June 30, 2004

A Question for Mickey Kaus
— Ace

Mickey Kaus is a perceptive and fun writer. However, he does have one grating idiocy: He pretends to think that perhaps Al Qaeda actually wants George Bush re-elected president (scan down to June 20th item).

As he's a Democrat, I can understand his desire to engage in this fantasy. The fact that Al Qaeda is rooting for John Kerry is obviously not an endorsement that will help the Democratic candidate. So he likes to pretend that it's difficult to say precisely whom Al Qaeda is rooting for. Perhaps Zarqawi is rooting for Kerry, but oh heavens no, not bin Ladin himself.

There is one big problem with this goofy thesis. Al Qaeda announced that it hoped the Madrid bombings would drive the hawk out of office and bring the dove into office; it seems awfully strange that Al Qaeda would be pro-Zapatera and yet anti-Kerry.

But let's put that aside.

Mr. Kaus, it's your theory that Al Qaeda wants Bush to win the election, correct?

Answer me this:

If Al Qaeda wants Bush to win, why don't they make the one statement -- costing them nothing at all -- most likely to insure his re-election?

With one single statement, they can destroy John Kerry's candidacy and guarantee a Bush landslide in November.

It doesn't matter if the statement is true or not. I think it is, but that's irrelevant.

The one statement?

Saddam Hussein funded us, trained us, and cooperated with us in planning or executing terrorist attacks.

If Al Qaeda wants Bush to win, Mr. Kaus, why don't they just say that?

Why do they continue maintaining the position that hurts Bush and helps Kerry?

For an organization that you claim is so thankful to Bush for "playing right into their hands," they sure have a funny way of displaying their gratitude, now don't they?

Posted by: Ace at 04:23 PM | Comments (16)
Post contains 316 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I don't think Kaus necessarily believes that al Qaeda wants Kerry to win. One Kaus' shticks is challenging conventional wisdom. He seems to do it with most topics, which I think is actually quite helpful. While I don't always agree with his contrarian point-of-view, it's good to have someone around who can look at both sides of an equation when it comes to political calculus.

Posted by: Larry Jones at June 30, 2004 06:45 PM (7HiRT)

2 1. Zapatero´s victory was part of a strategy to widen the trans-atlantic drift ans isolate america from its allies.

2. Al Qaida itself is very much keen on sustaining a good image in the arab world, because that´s their main recruitment base. Telling the world that they cooperated with someone like Saddam Hussein, who was very much hated throughout the arab world, could damage their popularity in the muslim population worldwide.

Posted by: Kaesestulle at July 01, 2004 12:44 AM (e0EZK)

3 I don't think AQ is all that sophisticated, politically. They killed people in Spain to kill people in Spain. When the election turned, they were like, yeah, we meant to do that.

I don't think they care who the President is. Look at how many attacks there were during the Clinton presidency, and he was no threat to them.

So Kaus is all wet on this. They don't care who wins, they want to kill the infidels, anyway.

Posted by: blaster at July 01, 2004 04:26 AM (IpXAD)

4 From Kaus:

"I'm very sympathetic to the book's thesis--that Bush has played into Osama's hands, at least in crucial respects."

Why do these communists want us to be losing?

Posted by: blaster at July 01, 2004 04:29 AM (IpXAD)

5 You might want to rephrase that, "As a Democrat, I understand..." Just sayin'.

Posted by: Mike at July 01, 2004 04:33 AM (eUZox)

6 I think it's pretty obvious that AQ want's Kerry to win-- not because Kerry would be any better for them, but c'mon, Bush is *awful* for them.

In the comfort of American debating societies (or cushy blogrolls), we have the merciful detachment to allow us to invent ornate frameworks to hang our theories on.

Out there in the shit, where AQ footsoldiers are getting shot up in the middle of the street every day, where nobody can even use a cel phone anymore, well. . . something tells me the average mad mullah is like "Dear Allah, anybody but Bush, please!"

While we here all know that the war could be made a lot worse for AQ than it currently is, I'd be surprised-- shocked-- if the general AQ sentiment isn't heavily against Bush.

Dave
Arlington, VA

Posted by: Dave at July 01, 2004 05:03 AM (rV7Dk)

7 YOU'RE A DEMOCRAT????!!!!!

Posted by: Sailor Kenshin at July 01, 2004 05:52 AM (+/E/x)

8 (Yes, that horrible misplaced modifier needs to be fixed--"As a Democrat, I...".)

Regarding who the terrorists support, I'd not be surprised if some of them support Bush because remember: They worship death as much as we worship life.

We're talking about a mentality that refines the art of blowing one's self up.

Posted by: Nicholas Kronos at July 01, 2004 06:22 AM (d8L+J)

9 I fixed the "as a democrat" thing. Thanks.

Posted by: Ace at July 01, 2004 07:36 AM (iog7U)

10 There's another one-liner AQ could use to ensure George Bush's re-election:

"I, Osama bin Laden, do hereby endorse John Kerry for President of the United States."

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