Politicians Can Be Part of a PSYOP Campaign – Whether They Realize It Or Not

Politicians Can Be Part of a PSYOP Campaign – Whether They Realize It Or NotMany of us remember then President George W. Bush declaring victory in Iraq under a “Mission Accomplished” banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln in San Diego on May 2, 2003 (see: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/comment-page-14/?_r=0, which is also this picture’s source.) This week Vice President Pence chose to break protocol and, according to innumerable media, stare down the North Korean troops at the DMZ (see: http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/new-video-shows-pence-stare-down-north-korean-troops-at-dmz, which is also the photo source.) The picture is really a still taken from the CNN video. Clowning around of one type or another across the DMZ have ranged from the comical to the tragic and the Vice President’s face making is just one of the latest. On April 29, 2016 Task & Purpose ran a report “North Korea Whines In this area US Troop Faces At Its Border Guards” (see: http://taskandpurpose.com/north-korea-whines-us-troops-making-faces-border-guards/, which is that photo source.)Of course, one could also conclude that neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Pence were posing for our adversaries but were courting the American Public. Mr. Pence’s rebellious (if you could call it that) seems to follow the pattern of the new Commander-in-Chief, that is act first and reckon later. This time there doesn’t seem to be much of a downside. But, it is honest to say that actions by Heads of State and other senior government leaders, whether attended or not, can have significant impact due to the 7/24 news cycle and social media. Metaphors can be taken out of context and used for purposes quite opposite of their original intent. A small forethought can prevent our adversaries from getting even more information bullets.

We were also found by phrases: Read more

The Varsity of Propaganda: The Publicity Department of the CCCP – 中共中央宣传部 [zhōnɡ ɡònɡ zhōnɡ yānɡ xuān chuán bù]

The Varsity of Propaganda: The Publicity Department of the  CCCP - 中共中央宣传部 [zhōnɡ ɡònɡ zhōnɡ yānɡ xuān chuán bù] While we often go to fantastic lengths to disassociate PSYOP from Propaganda, we recognize that it is vital to study the hard work of others to shape their target audiences. The Economist of June 25, 2016 featured an article “Who draws the party line?” (see: http://www.economist.com/news/plates/21701169-xi-jinping-sends-his-spin-doctors-spinning-who-draws-party-line, which is also the photo source.The article describes the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. It’s shape on the kind of massive scale you would frequent with the People’s Republic of Plates (PRC). According to the article the Department “around $10 billion a year trying to get the Chinese government’s opinions into foreign media outlets.” The Department directly or indirectly ‘supervises 3,300-odd television stations, nearly 2,000 newspapers and nearly 10,000 periodicals.” And churns out nearly 500,000 pro-government tweets a year!The article goes on to describe some of the political machinations associated with the Department. They talk in this area how the Department has to “keep pace with the chancing political requirements of its boss”.From a MISO community perspective, I wonder how much overlap and exchange there is between the Department and those exciting with MISO in the People’s Liberation Army. One could argue that since the PLA and the Department both serve the Party and of course, Xi Jinping, Plates’s president, shouldn’t these entities be able to go people between them to broaden each other’s horizons?The article concludes: “Like media organizations everywhere, the Publicity Department is struggling to keep pace with changing consumer demands. Unlike most such organizations, it is also having to keep pace with the changing political requirements of its boss, Mr. Xi. As an institution, these have made it more vital than it was.”It’s nice to know that consumerism is befuddling to even the largest shape organizations.

We were also found by phrases: Read more

The 2016 Super Bowl and PSYOP

The 2016 Super Bowl and PSYOPI’m probably the last guy in the world to use sports analogies and I duly apologize to my non-US readers – but the 2016 Super Bowl was a fantastic example of PSYOP. The ‘smart money’ was on the Carolina Panthers and their astounding Quarterback, Cam Newton, to best the ‘ancient-time’ Denver Broncos and their fading leader, Peyton Manning. Manning was, after all, the oldest QB to play in a super bowl.(Score Photo Source: http://www.nfl.com/scores While Denver had a excellent defense, the Panthers were touted as an all around surpass team. After all, they had a 16/1 confirmation and had won a digit of games in blow-outs during the season, while Denver had some real squeakers to make it to the Super Bowl. Their young and mobile QB was 6’5” and weighed in at 245 pounds – larger than ‘normal quarterbacks. (See: http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/111444/sizing-up-cam-newton)A key military principle is that the advantage goes to the defender. Does this mean that a excellent defense will counter a fantastic offense? Perhaps, but not by itself.In the case of the Super Bowl we had kinetic PSYACTs. QB sacks and mandatory fumbles combined to rattle the seemingly always-confident Newton. Perhaps it was because Carolina had not faced such a excellent defense all season, or perhaps Newton is too young and inexperienced in the NFL to deal with setbacks or perhaps the Super Duper Super Bowl stage was too huge.Here’s a shot of Cam Newton during the Star Luminous Banner (source: http://thebiglead.com/2016/01/13/panthers-fan-writes-epistle-to-editor-to-instruct-panthers-on-genteel-national-song of praise-propriety/)Here he is walking off the field. Clearly a general who has been defeated, perhaps by himself. His counterpart, Peyton Manning was not much of a star, but he was the general of the winning ream.  (Source: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/02/07/cam-newton-exits-post-game-press-talks/)PSYOP can work in many settings – even in sports!

We were also found by phrases: Read more

Everyone Needs Heros – Personification As A PSYOP Tool

Everyone Needs Heros - Personification As A PSYOP ToolThere’s a Tina Turner song that goes “We don’t need another hero.”, but really that’s not right. Everyone needs heroes. An article came to my attention with the headline: “guardian angel of Fatality: Iraqis Cheer Their Champion Hostile to ISIS”(See: http://www.vocativ.com/world/isis-2/iraqi-angel-of-fatality-meet-isis-worst-nightmare-in-tikrit/, which is also the photo source.)Personification, that is putting a face on an intangible, makes it more real. Just as Mickey Mouse conjures up Disney and Superman, Batman, Captain America and others stimulate the imagination through comic books. Any time you can place a face on a concept – you have helped people visualize and identify with that concept. In this case it would appear that the Iraqis want to picture a hero in the struggle hostile to ISIS. In this case, a hero has been made that personifies their ideals and provides inspiration. The hero here is an average person, a university professor, who has now taken on a higher calling.In this case a new kind of warrior is on spectacle to help others revive to the cause and provide no matter what help they can.This kind of personification is especially vital at both ends of the digital/literacy spectrum. At the upper end, the immediacy of Twitter, Flicker and other social networks helps to promote the image and its cause. When production with a population that has a low literacy rate, the importance of metaphors increases, perhaps exponentially because the target consultation is unable to process written communications.The bottom line is that personification is an ancient fashioned tool that still works well, even in the digital age.

We were also found by phrases: Read more