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假旗行動:從海盜到現代戰爭

2017/2/3 11:48
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撰文及考題設計/British Council 英協教育中心Brian Welter中譯/陳怡君(中央社編譯)

Pirates were criminals at sea who tried to take over other ships to steal whatever they could and kill whoever tried to fight back. They sometimes flew a flag identifying themselves as pirates. The famous pirate flag, generally a white skull and crossbones with a black background, was called the Jolly Roger. Sometimes the flag had two crossed swords instead of the bones. Variations in the Jolly Roger signaled who the pirates were to other pirate ships. The Jolly Roger was particularly popular in the 1720s. But did pirates really fly a flag that identified them as bad guys? Why would they have wanted to tell everyone they were villains? At least sometimes they would hide their true identities by flying the flag of a peaceful country. They did this so as to avoid alarming any boats or ships they passed. When they got close enough, the ship could launch a surprise attack on the unprepared victim, thus gaining a strong advantage. Not only pirates did this. A national navy would sometimes fly a false flag for the same reason.

海盜是海上罪犯,企圖占領其他船隻竊取物品與殺害任何反抗者,他們有時會掛上表明自己是海盜的旗幟。著名的海盜旗,一般來說是黑色背景上有白色骷顱頭的「骷顱旗」,有時骷顱頭下交叉的不是骨頭而是兩把劍。海盜旗的各種差異, 是為了對其他海盜船標誌來者何人。海盜旗在1720 年代尤受歡迎,但是海盜真的會升起標識自己是壞蛋的旗子嗎?為什麼他們會想要昭告眾人他們是惡棍?至少有些時候,他們會掛一個和平國家的國旗來隱藏真實身分,這麼做是希望避免驚動海盜船航行所經過的船隻。當海盜船靠得夠近的時候,就能對毫無準備的受害者發動奇襲,取得有利優勢。不只海盜會這麼做,一個國家的海軍有時候也會基於同樣理由掛假旗。

The term “false flag” thus came to mean “hiding one's real identity” or “hiding who really did something.” Nowadays, “false flag” often refers to a political situation, but with the same idea of disin?formation. It is no longer pirates at sea who use dis?information, but governments. How do governments carry out false flag events? When a government attacks another country, it may try to hide its re?sponsibility. It may try to make it look like another country or group did it, creating the illusion that the real attacker looks innocent. It can then claim to be “helping” the situation by sending in its soldiers, which it had planned to do long before the violence.

「假旗」這個詞彙指的是「隱藏某人真實身分」或是「隱瞞所做過的事情」。時至今日,「假旗」通常指的是一種政治情勢,和刻意傳播不實資訊的概念相同,不過利用假資訊的不是海盜而是一國政府。一國政府如何執行假旗事件?當一國出兵他國,可能會企圖規避責任,想要看起來比較像是其他國家、或是其他組織所為。真正的攻擊者貌似無辜,接著就可以宣稱藉由派兵「協助」改善情勢,然而事實上,早在暴力發生以前就已有出兵計畫。

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False f lags are also great at getting people angry. If a government wants to start a war, it does not want to appear as the one responsible for the violence. Governments want to appear morally better than their enemy so that their citizens will support its actions. Such a government may carry out a false flag event to make it look as if the other country attacked first. In 1939, it was reported that Hitler had German soldiers set off bombs in German territory near the Polish border. He then blamed it on the Polish army, who were “attacking” Germany. This gained Hitler the support of the German citizens when he invaded Poland.

假旗事件也容易引起民眾憤慨。如果一國有意發動戰爭,會希望自己看起來不像是要為暴力負責的一方。政府希望在道德上比敵人站得住腳,才能獲得人民支持行動,因此政府就會執行假旗行動好讓情勢看起來是其他國家先發動攻擊。1939年, 希特勒據傳讓德軍在鄰近波蘭邊界的德國領土引燃炸彈,隨後怪罪波蘭軍隊「攻擊」德國,這讓希特勒在入侵波蘭時獲得德國人民支持。

What's the most important thing about false flags? We really never know if an event that makes people war-hungry is actually disinformation. Did the U.S. government, for example, know about Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and let it happen anyway, so that Americans would support war? Did the American government allow 9-11 to happen so that people would get angry enough to attack Afghanistan? Even Roman history is confusing. Did the emperor Nero start the famous fire of Rome in the year 64 AD so that he could take over city land to construct new buildings? Even if he wasn't responsible, he wound up blaming Christians. The citizens got angry at the Christians – and killed many – instead of getting angry at Nero.

對於假旗事件最重要的事情是什麼?我們確實永遠不會知道,讓民心向戰的事件是否為假資訊。舉例來說,美國政府是否早知道日本會偷襲珍珠港,因此就讓它發生、好讓美國人支持參戰? 美國政府是否默許了911事件發生,以累積足夠民怨出兵阿富汗?就連羅馬帝國也有一段史事令人困惑:公元64年著名的羅馬古城大火事件是否出自羅馬皇帝尼祿之手,以接管羅馬城土地來建造新宮殿?即使要為大火負責的人不是尼祿,但他將結果嫁禍給基督徒,讓民眾的怒氣轉移到基督徒、使得許多基督徒慘遭殺害。

Hundreds of years ago, land was the most important thing to own. Rulers tried to expand the lands they governed. In the industrial age, the wealthiest people owned factories. Governments worked with factory owners to build railroads, highways, and factories. More recently, people who knew the secrets of finance grew rich. Governments tried to control things through money and banking. In the current age, the internet age, information is king. Powerful governments fight information wars against each other. They also run disinformation campaigns inside their own country. False f lag events are powerful ways to inf luence political events, as long as people reading the news don't question what they are reading. So where will the next false flag event take place? Watch the news and find out!

在幾百年前,土地是最重要持有的資源,統治者企圖擴張領土。在工業時代,最富有的階層擁有工廠,政府和工廠老闆合作來建造鐵路、公路和廠房。到了近代,了解金融祕辛的民眾致富,政府企圖透過金錢與銀行業來控制事物。於今這個網路世代,資訊為王,有權力的政府互打資訊戰,也會在自己國內打不實資訊的宣傳戰。只要看新聞的民眾不曾質疑他們所接收的新聞,假旗事件就會是影響政治事件的有力方式。下一場假旗事件會在那裡發生?看新聞去了解看看!(完)

【更多精彩內容請見《全球中央》2017年2月號;訂閱 《全球中央數位雜誌》;本文由《全球中央》雜誌授權刊載,未經同意禁止轉載。】

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