Who is winning the war in Ukraine? Are the Russians the good guys or the bad? What is the difference between propaganda and persuasion? In the latest episode of The Public Diplomat, we discuss these questions with David Perlmutter Professor and Dean of the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University.
Propaganda is a powerful weapon in war; in certain cases, it is used to dehumanize and create hatred toward a supposed enemy, either internal or external, by creating a false image in the mind of soldiers and citizens. This can be done by using derogatory or racist terms, avoiding some words or language, or by making allegations of enemy atrocities. The goal of this was to demoralize the opponent into thinking what was being projected was actually true.
Most propaganda efforts in wartime require the home population to feel the enemy has inflicted an injustice, which may be fictitious or may be based on facts. The home population must also believe that the cause of their nation in the war is just. In these efforts, it was difficult to determine the accuracy of how propaganda truly impacted the war. In NATO doctrine, propaganda is defined as “Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.”
“Putin and Biden had complementary geopolitical strategies: assuming that there would be a short, victorious war on their side. Both made a calculated mistake and now have to figure out how to fight and win a longer war with their prestige and presidencies at stake,” concludes Professor David D. Perlmutter from Texas Tech University.
Hear the whole conversation at The Public Diplomat podcast:
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