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State Department launches hashtag strike on Russia

State Department launches hashtag strike on Russia

Just when you thought the Obama Administration’s foreign policy couldn’t get any more ridiculous, the State Department sallies forth with a bracing challenge for Russia to respect the lame-o Twitter hashtag they touted last month:

She hopes the Kremlin will “live by the promise of hashtag?”  Was she drunk when she wrote this?  It’s not just social-media theater, either; Psaki mentioned it in a press conference, too, grumbling about the Russians: “I don’t think they’re living by their hashtag.”

Psaki is referring to the terrifying power of the Twitter hashtag (a phrase, beginning with a pound sign, that links multiple Twitter messages together) she introduced with a photo of herself holding up a crudely hand-lettered sign.  Unfortunately, it’s not a “selfie,” which is the only way this could be more ridiculous.

psaki_hashtag_sm

 

Doubtless Vladimir Putin will be overwhelmed by the power of this devastating social media strike and stop moving tanks and warplanes to the Ukrainian border.  Sure, Putin called the counter-insurgency operation conducted by the Ukrainian government against pro-Russian insurgents “a very serious crime against its own nation” that would “have consequences for the people who make such decisions, including relations between our two countries,” but that was probably before he saw The Hashtag.  Five insurgents died in the fighting; if they could have felt the power of The Hashtag, they might have surrendered without a fight.  Grenades have been thrown at a pro-Ukrainian checkpoint and a helicopter, but if the attackers had seen The Hashtag before they pulled the pins, they would have thrown bouquets instead.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday, “The West wants – and this is how it all began – to seize control of Ukraine because of their own political ambitions, not in the interests of the Ukrainian people… wait, the Americans have a hashtag?  Why was I not informed of this?  Only now do I realize that the glorious Obama Administration wants peace and prosperity for Russia and the Ukraine alike.  They have challenged all of social media to be ‘United for Ukraine.’  How can Russia refuse?  Hope and change!  UP TWINKLES!”  Sobbing and wiggling his fingers in the air, Lavrov fled from the press conference and contacted Vladimir Putin to arrange a drum circle.

Combined with the power of Secretary of State John Kerry’s whining, The Hashtag may become the most irresistible weapon since Captain America picked up his shield.  Here’s a taste of the high-pitched hell Russia has coming its way, if they don’t straighten up and fly right, courtesy of Fox News:

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday Russia is not abiding by last week’s Geneva agreement to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine and warned “if Russia continues in this direction, it will be not just a grave mistake, it will be an expensive mistake.”

Without specifying any specific future sanctions, he laid the groundwork, saying unless Russia changes course, “the world will make sure costs for Russia will only grow.”

One week after Geneva, he said, Russia “has refused to take a single step in the right direction.”

Kerry says he has seen U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence which shows the separatists working in Ukraine are taking direct orders from the Russians. He said Russian officials have not once gone on TV since the Geneva agreements to call for de-escalation, to call on the separatists operating in Ukraine to stand down.

He told reporters at the State Department, it was clear “only one country is keeping its word.”

“Let’s get real,” he said. “The Geneva Agreement is not open to interpretation.”

You heard him, Putin.  “Get real,” or he’ll step on a rake, like he did in Syria.

I found myself reflecting on the long, proud tradition of weaponized hashtags last night…

 

 

 

The Russian Ministry of Foriegn Affairs actually has been posting some Twitter messages to the vaunted #UnitedForUkraine stream… to push their talking points, of course.

 

 

 

So even at this dopey form of “diplomacy,” Team Obama is probably going to get pwned.  Not that it will make much difference, once Russia decides the ongoing “provocations” from Ukrainian forces trying to retain control of their own country justify military action.

Update: While the State Department plays games on Twitter, this is what’s happening near the rebel city of Sloviansk, in the insurgent-dominated Donetsk region.  The Ukrainians are evidently setting up a blockade:

sloviansk_standoff

Note that Russian media is already referring to armed Donetsk insurgents as “self-defense forces,” as though the entire area had seceded from Ukraine, and Ukrainian troops are foreign invaders.  All that remains is for Russian troops to move in and make the new “border” official.

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