Arms Around the World

Icon Feb 14, 2010

It is a staple of the octopus metaphor in propaganda and cartoons to plop an octopus on a globe to represent the threat to civilisation that group X presents.

A selection:

  • Circa 1938 a German cartoon (Seppla) showed Churchill as a Jewish octopus with his arms around the globe.
  • 1945: A French cartoon in showed Hitler as the octopus with his arms around the globe.
  • Circa 1950: Stalin was represented as an octopus in such a position in a pamphlet “How Communism Works”
  • 2001 Egyptian edition of ‘The International Jew’ by Henry Ford
  • 2002: Octopus bearing a Magen David (Star of David) clutching the globe in its tentacles. The caption reads, “Secure borders for Israel” (Al-Ahram, May 25, 2002).

But this metaphor is not restricted to the pictorial world of cartoons. A quote lifted from an US government website from 2006:

“Frank Urbancic Jr., principal deputy coordinator of the State Department’s Counterterrorism Office said that even though Hezbollah portrays itself as a Lebanese nationalist movement it best could be imagined “as almost an octopus with the head in southern Lebanon and the tentacles moving around the world.” With the exception of Iran and Syria, its state sponsors, the tentacles “are for supply and support”. ’, Hezbollah “an Octopus” with Tentacles Around World, Officials Say, Bureau of International Programs, U.S. Department of State, 28 Sept 2006 (SOURCE)