November 21, 2002
FOOL ME 472 TIMES, I"M A FREAKIN' IDIOT:
Gore: Bush Loses Terror Focus
: 2000 Rival Says Focus on Iraq Aided GOP but Not Nation (Dan Balz, November 21, 2002, Washington Post)
Former vice president Al Gore today accused President Bush of losing focus on the war against terrorism, saying Bush's two-month campaign to "beat the war drums" against Iraq may have helped Republicans win control of Congress this month but left the country less secure against possible future attacks.U.S. Officials Identify Captured Al Qaeda Leader
Gore said in an interview here that Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network pose a greater immediate danger than does Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Bush's decision to shift attention to possible war with Iraq, he said, represented "an historic mistake" that has left Afghanistan facing chaos and U.S. intelligence agencies without some of the resources needed to carry out the war against terrorism.
(THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, November 21, 2002)
Al-Qaida leader Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the network's chief of operations in the Persian Gulf, has been captured, senior U.S. government officials said Thursday.
Al-Nashiri, a suspected mastermind of the USS Cole bombing in October 2000, was taken in an undisclosed foreign country earlier this month and is now in U.S. custody, officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
He is the highest-ranking al-Qaida operative captured since the CIA, FBI and Pakistani authorities captured Osama bin Laden's operations chief, Abu Zubaydah, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, in March.
Every single time the Democrats complain about our "loss of focus" we score, or belatedly announce, some major victory. Yet they keep doing it. On the one hand, we admire their patriotism; rare is the politician willing to look like a fool even for the sake of his nation's security. On the other, they do keep looking foolish. No wonder Americans have decided the Democrats aren't up to the job of handling the war on terror when their leadership appears so clueless.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 21, 2002 4:19 PM
Gore is playing the hand he's been dealt. The Dem's only chance to win back the presidency in 2004 is a military or economic disaster, and maybe both. In fact, the election is almost binary: either a successful Bush wins, or a disaster-tainted Bush is beaten by any Democratic nominee.
It might seem foolish to bet on disaster, but if Gore doesn't win in '04 he's done. Therefore, the only play available to him is to run left to make sure he's the Democratic nominee. Other Democrats, who unlike Gore have a chance at a political future after '04, won't run as far left. A Kerry or Edwards, for example, who runs a strong second to Gore and slightly to his right will be the front-runner in '08.
One problem for the Dems, of course, is their Left-wing. When Left sources like commondreams.org argue that killing an al-Qaeda top-leader w/ a Hellfire is akin to death-squads, and that we should have captured them and held trials on them, it only further alienates them from the broad American center.
And, as the war draws ever closer, their incessant refrain that "it goes badly" makes them look like they want it to go badly (that, or refuseniks regarding how it's actually going).
While there is some possibility that it might not go well (ANYTHING is possible in war), here's a problem for the Dems:
Imagine that Dubya DOESN'T screw-up. That the war on Iraq goes fairly close to clock-work. Not only will Al Gore be nailed, but how will the American people view the entire PARTY, when it's been incessantly harping on how badly things are going and how pointless it is to pursue Iraq??
It's Hillary's for the asking in '08.
They'll view them the way they did the GOP for sixty years after it opposed the New Deal.
The singular inability of the Left to grasp the psychological dimensions of this war rules them out as competent strategists and defenders of the nation. It does not matter to the Arabs or Al Queda whether Saddam either trained the 9/11 hijackers, or if he first found out about the event on CNN, like we all did. What matters is that he is a self-declared and active Arab enemy of the United States, and as long as we basically act as though we are afraid of him, we will be on the defensive in this war, and on the defensive with those Saudis, the Syrians, the militant Iranians, the whole gang of regional thugs. Iraq is about making tyrants throughout the region more concerned about what we will do to them than what they will do to us. And he is the most dangerous and unpredictable of the whole bunch, as even tyrants around him would agree with.
Amazing that the idiot Bush has a keener grasp of history, political psychology, and the grand themes of this war than the International or American left ever will.