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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Language and Persuasion and Bush's War

Some of the commentors on my recent blogs have begun addressing the phenomenon of persuasive speech. I thought I would jump in with two feet since an interest in that was what led me to look at the language of television advertising. I focused on TV advertising because I was ahead of the curve in owning a video recorder and felt that I could be talking about things that others were not. Some questioned using TV as the primary source of data on the grounds that it is a visual medium, where language is of secondary importance, but to say that would be as wrong as saying that dramatic plays or movies are visual phenomea in which what is said is of secondary importance. In fact, TV advertising is doubly linguistic in nature because we have to deal with dual visual inputs -- pictures and language in the form of writing -- as well as dual audio imputs, speaking and music, which can include singing. Right now I can't think of an ad that has written language, speaking, and singing all at the same time but it has surely happened. So we get language in both channels, visual and auditory. Obviously, advertisers exploit this to the hilt, or, at least, they did back in the days I did my research by overloading us in the hopes we wouldn't notice the small print. Not much has changed.

Persuasive speech or writing consists of communication with the intent of reinforcing beliefs, changing beliefs, or adding new beliefs. Ads for specific deodorants are surely designed to cause users of that deodorant to stick with it, as well as getting some to change from another brand to the one being promoted. But there was a time before people started using them that such ads were intended to convince nonusers that if they didn't use them they would stink and therefore drive their friends away. Deeply implanted in my brain is a pair of sentences I got from ads for Dial soap, a deodorant soap, "Aren't you glad you use Dial? Don't you wish everyone did?" As a site for the Dial Corporation notes, in 1953 Dial became the leading anti-bacterial soap partially because of this line. This ad pissed me off back then which is probably why I remember it. Coincidentally, when I last ran out of bar soap, I looked in our cabinent and found a bar of Dial going unused (probably for years) and I am using it now. I smell as sweet as a spring flower. In a nutshell we can say that the purpose of persuasive communication is to affect belief formation whether or not what is communicated is true.

Purely informative communication can have these same three effects but that is not the intent of the informer. A professor says what he or she says in an effort to provide truthful information to students and the effect of that can be to reinforce some student beliefs, to change some student beliefs, and to cause some students to acquire some new beliefs. Advertisers will tell you that their intent is to inform but don't believe it for a minute. Their intent is to get you to purchase the products and services provided and that will often be inconsistent with telling the truth. I am not naive enough to think that professors don't sometimes engage in persuasive communications as well but I would hope that they did stick to saying truthful things.

While we are on the subject of being truthful, which, of course, was the topic of the last blog, let me note that a professor is obligated not just to provide truthful information but in fact to provide all of the relevant truthful information students are in a position to understand. I mean this to cause you to think of the courtoom oath that the person being sworn in promises to provde "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." We can be absolutely sure that advertisers would never tell us the whole truth, assuming that they tell us the truth at all, were they not forced to.

The manufacturers of Listerine once claimed that it killed the "dandruff germ." The Listerine people weren't the only ones that believed in a dandruff germ. Check out Newbro's Herpicide. Listerine moved on to be our first line of defense against cold germs. "Wet Feet? LOOK OUT FOR A COLD--Gargle with LISTERINE QUICK," a print bit which I got from a 1943 study. It took years for the FTC to force the company making this nasty tasting stuff to cease and desist and to run corrective ads. What they did was use this disclaimer, "While Listerine will not help prevent colds or sore thrats or lessen their severity, Listerine's strong formula keeps your breath clean for hours--it kills the germs that can cause bad breath." The problem with this is that they make no admission that they had lied for decades about killing cold germs. They moved on to the germs that can cause bad breath and have added the germs that cause gingivitis. Based on their labels, they seem finally to have a winner after their long trek though a fantasy world full of dred germs. What we can be sure of is that this company wasn't telling the whole truth, assuming they were telling any part of it during the dandruff germ and cold germ days.

Now, let us move on to George Bush and his administration. We know that one member of his administration has been indicted for lying to the FBI and to a federal Grand Jury and the prosecutor isn't done with them -- Karl Rove seems to be "Offical A" and he is still on the hot seat. But I am concerned about worse lies than outing a CIA agent, bad as that is, and that is the Administration's failing to the tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" about such issues as Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, Iraq's alleged dealings with Niger to acquire nuclear materials, and alleged intimate connections between Iraq and Al Queda (one of the fruits, I fear, of the use of torture). Read this drawn from this morning's Columbus Dispatch, which originated asa NY Times column by Douglas Jehl.

A high al-Qaida official in U.S. custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained al-Qaida members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.

The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, "was intentionally misleading the debriefers" in making claims about Iraqi support for al-Qaida’s work with illicit weapons.

There are others credited with helping out the Bush war machine by such fabrications including a source called, quite appropriately, "Curveball."

Among others, an Iraqi exile whose code name was Curveball was the primary source for what proved to be false information about Iraq and mobile biological-weapons labs. And U.S. military officials cultivated ties with Ahmad Chalabi — the head of the Iraqi National Congress, an exile group — who has been accused of feeding the Pentagon misleading information in urging war.
Did the Bush administration lie to the American people by citing such sources as "credible" or was it just guilty of failing to tell the American people the whole truth?

There is no question that the Bush Administration, including Bush, Cheney, Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Rumsfield, and Wolfowitz deliberately deceived the American people -- only the most partisan brain dead Bush supporters could believe otherwise. I, for one, believe that anyone failing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to the American people to get them to support a war that has led to the death of over 2,000 American citizens and to injuries to many thousands ofAmerican troops and to the deaths and injuries inflicted on the many thousands of noncombatant Iraqis who got in the way of our weapons, is guilty of a war crime and should be prosecuted and that includes not just overt lying but also failing to tell the whole trugh which would have included informaiton available to the Administration from CIA reports questioning some of the "intelligence" they were relying on, Wilson's report on Niger, and dealing with arguments any college student could have constructed regarding what might go wrong when a predominently Christian and Jewish nation invades a Muslim one. We are now struggling with the aftermath of the initial hostilities, which is largely due to the fact that the Bush administration chose a rosy "best case" scenario for the aftermath of the war rather than the totally predictable, looting, the need to prepare to rehabilitate an infrastructure that was destroyed by Saddam's neglect and the war, and a totally predictable insurgency predicated on the fact that many Muslims would see us as engaged in a religiously motivated war, by the fact that the Sunnis who benefited from Saddam's rule had no alternative but to fight. These Sunnis had to know that they were the odd Iraqis out in a "new Iraq." I didn't actually claim above that Bush is guilty of a war crime but I hope I have caused you to think about the question. Which is to say that this was an effort to use language to persuade.

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34 Comments:

Blogger S.R. Deardorff said...

Well said.

3:38 PM

 
Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

Hear, hear!

5:25 AM

 
Blogger Mimi said...

What drives me batty are the people--most of those I know--who mindlessly accepted, supported, and even championed war. What in the WORLD could they have been thinking? It may come down to the idea of bowing to "authority" or maybe most people are simply stupid. What do you think?

6:11 AM

 
Blogger Language Guy said...

The Bush Administration cynically exploited fears generated by the 9/11 attack to get people to support the war. During the run up to the war, a very large percentage of people falsely believed that Iraq had something to do with it. You can thank the Bush's brainwashing team for that.

After we have gone to war the American people seem nearly incapable of distinguishing supporting the troops from supporting the President. I believe we have finally reached the point that the people are making that distinction. What it takes -- true of Vietnam and Iraq -- is the people beginning to see that our people are dying for a losing cause. No one wants to be the last person to die in a war, especially one as fraudulent as this one, and no one wants to be the parent or wife/husband or child ro friend of the last person to die.

8:08 AM

 
Blogger J_G said...

Yes, well said LG. I wouldn't expect anything less. What I do expect is for you to take into consideration the source of your information. It is known that the New York Times newspaper is also guilty of not including all of the facts in their stories. Are they also not telling the truth and nothing but the truth if they do not include ALL of the details to their story? This seems to be quite the quandary doesn’t it? Did the New York Times story include the facts such as the Clinton Administration believed that Saddam Hussein was mass producing and stockpiling Chemical/biological weapons? Did the New York Times include the fact that the US Senators such as John D. Rockefeller III, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry along with the Representatives in the House voted for going to war based on the same information that was available to the Bush administration? Did the New York Times Story include the fact that every major intelligence agency in the world believed that Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire nuclear materials according to a report that originated with the French intelligence agency? I think not.

I have an ongoing discussion with a friend of over 30 years about what is known as the “sin of omission”. My longtime friend believes that if you just don’t say anything it is not the same as lying. My outlook is much different. I believe that the whole truth must be presented in order to understand and react to any given situation and that leaving out crucial parts of a story is lying. Given the dismal track record of providing the whole truth and nothing but the truth by the publication known as the “Gray Lady” or its official name the New York Times I would hold off on making too many conclusions about what the truth really is.

I believe given the track record of Saddam Hussein killing his own people with phosgene gas along with his sworn enemies the Iranians and the fact that Saddam Hussein paid Palestinian families a reward if they sent their children to Allah by blowing up Israeli citizens by strapping bombs to their bodies and murdering tens of thousands of his political enemies and burying them in mass graves in the end we will find that Saddam Hussein was involved in much more than what the “Gray Lady” will be willing to report. Including he was heavily involved training terrorists with facilities along the Tigris river south of Baghdad and providing funding to Al Qaeda with money he obtained illegally from the United Nations “Oil for food “ debacle. If we do find out that he used these funds for supplying terrorist organizations money does that mean that Untied Nations is complicit of funding terrorist organizations and all of their funds frozen? This is just a question for future reference.

8:29 AM

 
Blogger Tracy Lynn said...

Well said and well reasoned.

9:06 AM

 
Blogger J_G said...

Further more, anyone that can compare any American to Adolph Hitler has not studied history and brings shame upon themselves. There is only one other person that deserves the same place in history as Adolph Hitler and that is Josef Stalin. These two men were scourges of the human race. There is no one that compares to these two and anyone that does is desecrating the memory of the cruelty, suffering and inhuman treatment of the victims of these two men. I do not use Hitler for a comparison to anyone because I understand the evil that is involved. These two men are to be remembered for the purpose of never letting it happen again. Saddam Hussein was stopped before he could reach that magnitude of evil.

10:12 AM

 
Blogger L>T said...

J-G I've been trying to get to my site to apologize for picking on you. You turned of your comments, tho. I don't like to use L.guys site to have a private conversation. It was rotten of me to bait you. My conscience is nagging at me.

3:17 PM

 
Blogger Frida said...

I have given history a considerable amount of consideration. I like to learn from the past.
Hitler Vs Bush…

Hitler only had ten percent of Germany under the Nazi flag. The rest were average folks who were waiting it out till the next political advancement.

Bush has about a 43% approval rating but to actually say how many would consider themselves under his flag is much more difficult to say.

Hitler had reserve speeches to divert his country when his approval began to falter. Economy. Jewish Menace. The Gypsy invasion.

Bush has reserved speeches. The terrorist threat. Abortion. Homosexual marriages.

Hitler would move massive amounts of Jewish, Black, Mentally Deficient, Homosexuals, Political Dissidence to “Work Camps”.

Bush has any suspected terrorist moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba or Syria. They have no due process, including TWO CHILDREN ages 12 and 14 when they were released after TWO YEARS with no contact with their family. Syria is completely different since we sublet the facilities… We can’t help it if interrogations turn into torture. It’s their country, we can’t tell them how to run it. We can ship foreign citizens to Syria under the program called “extraordinary rendition.” (Maher Arar a Canadian Citizen)

Hitler used his country’s natural urge to be patriotic to his favor. They turned in several of the Jewish menace.

Bush used our natural patriotic tendencies to turn in people who maybe suspected terrorists.

It makes you wonder, if you only watch CNN, Fox and the other news channels how much of the truth we know about this war. After all, how many Germans knew the “Work Camps” were actually death camps.

3:33 PM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:23 PM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

|>t, you can email your apology to Jennifer. Just go to her profile where you will find her email link.

Frida, you may have something there. Look what happened to our Japenese American citizens during WWII under FDR.

Language Guy, I remember that Dial soap commercial. Admitting so dates me. As to truth, my mother always said this, "Politicans! They are nothing but a bunch of liars." That sounds to me like the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (I jest somewhat.)

5:12 PM

 
Blogger J_G said...

As is the case in France and other European Countries the apeassers will be attacked. The gracious hosts soon will no longer be gracious or hosts but defenders of their nation.

America is at war and soon the other nations that tried to appeease terrorists will be fighting in their own streets. Don't say they haven't been warned.

Guantanamo Bay Cuba is full with captured terrorists. Let me know which one of you will be a gracious host and we will let them go into your neighborhood. Maybe you can even sponsor some of their programs such as "kill Americans 101" or "die Jew die 101" I hear they are very good at these subjects.

I'm sure the Grandmother of my Jewish friend that is a survivor of the Nazi death camp in Treblinka has the same opinion of George Bush as you do Frida. I'd like for you to talk to her sometime.

6:45 PM

 
Blogger J_G said...

Let me put to rest something here for you ladies that seem to side with other than American ideals for women. If you are an Islamic female you are nothing but a commodity to be traded and abused at will by your tormenting spouse. You are his property. They can force you to wear a burka and make you do things that no other human is expected to do or they can kill you and there will be no trial. The women in Afghanistan had to worry about being lead to a soccer stadium and be shot in the head for disobeying Islamic Law. In Iraq if you did not obey Saddam law the same fate awaited you and your family.

I don't know about you ladies but I will fight with my life to prevent any such occurrences to me or any of my friends and family.

I watched with tears streaming down my face as the women of Iraq and Afghanistan were voting for the very first time in an election that really counted. If some of you hadn’t been so worried about me being a Christian and had read some of my posts on my blog about how I supported exemplified the “Courageous Women of Iraq”.


I supervise men where I work. I have been there for 22 years. The men I supervise are rough and tough railroaders. I have had to earn their respect it was not handed to me. As you might have already guessed I am no "shrinking violet". I am 6 foot tall and wear a size 12 tall dress and I will work with and get dirty with the men I supervise. If I had an Islamic male assigned to me I would do something he would never afford me. I would treat him with respect. So for any of you ladies that think it's Ok to support these terrorists and their fascist religion. Go get your burka on and give me a call and let me know how you made out.

Just for an example of what I say about a--holes that would strap a bomb across their chest or actually the way it's really done is to brainwash some young pup to strap a bomb on his chest not knowing any better. Their objective is to kill their enemy (which just happens to be me and people like me) so he can go be with 70 virgins. After the young bomber has had all 70 virgins then what?

I’ve worked hard all my life and I’m no virgin. Does that mean I’m worth less to some extremist than some young woman that is still a virgin? Where in the heck do you think they will find that many virgins anyway? They have to be running low on the supply by now. Maybe now they will have think of something else to tell young people so they will go blow themselves and their “enemies” to pieces.

Women are the last people I ever expected to support these a-holes. I do understand that not every Islamic male is a tyrant but he is given license to be.

PS L>T, I accept your apology and I held back attacking you because I didn't think you really meant what you had said about me. I am unencumbered to make judgements about people's character because that is something I must do every day in order to get a job done.

8:46 PM

 
Blogger L>T said...

ARrRrGH!
Ya know I never did get political w/you. I hate politics worse then religion. It is interesting to me that you are so involved in 2 illogical concepts? religion, spiritual. & politics, emotional.

9:07 PM

 
Blogger Frida said...

My Grandmother would agree that this country can be a gracious host. It was gracious enough to take her from her heathen parents because they were INDIAN, then gracious enough to help her forget how to speak her tribes language and when she was assimilated they were gracious enough to place her up to be adopted by a WASP family that displayed American characteristics.

My Taiwanese Aunt would agree that we can be gracious. She was born in a Japanese Internment camp.

Do you know how many people have died in Guantanamo Bay? No? That's the point, nobody does.

As for all of them being terrorist. I would suggest you read ANYTHING Amnesty International has written about it.
Try this one.

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/01/09/usdom6917.htm

Ask your Grandmother's friend, did Hitler look like a monster in the beginning?

(Here's an interesting fact, in post war Germany (1923) the Deutschemark had inflated to 130,000 million marks to an American dollar.)

9:13 PM

 
Blogger J_G said...

Let me get this right Frida. Your Grandmother was an Indian from what tribe? Your Aunt was a Taiwanese woman born in a Japanese internment camp? Was she Japanese?

Where is Gauntanamo Bay anyway, have you ever been there?

Was Hitler the president of Germany in 1923 when the inflation rate of Deutschmark was so high? That was right after which war?

Yes, to my friend's Grandmother Hitler looked like a monster because he hated Jews and did not hide his hate nor make any apologies from the start about his hate for Jews because he believed they were the ones that caused the Fatherland to surrender and lose the first world war. If you are trying to compare Hitler to anyone else in history you are barking up the wrong tree. If you have read any of my posts and you continue down this path I will show you to be completely mistaken.

Americans have not always been the friendliest people to certain groups even among our own people. We have however tried to make amends for the mistakes that have been made. The Japanese were paid reparations even though that hardly makes a dent into the wrong that was done to them. American Japanese soldiers went to war in the European theater to prove their loyalty to this country and did so magnificently.

In 1964 the Congress of the United Sates passed the Civil Rights act against the wishes of the majority of Democrats including Senator Albert Gore SR. of Tennessee and Senator Robert Byrd the former head of the KKK in West Virginia. Black Americans would now have a foothold to pull themselves out of poverty and stop the legal discrimination against them. This could not have been accomplished without the majority of Republicans voting for this act.

I know of Amnesty International. They are the same people that were recently heavily fined by the Indonesian Government for destroying an ecologically irreplaceable coral reef. That’s the same ones right? I know of another international group too. They are called Al Qaeda and they want me and everyone like me dead. Come to think of it I know yet of another international group that has done so well for the world. It’s called the United Nations. They have sent peace keeping soldiers to a few countries in Africa where they raped the women and stole their money that they needed to feed their children. It’s funny how these international groups do so much good with so little of their own money.

I guess what I’m trying to get across to you Frida is this. No matter what you come up with I can come up with something to counter your argument. It doesn’t matter what it is. We are human beings and most of us try to do the best we can with what we have to work with. There are people that I believe are just inherently prone to do evil and that person is not George Bush. We had a sad policy of letting terrorists get away with anything they wanted for many years. George Bush has been forced into reacting to these threats and now the French, Germans and the rest of Europe is going to have to deal with it too. Australia has just arrested numerous people plotting a 9/11 style attack on their nation. No, Americans haven’t always behaved in a humane and loving manner but that is the nature of this world. You either have to be strong and protect yourself from others or you will be preyed upon and become a victim. That’s not what you want to hear but it is the cold hard truth. I’m sorry it is that way too!

Yeah, L>T I've been doing this for many years but I took an extended break because it wears on you. I'm probably not the best example of a Christian but I'm a work in progress and I'm doing a lot better than I used to.

5:22 AM

 
Blogger J_G said...

"I know of Amnesty International. They are the same people that were recently heavily fined by the Indonesian Government for destroying an ecologically irreplaceable coral reef."

Sorry, wrong Anti American International Organization. It was GreenPeace that was fined by the Indonesian government. My mistake.

9:17 AM

 
Blogger Frida said...

Sorry for being so late... Had to work.

My Grandmother born in July 18, 1914- Was born of the Blackfoot tribe and she had 8 children. (Fun fact, in 1920 her adopted mother used the brand new right, the ability to voted, Democratic, to anger her huband.)
My father was the youngest of the 8.
My mother was the oldest of 6. One of her 6 married a female from Taiwan who was born in America in 1944 in a Japanese Internment camp because her family happened to be oriental. They left the country never looking back in 1947 until she met an American man. (1973)

WWI started in July 28, 1914 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia after it fails to meet the conditions of an ultimatum it set on July 23 following the Sarajevo assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria. It ended with the Armistice of November 11, 1918. But June 28, 1919 it was finished officially with the Treaty of Versailles which required that Germany claim full responsibility for causing the war, and pay war reparations to the allies. Germany also lost territory to many surrounding countries, had its military forces severely limited and was stripped of its overseas and African colonies.

Hitler came in somewhere between here.

WWII started on September 1, 1939.

In 1923 French and Belgian troops invaded the Ruhr, the most important industrial region. The Germans responded with a policy of passive resistance. They refused to have anything to do with the French, especially work. Germany was already broke, with reparations to pay, and now they had lost some of their most important income. The German government did not have enough money to pay for the cost of the resistance in the Ruhr, so they printed more. (Like writing checks when you have no money in the bank)
By November of 1923, the Deutschemark had inflated to one hundred and thirty thousand million marks to one American dollar while in 1922 it was four hundred marks to an American dollar.


Green Peace was fined $7000 dollars for damage to the Indonesian reef.

Amnesty International brought legal cases brought against media professionals highlight continuing flaws in the Indonesian legal system and indicate disturbing attempts to restrict fundamental rights to freedom of expression and opinion and the public’s right to access to information.


My point to all this is we can’t sit back and say we are the good guys no matter what. To be a gracious host, you need translators at checkpoints. To know the culture and respect it because WE are a FOREIGN GUEST in their country. We aren’t even the host. We have a habit, confusing might and right.

12:42 PM

 
Blogger Frida said...

BTW The end of WWI we made the Germans sign the Treaty of Versailles stated that Germany had to responsibility for causing the war, and pay reparations to the allies, lose their territory to the surrounding countries, limit military forces and give up its overseas and African colonies. This is why they were so broke.

12:52 PM

 
Blogger Lisa Jean said...

Did you know that you're my linguistically inclined hero?
Well, you are

6:42 PM

 
Blogger L>T said...

You know, Frida, I never understood it, untill you explained it.

7:02 PM

 
Blogger J_G said...

Very good Frida, you just got a B on the History test. Usually the people I have these discussions with have absolutlely no idea about any of these things. I will tell you Guantanamo Bay is in Cuba and has been an America Naval base since the end of the Sapinish American war. I have been there five times and have studied how they maintain a base in isolation. This is an excellent place to keep prisoners of war because of it's isolated location.

You never did indicate whether you would like any of these prisoners released into your neighborhood. I'll take from your last answer that you are not so sure about that.

Frtance and the rest of Europe are now getting the one finger salute from their guests and only the Dutch in recent months have taken steps to remedy the situation. Again, see my blog on the way the Dutch have been handling their guests.

7:43 PM

 
Blogger L>T said...

I'm zipp'n the lip & throwing away the key.
L.Guy, don't yell at me, this time.

8:10 PM

 
Blogger J_G said...

Frida and the rest, sory about by hurried,incomplete and mispelled last post. I'm getting ready for work and making dinner.

I have no doubt that htere are many people here that have grievences against the American Government. There are many things in our history that weren't handled very well.

I am of Irish decent. My family came here in the late 1840's when the English decided to starve the Irish during the potatoe famine.

That is ancient history and I no longer hold a grudge against them. (I never thought drinking warm beer was a good idea but the Irish do it too!) I've been there and done that. I am half American of Irish Catholic decent (Dad) and Half American Irish Protestant decent. Holidays when I was growing up was like a weekend in Belfast. Eventually my families learned to get along with each other but it was not easy. Bothe sides had to make concessions in order to make peace.

I have to leave for work now so I can make peace with my creditors. Have a nice evening.

Jennifer

8:30 PM

 
Blogger J_G said...

I have a real dilemma for anyone that is interested in persuasion, manipulation and I’ll add coercion to the mix.

Suppose you are a soldier fighting in Iraq for the United States. You ambush a couple of mullahs planning an attack on your home base. One of the mullahs eats the plans but you have already overheard them speaking of the planned attack.

Do you as a regular soldier take it upon yourself to interrogate these fellows to find out about the imminent attack? You have heard during the conversation they were having the attack will happen in a matter of hours. Do you try some friendly persuasion and tell them they will be treated well if they will only tell you what their plan is? Do you try and manipulate them and try to fool them by saying you have heard their plan and their fellow fighters will be killed or captured if they let their plan go ahead? The final question I have for anyone to step up and answer truthfully is: Would you threaten these men with their lives at gunpoint or whatever means you have on hand to garner this information because you know many of your fellow soldiers will be killed if you do get this information?

I know what I would do but I’m asking any of you what you would be willing to do. Will it be persuasion, manipulation or will it be coercion? It is up to you, what will you do?

3:00 AM

 
Blogger Frida said...

Now we know its history but why is it a legal back hole? Why when we are pushed to release other nation’s citizens do we give the blanket answer that it isn’t part of our country? Castro can’t even tour this facility.

You might have misunderstood my intentions. I have no problem with prisons. I do have a problem with detainees. These are people who are not charged with a crime. They may or may not be a hazard to themselves and others. I don’t like the idea the government doesn’t have to have a trial. They have no legal rights. You think terrorists are scary but that word has become synonyms with the boogey man. The real terror is the fact our government can take anyone and drop them into the black hole without thinking of the ramifications.

If we are diving up prisoners like a soccer team, I want the two Australian, six UK nationals, the 8 remaining children under 16 and the religious leaders who they still have not determined if they pose a threat but they have been in the prison for four years. I know all of my neighbors, they come over at midnight to coffee. The joke and tell stories till about one in the morning. I think these people would make an excellent addition. The bawdy jokes might embarrass some of the religious cast but they would learn to love the people behind the jokes.

3:31 AM

 
Blogger Frida said...

The hypothetical scenario, as a regular soldier, I don’t know the language. (Honestly, all I can say in Arabic is f**k you and ice cream.) This has been a problem, which we are not working to correct. Interrogation would be useless. You would bind them, call for an interpreter and hope the information isn’t time sensitive.

Why would you even pose this question? We are talking about people who are detained not being a soldier. The field is a very different world. Our troops are out manned, haven’t been given the resources such as language skills and the equipment is faulty. They haven’t been taught the customs. I will never speak against what they have to do to survive.

I do rail against the government who has people in detention that no longer has information vital to any of the progress being made. It is a place to forget people, the human area 51.

3:53 AM

 
Blogger L>T said...

j-g a cunundrum; I would of course access the situation, then try persuation(you never know, maybe he was drafted & wants to come over to the right side) if that didn't work I'd try manipulation(not all arabs are crafty & wise, I surmise) Coercion? hmm, let me look it up(if i've learned one thing one this site it's to look up the word)
coerce
1.to restrain by force
2.to compel;to consrain
3.to effect by force;enforce
I'm assumming 3 is the one. How to coerce? First I'd try tickling him untill he begged for mercy & cried unkle.
My point is j-g, mabe there are more options then holding a gun to someones head or beating them up.

9:37 AM

 
Blogger J_G said...

There is no right answer and that was merely an exercise to see what you were thinking. There really is only one answer to the foot soldier out in the field. They secure the perimeter and completely search the prisoner and secure them from escape. Then they call it in to command and they either send the intelligence officers to the scene or they transfer the prisoner back to HQ for further evaluation and interrogation by professionally trained interrogators.

Our guys and gals out in the field today are probably the most highly trained and best equipped Army that has ever been fielded. They have no time to deal with prisoners; it’s hard enough to stay one step ahead of the enemy. I still maintain my contacts with the Navy and Marines and this is no doubt is a very tough mission. No body ever said it wasn’t. I guess I was brought up differently than some. I was also brought up with the type of American spirit that was displayed by Theodore Roosevelt. “Anything can be accomplished” “Bully” and all of that. I guess I will finish the rest of my life living that way too. I was trained to do things by the military that I don’t need anymore but I learned some valuable lessons about discipline and following the plan. I later learned what the Marines are taught; “improvise”!

I belong to the US Navy family and have many friends that are Marines. I will defend my country until I am no longer able. There are so many difficult questions. I don’t have the answers other than to do the best I can to help the guys doing the fighting.

Frida and L>T my hat is off to you for walking into that minefield I set up. I think maybe I might be trying to persuade people to stand fast and stop all the complaining and pitch in to help out. I no longer need to manipulate people to have them do what I want. Like it or not this war on terror isn’t going away soon.

Persuade, manipulate and coerce these are words that have powerful meanings and real consequences.

10:29 AM

 
Blogger Maureen said...

Getting back to the issue of incomplete truths or outright lies in advertising, this is probably as old as advertising itself. (Well, maybe not quite - check out the 2000-Year-Old Man's riff on advertising.)

Recognizing and skewering such "truth impairment" isn't new, either. WS Gilbert, of Gilbert & Sullivan fame, has a character in The Gondoliers (premiered 1889), the Duke of Plaza-Toro, who has fallen on hard times. To improve his financial situation, he incorporates himself and in Small Titles and Orders he and his Duchess explain their improved cashflow. Among other things, they lend themselves and the distinction of their titles to social climbers and to products which they may or may not use and service providers they may or may not frequent ("and say that they make for the Duchess").

Plus ca change...

11:38 AM

 
Blogger L>T said...

What the hell are you talking about?

11:42 AM

 
Blogger Maureen said...

I was commenting on the section of Language Guy's original post (the comments have, of course, taken a different direction) in which he discussed the paucity of "truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth" in advertising. Nothing new under the sun, at least in that respect.

11:56 AM

 
Blogger L>T said...

Yeah, that happens(I mean the disscusion takes diff. directions) Sorry, the j-g person is making me testy. Acually we are all hung up on the new topic of Intelligent Design. Arrrgh

1:47 PM

 
Anonymous Gina Judd said...

I could never have said this better myself without using profanity. I wish you could write my critical thinking and language essay that I'm researching right now.

I agree with everything you said, and admire how you said it.

4:15 PM

 

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