment By Stephen J. On August 24, 2018 @ 1:54 pm

How many people know that some of the elites were helping the “enemy in World War Two. And were hand in glove with communists in the Old Soviet Union. See info at links below.
March 9, 2009
The Corporate Communists/Fascists
“The authoritarian elites on both sides operate an ‘over world’ of organized conspiracy which mirrors the underworld of organized crime.” Charles Levinson in his book “Vodka Cola.”

The book “Vodka Cola” revealed in intimate detail the financial connections between the multi-national corporate elites in the west and the communist dictators in the Soviet Union before the “fall of communism.” Yet, these same corporate elites at that time were telling all and sundry about the “dangers of communism” while at the same time profiting from their business deals with the communist dictators.
On pages 54 and 55 of Vodka Cola there is a detailed list of: “Western multinationals with Moscow offices” at the time of the so-called “Cold War.”

And during the second world war some of these multi-national corporations were hand in glove with Hitler’s Germany so states the book: “Trading With The Enemy” by Charles Higham. The beginning of the book states: “ From the Standard Oil executives who diverted precious fuel to the enemy and the Ford Motor Company plants that supplied trucks to keep the German war machine running, to the ITT executives who streamlined Nazi communications and helped perfect the robot bombs that devastated London; from the Chase National Bank executives who held millions of dollars in gold–some of it refined from the fires of Auschwitz–in trust for the Reich at war’s end, to the top-ranking government officials who kept their deals running smoothly….”
So, what did the American government at the time do about all this corporate chicanery? Page 13 of “Trading with The Enemy states: “…the government did sanction such dubious transactions-both before and after Pearl Harbour. A presidential edict, issued six days after December 7, 1941,actually set up the legislation whereby licensing arrangements for trading with the enemy could officially be granted.”(emphasis added)

I believe, these multi-nationals mentioned in this book were traitors to their country. One wonders how many families lost loved ones because of the treachery committed by these multi-national business elites?

“The multi-national companies are, therefore, the core of modern capitalism and have replaced the Western nation – state as the real political power centers of the age.”
( Charles Levinson page 16, “Vodka Cola.” )…
[read much more at link below]

See also: “Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler”
By Antony C. Sutton
And: “Trading With The Enemy: An Exposé Of The Nazi American Money Plot, 1933 1949”
by Charles Higham

#15 Comment By Bradley Anderson On August 24, 2018 @ 3:01 pm

Matjaž Horvat: You, sir, win the internet today.

collin: I do believe that once a nation has committed to a war, you need to be sure that you win. I really don’t begrudge governments engaging in propaganda, in one sense, because even in pretty clear-cut wars like WWII, it is still hard to maintain domestic morale without it. That war, like all wars, had the possibility of going either way, as you say. To state the obvious, it would not have been good for us to lose it.

The level of domestic propaganda we engaged in during WWII should be sobering to those who dream of starting wars with Iran, Syria, and Russia. If the government needed high levels of propaganda to maintain support and morale during a war as clear-cut as WWII, is it not foolish to think that sufficient support can be maintained for any of these modern wars such that they could be brought to victory, as any war must? Iraq proved yet again that the American people don’t have the stomach for colonial-type wars, which are usually brutal and protracted affairs.

I never could completely buy the idea that any man would walk away from Ingrid Bergman–thus, Casablanca is obvious war propaganda indeed, but still one of the best films of all time.

#16 Comment By Paul Clayton On August 24, 2018 @ 3:14 pm

Well, isn’t hind site 20 20? If propaganda is a weapon of war, then I’d rather use it than not. Having served in a war, I know that the most effective soldier is one who hates the enemy and finds him subhuman, the least effective is the humanist who is conflicted about the war. Also, seems to me the democrats are inciting war with Russia in their clamor to paint Trump as a traitor and drag him out of office. To see these liberal pols on the talk show circuit raging against Putin and ‘the Russians,’ is disgusting, knowing that if they got what they wanted, a war, they’d be the last ones to sign up or send their kids to fight it. I’m so sick of this ‘whatever it takes’ approach to politics. Good article, by the way.

#17 Comment By Sisera On August 24, 2018 @ 3:57 pm

Humans don’t really need much prodding for war.
Many formerly anti-War Liberals are now openly calling for proxy wars (if not worse) with Russia.

These are not “deplorables”, most of these are not even men. This is just the nature of all us naked apes.

#18 Comment By Chris Ray On August 24, 2018 @ 7:43 pm

More crypto-neomarxism from TAC.

#19 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 24, 2018 @ 8:13 pm

“I personally see the period from the first Bush administration through the Obama administration as a time of remarkable bipartisan agreement on foreign adventurism–and not in a good way. ”

Angry I may be with Pres. Bush’s choices, I remain a supporter , but the real precursor that formalized that relationship is 9/11.

And before that — what to do after the retraction of Russia by the failure of communist Soviet Union.

We have not recovered

“Thanks for the link.”

Appreciate that. I would also recommend the series

“Five Came Back”


I certainly love Cassa Blanca though IO think the country has yet to bite the bullet and Give Sir Charles Chaplin his do for

The Great Dictator, though poorly received, ahead of its time propaganda. I just watched a British film 1942 Spitfire

After the war propaganda film Stalag 17 one of my favorites – William Holden – the perfect cynic.

And to choose an unpopular conflict/war — for propaganda — and accurate in my view:

The Green Beret.

I got my silver wings in the 1980’s . . .

#20 Comment By Josep On August 24, 2018 @ 9:56 pm

I myself am of French ancestry. What brought me to paleo-conservatism in the first place was reading about how, during the Iraq War, American “conservatives” developed Francophobic attitudes.
People were encouraged to boycott any French companies or American companies that did business in France.
The American MSM was churning out columns impugning the loyalty of France and other Western European nations (save for the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands), sometimes accusing them of cowardice.
French fries were renamed to “Freedom Fries”.
GWB even ran a smear campaign against John Kerry for his ability to speak French.
This rather infantile Francophobia more or less parallels the Germanophobia back in WWI, the difference being that we weren’t at war with France.
It makes me wonder: where were the Christians in both events?

#21 Comment By Dan Green On August 25, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

Wars come in all flavors. WW 2wasn’t about saving the Jews, our civil war wasn’t all about freeing the Slaves. The posters and movies during WW 2 after the Japanese bomber Pearl Harbor gave the Germans an opening to declare war on the US , the posters war bonds, rationing was very effective.Then of course Hollywood benefited big time. Well we haven’t won a war since. Bus didn’t need posters to invade Iraq 9-11 was his poster.

#22 Comment By Fran Macadam On August 25, 2018 @ 1:38 pm

Disney had no choice:

“A curatorial note informs us that, far from merely contributing a bit piece here and there, Disney Productions devoted more than 90 percent of its output to the war effort between 1942 and 1945. ”

Military units pre-emptively physically occupied Disney’s studios on the announcement of war, shocking Walt Disney into realization that continuation of his control of his company depended entirely on manufacturing pro-war propaganda.

#23 Comment By Bradley Anderson On August 26, 2018 @ 2:42 am

Josep: I must admit that I struggle to remember just why there was such anti-French animus. Which is a good indication that the purported reason was probably silly.

#24 Comment By Josep On August 26, 2018 @ 2:45 pm

I forgot to mention that the reason behind this animus was France’s refusal to join in the Iraq War. The fact that the American (and British) press were gleefully bashing France shows the one-sidedness of the Iraq War.

#25 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 26, 2018 @ 6:21 pm

“Wars come in all flavors. WW 2wasn’t about saving the Jews, our civil war wasn’t all about freeing the Slaves. The posters and movies during WW 2 after the Japanese bomber Pearl Harbor gave the Germans an opening to declare war on the US , the posters war bonds, rationing was very effective.Then of course Hollywood benefited big time. Well we haven’t won a war since. Bus didn’t need posters to invade Iraq 9-11 was his poster.”


WWII had nothing to with rescuing jews. That was a happenstance, not a staple.


1. the ongoing dispute between the US and Japan over oil, sipping lanes and Japans expansion – cilminating in their attack on pearl harbor

2. The Axis agreement with Germany and Italy made going to war with all three powers inevitable. And while Germany did not anticipate Japan’s move, it nonetheless forced the question in much the same way Germany forced the question for Italy with no less irritation for the act. The Jewish question was not on top of the agenda though many thought it should have been. That was generally considered an internal state issue.

In fact, it is on that turn that jews guilt states to this day.

The last thing the civil war was about was slavery. It was to the issues cause — but the North did not fight to free slaves — again a result of happenstance.

#26 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 26, 2018 @ 6:28 pm

“Bus didn’t need posters to invade Iraq 9-11 was his poster.””

The rhetorical artifacts to make the case for war was the news media and advocates constant use of WWII NAzi imagery, content, parallels along with tales of rape rooms — of course chemical weapons on kurds (we now have a clearer image of that tale) and mushroom clouds.

The significant poster in for Afghanistan was the public execution of a woman. What didn’t know was that she was executed for having murdered her husband l’est he discover she was having an affair.

And the nightly news and radio, and print press were all too happy to go along.

And when the French disagreed — “freedom fries” —

#27 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 26, 2018 @ 7:18 pm

In light of Senator NcCain’s passing, it’s hard to think of Iraq and Afghanistan with him as the poster boy for intervention. regime change.

God bless you for your service. Our disagreements notwithstanding.

#28 Comment By mrscracker On August 27, 2018 @ 10:50 am

EliteCommInc. says:

“God bless you for your service. Our disagreements notwithstanding.”
My thoughts on Sen.McCain, too. May he rest in peace.

#29 Comment By apache’ On October 7, 2018 @ 9:18 pm

you either learn the lessons of war or you don’t.