PsyWar: Militant Islam's Worst Enemy

The murderous attacks on Charlie Hebdo might be the most famous example of Islamist violence against cartoonists, but they are far from the only example.  These attacks, however, reveal what "militant Islam" fears most: military-grade psychological warfare that will make Charlie Hebdo's cute pictures of Mohammad, including one of Mohammad as a victim of Islamist violence, look like Chihuahuas in comparison to Rottweilers, the genetic heirs of the Roman Empire's dogs of war.  Colonel Paul Linebarger, one of the world's foremost authorities on PsyWar, wrote of propaganda, "Yet success, though incalculable, can be overwhelming; and failure, though undetectable, can be mortal."  This is exactly why Islamists fear it.

The Islamists have enjoyed a long run in which they have directed the most hateful imaginable propaganda and violence against Jews, Christians, Hindus, and the wrong kinds of Muslims.  As stated by Sir Arthur Harris, however, "[t]he Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."  It is this article's purpose to unleash a whirlwind that will make Islamists the world's pariahs, and probably to the extent that the world's civilized nations will deport their adherents and fellow travelers as undesirables.

A brief history of PsyWar, and its decisive effectiveness over the centuries, should instruct the reader how to use it against Islamists throughout the world.  Let's start with the Protestant Reformation, in which both sides used the newly developed printing press to distribute propaganda, as shown in Figure 1.  These images may look exaggerated and over the top to the modern reader, but the Propaganda Man (the audience to whom the propaganda is directed) of the early 16th century lived in genuine terror of eternal damnation.

Figure 1. Protestant and Catholic PsyWar, Early 1500s

Evangelist Jack Chick, who apparently doesn't know that the Thirty Years War ended more than 360 years ago, uses the same approach today.  Chick's biography is telling:

One day, Bob Hammond, missionary broadcaster of The Voice of China and Asia, told Jack that multitudes of Chinese people had been won to Communism through mass distribution of cartoon booklets. Jack felt that God was leading him to use the same technique to win multitudes to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The takeaway is that images are the most powerful means of communication.  The human brain is designed to process images rather than words, and it may even be instinctive for us to accept any image as the truth.  This was certainly the case until our ancestors learned to draw pictures.  Images can also fascinate us and hold our attention in seconds, in contrast to words, in which the Propaganda Man may lose interest.

Psychological warfare, therefore, involves the planned and scientific use of images to win the Propaganda Man's support.  The purpose of these images is not, like a Charlie Hebdo or Doonesbury cartoon, to entertain.  Their purpose is to win wars, and preferably before the first shot is fired.  The Islamist enemy is terrified of images, and rightly so, as was the infamous Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall.

"Those Damned Pictures!"

"Let’s stop them damn pictures. I don’t care so much what the papers write about – my constituents can’t read – but damn it, they can see pictures."  So said William Marcy Tweed, who was eventually sent to prison for corruption.  Tweed's most feared enemy was cartoonist Thomas Nast, the creator of the Republican Elephant, Democratic Donkey, the familiar plump and jolly Santa Claus, and, more infamously, anti-Catholic and anti-Irish cartoons.  Figure 2 shows one of Nast's many anti-Tweed cartoons.

Figure 2. "Who Stole the People's Money?

While Nast's propaganda was instrumental in taking down the Tweed Ring, malicious propaganda has killed far more people than nuclear weapons.  Cartoonist Grant Hamilton demonized Spaniards, for example, with ordinary printing presses.  The internet is, of course, an enormous force multiplier for images that can spread virally, and we need to use it in this manner.

Dishonest Propaganda Is Not Good for Children and Other Living Things

The Spanish-American War, which left more than 70,000 soldiers dead on all sides, was largely the result of propaganda from the Yellow Press.  Figure 3 shows the predecessor to Grant Hamilton's even more vicious "The Spanish Brute."

Figure 3. "Peace in Cuba Under Spanish Rule is Worse than Hell."

Hamilton did not draw relatively cute pictures of Spaniards the way Charlie Hebdo drew relatively innocuous pictures of Islamists and Mohammad.  The express purpose of the subsequent "The Spanish Brute" (Figure 4) was to whip up visceral hatred of an enemy during wartime.

Figure 4. The Spanish Brute

The Spanish Brute became a German Brute (Figure 5) during the First World War, and it would not be surprising if the artist used Hamilton's creation as a model.  "Kultur" on the fanged ape's bloody club is German for "culture," the ape is depicted as a sexual menace to a helpless woman.  The latter is a staple of war propaganda, and, given the Islamists' official position on women's rights, they are excellent targets for it.

Figure 5. "Destroy This Mad Brute."

"Destroy This Mad Brute" was again, unlike the Charlie Hebdo or Jyllands-Posten Mohammad cartoons, not intended in any way to ridicule or make fun of its target.  Its purpose was to depict Germany as a deranged enemy of civilization.

Adolf Hitler was unfortunately the German who learned the most from Germany's propaganda deficiencies in the First World War, as he stated very clearly in Mein Kampf.  "It was the total failure of the whole German system of information – a failure which was perfectly obvious to every soldier – that urged me to consider the problem of propaganda in a comprehensive way."  This is, by the way, Israel's problem today.  If Israel used propaganda effectively, its enemies would never be able to depict it as a human rights violator while getting away with terroristic violence and atrocities against even their own civilians.  Only recently has Israel gone so far as to depict Palestinian terrorists hiding behind civilians, schools, and hospitals.

Figure 6 compares German propaganda, whose sole purpose was to ridicule Germany's enemies, with that of the Triple Entente.  The latter portrayed Germany as a collective monster capable of slaughtering women and children, and was sufficiently effective to draw the United States into the war.

Figure 6. German vs. Triple Entente Propaganda

Figure 6, continued.

The cartoon in which Deutscher Michel (the easygoing figure with the pipe and the sleeping cap) accepts declarations of war was also, as I recall, ridiculed in Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front.  The German soldiers who actually had to fight the Russians, French, and Britons in question did not, contrary to the cartoon, encounter mooks (the stereotypical bumbling minions of action-adventure movies).  In the Second World War, however, all the combatants had learned that it is necessary to dehumanize rather than ridicule the enemy.  The same lesson carries over into PsyWar against "militant Islam."

World War II: Demonizing the Enemy

Figure 7 shows a U.S. government poster in which a Japanese soldier with exaggerated Asian features hits an American prisoner with a rifle butt.  Again, unlike the cute and relatively innocuous Mohammad cartoons that incited so much Islamist violence, this poster's purpose was not to entertain.  Its purpose was to incite visceral hatred.  In the context of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Bataan Death March, it was highly successful.

Figure 7. Anti-Japanese Poster, World War II

Another key takeaway is, however, perhaps even more important.  With few if any exceptions, the Nazis and Imperial Japanese were smart enough to not send us selfies of them putting people into gas chambers, beheading war prisoners, or using Chinese prisoners for bayonet practice.  ISIS was, on the other hand, considerate enough to send us the material shown in Figure 8 to incite the most murderous imaginable hatred against it.  We have added corresponding images of Axis atrocities to make the situation very clear.

Figure 8. Who Needs Cartoons When We Have ISIS?

PsyWar Is an Attack, Not a Defense

PsyWar is, like cavalry, an offensive weapon.  General Patton wrote of the former, "The saber is solely a weapon of offense and is used in conjunction with the other offensive weapon, the horse.  … No direct parries are taught, because at the completion of a parry the enemy is already beyond reach of an attack. The surest parry is a disabled opponent."  Propaganda must be used similarly to discredit the enemy rather than defend against his attacks.

As an example, it is a mistake for Israel and its supporters to protest, no matter how accurately, that the International Solidarity Movement's Rachel Corrie was killed by accident.  We must instead circulate the ISM's own statements that she was far more useful to its cause dead than alive.  As soon as we convince the Propaganda Man that the ISM knowingly, willfully, and recklessly endangered the life of an "international," and then gloated about her death, the ISM can say nothing against which we must defend.

An article in Arutz Sheva complains about the rise of anti-Semitism on American campuses.  The best approach is not to try to defend against anti-Semitism, but to promote hatred of its perpetrators.  A simple recitation of the militant Islamic world's treatment of gay people and women, for example, should incite revulsion against the Palestinians and their sympathizers.  When Students for Justice in Palestine, a Muslim Student Association, or similar group organizes an anti-Israel hate-fest, our side can pre-emptively post "women's safety advisories" that describe the militant Islamic position that women are chattel, and that any unveiled woman is a legitimate object for rape.  Circulate images of Iranians hanging gay people, add a deliberately inflammatory caption like "Kill a faggot for Allah," and perhaps another image of a gay pride event in Tel Aviv to make it quite clear to the LGBT community who its enemies and friends really are.

Give the Haters What They Want

Every society, meanwhile, has an underclass that needs somebody to blame for its own shortcomings.  Let's therefore follow the advice of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas: "Give the people what they want."  Portray the militant Islamist as a likely rapist of blonde and blue-eyed women in Northern Europe, olive-skinned ones in Southern Europe, black ones in African-American communities, and so on.  Depict a grunting Islamist menacing a woman of the Propaganda Man's ethnicity with a caption like "Hey infidel!  What are you going to do about it?"  Images of this nature, with Nazi or Japanese instead of Islamist villains, sold millions of men's adventure magazines in the 1950s through the 1970s, and with good reason.  Back this up with the words of the mullah who said women who don't wear burqas are "uncovered meat" whom any man is free to take.

Footage from The International Jew, in which swarming rats morph into Jews, can be clipped and reused to create scenes in which the rats interchange with goose-stepping Nazis and braying Islamists.  "Wherever rats appear, they bring ruin by destroying mankind's goods and foodstuffs. They are cunning, cowardly, and cruel, and usually appear in massive hordes."  It is important to drive the point home with scenes in which Nazis and Islamists proclaim that they are the Master Race (Herrenvolk) or Religion (Dar al Islam) and are going to dominate the world.  Alternate a Hitler speech with a mullah or imam proclaiming that Islam is going to rule the world.

To put this even more bluntly, remember that Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels convinced the German underclass to hate peaceful, loyal, and productive Jewish citizens.  Does anybody think the same methods will not evoke similar hatred of militant "Islamists" who are really trying to carve out sharia-ruled enclaves while they threaten violence against the surrounding societies?

"I do not bite my thumb at you, Sir, but I do bite my thumb."

It's libel or slander to falsely accuse a specific individual of, for example, taking bribes to enact speech codes and "anti-hate" laws whose purpose is to silence critics of "militant Islam."  Shakespeare had the right idea in Romeo and Juliet, though.  We do not accuse any specific individual of corruption, but rather say, "Some of them must be on the Islamist payroll, as there is no other rational explanation for laws that punish truthful speech.  I am certainly not going to point to anybody in particular without proof, but it is certain that some have taken Islamist money to betray their countries and societies."  This effectively carpet-bombs every single European legislator and jurist behind the speech codes with the taint of corruption while libeling nobody.

While images and videos are the most effective forms of PsyWar, jokes also work.  As an example, "What do you get when you bomb a Palestinian hospital, school, or mosque?"  The Propaganda Man thinks he is about to hear a cruel and insensitive joke by those nasty Israelis until he gets the punch line: "Secondary explosions."

The bottom line is, however, that the conduct of ISIS, Hamas, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and Iran, along with rising anti-Semitic violence in Europe along with rape epidemics throughout the Judeo-Christian world, all prove that we are dealing with the 21st century's counterparts of actual Nazis.  PsyWar is the most humane way to shut them down before they precipitate another world war, so let's get to it.

William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.