GI Joe 2: Another instance of propaganda against Pakistan
Last night I chose to watch the movie, GI Joe 2: Retaliation, hoping to get a dose of some much needed action and science fiction. However, this was not the case. A good hour and a half that felt like days later, I was praying for my electricity to crash so that I would have an excuse to get rid of the rest of the movie. But then again, what else can we expect from Hollywood, an industry that is running out of things to sell?
The movie was far from light-hearted action. In fact, it should have been titled ‘Propaganda’. This sequel of the renowned GI Joe has been appropriately banned by the Central Board of Film Censors in Islamabad as it depicts a rather negative illustration of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
The movie shows that jihadis are so empowered that they manage to seize the entire missile site along with active nuclear warheads! Then, there is a scene where the president of Pakistan is assassinated followed by an imposition of martial law.
It seems as if the bestselling premise in Hollywood is to represent Muslims as terrorists and now they have gone as far as waging propaganda against Pakistani nukes. For instance, in 2012, a drama series called Last Resort was introduced in which the US filmmaker implanted the idea of bombing Pakistan with nuclear weapons to save the US. However, now these filmmakers have moved on to portraying Pakistani nukes falling prey to the Taliban or other extremist forces in an attempt to spread chaos and fear among other nations. Such ideas are also publicised through western journalism. Tom Hundley, in his long essay ‘Race to the End’, tries to prove Pakistan, a failed state and, Pakistani nuclear assets are a threat to the world, whereas India has been emphasised as the world’s largest democracy – an unbeatable nuclear power.
No doubt, the US has always used the media – predominantly films – to mould public opinion. For instance, Swordfish, a flawed thriller from 2001, anticipated much of the ‘war on terror’ and was probably a flop only because it was released three months before the 9/11 attacks. However, the message was received.
Other examples include internationally acclaimed video games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Medal of Honor: Warfighter that were banned in Pakistan. These games were removed from store shelves earlier this year because of their controversial depiction of Pakistan and its intelligence agencies.
Furthermore, Hollywood has been used to generate panic among Americans to boost the illicit agenda of American elites. With respect to contemporary US tensions with North Korea, a ‘Millennium Films’ picture of 2013, Olympus Has Fallen, portrays a covert North Korean commando team that conducts a military assault on the White House, takes control, and kidnaps the president. Another movie, Red Dawn, which was released in 2012, initially portrayed a Chinese military invasion of the United States. However, under immense pressure from Beijing the film’s producers changed the military attackers to North Koreans.
Thus, every medium is being utilised by the US government to inject hatred in their people for particular nations, portraying them as precise belligerents – especially the Muslim nations. According to statistics released by The Washington Post, the US Congress has allocated an annual budget of $7 million to Radio Farda. By using this obscene amount of money, this soft war machine produces and disseminates falsehood and mendacious propaganda against the nation of Iran.
Instead of highlighting US aggression around the world, the western media produces such twaddle movies.
Meanwhile in real life, US naval ships are in the gulf, monitoring Iran; drone attacks rampant in Pakistan despite scores of civilian casualties, and the US government is party to disputes and wars between neighbours in different parts of the world, using media to their advantage wherever they can.
A pertinent saying that crosses my mind each time I think of this is,
“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”
Follow Hasan on Twitter @hasanehtishamb1
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