Thursday, March 02, 2006


     According to the Washington Examiner, "President Bush now says his 2004 victory over Democratic Sen. John Kerry ... was inadvertently aided by al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden." Duh. Well, half-duh. I think it's pretty clear that a Bin Laden tape endorsing Kerry in October of 2004 caused Americans to vote for Bush. But to call it inadvertent?
     Americans like to think their villains are stupid and 100% corrupt. In 2001, when the wounds of 9/11 were still raw, Bill Maher was chased out of town for suggesting that contrary to what President Bush claimed, the terrorists who piloted planes into our buildings were not cowards. In our culture, liars are people who never tell the truth and evildoers are people who never do good things.
     But in the real world, Osama bin Laden is not stupid. And he understands politics. In the late 90's bin Laden declared war against the West. That was to be war between the Christian countries and the Islamic countries. And while almost nobody understood the real reason behind 9/11 (other than "they just want to kill as many of us as they can"), I think it's safe to assume he had one. In fact, he told us his reason - we just don't want to listen to him when he tells the truth. Which of course is because we assume that since he's evil, he never tells the truth.
     Bush has given bin Laden everything he wanted - a conflict between the West and Islam. And furthermore, the United States is isolated in the world, having alienated its allies. The Bushies claim that we're winning, because we've killed many high-ranking Al Qaida members. But in any war, you expect casualties (except Americans. We expect to incur none.). And bin Laden's cronies have paid the price. But his goal may still come true. And if it does, he will have won.
     So back to the election. If Bush has given bin Laden everything he wanted, of course bin Laden wanted Bush to be reelected. He didn't want Kerry to start making nice with Islamic Arabs. He didn't want Kerry to reestablish relations with the Europeans so they could provide a common front. And what would be the best way to get his man Bush back in office? Endorse the other guy. It's a classic Good Cop/Bad Cop routine. It doesn't work on everyone, since it can be easily recognized. But police often use it successfully on people who are scared and frightened.
     Osama bin Laden got George Bush elected, alright. But it wasn't inadvertent. It was just the 21st century version of the October Surprise.


sideshow bob said...

Despite being "the Home of the Brave", we sure do have a way of letting fear control our decisions in this country...

Bryce said...

Isn't the good cop/bad cop routine where the two cops are scheming together? Did you mean to imply that Bush was in cahoots with bin Laden?

Scott said...

Well, you're right. A true good cop/bad cop routing does require that the two parties participating are complicit.
However, I'm sure Bush and his advisors are smart enough to know that bin Laden did not really desire Kerry, and yet they characterized Kerry as being bin Laden's man. And I believe bin Laden knew how Americans would react to his statements.
I'm not so cynical (yet) that I believe Bush and bin Laden were in cahoots. I mean, I don't like the man, but there's no reason to believe he's truly evil.
But I do believe they used each other. And without trying to link the two the way Bush did in the '04 campaign, it's a little scary when the path to Bush's goals is the same as the path to bin Laden's.