Polls, Disinformation, and Syrian Attack


Released by Ensign Ashley Taylor USS Sterett Public Affairs Officer.

Photo Courtesy Wikipedia


April 11, 2017 (San Diego) We decided to wait for polling to come out. After reading many sites on the far right, such as Stormfront and Alex Jones, and some sites on what passes for the left these days, we realized that polls were not going to go up.

Turns out we were right. However, this deserves an explanation as to why.

The reviews at Stormfront and Alex Jones of the president’s actions were of a man who was a globalist after all. A few posters even suggested that this was Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, and Jared Kushner, his son in law, following Israeli policy and that they were agents of the Zionist Occupation Government. This is common fodder for the far right, so we were not that surprised to read it. This line was found across multiple far right platforms, whether it was Stormfront or Before it is News or Godlike Productions.

The people on the left, could not be called more than just left, disorganized and all, shared some of the same views on their sites, or even Facebook. Reading similar views tells me that there is a disinformation campaign at play.

We can find signs of it in sites like The Fourth Revolutionary War, which profiles Alexandr Dugin at the top.

This site posted this:

Russian defense Ministry officially commented on the story of the “chemical attack in Idlib” http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3337419.html pointing out that the cause of the incident was a blow from Syrian aviation in the Khan of Sheyhun against the warehouse of militants, where among other things, they were collecting explosive shells filled with the handicraft production chemical weapons, which the militants have repeatedly used in Syria, which caused collateral damage among fighters and civilians.

We know that Sarin does not do well with high kinetic transfers, such as an explosive device, better known as a bomb. So where did the attack was a hoax start? Conveniently with a pro-Assad outlet, and it was picked up by the far right media ecosystem in the US. DFR Lab reports that the story started with Al-Masdar, and they filled this hole:

Al-Masdar news is owned by Leith Abou Fadel, an Assad loyalist with close ties to the regime. It serves as an unofficial government outlet, and has repeatedly attacked regime critics and witnesses to regime atrocities, notably the White Helmets.

They also went further and identified some of the bots used to spread the hashtag over twitter. They highlighted the post that started all from Al-Masdar first.

This deserves an in-depth explanation. Bots are simple software programs. They are neutral, but it depends on how they are used. When a company launches a new product, as part of their marketing campaign, they may automate the delivery of tweets and Facebook posts. This is a bot. When political campaigns do the same. they use bots. They can be used to spread misinformation as well. They include the creation of hashtags and other issues. They suspect that a few accounts were responsible for the magnification”

The tweet rapidly went viral, boosting the hashtag into the trending lists. However, much of its initial viral appeal appears to have come from suspiciously hyperactive accounts that tweeted it dozens or hundreds of times in the space of a few hours.

That is the hallmark of bots.

This is a form of warfare, information warfare. It affects most who are predisposed to conspiracy theories.

Now going back to the polls. Turns out that the historic trend that when presidents deploy military force did not work this time. Whether it is because Americans were not promised in the media, or simply because his base on the far right and many on the left did not like it, it matters little. The three-day average on Gallup is telling. The disapproval as of yesterday is at 54 percent, while approval is at 40 percent, and the slide has restarted. The best they got was a leveling for a couple of days.

Then ABC found the other usual poll that hits the 70 percent march. Every time we have a military attack, it is supported, reflexively, by large parts of the population. This time around it is at 51 percent.

This reflects something critical. There is such exhaustion on the war in the US that Americans did not automatically fall behind the flag. This should worry the White House. However, the White House also has a serious problem. Russia and Syria are very effective in the hybrid form of warfare that even the base for the president loves.

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