The underlying reason why America is doing so poorly in the field of "information warfare" against the Jihad is that its traditional organs of articulation -- the academy, media, Hollywood -- are largely hostile to the War on Terror itself. It's conceivable that an Iranian might flee persecution only to be taught at a US university that he ought to embrace it by the many academic departments whose point of view is exactly that. In a fundamental sense, the War on Terror is twinned to the greatest single issue dividing the Left and Right, which is whether the United States, as a nation, is legitimate or whether, as some would maintain, it is Amerika: an abomination whose demise must be hastened by any means necessary.Wretchard hits the nail on the head in his last sentence, which is the skeleton key to how the left has dominated communication since they were beaten back—temporarily—by the McCarthy Hearings, against which they've been on jihad ever since.
Note carefully, from the McCarthy days to our own, how extreme leftists (and fellow travelers like John Kerry) always proclaim their patriotism and express outrage that conservatives should impugn this. What the average American simply doesn't know any more is that this is a classic Marxist-Leninist dodge. As Wretchard indicates to some extent in his final comment above, the hard left does indeed regard "Amerika" (or "Amerikkka" as they used to call us in 1968 et. al.), as an abomination and an aberration. What all leftists are actually "patriotic" about is a Marxist Utopia. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was always assumed that the Marxist Utopia would be run from Moscow, and it was to Moscow (and today to virtual Moscow) that the left's "patriotism" was being directed. By craftily misusing this terminology, correctly relying on help from the average American's incredible ignorance of logic as well as linguistics, the left has created the impression over the years that its openly seditious and treasonous activities are well within the scope of the U.S. Constitution, which they are not.
This is a very difficult hairsplit to grasp, and the left has always counted on that in its neverending campaign of obfuscation. The left regarded and regards themselves as American "patriots" because they are dedicated to helping all Americans to learning the error of their ways and adopting the wisdom of Big Brother, aka, World Socialism. Thus, these "patriots" are actually "patriots" of a higher order, "patriotically" helping Americans break with their somehow illegal capitalist government and achieve true freedom under a world socialist dictatorship. How nuts is that? No one in the media today ever bothers to reason this stuff out, and so it stands as "truth."
But if you don't have the capacity to parse this kind of thick illogic, which is based on replacing objective truth with "sincere feelings," you can't defeat it.
The hard and ever-Marxist left mastered long ago the art of Doublespeak. Meanwhile, the American right has never been fully able to grasp how ephemeral things like art and culture, which never make money (except in the movies), can be used to re-define the rules of debate and defeat them every time. They are probing for logic and never finding it in the arguments of the left. So they declare the left to be stupid and figure they've actually won the argument, even as the losses pile up in front of their collective nose. But the righy never looks for the hidden dialectic—effectively the art of moving the revolution forward by the guided struggle of opposites—and thus loses the argument every time.
This is not a way to win a war waged by jihadist totalitarians who are experts in the art of dialectical propaganda and who are themselves supported by the past masters of the same. The constantly maligned George W. Bush actually understands this. The rest of his party, astoundingly, does not.