Friday, September 8th, 2006

With Bush sinking in the polls what will benefit him most? a new video from Osama bin Laden! A number of writers have noticed this. From The Carpetbagger Report comes a collection of comments:

For example, The New Republic’s Michael Crowley wrote, “Given the White House’s current strategy to divert attention away from Iraq and back to Osama bin Laden and 9/11, this new al Qaeda video is bizarrely in sync with Karl Rove’s election-season game plan. It’s especially weird when you recall that bin Laden’s 11th-hour video in October 2004 may have cost John Kerry the election (something I know certain of his staffers believe). I’m not suggesting any actual coordination here, something that seems almost too obvious to say. But in a weird way, you can argue that bin Laden has become a kind of political ally for George W. Bush.”

As Simon Jenkins says in the Guardian:

The weekend’s 9/11 horror-fest will do Osama bin Laden’s work for him

Not glorifying terrorism? You must be joking.
. . .
Forty years after Alfred Nobel’s invention of dynamite, Russian terrorists tried to pack a plane with the stuff and fly it into the tsar’s palace. In 1883 Chicago-financed Fenians exploded bombs on the London underground, leading the Times to wonder if the tube could ever be safe. There has been little change in the preferred weapon of terror, the explosive device, or in the psychopathology of the bomber. The causes remain the same: separatism, and religious nationalism dressed up as holy war.
. . .
What has changed, grotesquely, is the aftershock. Terrorism is 10% bang and 90% an echo effect composed of media hysteria, political overkill and kneejerk executive action, usually retribution against some wider group treated as collectively responsible. This response has become 24-hour, seven-day-a-week amplification by the new politico-media complex, especially shrill where the dead are white people. It is this that puts global terror into the bang. While we take ever more extravagant steps to ward off the bangs, we do the opposite with the terrorist aftershock. We turn up its volume. We seem to wallow in fear.
. . .
. . . to hallow the events with repetitious publicity turns a squalid crime into a constantly revitalised political act. It grants the jihadists what they most crave, warrior status. It more than validates terrorism as a weapon of war, it glorifies it.

Graphics from the ABC/Disney
off the books contribution to the RNC.

Here are some graphics that get it right:
The Path to 9/11: An exclusive The Poor Man preview. Scroll down to view the storyboard.
Snap!, pest control from billmon.