A Short History of Atrocity Propaganda


Atrocity Propaganda Exposed

Today, we are witnessing the creation of atrocity propaganda in real-time. What is atrocity propaganda, and how has it been used to win support for war? A thread:

An atrocity tale is designed to shock a mass audience by showing a violation of a fundamental cultural value which authorises force to stop the perpetrator. They are directed at groups rather than individuals. The ultimate goal is to dehumanise an enemy.

One of the earliest examples of atrocity propaganda was during the Irish rebellion of 1641. Reports were sent to England of massacres of the innocent by the rebels, and there were later used to justify Cromwell’s slaughter of captured Irish rebels.

Framing Irish1 – Click to Enlarge

The most graphic accounts were published in the English press. Newspapers fabricated graphic accounts of babies being ripped from pregnant women. These reports especially incited the English public against the Irish.


Atrocity propaganda in 1641 vs. 2023:



With the spread of communications technology in the 20th Century, atrocity propaganda became more important for garnering support for war. Some of the worst examples came in WW1. British propaganda, backed by the press, portrayed the Germans as barbaric aggressors:

British media reported stories of the Germans bayoneting Belgian babies and cutting off their hands. Reports came from Belgium of giant German “corpse factories”, where dead bodies were harvested to be turned into candles, lubricants, and boot wax.

One of the worst examples of atrocity propaganda is the so-called Nayirah testimony. In the run up to the Gulf War, A 15 year-old Kuwaiti girl gave testimony to US Congress about the horrors of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, most notably babies being pulled from incubators.

Nayirah’s testimony was rebroadcast across the country and marked a turning point in public opinion on going to war with Iraq. President Bush repeatedly cited her claims to justify the necessity of the war.

It turned out Nayirah was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the US. Her testimony was organised as part of a ‘Citizens for a Free Kuwait’ public relations campaign. This was itself was a front-group, created by an American PR firm hired by the Kuwaiti government.

You may notice a trend with these atrocity tales: children as the subject of violence. This makes sense. Regardless of the intricacies of a conflict, if one side is slaughtering children, they are obviously irredeemably evil. Who could defend baby killers?

Today, we may be seeing the creation of atrocity propaganda in real time, this time through the medium of social media. History should remind us to not be guided by emotion, and treat all claims which direct us toward demands for war with a good degree of skepticism.

Original Here

For more examples, see – The NAKBA – The Genocide of Palestinians by JEWS (Update: Nakba 2.0 Has Begun)

Atrocity Propaganda Exposed

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