Video Review: U.S. Army PSYOPS Recruitment

The 4th PSYOP Group of the U.S. Army has released a short video, which seems to be generating a lot of attention among circles that seem to aspire for more power, more authority, more control.

Hopefully it’s easy to see why so many people have been saying “please recruit me”.

This is entertaining as a conforming exercise yet unfortunately misses the mark. I mean shooting into a barrel doesn’t equate in my mind to catching fresh fish, let alone clever ones.

I’ll drop here the various issues I see as time will allow…

Let me start by saying the video immediately contradicts itself. It begins with a trite quote “pretend to be weak, that your opponent may grow arrogant” yet quickly leaves behind any attempts to appear weak and instead comes across with repeated arrogant displays of power.

In that context then let me point out that the “we are everywhere” message dumped here is hardly pretending to be weak. It’s a kind of raw message very popular among dictatorships and generally considered toxic to democracy.

Privacy, for example, shouldn’t be inconsistent with psyops because if you are actually able to be “everywhere” and destroy privacy then do you really need psyops?

Likewise being a “ghost” could have been a nice play on concepts of transparency (highly desirable in democracy), or even weakness (ghosts allegedly lack physical power so they depend on “soft” measures). Here the message instead seems to be that a group wants to avoid accountability.

Vintage-looking patches sold today pretend to be from The U.S. 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, activated in 1944. Inspired by Britain’s 1942 Operation Bertram it was a secret group only declassified in 1996. The moniker “ghost army” was thus later acquired and such poorly designed patches started selling perhaps as ironic.

Again, by messaging that a sniper or a drone can kill without being targeted the new Army recruitment video pushes down hard on an arrogance of having “untouchable” power, implying ephemeral ghosts are great like rebellious children who slip away from morality of parental authority without accountability.

Maybe I’m splitting hairs on impression and meaning of icons, but this seems to me a giant leap from the byline for “The Ghost Army” PBS documentary of 2003: “Illusion Was Their Ultimate Weapon”.

…talented young men, many recruited from art schools across the country, who used their creativity to ultimately save lives.

Source: PBS

The Army recruitment video might as well have flashed a nails-on-chalkboard sounding “we get away with things” like “we grab’em by the pussy” or “we shoot someone on 5th Ave” to continue the theme of such feckless arrogant power projection. Who aspires to that instead of WWII ghost’s being talented artists who played with illusion?

And where’s the hope in all this? Where’s the positive measures “to ultimately save lives”?

So much of the imagery emphasizes actions for an outsized impact and causing chaos, like a 12 year old boy thinking he’s invincible and can do anything with abandon.

And that reminds me of the “Ghost” Camaro story of Boznia.

Everything is a stage is another way of saying integrity is low such that harms won’t trace back to the actor wearing a costume.

Track-suit wearing kids storm the streets, haul the leader from his family at dinner time and the country falls into disarray and chaos. Is that really the scene we want to close on?

Proper psyops would align with something that compels actors to join to help, do the right things, lift-up, restore, rejuvenate. Find a balance and keep things calm while breaking through log jams.

Freedom from oppression shouldn’t center around the excited moment riots are toppling statues, if they can instead be clarifying who put statues up and why/where they should be removed as a matter of common sense without fanfare.

Someone saying they don’t want credit, or don’t need compensation, is different from saying they want no responsibility or can’t be held accountable. Subtle, I suppose, yet a very important distinction for De Oppresso Liber.

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