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Silly social media hashtags for Paris won't stop future attacks ... Online hipsters oblivious to real solutions


(NaturalNews) In October 2009, I departed the U.S. with about 800 other Army National Guard soldiers for eastern Afghanistan, where we spent the next year dodging Taliban bullets and bombs. Most of the time the bullets and bombs were few and far between, but our battalion encountered enough of both to lose four of our soldiers over the span of our 11 months of boots (and tires) on the ground.

Those losses are not akin to World War II, Korea or Vietnam losses, mind you, but a) each loss is a tough one, especially for Guard units because we are much more "family-oriented" than our active duty Big Army counterparts (since we live among the communities we serve); and b) we definitely would have suffered more casualties if our enemy had access to more lethal weaponry. It wasn't that al Qaeda and Taliban operatives and fighters didn't want to kill more of us; it's that they couldn't, and we never forgot that.

I mention all of this because it's an important point that no American or citizen of any Western nation should forget:

These people consider themselves to be at war with us – our culture, our society, our way of life – and they actively plan ways to kill us every single day. It's their singular existence.

Social warriors not wanted – or needed

And just so you know, they feel this way even if many Americans and Westerners don't believe it or don't want to think about it – at least until we witness horrible reminders like, say, having 129 innocent people gunned down by these fanatics in Paris. The only reason they didn't kill more Parisians and tourists was because they didn't have more capability.

In reacting, French President Francois Hollande did exactly the right thing – he essentially declared war on ISIS and immediately sent French forces to find and kill as many members of the terrorist "caliphate" as possible.

What he did not do was launch a hashtag campaign on social media – like, say, first lady Michelle Obama in May 2014 when she was photographed in the safety of the White House sporting a "concerned" look and holding a sign, "#BringBackOurGirls" – a reference to the kidnapping of hundreds of young girls by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram, which is operating in Sudan and other parts of Africa.

Here are a couple of news flashes for the first lady:

1) They weren't "our" girls; they were Nigeria's girls; and

2) Your pouty (defiant?) face and sign don't scare members of Boko Haram, though it's possible many were concerned they would die of laughter.

The same thing happened after the Paris attacks. French designer Jean Jullien sketched a symbol of the attacks that resembled a peace symbol with the Eiffel Tower in the center. It became an instant social media success; he called it "Peace for Paris."

"We have become experts at treacly online mourning," writes Rich Lowry at the New York Post. "We take grotesque atrocities and launder them into trite symbols and slogans that are usually self-congratulatory and, of course, wholly ineffectual."

He's right; social media warriors quick to post the "Peace for Paris" graphic and shade their profile pics in the blue, white and red of the French flag, may be able to woo a few more followers with their compassion, but that doesn't put us any closer to actually destroying the threat – which is what needs to happen.

Real force will win the day and keep people safe – not touchy-feely hashtags

You know what happened following the Paris attacks that really does have the potential to beat back ISIS? This: applications to join the French army tripled in the days after the Paris attacks.

You know what did not help France beat back ISIS? The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie (or #IamCharlie) following the ISIS-backed attack against the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris earlier this year.

"You are Charlie? Oh, OK. Then draw a sketch of Muhammad and post it online," writes Lowry. "Better yet, do it over and over again, until you get constant threats and your office is firebombed, just as a warm-up.

"No, you aren't Charlie. (For that matter, Charlie isn't even Charlie anymore — it's given up on mocking Islam for understandable safety reasons.)" he added.

Spare us the hashtag diplomacy. It's ineffectual, and if nothing else, prevents us from being rational and realistic about the militant Islamic threat facing us.





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