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

Patriot Notes

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

Exactly my point, Mr. Watts!

 

1) "...as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist...." - False. She was the social worker, ,

2) "... (being German)..." - False . She was Polish, born Krzyżanowska, 

3) "..She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews.." - False, Only NAZIS knew their plans. Polish Underground State analised German III Reich policies toward Jews and Gypsies in Generalgouvernement and established ZEGOTA financed by Polish Goverment in London for helping polish Jews. Irena Sendler was in ZEGOTA responsible for Jewish children.

 

Analysed!  Your spelling has a completely different and far more unpleasant connotation! ;-))

I would like to mention that whoever wrote this email should learn a little bit more about Irena Sendler before s/he gets to writing anything. She was not German, she was Polish! Which for many people might seem like a small mistake, for many is a huge offense!

Thanks for pointing that out. Previous comments have also pointed it out, so you are not alone. This kind of disregard of actual fact, is, of course, a common feature of the type of propaganda in this email.

In light of Climategate and the fact that you highlighted a particularly poor defense of Irena Sendler as the more deserving candidate of the two, it is very emotion laden and light on a reasoned factual defense of her qualifications I'll give you that. Regardless of the details whether she was Polish or German(not a huge offense to thinking people though) or her occupation, here is a compassionate person who was ignored probably because her story wasn't known for some years and probably did not do what she did for any other reason than conscience.  If you think a man warning of Climate Change deserves that more then Irena then great for you! As we all know the Climate never changed before Al Gore came and told us so in a powerpoint and Michael Mooresque video.  I refer you to the famous Newsweek article dated 28th July 1975 warning us of the next Ice Age or Global Cooling.  All the Global Coolers morphed into Global Warmers which hijacked the term Climate Change so that anything that changed could be credited to this colossal lying rip off of not only the nation but the world!  As we know climate never changed before the Industrial Revolution.  Please follow the money so you can know this stuff is a lie, government solution are taxes, more power, more regulation, more inflation and higher prices while we are already in a depression and you think they are going to lower the temperature or change the climate of the earth!?  So when the earth doesn't burn up what do you think these charlatans will say "You see it worked!"  We can't solve world hunger but we will change the climate?  This is idiocy pure and simple.

We all know that these "Prizes" are awarded politically not deservedly because people are biased. Unless you genuflect to the committee you won't win. It is not a coincidence that Obama was given the prize before assuming role of President. At least Jimmy Carter negotiated a Peace Treaty between age old enemies, even though he bribed them with our money for decades, this is the American way - its a corrupt and lousy way but it is our way. When the President comes on the TV with his first State of Union and states that the "evidence is incontrovertible" you know you are dealing with a pure power monger.  I end with this, how do I know for certainty that Global Warming is a lie, answer because George W. Bush, Al Gore, and Brack Obama believe it. Thus ends the lesson.

I agree Al Gore is probably not wicked - Hitler was wicked - thus Al is either stupid or ignorant .... OR greedy because not coincidently his company can sell you those carbon offsets (indulgences) to absolve to absolve your guilty conscience for being a carbon based life form.

Wow, for an article written almost four years ago, it's certainly getting a lot of attention.  And a lot of "opinions" lately which reminded me of the response given by Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University when asked about his Kilimanjaro/global warming conclusions:

"What is clear is glaciers are being lost on Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, the Ruwenzori's all in Africa, the tropical glaciers throughout the Andes of South America, the Himalayas and even the one remaining glacier in New Guinea. [A balance of evidence] points to human-induced climate change. What is certain on Kilimanjaro as of last week is those ice fields continue to retreat and will in fact disappear going forward. The problem with climate change research is every Tom, Dick and Harry and now apparently a judge in England has an opinion, while most have never lifted a finger toward doing the hard work to get the necessary data nor studying the science to even warrant an opinion."

I trust in the opinions of the experts who have done the hard work and have looked at the data.  And they all say climate change is real.  And no misinformed/propaganda email is going to change those facts.  That's the funny thing about facts, they are true whether you believe in them or not.

Unfortunately the real data has debunked the "predictitions" by about 100%. And those glaciers going away have been proven to be a result of deforestation downslope. NOT the global warming hoax, which never materialized in the temp readings. So solly. 

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