Russia, Fire Balloons, Divide And Conquer: Can You Say Gullible?

Boy are we stupid. Pardon my French…but we are just so fucking stupid.

This month Congress released over 3500 Facebook stories generated by Russian agencies for American consumption directed toward very targeted communities.

All the ads were paid for in rubles.

What was the purpose of Russia attempting to throw out fake and/or redacted stories and ads before and after the election of 2016? Certainly it was to promote one candidate or the other, right?

Wrong.

How do I know this to be wrong? Two reasons: The great bulk of the fake stories concerned very divisive issues such as immigration, LGBTQ rights, and, yes, racially charged stories such as Black Lives Matter. Sure there was some disconcerting fake stories about Bill and Hillary Clinton, though the vast majority did not concern political candidates whatsoever. Secondly, the Russians continued the practice after the election was over. In fact, they actually stepped up their game once Trump was elected.

Now, why would Russia have a vested interest in promoting American infighting and discord, in which we all so happily followed along like stupid ass lemmings marching in lockstep?

I recently heard one explanation and that is we need look no further than Japan’s use of  in World War II.

The project — named Fugo — “called for sending bomb-carrying balloons from Japan to set fire to the vast forests of America, in particular those of the Pacific Northwest. It was hoped that the fires would create havoc, dampen American morale and disrupt the U.S. war effort,” James M. Powles describes in a 2003 issue of the journal World War II. The balloons, or “envelopes,” designed by the Japanese army were made of lightweight paper fashioned from the bark of trees, which would arrive in America via natural wind gulf streams. Thank goodness it never succeeded.

In other words, though the fires would not directly help Japan’s war efforts, the time and energy it would take to deal with these massive fires would provide an indirect benefit in Japan’s war tactics, as the great distraction would direct our American attention away from the war.

Sound familiar? Create havoc, dampen American morale and disrupt? In 2016 Russia successfully pulled off what Japan failed to do in the 1940’s; only this time the fires were not of a physical nature but a social and psychological one.

As these stories blazed through Facebook like wildfire, they successfully segmented us, angered us, divided us, while brilliantly following the Phillip II of Macedon’s war edict to divide and conquer. How better to weaken a country than to have it’s own citizens turn on each other? If we do not get our shit together, the conquer part cannot be too far off.

In my last blog concerning “Cultural Appropriation,” I noted that this term did not exist prior to 2012. It was as if we were worried that are not enough things in 2012 to be pissed off about so we created a new category for people to get their panties in a bunch.

I would not be surprised if Russians inspired this new phenomenon as well.

Our enemies want us to look at life through our identity first and foremost -be that black, white, male, female, gay, trans, Hispanic, Hungarian, you name it. As we our so busy protecting our tribe and warding off those who threaten it, we weaken the collective and, in turn, the country and, in yet another turn, the planet.

I am not suggesting that we should never take up social causes, because we most definitely should. Yet can we not take up social causes in an inclusive manner? Must we draw a plethora of demographical qualifications to be part of any given movement?

How about this new movement: The “stop believing everything we read and getting pissed off about things we should really not be getting pissed off about and come together as one people” movement? Can we give this one a shot?

Some might reason that this is Facebook issue and I understand why one may believe this, yet I respectfully disagree. Facebook just happens to be the chosen platform for the spewing of such propaganda; yet if not Facebook, it would simply be another social media. The problem is not Facebook, it is us and our damned gullibility and lack of critical discernment.

I conclude with a real problem and this would concern the lovely people of Hawaii, who have this little problem called an exploding volcano. As I watch the lava explode and flow while consuming roads, cars and houses, I think to myself, “Now there is a real problem.”

Perhaps the volcano goddess of fire, Pele, is sending us messages to remind us what real problems look like.

And when we read that next “news” story that angers and ultimately divides us, perhaps we can think again.

Thank you Pele.

 

 

jimmysintension

3 Comments

  1. I fully agree with the way you have depicted America’s enemies, namely Russia and specifically in the past few years, initializing mainly since the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Although it is a huge foreign tactic being used to separate our citizens and use our diversity against us, I also believe it is being used domestically and has been for much longer than since the 2016 election. These dominant world powers, our own included, use malice-driven propaganda to infiltrate our sense of unity and nationalism, further weakening our drive to work on problems that actually matter in our environment, for sure more crucial than Trump’s largely supposed collusion with Russian Dossiers. In conclusion, it is not the idea of malice-intended propaganda being pumped into our minds that I disagree with you on. It is the idea that it is mostly foreign, in fact, one might argue the opposite.

  2. Beginning with the first claim, does one not think that there could have been an alternative explanation for these stories to have been allegedly created by Russian agencies. There could have been other actors acting in the name of Russia generating these Facebook stories. There is another possibility that opponents of the president are trying to link any Russia story to the president in an attempt to defraud the president. There is a mention that the ads were paid in rubles, though this might seem like an important point one can use any currency making this a non-sequitur. Though you stated these stories were created to stir up attention and divide up the nation, these stories could have been created just to get clicks for ad revenue reasons. Second if you really think that it’s these stories on facebook that is causing the polarization of America, than you are mistaking. This can be attributed more so to the fall of Christian America, introduction of the “pill”, emancipation of women and the change in attitude to immigration post 1965. Though you never mentioned any of these variables in your article, it’s a dangerous assumption your making that these alleged facebook posts play such a large role in our politics. Nonetheless great post and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  3. Russia is kinda forever enemy of USA. Mr. Trump tries to predict Russia could befriend, how long they could be enemy. Collusion in the 2016 election could be an Ideology which never been prooved. After muller year-long investigation, nothing is prooved. The facebook information comes to the public and congress that we can easily understand how vulnerable is it. I agree with you, its truly a stupidity. But who is stupid, is it facebook, congress or we are. I think it’s not Facebooking, it is own problem. We give and share our personnel data to facebook, and it been abused by-election hacking. Facebook got a huge amount of money, Russia win as their proposed president is on hand, the political achievement has been gained. But truly what happened to stress its a dilemma. I think it’s better to step out from social media, bring yourself on actual social life is a good idea. Right now Russia is an enemy but looks like every part of the world start becoming US enemy as power war in the cyberworld.

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