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A Blog on Understanding, Informing, Empowering, and Influencing Global Publics, published by Matt Armstrong

Terrorist or Nationalist? It depends, but either way, you need to know to counter the message effectively

Watch the video below.  What do you see?  More after the fold.

You heard the bagpipes, the moving music and the bagpipes, but what about…

  • imagethe mixture of seed and bullets?
  • the prominent use and (and often dominant) positioning of the Lebanese flag over the Hezbollah flag? 
  • the explicit professionalism of the soldiers? 
  • the coffins draped in the Lebanese flag?
  • or the combat cameraman with the soldier?

I’m told the crowd scenes include not just Shia, but Sunni and Christians. 

This video reflects how Hezbollah positions itself within Lebanon.  If you want to counter Hezbollah, or other organizations, you must understand how they connect to their base.  In the case of Hezbollah, do you separate them from their base or shape their actions to hold them more accountable to their base by framing their activities as contrary to their promises?  Either path requires sophisticated and agile communications capabilities that most states do not have. 

Thoughts?

Update: as the comments below note, this video doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  There is already a history of deeds these words and images backup and reinforce.  In many way, Hezbollah already satisfies Weberian requirements for an administrative body called a state. 

Related:

  • deichmans says:

    Looks like an effective attempt by Hezbollah to show their legitimacy as an element of the State. I interpret their juxtaposition with the Lebanese flag as tribute to the established State — and their role as rightful servants (and protectors) of the larger political entity.
    Good catch, Matt.

    February 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm
  • Da' Buffalo Amongst The Wolves says:

    Hezbollah connects to their ‘base’, as does the Palestinian Hamas, by not only providing security in outlying areas too close to the Israelis for the Lebanese army to risk contacting, but also by providing SOCIAL security throughout Lebanon in the form of ‘charity’ as required by sharia law.
    Are you hungry?
    They’ll feed you.
    Homeless or refugee?
    They’ll house you to the best of their ability.
    Missing relatives due to war destabilization?
    They’ll help you find them.
    Also note that the seeds you mentioned don’t come with corporate patent strings attached (and also attached to any crop contaminated by the corporate crop, just ask that Canadian farmer…)like the Monsanto GMO seeds U.S. soldiers distributed in Iraq during Operation Amber Waves like it was chocolate bars and buble gum.
    That act was widely read(except in the U.S. where it was barely mentioned) as an attempt to subvert the Iraqi Ag industry.
    So, in a regionally oriented summation:
    Hezbollah = Social benefits and protection for the civil population with no strings attached.
    U.S. & clients = (Just for starters) Weapons to fatah fighters/proxy army training in Jordan in an attempt to DESTABILIZE & OVERTHROW a duly elected government, elected in an internationally observed election by the same observers the U.S. would not allow to monitor their own national election, thereby throwing the civil population into chaos.
    All else (besides warmaking) has strings attached.
    If YOU lived in the region, who would you support?

    February 23, 2008 at 5:21 pm

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