The greatest power in America and the world is strategic communications. It can make the truth look like a lie, and a lie look like the truth. While Israel masters the art of strategic communications, the Arab World has failed to use it resulting in the increasing world stereotypes that are driving the devastation of the Arab World, from Palestine to Syria
By Ray Hanania
Former Vice President Dick Cheney proved one thing on March 19, 2003 when America invaded Iraq.
Cheney proved that the American people will believe anything, including a lie, if you present it clearly, persuasively, and wrap it in the fundamental racist nature of the American people.
Only weeks before the Iraq invasion, polling showed more than 72 percent of Americans believed Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Of course, more than a decade later, we know that was a lie Cheney pushed to justify the unjustified invasion.
Americans will believe anything, including lies, if those lies are presented persuasively, effectively and wrapped into a message that they believe. Imagine for a moment, if you present the truth? Without good PR spin, Americans won’t believe it.
Americans wanted revenge against someone, but the 19 hijackers, most from Saudi Arabia, a key ally of the Bush-Cheney administration, had denied that revenge by committing suicide.
Americans were craving for revenge. Cheney gave it to them someplace else.
Cheney got help reinforcing this false thesis from Israel, which has mastered the art of strategic communications propaganda, twisting facts into lies and lies into facts.
A Palestinian militant driven by vengeance fires a makeshift rocket into Israel that has little chance of doing any real damage, and Israel launches a massive airstrike with hundreds of missiles killing scores of Palestinian civilians.
The Americans blame Hamas, the same way the American blamed Saddam Hussein for Sept. 11.
Iraq was Israel’s worst enemy. Israel’s lobby, AIPAC, was actively engaged in strategizing to build anti-Iraqi sentiment among Americans. Israel was behind the 1990 war against Iraq, the decade long embargo which resulted in the killing of millions of Iraq civilians including hundreds of thousands of children, and positioning Iraq as the fall-guy for the Sept. 11 American retribution.
Israel’s lobby has America’s national government in a political headlock. Anything Israel wants, Israel gets by bullying members of Congress, throwing around accusations of “anti-Semitism” against its critics, and using strategic communications to wrap their false claims in the cover of sensibility.
Cheney, who was very close to the Israeli lobby and Israel’s growing rightwing, recognized all this. He quickly exploited what is essentially a flaw in the American mind. Strategic communications directs that you take your message and wrap it up in an issue that the target audience believes is important. He focused the American need for revenge against Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
And while the leadership of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists was based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Osama Bin Laden was finally assassinated more than eight years later, the major military thrust of manpower and taxpayer dollars was directed instead towards Iraq, Cheney’s priority.
Iraq continues to remain out greatest threat, where the rise of the Islamic State terrorists have easily carved out a base founded on the growing anger of the Arab World over Cheney’s obvious lies.
All Cheney did was employ strategic communications to achieve his goals.
So you have to ask, why don’t the pro-Arab activists do it, too? Why don’t they use strategic communications not only to counter the pro-Israel lies but to also show the American people how Palestinians are the real victims?
Unfortunately, the Arabs don’t believe in strategic communications, for an array of reasons.
Arabs come from a region of the world controlled by dictators and tyrants – all imposed on the Arab people by so-called Democracies like America, Britain and France. Arab tyrants punish free speech involving politics, and thereby cripple the rise of political public relations and destroy politically-based strategic messaging. PR is anathema to Arabs.
Pro-Palestinian activists are constantly under siege. They are oppressed and sold out by their own governments. They are up against what appears to be an insurmountable force by the pro-Israel lobby.
The pro-Israel lobby and Israel’s government spend hundreds of millions each year on a wide range of strategic communications, and sophisticated public relations that includes press releases, movies, television programs, books, news media stories and radio.
Israelis have built an industry identifying issues embraced by their target audience (the American people) that can easily and effectively deliver their messages to the American people.
For example, Americans are predominantly a Christian people. And yet, Israel, through strategic communications backed by millions of dollars in investments and assets, have convinced Americans that Arab Christians are not worth saving.
Israel is engaged in widespread theft of land from Christian Palestinians in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus and Christianity itself. Bethlehem is under siege and yet the Israelis have convinced the feeble-minded, easily brainwashed American people through clever and cunning public relations spin, that the Islamic extremists threaten the survival of Christianity.
Islamic extremists do threaten the survival of Christians throughout the Arab and Muslim World, but not in Israel. In Israel, Israel threatens the existence of Christianity.
Israel doesn’t care about Christians in Iraq or Syria. It cares about the lands it wants in Palestine. Israel’s government goes to great lengths to push Christians, and Muslims and all non-Jews, out of those lands.
There is no such thing as an Israeli “Christian Settlement” in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. All of the settlements are Jewish-only!
The pro-Palestinian activists are frustrated in their failed communications so often that they have become accustomed to allowing their emotions to drive their activism.
Emotion is the death knell of effective communications, which is why Israel always wins and the pro-Palestinian activists always lose.
And, of course, strategic communications can’t work, if you don’t use it.
The Arabs spend billions of everything, but not on penny on effective communications, public relations spin, or lobbying the American people.
Blame Israel all you want. But I know where the real blame lies.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM.