Saturday, October 30, 2004

Saturday 10/30 links

Acute Belmont Club blogger "Wretchard" notices something nobody else apparently saw in Osama bin Laden's newest tape: "He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out."

New York Post columnist
John Podhoretz to Michael Moore: OBL's your biggest fan.

New York Times semiconservative columnist
David Brooks imposes "The Osama Litmus Test": "Bush's response yesterday to the video was exactly right. He said we would not be intimidated. He tried to take the video out of the realm of crass politics by mentioning Kerry by name and assuring the country that he was sure Kerry agreed with him. Kerry did say that we are all united in the fight against bin Laden, but he just couldn't help himself. His first instinct was to get political."

Weekly Standard columnists
William Kristol and Stephen F. Hayes are appalled by "The Kerry campaign's extraordinary response to the newly released tape from al Qaeda's leader."

Captain's Quarters blogger
"Captain Ed" Morrissey has fun with a deluded lefty columnist who actually claims, apparently with a straight face,"that Islamic terrorists feel that George Bush has been 'good for business.'"

Weekly Standard columnist Fred Barnes relates how in "The Circuitous Campaign," "Bush got where his strategists predicted, but not how they expected."

National Review Online columnist
Jonah Goldberg argues that Sen. Kerry is losing because he is the anti-war candidate but can't say so: "Sometimes he speaks in a unique Kerry grammar one could call the future-past perfect. When asked if we were right to invade Iraq, he has responded that it depends on what happens in the future. And other times he's said we were right. And other times he's said we were wrong. But my favorite response was when he was asked if we'd have gone to war with Iraq if he'd been president, and he shot back confidently, 'You bet we might have.'"

London Times columnist
Mick Hume, who admits he is "on the British Left," tries to untangle "The trashy politics of Bushophobia." His conclusion: "How much easier it is for the liberal Left to blame stupid voters and the lying media for propping up Mr Bush and the Iraq war, rather than face up to its own failure to mount a convincing case or win the argument."

Washington Post writers Charles Babington and Brian Faler report that recent polling in South Dakota indicates that Tom Daschle's numbers are in free-fall. Two points: first, Daschle's immediate response is to fly in tons of lawyers to litigate himself into reelection; second, the poll numbers were so lopsided that the pollsters "adjusted" them--ie, ignored them--and just assigned a 3-point lead to John Thune without any basis whatever.

Dubai resident
Youssef M. Ibrahim supplies a fascinating essay to the International Herald Tribune that candidly discusses "The fear that chokes the Arab world."

Napoleon won't die, and
Paul Johnson reviews yet two more studies of the great general for the London Sunday Telegraph.

New York Times writer
Micheline Maynard reports that the mainstream airlines are finally getting the message: prospective passengers do not choose based on amenities--it's price and schedules. Period.

Prolific satirical blogger ScrappleFace Scott Ott's latest: "Kerry: Bush Outsourced Bin Laden Video Production."