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Fake News and False Flags Are Political Tools

Perception warfare: the ‘above’ and ‘below’ strategy of manufactured outcry and response

Newton’s third law of motion holds that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This principle has been weaponized by various subversive movements to change the nature of societies; they seek to create momentum, then redirect it in a way that advances their interests.

As for nation-state threats, Russia’s Internet Research Agency is allegedly involved in disinformation operations meant to create false or controlled perceptions, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is involved in destabilization operations, and many other nations seek to manipulate others in various ways.

When it comes to the Chinese Communist Party, its military has inducted strategies specifically designed to attack perceptions, such as its Three Warfare doctrine of psychological warfare, media warfare, and legal warfare. On the social level, its “50 Cent” troll army attacks dissenters online, its United Front Department seeks to subvert foreign societies, and similar programs are aimed at controlling how people look at things.

Yet these operations are also not limited to nation-states. They are also being employed vigorously by private special interest groups, subversive social movements, and political movements.

The harsh reality is that wars are now being fought on the grounds of psychology, on how people perceive institutions, systems, and leaders. If the “hearts and minds” of a civilization can be conquered, then the nation can be conquered without firing a bullet.

Part of this subversive method works through an “above” strategy on the political level and a “below” strategy on the seemingly grassroots level. It is based on the creation of false-flag or manufactured incidents that can receive broad public attention. A subversive group can then use media framing to tell the population the incident is symbolic or related to a social issue.

The social issue can then be advocated by controlled news outlets, by paid online commentators, or by subversive nonprofits. The noise generated by these groups is used by politicians as part of the game to introduce legislation.

This is a favorite tactic of terrorist organizations for their broader goals. A central group creates propaganda to stir up hatred and to agitate a population. When a terrorist then acts on this propaganda, the central group looks at the backlash and uses it to claim the population is “racist” or “xenophobic,” which then advances its own legitimacy among the group it is trying to subvert.

James Scott, cybersecurity and information warfare expert, explained this principle in an earlier interview with The Epoch Times. He stated that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and its cyber caliphate “are constantly in search of an incident that can fan the flame of the illusion of rampant xenophobia here.”

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