OBL was looking very chipper last night in the latest epsode of As the Stomach Turns. No gun in sight, well groomed and well dressed, he was all Terrorist GQ. The speech was way different too, directed toward US voters rather than to budding little jihadists.
In political discourse, we are constantly being told what issues we may legitimately address and which topics are "unpatriotic" or in some other way "out of bounds". I understand that for domestic political reasons, we may not criticize Zionist whackos lest we be perceived as anti semetic and lose some of the voters who can identify racism when it's happening to them, but are strangely myopic about racism happening to their neighbors.
The logic and the historical record is pretty straightforward to me. Authoritarians and terrorists have always had a symbiotic relationship. Embryonic police states need a tangible threat to keep their citizens afraid and toeing the mark. The terrorists are happiest when their opponents find themselves in situations where they are required to rough up and occasionally kill civilians. Everytime an Iraqi garbage collector or shoe repairman finds himself face down in the dirt with some 19 year old American kid's boot on his head, and a rifle barrel in his back, that's more resentment generated.
Osama Bin Laden took pains to excoriate Bush's actions and policies in great detail. It defies logic to think that he is unaware that many terrifed ruminants will rally to their shepherd when threatened. Chris Mathews was already bleating last night about the need to support our leader in this time of renewed fear. OBL is very content indeed that after having taken out one of his greatest enemies, we are now bogged down and taking casualties in Iraq.
As for me, I will follow the advice that this administration ahs constantly hammered us with for the past three years:
Be very afraid.
Continue to shop.
Don't ask questions.
If I were Joe Lockhart, I'd be putting together an ad with all the Bush quotes about OBL. You'd start with the bellicose early statements couched in certified cowboy rhetoric, and follow up with the later stuff about the irrelevance of OBL and Al Quaida. Go get 'em Joe.
Oct. 30, 2004 | Pat Ryan |