Monday, November 01, 2004

 

William Safire is the most despicable human being on the planet

Okay, so he's not. Perhaps he's not even close (I can't really tell, since I know neither him nor every human being on the planet). But today he joins his colleague-in-hackery at the New York Times, David Brooks, in offensively missing the entire point of Osama Bin Laden's taped message on Friday.

I'm not sure why I'm bothering to take even a moment to destroy this putz, since nobody reads him anymore, but I just can't let his noxious lies go unchallenged.

Osama Casts His Vote

The unremarked news is that this mass murderer evidently seeks a kind of truce. Although some coverage of his pre-election message noted an unexpected "conciliatory tone," we have not fixed on the reason for this change in his attitude.

"Each state that does not harm our security will remain safe," bin Laden promised, which was "why we did not attack Sweden, for example." His unmistakable import: if the U.S. were to stop our war on Qaeda terror, which has killed or captured an estimated 75 percent of his closest collaborators, that would be what he called "the ideal way to avoid another Manhattan ..." Stop warring on terror and you will "remain safe."

Generals do not call for a truce when they're winning. Only warriors thrust on the defensive become conciliatory, hoping that negotiations will give them time to regroup and resupply. Bin Laden's vain hope seems to be that the defeat of Bush will give him time to buy or steal a horrific weapon as an "equalizer."

No, Mr. Safire, that's not it at all. Were you not paying attention earlier this year when Osama offered Europe pretty much the same deal? He does not want to "win" in any sense that you appear capable of recognizing. What he wants is isolation - he wants the West completely out of Arab/Muslim lands. He wants to restore the caliphate of old, that combination empire/theocracy that he thinks ruled the middle east a thousand years ago.

As I've already said, there are plenty of reasons to resist this offer. It would isolate Israel; it would not end there, as Muslim populations increase in countries outside what the caliphate once comprised; other terrorists would try the same ploy; and Osama Bin Laden is a mass murderer on a disgustingly vast scale who must be brought to justice.

But at least you need to understand what he's after. He does not want to "destroy us". He doesn't give a shit as long as we leave him alone.

But then came the Qaeda tape, followed by Bush's cool, nonpolitical response, and then by Kerry's blunder in trying to capitalize on it. Bin Laden's latest misreading of American public opinion plays to Bush's antiterrorist strength.
Safire of course knows that Bush's response was anything but "nonpolitical" (if he really thinks it was, it's time for him to go home and never come back). What was "nonpolitical" about deliberately withholding a briefing on the tape from John Kerry - in violation of every custom of presidential campaigns - while preparing his own speeches based on having seen the tape Friday morning? But, of course, Safire never mentions this.

For now, bin Laden's unwelcome intercession is taken to be anti-Bush overkill. Coming from the fugitive terrorist, it will help ensure the president's re-election. Later, we will understand bin Laden's phony attempt at conciliation to be his first sign of weakness.
Another sign of Safire's unstanchable flow of pure hackery is his refusal to consider, let alone deal with, the inescapable fact that the reason bin Laden is a "fugitive terrorist" is because George Bush fucking let him get away! George Bush has wasted nearly 3 years with his Iraq delusions instead of chasing Osama bin Laden.

Of course, for William Safire, the conquest of Iraq is more important in the "war on terrorism" than just about anything else (including bin Laden - how come he has never written about bin Laden being on the loose before today - hmm?). Any petty little problems - the death of a thousand US soldiers, the death of 100,000 Iraqi civilians, the failure to find WMD, the lack of any ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda - who cares? Nothing must be permitted to detract from the glorious victory!

But again, that is precisely what constitutes hackery - a refusal to even consider evidence that goes against your theory and conclusions.

There's no point in going on. Safire, like Brooks, is impervious to logic and reason when it comes to George W. Bush and the "war on terra." They take the mere assertion of intention to be its accomplishment and they are dazzled by the dream of turning Iraq into New Jersey. Reality has no place in their phantasms of glory. But that does not excuse them from fundamentally misunderstanding what has just taken place - or from intentionally trying to mislead others.

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