NICHOLAS BERG R.I.P.
Stomach-churning, hideous images are the stock-in-trade of the Al Quaeda publicity department. Their cuttings library grows daily. To describe the destruction of four airliners and the World Trade Centre as the world’s blackest-ever PR stunt is not to intend disrespect to its innocent victims; rather it’s to acknowledge that Bin Laden and his fellow-travellers are easily as adept as any clever geek in the Pentagon at putting the web to work.
The mediaeval-style decapitation of poor Nick Berg was an up-to-the-minute internet event to revenge disrespect shown to Muslims in published newspaper photographs: in other words, an entirely media-driven deed. As the Nazis once took so keenly to the technical development of the ‘Final Solution’, so Al Quaeda’s leaders are showing themselves determined to exploit modern technology, both to police the morality and undermine the morale of their enemy.