Media Propaganda: Hitler, Bush, and the "Big Lie"

History tells us that pen is mightier than the sword, and that before and alongside genocide, ethnic cleansing, occupation, invasion and war there is the inevitable propaganda war being waged. In the battle for people’s hearts and minds, the media have always played a pivotal role. It was the media that generated widespread public support for Hitler’s foreign and domestic policies, allowing him to carry out his murderous campaign against racial minoities, religious minorities, and the "undesirables" in Germany’s midst.

The leading theorist of the propaganda was Adolf Hitler himself. "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed," he wrote in Mein Kampf. In his words, "The art of propaganda is not very complicated, but very simple. It does not have multiple shadings; it has positive and negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie; never half this way and half that way, never partially."

Furthermore, "… effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. The whole art consists of doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct."

Even a casual observer of American media coverage of the "big lie" against Iraq can certainly identify the uncanny similarities between Hitler’s propaganda theory and the techniques employed by the American media and Mr.Bush.

It is easy to look back and say how bad Hitler was. But at the time, he looked very good to the German people. In 1938, he was Time Magazine’s "Man of the Year." He was a devoutly religious man; he was even a choirboy in his youth.

George Bush is also a very religious man, who has been telling the "big lie" very convincingly by repeating simple phrases during his war preparation speeches; phrases like, "us and them," or "good and evil." The media made Bush look and sound credible to a believing public, which then supported him in attacking Iraq — an illegal war, based on a "big lie."

When it comes to anti-Islam and anti-Muslim propaganda, the media rely heavily on Zionists, of whom not all are Jews. Bernard Lewis and his co-religionists Daniel Pipes and Samuel Huntington are among the best-known pro-Israeli non-Muslim scholars of Islam. They follow Hitler’s propaganda techniques flawlessly by confining themselves to few slogans, expressing them in stereotypical formulas and repeating them persistently throughout their work. Their "big lie" proclaims that "Islam is violent and teaches hate."

According to Hitler, "The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. "

It was Bernard Lewis who first formulated the "clash of civilizations" concept in his essay, The Roots of Muslim Rage. "This is no less than a clash of civilizations — the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both."

In his book "Orientalism," the late Edward Said writes that Lewis’s stance is "aggressively ideological." He has dedicated his entire career, spanning more than five decades, to a "project to debunk, to whittle down, and to discredit the Arabs and Islam."

Samuel Huntington borrowed Lewis’s phrase for his "The Clash of Civilizations," in which he articulated very clearly his anti-Islam position. He writes; "The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism, it is Islam."

William Johnson, in The Globe and Mail, quoted Huntington to the effect that Muslim culture is inherently more violent, and according to Ray Conlogue, also of the Globe and Mail, these disturbing thoughts come from a man who has had the ear of the U.S. government since the
early 1960s.

Throughout his career, Daniel Pipes, Bush’s appointee to the Peace Institute, has made sure to keep the so-called "Islamic threat" graphically before our eyes through numerous articles, television appearances, and books such as, "Militant Islam Reaches America."

Speaking to the American Jewish Congress Convention on Sept.21, 2001, Pipes said: "I worry very much from the Jewish point of view that the presence, and increased stature, influence and enfranchisement of American Muslims will present true danger to American Jews." His formula to eliminate the "supposed" danger to American Jews is to ethnically cleanse America of Muslim presence. Hitler must be laughing
in his grave.

Daniel Pipes is also a regular contributor to the right-wing National Post, owned by the CanWest-Global conglomerate that was run by the late noted Zionist, Israel ("Izzy") Asper. In an editorial (July 1999) he wrote: "Following Marxism, Leninism and Fascism comes Islamism… Islamism is a… phenomenon that has the power to do mischief… right here in Canada."

By now, we should all know Mr. Asper’s views on Israel. His "big lie" was that Palestinian resistance is not against brutal occupation or for Palestinian statehood, but because they want to destroy Israel and subjugate all Jews. Here too, Hitler’s sentiment rings true. He said: "The function of propaganda is not, for example, to weigh and ponder the rights of different people. Its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly."

The late Mr. Asper labeled mainstream media’s honest reporting of facts in the Occupied Territories (a rare phenomenon) as a "big lie." No wonder the CBC, a publicly funded organization, has been sounding more like the National Post ever since Mr. Asper pointed out to the management their misguided belief in providing a balanced coverage of the brutal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land.

Joining the Islamophobes are many Fundamentalist evangelical "born again" Christians, who have politically and ideologically aligned themselves with the hard-line Zionist agenda against Palestinians. They attack the credibility of the Qur’an and defame the Prophet. Their endgame may be different from that of the pro-Israeli Zionists, but their words are not.

The Islamophobes are serious in their belief that Islam can be destroyed through propaganda in 80 to 100 years, just as the West took 70 years to defeat Communism. Even Israel’s tourism minister, Elon, is convinced of this. "It’s clear that Islam is on the way to disappearing," he asserted in the May15th 2003, issue of Ha’aretz. "How will it disappear? Very simply. Within a few years a Christian crusade against Islam will be launched, which will be the major event of this millennium…."

It would not be going too far to compare the North American media’s fear-mongering disinformation tactics about Islam and Muslim "terrorism" and Bush’s "Us" versus "Them" stance to those practiced so successfully, and with such terrible results, by Hitler on the citizens of Germany’s Weimer republic.

As Simon Wiesenthal said: "The Holocaust did not begin with ovens. By then it’s too late. It begins with words." Well, if words are warning signs for the demons of hate, greed, racism, religious conflict, bloodshed and war, then the time for Muslims to start worrying is long past.