Public Service or War Propaganda? logoIn early April, "a public-service advertising campaign began ... encouraging Americans to show support for American troops." The San Francisco Chronicle asks, "Is it a genuine message of gratitude or poorly designed advocacy for the war in Iraq?" The non-profit Advertising Council designed the print, radio and online ads for the U.S. Defense Department. The spots direct people to the Department's "America Supports You" website. Some marketing professionals "said they believe the message crosses into partisan territory." The founder of Venables, Bell & Partners remarked, "I feel the war propaganda machine." Ad Council president Ellis Verdi rejected the criticism, saying, "What's important is that these are 18-year-old human beings, Americans, who are under stress." The Ad Council was formed in 1942, to increase support for World War II; its campaigns from that time include Rosie the Riveter and "Loose Lips Sink Ships."


I've seen the ads on AFN Korea (Air Force Network Korea) where, instead of commercials, troops are usually carpet bombed with Weapons of Mass Distraction (all major sports, series, games...), pearls of wisdom (don't pick your nose, brush your teeth and keep ready for war), morale lifting injections (you serve a great country, learn more about things that shaped Amerika in your public library), and Pure Pentagon Propaganda.
"America Supports You" belongs to the last two categories. People from the street tell their love of what you guys are doin' and like in Sesame Street, they come in all shapes and colors because they are the American melting pot. Here, it's very easy being green, especially a green beret or a Vietnam vet, provided you support Rummy's doctrine with a smile on your face.
I don't know how the said troops react to these shorties. To me they sound like a compulsory long distance feelgood call, a sad farewell - thank you for taking the bullets overthere, we sure do appreciate what you do even if we don't quite get why you do it, but we're much better safe at home, thank you. I'll put a flag on my lawn right away to keep the bad luck outta my place - praise God my son is not among you.
The program is supposed to bring America closer to its military but it exposes how Dubya's Amerika is far away from its own troops. I tell you what Don : America doesn't support you

Stephane MOT -