Social Media and the Internet Go To War

Big Red Car here. Another beauty in the ATX. Ahhh, thank you, God!

So, The Boss was chatting with one of his trade school buddies. “Trade school” is what you call VMI, West Point, Air Force Academy, Annapolis, Citadel and other military schools. It is an inside joke amongst trade school grads.

They get on the subject of asymmetrical warfare — fancy word for terrorism and the whole Middle East mess. Lump in Al Qaeda, ISIL, Boko Horam and the flavor of the day shitheads.

Social media and the role of the Internet bubbles to the surface.

Shitheads

The world is running a special on shitheads. The supply seems to be high and the demand is increasing — the demand to send them to Hell, that is.

The question may be — are there really more shitheads out there or are the Internet and social media making them more apparent? More obvious? Are they engaging in branding and recruitment campaigns using the Internet and social media?

The Internet

This Internet, Interweb stuff seems to be catching on and it could be big. Not sure just yet but it does look promising. It has become perhaps the most powerful — no “perhaps”, it is — communication mechanism in the world today. It provides geographical access and messaging far greater than ever before in the history of mankind.

The content on the web, such as social media, is providing the ability to see, hear, read and converse about important topics so completely that the quality of the information is beyond whatever news outlets could deliver and they are relegated to a back bench most of the time. There is almost nothing new about the traditional news. They are usually second or third to the party.

Because it is searchable, the consumer is not confronted solely with what the world wants you to know but can undertake a journey of discovery to find what you want to know — particularly different viewpoints on a single issue.

Recently there was a bit of discussion on Net Neutrality and you could find the actual utterances of the Chairman of the FCC as well as an unlimited number of view as to its gloriosity or its mendacity. [Extra credit for making up a word and then using “mendacity” without involving a preacher.]

Social media

The Internet is wonderful in its own right but when coupled with social media it is incredible. When the Big Red Car says “social media” he is referring to the low hanging fruit — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon and just a few others. [Add your favorites and don’t pout if your favorite was overlooked. I’m just a Big Red Car, after all.]

An adjunct to the phenomenon of social media is the ability to access news organizations — Associated Press, all the news outlets, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Mashable, TechCrunch and tons of others. They are mentioned in the context of social media because social media is often used to point one toward a particular news story. Social media is a source of direct information and a sign post directing us to other sources.

One other worthy source of information is blogs. But we can talk about them some other time. They are also good sources of information, opinion and referral.

War

In the course of engaging with and, hopefully, destroying shitheads, the shitheads have become savvy on their own employment of social media and the Internet. One only has to think about the introduction of beheadings, immolations, crucifixions, hackings, executions, hangings, live burials, rapes, defenestrations and other wickedness to appreciate how the shitheads have been able to inject terror into your home. It is right there on your monitor and it is not going away. The long arm of war is in your home right now.

The recent immolation of the Jordanian pilot was a high water mark. The spectacle, gross in its nature, was turned into a production with care spent on the production quality and message. It was both an atrocity and a exercise in branding and messaging. You can pretty much count on any atrocity having a sound track as being the spawn of someone who is trying to influence you and taking some trouble to do so.

The notion of the impotence of the West and the power of the jihad was not raised without an eye toward recruiting. Let me say that a different way — thousands of jihadis are flocking to the Middle East because they think spectacles like this are indicative of some long term probability of success. It is a recruiting tool.

The idea of collecting shitheads in a single place is actually quite appealing if we will only send them all to a rendezvous with their 72 virgins expeditiously. Go long virgins or create an ETF but let’s find a way to kill every single one of them.

Reaction

The first element of the solution is for the West to wipe out the shitheads. The President’s recent request for an AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Military Force) is a step in the right direction but the West also has to up its game and take the fight to the Internet.

The West needs to start a vibrant campaign of showing the cost of terrorism (dead terrorists lined up like cordwood), harnessing Muslim voices in opposition, confronting Islam and the Koran and its bastardization, using the shitheads own spectacles to grow global resentment and to fuel the fires of retribution and direct military action.

The Jordanians, the Kurdish Peshmerga and maybe even the Iraqis will fight. Let’s get the Saudis and the Egyptians into the fight and give them everything they need including American forward air control, artillery forward observers and fire support (Warthogs, artillery, armor and unlimited arms and ammunition). I would send in American ground troops but this could work. Crawl, walk, run is a fair approach.

I point out  the galvanizing impact of the Jordanian King Abdullah when his pilot — HIS pilot because he is the Commander in Chief of his military forces, a rated  combat pilot and a freakin’ King and a leader — was burned alive. This anger is righteous and appropriate. It is time for the world to get angry and to use the Internet and social media to fan those flames.

Propaganda? Yes, Hell yes! This is war.

I often wonder if the founders of companies like Twitter ever thought their creation would be an instrument of war? It is. Now let’s use it as one.

In the end, this is all about finding a way to live in peace with each other. The Big Red Car could care not a whit whether his neighbors are Muslims or Methodists. Today the Methodists have not yet invoked jihad though they do get a little testy when the Labrador barks in the early evenings but so far, no jihad. We all want peace and to live in peace.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourself. You deserve it.