The Uncommitted Audience

  • Joanne Wright


The next three chapters will discuss the propaganda of the two terrorist groups with which this book is concerned. Before doing so, some preliminary remarks will be made on defining propaganda, its relation to terrorism, its techniques and its limitations. This will be followed by an outline of the chosen framework for analysis and an explanation as to why this framework has been chosen. To conclude these introductory remarks, there will be a brief note on the sources from which the main data for the chapters are drawn.


Target Audience Terrorist Group Security Force Prison Officer Petrol Tanker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Thornton, op. cit., p. 73.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    NATO Glossary of Terms and Definitions for Military Use (NATO, February 1974) pp. 2–176.Google Scholar
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    G. S. Jowlett and V. O’Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion (USA: Sage Publications Inc., 1986) p. 23.Google Scholar
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    J. Ellul, Propaganda; The Formation of Mens’ Attitudes (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969) pp. 208–9.Google Scholar
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    ibid., p. 30.Google Scholar
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    ibid., p. 299.Google Scholar
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    M. A. J. Tugwell, Revolutionary Propaganda and Possible Counter-Measures, unpublished Defence Fellowship Thesis, Defence Fellow 1976–77 at Department of War Studies, Kings College, University of London, p. 224.Google Scholar
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    Debray, op. cit., p. 53.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    ibid., p. 89.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reinhard Rauball (ed.) Aktuelle Dokumente (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1973).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Texte: der RAF (Malmo, Sweden: GOTAB, 1977).Google Scholar
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    M. A. J. Tugwell, ‘Terrorism and Propaganda’, paper delivered at University of Aberdeen International Academic Conference on Terrorism (April 1986) p. 6.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    This was the period in the autumn of 1977, when the RAF kidnapped Hanns Martin Schleyer and demanded the release of imprisoned colleagues. A Lufthansa jet was hijacked with the hijackers presenting the same demands. The plane, however, was successfully stormed at Mogadishu whereupon the prisoners in Stammheim committed suicide. The body of Hanns Martin Schleyer was found a few days later.Google Scholar
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    Mahler quoted in Becker, ‘Another Battle...’, op. cit., p. 95.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vietnam is very prominent in early RAF propaganda and is aimed at all the target audiences. It will however be argued that the Vietnam theme is used for different purposes within different target audiences. For example, in the chapter concerning the sympathetic audience it will be postulated that Vietnam is used as a means of justifying violent actions. For the moment though, we are only concerned with the attempt to present disadvantaged groups.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in Aust, ibid., p. 211.Google Scholar
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    Raspe quoted in Aust, op. cit., p. 315.Google Scholar
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  35. 35.
    Baader quoted in Aust, op. cit., p. 193.Google Scholar
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    ibid., p. 440.Google Scholar
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    Resources here do not include the ‘justness’ of the cause. Although this is sometimes referred to in propaganda directed towards the uncommitted audience, the type of propaganda source in which it usually appears is directed more towards the sympathetic and active audiences. In this section resources refer to personnel and military equipment.Google Scholar
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    Baumann, op. cit., p. 57.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Der Spiegel, 20 Jan. 1975, pp. 55–6.Google Scholar
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    ibid., p. 57.Google Scholar
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    Der Spiegel, 24 June 1974, p. 29.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in Aust, op. cit., p. 266.Google Scholar
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    ibid., 1 June 1978.Google Scholar
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    ibid., 15 June 1978.Google Scholar
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    Der Spiegel, 10 March 1975, p. 25.Google Scholar
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    ibid., 20 Jan. 1975, p. 56.Google Scholar
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    Message received by French newspaper Liberation, quoted in The Times, 20 Oct. 1977.Google Scholar
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    Most citizens in the Irish Republic are able to receive British television and radio broadcasts. British newspapers are also readily available.Google Scholar
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    M. McGuire, To Take Arms (London: Macmillan, 1973) p. 16.Google Scholar
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    ibid., pp. 74–5.Google Scholar
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    Republican News, 9 Oct. 1971.Google Scholar
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    It is conceded that on occasions both the British Army and the RUC have engaged in interrogation techniques which were ‘illegal alike by the law of England and the law of Northern Ireland’. (See Report of the Committee of Privy Counsellors appointed to consider authorised procedures for the interrogation of persons suspected of terrorism, (Parker) Cmnd 4901, p. 14 (London: HMSO, 1972). In January 1978, the European Court of Human Rights found Britain in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which states: ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. The basis of this finding was Britain’s use of five sensory deprivation techniques — the hooding of detainees, subjecting them to constant noise, sleep deprivation, diet restriction and long periods of positioning against the wall. By the time of the European Court’s findings Britain had already undertaken to abandon the five techniques in question and compensated those involved to the extent of more than two hundred thousand pounds. The purpose of the discussion here is to demonstrate that the Provisionals exaggerated and manipulated such findings with the intent to discredit the British state and the security forces. Indeed, Tugwell argues that they were so successful in this type of propaganda with the ‘effect of making arrested members “sing” the moment they fell into police or army hands’. (Tugwell, ‘Revolutionary Propaganda...’, op. cit., pp. 238–42).Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    These incidents and their repercussions are discussed in more detail in Chapter 7.Google Scholar
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    Belfast Telegraph, 6 July 1970.Google Scholar
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    Since the political party associated with the Official IRA dropped Sinn Fein from its title in 1982, henceforth Provisional Sinn Fein will be referred to as just Sinn Fein.Google Scholar
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    An Firme, (Belfast, PSF, 1971).Google Scholar
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    G. Adams, ‘Peace in Ireland — A Broad Analysis of the present Situation’, (Long Kesh: N.D.) p. 1.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Irish News, 13 Oct. 1984.Google Scholar
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    Observer, 14 Oct. 1984. See also International Herald Tribune, 15 Oct. 1984.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Irish News, 22 Aug. 1981.Google Scholar
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    Keesings Contemporary Archives, Vol. xxix, p. 32197 A-B. Livingstone’s comments and their implications are discussed more fully in Chapter 7.Google Scholar
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    Bowyer Bell, op. cit., p. 386.Google Scholar
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    McGuire, op. cit., p. 102.Google Scholar
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    S. O’Riain, Provos — Patriots or Terrorists? (Dublin: Irish Book Bureau, 1975) p. 22.Google Scholar
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    Belfast Telegraph, 13 Dec. 1975.Google Scholar
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    McGuire, op. cit., p. 80.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    R. Clutterbuck, The Media and Political Violence (London: Macmillan, 1981) p. 92.Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Irish Times, 10 Oct. 1979.Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Bell quoted in Clutterbuck, op. cit., p. 93.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Belfast Telegraph, 9 Nov. 1979.Google Scholar
  77. 77.
    The Guardian, 10 Nov. 1979.Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    An Phoblacht/Republican News, 2 Jan. 1986.Google Scholar
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    Irish News, 13 April 1981.Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Belfast Telegraph, 11 Aug. 1984.Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    ibid., 28 March 1978.Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    ibid., 1 Dec. 1978.Google Scholar
  83. 83.
    PIRA spokesman quoted in E. O’Ballance, Terror in Ireland (USA: Presidio Press, 1981) p. 256.Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    McGuire, op. cit., p. 35.Google Scholar
  85. 85.
    See Coogan, ‘The IRA’, op. cit., p. 583, and L. Gurtis, Ireland the Propaganda War (London: Pluto, 1984) p. 140.Google Scholar
  86. 86.
    An Phoblacht/Republican News, 16 May 1981.Google Scholar
  87. 87.
    Irish News, 13 Oct. 1984: and The Times, 13 Oct. 1984.Google Scholar
  88. 88.
    Tugwell, ‘Revolutionary Propaganda...’, op. cit., p. 231. See also p. 113.Google Scholar
  89. 89.
    An Phoblacht/Republican News, 20 March 1986.Google Scholar
  90. 90.
    ibid., 27 March 1986.Google Scholar
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    ibid., 2 Jan. 1986.Google Scholar
  92. 92.
    ibid., 13 Feb. 1986.Google Scholar
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    ibid., 1 Feb. 1975.Google Scholar
  94. 94.
    ibid., 29 Aug. 1985.Google Scholar
  95. 95.
    ibid., 22 Aug. 1985. See also Belfast Telegraph, 22 Aug. 1985.Google Scholar
  96. 96.
    See The Australian, 2 Sep. 1986.Google Scholar
  97. 97.
    An Phoblacht/Republican News, 2 Jan. 1986.Google Scholar
  98. 98.
    Northern People, 18 July 1986. (Emphasis in original.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Joanne Wright 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanne Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of QueenslandAustralia

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