“The attempted Christmas attack also put Al Qaeda’s resourcefulness on full display. In its third decade, under severe pressure, it has evolved into a jihadi version of an Internet-enabled direct-marketing corporation structured like Mary Kay, but with martyrdom in place of pink Cadillacs.”

Steve Coll in this week’s New Yorker magazine offers what I think is some helpful and sane perspective. Despite the chaos in airports after the Underpants Bomber this Christmas (I was in the chaos, it sucked), Al Qaeda has basically painted itself into a corner and the Obama approach to terrorism is finding traction. Read the whole piece here.