Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Six Boys and Thirteen Hands Propaganda Essay, 3.18.2009

Six Boys Thirteen Hands Propaganda.3.18.2009

This refers to:

This is a lovely well written bit of pro-State propaganda, by Michael Powell, at around 2000, or so. I checked Snopes at I found this story at Truth or Fiction: : Both accounts that I saw included the observation that the last few paragraphs of this piece were included after Powell wrote it.

A photographer, Joe Rosenthal, reportedly photographed the second raising of a Flag on a mountain five days into a thirty-five day battle. This picture lead to the sculpting of the USMC War Memorial idolized in “Six Boys”. The “Flag” picture was actually a propaganda effort. See here: for information on the battle, here for the taking of the “Flag” picture
and here for the making of the statue:

“Six Boys and Thirteen Hands”(Six Boys) is corrupt. The underlying premise to this piece is that your life belongs to someone else, that you have an obligation to serve nonentities called by such names as “faith,” “family,” or “fatherland”.

You don’t need someone to fight on your behalf at everyone’s expense. You can defend your self. You can delegate your defense at your expense to a willing agent. You have the right to decide whether to use lethal or non-lethal reaction to aggressive action directed against you. You do not have the right to inflict collateral damage, that is, casualties on noncombatants.

You owe nothing to a metaphysical nonentity. Nor do you owe a duty to someone or something, just because you are alive.

What is freedom for which so many “lay down their lives?” Here is a definition of freedom:
· "Freedom in its most elemental state is the power to withdraw one's consent when the State-or anyone else-lays an improper claim to one's life or property." -Will Grigg Reflections on Resurrection Sunday: We're Commanded to be Free ProLiberate 3.23.2008

In a Utopian world, our agendas would all be compatible. In the real world, we often have partially-or even totally- incompatible agendas. Some of us try to resolve differences through negotiation. Some of us use force, -or threaten to use force –to authorize us to seize what we want. Some of us support one or the other.

The core of this paean to sacrifice is that some 7,000 men died to secure an island of negligible value in the name of securing the freedoms of “the People,” residents of a nation-state.

And this inconsequential event was promoted as a monumental battle for the greater good of the citizens of a nation-state. Many folks saw the flag raising as the climax of the Iwo Jima battle, when in fact, it was just a stunt to elevate the morale of government employees and their family members and friends.

The most pernicious part of “Six Boys” is that there is really no point to Bradley’s remarks. It’s just a collection of words meant to make readers experience emotive reactions in support for government employees.