Strike Back Against Islamist Propaganda
William A. LevinsonWilliam A. Levinson is the author or editor of nine books on management,...
Tuvia Brodie's The savagery of the Arab propaganda war underscores what I wrote previously about the inadequacy of Israel's psychological warfare, and indeed that of the entire civilized world. Brodie alleges credibly that Hamas, or its sympathizers, took photos of the murdered Fogel family and tried to pass them off as Israeli air raid victims (i.e. a blood libel). The enemy was, however, sufficiently stupid to get caught lying:
Not only do the pictures look exactly like the murder-scene at the Fogel house, one picture contains a stunning image: a large Mezuzah on a door post, a dead blood-splattered child lying on the floor inside the room beyond the door-post, with the Mezuzah clearly visible.
Since Hamas has made Gaza Judenrein, it is unlikely that any house in Gaza would have a Mezuzah on its door--although Islamists elsewhere are forcing Christians to put the equivalent of yellow Stars of David on their homes and businesses, and even worse. The bottom line is, however, that the Islamists have succeeded in demonizing the Middle East's only free (as defined by Freedom House) nation as a practitioner of apartheid, colonialism, and even genocide. Islamists have meanwhile propagated a rape wave across Europe while agitating for "hate speech" laws to prevent anybody from discussing this problem in public.
The problem is that the Islamists are doing exactly what the Yellow Press did to Spain (1898), the Triple Entente did to Germany (1914-1918), Hitler, who learned from the Entente's propaganda, did to Jews, and the United States finally did to Germany and Japan (1941-1945). In all cases, the enemy was dehumanized with vicious images that portrayed him as a bestial subhuman. This kind of propaganda is very effective because (1) the human brain is designed to process images and not words, and (2) any communication has less than ten seconds to fascinate and engage the person it seeks to persuade.
U.S. War Department poster (World War II) depicts Hitler and Tojo as a two-headed monster. This is the kind of image one must use to foment hatred of an enemy, although most Americans already knew the truth about the Nazis and Imperial Japanese at this point.
Islamists are doing exactly the same thing to Israel.
The ADL has posted examples of Islamist propaganda that equates Israelis to Nazis. Here is more Islamist propaganda that, among other things, portrays Jews as rats (a theme in The Eternal Jew), and shows Ariel Sharon drinking the blood of Arab children.
The following, of course, portrays Jews as "Christ killers," which is quite audacious from those who are actually killing, robbing, raping, and enslaving Christians throughout the Middle East and Africa. The Propaganda Man, or target audience for this image, is obviously a Christian whom the enemy is trying to persuade to hate Jews in general, and Israel in particular.
The reason they get away with it is because we let them get away with it, instead of answering as Lord Clifford did in King Henry VI: "I will not bandy with thee word for word/ but buckle with thee blows, twice two for one!"
The following is a general-purpose propaganda poster for deployment in Europe and North America. Noting Colonel Paul Linebarger's advice against defining the enemy too widely, I decided NOT to put a Koran side by side with Mein Kampf, but only to quote one of the relevant verses that licenses militant Muslims to kill, rob, rape, and/or enslave infidels, who include the wrong kinds of Muslims. Those are the Muslims who have put aside the indicated sura, and those like it, to fit into 21st century civilization. The poster (1) uses images that fascinate the viewer in seconds and (2) backs up the images with objective and independently verifiable facts. Good PsyWar material should incorporate both these principles.
Hamas' children's show, Pioneers of Tomorrow, says that Islam will dominate the world, and also will exterminate the Jews. The last ideology that talked that way came with a swastika, and it meant every word it said.
The Propaganda Men (and woman) for this one are:
- Christians (the same ones whom the enemy is trying to persuade and, in the case of the Presbyterian Church USA, has persuaded, to help destroy Israel)
- Peaceful Muslims, whom the leaflet defines as targets of the enemy against whom the propaganda is directed. Noting that these Muslims do not use the Koran as an excuse to behave like Dark Age savages, the poster does not actually put the Koran next to Mein Kampf. This poster, for deployment by Israel, similarly places the Hamas logo rather than an Islamic crescent and star next to the swastika flag.
- Gay people, e.g. Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism. The latter should be urged to hold the kind of gay pride parade in Gaza as has been hosted by Tel Aviv, and then to tell us how it works out for them when they get back. That's "if they get back."
- All women, including those on U.S. college campuses, whom the enemy is trying to recruit into anti-Israel campus groups.
Here is an admittedly amateur poster whose audience consists of teenage and young adult Arab males in Hamas-occupied regions. The concept of the manipulative "leader" who is not willing to blow himself up for the Cause, but will only send others to do so, is obvious.
I contended previously that psychological warfare can nonviolently destroy militant Islam itself. The grounds for this argument was the fact that Martin Luther almost destroyed the Catholic Church with nothing more than hand-powered printing presses, and that the Church had to fight back with printing presses to save itself. We have the Internet, radio, television, and copiers that can produce thousands of cheap but effective leaflets.
Concerted and scientific deployment of carefully written (e.g. propaganda for Muslims should probably be written by former Muslims of the same nationality) and targeted propaganda should undermine the Propaganda Man's confidence and trust in his own leaders. Once you break that commitment and trust, it is all over for the enemy leaders.