X

EDITORIAL: Yesterday’s Events in the United States

January 7th, 2021 13:26

As the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) Senior Edi­tor, I would like to say first­ly that all of us at GIOR are sick at heart over yes­ter­day’s events at the US Capi­tol. Per­son­al­ly, I began my fight against extrem­ism in the US dur­ing the 1990s, and the right-wing extrem­ism I saw then was then con­fined to the fringes of soci­ety but now, trag­i­cal­ly, has reached the heart of US democ­ra­cy. This attempt­ed insur­rec­tion in the US only rein­forces the need for a pub­li­ca­tion such as the GIOR. As it says in our FAQ:

We con­sid­er the rise of state-spon­sored and transna­tion­al influ­ence to be the most pro­found threat fac­ing the West as it seeks to counter the flood of dis­in­for­ma­tion that makes ratio­nal dis­cus­sion of pub­lic pol­i­cy increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult, if not impossible.

As we also say in the FAQ about why we includ­ed the US in our coverage:

The US is unique among demo­c­ra­t­ic coun­tries at this point in time because it is the only demo­c­ra­t­ic coun­try that is known to have its own gov­ern­ment and/or a major polit­i­cal par­ty con­duct­ing influ­ence oper­a­tions direct­ed at its own cit­i­zens. This looks like­ly to con­tin­ue for the fore­see­able future.

We take no plea­sure in hav­ing made the cor­rect deci­sion about the US, which is per­haps the pri­ma­ry glob­al tar­get of influence/disinformation cam­paigns, includ­ing those orig­i­nat­ing with­in its own polit­i­cal sys­tem. The shock­ing images from yes­ter­day’s attack on the US Capi­tol, by what appear to be large­ly right-wing extrem­ists, stark­ly illus­trate the inevitable out­come if such cam­paigns are not suc­cess­ful­ly challenged.

For our part, the GIOR vows to redou­ble our efforts to expose influ­ence oper­a­tions and dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns across the globe. We are a new and there­fore small oper­a­tion, but read­ers who find our work of use can help us grow by lik­ing and retweet­ing our mate­r­i­al when­ev­er it is found to be of use. Togeth­er, we can hope­ful­ly make a dif­fer­ence in this fight for the soul of our democracies.

(NOTE: Giv­en the impor­tance, we are post­ing this mes­sage across all GIOR categories.)