Jewish World Review Nov. 1, 2004 / 17 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765
Scripps Howard defies reality
Lisa Hoffman at Scripps Howard News Service attempts to write a balanced view of the effects that the new Osama bin Laden missive will have on our upcoming election. Hoffman's analysis goes far astray when one of her sources emphasizes that Islamic terrorists feel that George Bush has been "good for business":
Those bent on global Islamic holy war see the U.S. president as the personification of arrogance and imperialism - a tailor-made poster boy for recruiting jihadis across the globe. Just because they vilify him doesn't mean they want him evicted from the White House.
"If you ask them if they are better off now than they were four years ago, (Islamic extremists) would say the past four years have been very good," said Joseph Cirincione, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. "There isn't an Islamic fundamentalist alive who wouldn't say (Bush) has been big for business."
Trying to figure out who bin Laden prefers in our election is a fool's errand, and apparently Scripps Howard found a fool to write this so-called analysis as well as a few for resources. Asking the CEIP for an objective outlook on the war on terrorism would be equivalent to asking Michael Moore for an unbiased review of the campaign. Cirincione belongs to that class of idiots who think that Islamic fundamentalism began on 9/10/2001 and has been caused by George Bush and his strong support of Israel against Palestinian terrorists.
Al Qaeda had launched several large-scale attacks on America and others during the 1990s while no one lifted a finger to stop them. They had a complex and effective financing network funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to them. They had one nation, Afghanistan, which openly supported and sheltered them and had implemented their idea of governing on 24 million unfortunate Afghanis. They operated with impunity in scores of countries, including ours, and attacked at whim.
Three years after 9/11, we've captured or killed most of their leadership and a large number of their associates, negating Cirincione's supposed recruitment boon. We've dismantled a large part of their financial network, cutting of a large part of their income. We removed the Taliban, liberating Afghanistan and allowing them to get rid of oppressive, radical Islamist totalitarianism in favor of a democratic government. We cut Southwest Asia in two by toppling Saddam Hussein, eliminating a transit point between Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Syria, Lebanon, and the West Bank. We convinced Pervez Musharraf to fight the Islamists, making their former safe haven of Pakistan a dangerous place for them to live.
Is this how Bush has been big for Islamist business?
Osama doesn't care who gets elected, or if he does, it is a secondary consideration. He's more interested in intimidating Americans as a whole and leveraging our fear into a foreign-policy change that cuts off our alliance with Israel and a general withdrawal from the ummah. Bin Laden 'prefers' Kerry only in the sense that bin Laden is a member of the Anyone But Bush contingent. The reasonable tone and moderate rhetoric was designed to appeal to the weak-willed Left, convincing them that bin Laden wants nothing more than to be left alone. The al-Qaeda mastermind deliberately played "good cop" to Assam the American's "bad cop" in an earlier videotape to first frighten us and then convince us that appeasement gives us a chance for peace in our time.
The new tape has positive and negative effects on both candidates, and those probably cancel each other out. It helps Kerry in proving that bin Laden is still alive, and Bush because it reminds people that we remain under attack and have to quit pretending that the war is over - or that Islamist terrorism amounts to nothing more than an organized crime ring. But all of that remains subordinate to Osama bin Laden's primary purpose of terrorizing Americans into surrender, starting by convincing us to abandon Israel and the President who has been Israel's strongest ally in a generation as well as the first to directly attack the entire support network of Islamist terrorism. Offering an analysis that pretends the last four years have been wonderful for Islamofascists stretches credibility far past the breaking point, and Scripps Howard should be embarrassed to publish it.
JWR contributor Edward Morrissey, aka "Captain Ed," is a customer-service manager and radio talk show host. He blogs at Captain's Quarters. Comment by clicking here.
09/28/04: Kerrynomics: Pandering paternalism
09/24/04: Kerry still sacrificing the freedom of the South Vietnamese
© 2004, Edward Morrissey