War, what is it good for? (Distraction and Disinformation, that’s what).

by Elias Blum

So the UK government has announced it is to create a brigade of on-line warriors, to wage cyber-warfare, by blogs, tweets and facebook posts, against ‘extremism’. In other words, we are to have our very own Propaganda Corps, whose targets will, no doubt, include domestic audiences.

I find this deeply worrying. There are many reasons why, but the general and fundamental point is this: there has, since the Iraq war, been a complete breakdown of trust between the government and the people. We seem to have war for the sake of war. We feel that we are being lied to. We don’t know who is on which side anymore. We don’t know whether our own government is for us or against us. It’s all smoke and mirrors, all wheels within wheels. And now there is to be a special corps of professional propagandists, who will be paid public money to lie in public. It is very difficult to have any consistent credible policy – and any democratic accountability – under these circumstances.

When the state cannot trust, and is not trusted by, its own people, it is a sign of impending failure.