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October 02, 2008

Terrorism and the Election
Posted by James Lamond

Richard Clarke put out an interesting piece today about the possibility of a terrorist attack on the U.S. between now and the election.  He points out that terrorists have been successful in influencing elections in other countries:

Experts still debate whether it was al Qaeda's intention to affect the Spanish political process when it attacked the Madrid commuter train network three days before that country's March 2004 election. The attack did result in an electoral defeat for the incumbent party, which had sent troops to Iraq at the request of the United States.

And, of course, there is Pakistan, where a terrorist assassination killed Benazir Bhutto, a candidate for prime minister, just 10 months ago. CIA Director Mike Hayden publicly blamed Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani radical, but said he acted with help from the broader al Qaeda network. Bhutto had promised to combat the Taliban, al Qaeda, and similar groups inside Pakistan.

Clarke even points out possible effects we have had here at home:

John Kerry believes that the so-called al Qaeda Halloween videotape released days before the last presidential election in the United States affected enough undecided voters that it may have made the difference in the outcome.

But what I find most interesting is Clarke’s argument that the attacks would likely help McCain win the election, which might just be what al Qaeda is looking to do.  Despite the right wing’s crazed rhetoric and fear-mongering, an Obama presidency might be the very worst thing for al Qaeda.  Clark’s argument, in part, is that Obama’s popularity in Europe and the Middle East will give America’s image the facelift that it needs- something that could really hurt al Qaeda’s recruitment and fundraising.


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Mr Lamond,
Your asserions are correct. It is right that nuclear proliferation is a problem and the fact that Gov. Palin shows no independant thought other than the talking points in front of her is a scary fact since she may be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

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