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including those of the capitalist countries. You shall be informed of the happiness enjoyed by the enemies, the imperialist countries, as a result of Mao Tse-tung's betrayal and splittist policy. Mao Tse-tung is carrying out an anti-people struggle, splitting the revolutionary anti-imperialist united front, and sabotaging the support for the struggling Vietnamese. Our station shall invite world Communists and progressive activists to convey to you at length their opinions on the events in your country. All of you shall know that the hearts of all the righteous in the world are with the Chinese people, and all progressive people are unanimously denouncing Mao Tse-tung's policy and his struggle against the socialist states and fraternal parties. We believe that the voice of our station shall become the symbol of support of the Soviet people and all contemporary revolutionary forces for our Chinese friends, and a symbol of our concern. We believe that the great Chinese people, under the leadership of China's genuine Communists, will be able to put their country back on the road of friendship and fraternal solidarity with the Soviet and world socialist peoples, and all revolu

tionary anti-imperialist forces. Comment: This presents an opportunity to analyze Soviet propaganda efforts aimed at mainland China. The source is of course the USSR. This government-sponsored program probably is the result of a good amount of time and money, in planning and in future projection. It can also be thought, it would seem, that the organization behind this project is the part of the USSR propaganda machine with established intelligence and information channels, the China propaganda section. The source makes no attempt to conceal its identity despite personal attacks on Mao; the program uses what authority the Soviet Government may have to increase its credibility.

The content of this propaganda seeks to establish the source as an all-knowing organization in possession of the "big picture" and true facts about all agents in China. Not only does the “Peace and Progress” station have these facts, it seeks to share them in a friendly manner with the isolated Chinese audience. The content seems aimed at stimulating a normal human thirst for knowledge; for the knowledge-starved mainland China audience "Peace and Progress" promises to utilize communication resources of the Soviet Union to give people the truth that the Chinese Government attempts to conceal. The content reveals the results of Soviet analysis and evaluation of the susceptibilities of the mainland Chinese audience.

While the Soviet propagandists desire to appeal to an entire cross section of the Chinese population, three specific target groups are mentioned: youths, intellectuals, and the army. The selection of these target groups evidently indicates that Soviet propaganda analysts believe these three groups have promise of being susceptible and are effective anti-Mao groups in Chinese Communist society. The People's Liberation Army, "which in the past has always been together with the people and fought for their freedom and happiness,” would seem to be a criticism of the PLA's present status.

In summary, "Peace and Progress" might be fairly effective. Even the name “Peace and Progress" was probably derived from a study of Chinese mainland attitudes. . . . The problem is whether wide listenership can be achieved. During this (Cultural Revolution) crisis, and possible future troubles, the Chinese population itself probably becomes the world's greatest “China-watcher” and will welcome information from any source. Possibly, surveillance of foreign radio listeners will be lax. The Soviet Union is trying to exploit this, possibly, and also the world brotherhood of Communism against charges of excesses committed by ... [Chinese leaders). Chinese individuals might listen to these broadcasts if they are aware of them and have access to a radio. The “Peace and Progress” project might become a “symbol” for some anti-Government activities, even though this opposition remains Communist.




Inattention to language style and usage defeats covert propaganda campaigns.

During World War II the Americans dropped some leaflets on Japanese cities in the form of “Extra” editions of Japanese newspapers. I have two such leaflets in my collection, each headlining bombing attacks. One was supposed to be an extra edition of the Asahi Shimbun, the other of the Osaka Asahi Shimbun. The language of both of them was archaic, and easily determined to be the work of emigrants.

The Asahi Shimbun facsimile leaflet reads as follows in translation: “ANOTHER NATION-WIDE AIR RAID. OUR PRESS CANNOT KEEP SILENT ANY LONGER. The Government authorities may misunderstand our belief which comes from sincere patriotism. Our press may be closed down. But come what may, we consider it our duty as a newspaper to report the truth. THE MILITARISTS CONCEAL THEIR DEFEAT AND THE ANGLO-AMERICAN VICTORY FROM THE EYES OF THE NATION. It has been a well-known fact, even before the war, that the American flying fortresses' are capable of bombing our country."

“Our occupied territories in the South Seas do not and cannot serve the purpose of outposts against the American air raids of our country. Our industries will be bombed again all over the country in the near future. EVACUATE THE INDUSTRIAL AREAS. SAVE YOUR INVALUABLE LIFE. The militarists started the war to satisfy their rapacious greed, We cannot remain silent, even if it means the violation of wartime regulations."

*From Falling Leaf Magazine, VIII, no. 1 (March 1967), pp. 19–20. Reprinted with the permission of the author and courtesy of Falling Leaf Magazine.

Recently I showed this leaflet to a colleague in the Japanese Embassy and asked him to help me in translating it. His observations are given below:

“This leaflet, though its Japanese is excellent, is written predominantly in the style of bongobun' (the literary form of the Japanese language) with a slight admixture of 'kogobun' (the oral form). This was the style of Japanese newspapers in the second and third decades of this century. Toward the end of the twenties, they switched completely to ‘kogobun.'

“The peculiar and obsolete style of the leaflet is exactly that of the Japanese newspapers published for the American-Japanese community in the States, which was a constant source of amusement to us when I served in Washington. All these papers were edited and published by old ‘issei' (first-generation Japanese immigrants) who had been doing smalltime local newspaper work in Japan before coming over to the States and who were unable to discard the style to which they were accustomed."

My Japanese friend pointed out, in particular, two words which he regarded as immediate give-aways of the origin of the leaflets. The word air-raid in the leaflet was rendered in Chinese characters as “ku-geki," consisting of “ku” meaning sky and “geki” meaning raid. He commented on this as follows:

“Ku-geki is a perfectly possible combination, but the fact is that we Japanese simply do not use this word. We would have said either ‘ku-shu, meaning air-attack, or ‘baku-geki,' meaning bombing attack.”

Another instance was the rendering of the term "flying fortress" into Japanese. The writers of the leaflets used "tobu-yosai" (from "tobu" for flying, and "yosai” for fortress). While this was not incorrect linguistically, it simply did not correspond to actual Japanese usage. The term used in Japan was “sora-tobu-yosai,” “sora” meaning sky.

The meticulous attention to language in leaflets of all kinds, but the special importance of using the enemy's terminology in "black" or "grey" leaflets, has often been remarked upon. As a former writer of German combat leaflets in World War II, I know that we were guilty of occasional use of incorrect terms also in the European theatre. To avoid this, we often checked our leaflets with cooperative prisoners. To know the enemy's language is not enough; one has to be up-to-date in the latest changes of his spoken word.

Nothing made our American soldiers laugh more, for instance, than the use of the term "doughboys" in some early German propaganda leaflets. Eventually, the Germans realized that the new term was "G.I.," but up to the end of the war there were numerous solecisms in German propaganda leaflets.



The use of films as a propaganda device may lose its impact on an audience because of

overemphasized themes and poor production techniques. Some half-dozen films produced by the National Liberation Front of Vietnam are making their way around the country, shown for the most part in poor screening conditions to limited audiences. ... Despite the difficulties imposed by a sound track loaded with hyperbole and slogans (the English narrations have all the literary grace of a pamphlet), and despite the deteriorated physical condition of the films which makes many of these screenings little more than mysterious lantern shows, the very existence of these films merits attention.

As a record of the face of the war in Vietnam, and even more as an indication of what the film makers want "us" to know about them, the NLF films are a humbling experience to the viewer. In one (dated 1965), there is a brief sequence in a Vietcong-held village where, during a lull in the fighting, a Western-style ballet is performed within a ring of watching guerrillas. Even the hardened view which says that such things don't happen spontaneously, that they are arranged for the visiting camera, must cope with the fact that these people, the Vietcong, engaged in a brutalizing struggle, have thought it important to include dance in the midst of footage of a vicious guerrilla war.

If this instance indicates that the Vietcong's vision of itself in some sense includes an awareness of the human implications of the kind of war it is forced to fight, its interpretation of events in the United States appears to be filtered through the prism of ideology. For example, one is saddened by repeated references throughout these films to the progressive American peoples" linked to shots of domestic anti-war demonstrations. Rather than realistically assessing the size and shape of current anti-war sentiment in this country, the film makers seem to have chosen to plug in the appropriate ideological platitude. It may be that, as James Cameron put it in his recent series of articles in The New York Times, "too many officials speak an English or French that was actually learned in slogans”; one also suspects that the twenty-year heritage of civil war brings with it a certain hardening of thought, an impatience with the niceties of language and distinction-making.

Once the narration is peeled away, and the images themselves are allowed to live for what they are, the texture of life in Vietnam forces its way through. Another film contains an extended sequence about captured equipment which begins as an apparent ode to self-sufficiency, only to move in a quite unexpected direction. From neatly stacked piles of guns and machinery, the camera turns to people making candleholders from

Excerpts from “Films from the Vietcong,” The Nation, 202, no. 4 (January 24, 1966) pp. 110–111. Reprinted with the permission of The Nation, copyright holder.

what seem to be spent shells, to still others cutting jeep tires into sandal patterns. For a moment, the gulf between these people and a civilization which, even in peacetime, has managed to institutionalize the notion that things wear out, seems to loom larger than any logistical speculations about how the Vietcong supply themselves.

Of the six or so films now making the rounds, only one seems to go beyond the momentary revelatory glimpse to create a more whole impact. It was produced, probably by the NLF or a militant wing of the Buddhists, sometime after 1963 (there is no more precise internal evidence), and deals with the wave of demonstrations which followed the Diem government's suppression of the Buddhists.

It begins with what is a prologue of almost abstract battle footage: a montage of swooping planes, machinegun rattles and barbed wire, not unlike Lewis Milestone's All Quiet on the Western Front. Abruptly, we are swept into a slow processional of Buddhist priests going out into the streets of Saigon to demonstrate for what, to Americans, would seem to be the most basic of liberties—the freedom to worship. Great bales of barbed wire are unrolled in front of them by soldiers; the younger priests, whose faces strangely recall those of the early civil rights workers in the American South, quietly place their hands around the wire as the soldiers begin to try to cordon them off. A tear-gas grenade lunges across the street, streaming white smoke like some kind of mythic Oriental paper beast.

The Diem soldiers, in camouflaged battle dress and holding shields which resemble the tops of garbage cans and which they seem to use to ward off objects thrown at them by the crowd, begin to move against the priests; at this point, the film takes on the qualities of an ominous pageant play. Oddly incongrous Western symphonic music replaces the English narrator (who with good sense, has kept quiet throughout most of the demonstration sequence), and an unpredictable concordance of sound and image occurs: stock movie music joined with startling images raises the film to an entirely new level, toward a totality of emotion quite difficult to describe precisely. It is one of those rare moments in motion pictures when one plus one equals three. (Something of the sort happens in Luis Bunuel's Land Without Bread, a 1932 documentary of an impoverished region in Spain, in which Brahms's Fourth Symphony is used throughout the film not as a handy contrast but rather in an almost architectual way to provide a vaulting, an unattainable ceiling of emotion which hovers over the sordid level of human action.) Generally, the NLF film makers do not employ music in such ways; the music in other films is of an indeterminate martial nature, used conventionally to fill in behind the narrator.

The Buddhist film, in many ways the most successful of the NLF group, seems to have received less circulation than what is perhaps the most widely seen but unfortunately the least interesting of the lot. This picture, dated 1965 and bearing the title “Foreign Correspondents Visit the

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