Alarming News

October 30, 2004

The perfect description

This could be seen as an attempt by Bin Laden to influence the election against Bush; his mocking comments towards the President certainly make it come off that way.

But I don’t think it will work, because of a theory I’ll call “The Batman Effect”.

Batman is constantly trying to put the Joker out of business for good. But if you haven’t noticed, he generally never quite manages. The Joker is never, ever truly vanquished; he’ll always be back for more.

But when the Joker’s on the loose again, you don’t stop to think “Damn, Batman still hasn’t managed to get rid of this guy, we better find somebody else.” You don’t say “get me Aquaman on the phone.” You think about the only guy who actually does something about the Joker, even if it hasn’t been a permanent solution: the only guy who’s been able to do the clown some damage and set back his schemes a ways.

You put up the damned Bat Signal and hope that Batman answers the call.

-Truth Laid Bear.

Posted by Karol at 11:16 PM |
Comments

There’s some truth to that “Batman Effect”, certainly, and that’s the way it worked all year so far… but I’m not sure people think the same in the last few days before the election, especially with a totally unexpected surprise like this. It’s hard to say.
But more importantly, I really don’t think bin Laden was trying to influence the election either way. On the truly broad spectrum of positions vis a vis bin Laden and security, both candidates are pretty fricking close. Combined with the inevitable shortage of information you receive in some rural Pakistani hut, you can probably say that he doesn’t know enough about John Kerry to believe he’s very diffrent than Bush. As far as he’s concerned, everything Republicans and Democrats are fighting about is within the noise.
And that’s pretty much what he said. He talked about Bush because Bush is the one with the background to talk about, but I don’t think bin Laden could give a hoot who gets elected out of these two. They’ll both go hard after al-Qaeda, they’ll both keep doing stuff in Iraq, and they’ll both keep supporting Israel.

Posted by: Andrew at October 31, 2004 at 12:15 am

I think when faced with a specter of UN resolutions or all-out military attack regardless of UN delay-tactics, one option is obvisouly more frightening to a terrorist than the other.
That’s rather troubling that you think the analysis ends there. Or maybe even if it starts there.
Terrorists, especially al-Qaeda, transcend state boundries and have no straightforward relationship with the UN. Whether or not somebody pays attention to the UN or not doesn’t matter to them. Whether or not somebody attacks the one secular and isolated dictator doesn’t matter to them.
More importantly, even if you assume that a terrorist would differentiate between the two possibilities, the result is much more complicated than you imply. For instance, in the process of attacking his “support structure” (through a tangentially related country), anti-Americanism and al-Qaeda recruitment did what? Skyrocketed. I’m sure bin Laden’s really smarting for that one. Ouch.
But to get back my point: I’m not saying that bin Laden prefers Bush. I’m saying that bin Laden could care less about the marginal difference between the two. Both have taken a very B&W stance that will continue to spurn recruitment, both have committed to Israel, and neither will let up on his organization. Based on this year’s sentiment, I doubt we could even elect a president who wouldn’t take the same stance. And you think bin Laden give the petty differences between Bush and Kerry any relevance in light of their similarities?

Posted by: Andrew at October 31, 2004 at 1:33 am

I have no idea why Dorian’s comment follow’s Andrew’s second one since it should clearly preceed it.

Posted by: Karol at October 31, 2004 at 1:37 am

And why my comment appears before Dorian’s.

Posted by: Karol at October 31, 2004 at 1:38 am

Andrew, I will respectfully disagree. I think when faced with a specter of UN resolutions or all-out military attack regardless of UN delay-tactics, one option is obvisouly more frightening to a terrorist than the other. John Kerry has said, flat out, the War on Terror is a law-enforcement operation. He WILL NOT use military force to bring down a rogue state. People who argue that he will have to look past his ENTIRE 30-year record of appeasement. He voted against the first Gulf War. We had the whole world on board for it. Saddam INVADED a neighboring country. If that does not pass the Kerry “global test,” nothing will.

Posted by: Dorian at October 31, 2004 at 1:43 am

I think it’s a combination of time zone and daylight savings issues. You might want to send a not to MT tech support, but you probably won’t see this happen again for another 6-12 months.

Posted by: Andrew at October 31, 2004 at 1:52 am

“Batman, the Joker just robbed First Gotham Savings!”
“I’ll get right on it Commissioner!”
* * *
“Batman, the Joker just left us another videotape — I thought you went after him?”
“I did, Commissioner. I went after him in his lair, but he got away. So I went after Two-Face.”
“But Two-Face is at Arkham Asylum.”
“Actually, not anymore. But we’ve liberated the Asylum”.
“Liberated?”
“Yes.”
“Dear God, I hope you know what you’re doing.
What about the Joker?”
“Freedom is on the march.”
“Hold on a second, Batman. Angie, get Superman on the phone.”

Posted by: Rick Blaine at October 31, 2004 at 2:00 am

Uh, Karol, one flaw in your logic: the Joker is a comic book character and this is real life.

Posted by: pearatty at October 31, 2004 at 2:58 am

It’s an analogy. Do you know what an analogy is?

Posted by: Karol at October 31, 2004 at 3:07 am

And I love comments like that that start with ‘uh’. Boy that ‘uh’ sure does put me in my place.

Posted by: Karol at October 31, 2004 at 3:08 am

lol Ok – so Joker robbed a bank? Sorry – I do believe he got some of his henchmen to blow things up. And that was over a couple Decades.
I have to ask those that think that the war is a mistake. Is it a mistake to send a military force who are trained for combat to a forward position so that they may combat the terrorists? Who are, I believe by global opinion, combatants. Is it wrong for the military to go in harm’s way to protect those at home? Oh – but Iraq doesn’t have anything to do with terrorists. And yet the now ex-leader of the country could be considered as such by the population of that country.
There is a new documentary that was released on Friday where the guys gave out 150 video cameras to the population of Iraq. They said the overwhelming majority of the tape, over 400 hours worth, that they got back say that the Iraqi’s lives are better.
http://www.voicesofiraq.com/

Posted by: Mark at October 31, 2004 at 3:13 am

Homeland Security Agents Visit Toy Store
Thu Oct 28, 5:20 PM ET
ST. HELENS, Ore. – So far as she knows, Pufferbelly Toys owner Stephanie Cox hasn’t been passing any state secrets to sinister foreign governments, or violating obscure clauses in the Patriot Act.

Posted by: except when BATMAN'S A COMPLETE FOOL... at October 31, 2004 at 10:39 am

I have to ask those that think that the war is a mistake. Is it a mistake to send a military force who are trained for combat to a forward position so that they may combat the terrorists?
Well, if the “terrorists” were all sitting around in Iraq plotting and waiting, maybe that would have been a good idea. But since the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and who have attacked us in the past have tended to be people who lived in the United States for years, I’m not sure Iraq counts as a “forward position” in the war on terror.
Who are, I believe by global opinion, combatants.
Ooh, look! A global test!
Is it wrong for the military to go in harm’s way to protect those at home?
Absolutely not. But it is foolish for the military to go into harm’s way and not protect those at home.
Oh – but Iraq doesn’t have anything to do with terrorists.
Got it in one.
And yet the now ex-leader of the country could be considered as such by the population of that country.
Saddam ruled by terror. However, he did not use terrorist tactics against the United States. Those are two very different types of terrorists. One poses a very real, very imminent threat to us. The other is a horrible thing, but not worth giving up our own security at the hands of the first to end.

Posted by: Rick Blaine at October 31, 2004 at 11:55 am

LOL. Funny batman stuff Mr Blaine.

Posted by: PAUL at October 31, 2004 at 12:31 pm

Thanks. Too bad Kerry/Edwards are more like the Ambiguously Gay Duo.

Posted by: Rick Blaine at October 31, 2004 at 1:07 pm

Oh and Eric Deamer is ragging on my Libertarians are like Jabba’s gang post as being super geeky.
Rick, the fact you used Arkham Asylum in a political blog scares me bro. Now if the Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist and Mr. Scarface, Ras-al-Ghoul or the Terrible Trio show up….

Posted by: Von Bek at October 31, 2004 at 2:04 pm

“Oh – but Iraq doesn’t have anything to do with terrorists.” – I forgot sarcasm tags. Darn.
I think Rick and I may forever be at odds over whether Iraq ever had anything to do with terrorists even though there is evidence that Saddam did at least harbor terrorists – because Rick either hasn’t seen, chooses to ignore or disbelieves the evidence, or sees terrorists in a totally different light than I do.
‘Well, if the “terrorists” were all sitting around in Iraq plotting and waiting, maybe that would have been a good idea. But since the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and who have attacked us in the past have tended to be people who lived in the United States for years, I’m not sure Iraq counts as a “forward position” in the war on terror.’
It looks like Rick sees it as individuals, not any group of people that employ terrorist tactics. Therefore, according to that reasoning, there is no point in going after the leaders because it was the henchmen that carried out the attack. So under that reasoning, why are we even going after UBL? He says, “But since the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and who have attacked us in the past have tended to be people who lived in the United States for years” – I have to ask, weren’t they are led by someone?
The proof is that the US was attacked over and over again without using much force and basically reducing the presidents as talking heads against terrorists. Obviously it is long past time for a change of tactics. Cutting off the terrorists’ orginizational head or at least reducing them to a talking head along with no attack on the US mainland for over 37 months is proof that something different is happening.
How many organizations employ terrorist tactics? How many were, “sitting around in Iraq,” with Saddam in power?
Only history will really tell us what was done was the correct thing to do. Not just 1 year history, but 5, 10, 20, 50, etc… year history.

Posted by: Mark at October 31, 2004 at 3:21 pm

Mark,
I hate getting involved with this, because I think discussions about finding justification for the Iraq war are wastes of good oxygen (eletrons?), but I’m procrastinating on something and may as well join the fight.
I don’t think the key to the Rick-conception is a question of looking at terrorists as “individuals” vs. “groups”. I think it’s more about there being more about seeing terrorism being a method in use by many different groups. Some of those groups use it against us, and some of those groups don’t.
al-Qaeda–who used terrorism against us–had a weak presence in Iraq and a strong presence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Syria among others. It just so happened that Saddam’s brutal control of Iraq, combined with his lack of support, stopped them from setting up a strong base there. (Obviously, that’s changed now.)
Some other terrorist groups, like the PLA had a strong presence in Iraq, at least financially. But these terrorist groups weren’t that concerned with us. They were concerned with the Palestinian problem, and constantly focused their efforts on that.
Yes, it’s important to solve the Palestinian problem as soon as possible, because it ultimately does effect our security a great deal. On the other hand, I think the mandate that Bush received for the War on Terror was not quite as far-reaching as you and he seem to believe. The mandate (in retrospect) appears to have been for the apprehension and dissolution of those terrorist groups that actually warranted a clear threat to our nation. Along those lines, invading one of the other al-Qaeda-infested nation would probably have received more American approval than invading the state with the least al-Qaeda presence of all Middle Eastern states.
Had Saddam been harboring or supporting terrorists that did pose an obvious threat to us, even if they weren’t al-Qaeda, I think Rick would probably have supported that. So for Rick, the security test isn’t “are there terrorists?” like for you, nor “is there al-Qaeda?”, but “are there terrorists targetting us?”. And in the case of Iraq, it really seems like there weren’t.

Posted by: Andrew at October 31, 2004 at 4:06 pm

Cute. Only difference is, Gotham City isn’t a democracy, and Batman doesn’t have to face re-election.

Posted by: Steve at October 31, 2004 at 5:01 pm

Note that Batman fairly consistently *stops* the Joker and puts him back in the asylum. Kofi…err, I mean the asylum…is the one that ‘gives the man another chance’ or outright allows his escape.
Another example of ‘treating the matter as a legal issue’. It isn’t Batman’s fault the guy gets loose!

Posted by: cadrys at November 1, 2004 at 4:21 pm

I figured OBL to be more like Ras Al Ghul than the Joker.

Posted by: Shawn at November 1, 2004 at 4:39 pm

Right. It’s the UN’s fault Osama bin Laden is alive and well. I forgot that in Karolworld, nothing is ever Bush’s fault!

Posted by: Rick Blaine at November 1, 2004 at 5:51 pm

Has anyone on this pathetic thread ever kissed a woman before?
Don’t bother protesting…I don’t believe you.

Posted by: Oschisms at November 1, 2004 at 9:45 pm

Aww, cute. Curious about what it’s like?

Posted by: Rick Blaine at November 2, 2004 at 7:18 pm
Post a comment