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July 10, 2004

The Osama Vote


Let the slimefest begin!

Apparently, one of the jaded themes that has entered the election narrative is that bin Ladin is supporting Kerry. In this video clip from two days ago, Chris Matthews propagated the idea that al Qaeda was motivated to launch a pre-election attack in order to ‘get rid of a pro-war government.’ The idea has also been talked up by other conservative commentators. In this instance, Mr. Hardball is shown pushing the theory at two different senators, John Breaux (D-LA) and Richard Shelby (R-AL).

clip: Windows Media
clip: MPEG-4


  • http://none luka

    are you implying the matthew’s is up to now good? that seems unlikely to me since it’s reasonable to guess that he’s pro-kerry this year.

  • David

    Matthews often serves up the right wing crazy notions in order to shed light on them and give his guests a chance to rebut them.
    I’ve heard the opposite as well, that al Qaeda wants Bush to win because he’s such an effective recruiter for them.

  • poop ruiz

    I’m continually confused by this misreading of the elections following the Madrid bombing. Aznar and his party falsely accused Basque separatist group ETA of being responsible for the bombing and held back information that would have hurt his party’s chances by making it seem that their decision to join the “coalition of the willing” had put them in greater danger from Islamic terrorism. The Spanish people, who by and large didn’t support Aznar’s decision to stand beside Bush over Iraq, rejected this dishonesty and voted for the Socialists. The willingness of the PP to act so dishonestly and opportunistically is what cost it the election, at least primarily.
    Oh, and Matthews is generally up to no good. This is the same bozo who talked up how irresistible Bush’s codpieced package was going to be to woman voters after he appeared on the aircraft carrier. He’s certainly not averse to promoting RNC talking points and this is just another example.

  • http://none luka

    well…i think matthews is a pretty straight shooter.
    and i don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask the question that he asks in the clip. it makes a lot more sense to me that obl and aq would want kerry to win than the other way around. obl supposedly wants the us out of the middle east, right? who’s more likely to bring that about? bush or kerry?
    now, it still might be a better thing for americans to have kerry as prez. it can be the case that what’s best for the interests of the american people just so happens to be in line with obl’s goals, accidentally.
    i’m not sure i think that. but it doesn’t seem like a crazy position.

  • poop ruiz

    Chris Matthews is anything but a straight shooter. Here we see him suggesting that he thought Bush won the third debate with Gore, when he had declared Gore the winner the day after. Here we see him accusing the New York Times of being so left-wing it would never accept Bush’s early legislative victories as such, when that is exactly what the Times did.“ Here Matthews obsesses inanely over Gore’s 3 button suits. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like straight-shooter behavior to me.
    “obl supposedly wants the us out of the middle east, right?”
    I’m not sure things are exactly that simple. From my perspective, obl needs a large, powerful and geographically diverse network to achieve his ends. Those ends involve the toppling of regimes it sees as heretical or insufficiently Islamic, seeking his own twisted version of justice in Palestine, and humiliating the West, particularly the US. Obl’s recruiting activities have been well served by the Bush presidency. While it may make islamists like obl furious that soldiers are on Islamic soil in Iraq, for example, it has had two benefits for his movement: the formerly semi-totalitarian Iraq is now a good petri dish for Islamist ideology and terrorist capacities, and it gives Iraq both the political instability that favors radicalism and a perfect opportunity to humiliate Americans; and Saudi Arabia, which includes the sites holiest to Sunnis like obl and is, I imagine, the country obl most wants to overthrow, is no longer home to the American soldiers that so upset obl in the first place. I can’t imagine obl could be that displeased to find that the man who has given him so many gifts has been reelected.
    And is Kerry really the most likely to cut-and-run, as the good people of Fox News would have you believe? It’s hard to say. As it is a right wing talking point, I implicitly distrust it. There is also the fact that Bush is a creature of political expedience, first and foremost. His alleged steadfastness is little more than an attribute his handlers have taught him to embody. Nor can I say exactly what is in America’s best interest- this is dictated by the facts on the ground. Call me a partisan, but I trust Kerry to make any choices whether, when, and how to pull back our troops based more on the facts and reasonable judgment than the opportunism and loony right-wing ideology of Bush and co.
    One must also consider that an anti-Al Qaida coalition is likely to be stronger under a less arrogant leadership, and that a hypothetical Kerry 2000-2004 presidency would probably not have featured a diversion of special forces and other terrorist fighting resources from Afghanistan to the Iraq theater in early 2002, thus facilitating both obl’s continued freedom and a bloom of chaos and poppy blossoms in Afghanistan.
    But as much as I believe it is not in obl’s best interest for the US to elect Kerry, what obl feels about it is a piece of information I can’t know. Speculating about it is just whistling in the dark.

  • poop ruiz
  • http://none luka

    i wouldn’t be surprised to see that matthew’s has at times been inconsistent with his claims. but generally speaking i think you can count on him. that’s my sense of it from watching him a lot. and he is certainly not a republican mouthpiece. he worked for carter. he’s pretty moderate asthose things go nowadays. and he consistently questions the war in a reasonable sort of way.
    as for the who-obl-is-rooting-for stuff. you make some good points, poop. but i think that the intuitive call is that obl wants bush out. that might false. but it’s the most obvious call. the general perception seems to me to be that bush is tougher than kerry would be on islamism. and that means tougher on obl and aq.
    point is, it’s not illegitimate for matthews to bring the subject up since it’s on everyone’s mind. i’d be very surprised if he didn’t treat the people he was addressing in the clips fairly on that point. if they said (in the parts after the clips) anything like what you wrote, he probably would have admitted that there are some good points in there and that maybe it’s not as clear cut an issue as a lot of people seem to think.

  • Shark

    Anyone who looks to Chris Matthews for a ‘liberal’ slant might as well be shopping in Baghdad for WMDs.
    Matthews is one click above that perky little marketing/cheerleading prostitute Katie Couric. But the good news: Matthews is proof that there is no God; the malaria subsided. Have a nice day!

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