There are only so many ways you can say #facepalm.
A Fox News report published this week revealed that for the past three years, the State Department has tasked certain employees with focusing on the interaction between terrorists and social media. Most recently, that effort has been mainly concentrated on the Middle East. Their main tool is a Twitter account and YouTube channel called “Think Again. Turn Away.” Up until a few days ago, it included this ridiculous and fairly gruesome phony ISIS recruitment video, which was apparently intended to scare the hell out of people.
“Run, do not walk to ISIS Land,” the video says, as it promises that you can learn “useful new skills” like “blowing up mosques” and “crucifying and executing Muslims.” It’s complete with horrific images of murder and decapitations.
Fighting fire with fire? This is the State Department’s version of sarcasm, I suppose:
A spokesman for the State Department defended the social media tactic. “We believe countering our adversaries in this space is critical. We must contest the space by confronting distortion with reality and lies with truth.”
While I don’t think this would be the worst tactic in the world if bundled together with a larger strategy, the fact of the matter is that the Obama administration can barely get the overall policy right. So they should probably stop wasting their time fooling around with Twitter and YouTube — er, sorry…should I say, “this space”?
Furthermore, am I wrong in thinking that ISIS probably LOVES this video? If that’s an attempt to turn people away from ISIS, it probably isn’t too effective with people who are prone to radicalization. It seems to me that warped prospects would be excited to join up after viewing this. To that end, the project looks like one big backfire.
“I just thought it was bizarre,” said Senator Ted Cruz, who coined a new phrase: “Press Release Foreign Policy.”
Look, we’ve always known that the dopes at State would rather be tweeting than doing just about anything else. But the day they can explain to me how to tweet one’s way out of a beheading, I’m all ears.
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