US: Wining Hearts and Minds or capturing it?

This is a PAKPOTPOURRI EXCLUSIVE                                                                                              (The Battle for Blogosphere)

Jawad Raza Khan

Capturing lands has been a hallmark in the history of mankind for the lust of individual power, whirling into covetousness of resources as a nation. In wake of the statement above,planet earth has witnessed Hot and Cold Wars, turning into LICs (Low Intensity Conflicts). The myth of conquering lands shaped into conquering minds especially after US failures in global war on terror.

Advent of CNN during the First Gulf War was a trend setter in the history of warfare and electronic media emerged as a sole dynamic entity, but when state run televisions couldn’t provide space for the vested interests later, the emerged solution for the western powers was scientific use of Social Media Networks (Facebook Twitter You Tube) as their primary weapons for enticing friendly opinion making all around the globe. The regime change is now an easy game to play, no need to put billions of dollars by invading the point of interest.THE BLOGO WAR is on and forthrightly speaking, we living with old mindsets and antique tools are now turned into mere spectators as far as the opinion making is concerned. The Arab revolutions will bear the testament of the mentioned circumstance. Just to crystallize the evidence in this regard, readers are here given an opportunity to learn about some hard hitting facts about the very recent Syrian Revolution……..

She moved thousands of Syrians to roads and became the symbol of an uprising: Amina Aballah Arraf, a 35-year old Syrian-American lesbian, detained in Damascus because of her open criticism of the regime. When Syrians got out of the spell they realized that Arraf wasn’t quite who she said she was. In realism, the person behind the “A Gay Girl in Damascus” blog was really a 40-year-old American man from Georgia. Tom MacMaster, the actual author of the blog, posted apologies admitting to the hoax. “I sort of by accident… created something that had a lot more interest than I had ever possibly expected and then when I tried to shut it down it just kept getting bigger,” he told the New York Times. By then game was on for Syrian government…………………………….. That’s how blogospheres are fired up and hearts and minds are captured and occupied. On the other hand, Americans have done PHD in apologizing on any matter, from WMDs of Iraq to Arab revolution.

Same kind of a Blog-oblast occurred here in Pakistan; it was after the killing of a young man in Karachi by Sind Rangers that a Facebook page was developed for Mr Sarfraz (the one who was killed). Can somebody imagine that the said page had 3000 likes click within 15 minutes of its creation, thanks to Pakistani blogosphere, who came out intelligently by exposing the creator of the page who was an Indian national sitting in New Delhi.

This single event is just an example to quote that what we are facing now? One cannot deny use of electronic/social media networks from the so called judicial revolution of Pakistan till an unstoppable roar against Pakistan after the dreadful events of May 2011. 

Interestingly, a seminar was arranged by US consulate in Karachi on 11 june 2011, where top bloggers, tweeters and Facebook users of Pakistan were invited. Approximately more than 300 individuals attended the seminar with approx. tweeter following of 400,000 educated middle and upper class Pakistanis. According to some buzzing tweets, the Americans are now giving some final touches for a dreadful advance in this battle of Blogosphere. During the said seminar participants from outside Pakistan delivered lectures and conducted interactive Q&A sessions in person as well as through Skype, surprisingly, there was no government participation in the said event.

Point here to contemplate is not in contradiction to such events but happenings around the globe through social media (with US involvements in each of them), certainly has the potential to raise a Pakistani eyebrow. With Government institutions in deep slumber of intellectual sleep, will indeed pave the way for others to occupy the space of the state.

Situation in Baluchistan cannot be countered without serious monitoring and effective measures especially on social media networks. Banning 40 or 50 websites by PTA will not do the trick for the state as hundreds of pages on Facebook and twitter along with intelligent use of YouTube and Flickr is worthwhile to have a specific issue oriented strategy for SMN (Social Media Networks). Firefighting policy here and there on daily basis can only end up in confusion and that’s what is utterly prevailing in Pakistan.  

The sequence of events around the globe after 9/11 have been so obvious and expected that sometimes when tends to feel as an extremely intelligent personality with optimized visionary capability. On the other hand, close observation reveals that the same sequence is known to every commoner in the common streets of a country like Pakistan with explicit details and Nitti gritty. What is missing is evolvement of a concrete strategy for perception management especially on SMN. It is usually said and believed in Pakistan that SMN is a news dissemination tool only, unfortunately; this thought prevails in most of the antique minds of the Government sector. Pakistan’s perception managers need to understand and educate their selves, if they truly want to contribute towards the progress of Pakistan.                                                                                                                                                              *The writer is a political analyst based in Islamabad.

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  • dilazak1Abdul Qadir Khan  On June 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Beautiful article educating us on the importance and silent impact of social media on a society.
    Our bloggers and twitters should remain aware of fake friends on these social websites. It is a common tendency to create a fake account and oarticipate in your groups for monitoring the trends and if required slowly paving the seds of one’s own hidden agenda.
    The articl would have increased its real charm, had it been written in a little more easy to understand language. A soft study then a hard and dry study.

  • sumbul  On June 21, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Good to see somebody living in 21st century with some oxygen in brains as well well….. done jawad

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