Ineffective Bush War propaganda reinforces the “Communist Plot”

Bush War era propaganda leaflet distributed by FAPLA – The People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA or Forças Armadas Populares de Libertação de Angola) and its communist backers – Cuba and the USSR.

The purpose of this type of propaganda was to sow dissent in the South African Defence Force ranks and urge desertion – however there is no evidence of this actually working – notwithstanding the high discipline and motivation of SADF troops – but also for the most part SADF troops treated such propaganda with amusement. In fact it served to reinforce the held ideal that they were involved in a true “cold” war conflict against communism.

To put it in context – at the time there was no diplomatic interface between the capitalist ‘West’ and the Soviet Union and Cuba – not even a telephone call between the Western superpowers and the Kremlin. So the threat of communist ideals in Africa and the socialist nationalisation of private property was a very real one. The western world in the mid 1980’s stood against a real threat of “World war 3”, and the campaign was been played out in regional conflicts all over Africa, South America and the Middle East.

FAPLA was originally the armed wing of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a  party with communist leanings which was backed financially and militarily by the Soviet Union and Cuba.  There was no way the average SADF trooper would see it as anything other than yet another Communist “plot”.

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