Sunday, June 20, 2004

Guardian claims Al-Queda planning strike to "keep [Bush] in office"

The British Guardian is citing ("Bush told he is playing into Bin Laden's hands") an anonymous U.S. senior intelligence official that claims al Queda is planning a strike on the US prior to the November election, not to elect Kerry, but to keep Bush in office. The anonymous U.S. spy is coming out with a book next month, Imperial Hubris: Why We are Losing the War on Terror.

Although there has been unprecedented criticism of Bush Administration foreign policy from former senior U.S. military and intelligence officials (Senior Officials Say Bush Must Go") the anonymous spy is trying to sell a book. It's always a good idea to be a bit skeptical of authors hawking their latest books, especially anonymous ones.

However, I myself share these fears. Others and I have done spoofs (here) of Al Queda endorsements of Bush-Cheney only to learn that there had indeed been such endorsements.

For example, Australian ABC News and other media sources have reported (story here) that Al Queda in Spain has told its followers it would like to see Bush re-elected because his Administration's ill-advised policies have been very good to Al Queda. Australian ABC News goes on to quote Al Queda in Spain, bizarrely, saying "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 civilisation."

The Guardian article, in my view, is more of the same. The best defense against allowing Al Queda to use terror to influence the US elections (either to influence the public in favor of Bush or in favor of Kerry) is to make our national actions unpredictable to Al Queda.

In our public dialogue we should make it clear that we are aware that al Queda may attempt to influence our elections with a terrorist attack, but not allow them to know whether this will make us angry at Al Queda (thus favoring Bush) or angry at the Bush Administration (thus favoring Kerry).

If Al Queda cannot predict how a terrorist attack might impact an election (e.g., it might help place "the wrong President" from their point of view into office --- currently Kerry), the odds of such an attack become much less likely.

As always, I welcome exchanging public comments with readers. (Click "comments" below to post a comment in two easy clicks --- you can be anonymous.)

Other blogs covering this story: Deborama   Outside the Beltway   Oliver Wills   Bird on the Moon   Daily Pundit