Do the terrorists really want Bush re-elected, or is it reverse psychology?

Hell, I lost faith long ago that **Dogface ** has a sound relationship with reality with regard to any political issue.

Sorry, original claim and doubts about it.

Ha! That’s what they want you to believe. They marginalise the astute minority that includes Dogface and then they… act. Zionists, the Scottish Rite, KBR or Hotspurs. I don’t know who they are. I just know… they are.

Dogface might be a minority... but he isn't too astute. There are other more worthy conservatives that at least try to use reason to defend their arguments. At least he doesn't think Bush is a conservative.

As for the terrorist’s comments they might be genuine… he didn’t really think about how his words would spread world wide. Or he is sniping at Bush. Terrorists might not love him… but they sure know what an asset he is.

I seriously doubt that the statement about Bush and Kerry is a genuine AQ statement. To say that Kerry will ‘kill our nation while it sleeps’ seems almost like Bugs Bunny saying, “No! Don’t put me in that hole! Anything but that hole!”

Hhmmm... what did he mean by "kill our nation while it sleeps" ?  Something about subtely destroying Islam ? What nation would that be ? 

I forgot to comment on this particular phrase. It sounds very similar to other comments by Islamic terrorists. Its the main reason I think its legitimate even if its not AQ. (Though it sounds silly to Westerners like us of course)

AQ is not like a members only Club. One can easily get “franchising rights” from AQ. Any small terrorist group can label itself AQ or truly be sponsored somehow by AQ.

The terrorists will hate us no matter who we elect. That said, I do believe they’re hoping for a Bush win, because it’s easier to use him as a polarizing figure to drive more recruits to their side. If nothing else, Bush has already been painted as waging a “Crusade” against Islam, and if the voters of America re-elect him, that will be interpreted as an endorsement of his “crusade.”

Okay, let’s see if this can be followed:

Postulate: The message is not a fake.
Postulate: These slimy, murdering, evil pieces of shit who should be exterminated to a man (Al Qaeda) actually do want Bush to be re-elected.

Therefore, to ensure this, they tell the world that they want Bush to be re-elected. Now, how will this get Bush re-elected?

Americans, who can be presumed to not like Al Qaeda, will see that Al Qaeda is endorsing Bush, which would mean that they would oppose Bush, since these Americans hate Al Qaeda. BUT Al Qaeda knows that these Americans hate Al Qaeda. So, they would tell Americans to oppose Bush if they want Bush re-elected. BUT these Americans know that Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda hates them. So, they would presume that Al Qaeda would tell them the opposite of what they want them to do. BUT Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda hates them. So, they will tell the Americans to do exactly what they want them to do, which the Americans will take to mean that Al Qaeda is actually telling them to do to the opposite of this, so they will do the opposite of the opposite, which would be to do what they are told to do.

But that does leave one question unanswered: Do these Americans know that Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda knows that these Americans know that Al Qaeda hates them?

Or, perhaps, for those of us who do not live in cartoonland, the message is a fraud or Al Qaeda is run by a bunch of idiots too stupid to play close to the vest when the situation calls for it.

Truly you have a dizzying intellect.


Never match wits with a Cecilian when death is on the line.

Reducto ad absurdam, wasted on those unable to grasp the concept.

Or, for those of us who don’t live or think in cartoon terms, the message is meaningless whether it’s fraudulent or not, and al Qaeda doesn’t care who wins the election. IFAICT, as long as they can pull off anything dramatic just beforehand, they can say to their supporters “look how much influence we can bring to bear on world events”, and the world punditry will thoughtlessly reinforce that message.

xenophon41 - Your earlier post was very insightful indeed. Good work, and a point that had not occurred to me.

Do you think this would be presented the same no matter where in the world it was done? Suppose there is a terrorist attack in the US (God forbid) just before the election. It is going to be a close election, I believe. Do you think the tendency is as strong to present the winner (whoever he might be) as “elected by terrorists” as it was in Spain?

Serious question.


Thanks for the nod, Shodan. Those are good questions. I wonder if there’s any advantage to Islamic terrorists in pulling this trick closer to home? Would terrorist attacks influence (or be supposed by many to have influenced) future elections in Iraq? Iran? Afghanistan? Egypt? My gut feeling is that the attempt would hurt AQ more than help them, but that’s something to chew on.

Western countries, however… I hope we don’t find out, but I think it’s going to be very tempting to at least disrupt elections in the US and elsewhere, and to try and appear to have influenced them. If they’re very cagey about public statements, I think they can claim to have steered elections whichever way they actually end up. And if not, they still “win” in the eyes of radicals and even non-radical but marginalized Arabs and Muslims, having struck a blow against the oppressor.

I expect an attempt in October or November. I pray it’s somehow prevented.

This reminds me of the scene in Little Big Man where Dustin Hofman advises General Custer into going down to the Little Big Horn where they’ll face thousands of Sioux warriors:

“You want me to think you don’t want me to go down there, Muleskinner, but the subtle truth is, you really don’t want me to go down there”.

… and on those who can’t spell it and don’t know what it means.

I like your insight as well, xenophon41. But I think that there is plenty of room to speculate on what a terrorist attack in the United States would do, because we’ve already been attacked and we can make some pretty good guesses.

There is no question whatsoever that George W. Bush benefitted greatly from the attacks of September 11, 2001. Consider the following table offered by Zogby

Sorry for the ugly coding. From this I think that we can infer that the President stands to gain as much as a thirty point boost from acting “Presidential” for a couple of weeks after the crisis. Of course, this is the second time around and the response may not be as large. But it is pretty obvious to me that an attack on or about the weekend of 23 October could pay off big for Bush.

(And I suppose I should mention that I’ve been cynically saying that the terrorist-o-meter will jump into the red prior to the election whether or not there is any actual known threat.)

The other thing I think we can count on in the United States is that a terrorist attack at about that time would create a climate of fear which is almost guaranteed to keep voters away from the polls. As I have argued in the past, low voter turnout is exactly what Bush is going to need to get reelected.

Speculative though it may be, I think that an attack, or even a shrill warning of such an attack in the weeks prior to the election would benefit the sitting President. But even if it does not, your cogent observations seem to indicate that whatever the outcome, the terrorists will be able to claim credit for it.

On a broader note, I also happen to think that this President is doing an excellent job of dividing, weakening, and discrediting my country. If I were a terrorist, I’d like nothing better than to leverage the destruction of the Great Satan by ensuring George W. Bush’s reelection. But that’s just my opinion.

I’ve a question for the moderators: Direct insults, without provocation, have already been lobbed at me in this thread (no, not the quoted message, earlier) with nary a moderator peep.

Does this mean that I’m free to retaliate in kind or does it mean that SDMB now has a double standard based on political persuasion?

Bush has seemed to have been a pretty good PotUS from a terrorist’s standpoint, hasn’t he? His first public statements after 9/11 not only did more than any previous publicity to legitimize al Qaeda’s standing among their target constituents by calling the attacks a “declaration of war”, but also strengthened the perception that bin Laden’s jihad against the US was effective and sustainable. Since then, of course, he’s done and said not a few things to further reinforce the appearance of a Western crusade against Islam.

If I were a terrorist, I know who I’d want in office. I’d take whoever though, as long as I could feed that precious perception that I influenced the choice.