Saturday, November 25, 2006

Terrorists Heart The Democrat Party

Glenn Greenwald rounds up some some of the more jaw-dropping conservative assertions that, in effect, a vote for the Dems was a vote for al Qaeda.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Since al-Qaeda's attacks did influence the Spanish elections, it was not improbable that the upcoming US election inspired some extra violence.

If anyone thinks al-Qaeda is not aware of the propaganda victory won by North Vietnam's Tet offensive (even though it was a military loss), they have not been paying attention.

From the AP:

On the audio tape made available on militant Web sites, the al-Qaida in Iraq leader also welcomed the Republican electoral defeat that led to the departure of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. He added that the group's fighters would not rest until they had blown up the White House.

"The al-Qaida army has 12,000 fighters in Iraq, and they have vowed to die for God's sake," a man who identified himself as Abu Hamza al- Muhajir said.

Al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, also urged the U.S. to stay in Iraq so his group would have more opportunities to kill American troops. "We haven't had enough of your blood yet," he told the U.S.

"We will not rest from our Jihad until we are under the olive trees of Rumieh and we have blown up the filthiest house _ which is called the White House," al-Muhajir said. It was not clear what Rumieh was referring to.

Al-Muhajir became the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq after Abu Musab al- Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June. The tape could not be independently verified.

"The American people have put their feet on the right path by ... realizing their president's betrayal in supporting Israel," the terror leader said. "So they voted for something reasonable in the last elections."

5:03 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

As intelligence analysts in the Bush administration have known since '04, al Qaeda *does* try to influence American elections...and the consensus among experts is that they have worked hard to keep Bush in office.

This is not secret can easily find the links if you feel like digging them up.

But expert opinion aside, even the casual observer can see that Bush has been the best ally al Qaeda has ever had.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Careful, WS. DA will be flogging you any minute now for making assertions without links, like he does to me. Even the casual observer can see he's a very intellectually honest fellow.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

You can look 'em up if you're interested and serious about this subject.

Me, I've got papers to grade...

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TVD, you might consider the following:

"CHRISTIAN CHESNOT: And so we know for sure there was some bin Laden people, because in our case one of the hijackers said to us I am a fighter of the jihad of the Islam. I was trained in Afghanistan with Osama, with Cher Osama, you know. He don’t say bin Laden, he say Cher Osama, which is honorable, you know, title for the [inaudible]. He said I have fought also in Bosnia, and so I know -- I can manage all the weapons, even chemicals, and so the Iraq is the starting point from the Islamic revolution in the world. So for us it is a new base. And he say, thank you, Mr. Bush, because you tried to kill us in Afghanistan and now we're everywhere. And he said, also in 60 countries. Maybe it's wrong. But he said, now we're in a state of confrontation. And at this time it was very, not funny, but amazing because it was at the time of the election, American election, where there was John Kerry and George Bush, you know, competing in the U.S. election. And I said to him, maybe you will vote to Kerry because he wants a withdrawal of the U.S. troops in Iraq. He said not at all. We want George Bush. I vote George Bush because with him it will be more confrontation, more violence and after one year, two years, we will be more stronger because we will be more experienced in the fighting against the Americans."


Of course, lets' not forget the recently released Faux Snews internal memo wherein there were instructions to find mention of insurgents displaying joy at the Democratic victories in the recent election.

To paraphrase Mr. Thurber, you could google it up, if you so desired.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

So in other words, to do nothing about bin Laden, as Clinton did, is the best strategy to prevent the growth of al-Qaeda. Hmmm.

I don't dispute what Chesnot wrote, but do wonder about his gullibility.

I did some googling myself, and Ron Suskind's book (which may or may not be true) posits that bin Laden may have wanted Bush as a hedge againt Zarqawi.

Perhaps it's so, but more complex than "al-Qaeda wants Bush," as the left blogosphere reduced it.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

For the ten zillionth time:

Clinton didn't do nothing against OBL.

Clinton almost killed OBL.

Clinton probably WOULD have killed OBL if anti-Clinton sentiment in the military hadn't led them to fire the Tomahawks from surface ships instead of subs.

The Republicans put pressure on Clinton to prevent him from trying again.

Added bonus:
How come, re: your last line, things only become "more complicated" when the evidence points in favor of Dems or against the GOP?

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we ought not pay much attention to what 'The Terrorists' want in terms of our elections for a few reasons.

First, we don't actually know what they want, we just know what they claim to want, and their claims may be made for strategic reasons or as a method of deception.

Second, slavishly doing the opposite of whatever Osama wants us to do is an absolutely insane method of governance. Actions still need better reasons than that, even post 9/11.

Third, in our analysis, let's not overestimate their analytical prowess. Osama doesn't know what the effects of a Kerry presidency or the Republicans holding on to control of the House and Senate would have been any more than we do. Sure, he has his stated preferences, but even if his statements are forthright, that doesn't mean he's right.

All of that having been said . . . yes, our best evidence seems to indicate that Osama favors the Republican party. This means that those who are claiming that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for the terrorists are at best mistaken and ill-informed and at worst lying manipulative partisan hack motherfuckers.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Osama favors Americans divided. The Democratic desire to reform a democracy in peril from Republican fascism divides us.

Osama favors America bellicose and isolated. The Bushist drive to implement the PNAC program is bellicose and isolating.

Take your pick.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess my point, LL, is that both of those ought to be argued against on their own merits.

I don't believe that the Democratic desire to reform is all that harmful, but if it is, then those who believe it is ought to make that case, rather than rely on "Osama wants X, therefore we must do the opposite of X!"

12:03 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I agree with Myca...
but...can't...resist...saying... OBLreallydoeslikeRepublicansbest!

You gotta's hard to resist when:

1. The Republicans keep saying he's tried to influence elections in favor of the Dems


2. The best available evidence actually indicates that just the opposite is true.

I mean, I think we'd have the good taste not to point out 2 if it weren't for 1.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

WS, a careful reading of the Suskind passage is probative---bin Laden's apparent support for Bush was not strategic, but tactical: he wanted the US to whack his rival, Zarqawi.

And whack him, they did. But in my view the damage to al-Qaeda that bin Laden feared was done. Their scorched-earth tactics in Iraq may have finished al-Qaeda as the leader of the world Islamic revolution. Even the Sunni tribesmen are fighting them, if you followed the link previously provided.

As for your repeating Clinton's self-justification on Fox News, well, you read the Clarke book (presumably) and I didn't. So I defer to others who have presumably read it, whose conclusions are different from yours, and Clinton's, about what it actually might say:

“At least I tried [to destroy al-Qaeda],” he said. “That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy.”

That’s a lot to pack into one soundbite. And none of it holds up under scrutiny. First, on the claim that he “tried” to take out Osama bin Laden, Clinton repeatedly referred viewers to the book Against All Enemies, by former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke. But the book shows quite clearly that while, yes, Clinton wanted to do something about al-Qaeda, he always gave up when faced with even slight resistance from the CIA, the FBI, or the Pentagon. Does that qualify as trying? If so, he didn’t try very hard.

Second, Clinton’s claim to have left the incoming Bush administration a “comprehensive anti-terror strategy” just doesn’t ring true. About a year after the September 11 attacks, Time magazine floated the story that in his last months in office Clinton had a grand new plan that was inexplicably ignored by the Bushies. But that report fell apart almost as soon as the magazine came out, when Clarke himself told reporters, “There was no new plan.” Wanting to make sure, reporters asked, “No new strategy?” Clarke answered: “Plan, strategy — there was, no, nothing new.”

Finally, even a cursory look at the record shows that conservatives by and large supported Clinton’s efforts to attack al-Qaeda. “The U.S. missile strikes against terrorist facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan were a response to a real threat,” National Review said in a September 1998 editorial. “Congressional leaders were therefore right to support President Clinton’s action.” Does that sound like right-wingers ridiculing Bill Clinton for trying to take out Osama bin Laden?

And, BTW, Myca's words are quite sage:

First, we don't actually know what they want, we just know what they claim to want, and their claims may be made for strategic reasons or as a method of deception.

I don't expect that anyone here will take the administration's rhetoric at face value, which is fine. Neither should they take al-Qaeda's. Or Clinton's, needless to say...

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean, I think we'd have the good taste not to point out 2 if it weren't for 1.

Oh, agreed completely, WS.

Dems who say that Osama wants the Repubs to win are saying something that (as near as we can tell) is true but unhelpful.

Repubs who say that Osama wants the Dems to win are lying, pandering, assholes.

When faced with a lying, pandering, asshole, being true but unhelpful can be forgiven.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Whew, those are a lot of fallacies to pack into one post, Tom, but quickly:

Wow--as for cursory looks, that's about the most cursory I've ever seen. Congrats!

One citation from the National Review does not widespread support make.

Yes, trying is trying, even if one ultimately gives up when the FBI, CIA etc. won't do what they're supposed to do. Their hostility to Clinton is fairly well-known.

In fact, anybody who cares about this country should be concerned that the military and intelligence agencies were so uncooperative with a president for political reasons. It's pretty scary, actually, and probably contributed to 9/11.

'No new plan' doesn't mean 'no plan'.

Not sure what you were trying to do there, really.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe that the Democratic desire to reform is all that harmful

Yes, Myca, I agree. I'm not willing to give up democracy and the responsible division it inevitably entails just because Osama and Duhbya agree that our disagreements are bad for us. Instead, I differ with both of them - but then I'm a committed small-D democrat as well as a committed large-D Democrat.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, WS, even tho you tossed aside anything uncongenial to your own Kool-Aid (and I'll admit I'm susceptible to mine, being a human and all that), completely ignoring any criticism of Clinton based on Clarke's book itself, which you presumably read---let's move forward together, as I think was a Dick Nixon campaign slogan:

You might be able to google the CIA's hostility and leaks against the Bush administaration. (I make it 10 seconds of your time acccording to your self-acclaimed google skills.)

Let's assume that Clinton met the same resistance from State, DoD, and the intelligence services, entrenched interests all.

That would make sense, bureaucracies being what they are. Administrations come and go but bureaucracies and status quo are virtually forever, which was sort of the 9-11 Commission's point, and the French Revolution's as well.

Remember, I'm really not a Clinton critic, except when he opens his mouth in his ex-presidency. (Ex-presidents are not private citizens, sorry---they remain ex-presidents and have the pensions, libraries, and Secret Service guards to prove it.)

Surely you and I can unite against the bureaucracy, the only truly known enemy of civilization, and of man himself.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

See, the difference between the two cases is this:

The resistance to Clinton was political.

The resistance to Bush comes from professionals who believe his policies to be disastrous. Intelligence agencies pushed back against pressure to lie to get us into Iraq, the Pentagon has pushed back against nonsensical military policies...

Not all resistance is equal.

If these agencies had NOT resisted Clinton, then 9/11 might never have happened.

If they'd pushed back MORE against Bush, we might not be in the mess we're in now.

Bottom line: their resistance to Clinton was apparently political, misguided, unprofessional, and alarming as hell; their resistance to Bush has been reluctant, principled, and rather modest givent he extravagantly idiotic nature of Bush's policies.

And I'm not sure why you keep suggesting that I may not have read the Clarke book...especially since I basically wouldn't shut up about it for two months immediately after it came out. If you'd like me to mail you my heavily-underlined copy I'd be glad to do so...

8:40 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

All I said was that Clinton did nothing about al-Qaeda, which he didn't. It was admittedly snarky to mention that fact, but it was part of a larger point, which is now buried.

And Scheuer and Ijaz disagree with Clinton and somewhat with Clarke. We all have our experts, the epistemological impasse continues.

7:01 PM  

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