Thursday, December 11, 2008

X Factor Heroes?

In response to the release of the X Factor’s ‘Hero’ in support of Britain’s occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq éirígí has compiled an alternative video highlighting the true nature of modern day imperialism.

Viewer discretion is advised as some may find some of the scenes contained within this video disturbing.

‘The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.’

The propagandists of the British state clearly agree with the substance of the quote above. Since the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq began a small number of points have been endlessly repeated. Chief amongst these constant themes has been the assertion that the people of Britain should support ‘our boys’ as they ‘do a difficult job’ in far-off lands.

The fact that this ‘difficult job’ is a product of British and American imperialism is conveniently forgotten. That this ‘difficult job’ involves the deaths of millions of people is routinely ignored. Support for ‘our boys’ overrides all other considerations and political judgements. You are either with us or against us. Sympathy is to be reserved for British soldiers injured and killed alone. The suffering of those maimed and murdered by those same troops is not worthy of mention.

In recent weeks the British media has succeeded in creating a near-frenzy of support for those British soldiers serving in occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. For the entire month of November it seemed that every public figure in Britain was permanently sporting a poppy on their lapels. Traditionally worn as a tribute to those who died in past wars the poppy has now become a public expression of support for Britain’s modern day great wars.

This is the backdrop against which the producers of the ‘X-Factor’ television show chose to release the ‘Hero’ single at the start of November. While the lyrics of the song refer to the ‘hero that lies in you’ the accompanying video alternates between the young singers and smiling British soldiers, re-united with their families on return from Afghanistan and Iraq. These images stand in stark contrast to the reality of the millions of families that have been torn asunder – quite literally on many occasions - by the actions of these soldiers and the government they serve.

The marketing of both the song and video has been tireless with commercial radio and television stations dutifully playing their part in supporting ‘our boys’. That the audience of the ‘X-Factor’ is largely made up of young teenagers makes the whole exercise all the more disturbing. For this generation a relatively innocent talent show has been cynically hijacked by those who wish to justify the savagery of modern-day imperialism.

It can be expected that the British state will continue to practise the propaganda advice contained within the quote at the start of this article - a fact that becomes all the more understandable when the author of that quote is revealed. He, himself, knew how to rally popular support at home for brutal occupations abroad. He also knew how to create sympathy for the perpetrator at the expense of the victim. His name? Joseph Goebbels.