March 26, 2004


9-11, 3-11 …. 10-11?

By Andrés Lozano

Nothing succeeds like success! Come November, al-Quaeda’s accomplished attempt to derail the Spanish elections and impose her candidate will be rehashed here. The crux is identifying where and when, not if. One thing is certain: she will not spare means and mettle to lick George W. Bush. Ironically, this puts John. F. Kerry’s presidential bid against the ropes. Such is the way the law of unintended effects operates. The Spanish terrorist success may have been attained at the cost of warning American voters beforehand. When the electoral campaign heats up, between Labor Day and Halloween, JFK will be required to allay fears among American voters that he is not Osama Bin Laden’s proxy or any other terrorist patsy. It will be bold from JFK, indeed, coming clean with voters and, simultaneously, pull off the acrobatics act of offering a working alternative to president’s Bush war on terrorism.

Therefore, al-Qaeda, to all intents and purposes Kerry’s ally, must conduct herself in a manner enhancing not diminishing her candidate’s electoral chance. Attempting new terrorist acts inside the US is not the best choice. Any such exploit would steel voters’ backbone and muster support in behalf of the president’s war on terror, effectively clinching the election in his behalf whilst renewing his antiterrorist mandate. Future coup’ attempts in Europe are already discounted and carry lesser impact since they are expected. Additionally, they would justify GWB’s approach. Consequently, the setting where to execute large-scale, low-cost and high-yield exploits is limited to two main targets: Canada and Mexico. More about this in my next feature.

Simultaneously, Canada and Mexico are close to and outside of the US realm. For instance, successful terrorist acts perpetrated in Montreal, Toronto, Mexico City and Tijuana, would increase American uncertainty without inviting swift reprisal. These deeds could very well grind down resolve among many undecided voters and tilt them towards appeasement. Certainly, it would bolster Kerry’s contention that the war on terror is not yielding results even as increasing the level of threat against America and alienating her against her neighbors.

Al-Qaeda’s strategy is predicated upon a certainty: Kerry prefers defeating Bush than defeating terrorism. The disloyal opposition Democratic campaign tactics lends weight to this assertion. It is a tragedy that the party of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy subjects American defense to electoral calculation. What happens next if Kerry wins on a placatory plank and, at once, to impose upon us as much harm as possible, terrorist resume large-scale terrorist acts? Lessons of history must be learnt. During the 1916 campaign, W. Wilson solemnly pledged himself to keep America off World War I. A month after his second inauguration he declared war on Germany. Even though the decision was correct; voters did not forget and forgive this deceit. No Democratic presidential candidate was elected for the next twelve years and congressional Democrats were kept in a minority status during that period.

What would have been the outcome if, during World War II, Republicans had chided Roosevelt’s war strategy to beat the Axis, questioned Roosevelt’s motivations arguing he knew beforehand -as he did- of the imminent attack at Pearl Harbor and triumphed in elections based on a diffirent plank? In all likelihood, this would have forced an armistice and tacit recognition of the state of affairs at the time of signature. Germany, Italy and the USSR would dominate today a divided Europe between the nazi and the communist camps. The Japanese Empire would include Australia, India, and everything between. America would be a forlorn, yet impregnable, fortress limited to the Western Hemisphere. Sounds preposterous, it is not! It’s the revisited Islamic terrorists’ aim: Dominate the Middle East; keep Eurabia submissive and America apart and aloof.

The Berlin-Paris Axis is updated as the Berlin-Paris-Madrid Axis. As in 1940, Britain stands alone. Russia with the strength to quell any Moslem invasion attempts, yet powerless to fend off gradual attrition. President Kerry would be an appeaser along Clinton’s lines. He would fight terrorism through joint declarations at the UN and shoot a missile barrage here and there into the empty desert to assuage American fears: form without content. It is crucial to learn from the war on terrorism that fanatics operate on an open-ended time frame. If they reach their goals in five years, wonderful! If it takes them five hundred years, good as well! Time is of no concern among those intent on spreading and imposing their only truth. Meantime, Western appeasers are only interested in winning the next election and keep themselves in power during a few years. They are hostages of imminence and operate under her mandates. If Chirac, Schröder and the newly handpicked Spanish Visir, Rodríguez Zapatero and Kerry, had as a priority the well-being and safety of their countries, their people and the world’s, not their own, they would face off terrorism in lieu of dodging it.

That is why, for those among us placing the war on terror as the top priority of our generation, Bush’s victory does not worry us even if we may have discrepancies with secondary issues. In comparison, Kerry’s victory keeps us aghast even if he satisfies secondary issues at the expense of the main concern.

Andrés Lozano

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