Our own crisis of truth is responsible for some of the world’s biggest problems
To the Syrians who have suffered its attacks, the Kremlin’s lies about Ukraine must sound horribly familiar. Insisting that the victims of bombings are “crisis actors”, spreading falsehoods about chemical weapons, justifying the mass murder of civilians by claiming that anyone who resists is a “Nazi” (in Ukraine) or a “head-chopper” (in Syria): its disinformation tactics have been tested and honed.
This organised lying has more or less destroyed the US left, and severely damaged the European left. As the activist Terry Burke documented in 2019, effective leftwing opposition to Donald Trump collapsed amid furious internal disputes about Syria and Russian interference in US politics, triggered by prominent figures reciting Kremlin falsehoods. Some of them turned out to be paid by the Russian government.
George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist. He will discuss Regenesis at a Guardian Live event on Monday 30 May. Book tickets in-person or online here