The 10 Rules of Propaganda

Lord Arthur Ponsonby was a British diplomat and politician, dates 1871–1946.

This keen and cagey fellow pinpointed 10 rules of propaganda. They are these:

1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves.

2. The other guy is solely responsible for this war.

3. Our adversary’s leader is evil and looks evil.

4. We are defending a noble purpose, not special interest.

5. The enemy is purposefully causing atrocities; we only commit mistakes.

6. The enemy is using unlawful weapons.

7. We have very little losses, the enemy is losing big.

8. Intellectuals and artists support our cause.

9. Our cause is sacred.

10. Those who doubt our propaganda are traitors.

Just Look at the News

A daily scan of the newswires calls to mind three or more of these propaganda rules. On some days, six or seven. On others still, all 10.

We refer specifically to the conflict presently arage in the eastern European nation of Ukraine.

Let us now consider these rules. We will not take up each of them since some rules relate closely to others. We will instead weld these together. To proceed…

1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves.

2. The other guy is solely responsible for this war.

On how many occasions have you read or heard condemnations of Mr. Putin’s “unprovoked” act of aggression?

To phrase it differently, when has it not been described as unprovoked?

Yet a man can argue very persuasively that Mr. Putin’s war was indeed provoked.

The Russian autocrat warned on several occasions that NATO expansion into Ukraine was a “red line.”

Russia would not abide the NATO dagger pressing against its vitals (parts of Ukraine actually lie east of Moscow).

Yet the NATO alliance had announced its intentions to incorporate Ukraine — despite Vladimir’s moans and grimaces.

de Facto NATO Member

It is true that no formal offer of membership has come. Yet for years the United States and its NATO allies were arming and training Ukrainian forces.

Why do you think these Ukrainian forces have performed so excellently?

Some have in fact referred to Ukraine as a de facto NATO member. It has merely been awaiting the de jure formality of actual membership.

You may argue that Mr. Putin’s invasion was unjustified. You may argue that it was unnecessary. Your editor himself has maintained these very points.

Yet you cannot argue that it was unprovoked.

Putin’s Evil!

3. Our adversary’s leader is evil and looks evil.

9. Our cause is sacred.

Here is a very condensed sample of headlines regarding the blackened state of Mr. Putin’s soul:

“Vladimir Putin — ‘Evil on the Level of Joseph Stalin’”

“Yes, Putin Is Evil”

“Putin Is Evil, Not Mentally Ill, a Psychological Explanation”

“’Terrifying’ Putin Driven by ‘Evil Forces,’ Says ECB’s Christine Lagarde”

“How Vladimir Putin Became Evil”

And is this not the very face of evil?

The title of the magazine article affixed to this caption bears the title:

“The Secret Source of Putin’s Evil”

Now you have the flavor of it. We could continue but mercy forbids it.

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