Obama Administration Abandons FAILED JOKE Program in Favor of EMOTION Program to Defeat ISIS, Jihad Terror

The idea that the US government would even suggest, let alone pursue, a policy of snark and humor on twitter to defeat ISIS shows illustrates how feckless, obscene and ludicrous the Obama administration’s war on reality really is.

ISIS didn’t exist before Obama came into power.

I first reported on the idea of this failed program here.

I told ya so.

Fast forward to new program – new failure. EXTREMISM-superJumbo

Above illustration: Daesh deprives a woman of her voice,” reads one image that is part of a new State Department program, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. The program is intended to deter young men and women from joining extremist groups.
The USG cannot defeat an ideology it refuses to acknowledge, understand or speak of.

The State Department social media initiative designed to engage with ISIS terrorists and jihadist sympathizers is “embarrassing,” “ineffective” and “distressing,” the head of a prominent intelligence group wrote Tuesday in a scathing editorial. (NYDN)

The State Departments “Think Again, Turn Away” was a failure before it even launched. Funny how the enemedia glosses over these monumental failures and moves on to report happily on the next monumental failure.

ISIS is about Islam. Period. Jokes, feelings and other nonsensical approaches will never work.

“U.S. Drops Snark in Favor of Emotion to Undercut Extremists,” By Helene Cooper, The NY Times, July 28, 2016:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has revamped a program designed to lure foreign fighters away from extremist groups like the Islamic State, focusing on a series of new advertisements and social media posts that seek to appeal to emotion rather than logic.

Money for the program, which is managed by the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, tripled this year, to $16 million, after administration officials concluded that past efforts that had attempted to scare potential militants away from the extremist groups were not working.

It is the latest in a long series of efforts from the Obama administration at what diplomats and other officials euphemistically call “public engagement,” and the multiple reboots have shown how hard it has been for these programs to find traction. Recent attacks in Turkey, Iraq, France and Bangladesh seemed to show extremism has been spreading.

But one thing has changed from similar efforts in the past. The new initiatives have been tailored to keep the United States government’s involvement as low-key — and in some cases, as secretive — as possible, because overt American backing for some projects had turned off the exact group of disaffected young men that the campaign is trying to reach.

These new efforts include using Facebook videos, Instagram ads and other social media that have been designed to convince young men and women that joining the militants’ fight means breaking their mothers’ hearts, tearing apart their families and leaving their loved ones to lives of emptiness.EXTREMISM2-jumbo
“Women under ISIS are enslaved, battered, beaten, humiliated, flogged,” reads another of the new State Department images.
United States Department of State
Past efforts from the administration had sought to frighten potential jihadists with warnings that waging war against the West would get them killed, but officials concluded that the warnings actually served the opposite purpose of glorifying militancy.

Many of the previous programs were overtly tied to the United States government, including one video, branded as part of the State Department’s “Think Again, Turn Away” program, called “Welcome to the Islamic State Land.” The graphic video, which shows beheadings, crucifixions and executions by firing squad, is full of ominous music and sarcastic commentary. “Run, do not walk, to ISIS,” the English subtitle says, telling fighters they will be taught useful skills.

Examples of these skills, the video says, include “Blowing up mosques! Crucifying and executing Muslims! Plundering public resources! Suicide bombings inside mosques! Travel is inexpensive because you won’t need a return ticket.”

Sponsored Links

The video ends with “Think Again, Turn Away,” and the seal of the State Department.

Michael Lumpkin, a former member of the Navy SEALs who was sent by President Obama from the Pentagon to the State Department in January to overhaul the program, turned to a reporter after playing the “Think Again, Turn Away” video recently. “How did that make you feel?” he asked. The answer, he said, was that the video leaves the viewer annoyed at its smug sarcasm rather than appalled at the horrific images on the screen.

The video’s American branding, he added, destroys any chance that a potential foreign fighter would be persuaded to turn away. “We’re not the most credible messenger,” Mr. Lumpkin said.

The appointment of Mr. Lumpkin, who led the Defense Department’s response to the Ebola crisis in 2014, was designed at least in part to bring in someone who could better unify the effort. But it is a tough job: In December, the Soufan Group, an intelligence consulting firm, reported that the number of foreign fighters from Western Europe battling for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had more than doubled since June 2014. The number from North America remained relatively flat.

The State Department launched the “Think Again, Turn Away” campaign in December 2013, but the outreach effort quickly came under sharp criticism from terrorism experts who said that in addition to emboldening terrorist groups it burnished their social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.

On Sept. 11, 2014, for example, a Qaeda leader posted on Twitter that “on this day, in 2001, the USA’s largest economic shrine, the idol of capitalism was brought to the ground.” The State Department quickly responded on Twitter by posting a photo of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, wearing a Rolex watch: “Nobody’s a bigger fan of the fruits of capitalism than so-called #ISIS Caliph.”

The response, critics said, only legitimized the original message on Twitter, and was unlikely to have done anything to dissuade young people from joining either Al Qaeda or the Islamic State.

“Apart from the fact that the U.S. government shouldn’t do snark, it’s not persuasive,” said Richard Stengel, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. “We’re not the most effective messenger for our message. There’s no tweet from the U.S. State Department that’s going to talk a young man out of joining ISIS.”

Mr. Lumpkin was more descriptive. Such Twitter messages, he said, were “like wrestling with a pig. The pig likes it, and you get dirty.”

The administration is now working with organizations overseas to get out the message without an American imprint, including the Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi. The United Arab Emirates supplies the bulk of the funding, but the State Department has contributed two full-time foreign service officers to work at the center to counter online messaging and recruitment by the Islamic State.

Beyond the Sawab Center and another office to open soon in Malaysia, the administration is paying for small operations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Mr. Lumpkin said that administration officials looked at a study done by the Quantum Group, a communications firm based in Lebanon, that found that many foreign fighters joined the Islamist State not for ideology but for a host of different reasons, from thrill-seeking to a search for redemption.

Mr. Lumpkin pointed to a video posted online in April by the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremist research organization based in London, that features a Muslim family of four sitting around a dinner table set for five people. There is the usual bickering about cellphones at the table and a comment to “start eating before it gets cold.” Then one son motions toward the empty place setting and the family matriarch gets angry.

“Don’t you dare,” she says. “It’s Salsan’s. You know how much he loves my cooking.”

“Mom, he’s not here,” her son says.

“He’ll be back soon,” the mother insists. “He never misses this.”

“It’s been two years.”

The scene fades away as the video voice-over says, “They’ll be missed more than they’ll ever know.”

Mr. Lumpkin said the video offered the kind of messaging that could be effective at convincing potential jihadists that joining the Islamist State will cost pain to their mothers.

In Tirana, Albania, Blendi Salaj, a radio host, was waiting to hear back from the State Department about whether his application for $9,700 for funding for a messaging project had been approved. A report last year by the Albanian Institute of International Studies said the number of fighters from Albania who had joined the Islamic State in 2014 was between 90 and 150.

Mr. Salaj said he wanted to appeal to jihadi aspirants through a series of broadcast talks in which religious leaders will discuss tolerance for other religions. He will broadcast those talks on his radio show, he said, and then will link to them on social media. “We will get to the essence of what it is like to live beside other people with tolerance,” he said. “It can be done.”

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *