Man Without Qualities

Thursday, November 14, 2002


Senate Democrats seem to be responding to the increasing evidence that bin Laden lives by attempting to score political points against the Administration - and that's probably going to continue to hurt the Democrats in major ways.

For example, Senator Tom Daschle
of South Dakota, who appears to have developed incurable political tinitinitis, said at a Capitol news conference. "Frankly, I think that it really caused many of us to be concerned about whether or not we are winning the war on terror."

And just what does Senator Daschle suggest be done to find bin Laden and win the War on Terror? Why, create an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, of course! Just the ticket! That will help find and root out al Qaeda and bin Laden.

And while Senator Daschle is working all that out for himself, Florida Democrat Senator Bob Graham, the outgoing chairman (Get it, Bob? You're outgoing.) of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is insisting that the Administration had been distracted from the fight against terrorism by the preparation for a possible invasion of Iraq. "They are so focused on Iraq that they aren't paying adequate attention to the war on terror," he said in an interview. On a lighter note, Senator Graham did not actually cite any evidence or examples supporting his harsh and divisive accusation, no doubt not wanting to get bogged down in details. That is fine, since nobody really seems to be taking his statements on the matter very seriously.

Senator Graham did go Senator Daschle one better by actually offering as a putatively constructive suggestion that American intelligence agencies should undertake a crash program to identify and take action against terrorist threats in advance of any military action in Iraq. Senator Graham's implication that American intelligence agencies have not already undertaken to identify and take action against terrorist threats is a bit odd.

Perhaps the good Senator was on vacation during the Afghan war, snoozed through reports of the Predator drone annhilation of six al Qaeda operatives in Yemen (including al Qaeda's top man in Yemen) just before election day, was watching "Charmed" during the newsflash of the September arrests of six Americans who the U.S. government describes as members of an al-Qaeda terrorist cell outside of Buffalo, and was working out at the gym when the reports came through from Pakistani intelligence officials that at least 20 suspected members of al Qaida, possibly including one of bin Laden's sons were deported by Iran to Pakistan and handed over to the Americans.

But, of course, all that would not be enough for the outgoing chairman, anyway. What Senator Graham seems to want is proof that all substantial al Qaeda activity, at least, has ceased before action against Iraq can even be considered, since that's too "distracting." In other words, he wants to use his unreasonable demands to stop the Iraq incursion - and his agenda shows badly.

Such Democrat "leaders" don't seem to understand that most Americans see such tactics as just that: political tactics designed to score media points, not reasonable and good faith efforts to get the necessary security job done. That's a big reason why the Democrats were punished in the elections, and its a big reason most people don't think the Democrats have a grasp of national security issues

UPDATE: OOPS!. Another blow against al Qaeda inadvertently effected by the distracted Bush Administration.

FURTHER UPDATE: Croooow Blog has more.

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