The US adopts the Internet as a propaganda weapon writes Ehsan Ahrari for Asia Sentinel.
The idea of using social networks to bring about political change is the brainchild of the cyber freedom fighters of North Africa and Middle East. After watching its effectiveness, the United States has brazenly adopted it. It has opened up its own tweeting blogs to communicate with the Chinese, Iranian, and Arab masses. Hillary Clinton has been giving speeches on the issue of the Internet freedom. The Department of State has also set up twitter accounts in Arabic and Farsi to reach the Middle Eastern bloggers. America is peddling the new ‘freedom agenda’ through the use of the Internet and Tweeting.
The use of the Internet and other related social networks are the new weapons for spreading freedom all over the global “autocratistan.” The Internet and the social network ousted two dictators of the Arab world, and a few more despots are appearing increasingly wobbly.
The Obama administration’s initial response to regime change in Tunisia and especially in Egypt was characterized by a sustained hesitation and daily flip-flops. When Husni Mubarak was ousted, and when the Islamists did not suddenly take over Egyptian streets, the political status-quo driven bureaucrats in Washington became a bit more daring. So a decision has been made in the bowels of the White House and the Department of State that the US should jump in front of the tsunami for political change. The United States is using the Internet freedom as a tool to bring about regime change in Iran and open up China, both countries it deems as its rival of different proportions.
The Obama administration is also getting into the business of setting up “twitter-like microblogs,” whose effectiveness in spreading the news–especially the news that a particular autocratic regime does not want the world to see or hear–is being proven daily, as political unrest continues to spread in Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and Jordan.