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Oh No He Didn’t

Christopher Hayes

We've got 50 days until the election and the Vice President of the United States has already said that if Kerry wins, it will result in a terrorist attack on the US: It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told about 350 supporters at a town-hall meeting in this Iowa city. Well. Guess it's all out on the table. OK, so here's what the Dem message should be. It's just about as gross and blunt and slimy as what Rove has been ginning up, but hey, this, unfortunately, is where find ourselves: Osama Bin Laden Wants Bush To Win Is that a toxic debating point to introduce into the political discourse? Sure, but the waters have already been so poisoned that there's nothing left to preserve. That, and I think the evidence definitely points to this being the case. The Bush presidency has undoubtedlty been a boon for Al Qaeda recruiting, as even Donald Rumsfield acknowledged in a Pentagon memo: Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists' costs of millions. The Iraq war was just about the greatest propoganda device imaginable for Al Qaeda, and the lack of support for the nascent Afghan republic has paved the way for the Taliban's return. I don't deign to understand Al Qaeda's strategy, if there is, indeed a unified one, but I do understand that Al Qaeda wants to create bloodshed, war, violence, repression, chaos, anger, death in a swirling black spiral that sucks the entire world into a cataclysmic holy war. If that's your goal, you want the most obnoxious, most intemperate, adversary you can find. You want an enemy who can be easily goaded into thrashing about in a fit of rage, someone who will expose his own weakenesses and over extend himself, while managing to alienate as many people as possible. In other words, you want the Bush administration. I remember my dad recounting to me the ideology of certain very radical black nationalists in the 60s and 70s who believed that by killing cops you would inspire intense retaliation and repression and that this retaliation and repression would awaken the consciousness of the masses to come around to the side of the revolution. It seems like there's a similar logic here, and in Bush, Bin Laden couldn't ask for a better bad cop.

Christopher Hayes is the host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. He is an editor at large at the Nation and a former senior editor of In These Times.
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