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MindBlind
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17 Feb 2015, 10:03 am

So I very unfortunately saw the ISIS beheading video (the one where they killed Coptic christian hostages) and besides my horror, I noticed just how well this video was shot. Everything was staged and choreographed in such a way that I thought it must be fake. Lo and behold, I realised after reading this article (https://news.vice.com/article/isis-has- ... department) that they've been doing this for a while and it most certainly isn't fake.

It just made me think about the people behind the camera and just how much thought goes into these videos. It shudders me to think that real people's lives were taken to be used as props and people behind the camera are just like "Yeah, that's a nice shot. Lets go to scene #37: close up on severed heads". The idea that people wrote a script, took hostages, found a scenic location, set up the shot, "coached" people on just how and when they ought to kill people, probably took extra shots, took the raw footage, edited it on premiere and was like "yeah, another day's work".

Propaganda never ceases to amaze me, especially when one thinks about how it got made and by whom. This is a video obviously meant to elicit this response from western audiences. But to me, it is amazing the kind of mental gymnastics that excuses the murder of innocent minority groups like copts. It also amazes me that there are enough members of ISIS that have the infrastructure to create well produced media for their cause. Educated, skilled, intelligent people. Not dumb, disaffected youth, but adults who are genuinely willing to throw away everything for this terrorist cult.

I shouldn't be surprised. The Nazis created dehumanizing propaganda, but to me knowledge I believe part if their plan was to keep the masses ignorant if their own wrongdoings by controlling all media outlets in Nazi occupied areas (except the radio - Germans were still able to recieve BBC broadcasts, I think). These people desperately want attention and want to make themselves look crazy.

But I digress. I guess I'm just in awe of the level of sophistication a radical terrorist group can have. Is this part of a bigger strategy? To make people like me get mad and want to fight back? To make a hostile environment for Muslims so that they agree with them?

Do you think ISIS are trying to make videos like this to poke at the hornets nest and try to start war with the west? Is this leading to their magnum opus?



eric76
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17 Feb 2015, 10:16 am

I've often wondered what they intend by making such videos. I assume that they mean to make people afraid of them, but what it really does, I think, is make people hate them and want to destroy them. If they wanted some effective propaganda, I think that they would want people to see them as benign.



MindBlind
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17 Feb 2015, 11:44 am

eric76 wrote:
I've often wondered what they intend by making such videos. I assume that they mean to make people afraid of them, but what it really does, I think, is make people hate them and want to destroy them. If they wanted some effective propaganda, I think that they would want people to see them as benign.


Part of me believes that they sincerely believe they are doing this in the name of their faith, but I really honestly doubt that is all. I can't pretend to know the complexities of why people become associated with terrorist groups. They certainly come from a part of the world with genuine grievances against western countries and so on. At least, that's probably true for newer recruits, to whom have many fresh wounds from the hostile environment they grew up in. But for educated adults who grew up in a democracy? It's baffling. But by tapping into the resentment shared by these educated and better off people through social networking, it's actually a very successful tactic.

I agree - these videos only galvanize my anger and western sensibilities. But I think the guys at ISIS know that. They're not stupid. They're trying desperately to pick a fight because this, ultimately, has nothing to do with religion. What it is "about", I guess you'd have to ask them, but it seems to me that Islam is just an elaborate scapegoat.



Humanaut
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17 Feb 2015, 11:56 am

They're just making Sharia instructional videos. Nothing to worry about.



AspieOtaku
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17 Feb 2015, 12:35 pm

Isis is a joke they are just a buncha desert bums who have no power over the planet they just rape and pillaige small towns and behead those who oppose their views I say round em all up and starve em and only feed them pork products LOL if they want to live they must eat pork but they wont they will starve and die it will be funny as they die we will bury their corpses with bacon from pigs haha! Hell we may as well have pigs feast upon their corpses even to add to insult hahhah! Allah isnt real and Mohammed was a pedophile and having sex with goats is wrong! Stick to eating sand and beating women you losers!


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The_Walrus
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17 Feb 2015, 1:39 pm

eric76 wrote:
I've often wondered what they intend by making such videos. I assume that they mean to make people afraid of them, but what it really does, I think, is make people hate them and want to destroy them. If they wanted some effective propaganda, I think that they would want people to see them as benign.

I believe it is threefold.

1) Terror - yes, people are afraid of them
2) Provocation - they want us to hate them so we'll enter an unwinnable war. This will recruit more people to their cause, whilst also undermining the economic stability of the West. I believe Bin Laden was quite open about this being one of his goals.
3) Recruitment. They want disaffected young Muslims to be inspired and join their cause. This is clearly working to an extent (the Libyan video is proof of that, it's made by a group inspired by ISIS).

The mixture of terror and provocation creates a divide in our society. Understandably, we can't decide whether to fight them or not, which weakens us.



Janissy
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17 Feb 2015, 2:55 pm

MindBlind wrote:
It just made me think about the people behind the camera and just how much thought goes into these videos. It shudders me to think that real people's lives were taken to be used as props and people behind the camera are just like "Yeah, that's a nice shot. Lets go to scene #37: close up on severed heads". The idea that people wrote a script, took hostages, found a scenic location, set up the shot, "coached" people on just how and when they ought to kill people, probably took extra shots, took the raw footage, edited it on premiere and was like "yeah, another day's work".


I haven't seen the video but I understand what you mean about an extra layer of horror being added by the technical expertise. We are so used to technical expertise being used to convincingly fake violence that technical expertise becomes a shorthand for "faked". (And you even noted that.) We are also used to actual violence being filmed without expertise- just somebody aiming their cellphone or camera at the violence to bear witness.

The idea that somebody would bring technical expertise to actual murder when we are so used to seeing it used for fake murder is mindbending in a bad way. It treats the murder victims as though they were those rubber dummies covered with fake gore used in movies. They are reduced to props. That seems even more horrible somehow than murdering them and filming it with no film sense, just a cellphone. It turns actual violence into a commercial for violence. But I guess that's what propoganda is- a commercial. It's bad enough those people were murdered, but murdered for a commercial, that's extra horrible.



MindBlind
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17 Feb 2015, 3:17 pm

Janissy wrote:
MindBlind wrote:
It just made me think about the people behind the camera and just how much thought goes into these videos. It shudders me to think that real people's lives were taken to be used as props and people behind the camera are just like "Yeah, that's a nice shot. Lets go to scene #37: close up on severed heads". The idea that people wrote a script, took hostages, found a scenic location, set up the shot, "coached" people on just how and when they ought to kill people, probably took extra shots, took the raw footage, edited it on premiere and was like "yeah, another day's work".


I haven't seen the video but I understand what you mean about an extra layer of horror being added by the technical expertise. We are so used to technical expertise being used to convincingly fake violence that technical expertise becomes a shorthand for "faked". (And you even noted that.) We are also used to actual violence being filmed without expertise- just somebody aiming their cellphone or camera at the violence to bear witness.

The idea that somebody would bring technical expertise to actual murder when we are so used to seeing it used for fake murder is mindbending in a bad way. It treats the murder victims as though they were those rubber dummies covered with fake gore used in movies. They are reduced to props. That seems even more horrible somehow than murdering them and filming it with no film sense, just a cellphone. It turns actual violence into a commercial for violence. But I guess that's what propoganda is- a commercial. It's bad enough those people were murdered, but murdered for a commercial, that's extra horrible.


Precisely! You've eloquated it much better than I ever could.

I think it certainly strikes a chord with me just on a personal level because I have studied film and have always had a particular fascination with the video nasties period and what is sometimes known as snuff. Could this be the first documented example if a snuff film? It's not technically created for commercial purposes, but it is created by professionals of visual media. Plus, despite the real murder, it's staged and scripted. It's not a documentation of reality, per se. It's not just the unfolding of events as they would naturally occur. There is an artifice to it that detaches you just as much as it pulls you in. This is not an instruction video or a message - it's a movie...it may even be art?

That scares me.

It also scares me cuz just as you said, we use these camera tricks to make something seem more convincing than it is but, paradoxically, makes it appear to be more fake than something of a lower quality. Could it be intentional? Like they're pointing out the hypocrisy in the demand to see fictional violence glorified, but not actual death? Or is it an attempt to put this sensless murder on the same level as a Hollywood film?

I personally think it's about glorifying their actions. Recruitment and whatnot. Truly, film is a window to the f****d up mind of the auteur.



MindBlind
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17 Feb 2015, 3:41 pm

Speaking of high quality propaganda (and sorry for the double post) this film 'Reason and Emotion' I think is still very relevent when it comes to our response to terrorism. I think we ought not to devolve into hatemongerers ourselves. We need to keep calm, not escalate the situation any worse and, above all, never give in. Our human right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, etc cannot be compromised. That's why it is our prerogative to not resort to islamophobia while also allowing a free discussion on all ideologies.



But that's a huge digression, sorry....



naturalplastic
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17 Feb 2015, 3:53 pm

Gosh. Interesting film critique.

Havent seen the real deal. Just that brief little non gruesome clip they extract for the TV news.
Even that brief nanosecond glimpse is quite dramatic. The dark sky,the shining sea breaking behind the row of figures standing on the beach: a single row of guys in ISIS black each standing next to a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit. The way they are posed you almost expect both the guys in black, and the guys in orange, to start dancing to the latest hit -with Rhihanna singing in front of them. And (according to you) what follows is indeed quite well choreographed-like a music video.

Also not sure what the intent is. But in the short term it has gotten Muslim Arab countries to join the US in bombing ISIS. So its had an effect. Not sure that the effect ISIS wanted.



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17 Feb 2015, 4:01 pm

Another interesting thing: the Egyptian government immediately retaliated by bombing them, and they also showed the video of their fighter jets taking off during their night attack. That looked pretty impressive.



Nambo
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17 Feb 2015, 6:43 pm

MindBlind wrote:
But I digress. I guess I'm just in awe of the level of sophistication a radical terrorist group can have. Is this part of a bigger strategy? To make people like me get mad and want to fight back? To make a hostile environment for Muslims so that they agree with them?

Do you think ISIS are trying to make videos like this to poke at the hornets nest and try to start war with the west? Is this leading to their magnum opus?


The purpose of Isis is to make people in the West so fearful of, and hateful towards all Muslims, that when Uncle Sam and his puppet master want to commit genocide against Islam, we will not stand in their way, in fact we will be proud to send our own children out to die in the desert.

Us older folk have heard it all before, the First World War and how the evil Hun was cutting off babies hands and melting people down in corpse factories to make soap out of.
The whole Western media and politicians assured us this was the case to the extent 15 year old boys were lying about their age in order to die fighting such evil which incidentally turned out to be a pack of lying propaganda bull.

These days they have more sophisticated means of propaganda.
Good luck out there!



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17 Feb 2015, 10:15 pm

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/wha ... ailsignout

This article tries to explain why so many smart young Muslims are so attracted to ISIS. It's the same reason somebody might hook their religious cart to somebody like David Koresh or Jim Jones. They are looking for certainty in an uncertain world, is my interpretation.



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18 Feb 2015, 3:35 am

@ OP

I like the way your mind works, it's an excellent illustration of AS though patterns, seeing the horror, but also noting the slick production values and thinking the implications all the way through rather than just reacting to the content alone. Nice post.


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AspieOtaku
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18 Feb 2015, 3:55 am

MindBlind wrote:
Speaking of high quality propaganda (and sorry for the double post) this film 'Reason and Emotion' I think is still very relevent when it comes to our response to terrorism. I think we ought not to devolve into hatemongerers ourselves. We need to keep calm, not escalate the situation any worse and, above all, never give in. Our human right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, etc cannot be compromised. That's why it is our prerogative to not resort to islamophobia while also allowing a free discussion on all ideologies.



But that's a huge digression, sorry....
Religious followers as opposed to athiests let emotion dictate their lives while athiests have reason to dictate theirs which is why you dont see athiests doing suicide bombings!


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