It’s in the back of your mind, most likely. It is impolite to say. You sometimes feel guilty thinking it. You do not want to seem that partisan. But, you do not think it really is partisan — just a reality some refuse to accept. You think there will be an increased chance of attack if Bush loses.
If we toss Bush, we may think it is for domestic reasons. The terrorists will see it as a sign of weakness and surrender.
When the World Trade Center was bombed the first time, back in the early nineties, Al Qaeda noticed that we arrested the ring leaders and did nothing more. After the Black Hawk went down in Somalia and Somali thugs with Al Qaeda made life tough for our military, Bill Clinton pulled us out. Al Qaeda took that as a sign of weakness. They decided to test that theory.
The Cole was bombed. Embassies were blown up. We lobbed a few cruise missiles and blew up a few camels and an aspirin factory. Near worthless indictments left Janet Reno’s hands. The left was quite pleased by the civility of it all. Osama Bin Laden was quite pleased by the cowardice of it all. His theory was, he though, confirmed, and it was safe to wage open war on the United States. The plan to fly planes into buildings was fully ratified and implemented. Patiently they trained knowing that, at worst, there would be some jail time or deportations. Patiently they trained.
On September 11, 2001, the training was over and the war was resumed. Resumed because Al Qaeda had been attacking. We just refused to respond as if attacked. Unfortunately for Al Qaeda, the United States had new leadership that was not as European in its thinking. The new leadership went on the offensive, sometimes secretly and sometimes openly. The President said that those who harbor terrorists would be treated like terrorists. The world laughed until he did what he said. Now Saddam Hussein sits in a jail cell. Daily we hunt down more terrorists. Sometimes they hit our troops. More often than not we hit them. We have disrupted their chain of command and their network. They have hit our troops in harms way, but so far they have not hit us at home.
Now the United States is holding a referendum on the leader who had the will to fight Al Qaeda. Violence has escalated in Iraq. The terrorists hope the voters will vote out the leader.
If the United States tosses George W. Bush, it will do so because some voters do not like the “No Child Left Behind” Act or the economic situation or the flu vaccine situation or for a host of other reasons John Kerry keeps complaining about. But, the terrorists will see it as a victory. They will become emboldened. They will think they can chase us from the world scene by making life difficult for us. The terrorists will escalate the violence because they’ve listened to John Kerry’s fumbling statements of defeatism and will, rightly or wrongly, presume that he will pack up and leave the rest of the world if they hit hard.
It is impolite to say. It is not to be discussed. The terrorists are not hitting us at home like they did in Spain. They are revving up action in Iraq to frustrate us into tossing Bush. If we toss Bush, we may think it is for domestic reasons. The terrorists will see it as a sign of weakness and surrender. Next time they want their way, well, let’s work to get Bush re-elected.