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March 17, 2004 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Turnabout hyperbole fair play? Boy, it's a good thing there weren't a lot of people going around saying terrorists would want John Kerry to win the election or anything silly like that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (19 comments total)

 
It's still a silly argument whatever side pushes it. But maybe this can be used as an example of both sides needing to tone down the invoking of 9/11 for political gain? With eight months to go it seems there's ample opportunity for stuff even sillier being promoted in favor of "what the terrorists won't want" that'll end up biting Bush or Kerry in the behind.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:57 PM on March 17, 2004


In fact, Islamist fundamentalists may well think they have won, and that Thursday's slaughter moved the Spanish electorate to vote the way they intended them to. However, believing that would be wrong.

Independent polls carried out on Wednesday, the day before the bombings, showed the Socialists ahead with a slight majority.

A poll carried out by Noxa Consulting on Wednesday gave the Socialists less than a 2 percent margin, putting them, nevertheless, in the lead. A similar poll conducted Friday -- a day after the attacks, gave the Socialists an even greater lead. The big difference -- and the clear reason of the Socialist victory -- was the nearly 3 million votes the Socialists added while Aznar's now not so Popular Party lost about 690,000 votes.
posted by homunculus at 5:17 PM on March 17, 2004


Whether this letter is legit or not, I do believe Bush's policy, which has more than a hint of holy war, probably is much more in line with what the al qaeda zealots would want. He could easily be seen as someone who could bait the entire islamic world into a new world war, something I imagine they'd be down with.

That's just conjecture on my part though, and I certainly wouldn't accuse bush supporters of wanting to help terrorists, as some did of kerry supporter in previous threads (rather, I think bush supporters genuinely think bush's strong arm policy will create democracy throughout the middle east, I just think they are wrong).

Anyway, I agree it's a stupid thing for either side to be using in debate.
posted by malphigian at 5:17 PM on March 17, 2004


Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization...Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."

So, guesses:

(1) The terrorists are being honest, and really do want Bush to be elected because they like the honest conflict rather than secular corrosion.

(2) The terrorist are using subterfuge, figuring Kerry is in fact soft on defense.


we know the intentions of the new government that has promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq

This is one of the most fiendish thing al-Qaeda could probably do: issue a demand that would look like negotiation/concession but that Spain was prepared to do anyway. Since al-Qaeda's early game moves are about gaining credibility in the Arab world, it doesn't matter if it's transparent to Westerner's... only if people in the Arab world want to beleive.

If Spain withdraws, they fall into the trap. If they don't (which they shouldn't, now), they'll engage domestic ire... unless the UN takes the reins.

I wonder if the current admin would use this as the opportune moment to let them.
posted by weston at 5:19 PM on March 17, 2004


McClellan's spin at the next press conference should be a thing of beauty.
posted by uosuaq at 5:23 PM on March 17, 2004


anybody has a link to an analysis of the message's language?
maybe it's the translation, maybe it's me, but it sounds unusual. different.
posted by matteo at 5:38 PM on March 17, 2004




Bush is giving them the "crusading holy war" they want. Instead of protecting us from terrorists he's using 9/11 as an excuse to play "building my first Empire and selling America to the big business and big religion."

I think this comment at the dailykos really nails it:
Who else has given them so much of what they wanted:

Al Qaeda wanted Saddam removed from power, Bush removes Saddam from power. Al Qaeda wanted US military out of the Saudi peninsula, Bush removes US military from Saudi peninsula. Al Qaeda wanted to be treated seriously as a world class player locked in a fundamental clash of nations (for recruiting purposes) as opposed to rogue criminals, Bush declares them world class players locked in a fundamental clash of nations and refuses to view this as a law enforcement action. Al Qaeda wanted a chemical weapons lab at Kirma, the pentagon wanted to destroy it, repeatedly requested to destroy it; Bush refuses to allow it. Al Qaeda wanted the US to restrict freedoms on it's citizens, the Bush administration restricted freedoms on citizens. Al Qaeda wanted the population to be afraid, Bush tells the population to be afraid.

It's almost as if Bush was trying to earn their endorsement.
Fundies need other fundies to really get going and George "I'm doing gods work" Bush is exactly what they need to create more regional Al'Qaeda cells, more recruits, and a mass anti-Western movement in the middle east that can lead to something along the lines of a third world war.
posted by skallas at 6:27 PM on March 17, 2004


Interesting article. Is the Reuters reporter's name really
"Opheera McDoom"???????
posted by Slagman at 6:39 PM on March 17, 2004


Slagman, I wondered that myself: it sounds like bad comedy in light of the terror subject matter. But a reporter of that name has been turning in stories on the Middle East for Reuters for some time.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:06 PM on March 17, 2004


I tried looking for this link on drudgereport.com but oddly couldn't find it.

DEVELOPING...
posted by tapeguy at 7:20 PM on March 17, 2004


I wanted to add something to this:

This is one of the most fiendish thing al-Qaeda could probably do: issue a demand that would look like negotiation/concession but that Spain was prepared to do anyway.

I'm actually not sure which way this cuts (well, both ways, but which way it cuts deeper). The Spanish election already looks like a concession to the terrorists to those who want to see it that way (for an alternate view, look into the articles claiming Aznar's defeat had more to do with his transparent attempts to manipulate the media into portraying the bombings as the work of ETA despite evidence to the contrary). On the other hand, this message could be taken as saying (consistently, I think, with some other Al Qaeda pronouncements): stop f*cking with our (Arab) countries and we'll stop f*cking with yours. Which would suggest that the best approach to terrorism is -- not to condone it, or stop hunting down terrorists networks, but -- not to randomly invade Arab nations to show how tough we Westerners are.
posted by uosuaq at 7:23 PM on March 17, 2004


Just as an aside, the Italian counter-terrorist police organization now states that there are at least 80 foreign individuals in Italy, most likely planning a Spanish or 911 style attack against a soft civilian target.
posted by kablam at 7:30 PM on March 17, 2004


... not to randomly invade Arab nations to show how tough we Westerners are.

IANAH(istorian), but wouldn't you think someone would have learned a lesson after 300+ years of various failed imperialistic policies around the globe?
posted by jaronson at 7:36 PM on March 17, 2004


If Spain withdraws, they fall into the trap. If they don't (which they shouldn't, now)

Why? Are you suggesting that a taunting letter should determine national policy governing the use of military force?

"Haw haw suckers, you're doing what we wanted!" "Oh yeah, well guess what, we're not going to do it now so there!"

I mean I've always suspected that national politics are generally conducted at the reasoning and emotional level of a 9 year old, but one would hate to see it proven like that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:39 PM on March 17, 2004


(1) The terrorists are being honest, and really do want Bush to be elected because they like the honest conflict rather than secular corrosion.

(2) The terrorist are using subterfuge, figuring Kerry is in fact soft on defense.


"Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!"

I get the impression that what we're looking at is an example of the newly loosened "Al-Qaeda" network in action. These kind of mind games are unlike anything I remember hearing from the Osama tapes. This is more in line with a more typical non-apocalyptic terrorist group with specific goals and plans to achieve them.

I'd echo matteo's request for a better linguistic analysis.
posted by furiousthought at 9:26 AM on March 18, 2004


Here's some more info on the letter an it's authors (from CBC news).
Sounds like these guys are not really trustworthy.
posted by nprigoda at 10:16 AM on March 18, 2004


I don't think this group can be considered 'trustworthy'; but it's a nice reminder for anyone who seeks to claim knowledge of 'what the terrorists want'... or claim anything based upon a single, untrustworthy source -- such as Ahmed Chalabi, for instance.
posted by riviera at 3:01 PM on March 18, 2004


I find the whole idea of trying to divine 'what the terrorists want' ludicrous. Since when do foreigners have any say over the election process anyway? Furthermore, no one knows who these people are-- the amount of hard knowledge about "al qaeda" is shockingly small. Lastly, these people 'hate our freedom' so why should anyone try to score points by saying they're rooting for X to win the election.

The whole idea of it is sickening, if you are playing those games I guess they terrorists really have won. Still trying to work out exactly what they've won, though.
posted by cell divide at 6:46 PM on March 21, 2004


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