Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Bin Laden Endorses Bush/Cheney

The question that has constantly overhung this election experience for me is, "Are we as stupid as all these people make us out to be?" Now into the fray comes Osama Bin Laden. The very unexpected nature of this appearance has sent policy makers and talking heads scrambling for the right spin. Forty-eight hours later they seem to have hit their stride.
It’s a dumb show in a sense: If you read it literally, he’s calling for the defeat of President Bush, but he's not doing John Kerry a favor. Anyone with a brain in this planet knows that’s a way for President Bush to get support in this country. It’s impossible for us to know if he’s being ironic, clever, shrewd or stupid.

Chris Matthews

Clearly Mr. Matthews is confused as to why Al Queda would come to the aid of President Bush. This would seem to be an intelligent reacton. Eliminate ironic, ol' Osama is not much in the humor department. Stupid? This is the man who masterminded the most complex and successful special ops plan in history. This leaves clever or shrewd. Clever is a bit trite for the situation, so I'll go with shrewd with more on that later.

As a neutral party Chris Matthew's can afford to leave questions like these hanging, but others are not afforded this luxury. Rudy Guliani appeared for the President's campaign today on Meet the Press and had this assessment,

He probably doesn't know at all the American people. He made critical mistakes. He thought when he attacked us on September 11, 2001, that we were going to cower, that we were going to back down. And, in fact, we haven't. We've become stronger as a result of what happened to us and more united. And I hope it's going to continue that way after this election.

Forced to respond, the Republicans would rather go with stupid rather than shrewd. They would rather not answer the question altogether. Did Bin Laden expect us to back down after Sept. 11? Clearly Mr. Guliani insults our intelligence with that notion. Maybe insults our intelligence is not quite as true as doubts our intelligence. I think Bin Laden expected just what he got then and just what he's getting now from Mr. Guliani. More on that later.

Feed this response through the yellow jounalism machine and you get this from Joe Scarborough,

Bin Laden's boneheaded political play has the historical significance of Adolph Hitler addressing Americans struggling through WWII to make his best case for Wendell Wilkie over FDR.

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that Hitler didn't do any such thing and that Scarborough is saying this event has the significance of something that did not happen. Rather than split more semantical hairs with a Hannity light who is clearly in over his head let's just say that he is seconding the stupid option.

What about journalists of a more "legitimate" ilk? This from Christopher Isham, top ABC News analyst,

Some observers agree that the new tape will remind Americans that Bush has failed to capture Bin Laden and may help Kerry, but most U.S. political analysts believe that the appearance of the tape in the days before the election will bring terrorism back to the top of the agenda and therefore will help the president on an issue that, in most opinion polls, he is perceived to be stronger on than Kerry.

Mr. Isham does not hazard a guess as to why Al Queda wouldn't know how most American political analysts would land on this nor why they would proceed to help Mr. Bush. Isn't he curious about this? Who will handle this hot potato. John McCain, who will not be seen as one to underestimate his enemy, hesitates to take the "stupid" party line. How does this master balancing act handle the subject today on Face The Nation without raising the "awful question"? With this little bit of obfuscation,

So does it, quote, "favor" President Bush or not? I don't know if that's the right description, but I do believe it focuses all our attention back on the transcendent issue, which is the war on terror, and that's where I think any polling data will show you the president has an advantage.

Wow! How do you define "is"? Clearly there is a concerted effort here by the right to avoid associating the concept of help with the reality of, ...well..., help.

At this point the election is all about shaking the weakly committed from the trees. If people were satisfied there would be no indecision. This fact swings the election every time toward the challenger. Every professional politician knows this fact, and Osama Bin Laden knows it too. Bin Laden has appeared in order to bolster Bush's chances. Why? Because Kerry might mean business in a war on terror unencumbered by Bush's zeal for big war and grand scheme. Kerry is the devil he doesn't know. Bush has been utterly predictable and a reactionary dupe for the cause of Jihad.

Perhaps Bin Laden's appearance will stem the tide and preserve a Bush victory. Lord knows the Gulianis and Scarboroughs of our culture are more than happy to do this bidding. The great irony is that Bin Laden will have affected history by goading the conservatives, again.


At 4:06 PM, Blogger JD said...

"Bush has been utterly predictable and a reactionary dupe for the cause of Jihad."

That is exactly the point. If I were Osama Bin Laden I would have been jumping for joy the moment the US invaded Iraq. I believe that Osama underestimated the amount of Muslim support the Taliban would enjoy after an American invasion of Afghanistan. But in Iraq he now has more recruitment possibilities and propoganda fodder than he knows what to do with.

Many people don't realize, or don't bother to complete to logic, that Osama wants anarchy in the middle-east. To him a quagmire Iraq is the best-case scenario. Even if Iraq does become a democracy he can still point to American military presence, past or present, as proof that America wants to take over the Middle-East and destroy Islam. Osama wants war not peace. In George Bush he has found an unwitting accomplice. Someone who is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in and take action, but too near sighted and reactionary to see the big picture. Osama started this war, but Bush is sure going to finish it. But that's just what Osama wants. Bush et al. have repeatedly said that Al-Qaeda is a different kind of threat and has no country or flag. Yet for some reason we choose to wage a very conventional war against it in Iraq. Osama would like to see the American flag posted all over the middle-east because this would give him the ammunition to finally start the religious war he desperately wants. If I were him I would think that Bush is the man to drag into a wider war, so I would want to keep him in power.

Now, after saying all of that. I didn't read this statement by Bin Laden as "for" or "against" Bush. It seems to me clear that he is repeating his positions about the American presidency. He has said that he doesn't care one way or the other, he sees America for her actions and not for the personality of its leader. Indeed he started attacking us during the Clinton years and the liberal 90s. He makes it clear that our foreign policy is his problem with us and that there is really no discernable difference between the Democrats and the Republicans when it comes to Middle-East policy. That much is true. But he uses our policy as an excuse more than a justification.

I think Osama sent this tape not to influence the election, but to remind us that he is still around. I think that there is also the chance that he sent this tape as a signal to attack. He has done this before. The fact that it's the first videotape of him since the Afghan invasion makes me more than a little nervous for election day. Sticking with my theory that he wants Bush to stay in office, the content of this tape seems to suggest otherwise. The fact that he says he sees no difference between Kerry and Bush seems to help Kerry because many conservatives outragously claim that UBL is cheering for him. This debunks this. So that is contradictory. But, if this is a prelude to an attack than surely he knows that an attack only favors Bush, four more years of Bush surely favors Bin Laden from a strategic point of view.


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