Wednesday, January 7, 2009

War...War Never Changes

Required background reading:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/weekinreview/04cohen.html?scp=2&sq=Israel%20twitter&st=cse

What's the story here? Basically, this:

The Israel Defense Forces, recognizing that success in neutralizing the Hamas movement in Gaza is as much a public relations challenge as a military one, has enlisted an arsenal of Internet tools to take their message directly to a global audience. There is a military channel on the video-sharing site YouTube where you can watch suspected Hamas sites being obliterated by ordnance; blogs that spread the message of the foreign affairs ministry; and in the newest wrinkle, a news conference conducted through the microblogging service Twitter.

"Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well," said David Saranga, the head of media relations for the Israeli consulate in New York, which conducted the Twitter news conference on Tuesday.
I can't even begin to describe how bizarrely post-modern this is. The idea of using Twitter - one of the most inane technologies of our time - to create the narrative of a war in Gaza just twists my brain completely.

I'm sure that statements like this will be of great solace to the Gazans receiving missiles and shells on their heads.

Question from peoplesworld: 40 years of military confrontation hasn't brought security to Israel, why is this different?

Answer from israelconsulate: We hav 2 prtct R ctzens 2, only way fwd through neogtiations, & left Gaza in 05. y Hamas launch missiles not peace?

EhsanAhmad: you didn't get my point that Hammas is an elected govt and if u keep attacking them they got right to attack you

israelconsulate: if hamas's goal were 2 btr the lives of its cit. they wouldn't target IL. they would invest in edu/hlth not in bombs

backlotops: 1 side has to stop. Why continue what hasn't worked (mass arial/grnd retaliation)? Arab Peace Initiative?

israelconsulate: we R pro nego. crntly tlks r held w the PA + tlks on the 2 state soln. we talk only w/ ppl who accept R rt 2 live.


What a shame that international law has not made a decision about the "rt 2 live." Truly this is one of the pressing issues of our times!

Seriously, Israel? This trivializes the war beyond the wildest dreams of the 24-hour news networks; they might turn it into camera fodder and meaningless backdrops for attractive reporters to bubble nonsense in front of, but to reduce the casus belli to "We hav 2 prtct R ctzens 2" is just insulting.

The kind of communication that Twitter represents is the worst sort that the internet encourages - the constant, unending, lightning-fast torrent of response to absolutely nothing. It's the kind of place where you'd post about what you album you're currently listening to for the delectation of the unthinking cyber-mob. It is, in short, an inappropriate venue for discussing the siege and invasion of a city.

I can only imagine what Genghis Khan's Twitter might have looked like.
'took smrkand 2day. piles o/skulls, rzed wall. was a gud day. 2morrow maybe rape,pillage?'

1 comment:

Pat said...

But Twitter is the future!
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/01/doing_it_with_twitter.php

Seriously, this made my brain hurt.