Monday, August 09, 2004

'Al-Qaida will do whatever it takes to assure Bush is re-elected'

According to the conventional wisdom, an al Qaeda attack prior to the November election would throw the election to Bush. British journalist Gwynne Dyer explains why al Qaeda might come to Bush's rescue: giving the Bush administration a reason to attack Afghanistan, and at least a flimsy pretext for invading Iraq, al-Qaida's attacks have paid off handsomely. U.S. troops are now the unwelcome military rulers of more than 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq, and people there and elsewhere are turning to the Islamist radicals as the only force in the Muslim world that is willing and able to defy American power.

It is astonishing how little this is understood in the United States. I know of no American analyst who has even made the obvious point that al-Qaida wants Bush to win next November's presidential election and continue his interventionist policies in the Middle East for another four years, and will act to save Bush from defeat if necessary.

It probably would not do so unless Bush's number were slipping badly, for any terrorist attack on U.S. soil carries the risk of stimulating resentment against the current administration for failing to prevent it.

Certainly another attack on the scale of 9-11 would risk producing that result, even if al-Qaida had the resources for it. But a simple truck bomb in some U.S. city center a few months before the election, killing just a couple of dozen Americans, could drive voters back into Bush's arms and turn a tight election around. Al-Qaida is clever enough for that.

Credit goes to The Bartender for the original link -- and for spelling it out in no uncertain terms: ...if al-Qaeda really means what it says -- and it always has in the past -- it wants to do whatever it can to defeat Kerry and keep Bush, the man who has done so much to create the conditions for al-Qaeda's success, in the White House.

This makes perfect sense to me. Bush has played right into bin Laden's hands, so why wouldn't al Qaeda want to keep him in the White House?


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