Step 1: Demonizing the Enemy
War is always sold by artificially demonizing the enemy.
Countries need to lie about their enemies in order to demonize them sufficiently so that the people will support the war.
Everyone knows that “truth is the first casualty of war“.
As Tom Brokaw said:
All wars are based on propaganda.
Posters prepared in foreign countries demonizing Americans are an obvious form of propaganda. For example, here are samples from Nazi Germany:
The Soviet Union:
(the American is supposed to be the guy on the left)
These are disturbing images, because we as Americans know that they falsely depict who we are.
But Americans have demonized our enemies as well. For example, in World War II, anti-Japanese posters such as the following were used to whip up hatred of the enemy:
Anti-German posters such as this were also widely used:
Modern America’s Unique Form of Authoritarianism
The unique modern strain of American fascism can be traced through Leo Strauss and the University of Chicago.
Leo Strauss is the father of the Neo-Conservative movement, including many leaders of recent American administrations. Indeed, many of the main neocon players – including Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Stephen Cambone, Elliot Abrams, and Adam Shulsky – were students of Strauss at the University of Chicago, where he taught for many years.
The people pushing for war against Iran are the same neocons who pushed for war against Iraq. See this and this. (They planned both wars at least 20 years ago.) For example, Shulsky was the director of the Office of Special Plans – the Pentagon unit responsible for selling false intelligence regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. He is now a member of the equivalent organization targeting Iran: the Iranian Directorate.
What did Strauss teach?
Strauss, born in Germany, was an admirer of Nazi philosophers such as Carl Schmitt and of Machiavelli (more on Schmitt later).
Strauss believed that a stable political order required an external threat and that if an external threat did not exist, one should be manufactured. Specifically, Strauss thought that:
A political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat . . . . Following Machiavelli, he maintained that if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured.
(the quote is by one of Strauss’ main biographers).
Indeed, Stauss used the analogy of Gulliver’s Travels to show what a Neocon-run society would look like:
“When Lilliput [the town] was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect.” (this quote also from the same biographer)
Moreover, Strauss said:
Only a great fool would call the new political science diabolic . . . Nevertheless one may say of it that it fiddles while Rome burns. It is excused by two facts: it does not know that it fiddles, and it does not know that Rome burns.
So Strauss seems to have advocated governments letting terrorizing catastrophes happen on one’s own soil to one’s own people — of “pissing” on one’s own people, to use his Gulliver’s travel analogy. And he advocated that government’s should pretend that they did not know about such acts of mayhem: to intentionally “not know” that Rome is burning. He advocated messing with one’s own people in order to save them from some artificial “catastrophe”. In other words, he proposed using deceit in order to demonize an adversary and artificially turn him into a dangerous enemy.