Edwards tops Iowa poll

I still think it’s a little early to be worrying about polls for the 2008 presidential election, but KCCI television in Des Moines, Iowa, doesn’t. Of course, Iowa is famously a bellwether state, so I won’t argue with the folks at the Des Moines CBS affiliate.

Their latest poll numbers show good news for former Senator John Edwards, who leads among Democrats with 27%, up a point from the May poll. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both slipped six points to 22% and 16% respectively, and the former governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, broke double digits, up four to 11%.

KCCI political analyst Dennis Goldford pointed out that Edwards has spent a lot of time campaigning in Iowa, but wonders whether the payoff can be sustained. Edwards, for his part, told a Des Moines crowd on Thursday that, “what’s going to matter, ultimately, to caucusgoers in Iowa is who’s ready to be president.”

Perhaps the slip for Clinton and Obama reflects the tone of their recent shootout over the Iraq War and other foreign policy issues. Much as the media’s attention has focused on the New York and Illinois senators, so, too, do their campaigns get my nomination for lame responses to the poll:

“Polling for the caucuses is a very difficult thing to do, as you know. I think, like I said, you’re going to see polls that show us ahead and polls that show us behind. We feel really good that we’re polling as strongly as we are, but we know that we’ve got a lot of work in the next six months,” said Mark Daley of the Clinton campaign.

“Barack is starting to emerge as the Democratic candidate who would be the strongest candidate in the general election,” said Josh Earnest of the Obama campaign.

Richardson, on the other hand, remains upbeat, telling a Thursday gathering at Pleasant Hill, “I’m not a rock star. I don’t have their money, but I’m out working.” Perhaps taking his cue from Edwards, he plans to spend more time working Iowa.

On the Republican side, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leads the pack, up nine points to 25%, the largest shift charted in this poll. He is followed by non-candidate Fred Thompson at 14%, and Rudy Giuliani, who slipped four points to 13%. Arizona Senator John McCain’s implosion continues with the second largest shift in the poll, down eight points to 10%.

It should be noted that the undecided responses among Democrats equals Obama’s share at 16%. Republican undecided responses, at 22%, surpassed all but Mitt Romney.

As analyst Goldford pointed out, “Republicans overall have not been as happy with their field of candidates at this point.”

In the head-to-head, “If the election were held today,” figures, Edwards and Obama are the big winners among Democrats. Edwards scored 43% against Giuliani’s 37%, while Clinton drew a slightly smaller edge at 41%. Obama would top Giuliani 45-36; Edwards scored 45-36 against Romney, and 45-27 against Fred Thompson.

About the only definitive suggestion made by the poll about the candidates is that the Democrats are not nearly as weak as the GOP would like voters to believe. After all, Iowa caucus, set for the middle of January, is still over five months away.

Which means, of course, that we get to look forward to another five and a half months of poll results. Are you excited? No? I can’t imagine why.

What so proudly we forgot?

Perhaps it would not be so distressing were we not up to our noses in … uh … wars. That’s it, wars. Of course, I’m one of those who looks at patriotism as a scourge, or, as Emma Goldman put it, “a menace to liberty”. But whether the nation’s formerly most hated and feared woman would have taken comfort and delight in Jim Moore’s July 30 article for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, or recoiled in disgust, is anybody’s guess. And I will guess the latter. Moore writes:

I’M NOT SURE why I subscribe to Men’s Health because I don’t follow their eating and exercising advice. But someday I think I will. To stop the subscription would make me feel like a bigger loser, as it would if I stopped paying monthly dues to the local gym I never visit.

So I keep getting the magazine, keep thumbing through it, keep looking for something that will make whatever I’m paying for it worth my while. On Monday, I found it on the last page of the July/August issue.

This is where they list percentages and statistics about the average guy. I don’t know who they’re polling or where they’re finding their average guys, but the numbers are interesting.

The one that really stood out — 48 percent of men won’t sing the national anthem at ballgames because they don’t know the words.

I thought everyone knew the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” until I saw this, and it was confirmed Monday afternoon in the Mariners’ clubhouse ….

We all have heard the joke about how nobody can remember all five verses of our nation’s anthem, but I’m with Moore: I figured most, if not everyone, could make it through the first. After all, we hear it regularly. It’s supposed to be part of our national social fabric. Of course, for some, that’s part of the problem. Seattle Mariners’ pitchers George Sherrill and Jarrod Washburn thought they knew the song. Sherrill got through the first line okay. Washburn didn’t make it that far.

“When they’re singing the song, I can sing every word right with ’em,” Washburn said. “We hear that thing every day.”

Washburn was told about the 48 percent stat in Men’s Health and said: “I’ll bet the percentage of ballplayers is way below that.”

First baseman Ben Broussard took the safe route, and did not even try. “It’s hard,” he admitted to Moore.

Washburn even recalled a time in the minor leagues, in Midland, Texas, of all places, when Scott Schoenweiss–now with the New York Mets–asked to sing the anthem before the game, and then botched it up midway through. Washburn did not say whether Schoenweiss grabbed himself, spit, and gave the finger to the crowd; I’m guessing not.

The irony here is that baseball proudly bears the reputation of being “America’s national pastime”, and in the wake of the terrorist strike against the nation in September, 2001, took up the patriotic banner, including “God Bless America” among its rituals. How patriotic can it be if American-born baseball players can’t remember the words?

And what of Emma Goldman, who in 1908 characterized patriotism as,

… the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers; a trade that requires better equipment for the exercise of man-killing than the making of such necessities of life as shoes, clothing, and houses; a trade that guarantees better returns and greater glory than that of the average workingman.

Could she possibly be right? That question is best left for another day. But I picture her in two imaginary still-frames. The first, among friends, chuckling and grinning at the notion that one of the nation’s most patriotic entities might be riddled with American-born players who cannot remember the words to the song. The second is more reflective, a thoughtful Emma Goldman standing beside a window, gazing out, contemplating the state of things. We are at war, an elective war justified in rhetoric by an act of terror: fifteen terrorists from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt, and one from Lebanon–let’s go to war in Iraq.

And yet, a poll suggests that 48% of the men at baseball games won’t sing the anthem because they don’t know the words? Add in those who would claim to not sing the anthem because they refuse to for political or conscientious reasons–myself included–and we must wonder just how much patriotism there is at your average Major League event.

Perhaps patriotism, then, should be invested in something more than bumper stickers, lapel pins, and loud-mouthed sports fans whooping and hollering while the anthem is being sung. Or, perhaps more appropriately, patriotism should be kicked to the curb with the rest of the week’s refuse.

Police fatally “stun” would-be exorcist

It’s hard to not think there’s a punch-line coming: Various sources report that police in Arizona responded to a call about an attempted exorcism of a young girl. From there, according to Elias C. Arnold, of the Arizona Republic, the situation took an unexpected turn:

Police reportedly found Ronald Marquez, of Phoenix, shirtless and choking his granddaughter as her 19-year-old mother, naked and bloody, looked on. The bloodied girl was gasping and screaming as her mother chanted and held a religious picture of some kind, police said ….

…. Police said officers heard yelling from outside the house, gained entry through a back door and rushed to a bedroom.

Two officers forced the door open slightly to find Marquez sitting on a bed blocking the door, police said.

The man held the girl in a headlock with one arm as he was squeezing her torso with his other arm, causing her to gasp and scream, police said ….

Apparently, the officers attempted to subdue the man with Tasers. Shortly after they managed to handcuff the man, he began experiencing shortness of breath. Police efforts to treat him were unsuccessful. Ronald Marquez, 48, of Phoenix, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

I’m not sure where to begin. In the first place, this is yet another incident in which Tasers, developed to give law enforcement a non-lethal tool for dealing with difficult suspects, are implicated in the suspect’s death.

To the other, did I say something about a punch-line? It’s just that it’s hard not to wonder if (wait for it …) at the end of the day (wait for it …), the evil spirit wasn’t exorcised after all.

The thing is that I’m not an exorcist, and have never held a faith that believes in exorcism. However, I must admit that I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the method whereby one squeezes the demons out of the possessed.

Child abuse is despicable, no matter how one tries to justify it. In a perfect world, this sort of episode would not happen at all. In the next-best scenario, though, we would hope that the accused would stand trial and answer for such brutality. Alas, this will not happen.

Just last week in Arizona, two helicopters among a swarm attempting to cover a police chase collided and crashed, killing all four people on board. In a press conference, a spokesman suggested that the suspect in that chase might be charged with the deaths resulting from the helicopter crash. Will the grandmother of this child be charged with the death of the exorcist? She was, after all, participating in the abuse.

Leaving the DLC out in the cold

The Washington Post’s Dan Balz presents an interesting piece over at The Trail:

The story line almost writes itself: Democratic president candidates snub centrists but plan to court liberal bloggers. Another sign of the party’s leftward drift?

That’s the easy and partially correct interpretation of what is happening this week. But not the whole story ….

The article focuses on the fact that none of the declared Democratic presidential contenders will be attending the Democratic Leadership Council’s annual summer meeting, a gathering that, in past cycles, held prominence among presidential hopefuls. The candidates are citing scheduling conflicts, which phrase is often rightly interpreted as a mere excuse; and, as Balz points out, some of them have found time to address the YearlyKos convention in Chicago later this week.

Various factors might influence the Democratic contenders’ decisions:

After George Bush’s reelection in 2004, Democrats were absorbed in a discussion about how they could do a better job of winning votes in rural areas, how they could speak about religion and values in a more authentic and open way, how they could compete in fast-growing exurban areas that were leaning heavily toward the GOP. That was the focus of attention at the DLC in 2005.

Hillary Clinton’s call at the 2005 DLC meeting for party unity ruffled the feathers of some party liberals, and disappointed a good many Democratic bloggers; the period of the DLC’s strongest influence not only saw the generation of new ideas, but also the willingness to pick fights in order to start debates. This latter attribute seems considerably less necessary in the current fractious political climate that has developed in the shadow of the “War on Terrorism” and the debacle in Iraq.

I will go so far as to say that Balz’s considerations miss a certain aspect of a vital point:

The Democratic Party has moved to the left since Bill Clinton left office and many independents have moved toward the Democrats because of the Iraq war.

And it’s true, but what is missing is a consideration of why the party is coming back to the left. When Bill Clinton took office, he achieved his victory by playing to the center. The effect was that when Bill rolled rightward toward the center, the party followed. One of the effects of this shift is that voters have complained in recent years that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell Democrats and Republicans apart. And let’s face it, why would you vote for a fake Republican if there is a real one on the ticket as well?

In recent decades, Democratic attempts to match Republican methods have hurt more than they help. Many on the left find themselves voting for Democratic candidates in order to prevent Republicans from taking office. One point I make whenever the occasion demands is that voting for Democrats is my great concession to the right wing.

The image of alienated Democrats, however, only serves the GOP, who exploit the situation to present Democratic candidates and officeholders as lacking integrity. But that is the trap of politics. If you don’t appeal to voters, you do not win office. At present, the voters do not want to approve of abstract principles, they want to be served according to exacting, even if oft-contradictory, demands.

Perhaps this perception of the finicky voter derives from the increased attention given the swing bloc, but these voters–even more than the partisans or, more specifically, leftists–place high value on integrity.

The truth of the matter is that while the current political climate may render part of the DLC’s appeal irrelevant, the Council might also have the effect of undermining Democratic electoral chances.

If the party is truly swinging leftward, it seems to be for the better.

A reminder from the past

I was reading through Ryszard Kapuscinski’s Shah of Shahs today. It’s been a while, and since the book stands near the core of my views regarding the political situation in Iran, it seemed worth another go. Almost straightaway, the book’s continued relevance struck true:

…. Even in the remotest corners of the world, knowing a European language was a mark of distinction, testifying to an ambitious upbringing, and was often a necessity of life, the basis for career and promotion, and sometimes even a condition for being considered human. Those languages were taught in African schools, used in commerce, spoken in exotic parliaments, Asian courts, and Arab coffeehouses. Traveling almost anywhere in the world, Europeans could feel at home. They could express their opinions and understand what others were saying to them. Today the world is different. Hundreds of patriotisms have blossomed. Every nation wants to control and organize its own population, territory, resources, and culture according to its native traditions. Every nation thinks it is or wants to be free, independent, cherishes its own values, and insists upon (and is particularly sensitive about getting) respect for them. Even small and weak nations–those, especially–hate to be preached to, and rebel against anyone who tries to rule them or force often suspect values on them. People may admire the strength of other–but preferably at a safe remove and certainly not when used against them. Every power has its own dynamics, its own domineering, expansionist tendencies, its bullying obsessive need to trample the weak. This is the law of power, as everyone knows. But what can the weaker ones do? They can only fence themselves off, afraid of being swallowed up, stripped, regimented into a conformity of gait, face expression, tongue, thought, response ordered to give their life’s blood for an alien cause, and of finally being crushed altogether ….

There is not much to add, no lecture or sermon to attach to the words of the late Polish journalist once called the “Translator of the World”. Simply put, it seems to me that the quotation above reflects an understanding that is missing from the American “War on Terror”, a lack by which we are all diminished.


Kapuscinski, Ryszard. Shah of Shahs. 1982. Trans. Wm. R. Brand and K. Mroczkowska-Brand. New York: Vintage International, 1992

After the fire: Doing what it takes

Don’t anyone call it a fluff piece. The Washington Post’s David Finkel brings us a tale from the aftermath of a car bombing:

An hour after a car bomb exploded in downtown Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 25 people, wounding at least 110 and destroying an apartment building, a phone call begging for help came to an Army officer in eastern Baghdad. It was from a man named Izzy who works as an interpreter for the U.S. military and whose calm voice was now filled with panic.

His apartment was in ruins, he said. One of his two daughters had been badly injured. Something had pierced her head when their apartment disintegrated. He had taken her to a hospital filled with the injured, but overwhelmed doctors had said there was nothing they could do, that she needed more help than they could give, and so he was standing on a street with his bleeding daughter at his side, afraid that she was going to die.

“The only hope you have is to get her to an American hospital?” said Maj. Brent Cummings, executive officer of the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, for which Izzy is an interpreter. He was repeating what Izzy had just said. Izzy started to answer. The cellphone went dead. “Izzy?” Cummings said. “Izzy?”

How do moments of decency occur in a place such as Baghdad, in a war such as this war? Perhaps by what several officers on an Army base in eastern Baghdad decided to do next.

“Izzy,” Cummings said after dialing 5, 10, 15 times and finally getting through. “Bring your daughter here.”

The tale goes on to describe how Major Cummings stayed dedicated to bringing in the interpreter, while simultaneously squelching rumors that the battalion lost soldiers in the bombing. Even as the situation developed, Cummings still faced a policy snag:

Could an American citizen living in Baghdad, who was injured by a non-American bomb, receive medical care in an American military medical facility?

And then add to that a further complication:

And in front of them all, walking slowly, was a young girl with shiny purple sandals, blood on her bluejeans and a bandage over the left side of her face.

This was the non-American daughter, the one born in Baghdad, who began crying as she was carried into the medical facility. In Arabic, she cried out for her father, who had to remain in the waiting area.

As Finkel notes, the medical staff faced a difficult question: What do the rules say about a situation like this?

The answer, it seems, is that they were doctors. Who cares about the bloody rules? Over the next while they worked diligently to extract a two-inch piece of glass from the girl’s skull, and well enough that before all was finished, a smiling Iraqi-born girl was back in her parents’ arms.

So don’t you dare call the Post article a fluff piece. In an ill-conceived, incompetently-executed, questionably-motivated war rife with tales of American failures and atrocities, we need to know that there are people in the theatre who know damn well what their job is, and will do it without hesitation.

Major Cummings gets the last word here: “Man, I haven’t felt this good since I got to this hellhole.”

Dangerously funny?

Sometimes, humor can be dangerous. I’m not talking about telling the sandbox joke in a roomful of hardened gangstas. Rather … well, let’s let Hunter, over at DailyKos give us the example:

This has gone on long enough. Do you realize how devastating it is to be named the enemy of one of the most mocked figures in news, a man so identifiably muleheaded and egotistical that he spawned an entire television program satirizing his habitual hallucinatory fictions and barely lucid emotional fits? A man whose alleged drunken and masturbating phone calls to female coworkers has been the stuff of both lawsuits and internet legend? No: my lifetime most embarrassing telephone call was when I tried to order a pizza from a confused but well-meaning hair stylist: I cannot compete with tales of vibrators and middle eastern foodstuffs.

Now we are under the microscope of Stephen Colbert himself — a man who took your very persona, your factless approach to the news, your impressive stone edifice of narcissism — and added the devastating grenade of actual talent. What further punishment could you possibly unleash upon us?

It’s an impressive plea in the growing row between FOX News and its hand-picked opponent, The Daily Kos. And, frankly, I find it funny as hell and very well-pointed.

The danger, of course, is that O’Reilly and the FOX gang are likely to miss the joke.

Can the Democrats actually stop the war?

Let’s pause to think about the idea of the Democratic-controlled Congress ending the war in Iraq.

I was thinking about a particularly difficult piece of rhetoric in the debate. It’s been bugging me since the recent spending showdown over timelines.

To consider a June 1 piece appearing at FAIR.org:

Summing up the media’s conventional wisdom about the congressional vote to approve funding for the Iraq War with no timeline for withdrawal, the Los Angeles Times wrote on May 25: “Unable to overcome the president’s veto of their plan to set a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops, Democrats have been left to focus on what to do next.”

That, in a nutshell, is what was wrong with the coverage of the war funding debate. In fact, if the Democrat-controlled Congress wanted to force the Bush administration to accept a bill with a withdrawal timeline, it didn’t have to pass the bill over Bush’s veto—it just had to make clear that no Iraq War spending bill without a timeline would be forthcoming. Given that the Constitution requires Congress to approve all spending, Bush needs Congress’s approval to continue the war—Congress does not need Bush’s approval to end the war.

The FAIR piece is intended to criticize the media for flunking on its coverage of the war funding dispute. And the proposal it puts forward sounds reasonable enough, except that it raises a hideous spectre that few, if any, people seem to notice.

Okay, we’ll go with few. I can’t possibly be the only person who has thought of this. Then again, I could also be wrong, but work with me here.

The problem is HJR 114, which was passed by Congress in October, 2002 and signed into law by President Bush four days later. HJR 114 is better known as the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002”.

The Democrats can certainly make a stand and refuse to send any further funding bills for the war to the White House, but this does nothing about HJR 114.

Removing the funding while leaving Bush the authority to conduct the war creates a dangerous political situation. Does the White House have the audacity to keep the troops in the field even after Congress refuses funding? Is this a gamble worth taking?

In raw terms, perhaps. But Democrats are politicians as much as Republicans, and whether or not they would risk the appearance of abandoning the troops in the field is not exactly a question mark. No. Of course they wouldn’t.

Which means that in addition to refusing to pass any further war spending bills, Congressional Democrats must also repeal HJR 114.

Earlier this month, an attempt to initiate a phased redeployment from Iraq died in the Senate when the Democrats failed to achieve cloture. The vote was 52-47. Can we expect any better outcome for an attempt to repeal HJR 114?

Even presuming such a bill could pass both the House and Senate, what will happen when the bill goes to the President to sign?

In order to override the veto, the Democratic caucus would need to attract sixteen GOP votes in the Senate. The House would need 68 GOP votes.

What, realistically, are the odds of that happening?

Anyone? Anyone?

Terror’s top PR man – George W. Bush

The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin made the obvious point in his July 25, 2007 “White House Watch” column:

Like any terrorist organization, al-Qaeda wants attention. It wants to be perceived as powerful. And it particularly wants Americans to live in fear.

Could al-Qaeda possibly have found a better publicist than President Bush?

The point of terrorism is to terrorize; that is, to frighten people into complicity. And, let’s be honest, al-Qaeda managed to scare the hell out of us one ugly morning almost six years ago.

But ever since, the Bush administration has pursued policies that could be described as difficult at best. Despite widespread public concern and growing discontent with the direction the administration has taken us, Bush has persisted. There is no carrot in this, but the stick he wields is al-Qaeda itself.

By Froomkin’s count, Bush’s July 24 speech at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina raised the name “al-Qaeda” some 118 times in 29 minutes. Simple arithmetic brings us a quotient of 4.06. Four times a minute, or every fifteen seconds on average, Bush invoked al-Qaeda.

Averages, however, are deceiving. Reading through the White House transcript, you’ll find that the first use of the phrase al-Qaeda in the fifteenth paragraph. By my count, and I could easily have counted wrong, there are forty-seven paragraphs to the speech. The last two-thirds are chock full o’terror.

It almost reads like the results of one of those cheesy “How to Pick Up Women” routines: “Hello, Qaeda. How are you, Qaeda? I must say, you’re looking lovely tonight, Qaeda. Tell me, Qaeda, what’s on your mind? Do you know how beautiful you are, Qaeda?”

Add a dash of Chicken Little, and you’re almost there.

The problem, though, is that instead of doing anything to keep the sky from falling, as such, Bush chooses to shoot rubber bands at the stars, daring the firmament to crumble: he made the invasion of Iraq the American top priority in the “War on Terror”. The capture of Osama bin Laden and the conflict in Afghanistan–al Qaeda’s center of operations–slipped down the list of priorities. One might see some sense of convenience in leaving bin Laden out there; Bush has used bin Laden and al Qaeda as a stick with which to beat Americans into complicity.

Bush asserted,

Some note that al Qaida in Iraq did not exist until the U.S. invasion — and argue that it is a problem of our own making. The argument follows the flawed logic that terrorism is caused by American actions. Iraq is not the reason that the terrorists are at war with us. We were not in Iraq when the terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. We were not in Iraq when they attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We were not in Iraq when they attacked the USS Cole in 2000. And we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001.

It’s not so much that Bush used flawed logic to accuse flawed logic, but rather that the President was flat wrong. He countered the point that al-Qaeda in Iraq did not exist until after the invasion by pointing out, “The argument follows the flawed logic that terrorism is caused by American actions.”

Yes, terrorism is inspired by American actions. In 1996, five years before al Qaeda hit New York, Washington, and went down in horrific flames in Pennsylvania, Osama bin Laden stated quite clearly that he was coming for us. And he gave his reasons, including the American presence in Saudi Arabia, American support for Israel against the Palestinians, and more:

It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims blood became the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Their blood was spilled in Palestine and Iraq. The horrifying pictures of the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon are still fresh in our memory. Massacres in Tajakestan, Burma, Cashmere, Assam, Philippine, Fatani, Ogadin, Somalia, Erithria, Chechnia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina took place, massacres that send shivers in the body and shake the conscience. All of this and the world watch and hear, and not only didn’t respond to these atrocities, but also with a clear conspiracy between the USA and its’ allies and under the cover of the iniquitous United Nations, the dispossessed people were even prevented from obtaining arms to defend themselves.

The people of Islam awakened and realised that they are the main target for the aggression of the Zionist-Crusaders alliance. All false claims and propaganda about “Human Rights” were hammered down and exposed by the massacres that took place against the Muslims in every part of the world.

Now, regardless of how we feel about bin Laden’s assessment of what American actions equaled, these are his reasons. If we wish to win the fight against al Qaeda, we must understand a few things about how our enemy operates. We cannot gain that understanding by ignoring what they are telling us. That we did not listen then, or else did not care, does not mean we should have been surprised when al Qaeda finally arrived and took its shot.

Additionally, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, financed by al Qaeda, came about, according to letters claiming responsibility, in response to American support for Israel and meddling in Middle Eastern political affairs. Even if we believe terrorists are simply corrupt human beings looking for an excuse to hurt people, American actions provided them the excuse to hit the United States.

By ignoring or refusing these facts of history, Bush’s exploitation of the al Qaeda menace seeks to confuse the public, erase any notion that, whether or not we accept them, al Qaeda has its reasons for wanting to fight. The increased confusion leads to increased fear; the American people are terrorized even further. For Bush, this apparently seems a plus.

A frightened people are more complicit. Terrorists, naturally, agree.

George W. Bush has worked against the capture of Osama bin Laden, and then exploited the al Qaeda name in an attempt to keep the American people frightened. What greater aid and comfort could our President possibly give our enemies?