By Damien McElroy
THE Chinese state-run propaganda machine is cashing in on the terror attacks in New York and Washington, producing books, films and video games glorifying the strikes as a humbling blow against an arrogant nation.
Video discs filled with lurid images along with dramatic opera music and even the theme from Jaws have flooded the nation's markets in the wake of the attacks.
Disc after disc bear the imprimatur of the Communist Party-controlled media. The most popular DVDs have been produced by the Xinhua information agency, Beijing Television and China Central Television.
Communist Party officials say President Jiang Zemin has obsessively watched and re-watched pictures of the aircraft crashing into the World Trade Centre. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, workers at Beijing Television worked round-the-clock to produce a documentary they called Attack America.
Scenes from Hollywood films have been spliced between shots of the events of September 11, including footage from the 1998 remake of Godzilla, in which a monster destroys New York buildings.
As rescue workers pick through the rubble of the twin towers, the commentator proclaims that the city had reaped the consequences of decades of American bullying of weaker nations.
He said: "This is the America the whole world has wanted to see. Blood debts have been repaid in blood. America has bombed other countries and used its hegemony to deny the natural rights of others without paying the price. Who until now has dared to avenge the hurts inflicted by unaccountable Americans."
Officials at Beijing Television defended the video as an educational film that will meet market demand. A producer said: "There's this need for more information on world terrorism in the market, so we've got to meet it."
At the country's most respected bookstore, Xinhua Book Shop on Beijing's busiest shopping street, Wanfujing, crowds jockeyed around a table to buy discs. According to staff, thousands of copies of the video have been sold in the past month.
The shop assistant said: "Before people were interested in the movies but this is more compelling. What happened in New York could have happened in a movie but this is real life. It's better."
The many shops that stock pirated DVDs compiled in China and Hong Kong report that their most popular products are similar productions that use video graphics to show the United States suffering other damaging attacks on its tallest buildings and military installations.
On the unofficial films the commentary is even more callous: "Look at the panic in their faces as they wipe off the dust and crawl out of their strong buildings - now just a heap of rubble. We will never fear these people again, they have been shown to be soft-bellied paper tigers."
Elsewhere music shops are selling out of a bootleg version of the summer's top pop hit. The amended song implies that America deserves to suffer for its disregard for the point of view of countries weaker than itself.
The refrain says: "We guys are all Americans, our government is used to bullying people. We guys always have our hands on too much, this time our own people got hurt."
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