Learning to screw up like Russians

Trump Make America Great Again Committee. Sounds beautiful! Politico carried this story on Monday:

Trump ad asks people to support the troops. But it uses a picture of Russian jets.

In what role, though? As adversaries? Allies? Background shapes?

Apparently, the ad – by the aforementioned Trump Make America Great Again Committee – was supposed to depict American fighter jets. It showed Russian MiGs instead.

“That’s definitely a MiG-29,” said Pierre Sprey, who helped design both the F-16 and A-10 planes for the U.S. Air Force…

Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow… also said the soldier on the far right in the ad carries an AK-74 assault rifle.

OK. The image probably came from a photo bank, a repository of ready-made media available for reuse for a fee or for free.

…[T]he creator of the image, Arthur Zakirov, confirmed in a Facebook message that it shows a 3D model of a MiG-29, and that the soldiers were Russian models. He said it was a composite photo created five years ago and taken in three different countries showing Russian sky, Greek mountains and French ground.

It would be more amusing if he’d used toy soldiers as models. Also, I wouldn’t mind living under the Russian skies if I had French ground under my soles and Greek mountains before my eyes, daily.

Anyway, the ad makers grabbed the wrong picture and didn’t think twice about it. Blunders happen – all the time actually – but this one would seem a very Russian screw-up.

Yes indeed: Russians have developed a habit of making grotesquely erroneous WW2 imagery. One example would be this propaganda billboard with enthusiastic German pilots. “They fought for Motherland,” reads the caption on the right. Well yes, kind of. The embarrassment of a German rifle on the pedestal of a Kalashnikov statue is pretty recent as well.

Good to know that Trump’s campaign keeps learning from the Russians.

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