Information Warfare: The Big Lie Is Silly and it Works

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March 14, 2007: On March 9th, North Korea urged the United States and South Korea to cancel their joint military exercises scheduled for later this month. North Korea has been making demands like that for over half a century. Military exercises are never cancelled as a result, so why do they bother? It's the old "big lie" technique, made infamous by the Soviet Union for seventy years. The "big lie" (tell a lie often enough, and more people will begin to believe it) has been around for thousands of years. But the Soviets used it frequently, outrageously, and at times it actually worked. The North Korea make the regular calls, to not hold the military exercise, in order to make themselves look like the good guys, the vulnerable victims of American aggression. This despite the fact that North Korea has more troops, and that most of them are massed along the South Korean border, in attack, not defensive, positions.

North Korea used to hold a lot of military exercises, more so than the folks down south. No more, not for over a decade. When the Cold War ended, so did subsidies from Russia, which paid for all the fuel and spare parts consumed by military exercises. With that in mind, these "big lie" efforts have become a military necessity. With North Korea forces slowly falling apart, anything that can weaken the enemy is a help. The calls for a halt to joint military exercises has had an impact. Over the years, more and more younger South Koreans, who were born after the Korean War (1950-53), and since South Korea became quite prosperous (the 1980s), have come to think of the North Koreans as the good guys, or at the least the not-so-bad guys. More South Koreans are trying to evade military service, and anti-Americanism has become fashionable.

The big lie is not a waste of time.

 


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