God in the Machine

Literally "God in the machine", Deus Ex Machina originally referred to Greek plays, where the "gods" would be lowered onto the stage with ropes in order to provide a quick resolution to the story. Today, Deus Ex Machina refers to any improbably and/or overly convenient character or mechanism that comes out of nowhere and saves the character(s).

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"I don't get it, Big Dan..." -George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Say it ain't so...

Does anybody really think that if we elect John Kerry, suddenly the Al Queda threat goes away?

I'll grant you that Bush has been more aggressive than Gore would have been in response to 9/11. I'll even grant you that making a muddled mess of Iraq won't help our popularity rankings among that Al Queda faithful. I'll even grant you that Al Queda probably hates us a notch or two more since our actions in Iraq.

However, let us not believe the lie that Spain believes. The lie that any action we take will have an effect on how Al Queda views us. Maybe because we responded to 9/11 in Afghanistan and abused prisoners in Abu Ghraib they hate us on a scale of, say, 97 out of 100. What we forget is that they hated us 95 out of 100 to begin with. We didn't incite any particularly new hatred in Al Queda.

A Kerry victory means exactly this to Al Queda: "Good, now they won't be attacking us anymore as we plan our next terrorist activities."

They hated us when Clinton was President too, remember? The only difference is Bush did something about it. I'm not defending the war in Iraq, because I hate to support unwinnable arguments and I'm not in favor of it, but there it is.

The Left is trying to sell us on the idea that we can somehow reason with Al Queda (the religious zealots? the ones who behead Americans for entertainment? The ones who blew up American vessels when Clinton (democrat, right?) was President? Ring a bell?) if we have the right leader in office. THEN, they want us to believe that John Kerry is the right leader. Then again, maybe he is the right leader. Spain needed leadership that could change views at whim, and Kerry has proven he can do that.

All Spain did was delay the inevitable. If the time comes that Al Queda wins victories over the US and UK, Spain is still on their list, just cowed and humbled for now.

I take that back. The other thing Spain did was guarantee an attack inside the United States by Al Queda before the November election. Wonderful. Great to see you're safe, Spain.

And in spite of all that, I still don't know who I'm going to vote for in November. I suspect it won't be Bush or Kerry, unless I can get some compelling reason to vote for either of the lesser-of-two-evil candidates.

I toyed with voting for Nader, because I'm pro-environment and of course he's going to lose, but a vote is a sign of who you support, not an attempt to be on the winning team. But then I heard Nader speak and a crazy man who agrees with you on one topic is not who you want as Pres.

So my vote is still up for grabs. I suspect I will not vote for President, but will vote for the other offices. Not because I don't support the democratic process... I encourage everyone to get out and vote... but because by not voting for Bush or Kerry, it will be a vote of negative support for both of them, yes?

Refute any point you want, but the core message of this post remains true: Al Queda hates us by definition. Whoever leads America will lead the Great Satan of Al Queda thought. They will attack us because that's what terrorists do. Especially the crazy ones.

5 Comments:

Blogger Iron Blogger Republican said...

If you think that Al Qaeda is going to attack before November, for the purpose of getting Bush out of office, then that would mean they want Kerry to win, right?

Then vote for Bush. We learned in 2000 how important EVERY vote is.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Jay Bullock said...

You say I can take issue with it, so I shall . . . :) I'm actually with you up to here:

However, let us not believe the lie that Spain believes. The lie that any action we take will have an effect on how Al Queda views us.The evidence is pretty strong that the Spanish elections were swayed not so much by the terror attack itself, but by the Aznar government's attempts to exploit it for political gain. They were sliding in the polls and thought that blaming the Basque separatists, in the face of immediate and convincing evidence otherwise, would help their chances of winning. This backfired.

Official U.S. spin is the lie--that Spanish voters elected Zapatero out of fear and appeasement of al Qaeda. It makes for a nice story the Bush administration can use in our own election cycle: If the terrorists don't attack, then we know Bush is strong and successful in the War on Terra, so we must re-elect him. If the terrorists do attack, then we have to re-elect Bush because not to do so would be appeasement.

The Left is trying to sell us on the idea that we can somehow reason with Al Qaeda [. . .] if we have the right leader in office. THEN, they want us to believe that John Kerry is the right leader. Then again, maybe he is the right leader. Spain needed leadership that could change views at whim, and Kerry has proven he can do that.No one I know on the Left (and I hang out with the Left a lot) believes al Qaeda is a potential negotiating partner. What we on the Left point to is that the U.S. would be far better served by a completely different War on Terra policy. For example, all the money we spent attacking and rebuilding Iraq should have been used to modernize and expand port security, so we can start inspecting more than the 5% or so of containers coming into the country that we presently do. Boost law-enforcement and first responder capabilities. Develop reliable HUMINT among al Qaeda and other terror cells. Increase the international networking, keeping old allies and cultivating new ones to assist us in fighting the terrorists.

I could go one, but I think you see my point. You say Bush has been more aggressive since 9/11 than Gore would have been, or (implied) than Clinton was. I disagree; I think Bush is just differently aggressive. I won't debate the merits of the Iraq war and occupation, either, but the fact is there was no al Qaeda there a year ago, and the damaged international relations will make it more difficult to cooperate in tracking down, extradicting, and prosecuting the terrorists.

As to Spain's need for whimsical leadership, I also must disagree. Zapatero was clear before the election--even before the Madrid bombings--that he would pull Spanish troops from Iraq. He followed through. He has not changed his views.

I'm also not sure why you think Spain is safe from al Qaeda or other terrorists now. I mean, it's been even longer since the the last al Qaeda attack here, and I don't think Britain has ever had one on its soil, so clearly we're safer than Spain, no? al Qaeda's hatred of the West, as you say yourself, is not conditioned upon who leads a given country. To al Qaeda, it's really "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

But I do think a Kerry presidency will make us safer--not because al Qaeda will be pleased with the election results and leave us alone, but because I believe Kerry will fight the War on Terra harder and smarter than the current commander in chief.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Big Dan said...

Interesting, Rosemary.

I AM advertising for reasons to vote one way or the other, and since I do believe an attack is likely as the vote nears (ie Spain), then your logic makes sense.

Cogitating...

12:20 PM  
Blogger Jay Bullock said...

On the other hand, Big Dan, hasn't al Qaeda gotten stronger since Bush took office? Hasn't Bush's anti-Islamist Jihad been a boon to al Qaeda recruiting?

Again, not to suggest that Kerry wants only to sit at the negotiating table, but I think that he would be far smarter in actually going after, you know, terrorists, not unrelated dictators.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Big Dan said...

Sigh.

Good point, Jay.

Now, my thinker hurts again.

12:56 PM  

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