Having recently returned to Lithuania for work, I thought I would be able to get away from the disinformation warfare being waged on the US government by its foes and their allies, the “useful idiots”. Turns out I was wrong. Disinformation warfare is just as active in Lithuania as in the USA.
It is sometimes difficult to separate domestic politics and discourse from “disinformation“, good disinformation requires it to be indistinguishable from “politics as usual”. To be believable, good disinformation is usually wrapped in a cacoon of truths.
That is, if want to get out my lie, I should begin with a number of items that are true, and then I can slip in my disinformation. “Russians meddled in US elections. (True) Russians always meddle in elections. (True) According to the polls Hillary Clinton was supposed to win. (True) Hillary got more popular votes (True), ergo the Russians helped Trump win (False) Trump and his campaign must have colluded with the Russians. (False)”
To be effective good disinformation warfare must be targeted. It must be targeted at things that are important to the people and the nation, and are just as important to the Russian Oligarchy to destroy!
1. Democracy – Must show USA, Lithuania and even Russia how terrible and corrupt it is. In the US, Destroy the President, destroy the Electoral College, Destroy the Senate, Destroy the courts. Destroy faith in the legitimacy and competence of the Government and its leaders. In Lithuania instigate and perpetuate fights between parties, personalities, instigate class warfare, turn people against their leaders’ businesses and their form of government. Destroy all faith in the ability of your government to do anything good for the people. Show how ineffective democracy is. By comparison, then make autocracy and socialism look good. (There is actually a very useful book out there on how to do this is by Saul Alinsky – “Rules for Radicals” )
2. The Family – do everything possible to destroy families. Design a welfare system that does this. Don’t pay welfare if the Father is home. Move all education of children away from the family and into the “Education” System. Educate the children in a philosophy that runs counter to family values. Make the state the “guardian” of the children. Reward people for not working. Eliminate religious education. Substitute only secular education.
3. Religion – There can be no substitute for the values preached by most religions in helping people live their lives and the comfort that comes from prayer and the belief in a higher wiser being that has a plan for all of us. Religion provides meaning and a blueprint for doing good that most governments cannot legislate. “Doing the right thing even though no one is watching”.
Lack of religion or a core philosophy for life often leads to a search for meaning in empty materialism or to depression, alcohol, drugs, even suicide. Religions often with help from the inside (sexual abuse of children by clergy) are being destroyed. People are not encouraged to partake in prayer and religious services. Government agencies replace religious charities and help agencies.
I am not saying that atheists or agnostics are bad, I know a lot of good ones, but for most people like myself, religion gives a sense of purpose and fulfilment that is otherwise hard to come by. Catholicism united Lithuania and Poland during Soviet times – but now is losing out to materialism and nihilism. Evangelical Christians are still, though an ever-weakening force in the USA. Israel is united by religion.
Parts of the world are held together by the Muslim faith. Religions are usually very strong unifying forces, therefore they must be destroyed. The Russian Orthodox Church is the exception – because it is totally controlled by the Russian Government parrots Putin’s talking points and is one with the state.
4. History – A common history, with heroes – unites a nation, unites a people, unites citizens. This must be destroyed. Pull down the statues! Smash memorials, throw in some lies. Sow doubt, criticise, demonize, and destroy the country’s heroes.
This is the master plan designed by our neighbour to the east to distract his own people from the failure of their own system. ” Look what a chaotic system they have in the West? Do you want that for Russia? Why in Russia we have one leader, no chaos, no disagreements, we are for family values, the Orthodox Church is a part of our lives, we are one people, we are proud of our heroes and our history, why we are even proud of Stalin and the Czars because of what they purportedly did for Mother Russia. This takes advantage of the Russian peoples perpetual fear of “Chaos” and gives them a false choice to make. Hopefully, they will eventually choose a course that truly liberates a truly great and wonderful people.
Meanwhile, we should be asking ourselves in both Lithuania and the USA.
1. Who are these people who are attacking our system of Government?
2. Why are they trying to destroy our history? In both Lithuania and the USA, they are doing this very persistently. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson in the USA. General Vėtra (General Storm), Ramanauskas Vanagas and Partisans in Lithuania. ALL NATIONAL HEROS must be vilified, defamed and destroyed. In Lithuania, it also helps if you can get Lithuanians into a food fight with fellow Lithuanians who happen to be Jewish or even let us ruin relations between Lithuania and Israel and Litvaks. Joseph Goebbels – The Nazi Minister of Propaganda said. “If you repeat a lie often enough and loudly enough, pretty soon people will believe it”
Good Propagandists are persistent, that is how you can usually tell that they are professionals. But good propagandists are also very good at constantly arousing the “useful idiots” to do their bidding. They also make very good “trolls” they know very well how to keep the conversation on their subject going, how to provoke anger and a counter-reaction that then “proves their point”. They mask themselves by pretending to be aggrieved, they are the victims, they are the “concerned citizens”, and if you think to give in to their “demands” will satisfy them you are wrong. They will only come up with new lies and demands!
3. They are constantly at work fanning differences. Lithuanians who left the country are “traitors” who should not vote. Who doesn’t care about their country? Who are not real citizens? We need to make them second class “associates” since they do not live here. They “deserted” the country in its hour of need. Trolls working on the other side say, there is no justice in Lithuania, there is no future in Lithuania, it is corrupt, they mistreat their workers, they do not respect people etc
Not only by their words shall you know them, but by their actions. People who are truly concerned about their country – recognize mistakes, but they move on and work for a better future. They do not just complain about forever. They concentrate on the positive and work together. They fight to unify the country and not just divide it. The cure for disinformation warfare is not censorship but more information. I think with more information intelligent people can begin to see what is information and what is disinformation warfare. We need a united people working for a common goal of a Proud and United Lithuania!
Kęstutis Eidukonis LTC. IN USAR (ret), Member of the World Lithuanian Community / Republic of Lithuania parliamentary commission.