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  • An American family is getting their regular fix of news from all of their favorite news

  • channels.

  • Of course, after a good few doses of international news they are left paranoid and angry, contemplating

  • as always the chaos that is just around the corner.

  • From one part of the world terror looms.

  • The local news shows them a terror meter with the dial set to high, even though their town

  • is so remote it still holds an annual scarecrow festival.

  • From another channel, a giant superpower that just keeps getting bigger covers the TV in

  • a red mist.

  • As for those Russians, well, they're always up to no good.

  • News about North Korea has been somewhat quiet for a while, but one thing's for sure, thinks

  • the family, evil lurks in that secret state and it's only a matter of time before the

  • proverbial poo hits the fan.

  • It's just a regular day in front of TV, enough to raise someone's blood pressure.

  • The Soviet Union is a thing of the past, but it's interesting if you look at how the

  • Soviets depicted their enemy number onethe USA of courseduring the Cold War.

  • While the U.S. was talking about reds under the bed and showing countless movies where

  • it seemed every Russian character was innately evil, the Russians had their own creative

  • lies about Americans.

  • Back in those dark days there was the Soviet union's “Central Committee's Department

  • of Agitation and Propagandaand one thing it wouldn't allow was any mention of peace

  • between the nations.

  • If you were a journalist in Soviet Russia, going against this could have landed you in

  • serious trouble.

  • Still, many people did have pro-American sentiments just as in the U.S. many people didn't fear

  • the beast from the East.

  • Some people just saw a lot of grey areas, rather than a Good vs. Evil scenario.

  • That kind of thought was suppressed as much as was possible, and the Russians tried their

  • best to stop any radio content coming through that might not mirror what the government

  • told its citizens.

  • Meanwhile, in the US the government made sure people were aware of theRed Scareand

  • a possible communist takeover.

  • In Russia, things were a little different.

  • In movies and books the KGB was not the baddie, the CIA was, and Britain's MI6 didn't

  • come out looking too good, either.

  • Under Stalin, any kind of movie that was deemed not sufficiently patriotic was banned.

  • That went for a lot of music, too.

  • Just like in American movies, if they wanted a villain then they chose an American.

  • In fact, from the years 1946 to 1950 almost half of all the bad guys and girls in Soviet

  • movies were American.

  • In some films in the West, the Soviet forces were depicted as engaging in war crimes, but

  • you could watch content about the same topic in a Soviet film and it would show the opposite

  • being true.

  • Still, it's said a lot of people watching those movies weren't exactly convinced and

  • there were Russians who still had some amount of admiration for American culture, a culture

  • which by comparison was very free.

  • After Stalin popped his clogs, things changed a bit.

  • No longer was artistic content under strict guidance by the government, although movies

  • still tried to depict Soviet life as wonderful and American life not quite the wonderland

  • it was advertised as being.

  • That's old news and the Cold War is over, although according to one analyst the relationship

  • between the two countries is still somewhat frosty.

  • In fact, in 2018, the Atlantic asked, “Is China or Russia America's Defining Rival?”

  • So, is there still such a thing as anti-American propaganda in Russia?

  • That's hard to say, but since Russia is such a powerful nation it may have interests

  • around the globe that don't exactly gel with American interests, so sure, there's

  • some amount of conflict between the two countries.

  • There's also the fact that Russia gave political asylum to Edward Snowden, a wanted man in

  • the USA, a hero to some Americans and a criminal to others.

  • “I was very much a person the most powerful government in the world wanted to go away,”

  • Snowden once said about the country where he was born.

  • Just last year Russia granted him citizenship.

  • What we're trying to say is unlike the old days there's no overt propaganda going on,

  • although you are going to get two different takes on stories depending on what media you

  • read.

  • You won't hear these things said about the U.S. in Russia right now, but they were commonplace

  • in the past: “Monopolies feed fascism on American soil.”

  • Myth of universal equality and equal opportunities for everyone in US.”

  • Another favorite in the media back then was to talk about the decaying West, or the rotting

  • West, and at times you might have heard the degeneration of the West.

  • Those terms might have fallen out of fashion, but only in 2017 after Russians were polled,

  • 78 percent of them said the U.S. meddles with Russian politics.

  • On the other hand, when Americans were polled the same year, 68 percent of them believed

  • Russia was meddling in American politics.

  • 31 percent of Russians believed their government was meddling with U.S. domestic affairs, while

  • 55 percent of Americans said their government was meddling in Russian affairs.

  • But, did those Russians have a negative view of the USA?

  • 76 percent did in fact have a negative view and 81 percent said that the USA wanted to

  • undermine Russia regarding the world stage.

  • Still, a year later was the Russia–U.S. summit in Helsinki and that might have softened

  • things a bit, especially with young Russians, because another poll said 57 percent of Russians

  • aged 18 to 29 held a positive view of America.

  • Even now, if you watch what might be called state-sponsored Russian TV news, you'll

  • most likely hear that anyone who opposes the Putin government is being paid by the US or

  • in league with the US.

  • So, while Facebook and Twitter release reports about Russian propaganda being purged from

  • their respective platforms, Russian news is warning folks about how American propaganda

  • infiltrates their country.

  • In one documentary, a Russian official warned that the US was actively trying to create

  • extremist groups in Russia to cause chaos.

  • Politicians in the US have said exactly the same about Russia.

  • Talking about Facebook, one thing it did to try to cut down on propaganda being disseminated

  • by what it callsbad actors”, was to create more transparency around ads.

  • Russia did a similar thing not long ago, creating the Russian foreign agent law.

  • It's not so much about ad spending, but anyone receiving foreign donations will have

  • to report it.

  • This has led to summary raids and even Human Rights Watch coming under the radar.

  • After that, Putin came up with the Russian undesirable organizations law.

  • This gives prosecutors the power to say that an organization is undesirable.

  • In short, if you are found to be a threat to national security you could end up in jail,

  • and we all know how vague the term threat to national security is.

  • As for movies, just in 2000 there was a Russian film released that had some amount of Good

  • Vs. Bad in it.

  • The Russians were good of course.

  • The movie, calledBrother 2”, had a hardcore Russian guy bring down a corrupt American

  • business tycoon.

  • This wasn't blatantly showing Russians as the out and out good guys, similar toRocky

  • 4” for the American side, but it tried to show that Russians believed in the strength

  • of national identity more than mere money.

  • It would be hard these days for Russia to decry American-style consumerism and talk

  • about cultural degeneration, because many of the leaders and business tycoons in the

  • country are ridiculously rich and aren't shy about their fondness for luxury goods.

  • The days of bashing consumerism are done, but Russia still pulls thewe're all

  • in this togethercard.

  • Americans on the other hand, might be depicted as more individualistic and so more capable

  • of selfishness.

  • So, is there anti-US sentiment in Russia now?

  • Yes, is the answer, but it's not on the scale as it once was and it seems a lot of

  • young Russians don't buy into the fear.

  • Ok, moving on to Asia.

  • Not North Korea, but China.

  • We'll save the secret nation until last.

  • Is there anti-American sentiment in China, just as some Americans would have you believe

  • that China is a threat that just keeps getting bigger?

  • Anti-American sentiments go back a long way, but let's skip communism because we've

  • touched on those days and let's not bother with the notorious Mao Zedong.

  • What about anti-Americanism of late?

  • Well, in 2011, half a million Chinese people responded to an online poll that asked them

  • about the death of Osama Bin Laden.

  • 60 percent of them said it was a sad day, with some people saying Bin Laden wasan

  • anti-US warrior.”

  • Others feared that after his death the US would get tough on China.

  • In short, much of this had to do with China's support of Pakistan, and the fact the Chinese

  • government took a dim view of the US operations.

  • To give you an idea of what some Chinese people thought, here's what one person wrote on

  • a web forum, “American logic is the logic of a gangster, Pakistan!

  • You hold on, China is behind you.”

  • Another person wrote this, “The US politics of power and hegemony demonstrates that in

  • order to serve its own interests, the US will achieve these by hook or crook showing utter

  • disregard for others.”

  • That's not something you'd hear on CNN.

  • Ok, so you have that word hegemony, which relates to authority and domination.

  • When we are talking about sentiments of a powerful nation, there are always going to

  • be some people who fear the Big Other.

  • For Americans, China and Russia might be the Big other, but that works both ways.

  • Whether the media supports that outlook depends on which media you are reading, but for sure

  • there is some anti-American sentiment in China just as there's anti-Chinese sentiment in

  • some American media.

  • Under the presidency of Donald Trump things heated up a bit because he began a trade war

  • with China.

  • It was around this time that China suddenly started showing old Korean War films again.

  • The US doesn't come out looking too good in those movies.

  • One such movie that was recently aired wasThe Battle on Shangganling Mountain.”

  • That came out in 1956, but suddenly Chinese people were watching it again.

  • The basic premise is evil imperialist Americans invade the Korean peninsula because that's

  • what good-for-nothing evil empires do.

  • The big-nosed American troops you won't be surprised to hear are defeated by the Chinese.

  • Newspapers in China were also quick to remind people about the general badness of the USA,

  • as seen in the movie.

  • The general message is, the USA will do anything to stop the rise of China.

  • The imperialists want to remain imperial.

  • This is how a Chinese blogger put it, “On the surface, this is a trade war.

  • However, it is actually a larger battle to protect the life and death of new China.”

  • We should also remind you that China, like the USA, is a diverse country and of course

  • not all people share this opinion.

  • Some people wrote that the US is behind the pandemic.

  • Others call America a country of outlandish behavior and shaky morals, and a lot of crime.

  • As the trade war was going on China's Culture and Tourism Ministry started putting out fresh

  • travel warnings about the rampant theft and shootings in the US.

  • Like Russia has done, China at times paints a picture which exposes the underbelly of

  • America, as if everyone walks around with a gun and a bad attitude and respects nothing

  • but themselves.

  • The Chinese theme on the other hand is everyone working together like honey bees in a hive.

  • There's also the fact that China didn't censor the Tarantino movie, “Django Unchained”,

  • which was very usual given the graphic violence and China's heavy-handed censors.

  • It's thought the reason China left it alone was to show citizens that America was a brutal

  • place where rich white men oppressed minorities.

  • Hmm, we're not sure if China shows movies about its own long history of brutal slavery

  • We are sure there's a lot of anti-American sentiment among the Chinese people, but then

  • every country has a section of bitter, flag-waving, folks who have chosen to dislike other cultures

  • without much thought.

  • That's exactly why most Americans were gung-ho about invading Iraq, and it's why some Chinese

  • will see America as the epitome of evil.

  • These people are often a minority, though, and most folks are way more discerning about

  • who they dislike.

  • We must not think everyone thinks a certain way or we are the victims of propaganda.

  • Do you remember when the late, great Anthony Bourdain went to Iran?

  • He said he met the warmest people there he'd ever met after travelling the globe.

  • TV in America had led him to believe Iranians hated Americans.

  • That wasn't true, in spite of crippling sanctions and the fact the Brits and Americans

  • installed a dictator there in the past so they could steal the oil.

  • But if there's any country in the world where America is at the forefront of the axis

  • of evil, it is in North Korea, a country where Americans are depicted as ravenous, pot-bellied,

  • big-nosed capitalists that will eat your children and drop bombs on your grandparents all because

  • you won't open a McDonald's on every street corner.

  • The ugly American has been a thing in North Korea for a long time, especially after American

  • troops were accused of committing war crimes and massacring innocent civilians during the

  • Korean War.

  • We are talking women and children here, and the women were often used by servicemen before

  • they were executed.

  • Even though you mainly hear that in the North, there's still a fair bit of anti-Americanism

  • in the South.

  • Just look at the South's soaps and movies, and like many countries in Asia, the white

  • man is often depicted as a brute, especially if he's American.

  • North Korea says those massacres included 35,000 people, although this is disputed.

  • That many people may have died, but it's not ever been fully understood who was behind

  • the massacre.

  • Was it South Koreans, or was it ordered by the Americans?

  • That's still a mystery, but for sure, terrible things happened, and the US army has committed

  • other war crimes in Korea.

  • That's the reason when school kids are taught that US soldiershammered nails into victims'

  • headsandsliced off women's breasts”, they might believe it.

  • In no other country is America depicted as such an evil place.

  • The country is the antithesis of everything that's good in the world, according to North

  • Korean propaganda.

  • To North Koreans, only one thing matters to Americans, and that's money.

  • They worship money, and will do anything it takes to get more.

  • You can see posters in the country that show American servicemen men putting bullets in

  • children's heads.

  • You'll also see North Korean soldiers easily overpowering American soldiers.

  • If you watch TV in North Korea you'll have to watch a lot of government broadcasts and

  • be told time and again how happy you are.

  • Like Stalinist Russia, there will be a lot of clapping going on.

  • If you read news, you'll see phrases such asimperialist American invadersand

  • bloodthirsty murderous American imperialists”.

  • Basically, Americans are depicted as savages.

  • The problem is, North Koreans can't exactly access history books or online resources.

  • They can find North Korean websites, which often blame the world's woes on the US and

  • talk about how North Korea is a principled or even perfect culture.

  • You can visit some North Korean websites today and there's no shortage of stories talking

  • aboutblessed peoplebut as we scanned the latest news, we didn't see any explicit

  • anti-US propaganda.

  • Nonetheless, go to the movie websites and you'll find your fair share of movies showing

  • Americans as evil capitalists, such as the classic, “Nameless Heroes'”.