Social Media Goes To War

Big Red Car here. Oh my, it’s another beauty in the ATX. This is the time of year to live in Texas. The best!

So we all have lived through the assault of social media on our lives but it has also changed the way war — particularly asymmetrical war — is waged.

Enemies like Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Khorasan Group and any number of wicked, terrorist bedfellows are using social media to advance their evil purposes.

The Digital Warrior

The Internet has changed everything. Everything! As a communication medium it has advanced basic operational communication and public relations. Now scumbags can talk directly to the American people via the internet and educate them about their intentions and attempt to warn them off opposing them because of the price to be paid. At the end of the day, terrorism is all about getting into the minds of the American people and getting them to change their behavior based on speculation about what might happen.

The US — until the advent of Edward Snowden’s revelations as to NSA means and methods — had a huge advantage as it could eavesdrop on communications and thus obtain actionable intelligence to thwart their plans. This advantage has been blunted.

If one is casting about for a reason to execute Snowden, look no further. He has destroyed a unique American technological advantage. He has real blood on his flash drive. This is not about eavesdropping on grandma as she orders new support hose from Amazon, this is about identifying the location of terrorists and sending bombers or drones or rough men to send them into the arms of their longed for seventy two virgins.

War is now being waged on the battlefield and the Internet. On the battlefield, organized and professional forces always have a huge advantage. Big advantage for America and why we will ultimately require American boots on the ground.

No terrorists yet have an aircraft carrier able to project force beyond the horizon and come calling at wave top altitude. On the Internet, the advantage is not so apparent. Thanks to Snowden and the innovation of the Internet itself. The terrorist is able to use the Internet and social media to further his aims and in some ways is a step ahead of the good guys.

The Channels

The asymmetrical warrior — he of no sovereign state and bound only by a poisoned ideological glue or toxic tribal loyalty — is able to use Twitter, Facebook and You Tube to spread his terror far and wide. The good guys are going to have to dramatize and educate the fledgling terrorist about the cost of being a shithead. We need to flood the Internet with pictures of dead terrorists putting the price tag for involvement at a Tiffany’s level. A pile of terrorist skulls on the Internet will provide some friction to recruitment.

One has to see only a single beheaded child to personally confront the horror of terrorism. Today the terrorists are capable of standing up websites for recruiting purposes. They trumpet their real or imagined victories on Twitter, Facebook and You Tube. They show pictures and video which goes viral.

You may know the founders, funders and developers of such powerful applications. These are new capabilities and yet they are absolutely global. The Big Red Car wonders what they feel about the use of their new born children for the purpose of the spread of terrorism, for the waging of digital war–particularly when such war is such an obvious confrontation between unspeakable evil and basic good?

Should such capabilities be able to be used by terrorists to communicate their message? What do you think?

Well, the Big Red Car thinks such organizations have an obligation to somehow stand for the triumph of good over evil. The Big Red Car doesn’t have the solution and looks to responsible social media leaders to solve this challenge. The Big Red Car is tired of seeing beheadings on You Tube.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be kind to someone who needs a bit of kindness. It will come back to you in spades. Try it.

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