Friday, February 17, 2006

Secret Admirer

Earlier this week, the City Pages identified Scott Johnson's tribute to Katherine Kersten on NRO as the "ickiest" valentine of the week.

Icky is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose (especially if you have pink eye). To me, the use of the word icky, is the definition of the word icky. But if forced to weigh in on this matter, I think far "ickier" than Scott Johnson's charming tribute was the mash note the City Pages sent to its cover boy Osama bin Laden, coincidentally, this very week.

Folks, hold on to your insulin glands as you read these precious observations on the essence of our enemy, from former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer:

[bin Laden is] very conscious of the tradition from which he comes and how that history works.

I think he is the hero and the leader in the Islamic world.

But he's kind of done as much as he can do to make sure there's no further bloodshed between us and the forces he represents.

... for a man of his stature in the world, he probably has as little ego as I've ever seen in a leader

So in his main goal, of incitement, he's been singularly successful.

But our invasion of Iraq broke the back of our counter-terrorism policy, because it validated in the Islamic mind so much of what bin Laden had said through the past decade.

... if you examine bin Laden's rhetoric, the correlation between words and deeds is pretty much - close to perfect.

Bin Laden has always been someone who welcomed ideas

He dominated the international media for three days at a time of his choosing.

The only thing I've tried to say to people is that this is a very serious man, and a very talented one.

He's very good looking and an excellent driver.

All right, I added that last one. But it seems to be consistent with the theme. Yes, I understand the need to not underestimate the abilities of your enemies, but the desperate ass kissing of someone who wishes to kill you is, well, icky.

Check out the cover illustration the City Pages uses too, which revels in the aura of someone who promises to bring death and carnage to the United States. Despicable. And probably destined to take the cherished position in the living rooms of City Pages staffers now occupied by their black light Che posters.

By the way, the whole interview with Scheuer is an endorsement of the view that the US is under imminent threat of a catastrophic terrorist event, larger than 9/11.

My own inclination is to say that the decks are pretty much cleared now. He would not have said what he said if he wasn't prepared to attack us.

Yes, the clock is ticking. Not just on the future of an American city, but on the City Pages dwindling credibility. A traditional media organ of their stature (3rd highest circulation in the Twin Cities, I believe) needs to be held accountable for its gleeful scare mongering. They say it's coming soon, so let's just wait and see. I give them, at the outside, one month in order to be correct.

I certainly hope they are not. At the very least, so I can someday soon use the post title, The City Pages Lied, No One Died. And I'm given some solace in the rate of accuracy of some of the other warnings appearing on the City Pages web site. Things like this:

Four more years of Bush and I doubt that I will be writing or you will be reading these warnings. We will have been silenced. I wish I were exaggerating, but this past year has taught me that, if anything, my warnings have been too tame.

We have seen a despot, and he is occupying the White House. We have seen tyranny, and it is the Bush Administration.

And this:

On November 2 we won't be voting for anything like the measure of change we deserve the chance to vote for. We will be casting our ballots in a referendum on whether we wish to pause and reconsider our march toward a homegrown American fascism.

And this:

In my heart, I still believe in revolution. In my heart, I still think I have the 'nads to put my life on the line for a cause. In my gut I think this is the only way we'll ever achieve our goals of economic and social justice. But in my head, I want to win the next election so we don't have to have a revolution.

The countdown to tyranny and revolution continues well beyond their deadlines. But if this stopped clock finds its nut and the worst case scenario of a massive attack does happen in the near future, it will be bad news. Worse yet, because, guess what, it will be all our fault to begin with. Here are Scheuer's words on bin Laden's motivation to hit us again, which no doubt would form the thesis of a post American city nuking City Pages cover story:

... our support for the Arab tyrannies in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, our presence in the holy lands on the Arabian Peninsula, our invasion of Iraq, our support for countries like Russia that are deemed to repress Islamic people. He's focused on things that are visible to the Islamic world every day, and quite frankly there's a direct correlation between what he says and what all the Western polling firms are finding, that there is a huge majority in Islamic countries that hate our foreign policy.

Yet another reason to hope their dire warnings prove incorrect. In the event of a WMD terrorist incident and the world war to follow, we'll be forced to metaphorically share a foxhole with millions of those on the left with this mindset. And I'm not sure you can defeat an enemy after you've lovingly hung his picture on the wall.

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