Enemy image

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The term "Enemy image", promoted by Marshal Rosenberg, refers to a view of a person or people which is influenced by animosity, and as such hampers reconciliation and real communication. The successful manipulation of large groups of people (e.g. the general public) has often been achieved through the nurturing of their prejudices and fear through such images.

Concept.png Enemy image Glossary.png
(prejudice,  illusion,  propaganda technique)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Enemy Image.png
A misleading view of a person or people, which hampers reconciliation and real communication

Enemy images are labels people apply to others to justify their own opposition to them. In conflicts between two groups, enemy images are often mutual and arise from polarising perspectives. Although widely employed by propagandists and the commercially-controlled media in general, enemy images are not wanted on this website.[1]

Early history

Worldwide, people have told stories about strangers with incredible and threatening powers, or about dragons or other such monsters, which can be seen as a projection of their fears. In Europe in the middle ages, the drive against witches, Catholics, jews or other perceived enemy groups provides a forceful illustration of the power of enemy images to subvert clear thinking.[2]

Cold war

Full article: Cold war
NWO globalist.jpg

Post WW2, the USSR was a cogent enemy image for the populations of Western Europe and USA, and may have played a large role in perpetuating the nuclear arms race and cold war.[3] George H. W. Bush used the phrase "New World Order" which was to become a powerful enemy image for many people.


Full article: Rated 4/5 9-11

The administration of George W. Bush used the 9-11 attacks to promote the enemy image of "Islamic terrorism" in general, and Ossama bin Laden in particular. The US police state was advanced through laws that were passed through congress after terrorisation projects such as the Amerithrax attacks.

“The events of 9/11, we were told, changed everything. The globe was now divided between the forces of good and evil. Bush communicated this quite clearly in an address to the nation just days after 9/11: “Our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.””
Danny Sjursen (25 October 2017)  [4]


Post 9/11

Protestors gathered outside the 2002 Bilderberg.[5]
In the same way that knowing a spider is harmless does not necessarily reduce fear of it, awareness of the facts about deep politics does not necessarily entail abandoning emotional attachment to the concept of the enemy image.

Party politics

Full article: Party politics

Many nations which a democratic process in practise have just two large political parties, which are often seen as opposites. These nations' political discourse is often dominated by enemy images, which represent an emotional barrier not only to people's reconciliation, but also to more important realisations about the state of society - such as, for example, the role of the deep state in nurturing factionalism. Enemy images hide the fact that the party political system has little real cogency, but this realisation in itself does not necessarily entail rejecting enemy images.

Iraq War

Steven Green, a US soldier who in 2006 took part in a gang rape of a 14 year old girl and the subsequent killing of her and her family, exemplified the impact of enemy images. He stated about Iraqis that "There's not a word that would describe how much I hated these people. I wasn't thinking these people were humans."[6]

7/7 Bombings

Full article: Rated 3/5 2005 London bombings
The coverpage of UK's Daily Express from 23 July, 2005, the day after Jean Charles de Menezes, an unarmed man, was killed by the Metropolitan Police.

After the 2005 London bombings, UK commercially-controlled media repeated their procedure after 9-11; they responded not with a careful reporting of the story, but with use of enemy images.

Street art from 2020 in Melbourne depicting Bill Gates

Strategy of tension

Full article: Rated 3/5 Strategy of tension

Arguably, "terrorists"[7], "paedophiles"[8] or in some cases even "Muslims" could be understood as enemy images, in that people do not sympathise with them as fellow human beings.[6] Less arguably, establishment organisations such as the commercially-controlled media nurture people's fear not only to sell copy but as a tool of social control. The complicity of intelligence agencies remains a matter of some conjecture in more modern cases, but it well established in Operation Gladio, where false flag attacks were carried out and falsely blamed on communists. Post 9-11, Gladio/B has substituted Muslims for nationalists.

Non violent communication

Full article: Non violent communication
Infowars makes extensive use of enemy images, especially about deep state milieux such as the Bilderberg Group.

Marshall Rosenberg created non-violent communication, a system of communication in which removal of enemy images is crucial to enabled dialogue and concensus.


Marshall Rosenberg encouraged people to overcome enemy images by avoiding judgmental language or labels, and by not seeking to punish people.[9]

"Conspiracy theories"

Full article: Conspiracy theory/Academic research

The use of enemy images is most obvious when it involves simple name calling, but it is a deeper phenomenon; it includes more subtle characterisations of "them" as fundamentally different and inferior to "us". The term "conspiracy theory" is a deprecatory label (albeit one with little remaining power in that regard) and researchers into them almost never entertain the possibility that they may be correct. Instead, they project their refusal to engage onto "conspiracy theorists", concluding that they are emotional needy.

In Fiction

George Orwell's 1984 features the "Two Minutes Of Hate" in which party members are expected to hate a person named "Emmanuel Goldstein".[10]



Page nameDescription
"Conspiracy theorist"
"Conspiracy theory"
"Domestic extremism"
"Enemy combatant"
"Failed state"
"Hate crime"
"Hate group"
"Hate speech"
"Islamic terrorism"
"Islamic terrorist"
"Non-violent extremism"
"Useful idiot"
"Violent extremism"
Conspiracy TheoristAn enemy image used for ad hominem attacks on people.
Drug cartel
Osama bin LadenA CIA operative, heavily involved in CIA covert operations such as Operation Cyclone and Gladio plan B.
Suicide bomber


Related Quotations

"Terrorism"“Terrorism is not really an '-ism'. There's no connection between the Sandinistas who fought the Contras and Al Qaida or Colombia's FARC and fisherman turned pirates in Africa and Asia, yet they are all called "terrorists". That's just a convenient way for your government to convince the world that there is another enemy '-ism' out there, like communism used to be. It diverts attention from the very real problems.

Our narrow-minded attitudes and the resultant policies foment violence, rebellion and wars. In the long run, almost noone benefits from attacking the people we label as "terrorists", with one, glaring exception:- the corporatocracy. Those who own and run the companies that build the ships, missiles and armoured vehicles, make guns, uniforms and bulletproof vests, distribute food, soft drinks and ammunition, provide insurance, medicines and toilet paper, constructions ports, airstrips and housing and reconstruct devastated villages, schools, factories and hospitals. They, and only they, are the big winners. The rest of us are hoodwinked by that one, loaded word "terrorist".

The current economic collapse has awakened us to the importance of regulating and reining in the people who control the businesses that benefit from the misuse of words like "terrorism" and who perpetrate other scams. We recognize today that white collar executives are not a special, incorruptible breed.”
Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann
9-11/Official narrative“It turns out, 45 years later, that those who truly hate us for our freedoms are not the array of dehumanised enemies cooked up by the war machine — the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians, even the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or ISIS. They are the financiers, bankers, politicians, public intellectuals and pundits, lawyers, journalists and business people, cultivated in the elite universities and business schools who sold us the Utopian dream of neoliberalism. We are entering the twilight phase of capitalism. Capitalists unable to generate profits by expanding markets have, as Karl Marx predicted, begun to cannibalise the state like ravenous parasites.”Chris Hedges2017
Craig Murray“The naive view of the world as “goodies” and “baddies”, with our own ruling class as the good guys, is for the birds. I witnessed personally in Uzbekistan the willingness of the UK and US security services to accept and validate intelligence they knew to be false in order to pursue their policy objectives.”Craig Murray13 March 2018


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
The Power of Nightmaresfilm2004Adam CurtisA some-holds-barred look at how fear has come to dominate politics in America, Britain and around the world — which observes that much of that fear is based on an illusion.


An official example

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