That's an enticing line to buy, particularly if you believe that the W, Rove and Co plan for "victory" is working. But really, isn't that approach paramount to using terrorism as a lever for political gain?
It appears to me that the symbiotic relationship that the W, Rove and Co has been developing since Nine Eleven rests on a very parasitic principle. What's good for the terrorists is good for the GOP politically.
I have a more substantial question to pose that can be argued either way, unlike the GOP dualistic rhetorical argument where there is really on one viable option. That is...drum roll please...Call this...
Windspike's Hot Political Question Du Jour
- Which would be better for the terrorists?
- The GOP retains the majority on 7 November?
- The Dems unseat enough republicans to tip the majority out of GOP Hands.
Here's the slice from today's Whitehouse press briefing that spurred my thinking on this:
Q In his campaign speech, he's being very clear about kind of linking a vote for the Democrats to the insurgents and how important it is, therefore, to vote for the Republicans. And in a TV interview in the last couple of days, Vice President Cheney was even more blunt about this. Is it the position of the President that, in fact, the Democratic Party is the party of the insurgents and the party of al Qaeda?
MR. SNOW: No, it's the position of the President that the Democratic policies -- he doesn't think for a minute the Democrats are sitting around saying, "go, bin Laden." People understand -- but what he does think is that the policies are simply flat wrong. And if you think through them, you come to the conclusion that the idea, for instance, of withdrawal without any recognition of conditions on the ground, withdrawal without an assurance of victory in Iraq is a recipe for the kind of disaster I outlined before. That's an important distinction to make.
In that sense, yes, it would be good for terrorists because they would have safe haven in Iraq. On the other hand, what he's not saying -- and I'm glad you asked the question -- he's certainly not going to accuse people of running around with "I love bin Laden" t-shirts. It's important to know that people -- you can be patriotic, but you can also be wrong on something very important. And the President hasn't questioned the patriotism of Democrats, and he's certainly not going to accuse them of climbing in bed with bin Laden. But he will be clear that if you follow these policies, or, as I've been saying, really the lack of a policy to its logical conclusion, it could get you in real trouble.
Q Tony, when the President and Vice President talk about how insurgents and volatile forces are watching this election, is there an inference there that they would hope Democrats prevail?
MR. SNOW: Well, I don't -- you know, I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that. He's not trying to --
Q Are you guys polling in the Tora Bora Mountains or -- seriously.
MR. SNOW: That's a good line. That's cute. That's why I didn't answer the question. I don't have a clue. I mean, I've said many times I'm not going to know the thoughts of them, which is why I didn't take that extra leap, Dick.
Q But if you assert they're influencing -- influencing to what end?
MR. SNOW: Influencing?
Q The election process. You've said it. The President and the Vice President have said it.
MR. SNOW: Now you're getting into a separate issue here, which is terrorists who have committed certain acts of terror may try to influence elections by, among other things, shaping media coverage, so that we have a concentration not on what American men and women have been achieving in Iraq, but instead, acts of violence that give the appearance of defeat at a time when, again, to repeat what General Casey said, they have not lost a single engagement, and there has been -- at least according to the Prime Minister, considerable progress within Iraq, which is why the war is more popular in Iraq than it is in the United States. So to that -- in terms of a -- but that's as much a discussion of propaganda as a tool in a time of war is anything else. Go ahead.
Q A tool to what end, though? Are you suggesting by discussing this now over a period of days that that influence is intended to unseat Republicans?
MR. SNOW: No, I'm suggesting that that influence is designed to try to weaken American will to finish the job. It's a separate and unrelated item in that sense. But what is -- what I'm also saying is, don't you think Democrats -- and a number of you have written stories about this -- don't you think, on this issue that they consider of such paramount importance, that they ought to be able to get their act together long enough to come up with a plan? If it's that important, you got to figure out what you're going to do?
Q -- the President have a plan?
Q Tony, let me just ask your plan about this idea of -- I believe it was called withdrawal without assurance of victory in Iraq, which I think was the summary of the Democrats' position. And it gets back to this notion of this being a referendum, because isn't what the President putting forward -- is to stay without an assurance of victory in Iraq?
MR. SNOW: No, it's to stay with a determination of victory.
Q There's no assurance of victory in Iraq.
MR. SNOW: Well, Jim, are you saying that you don't think our troops are going to be able to complete the job?
Q I'm not saying -- it doesn't matter what I'm saying. It only matters what you folks are saying.
MR. SNOW: Okay, here's -- let me put it this way. If you'd asked the same question in World War II, people would have looked at you like you were crazy, because even when times looked toughest, there was a national determination to win. And there is a national determination to win in Iraq. And so the assurance I'm giving you is based on the quality and determination not only of U.S. forces, but also the Iraqis who are fighting with them. And the question is not if, but when.
Q But why isn't it a fair reading of this, if the President is going to throw the idea out that what Democrats are doing is advocating leaving without an assurance of victory, why isn't it a fair reading of the situation to say, on one hand, you have leaving without assurance, and on the other hand, you have staying without an assurance?
MR. SNOW: Because to leave is to create a vacuum and there is really not much doubt of what the result is going to be. To stay, with victory as your determination, ensures that you're going to have the ability over time to do what you want to achieve. It seems to me that you're trying to draw -- let me get to the back rows a little bit first, and then we'll get back up here.