Internet & Ideological Wars

The internet has become accessible for everyone to have a site or a blog from which they can share their thoughts – deep or shallow- with the rest of the world. So the net has created a world community that don’t to know each other personally but they have a link through which they make their news –fabricated or genuine- travel fast as long as their site is well known and regularly checked.

Politically, the internet has become a weapon in ideological wars . It is used by all sides to make their points by persuading or frightening. It has offered freedom of speech to a larger extent despite its control in countries like China where net users can’t get access to all sites as it is risky for dissident to publish anti-government propaganda.

For the US, the problem is its use by terrorists, like Al Qaeda, for whom the net has become the best tool to show their success in fighting the US might because of – among other things- its invasion of Iraq. It was used by them as a platform to carry the execution of hostages and showing its steps to the rest of the world, sending threatening messages to their government and affecting public opinion.

For the US attempt to counter-attack propaganda used against it, it seems that it is not by the web that it can improve its image which is damaged in many countries of the world, especially in the Islamic world where the death of American soldiers is celebrated and the death of fellow Muslims is mourned.

In the Arab world, the US created a TV channel AL Hurra. But this channel failed to sway the negative impressions the majority of people in the Arab world have of the US government – although the US as a country is the dream of many.

The net for the US can be effective if it has the power to destroy all sites that are dangerously anti-American and to pursue those who feed them. It also should succeed in attracting the net users who have a negative view of the US and to create an interaction with them with the aim of persuading them of its good intentions.

But at present, it seems that the negative attitude towards the US will disappear with a change in its foreign policy and the dwindling effects of its opponents. Otherwise, they will use any diplomatic error by the US for their account. And so the net which is an American invention, in the first place, has in a way grown into an uncontrollable monster that needs new technological ingenuity to make the pages containing hostile or fabricated news, which can reach all corners of the world in matters of seconds, easy to intercept and destroy in matters of seconds as well.

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