We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Bin Laden, his lieutenants and their allies are no doubt pleased by the destruction of the Spanish and Thai governments and the exhilarating message it sends to the worldwide Islamist movement: The infidels are weak, politically divided, terrified of using full military power and think we can be appeased. In short, war works; keep at it. Even so, bin Laden, et. al, know the biggest prize looms just ahead — the chance that the Republican Party will be ousted from one or both houses of Congress. There are many factors contributing to this possibility: the Foley abomination, other corruption cases, the trumped?up "crisis" over First Amendment rights and the administration's ill-informed and ham-fisted handling of the Iraq and Afghan wars. If the Republicans are ousted, pundits on both sides of the aisle will find the causes strictly in America's navel. But what will bin Laden and his Islamist allies think? Well, if Republican defeat comes to pass, they will first thank the Almighty — "Allahu Akhbar!" or "God is the greatest!" — for tangible proof of approaching victory. In Spain, Thailand, and Britain — where Prime Minister Tony Blair suffered the fate of Messrs. Aznar and Thaksin for the same reason, but is leaving gracefully — al Qaeda and its allies see politicians winning power who argue: "The military option has been tried and it has failed. We must seek other-than-martial means to defuse the Islamists' appeal and power." As in Europe and Thailand, this has been the refrain of Sens. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Rep. Jane Harman, and a swath of Republicans who value their seats more than U.S. security. If Americans vote for what sounds like sweet reason from the Democrats, bin Laden and company will rejoice. What they will hear is the death knell for any prospect of effective U.S. military resistance to militant Islam. With the Republicans out, the Islamists will be confident that Democrats will deliver the best of both worlds: less emphasis on military force and a rigid maintenance of U.S. foreign policies that are hated with passion and near-unanimity by 1.3 billion Muslims. If Osama approved of music, he would be whistling "Happy Days Are Here Again!"