Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 12:15 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 12:15 | SYDNEY

Al Qaeda loves getting a rise out of the US


Sam Roggeveen


20 November 2008 13:15

This is a strange one. Al Qaeda has committed countless atrocities over the last couple of decades, yet Time Magazine's Joe Klein thinks Zawahiri's racial epithet is going to make a difference to how they are perceived:

The Zawahiri letter is one of the first real indications we have of the new international state of affairs...The terrorists are now exposed as racists, on top of everything else. We have many miles to go in Afghanistan and the northern and western precincts of Pakistan, and more blood to shed--and innumerable ways to screw up, since no one has ever gotten Afghanistan right--but the wind seems to have shifted slightly and is now at our back.

Was there ever really any doubt that al Qaeda is composed of troglodyte bigots?

It seems to me the key to winning the public relations battle against al Qaeda is not to convince the world that they are bad, but to convince the world that they don't matter. Inflating the group's significance has been a counterproductive strategy. So instead of making pious statement about al Qaeda's brand of evil, mockery might be a better strategy, or just silence.