Monday, May 12, 2014


The Silicon Graybeard looks at the whole hashtag fiasco and brings down the hammer of logic:
Just like the Moms Demanding Disarmament, demanding someone else do something, and then going back to your coffee (or wine) isn't accomplishing anything, it's demanding someone else accomplish something.  It's something lazy people do to make themselves feel better.  

Somehow I really doubt that Boko Haram, the girls' kidnappers, are really influenced by American social media.  In the vile, violent, disgusting world of Jihadists who want the world to be just like it was 1200 years ago, Boko Haram stands out as the scumbags of all scumbags.
And what do the "Elites" do?  They pay attention to what is trending on Twitter.  What does Boco Haram do?  Sells the girls into slavery.

If there were a clearer explanation of how much attention we - and the World - should pay to Barack Obama's State Department, I haven't heard it.

1 comment:

burt said...

"Hashtag diplomacy" is a college student's view of "how to make a difference". Without ever having traveled outside the confines of their comfort zones (e.g. their dorm rooms and meal passes when not at home in their parents' basements), they believe the outside world to be the same as their world. They conceive life in the Middle East to just be campus life on some other continent.

Having actually been to Massawa (Ethopia), Mombasa (Kenya), Karachi (Pakistan), Muscat (Oman), Doha (Qatar), and other cities in the Middle East (and throughout Asia), I have seen with my own eyes how the "locals" live. No book, college lecture, or video documentary can convey the look, smells, and "gut feeling" of a physical visit. The look in the eyes of the locals. The sense of helplessness that permeates everything.

It changes you deep inside. And you can't change back.

Sometimes I feel sorry for "academics" who tell the US (and the rest of Western society) how "backwards" and "uncivilized" that part of the world is. In some limited ways, I agree.

But then I realize that the "academics" are only making a temporally-limited political point. Their goal is to make themselves appear to be the arbiters of moral authority with absolutely no real understanding of societal norms in other parts of the world.

Boko Haram - and "organizations" like it - have been operating for a millennium all over the Middle East and in Southeast Asia as well. This is not to say that I approve of Sharia Law. Far from it: there are inhumane horrors committed on humans and their bodies in the name of Islam. However, those "hashtag diplomacy" academics are looking at the most horrific aspects of the local Muslim cultures without a full understanding of how interference in those cultures could destroy them and thus create a new region of dependents on a semi-global scale.

I wonder how those same academics would feel if they knew that parents in some of those nations sell their children willingly in an attempt to give them a better life. I know this for a fact: I even know a family in Southeast Asia that bought a child and gave it a much better life than it would otherwise have had. Would those same academics demand that the child - yes, purchased for cash - be given back to its parents, who could not provide the same home, food, schooling, and opportunities for future happiness?

Modern conveniences - especially television and the internet - are making inroads into those cultures. They are changing and adapting to less volatile international norms, as they must. But real change takes time.

When I was stationed in Bahrain, I developed a friendship with a "local". We used to discuss, among other things, politics on a global scale (he never spoke about the Sheikh except in complimentary terms). I once mentioned how things don't seem to change there. I never forgot his response.

"Here, 20 years is overnight."