Sometimes, Twitter can be great; most of the time, it sucks.
Case in point: the idiotic non-scandal today over a cheeky attempt by some Air Force PAO to piggyback on the latest hot online trend… the so-called #YannyVsLaurel debate over — you know what? I don’t care and neither should you.
I didn’t laugh, but I also didn’t get that offended that the Air Force might use a mind-numbingly stupid internet trend to call the wrong kind of attention to its operations abroad. Mostly just I thought Wow, the Air Force is having a really epic ‘How do you do, fellow kids?’ moment.
I mean, it’s clearly in bad taste, and probably not ideal in terms of information ops. “Don't get me wrong, I post about killing terrorists and tout the A-10 every chance I get,” as one Air Force vet told me, “but when you cross into joking about death on the battlefield to try and be hip to the current social media joke, it weakens our force and how we are seen.”
The Air Force deleted its initial tweet after a few hours and issued an apology acknowledging that the message was, in fact, in “poor taste.” But the internet decided to collectively dunk on this tone-deaf tweet with performative hand-wringing about violence and such.
The Huffington Post: “The tweet links to an Air Force Times story entitled ‘Air Force A-10s called in to hold off Taliban attack on major Afghan city,’ effectively ruining what had been a fun and violence-free moment in internet history.”
Vox: “It’s obviously not bad that the US military is fighting the Taliban or even promoting military operations against the group. But it’s not in good taste to make light of war using a meme, no matter the situation.”
The Washington Post: “The background of the battle in Farah is stark. The Taliban has launched several attacks in the city in western Afghanistan in the past few days, prompting the United States to launch airstrikes as Afghan forces fight to hold ground. The Taliban has claimed that it has taken control of the city, but the U.S. and Afghan governments deny that is true.”
Splinter: “Brands thirsty to turn the latest fad in digital culture into good PR or new revenue, not so much. Brands that are actually bloodthirsty arms of government, really not so much”
After covering the Department of Defense for Task & Purpose for the last year, my reaction to this reaction is: This is the Air Force news you care about that really gets you pissed?
If I’ve learned anything in the last year, it’s that violence is an inescapable part of military service. There’s a reason why dark humor and warfighting go hand-in-hand; how else do you reconcile the realities of modern warfare with your own humanity? Yeah, the Air Force joke was in bad taste, but pearl-clutching over an ill-advised attempt to translate that dark humor to a broader context misses the point.
Bottom line: This was a dumb mistake, but if an ill-advised tweet is what it takes to get you invested in the workings of the U.S. armed forces, you’ve got bigger problems. I would love to see a similarly indignant reaction to the dozens of service members killed in training accidents in the last year — whose numbers outstrip those killed in combat. I won’t.
It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)
Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.