|Man Without Qualities|
Friday, October 29, 2004
Although it would be a very good thing for Mr. Bush to win re-election, one cannot help but feel sorry today for the pathetic, doomed Democratic spinmeisters and their mainstream media water carriers. Charged, on the very same day, with whirling to Kerry-Edwards' advantage three developments each of which alone is a catastrophe for the Democratic cause: (1) Maj. Austin Pearson's disclosure that his team removed 250 tons of plastic explosives and other munitions from the Al-Qaqaa depot south of Baghdad on April 13, 2003 ? 10 days after U.S. forces first reached the Al-Qaqaa site, and (2) the new bin Laden video tape, and (3) ABC News broadcasting a videotape of a man describing himself as an American member of al Qaeda who says a new wave of terror attacks against the United States could come "at any moment."
The Al-Qaqaa disclosure would be bad enough for the Democrats, given Senator Kerry's preposterous, hasty embrace of the original flawed, incomplete, spin-heavy New York Times report as the basis for superheated criticisms of the President. The Democrats and mainstream media (such as the AP article linked above) will no doubt work in overdrive to salvage something of the original story. But the holes and uncertainties that have appeared in the original story make one thing clear: It is far too early for anyone to be engaging in the kind of second-guessing of the Al-Qaqaa operation of the scale and tenor chosen by the Times and John Kerry. And it is increasingly apparent that the story isn't that significant even if every word of the Times/Kerry spin were true. Finally, one could positively feel the pain emanate from the CNN newsroom as the video of Maj. Pearson's press conference played. But that was not the worst for the CNN Kerry partisans, who began to make a valiant effort to suggest ways in which the story might be re-spun - only to be informed by another "expert" talking head that the potential of the entire Al-Qaqaa story to affect the election - no matter how the story is spun and exaggerated - is now utterly gone, superseded by the story of the bin Laden tape. O, Boo-hoo-hoo in the newsroom.
But the sadness on the Democrats effected by Maj. Austin Pearson is as naught compared to that effected by bin Laden. Consider the humiliating need to come up with arguments that it's "unclear" which way the tape cuts in the Presidential race. One sees Kerry spokesman after surrogate after water carrier intoning such rubbish. After complaining for months that they were dreadfully afraid that the Administration would concoct some "October Surprise" to refocus the voting public's memory on 9-11 and terrorism (an issue on which Mr. Bush enjoys a huge lead over his opponent), the Democrats now have to explain how a spectacular and completely real October Surprise that is obviously going to refocus the voting public's memory on 9-11 and terrorism will have "unclear" effect. They look and sound like idiots when they do this. The sense of embarrassment in the spokesmen, surrogates and water carriers palpable - one senses they would rather endure a command to run naked through Times Square at rush hour than to have to make the argument they must make - but they have no choice.
I was particularly amazed seeing one CNN "expert" suggest that bin Laden was actually tendering a bit of an olive branch, since his threat to attack America again was "conditional" on continuing United States intervention in the Islamic world (the AP article linked above - headlined "Bin Laden: U.S. can avoid another attack" - also conveys some of this absurd take). United States support of Israel is clearly considered by bin Laden and his kind to be an unacceptable intervention by the United States in the Islamic world, so there's not much room to wonder where the theory of that "expert" will lead. Gee - how can we remove bin Laden's "condition" to grab the olive branch? Well, we don't know everything that's involved, but pulling the rug out from under Israel would certainly be a part of it! And how about those Iranian nuclear bombs? Some "condition!"
And as if to make sure that voters don't allow their re-focused attention to focus overseas too much, there is the obliging American al-Qaida operative and his tape, apparently made right here in the good old USA.
O, yes. A nearly dispositive day.
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