Wonder Woman and the Military-Industrial Complex

In short, this is straight-up propaganda for the military-industrial complex. It would have looked and sounded identical had it been scripted by a joint team from the Pentagon and the Israel Defense Forces.

My reticence to review the film has lifted after reading the latest investigations of Tom Secker and Matthew Alford into the manifold ways the U.S. military and security services interfere in Hollywood, based on a release of 4,000 pages of documents under Freedom of Information requests.

In their new book “National Security Cinema,” the pair argue that the Pentagon, CIA and National Security Agency have meddled in the production of at least 800 major Hollywood movies and 1,000 TV titles. That is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg, as they concede:

“It is impossible to know exactly how widespread this military censorship of entertainment is because many files are still being withheld.” Continue reading

Military tourism in Israel

It was only a matter of time before local entrepreneurs figured out they could channel Israel’s vast experience in war and counterterrorism in this direction. Today, about half a dozen facilities around the country offer tourists the opportunity to learn from Israeli combat officers, in most cases graduates of elite units. (Understanding that they have nothing to sell the locals because military service is compulsory in Israel, these businesses only target tourists.)

At Caliber 3, the two-hour “shooting adventure” – for which the group from Hong Kong has signed up – includes a simulation of a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem marketplace, immediately followed by a stabbing attack, a live demonstration with attack dogs and a sniper tournament. The cost of this basic package is $115 per adult and $85 per child, with discounts available for large groups. Continue reading

The rise of the military-entertainment complex

Excerpted from War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict

Corey Mead, “Shall we play a game?: The rise of the military-entertainment complex,” Salon, 19 September 2013

The origins of the U.S. military’s involvement with video games lie in its century-old status as this country’s primary sponsor of new technologies. A quick checklist of the technologies that either stem from or were significantly refined in defense-funded contexts shows how pervasive the military’s influence has been: digital computers, nuclear power, high-speed integrated circuits, the first version of the Internet, semiconductors, radar, sonar, jet engines, portable phones, transistors, microwave ovens, GPS—the list goes on. As Ed Halter writes in his book “From Sun Tzu to Xbox,” “The technologies that shape our culture have always been pushed forward by war.” Continue reading