Zabihullah also claims that the issue is such a propaganda windfall—so tailor-made to show how “anti-Islamic” America is—that it now heads the list of talking points in Taliban meetings with fighters, villagers, and potential recruits. “We talk about how America tortures with waterboarding, about the cruel confinement of Muslims in wire cages in Guantánamo, about the killing of innocent women and children in air attacks—and now America gives us another gift with its street protests to prevent a mosque from being built in New York,” Zabihullah says. “Showing reality always makes the best propaganda.”
Insert 'why does the right wing hate our troops' snark here. I'm too pissed off to come up with anything clever myself.
UPDATE: Adam Serwer takes a more moderate approach:
On some level you can't really worry about what terrorists are going to say, because no matter what the U.S. does they're going to find some way to twist it into extremist propaganda. But the U.S. doesn't need to convince terrorists, it needs to convince the people that reside within what Marc Lynch describes as " the vast middle ground, the Arab and Muslim mainstream which both the Bush and Obama administrations have recognized as crucial both for defeating al-Qaeda and for achieving broad American national interests."
In general yes, but I think the Park51 might actually be a more effective recruiting tool. The other things Zabihullah are all actions of the military; the Park51 protests can be used to represent the views of the American people in general. That's no longer framing the conflict as 'the US versus the Taliban'; that's now bin Laden's beloved 'Islam versus the West' territory.