“Little Obama”: what winning the propaganda war looks like

As a relatively early supporter of President Obama in the Democratic primaries, one of my arguments for him over Hillary Clinton had to do with our perception abroad. On the one hand, I thought Obama had much better ideas on international relations. On the other hand, as a side benefit, I was sure that the act of electing a man with this ethnicity, international background, and named “Barack Hussein Obama” would send a message around the world that American was a far more open, diverse, and tolerant socially than either our enemies abroad, or our GOP jingoists at home, would ever believe. That would severely undercut the message of Al Queada and other extremist groups.

It goes further than I even I imagined. Here, in one apparently completely awesome and mostly pretty absurd looking Indonesian film, we get the whole freaking propaganda package made, I suspect, entirely without the cooperation of the CIA, U.S. Army Psyops, or the State Department. This comes via HuffPo and Film Drunk, and any similarities to either version of “The Karate Kid” are purely coincidental, I’m sure.

I love that last shot. Do real kids ever lay in a perfect circle to daydream about their futures?

By the way, South African anti-apartheid hero Archbishop Desmond Tutu didn’t really become an internationally known figure until the 1980s, by which time Obama was a college student in Los Angeles and New York City, but who said propaganda had to make any sense? Of course, electoral victory has a thousand father figures, and they are not always zany flamboyantly gay-acting bicyclists or taciturn martial arts instructors. Here’s another alternate history.


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