A View From The Handbasket

Friday, November 03, 2006
The November Surprise
Posted by neros_fiddle at 10:51 AM
...because October Surprises are so, you know, pre-"Internet time."

As the administration is well aware that (1) the only thing that will make a lot of American people think good thoughts about the ruling party at the moment is seeing the Bad Guys suffer and (2) any such good thoughts will be fleeting at best, the verdict and sentencing of Saddam Hussein has been scheduled for November 5, two days before the election. Iraq will still be a bloodbath on November 6, just as it will be on November 4, but the Republicans are clearly hoping that the sight of Saddam getting sentenced to death will cause the increasingly negative opinion of the war to backtrack those vital few percentage points, even it's only for 48 hours or so.

I'm sure a division of Diebold is working feverishly this very moment on devoting a corner of the touch-screen voting machines to a live video feed of Saddam hanging from the gallows.

EDIT/UPDATE: As I typed the above, I started with "seeing Muslims suffer" and then changed it to "seeing the Bad Guys suffer." The "Muslim" version didn't work, I thought, because Saddam was/is a genuinely venal bastard, and I didn't want to imply that his faults were only figments of America's Muslim-hating fever dreams. The fact that he was a Muslim, of course, was the key to the White House being able to substitute an invasion of Iraq for action against al-Qaeda, but in the end I felt better about the revised version.

Then I read this.

As Glenn Greenwald points out, this sort of attitude, even if held by a minority, is a prime enabler of our current foreign policy by forming a vital part of the administration's core support. So while I might feel it's unfair to label Saddam as a victim of US anti-Islamic hysteria, that distinction might well be much narrower than I thought.

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