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,  Ad hominem)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Enemy Image.png
A misleading view of a person or people, which hampers reconciliation and real communication

“projective identification ... in which all bad is located in another person who is then annihilated, only evacuates these feelings temporarily, and is ultimately destined to fail.”
Anna Motz (2008)  [1]

Enemy images are labels applied to others to justify their own opposition to them. In conflicts between two groups, enemy images are often mutual and arise from polarising perspectives or splitting. Although widely employed by propagandists and the commercially-controlled media in general, enemy images are not wanted on this website.[2] They are build up before war to rally populations behind the cause, as the Integrity Initiative actively does.


Worldwide, people have told stories about strangers with incredible and threatening powers, or about dragons, demons or other such monsters, which can be seen as a projection of their fears, disowned (suppressed and/or split-off) aggressive, sexual and other parts of self. In Europe in the middle ages, religious authorities lead a drive against witches, catholics, jews or other perceived enemy groups provides a forceful illustration of the power of enemy images to subvert clear thinking.[3]

Post WW2

Full article: Rated 3/5 Strategy of tension

Set up at the end of WW2, and nominally run from NATO HQ in Brussels, Operation Gladio was a Europe-wide network of deep state functionaries who carried out assassinations, kidnappings and bombings to order. Exposed only in the 1980s, this network was used to promote fear of communism (the enemy image) by carrying out false flag attacks.

Manipulating and controlling others to make them believe and act upon (i.e. attack) enemy images is known as projective identification, particularly a psychopathic variety, which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, the outcome of which the psychopath may cite in a game of I told you so.

Cold war

Full article: Cold war
NWO globalist.jpg

Although an ally against Nazi Germany, the USSR quickly became a cogent enemy image for the populations of Western Europe and USA. This played a large role in perpetuating the nuclear arms race and cold war.[4] George H. W. Bush used the phrase "New World Order" which was understood by many as the result of successful manipulation by use of enemy images and the "ordering" of the world by the ensuing wars and conflicts.

1979 Jerusalem Conference

Full article: Rated 3/5 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism

The 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism saw a large number of deep state operatives convene for a conference which attempted to promote the enemy image of a USSR-backed international campaign of "terrorism". This conference laid the groundwork for the 9-11 event and launched the enemy image of the "Islamic terrorist]". This was given a lot of traction after the end of the USSR say NATO replace Operation Gladio with Operation Gladio B.


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)  [5]

Post 9/11

Protestors gathered outside the 2002 Bilderberg.[6]
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.

Psychological role

Enemy images promote violence by promoting fear and stress, decreasing propensity for empathy.


Full article: Dehumanization

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[9] in a process of dehumanization often proceeding and facilitating an attack on the perceived enemy.

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.

In advanced cases of mass psychosis, dehumanization goes so far it can be termed "demonization", where the sub-human other to which the image is applied are portrayed as the common enemy. Aftera period of humiliation, they are subject to increasingly violent attacks. This happened to Jews in Germany in the 1930s, and COVID-19 dissidents in 2022, incited by national leaders.


Full article: Scapegoating

Scapegoating has happened for thousands of years in a wide range of societies.

Selected examples

Party politics

Full article: Party politics

Many nations which a democratic process in practice 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 realizations 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 realization in itself does not necessarily entail rejecting enemy images.

Iraq War

Full article: 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."[9]

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.

Infowars makes extensive use of enemy images, especially about deep state milieux such as the Bilderberg Group.
Street art from 2020 in Melbourne depicting Bill Gates

"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 characterizations of "them" as fundamentally different and inferior to "us", implying dehumanization by suggesting mental illness and/or the threat of an impending attack. The term "conspiracy theory" is a deprecatory label (albeit one with little remaining power in that regard[citation needed]) 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.


Full article: Covid-19

During COVID, enemy images have been an important tool.

The "Anti-vaxxer"

Full article: “Anti-vaxxer”

"Anti-vaxxer" as applied to COVID-19 dissidents is a crude term, including people who have taken the COVID jabs and even vaccinologists such as Robert Malone.

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan labelled Clive Palmer an enemy of the state for his dissent around COVID.[10] In January 2022 Emmanuel Macron lead a number of national leaders in their rhetoric by announcing his plans to "piss off" (enmerder) those who decline the experimental COVID jabs.

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".[11]

Non violent communication

Full article: Non violent communication

Marshall Rosenberg created non-violent communication, a system of communication in which awareness of enemy images is crucial to enable dialogue and empathy. Rosenberg identified judgmental language or labels as violent definition of what others should be or constitute, which very often ends up in a fight about who's right and prevents mutual understanding and empathy. He cautions not to use judgmental language or labels, which he calls "jackal language" and instead train the ability to listen for needs, wants and feelings in self and others. This way solutions other than punishment (which is the proposed "solution" to deal with dehumanized enemies) become possible - by trying to meet everybody's needs.[12]



Page nameDescription
"Climate change"
"Conspiracy theorist"
"Conspiracy theory"
"Discredited and disproven"
"Domestic extremism"
"Enemy combatant"
"Failed state"
"Far right"
"Hate crime"
"Hate group"
"Hate speech"
"Hate symbols"
"Islamic terrorism"
"Islamic terrorist"
"Non-crime hate incident"
"Non-violent extremism"
"Social Justice Warrior"
"Useful idiot"
"Vaccine hesitancy"
"Violent extremism"
Alternative medicine
Black legend
Climate change/Climate change denier
Drug cartel
Identity politics
Anthony KaramPublic enemy number 1 in Sydney
Noor Bin LadenAn activist.
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
George Carlin“Now, to balance the scale, I'd like to talk about some things that bring us together, things that point out our similarities instead of our differences. 'Cause that's all you ever hear about in this country. It's our differences. That's all the media and the politicians are ever talking about—the things that separate us, things that make us different from one another. That's the way the ruling class operates in any society. They try to divide the rest of the people. They keep the lower and the middle classes fighting with each other so that they, the rich, can run off with all the fucking money! Fairly simple thing. Happens to work. You know? Anything different—that's what they're gonna talk about—race, religion, ethnic and national background, jobs, income, education, social status, sexuality, anything they can do to keep us fighting with each other, so that they can keep going to the bank! You know how I define the economic and social classes in this country? The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there just to scare the shit out of the middle class. Keep 'em showing up at those jobs.”George Carlin
George Carlin“The habits of liberals, their automatic language, their knee-jerk responses to certain issues, deserved the epithets the right wing stuck them with. I'd see how true they often were. Here they were, banding together in packs, so I could predict what they were going to say about some event or conflict and it wasn't even out of their mouths yet. I was very uncomfortable with that. Liberal orthodoxy was as repugnant to me as conservative orthodoxy.””George Carlin
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
Donald Trump“We owe China $1.3 trillion. We owe Japan more than that. So they come in, they take our jobs, they take our money, and then they loan us back the money, and we pay them in interest, and then the dollar goes up so their deal's even better. How stupid are our leaders? How stupid are these politicians to allow this to happen? How stupid are they?”Donald TrumpJune 2015


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