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Irena Sendler and Al Gore: the Propaganda Machine Is at it Again

Ken Watts's picture

Political language—and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

George Orwell

IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE my last post about a propaganda email, but the one I received today deserves some comment.

It's both subtle and unbelievably nasty.

It begins with a very sweet picture of an old woman smiling, and reads, in part:

Look at this lady - Let us never forget!

The world hasn't just become wicked...it's always been wicked. The prize doesn't always go to the most deserving.

Irena Sendler
There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena.
During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.
She had an 'ulterior motive'.
She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews (being German).
Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids).
She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.
The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.
She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family.
Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was not selected.
Al Gore won --- for a slide show on Global Warming.

The second half of the email—almost as long as the part above—declares that it is a "memorial chain" designed to help make sure that the world never forgets the Holocaust.

It goes into some detail about the horrors of the Holocaust, and urges the readers to do their part by continuing the memorial chain.

So what's wrong with that?

The answer, of course, is that there is nothing at all wrong with a chain letter designed to remind people of the Holocaust—and certainly nothing wrong with a chain letter designed to spread the story of this brave woman.

There is, however, something terribly wrong with using both our emotions about the Holocaust and our admiration of Irena's courage and love to make two cheap political shots look high minded and moral.

If you look at the structure of the email, you'll notice that it is, quite intentionally, not what it seems:

  1. Opening thesis statement: The world hasn't just become wicked...it's always been wicked. The prize doesn't always go to the most deserving.

    This tells the reader, up front, what the email is really about.
  2. Irena's story.

    This is told as background information to the claim in the thesis.
  3. The punch-line: Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won --- for a slide show on Global Warming.

    As is common with these propaganda pieces, the punch-line leaves the actual conclusion implied. If the reader has to make the connection for his or herself, he or she is more likely to believe it.

    The conclusion we're supposed to draw has several parts:
    1. Al Gore didn't deserve the peace prize.
    2. Irena did deserve the peace prize.
    3. Al Gore got the peace prize for reasons that are "wicked" in some sense.
    4. The Nobel Committee is somehow implicated in all of this.
    5. The Nobel Committee and Al Gore are thus on the side of "wickedness", along with the Nazi's, and Irena and the reader on on the side of goodness, along with the author of the email.
    6. Which brings us full circle to explain the opening thesis.
  4. After the punch-line, and after those subtle conclusions have been thoroughly implied, a long bit about the holocaust is added.

    This is designed to do three things:
    1. Distract the readers from the message that has just been planted, before they have time to question it,
    2. Solidify the connection between the readers and the author—what kind of person isn't going to agree that the Holocaust was horrible?
    3. Motivate the readers to send this viral message on to its next victims.

      In the process, the email suddenly transforms itself from a story about how "The prize doesn't always go to the most deserving" and a cheap shot at Al Gore, to a high-minded "memorial chain" about the holocaust.

It's a very subtle, and very sleazy, little piece of brainwashing.

The readers are left with the vague impression that there are two sides to the world—good people, like themselves, who pass on "memorial chains" and care about people like Irena, and "wicked" people, like the Nazi's and the Nobel Peace Prize Committee and Al Gore.

Most readers won't even know that a criteria for the Peace Prize is being involved in significant activities during the past two years, and that therefore she didn't even qualify by the basic rules, at the time.

Most readers will believe the email's silly allegation that Gore won the prize for his slide show.

After all, that's what he's most famous for.

They won't bother to find out that it was for all of his "efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

Was the slide show, and the book, part of that? Sure. And that's bad because...?

But the worst thing about this email is the disrespectful attitude the author takes toward Irena's heroism and the victims of the Holocaust.

If the author wants to take a cheap shot at Al Gore, or the Nobel Committee, that's fine.

But it's not fine to use this woman's courage, or the sorrows of holocaust survivors, as a screen for cheap propaganda tricks.

People have real emotions about these things, and it's not appropriate to use those emotions to manipulate them for slick political ends.

Irena is proof enough that the world is not uniformly wicked.

This email is proof enough that some people are.

At least, that's what I think today.

Comments

I just ran across this blog. Perhaps it was destiny as time shows all truth.
Mr. Watts, perhaps sometimes an email is just that an email and an informative one is also just that. Propaganda is when you try to show that Al Gore was deserving of the prize which of course by now we know that that money making windbag has been proved wrong over and over. when I flew to Ny and was caught in the worst demonstration of global warming by participating in their 4th worst snowstorm since New York's origin. It is doubly exposing as we hear of the cheaters in England fudging the stats and shredding the evidence. The left wingers have been doing that for years trying to prove their genealogy using monkeys and primordial ooze. (Perhaps in their case they are correct-at least about themselves).
Perhaps your next article will be telling us how the Nobel Prize commission is certainly not a discriminating organization as look, it allowed a Mulatto usurper to win when he had absolutely no qualifications to do so. Even he admitted that.
My friend, I appreciated the email. It shows the evil of liars like Gore, maniacs like Hitler and people like you who try to make good evil and evil good.

Thanks for your input, but I need to correct some factual errors in your note for my other readers:

  1. The phenomenon of global warming has not been "proved wrong over and over." The little scandal concerning a single study in the U.K. is certainly embarrassing to the scientists involved, but even if the study is completely invalidated, that would not undermine the massive body of growing evidence worldwide.
  2. "Global warming" is a phenomenon of average temperature change which has many different effects on climates. Bigger snowstorms is one of the predictable effects of global warming. So that storm, if it has anything at all to do with climate change, is simply evidence for it.
  3. The theory of evolution also stands on a firm scientific basis, and is responsible for many of our advances in medicine, to give just one example. It also lies behind the discovery of DNA.
  4. Although the theory of evolution applies to monkeys as much as to any other species, it does not claim that we evolved from monkeys, but rather that we share a common ancestor with them—who was neither human or monkey.
  5. None of the above positions are especially left-wing. They are merely scientific. There are many conservatives who agree with them, as well as liberals. To be fair, though, it does seem to be true that more liberals than conservatives are interested in scientific truth, so, in that sense, you may have a point.

Thanks again for your input.

As always, concise, direct, and never demeaning... I wish I had your patience when replying to these types of comments.

But, as a wise man once said, "None is so blind as those who refuse to see" (or even listen).

Well, you're polite at least. If only you would admit that you are sold out to the left you could be called honest as well. 

3--the theory of evolution lies behind the discovery of DNA.Freidrich Miescher discoverd DNA while examining cells on a bandage (1869)Robert Hooke discovered cells under the patronage of Boyle who sponsored his admittance to the Royal Academy of Science. (1665)Hooke, Boyle, Descartes, Bacon, Galileo and many other scientist at this time were not evolutionist.  So my argument would be that when science and religion were partners, the basis was laid for the discovery of DNA. Perhaps in 2073 we will have another amazing break through.I am not esposing intelligent design just simply  correcting your factual errors.  

Dear "Anonymous",

You are correct that the discovery of DNA, or "nuclein" as it was then called, was in 1869.

That was, of course, merely the discovery that there was a previously unknown substance in the material Miescher found on a bandage.

I erred in referring to the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, and Raymond Gosling in 1952 and 1953 as "the discovery of DNA", when I actually intended to refer to the discovery of the structure of DNA, and the laying of the groundwork for all of our subsequent understanding concerning how DNA functions, and its role in living organisms.

All of that, of course, is firmly embedded in evolutionary theory.

So, my bad there.

-Ken

Long time later, at this point, but the problem with the disclosed emails from East Anglia were not a "small thing" as the fabricated data and the "conclusions" made from it were the basis for nearly all the studies done...including the "conclusions" in the UN report. The UN report became the foundation for the claims of "concensus" among scientists even though the final report was massaged to leave out the 50% of scientists involved who concluded that anthropogenic warming was NOT taking place. There was an investigation of that report and the editor admited discounting the con positions, but such disclosure received virtually no attention.It needs to be said that "man caused" weather change is still a theory that has not been proved with unaltered data. The computer models that predicted dire catastrophic climate change in less than a decade could not make such conclusion without nursing the data. And even with concerted effort on the part of the scientists whose reputations rested on their "Chicken Little" predictions, there was no hint of what has actually taken place in these last 12-15 years.For the models being so dramatically inaccurate should give pause to the most ardent 'Warmist." For he rest of us who saw the hint of "hoax" early on and the likelihood of a collusion in a boondoggle contrived by scientists needing stipens and government needing excuse for another guilt-trip tax on something so common and easily scapegoated as CO2.Yes, the globe is warming as it has been since the last iceage and as it has done between all of the thousands of iceages that have taken place since the earth formed orbiting the Sun.

My mind boggles at your truly well researched letter. Of course all scientists use faith and they just know! Statistical analysis is the enemy of yourself and as such should be barred to the US populace. All Gore has an agenda to rob Americans of the right to think and he is the one who invented global warming, imposed the finical melt down, not only on the USA, but the world.
As you know, Obama attacked Iraq after inventing those WMD. He also committed treason by outing that CIA agent - Valorie Plume and don't you just love his "mission accomplished" which shows how stupid he really is.
Your scientific ability and intellect is worthy of broadcasting to all. I bow to your learning and ability to think of all those mislead Lefties who invented global warming as being inferior thinkers.
Thank you for reminding me that I really am not the dumbest reptile kicking around - thank you.

Thanks, Geoff--I appreciate your irony, but am a little bit afraid that some other readers may not get it, so for their benefit: Geoff's comment is a response to another comment above, and is intended ironically.

You are right.