eveline lubbers on Wed, 7 Apr 2004 11:36:43 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] Al Queda als wereldmerk

Hieronder een paar quotes uit een bijzonder stuk 
uit de Observer dat 11 september ziet als de launch van 
Al Queda als 'brand' en ervoor pleit het neo-terrorisme
vooral met PR-strategien en spin te bestrijden.

Spinning past the gates of Hell 

We must use our heads, as well as force of arms, in the fight against 'neo-terrorism', says Jason McCue, arguing that the 
war will be won in the media, not on the battlefield 

Sunday March 28, 2004
The Observer 

The war against this neo-terrorism has three fronts: technological (an arms and intelligence race over security), financial, 
and the ideological battle waged through the mass media. Until we take the war to these new battlegrounds, to address 
terrorism's increased effectiveness, we will not win our 'war on terror'. 

The most decisive battleground will be the ideological one. Neo-terrorists have effectively created a brand of ideology that 
they can franchise to the victims of poverty, ignorance and injustice throughout the world. They rely on the modern media 
to deliver their corrupted brand message. 

The al-Qaeda brand was properly launched in the West only on 9/11. Before that it was a back-shelf product in an Arab 
souk. Post 9/11 it went global. Al-Qaeda has understood that terrorism is fuelled by publicity. 

The brand launch was memorable, not least for being held at the world's most famous economic building. Al-Qaeda told no 
one, organised no guest list, did not invite the press - but the spectacle was sufficient to guarantee the al-Qaeda brand 
would become the most talked about product anywhere. 

To beat al-Qaeda, we must challenge the brand and educate people about the flaws in the product; that its miracle cures 
for the underclasses are no more effective as remedies than old-fashioned cures for hair loss or obesity. 


The al-Qaeda brand is vulnerable to spin. Bin Laden, regardless of his financial empire, strives to maintain an image of the 
classless, revolutionary, freedom fighter, pictured in combat gear around camp fires. Our PR machine should focus on his 
wealth, his harem, his absence from the battlefield and his disturbed interpretation of Islam. 

Our response to 9/11 guaranteed the creation of a Robin Hood figure within the communities harbouring bin Laden. As a 
result, most terrorist incidents around the world are blamed on al-Qaeda. This increases their kudos and creates a romantic 
aspiration for the aggrieved or disadvantaged. We must attack the myth of al-Qaeda, the sense that they are all powerful, 
omnipresent and capable of toppling Western society. 

It will not be the military or the police that finishes al-Qaeda but the spin doctors, the media and the public. We must 
encourage our leaders to use their heads rather than their might. We must reveal terrorists for what they are: an 
opportunist ramshackle group of bloodthirsty extremists. We must tackle ignorance, poverty and injustice but we must do 
so on contemporary battlefields. These are no longer simply liberal ideals; they are essential weapons in the war on neo-


Mobiel:	06 479 669 05
Mobile:	++ 31 6 479 669 05


Postbus 15059
1001 MB Amsterdam


Mobiel:	06 479 669 05
Mobile:	++ 31 6 479 669 05


Postbus 15059
1001 MB Amsterdam
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