If there was a definition of futility, then these guys have won the prize:
Walid Jawad was tired of all the chatter on Middle Eastern blogs and Internet forums in praise of gory attacks carried out by the “noble resistance” in Iraq.
So Mr. Jawad, one of two Arabic-speaking members of what the State Department called its Digital Outreach Team, posted his own question: Why was it that many in the Arab world quickly condemned civilian Palestinian deaths but were mute about the endless killing of women and children by suicide bombers in Iraq?
Among those who responded was a man named Radad, evidently a Sunni Muslim, who wrote that many of the dead in Iraq were just Shiites and describing them in derogatory terms. But others who answered Mr. Jawad said that they, too, wondered why only Palestinian dead were “martyrs.”
The discussion tacked back and forth for four days, one of many such conversations prompted by scores of postings the State Department has made on about 70 Web sites since it put its two Arab-American Web monitors to work last November.
The postings, are an effort to take a more casual, varied approach to improving America’s image in the Muslim world.
Brent E. Blaschke, the project director, said the idea was to reach “swing voters,” whom he described as the silent majority of Muslims who might sympathize with Al Qaeda yet be open to information about United States government policy and American values.
Just imagine the linguistic sumersaults used to justify the Iraq war (“look, I know it seems awfully violent at the moment, but really, the Bush administration cares deeply for the Iraqi people.”)