The British military says that is must be prepared to spread lies on social media in order to fight ISIS… oh, and Russia too, while they’re at it.
It also nonchalantly admits that it has spread lies in its interest “for centuries.”
Commander of Joint Forces Command Gen. Sir Richard Barrons told the UK’s The Telegraph (emphasis mine)
If you are fortunate enough to be the commander who is going to run the fight for Mosul, probably the most important thing you want to do as you launch your operation, is to get into the minds of the one million citizens of Mosul through their computers and their mobile phone. And either tell them the truth – it’s going to be a tough day… or tell them a lie, you’ve got to move somewhere else. We’ve been doing that for centuries.
The general preposterously claims that the West is losing the, in the words of The Telegraph, “Twitter battle with fanatics” and that the British “Armed Forces must take up the fight on social media.”
If “the Twitter battle with ISIS” sounds risible, that’s because it is.
This also begs the question: Why would the military need to spread lies in order to fight ISIS? ISIS’ crimes are already horrific enough, and it makes no effort to hide this fact. In fact, it goes out of its way to create gruesome propaganda videos (which the Western media then enthusiastically shares, making the problem even worse).
And let’s be honest. There is no way Western imperialist nations spreading lies in order to fight ISIS in a region that has been brutally victimized by the West for many decades can backfire. There is definitely no way that the West admitting that it is spreading lies in order to fight ISIS may actually help ISIS recruit and kill more civilians. No way at all.
Conflating Russia with ISIS
The cherry on top of the ludicrousness is how casually Gen. Barrons conflates ISIS with… wait for it: Russia.
“We are dealing with opponents in ISIL and Russia who do this for a living,” he told The Telegraph (emphasis mine). “ISIL uses Twitter and Facebook in 23 languages. We barely do it in our own.”
Where did Russia come from? What does Russia have to do with ISIS?
Oh wait—the British general mentions the need to lie in order to fight ISIS, then haphazardly throws in Russia too, as if Russia poses a similar threat. Lying on social media must ergo be justified to fight Russia too.
Now I get it. The West is making its own social media propagandists to challenge not just ISIS propaganda, but the Kremlin’s trolls too.
This should of course remind us that such social media lies are our generation’s equivalent of our nations’ marvelous propaganda posters: