Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


This is coolbert: While reading the "Economist" magazine the other day, I came across a picture of a wall poster on display in Tehran, Iran.

A poster that shows how the Iranians view themselves in their "cold war" with the United States.

The wall poster, very well done, shows a noble stag being set upon by six vicious hounds. Hounds that are trying to tear the noble stag to pieces. Wrapped around the body of the stag is the flag of Iran. And wrapped around the bodies of the vicious hounds is the American flag.

This is how the Iranians view themselves. A small, weak, and gallant and misunderstood country being set upon in all sorts of ways by the "Great Satan", the U.S.

[I would also mention that this poster is very insulting in an Islamic way too. The U.S. is represented as vicious hounds. Dogs. The dog in Islamic culture is an unclean animal.]

Not only is the U.S. bad, but bad and represented by an unclean animal, abhorrent to a devout Muslim.

Posters of this type have been used by all sides and nations when engaged in war.

Propaganda designed to present your enemy as being something other than human. To arouse strong emotions of hate and anger in the viewer. The Germans used to portray the Soviets as apes or gorillas in clothes. American posters would show a Japanese airplane as a bat with eyes containing the sunburst image of the Japanese battle flag. German Nazis were portrayed as robots strewing skulls over a plowed field, the representation being as the Nazis were farmers sowing seeds of death!

These sort of posters effected all sorts of people in World War Two also. Surprisingly, even Pope Pius XII must have been influenced by them. There was a popular poster of the Italian fascists that portrayed American black soldiers as gorillas raping Italian women. When the U.S. forces entered into Rome in 1944, Pius XII pleaded with American emissaries to not allow American black soldiers into Rome. It was okay to allow American white soldiers, but not the black ones. The image of raping black American soldiers portrayed as gorillas was seemingly in the mind of Pius XII also.

Here is an excellent anti-German poster from WW2. Says a lot without words. And in the background, does that not look like Hermann Goering himself?? Yes, it does!!

There is actually a thriving business in this type of poster art. Poster art that displays a "racial angle". Collectors will pay top dollar for this type of "art", as surviving pieces of this genre evoke such strong emotions. Emotions are a big part of art and art value.



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