US Methods of Controlling Thought and Public Opinion
in European Countries
Junge Welt, Germany; 3 April 2010
In Germany, it is the fear of what would follow in the wake of a Western military defeat (Germany inundated with narcotics, more refugees and an increase in terrorism), as well as the concern that Germany’s image in NATO would suffer.|
The memo says support for the war is “fragile” in Europe, with particular dangers posed by the fact that the governments of both Germany and France rely on public apathy concerning the war. This has permitted both Berlin and Paris “to disregard popular opposition and steadily increase their troop contributions to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) ... despite the opposition of 80 percent of German and French respondents to increased ISAF deployments.”
The memo goes on to say, “If some forecasts of a bloody summer in Afghanistan come to pass, passive French and German dislike of their troop presence could turn into active and politically potent hostility. The tone of previous debate suggests that a spike in French or German casualties or in Afghan civilian casualties could become a tipping point in converting passive opposition into active calls for immediate withdrawal,” as was the case in the Netherlands.
How such a development should be countered is shown by a chapter of the memorandum entitled “Tailoring Messaging Could Forestall or At Least Contain Backlash.”
In order to produce “tailored messaging” for the European public, the memo suggests that experts for “strategic communication” and analysts from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research would be better suited to work up P.R. strategies for reports issued concerning America’s conduct of the war.
These would be more palatable to the Europeans “if they perceive clear connections between outcomes in Afghanistan and their own priorities.” The CIA considers it would be especially effective if, among other things, Afghan women would make media appearances in Europe.
Similar to the recently released recommendation of the Jerusalem-based Reut Institute calling for the organized defamation of international critics of Israeli war policy as anti-Semites, this CIA memorandum is a blueprint for targeted manipulation of public opinion in Germany, France and across Europe.