History has taught us that no propaganda and disinformation venture has endured the test of time, although the current world situation can make us doubt the value and strength of the truth. The thing in which the disinformation tactic is unsurpassed is most certainly making harm through creating chaos, instability and calling for actions with the aim to destabilize society, in which fake information are being promoted. Although effective only in short perspective disinformation campaign always does an irreparable damage both to the society and communities.
Maybe the worst instance of destructive propaganda action proves that Russian intelligence services have developed insidious techniques of disinformation expansion ever since the printing and issuing of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, the most harmful plagiarism and propaganda pamphlet in history. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is the pamphlet created in the offices of “Ohrana”, and is directly responsible for persecution of the Jews in the Russian Empire. This book directly influenced the creation of fertile soil for the worst crime in human history – the holocaust. The pamphlet was used by anti-Semites as a proof of righteousness of their fight. Henry Ford financed the print and distribution of the pamphlet in circulation of 500.000 copies. It took a lot of time until people in Europe and the USA, through the work of the London Times journalists, didn’t realize it was about the worst kind of plagiarism and forgery in the entire history. Many people in the west turned out to be “useful idiots” in service of the current dead regime of the Russian Empire.
What happened during the preparations for the US elections proved that tradition very much alive. An Agency for the Internet researches, allegedly private company which is believed to be owned by Evgenie Prigozin, the same man who stands behind private military organization Vagner, which recruited people from Serbia and Montenegro for war in Syria and on African fronts, in previous years conducted a great operation of public opinion manipulation in western countries. People who were native English speakers, who had fake accounts on social networks and who organized gatherings of members of opposing ideas at the same venue and in the same time, were recruited. Simulating clashes, with media support of informative agencies owned by the Russian government, such as Russia Today, Russia Beyond, Sputnik etc., emphasized all topics that could possibly cause separations in the society and in the west.
Messages were generated, as well as the speech that was used. Most messages turned out to be mocking and overemphasizing of ideological differences between Left and Right. Emphasizing marginal and harmful phenomena on the Right or Left, such as so called SJW (Social Justice Warrior), people who, with their maximalist and bizarre demands, stultify feminism or fight for the rights of ethnic, religious or sexual minorities. On the other hand, pointing out the phenomenon such as armed militia in America, radicalization of movements such as NRA. Mocking gender policy, similar as Sasa Baron Koen does in a new project “Who is America”, only with no good intent, but with tendency to cause conflicts at greater level, as well as to destabilize political scene in Europe and America. One of the most dangerous narratives is the story about immigrants put in context of world conspiracy whose creator is George Sorosh. Packages with explosives were sent to the addresses of Sorosh, CNN, as well as to the families Obama and Clinton, which we have witnessed recently. I hope everyone understands what caused such actions of people.
The main strategic direction was to decrease odds for dialogue and compromise through emphasizing differences, principles on which long term stability of liberal democracies was preserved.
It seems that the Protocol, which grandfathers of Russian machinery for spreading lies from “Ohrana” attributed to Judeo-Masonic conspiracy, has become nowadays inspiration for ventures of the structures that are in service of the Kremlin interests.
Highly sophisticated tactics in the Balkans were not necessary like in the west, since our differences and separations are at the nineteen century level. Ethnic animosity, different national features present target that propaganda machinery is aiming at. Sputnik, with its studio in Serbia engaged young director and journalist Malagurski, who grew up in Canada and who, through couple propaganda actions got nominated for an excellent collaborator. Also, we have people from politics, such as Croat MP Ivan Prenar, Montenegrin MP Nebojsa Medojevic and groups such as “Zavetnici” from Serbia, that without any critical filter serve as distributors of pre-prepared attitudes. Although one may think it is about some spontaneous actions, the proof of action coordination is the presence of people from the region at the international conferences organized in Russia or Iran for instance, on which strategies of fight for monopoly over “the truth” have been designed.
Social networks and meme pages also present a mean for spreading disinformation. Pages like Stari Liberal in Montenegro emphasize topics which divide society, amplify disinformation efforts and stir up the conspiracy theory. Social networks and inadequate behavior on them, such as the behavior of Nebojsa Medojevic may seem comic, but if we bear in mind that one part of the population has blind trust in what chosen representatives say, then we have to put effort to learn what we can do in order to diminish damage created by such actions.
Constant activities on the promotion of media working on precise and impartial reporting, independent rating of the media work in this field, a good and authentic fact-checking project which has to be united in common language and cultural area of the Balkans. Absence of such activities and pointing out every destructive act lead us to a situation where we cannot be positive that bad information won’t take advantage of the perfect moment to light a fire on very flammable area of the Balkans.