Measuring the effect of the Leslie/Hillier propaganda op

You can say this about our media operators: they are scientific.

You can say this about our media operators: they are scientific.

Speculate with me. Suppose that some Canadian military personnel were to get some instruction from a US PR firm or from Washington itself about getting the message out about Canada in the Afghan occupation. The plan: have some generals talk some machismo about killing and dying in Afghanistan, about how this is going to provoke terrorist attacks and casualties, and how Canada needs to get ready for all that. Suppose that a couple generals were then to make such statements to an obedient media that dutifully broadcast them without context or criticism.

What would be the next step in the operation? To check the results. Well, that’s just what ‘Strategic Counsel’ did in a poll for Canadian media outlets.

Polls provide data, but they depend on the question asked.

Does the ‘finding’ 81 per cent of Canadians are in favour of “deporting or jailing anyone who publicly supports terrorist bombers” mean anyone who publicly supports Bush, or Sharon, should be deported or jailed? Probably not, since 62 per cent believe we should provide the United States with “any information they request about Canadian citizens who they suspect of being terrorists.”


When asked whether they supported detaining suspected terrorists without trial, 46 per cent said they strongly or womewhat supported the measure. Another 45 per cent strongly or somewhat supported the government sending agents to infiltrate the Muslim community. However, only 39 per cent were in support of severely restricting the numbers of immigrants allowed into Canada from Muslim countries.

The seamless transition from ‘terrorist’ to ‘Muslim’, in the poll and in the reporting on the poll, is telling. It bears repeating that these ‘anti-terror’ measures are based on racism and have racist outcomes that are the opposite of security.

I suppose that they will look at this poll and conclude that the propaganda works.

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.