The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) publicly announced the other day that they were mobilizing their troops to back "Barack Obama's War" or BOW. I think it deserves an upgrade to buzzword and an acronym of its own to give it better "the buck stops here" imprimatur. He's so humble, our president giving credit for the "red line" to all the little people.
Americans have been discussing intervening in Syria for coming on two weeks now and the consensus is pretty much that BOW is bow-wow. Barking mad in fact. Congress "leans" obligingly to the requirements of due process but you see these little side articles crop up here and there expressing the quiet worry impeachment may be necessary to put things back in good order. While at least one of our senators plays poker, Russia's Vladimir Putin plays chess. "Syria? We will." Check. In the mean time, President Obama prepares to do Shakespeare in the round next Tuesday.
Into this very real and remarkably substantive discourse strides AIPAC to turn clarity into fog so the destabilization of the Middle East can carry on business as usual. If you've participated in talking about Syria at all, you've probably seen the uptick of AIPAC's work. They've been all over the Web the last couple of days. The usual operatives parroting talking point guide sheets questioning people's credibility, baiting arguments, seeking to divert trains of thought and generally seeking to interrupt Americans talking about America's interests with one another. In general, trying to divide Americans and set them against each other in mindless knee jerk tirades. The old death of a thousand cuts tactic is alive and well. One that I ran into this morning in The Huffington Post went like this:
Out of the blue someone asked me to, "Imagine how I'd feel when some Teapublican tells me my opinion doesn't count because of my surname and picture." So I answer, "I know lots of Americans of all types including Tea Partiers -- who are generally very nice people actually -- and I've never felt the aura of prejudice except around people like you." At first I fall for the emotion thinking "What a putz that guy is! Left wing nut." It's so easy to get sucked in. I don't wear a chip on my shoulder and you know what? People like me just fine. Americans can tell good people from bad people really well thank you very much. Take your political correctness and shove it.
And then I remember "That's not right. I have lots of left of center friends and they're really nice people too. Wake up, Dennis. You're being gamed." Hmm. There's something more going on here. I look around and I see more baiting and it seems to follow a theme I've seen before, patterns in the noise. Then I remember AIPAC announced they are mobilizing to support Obama get his war a couple of days ago. I'm suspicious but all I've got is a hunch. So I do what I always do when I smell sharks trolling the mainstream media, I go babble about it on social media. Social media is cool because whining there reveals more in minutes than will evolve in days on mainstream media. It's the new check your sources and spin way to enlightened Web surfing. Always have two tabs/windows going. Never rely on one source for anything. And above all, talk to your friends and work with each other to dissect the noise.
Lo and behold I hear from a friend that it probably is AIPAC trolls. I also heard from that same friend that at, "Rosh Hashanah lunch ... virtually nobody could come up with a good reason to support the AIPAC-administration position about Syria." The conjecture is that it's a minority within AIPAC that is signing on to the Obama play. Remember this is AIPAC. They are not doing it because they like him but because it suits their purposes. If this is not an AIPAC all in commitment, how much? Is it like Nancy Pelosi's troubles delivering the California delegation? As they say, weak sauce? How true is this assertion that it's an AIPAC minority play? Not sure. Maybe some of you will kindly share what you know. But the bumbling nature of what I've seen so far says this is probably not AIPAC's A-Team in action.
As to the trolling behavior, it's typical ruthless both sides against the middle. On The Huffington Post, they take the persona of left wing nuts and make havoc. Apparently on the Atlantic, I'm told the same trolls hit people as being "Anti-American" from the right. Equal opportunity jerks. But, they are all reading from the same "turn Americans emotionally against each other" talking points master script.
These do not seem like coincidences. I know what the baseband noise level is on the sites I frequent and can spot statistically significant shifts. So can a lot of other people. Best this kind of manipulation is exposed for the garbage it is. We don't need it in this country. We can use the power of the hyper-connected net to turn Beltway Lions into Paper Tigers, no longer to be feared but to be detected and exposed within hours of initiating activity.
I am rather thankful for the duality of regular media and social media that we have today. It's empowering for the people. It makes shadow attack methods far more transparent than they used to be. AIPAC may be one of those feared organizations offline, but online this old school caricature gaming is just comical when you see it plain as day on the Internet. Make that bumbling comical. These divisive methods only work if Americans are truly isolated from each other. My argument is we don't have to be and we have the tech not to be. Look what we've already done just around this topic of Syria. We've united a nation.
So back to the wars, if this is the kind of political ally gravitating to the President camp, that's just pathetic. Mr. President, it's time to stop hanging around with trolls and rejoin your fellow Americans. There is a way to resolve Syria in the interest of the human race sir but you are never going to find the solution in that isolated corner you are in now.