Saturday, January 18, 2003

Why We Fight

The key to truly persuasive communications is to strike the right balance between reason and emotion.

Too much emotion and you’re sliding into propaganda. Too much reason and you’re bordering on tedium.

This new short film produced by the Marine Corps is right on the mark. It combines words, images, and sounds to maximize an important message about the war on terror.

That message is quite simple: The US is defending itself against an unprovoked attack. The US is uniquely capable of projecting its military power to achieve its goals. And finally, its goals are to restore peace and stability to the world so that we and the rest of humanity can live in dignity and freedom.

Sub messages include: See how our warriors are calm, smart, and determined. They’re in this because they believe in the mission, not because having a weapon gives them power. These are not teenaged bullies or religious zealots, they are men and women who are giving their time to public service and will return to civilian life with a deep sense of pride and satisfaction.

And check out the weapons . . . they’re not filthy Toyota Land Cruisers with a rusty machine gun welded on the back . . . no sinister looking halftracks with provocative insignias painted on the side . . . no homemade bombs duct-taped to some vacant-eyed young martyr-to-be.

Nope, our weapons are new, precise, and designed to accomplish a specialized mission without a lot of collateral damage. They look a lot more like rescue equipment than menacing war machines. These are the tools of a civilized military not a rogue police state.

This spot is supposed to start running in movie theatres around the United States. My guess is that it will be followed first by hoots and hisses that are then drowned out by overwhelming applause.

E-mail me if I’m wrong.

I think the Defense Department should just buy time on al Jazeera and run these spots in prime time in between “What’s My Jihad?” and “Saudi Arabia’s Wildest Beheadings.”

The sight of women flying Harriers off the massive flight deck of the USS Nimitz should be enough by itself to provoke regime change.

And you know what's the best part of this film? The title. "Enduring Freedom: The Opening Chapter"

No comments: