The mandate of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute is to “provide research support to the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) and promote informed public debate on national security and defence issues.” And as a contribution to that informed public debate, the latest edition of its magazine On Track contains an article by retired Colonel Sean Henry warning of the “disinformation” threat to Canada:
[A poll conducted in 2009] by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Department of National Defence indicated that a strong majority of Canadians still view their soldiers as peacekeepers. They would rather have them perform disaster assistance and international social work than engage in combat operations. This, notwithstanding the fact the Conservative government and the military leadership have done their best to reverse that outlook. These attempts have met with relatively little interest and still less acceptance. One may therefore ask: What is going on here? The short and simple answer is that the Canadian population has been swept by a tide of disinformation, starting in the 1970s and continuing to this day.
Pioneered by the Soviets, disinformation–“information which is intended to mislead”–has since been put to devastating use by non-governmental organizations courting public support for their causes:
Examples in Canada would include anti-Americanism, climate change, health care, bilingualism, gun control and animal welfare.
(Not to mention the fluoridation of water!) The public discourse has been sapped and impurified with dangerous nonsense.
Half-truths, rumours and bogus facts and arguments can now be placed directly into the main stream of public consciousness. Moreover, sites such as Wikipedia can be altered to favour the disinformation artist’s line, by removing and/or replacing material of rivals. Climate change advocates employ this technique extensively.
Even the Canadian government is part of the problem:
Since the early 1980s, government public information has been guided and vetted by a set of Privy Council Office and Treasury Board directives and similar regulations. They are focused on promoting causes such as gender equality, visible minorities, multiculturalism, social justice and peacekeeping. Either knowingly or unknowingly this policy reinforces some of the disinformation flowing from interest groups.
The solution, according to Henry, is for government to “lead the way to wean Canadians away from utopian notions and puncture the bubble of unreality that surrounds them.”
God willing, they will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health–through the purity and essence of our natural fluids.
Why should people who aren’t crazy care about this kind of stuff? Well, for one thing, the Conference of Defence Associations operates on the taxpayer’s dime, receiving an annual grant of $100,000 plus other support (such as a $35,000-a-year intern), all paid for by the Department of National Defence. Obviously no shortage of cash over at DND.
Oh, dear. The gentle souls at The Torch, whose very hallmark is the unfailing respect with which they treat all those with whom they happen to find themselves in disagreement, are saddened and disappointed to have read the “cheap shot” above. Not that they can bring themselves to mount more than a half-hearted “curate’s egg” defence of the CDAI article in question: apparently, parts of it are not as “loony” as the whole is.