Episode 67 - Media censorship, portable cameras and Fake Victory propaganda.

Episode of: The Anglo-Boer War

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Dec 30, 201820m
Episode 67 - Media censorship, portable cameras and Fake Victory propaganda.
Dec 30 '1820m
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In this episode, I thought we should concentrate on the role that the media and propaganda played as the war moved from conventional to unconventional, from military camps to concentration camps. Despite Lord Robert’s declaration that the Boers were defeated followed his direct march from Cape Town to the Orange Free State capital, Bloemfontein, followed by the Transvaal Republic Capital, Pretoria - They weren’t. That declaration of victory was premature, perhaps similar to the recent declaration by American president Donald Trump that ISIS has been defeated in Syria. As the unique and eccentric historian Vico noted, history has a curious way of repeating itself - albeit in a spiral, never really returning to exactly what occurred before but elevated by technology and time. Let’s just leave that there for now. Politically loaded declarations about victories are often made to the detriment of the troops left fighting the real wars, and in 1900, Lord Roberts was about to leave for England believing it was job done. The irony was his own army could not move around the veld freely, and were constantly harassed by what he and others regarded as bandits, but were really extremely successful guerrilla war generals. In Syria too, the US special forces helping the Kurds have found their enemy continues to control territory despite apparently being defeated. You can believe what you want regarding Trump or Roberts - but reality always tends to leap up when least expected and subject those who ignore the truth to a reality check. As with the Boer war, let’s see what happens in Syria. Carl von Clausewitz had much to say about ignoring real threats. And the truth was that the Boers were undefeated. As von Clausewitz points out in his seminal work On War, The country must be conquered, for out of the country a new military force may be formed. And the country had not been conquered, the will of the people had not been crushed. A new military force was indeed formed, more mobile, more motivated, more dangerous.

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