Why Osama’s new tape is a godsend to bush

As soon as I heard that Osama had re-emerged with a video, I thought it had to be a big plus for shrub. Anything that focuses attention back on 911 and the Middle East (like Arafat’s apparently imminent death) helps the GOP ticket. And, of course, nothing delights our Islamofascists like having a galvanizing, ultra-controversial figure like shrub in the White House. It keeps our friends at arms’ distance and keeps the Moslem community hating us. And it creates a motherlode for Al Qaeda recruiters. They’d do just about anything to keep him there. The last thing they want is a peacemaker who might actually succeed in Iraq.

Billmon notes that the video is an act of communications brilliance on Bin Laden’s part, more effective even than a physical strike.

Osama’s video bomb, on the other hand, is a brilliant example of “virtual” terrorism. It’s perfectly designed to keep the media tape loop spinning from now until next Tuesday, with minimal risk of a backlash. It not only wipes the missing explosives story off the map (that is, until they do the same to some unsuspecting Americans) it also allows the GOP to turn every remaining campaign event into a bin Laden hate rally. It is, in short, the definitive October surprise.

What was it Rove said the other day when Sean Hannity asked him about October surprises? “We’ve got a couple of things we intend to spring.” Something like that.

Best not to go there. I’m paranoid enough as it is.

Could Rove have arranged this with Bin Laden? Or, even more likely, is Rove Bin Laden? Well no, most likely not — but they both know how to play the media and the public’s emotions like a fine fiddle. Let’s see if this is enough to tip the scales back in shrub’s direction. I certainly hope not, but it’s definitely bad news for Kerry.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Richard, I disagree. Unlike what Neo-con traitor Dick Morris spun on Faux News, the tape is actually very damaging for Bush. Remember Bush said, “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02
Bin Laden definitely feels safer if Bush wins.

October 29, 2004 @ 5:07 pm | Comment

You’re absolutely right about what Americans should think, but unfortunately many Americans aren’t that logical. Osama brings back memories of bush’s heroism and leadership (after all, he picked up a bullhorn and looked “presidential” for a day or two). Osama’s an emotional trigger that stirs up a sens of patriotism patriotism in Americans (which it should) and an odd belief that bush is the one to protect us (which it shouldn’t). We’ll see. Personally, I think it’s too late to change enough voters’ minds to create a bush victory, but that’ll depend on how the media treat this new development.

October 29, 2004 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

It is strange that right after Bush accuses Kerry of being soft on terrorism another terro message arrives.

I Agree with Richard in saying thatpeople in America aren’t logical and that it is stiring patriotism in among the people, but I disagree as to why.

I think that US anger overcomes logic every time, it wouldn’t matter how good or bad Bush was as president during the 911 attacks, the president has always been a rallying marker for the US and an important focus for patriotism. People remember that he was president when people pulled together during 911 and this tape is making people angry and making them desire to pull together even more, so naturally they pull together around the president.

Basic psycology. You bash a country and the people will stand up for it using national symbols like the president and the flag. Even people who didn’t like Bush during before 911 rallied around him because he represented natinal pride.

October 29, 2004 @ 10:29 pm | Comment

And now the American people might be about to let Osama bin-Laden decide the winner of the Presidential election.

Are they really that stupid? I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday.

October 30, 2004 @ 1:17 am | Comment

Wonderful. Three days ago Bin’ Laden’s capture (via China) was “the great complot” of the administration. Today Bin Laden’s resilience is “the great complot”. Everything happens is Karl Rove’s complot. So, in any case, you’ve an excuse for a Kerry’s defeat. You’re wonderful.
P.S. Don’t cancel this comment, if it’s possible.

October 30, 2004 @ 3:08 am | Comment

Talk about Karl Rove, if Dick Morris can support the Bush regime so strongly, what if Karl Rove planted Dick Morris in the Kerry campaign in the beginning? I wonder if Terry McAuliffe is a mole for Karl Rove also?!McAuliffe is a horrible organiser and campaigner especially he decided not to attack Bush in the DNC Convention, and notice he gave the Muslim Imam a prominent spot in the convention right after the keynote speech of Barack Obama and Teresa H Kerry.

October 30, 2004 @ 10:53 am | Comment

Frank, I almost never cancel comments — only if you take a nasty swipe at me or other commenters that I find inappropriate. In case you didn’t notice, I was being a bit tongue in cheek about Bin Laden and Karl Rove, and the article about China and Bin Laden was a total joke, but you don’t seem to grasp these subtleties (and that’s another joke — these things aren’t subtle at all, they hit most readers right on the head).

Vaara, I don’t think this will decide the election. Thank God that Osama mentioned the goat and the many, many minutes it took shrub to respond — that dominates the story this morning, now that the entire video has been translated. It helps bush because it re-focuses attention on 911, but it hurts bush because it points out how dorkishly he reacted (i.e., no reaction at all except infinite fear and confusion).

ACB, all your points are correct. But after Iraq, a lot fewer people are rallying around our pseudo-president.

October 30, 2004 @ 10:57 am | Comment

When I get into arguments with Christian friends about why an all-powerful G-d cannot destroy Satan, they answer, “He could destroy Satan, but He keeps him around on purpose.”

Given Bush’s evangelical beliefs, I wonder if it’s plausible that he sees himself as G-d keeping Satan around, knowing that he has the power to destroy him but intentionally withholding it in order to keep people believing that they must be “good”, or “Satan” will destroy them.

October 30, 2004 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

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