Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Department of State's Battle for Terrorist Hearts and Minds

I posted an article on the Department of State's fight against ISIS, now known as the Islamic State, back in March, well before ISIS became front page news.  In that article, I noted that the Department of State was using social media, particularly Twitter, to discourage both members and potential recruits from joining the ranks of ISIS.  Now that it appears that the United States is going to take increasing levels of military action against ISIS, I thought that it was time to revisit Think Again Turn Away and its slogan "Some Truths About Terrorism" in its Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Youtube incarnations.

Here is a screen capture showing State's anti-ISIS Twitter feed:

Here is a general idea of the tone of the tweets which often provide links to media articles as backup for the gist of the tweet:

Somehow, I'm not sure that either members or the leadership of ISIS is going to care that Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek described ISIS as "the most irreparably stupid jihadists ever to slaughter their way onto the international stage" as shown on this tweet:

Here is a screen capture showing State's anti-ISIS Facebook page:

Here is a general idea of the tone of the postings:

Again, links are provided in case the jihadis want to read about themselves in the mainstream western media as shown here:

Here is a screen capture showing State's anti-ISIS Tumblr page:

Here is a general idea of the content:

Yet again, we find links to coverage of ISIS by western media outlets:

Lastly, we have the Think Again Turn Away YouTube channel which produces riveting and rather disturbing videos like this one:

I thought that the parallels between the final scene in State's video and the Great Pit of Carkoon on Tatooine in the Return of the Jedi was rather striking.

...and this one:

Given that the jihadists refer to the United States and its allies as the "Crusaders" and that they believe that the western world is ideologically evil, what are the odds that ISIS members and leadership or anyone that is radical enough to consider joining the holy war in the new Islamic Caliphate really cares about the negative coverage that they are getting from the Department of State's social media campaign? 

1 comment:

  1. I would love to know exactly who these videos and tweets are supposed to be for. Who is the Audience? It's along the lines of a pop up ad for vodoo doll while going to Catholic church website and having clicked on the next mass time link. The guy that wants to know when he can next come to church and pray isnt exactly the type that would interested in a vodoo doll. I want to join ISIS and fight for Islam, but wait, my biggest enemy has some website and twitter feed i better look at first...really?