10 ways to recognize war propaganda in western media

A Handy checklist


Thomas Römer in Anti-Spiegel

The ten rules of war propaganda were set forth by the historian Anne Morelli in her book The Principles of War Propaganda. Well, let’s look at these rules. In doing so, we will see that our mainstream media follow them exactly. Anyone who follows the media reports in the West must realize that our German media, free, objective, and critical, are engaged in war propaganda. There are 10 well-known rules of war propaganda that are easy to check.
Rule 1: We don’t want war

The West supposedly never wants wars. Even so, the West wages more wars than all other states put together. Germany is fighting in Mali to supply the French nuclear power plants with uranium (officially against terrorists, of course). Germany fought in Afghanistan for 20 years, so long that most have already forgotten what it was all about. Germany has been militarily active in Kosovo for over 20 years to build democracy, but the Albanian mafia still rules there under the protection of the Bundeswehr. And so on.

All of these – and also the other – wars of the US-dominated West in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and on, all have one thing in common: Of course, the West did not want them at all, but was forced to war by the evil rulers. This is the official reading every time, and none of the “rulers” has ever attacked a country in the West.

It was always the other way around, the West attacked.

But: “We don’t want the war”

Rule 2: The opposing camp is solely responsible for the war

See point one. Assad is allegedly responsible for the war in Syria, although the media in the West consistently keep silent about the CIA operation “Timber Sycamore” with which the CIA started the war. If this is new to you, it’s no wonder. Der Spiegel, for example, has never reported on how you can find the term “Timber Sycamore” when you search the Spiegel archive. The relevant documents of the CIA were published in Washington years ago. If this is new to you, check it out.

It is always done that way. So it was with Iraq, Libya and all other wars in which the West is fighting. The blame was placed on the other side, concealing that the West started the wars itself.

Rule 3: The leader of the opposing camp has the face of the devil

This is the classic. The choice of words is crucial. Putin, Assad and whoever are “potentates”, “autocrats”, “dictators” who commit all the deadly sins of the world. When a war is imminent, the media bring – in order to make the population ready for war – the inevitable formulations of the “Second Hitler”, from whom the world must be saved.

Of course, the enemies do not have “governments”, they are “regimes”. With all these formulations the “enemy” is dehumanized, the public should feel hatred and be ready to overthrow such an evil person, even at the cost of thousands of lives.

This is what is called “hatespeech” in modern German and what the same media, that use this hate propaganda against unloved heads of government, always find very bad.

Rule 4: We defend a good cause and not special interests

Of course, the US wanted to bring human rights, democracy and prosperity to Iraq. Of course, it wasn’t about the oil wells that US corporations have secured for themselves. Not even in Libya, where France (one of the driving forces in the war) has secured many oil wells. And Mali is about the fight against terrorism, not the uranium on which the French nuclear industry depends. And of course Syria is not about oil or the only Russian naval base in the Mediterranean, it is only about democracy, human rights and prosperity.

Wherever a government is critical of the West and where there are also natural resources (or where one of the main enemies China and Russia can be harmed), the West finds democracy and human rights very important. But if a government is pro-Western and allows the West access to natural resources, such as the absolutist Saudi dictatorship, then democracy and human rights are not so important.

Incidentally, this is the key to understanding why Russia, which was a political friend under Yeltsin, has become enemy number one again under Putin: Under Yeltsin, Western corporations had secured control of Russian oil and gas. Putin ended that by 2003, and suddenly he was the number one villain. It doesn’t say that in the “quality media”, but it was actually so banal.

Rule 5: The enemy commits atrocities deliberately; on the other hand, when we cross the line, it is unintentional

We experience this one all the time. If the US is undoubtedly bombing a hospital in Afghanistan, then that is “collateral damage” and it was an accident. Nobody is punished, the “quality media” quickly forget it and do not ask for clarification.

On the other hand, it is enough if someone claims without evidence that Russia or Syria bombed a hospital and the media in the West are reporting not only for days, but also afterwards, so that the public does not forget who it must hate.

Rule 6: The enemy uses illegal weapons

That is also a classic. We have all heard many times that Assad uses “barrel bombs”. Nobody really knows what that actually is, but it sounds pretty nasty. The USA constantly uses barrel bombs, except they are called “cluster bombs” and the “quality media” are almost always shyly silent about them, because these weapons are internationally banned. Whether Assad uses this weapon has not been proven at all, but as a precaution the media have come up with a separate word for it so that the readers don’t even get the idea that the West could also use such weapons. ‘But he does that all the time.

Rule 7: We suffer only slight losses; the enemy’s losses are enormous

This rule only applies when the war has entered its critical phase. Before the war it was the other way around. Before the war it was reported that the enemy was aggressive and, for example, had killed so many of “our” soldiers again when violating a ceasefire. This is to prepare the public for a war.

We have been seeing this in Ukraine for years. The “quality media” always report when it gets “hotter” there that the rebels have killed so many Ukrainian soldiers. In doing so, they keep silent about the fact that the mostly Ukrainian shelling of residential areas preceded them, in which civilians were killed.

But you don’t find out about that from the “quality media”, you have to read the reports of the OSCE. The “quality media” did not consider the fact that the OSCE presented a report in November 2020 in which it stated that almost 75 percent of civilian casualties in Donbass were due to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Rule 8: The artists and intellectuals support our cause

Notice how often celebrities have their say in the media who think the Western wars are good for moral reasons. Celebs have spoken out against Assad, Gaddafi, and Saddam in recent years. This is particularly evident in the American media.

In 2019 a prominent “benefit concert” for Venezuela took place in the Colombian border town of Cucuta. Famous artists appeared in the middle of the jungle to sing against Maduro. Conveniently right next to the US military base there.

And for Navalny, for example, Western celebrities wrote an open letter to Putin in April 2021. It did not contain any truths and probably hardly anyone has read it. It was just important to be able to name the celebrities in the headlines of the media who are against Putin.

There are innumerable examples of this method of war propaganda.

But none of this has anything to do with politics, after all, what politician is interested in a singer’s opinion? These reports only have the purpose of giving the public the feeling that the position of the West is morally correct and thus the fans of the stars are to be influenced accordingly and to follow their idol. It’s all about emotions, not the actuality.

Rule 9: Our concern is something sacred

Of course, after all, it is supposedly about the “holy” values ​​of the West, that is to say about democracy and human rights. You can also kill people for this.

This is probably the oldest means of war propaganda in world history. In ancient Rome one had to bring civilization to the barbarians, of course it was not about the enrichment of the generals. Caesar moved to Gaul as a practically bankrupt man and came back very rich.

Later the Spaniards had to bring the “savages” in America the right faith so that they would not burn in the hell to which the Spaniards sent them on the occasion. It wasn’t about the gold, of course. And the British Empire wanted to bring civilization back to the “backward” colonies, because the poor, backward people in the colonies couldn’t rule themselves.

What I am writing here so ironically is true. You can read it in the documents from the corresponding periods. There was always a “sacred” reason for urgently going to war.

And today the “holy” concerns are democracy, human rights, women’s rights and so on. It’s still the same principle as in antiquity, only the “sacred” concern changes every now and then.

Rule 10: Anyone who questions our propaganda is a traitor

Today the word “traitor” is out of date. Today you can choose to say “Putin understanders”, “Kremlin trolls”, “conspiracy theorists”, “anti-Americans” and whatever other names are currently circulating. Anyone who disagrees is demonized and marginalized. But all of these terms have one thing in common: They identify the named person as an opponent of “Western values” or democracy. Ergo: it’s a traitor.

It’s shocking, but the German media is actually doing war propaganda like in the darkest times in history. And not just since yesterday, it happened in 1991 in the First Gulf War with the incubator lie and has not been less since then, on the contrary, it has become more, and the techniques have been refined more and more.

Do you think it is a coincidence that the media works exactly according to the propaganda textbook?

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1 month ago

[…] ten basic principles of war propaganda were succinctly laid out by historian and academic, Anne Morelli, in 2001. 1. The aggressor nations claim they don’t want war, the implication is that they want […]

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