Hashtag: Wiz Blab Open Thread

For Friday’s open thread (yaaaa, I remembered), let’s start off ridiculing Obama’s feckless, weak “hashtag foreign policy,” shall we?

Here is what Charles Krauthammer said today…

Mass schoolgirl kidnapping in Nigeria–to tweet or not to tweet? Is hashtagging one’s indignation about some outrage abroad an exercise in moral narcissism or a worthy new way of standing up to bad guys?

The answer seems rather simple. It depends on whether you have the power to do something about the outrage in question. If you do, as in the case of the Obama administration watching Russia’s slow-motion dismemberment of Ukraine, it’s simply embarrassing when the State Department spokeswoman tweets the hashtag #UnitedForUkraine.

That is nothing but preening, a visual recapitulation of her boss’s rhetorical fatuousness when he sternly warns that if the rape of this U.S. friend continues, we are prepared to consider standing together with the “international community” to decry such indecorous behavior–or some such…

This is just more evidence that this lazy, good for nothing President is so arrogant that he thinks all he has to do is say a word about something and the heavens will open up and make it so.

He has bought hook line and sinker his own PR of being a man-god.

What do you guys think?

Consider this an open thread and talk away…

Edit to add…. I just found this cartoon which fits in this discussion:

Union Places Own Interests Above That of Members
Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™
  • LiberalNightmare

    #wehavetodosomething!

  • “But all my advisors think it’s effective! Why isn’t it working?” Obama asks.

    They probably don’t have twitter accounts.

    #Hashtagcampaignsdontreallychangeanything

  • jim_m

    I take exception to the idea that this hashtag campaign is not working. It has succeeded in making the participants feel better about themselves and to help them feel morally superior to everyone else without having to actually do anything. It also failed to do anything to resolve the problem which means that leftists can continue to wring their hands and express how concerned they are.

    The hashtag thing is working exactly as intended.

  • GarandFan

    But…but….but #hashtags mean you’re DOING something! Besides, it makes you FEEL BETTER.

    • Better than nothing, I suppose… but not by much.
      Kind of like the difference between not buying a lottery ticket when the odds are about 200 million to 1 – and buying a ticket.

      • jim_m

        Ah, But if you buy the ticket you can at least pretend that something good is going to happen, at least for a little while.

    • jim_m

      It’s all about feeling good about your good intentions and not about getting results. That pretty much sums up all of leftist plans to help others.

  • JWH

    There are hashtags and there are hashtags. And there is social media and social media.

    It was a bit ridiculous for State Dept. officials — i.e., those with actual power — to join in with the #unitedforUkraine hashtaggers. On the other hand, IMO, the State Department can and should engage with opposition groups on social networks. Any modern propaganda campaign MUST have a social-media element, and fighting terrorist groups’ communications efforts sometimes means arguing with them on Twitter.

    And then there’s #BringBackOurGirls. This hashtag didn’t start with Americans. It was actually the brainchild of two Nigerian activists. They were legitimately concerned that the Nigerian government wasn’t doing enough to get the kidnapped girls back, so they started the hashtag campaign in Nigeria in an effort to put pressure on their government. People who joined in with that hashtag (at least at first) actually did do something helpful.

    • jim_m

      How was it helpful? How many girls were released? How many terrorists were eliminated?

      I dispute your claim that the best the US government can do is to mimic the ineffective actions of some community organizers. Oh wait, I guess that is exactly what our current administration has been doing for 6 years.

      • JWH

        How was it helpful? How many girls were released?

        Unknown right now. But I draw a distinction between US officials and celebrities hopping on a bandwagon on the one hand, and local activists trying to pressure their government.

        How many terrorists were eliminated?

        Again, unknown. But keep in mind that the point of a propaganda campaign is not to “eliminate” a terrorist, but to prevent terrorist organizations from building a following. I am curious … if you were in charge in the State Department, how would you run the propaganda operation?

        The US government until recently completely ignored terrorist groups on social media. But now, the thinking goes, that policy allowed terrorist groups to transmit their message to the metaphorical Muslim Street without a countervailing US message.

        • jim_m

          Actually, in the past the US State Dept pressured the Nigerian government to not harass Boko Haram terrorist groups. http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/63066

          • JWH

            That’s actually where this situation gets complicated. The Nigerian government is reportedly almost as bad as Boko Haram when it comes to human-rights violations.

          • jim_m

            Yes, but a government can be dealth with whereas terrorists cannot, except to kill them all. Also, not every military has the ability or discipline to target just the enemy and it is not surprising that in countries where there is a high level of tribalism that there would be a correspondingly high level of collateral damage.

            Kill the islamists and deal with the government later. By failing to do the former and deterring the Nigerians from doing it, obama effectively gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

      • JWH

        Again, I never said that hashtag activism is the “best” that the US government can do. I said that 1) social-media must be part of any modern propaganda campaign, and that engaging with opposition (even enemies) on social media can be part of that, and 2) that #BringBackOurGirls is potentially effective when measured as a tool employed by Nigerian activists (not necessarily US government officials).

    • I down ding this apologia.

      • JWH

        I always knew you were a real ding-a-ling.

  • LarryW

    The youth vote is key to upcoming elections. With Republicans dying left and right of old age it’s important that young voters go democratic.

    And the WH is openly brazen about this — probably counting on the right fringe get all uppity and sniffling about the use of #hashtags — and demonstrating to the young voters that Republicans just don’t get it when it comes to social media.

  • jim_m

    In the spirit of an open thread:

    It seems that warmists really are blocking the publication of scientific papers that refute their bullshit.

    Climate science has become ‘too green’ and ‘blind to bias’ scientists have warned after it was claimed a major journal suppressed research which cast doubt on the speed of global warming.

    The journal Environmental Research Letters refused to publish an article by Lennart Bengtsson and other academics which flagged up inconsistencies in temperature projections.

    Professor Judith Curry, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said it had the potential to do as much damage to climate science as the ‘climategate’ scandal, where the University of East Anglia was accused of manipulating data and attempting to suppress critics.

    In the past year the journal has also been criticised for promoting a paper which suggested that 97 per cent of climate change studies supported the hypotheses of man-made global warming.

    Richard Tol, professor of economics at the University of Sussex, said the calculations were flawed and the study should be retracted.

    Prof Tol, who refused to sign a recent Intergovernmental Pancel on Climate Change (IPCC) report because it was too alarmist said: “Environmental Research Letters is known for making politically inspired decisions. They are very green, and not the scientific journal that they claim to be.

    “There are few people with as much credibility as Lennart Bengtsson. His integrity is beyond doubt.”

    Once again the left tells people who dissent from their ideological straight jacket to shut up.

    • Which dovetails nicely with the left’s refusal to admit that fascism is a creature of the left, not the right.

      • jim_m

        And since in academia your ability to hold a job is tied to your ability to publish, this is tantamount to an attempt to deny employment to people with whom they disagree.

        Fail to bow to the warmist religion and lose your job.

    • jim_m

      Mark Steyn delivers an incisive commentary on this new scandal of academic fascism in the name of warmism. http://www.steynonline.com/6342/six-degrees-of-warmerization

  • jim_m

    I think the point behind the mockery of this hashtag idiocy is that social media hashtag campaigns are the province of the grass roots. These are for people to organize and sway public opinion. These are for people with no power to make themselves heard because they have no other recourse and no power to affect the situation directly.

    But obama is the President of the United States. He has real power. He has (or had when he too office but perhaps he has squandered it) real influence. obama could take meaningful direct action.

    Sadly, instead of acting to help rescue these young women who will be sold into slavery (let us not forget that the muslim world is the lone remaining place where slavery is an accepted practice) obama chooses to use the tools of the weak and powerless. obama chooses to project an image of weakness and incapacity.

    It is choices like these that are convincing Russia and China that the US will not stand against them as they move on their regional neighbors and threaten the security of those around them.

  • Commander_Chico

    Krauthammer is a psychiatrist who likes to remotely psychoanalyze people opposed to his neocon warmonger politics.

    http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2010/04/charles-krauthammer-hack-psychiatrist.html

    That is a game anyone can play, so Dr. Chico will try it: Krauthammer is bitter because he’s paralyzed. Him trying to goad the USA into war with Russia by saying the USA has “the power” to stop Russia in the Ukraine is really a suicide attempt. If we get into a nuke war with Russia, he dies, we all die.

    Twitter is useless, but at least no Americans are getting killed in feckless counterproductive humanitarian R2P military adventures. You retards who think it’s a good idea to send troops into Nigeria have forgotten the lessons of Somalia.