Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Q: WHO’S WINNING THE US-CHINA CORONAVIRUS PROPAGANDA WAR?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
There are always two sides to every propaganda campaign, the propaganda source (disseminator) and the targeted news consumer who receives the propaganda. The characteristics of both sides determine the efficacy of the campaign.
If the propaganda is based mostly or all on facts and reason, and if the target group is intelligent, then this more refined type of propaganda will likely succeed.
On the other hand, if the propaganda source is based on low information and emotional language targeted at a group predisposed to respond favourably to certain psychological and cultural triggers, this coarse type of propaganda can also succeed if the target group is not well educated or is mentally ill-equipped to recognize and resist psychological suggestion and is poorly informed about the subject matter involved.
The US almost invariably resorts to the latter kind of propaganda and so far has succeeded in many ways. For example, the US people in general (though not all) responded well to the false reports of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which led to a war that was disastrous for both he US and the Iraqis. They also responded favourably to Trump’s ban on travel visas for Muslims because the people were conditioned by reports from the Middle East of Muslim radicals committing atrocities. Propaganda in the msm and in pro-Israel blogs reinforced their prejudice toward Muslims in general even though the Muslims who were terrorists were a tiny minority and almost all were Sunni Wahhabists who were taught from childhood that everyone who believes differently from them is evil and ought to be killed (which is not to say that all Wahhabists are potential killers because many are decent people).
During these deceitful propaganda campaigns, very few Americans ever stopped to think that the US had slaughtered millions of civilians from Dresden to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, to Korea (3 million!), to Vietnam (2.5 million), Iraq (estimates up to a million), Syria, Afghanistan, and has recently hinted it may do more killing in Iran and Venezuela, and this being the case, wouldn’t that make Christianity the religion of death? But thinking people know that the people in government who decide to wage these wars are hardly guided by Christian principles, and that likewise, Muslim radicals are not good Muslims, so perhaps except for Trump and his followers, most people realize that no mainstream religion is responsible per se for any atrocity.
Thus the propaganda that prompted people to accept these wars was low on information but targeted at a group that generally self-described as Christians (but were indoctrinated to believe that God loves American warmongers) and had little or no knowledge of a highly nuanced Middle East that can only be understood, and just to some extent, after years of intense detailed and nuanced study.
This same devious principle is currently being used by the US government to stoke hatred against the Chinese.
America was always generally kindly disposed to the Chinese and relations between the two countries were good. But clever propaganda, disguised as “news” or statements of deranged politicians managed to convince a certain group of ideologically bound ultra-nationalists that China, the country that sweated day and night for decades to provide Americans with cheap clothes, medicines, toys, electronics and other necessities, was the enemy. This propaganda effort by politicians and msm is a grave injustice. Incredibly, the higher echelons of the US government are working overtime to make their citizens believe that a proud nation with 5,000 years of history and achievements such as the invention of gun powder, rocketry, paper, a writing system, canal building and the wheel (independently of elsewhere), and with the hardest working and smartest people on the planet, are their enemy. Nothing could be more despicable.
As for the Chinese propaganda, it is a completely different style because it is based on demonstrable facts and reason. Ultimately, that means it is not exactly propaganda in the traditional sense but rather a kind of educational campaign. The Chinese have every right to wonder why the CDC closed down an army bio lab in August 2019 because of inadequate waste water treatment and whether an American carrying the disease acquired from this wastewater may have come to the army games in Wuhan in October and stayed there for a while, infecting a person who later carried the virus into the Wuhan market in November, when, according to the Chinese government, it actually started with a then-unrecognized case (Timeline of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic in November 2019 – January 2020 - Wikipedia). The timeline fits the events as we know them. Please tell me what’s wrong with questioning the origin of a disease that has turned into a global pandemic and may affect every human being on the planet! Yet the US government says they should not air these questions, just keep them to themselves — even though the US government and low-life activists in msm have been working 24/7 to smear the Chinese and ultimately to put them out of business. But perhaps this is not surprising in a day and age when award-winning journalist Julian Assange is sitting in jail enduring daily abuse, even being denied access to his lawyer. What is he doing there if America and the UK are really democracies as they claim to be?
What if the notion that the West is democratic is a conspiracy theory?
You don’t have to believe the Chinese government’s theory, which may or may not correspond to reality. But instead of reprimanding them for thinking out loud, the State Department could have chosen the more civilized approach of sitting down and discussing the issue with them. And if they really believe the US narrative is accurate and the Chinese theory is erroneous, then that would eventually come out during these talks.
But that would have required diplomacy, and who would ever expect the highest-level, highest-paid diplomats in the world to use diplomacy when their government has the biggest arsenal, the US dollar cum printing press, and economic sanctions at their disposal with which to punish people who dare to think the thoughts banned in the Land of the Free?