Friday, August 05, 2005

The Pop Culture Indicator

On his Thursday night show, David Letterman brought up the subject of Osama Bin Laden. During the pre-guest monologue, he recalled "wanted dead or alive" and wondered why Bin Laden is still free. He said it flatly and did not intend it to be funny, and no one laughed. When he finished, the audience applauded for an uncomfortably long amount of time.

Note to President Bush: the needle on the pop culture meter has hit the red warning zone. It's time for you to say something.

Bin Laden has been free since 9/11 longer than the United States fought in World War II. He organized and financed the destruction of two of our embassies in Africa seven years ago. Far from being neutralized or even marginalized, he and Al-Zawahiri continue to release videos and act as inspirations for attacks in Iraq and around the world.

Mr. President, wouldn't it be appropriate for you to tell us how the "hunt" is going? How about a prime time address from the Oval Office, during which you look right into the camera and give us all an update on the search? At the very least, don't you think the families of the thousands murdered on 9/11 deserve this? If you don't think leadership requires it, doesn't basic decency demand it?

Honestly, Mr. President. How about it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...


8/05/2005 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Scott_api said...

Unless there is a way to tie it to the failings of the liberals, why bother? This is the same guy who during the debates said he really doesn't think about Bin Laden all that much.

8/05/2005 11:02 AM  
Anonymous marycal said...

Amen TCR.

8/05/2005 11:04 AM  
Anonymous minotaur said...

i think attaturk sums it up best with an excerpt from this week's newsweek-

"The art-imitates-real-life idea is breaking new ground in both TV and politics, posing a curious question for President Bush and his aides: could "Over There" affect the already-fragile poll numbers on Iraq? According to one senior Bush aide, the president has voiced a strong interest in the series but hasn’t yet seen it for himself. Bush quizzed his aides last week about how the show was produced and how faithful it was to the conflict. “Does it really depict what is going on? Do you get a sense of it?” Bush asked.

...One of the favorite shows among White House aides has been "24," the Kiefer Sutherland counterterrorism cliffhanger drama. White House aides regularly swap stories about their favorite Sutherland shoot-outs with foreign agents, terrorists and generally bad guys. “Over There” may be a different beast, but it probably appeals to the same crowd."

this is the crowd who thinks that 2 series on fox accurately depict what's going on on the ground in iraq and in the gwot or the gsave or whatever we're calling it this week...truly sad.

8/05/2005 11:14 AM  
Blogger KS said...

Bush'll start talking about bin Laden again about 15 minutes after Karl Rove is indicted.

8/05/2005 11:30 AM  
Blogger Automax4000 said...

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

8/05/2005 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is truly amazing how far we, as a country, have fallen in the last 4-1/2 years.

8/05/2005 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes yes and yes!!

8/05/2005 12:47 PM  
Anonymous howard said...

your fatal error, cunning realist, is to assume that "decency" has anything to do with the bush presidency.

this is a childish, ill-informed, shallow person in the oval office, someone who would have no chance on earth in any other democratic nation to be elected his country's leader.

for a few years, he managed to pull the wool over many people's eyes, but at this stage, his support primarily consists of the sorts of people who think that saddam was part of 9/11, who believe that we have found WMDs, who oppose evolution....

8/05/2005 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should Bush go after Ben Laden. He is much more worth to him free. If he should kill him he will loose his favorite boogyman that he needs for his hysterical terror propaganda speeches.
Whom would he use then? Saddam is in jail, Ben Laden dead, he would then drag out the 'dear leader' of North Korea. That won't play very well in middle america.
So I think the last thing he wants is to eliminate him.
By the way ethics and decency is not what this administration is about.
If you have gotten away with selling the voting public 'hogwash' for 5 years, why change.

8/05/2005 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He cannot go after bin laden as the scumbag is being protected by a nuke nation and our 'ally', Pakistan!

BTW, the fact bin laden is a Saudi [also an 'ally' of the US] is just a coincidence!

Who wants to buy a bridge?

8/05/2005 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still think we will never be told if bin Laden is captured or killed. Think of what his followers would do.

8/05/2005 1:36 PM  
Anonymous KevinNYC said...

I was thinking about this last night. My take on this is Saddam Hussein never tried to kill me. Osama Bin Ladin did. He tried to kill my friends and family too. (I dont' know anyone who died, but I knew a couple of people with close calls.)

They tried to conflate Ossama and Saddam for so long, but I don't think Americans are buying it anymore.

8/05/2005 1:46 PM  
Anonymous dallasjill said...

Well this is a post that needed to be made and it needs to be HEARD!

8/05/2005 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush asked O.J. to look for Bin Laden when he has some spare time from looking for the real killers of Nicole and Ron....

8/05/2005 2:21 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Give it up.

Even if the US catches bin Laden or Zawahiri, we will never hear their story from their mouths. They will be wisked away to Gitmo, never to be seen in public again.

The 9/11 Commission Report stated that although Khalid Sheik Mohammed provided all of the details in the report about the 9/11 attacks, no one on the commission was even permitted to interview Mohammed's interrogators, let alone Mohammed.
We all got thirdhand information.

Zawahiri is the mystery man in the report. The Commission seems to lose track of him after 2000 except to report that according to Mohammed, Zawahiri did not know about the 9/11 attack plan and that he may or may not have approved of it.

A glaring weakness in the report is that it never once links Islamic terrorism to oil. In fact, it never mentions US oil interests at all.

The report never offers any explanation as to why wealthy individuals supported Al Qaeda. A wealthy supporter obviously knows that a few spectacular terrorist attacks are not going to bring down western civilization. You know that wealthy people don't throw money away - so what did a wealthy supporter want for his investment?

None of us on this website know the real 9/11 story.

8/05/2005 2:25 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Correction to my post: The 9/11 Commission Report stated that according to Mohammed, Zawahiri did not know about the attacks until the summer of 2001, not that he did not know about them.

8/05/2005 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Dubya can make one o' them funny videos for one o' them correspondents suppers where he looks around and under his desk and behind the couch in "the Oval"(as he calls the Oval Office in his affectionate shorthand nicknamy way) for Osama -- oh wait, that was the WMDs. Never mind.

8/05/2005 2:35 PM  
Blogger David Studhalter said...

Interesting to point out that if you started a clock running on Dec. 7, 1941 as opposed to Sept. 11, 2001, the WW II was over already before you get to now. Amazing. The effort in Afghanistan was pretty clearly worth it, although not entirely successful, but most of what this Administration has beein doing since then in its War on Terra has been decidedly ineffectual, if not actually counterproductive. Time for new leadership in Washtingon. (Past time, but there's only the future to consider at this point).

8/05/2005 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see some have not forgotten about this, despite the best efforts of our "leaders."

8/05/2005 3:00 PM  
Anonymous kindness said...

I was reading one of the threads on Redstate today (I canonly read, I got booted for giving "Liberal" facts in my posts), well they are still blaming 9/11 on Clinton .

I'm a progressive & I think we should tell Pakistan we're going in. I don't want a full scale invasion, I don't want any occupation. I want them to find and capture or kill Osama and Al-Zawahri. Would that enrage their followers? No more than they already are. They need to be caught if for no other reason the message it sends.

8/05/2005 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Maher was on Jay Leno and he said Bush has to stop saying, "Bin Laden can run, but he can't hide", because clearly he can hide. Boy, can he hide. We can't find him with cruise missiles, satellites, or million
dollar bribes.

Bush is too busy. He is on vacation.

8/05/2005 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the preznit doesn't want bin laden captured or killed. bin laden has been bush's gift that keeps on giving. if bin laden really mattered to bush, we wouldn't have caught saddam hussein first.

8/05/2005 4:35 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

This is starting to look more and more like how O.J. is still looking for Nicole's killers...

8/05/2005 9:11 PM  
Anonymous KevinNYC said...

Kindness, that's a really bad idea.

First of all, we are in Iraq, where do we get the troops to invade Pakistan? This might be one of the reasons Musharraf feels he doesn't have to look for Bin Ladin any more.

Second of all, the most likely hiding area for Bin Ladin and Al-Zawahiri is the border regions of Pakistan, home of Waziris. This region is big, with lots of mountains and caves and most importantly, it's not really under the control of the central government. In fact, this region has bee been ungovernable for at least a hundred years. The British couldn't get these guys under control back in the days of Empire. Warziristan is also heavily armed. Pakistan has been around since 1947, but it never sent its troops to Waziristan until 2002 If we don't have an exact location to go after, we are just going to ignite that whole area. If Musharraf agrees to let us into his borders just to shoot the whole place up, the rest of Pakistan could ignite. Musharraf has already had several attempts on his life. Suspects include the intelligence services of Pakistan. A time of general unrest would be a perfect time to launch a coup.

Thirdly, they have the bomb.

So you could be looking at a situation like this: We go into Wazaristan. The Wazaris put up a fight. We bomb the shit of the place. Protests and unrest spread across Pakistan. Musharraf can't control it and some general puts a bullet in his head. Then the bomb falls into the hands of Islamist Pakistanis like the ones who created the Taliban. That's not a good scenario. I don't have a clue what would happen in Kashmir, but I don't think it would be good. I think Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are bigger threats than China, definitely more immediate ones. There is no easy answer to the problems either. Our best chance is to support the dictators against the extremists.

8/06/2005 6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Accountability? Nah!

8/06/2005 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're such a terrorist-lover!! Don't you know that you're not allowed to discuss any of the things that our great leader has failed to accomplish? Because if we try to hold the President accountable for his Administration's failures, or even publicize those failures in any way, it can only embolden the terrorists. Merely by asking the whereabouts of Osama, you are endangering the troops. Got that? Our blue-eyed boys "Over There" are DYING because you have these snotty little questions about "Where's Osama"?

You traitor. Besides, we have to have confidence that the President will reverse this failure. It is the duty of all patriotic citizens to sit quietly by our TV's, tuned to Fox News of course, and await the day when our benificent governmental spokesmen decide to release to us details of Osama's capture. And his untimely but well-deserved death before he could be tortured into revealing organizational details about his Al-Qaida network.

You are blind to the threat from the real enemy. Clearly, Osama bin Laden couldn't continue to hide from the all-powerful US Intelligence community without help from Emmanuel Goldstein.

8/06/2005 4:38 PM  
Anonymous the Duke of Prunes said...

Since Leno and Letterman are the two most influential political commentators in our benighted republic, perhaps this is a glimmer of a new dawn.

8/06/2005 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're poor you serve as Bush admin war fodder, over there, in Iraq, fighting to save lives and contain the "enemy" over there, even though we were lied to and real debate regarding options was squashed. Ah, but if you are rich you are not over there, but hang on tight to stay over here and "fight the battle of ideas" - Jason Mattera from the Young American's Foundation on the Chris Matthews show. Two very different types of folks here: The men and women that volunteer, signup and go over there when Bush commands so, and those that sheepishly say "go war, go" from over here, as long as someone else will fight the real damn fight for them.

8/07/2005 12:55 AM  
Blogger mjs said...

You read my mind. Unfortunately, the truth is that Bush knows where Bin Laden is but he will not do anything to catch (for geopolitical reasons).

8/07/2005 2:34 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Great post. Read here about how we could have caught him:

8/07/2005 4:47 PM  
Anonymous touchtone said...

That's a presidential address I look forward to seeing, but somehow don't think we'll get. Yeah: shameful.

8/08/2005 12:18 AM  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

I'm working on a comparative timeline of WWII and TWOT, counting the days since September 11, 2001 and December 7, 1941 repectively. I'll be posting it in the next couple of days.

8/08/2005 9:49 AM  
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