What do you see in this man? A radical Islamist who threatens the lives of all Syrians, or a courageous freedom fighter who is willing to risk it all to overthrow a hated tyrant?
Making Jihadist terrorists look respectable, or any terrorists for that matter, is a tricky and difficult task. But there are ten techniques which can be mastered and used in the service of any cause, whether righteous or not. The best propagandists in the world can save the image of the worst terrorists if they have the sufficient resources and the reputation to reach people and make them believe their narrative.
The U.S. dinosaur media is filled with propaganda experts who can turn terrorists into freedom fighters virtually overnight. If Jihadist terrorists advance U.S. foreign policy then they'll spread their message to the top of the world.
But why let the dinosaurs have all the fun? Learn the ten propaganda techniques so you too can be able to glorify your favourite terrorists in any conflict around the world, whether they be anti-Assad Jihadists or right-wing ideologues right here at home.
One of the best ways to spread your message is by not spreading the other guy's message. Censoring different opinions and views is simple and easy to do. If you want to make your terrorists look good then suppress everything that is bad about them. If you want to win a debate then do not give voice to your adversary's point of view. A child knows this technique intuitively, when he puts his hand over someone else's mouth to stop them from being heard. Every conqueror in the world has censored his enemy's propaganda.
When your precious terrorists commit atrocities, don't worry, just point the attention of the public towards the direction of the tyrant and his minions. If you can't censor the facts, or minimize them, and your misinformation is having little effect in swaying people's minds, then deflect. Deflect day and night. Suppress questions about the conduct of your terrorists. Act like the critics of your terrorists live in a crazy universe. Make them the problem, not your terrorists.
If your terrorists repeatedly execute civilians in broad daylight, systematically intimidate members of civil society, and generally make the lives of everyone a living hell, and there is no way to deny what they are doing, then simply minimize the extent of their crimes. Call their terror attacks "small," and say that only "some" of them are violating basic human rights. Tell your readers that extremist outliers have hijacked a precious freedom movement and are acting independently. If you can't censor, then minimize. It works.
Lying is the greatest art invented by man, and it is essential for the advancement of any political cause. There are small lies and big lies. The big lies are monuments of deception that go unnoticed in the background of an epic conflict. Big-time propagandists are interested in small lies that further the cause of the terrorists.
Small lies can be created on the spot and require little to zero preparation, unlike a big lie like the 9/11 lie which was only possible after the U.S. government introduced the threat of terrorism into the American public psyche all throughout the 1990s. Small lies don't need to be developed over a long period of time. If you want to paint your terrorists as good then simply lie about the depravity of their enemy. For example, if you want to take down Assad, then exaggerate the number of people he has killed and say that he uses chemical weapons against civilians. Tell new lies everyday. Do not hold back. Flood the airwaves with lies.
By controlling and framing the information that you deliver to your readers, you can set the parameters of the ensuing dialogue about the conflict. Focus on a couple of key battles in which the terrorists are winning, or the most horrible government atrocities, and then hammer away. Be like a kid with a magnifying glass, and don't stop until the ants burn. If you want Assad to burn, or Gaddafi, or any tyrant in the Middle East, then organize all your media resources on him. Turn the media into an evil eye. Direct its gaze on your enemy. Make him feel the wrath.
If your terrorists have totally lost it and their image cannot be saved, then re-create them in the public's imagination. To hand them a new lifeline, give them a new look and name. Say that the leaders of the terrorists are wise souls who are only interested in deposing an arrogant dictator but that they are being undermined by less disciplined men who may or may not be under their command. Attribute all the atrocities to the lower-level terrorists, and save the heads of the leaders, and, most importantly, the righteousness of the cause.
Create personal portraits of the terrorists. Immortalize them as brave revolutionary heroes fighting against a vicious tyrant. Humanize them. Show them in their weakest moments. Who can hate a story like that? Black and white pictures are the best. We love rooting for underdogs. Example: the mean, bad Assad versus the righteous and furious men in the Free Syrian Army who are desperate to get the world's attention and support. Get the story right, and your terrorists will succeed.
Under-reporting is not the same as censorship. It is more subtle. It is also different from minimization. You are not seeking to justify a crime but avoiding its relevance. Under-report the atrocities that were committed by your terrorists, or the popular policies that were enacted by the hated tyrant. Don't be totally obvious about your agenda. Give some airtime to the views of the tyrant, but only in brief instances in your reporting.
All true propagandists whitewash the crimes of the side they're rooting for and supporting. It is absolutely necessary if you want the cause of your terrorists to succeed. Don't worry about the victims of your terrorists. Their suffering and memory is not important as far as the big picture is concerned. Victory is all that matters. Gain it at any price.
10. Wholesale Destruction of Truth.
Truth is an obstacle to performing great deeds like overthrowing a tyrant, slaying a mighty dragon, and renewing the world. If you seek to create then you must first destroy. You can't have one without the other. Don't just tell a lie, annihilate the truth! Annihilate the truth of a horrible crime that your terrorists committed. As the song goes, you can justify it in the end.