November 7, 2008

THANKS, W:

The Surprising Absence of an October Surprise: How did we get through the election without an al-Qaida attack? (Daniel Byman, Nov. 5, 2008, Slate)

Terrorism watchers repeatedly warned that al-Qaida might strike in the days leading up to the election, but—thankfully—Nov. 4 has come and gone without incident. Al-Qaida's logic for striking at election time seems straightforward: An attack would dominate media coverage at a time when the entire world is focused on the United States. In a tight race, a terrorist attack might even tip the balance, enabling Osama Bin Laden to claim that American politics dances to his tune.

Democratic strategists in particular feared that an al-Qaida attack might play to Sen. John McCain's perceived national-security advantage and that Bin Laden would want to bolster McCain in the belief that he was more likely to entangle the United States militarily in the Muslim world. Spain's March 2004 general election was the precedent Democrats feared. The bloody attacks on commuter trains (and the Spanish government's bungled response) led to a surprise opposition victory, which in turn led to a Socialist government that withdrew troops from Iraq, as al-Qaida had sought.

But with the clarity of hindsight, we know that al-Qaida did not strike the U.S. homeland, nor did we hear of a serious attempt to do so during the months before the vote.


If they didn't hate W with such derangement they'd notice that we won.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 7, 2008 1:18 PM
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