It's 9-11, so we have to blog about that. I thought I'd react to the Osama Bin Laden's recent state of our union message and the response to General Petraeus bearing the bad news that, in his view, the surge is working.
In our local political blogosphere, Jessica McBride caused a stir by claiming a correspondence between Bin Laden's rant and what we hear from some Democrats. Her post is more nuanced and analytical than her critics admit (what is it about this woman that so inflames the left precincts of the Cheddarsphere?). But I'll agree that, while much of Bin Laden's screed does resemble a hard left diatribe of the type that I would expect to find on MoveOn.org, I wouldn't expect to hear it from the podium of the Democratic National Convention. I think that we can agree that both Democrats and Republicans don't like Al Qaeda.
Jessica's post provoked some "so's your mother" responses, such as, for example, a link to an astonishingly stupid post by Kos comparing the Republicans to Al Qaeda. That Markos is unable to see the difference between opposing same-sex marriage and executing gays and lesbians is just more proof that the ability to make critical judgments is not essential for success as a polemicist. I would never have imagined that support for a two parent family and traditional morality was the equivalent of forcing women to wear burkas. That must be a very slippery slope.
We also see, again, the argument that Bush went to Iraq and let Bin Laden evade capture and that the Iraq war is a distraction from the war on terror. As to the first point, my guess is that we'd pretty much need to invade and occupy a chunk of Pakistan to get Bin Laden. Who on the Democrat side of the aisle is up for that? Obama claimed to be, but I doubt that he meant it.
What Bin Laden's statement does seem to tell us is that he thinks that the Iraq war is significant. Maybe Bush did fight the wrong war. Maybe he actually is a diabolical genius and managed to draw Al Qaeda into a battle half way around the world instead of in our own public spaces. I don't claim to know, but it does seem incontrovertible that failure in Iraq will hurt resistance to Islamic terror.
Maybe that failure is inescapable, but, if it's not, we ought to be very interested in avoiding it. This is why the knee jerk response to General Petraeus on the part of congressional Democrats is so disconcerting. Couldn't he be right? Does it really make sense to pronounce his report DOA because it doesn't say what the Dems thought it would? If they had already decided that the surge wouldn't work, why did they confirm Petraeus and ask him to report back? Even if you think Petraeus is wrong, wouldn't it have been more politic to at least pretend to listen?