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September 01, 2004

Chechnyen Terrorists Threaten to Kill 200 Kids, 200 Adults at Russian School

An absolutely horrible situation with no good solution. The Russians will not bargain with these guys, which means that we'll have another Moscow Theater Storming which leaves a lot of civilians dead.

But of course there's little other choice.

It isn't clear to me how this is due to George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq and "angering" normally-peaceful Muslim Islamofascist terrorists, but I'm quite sure that Joshua Micah Cougar Mellencamp Marsahll will explain it all to me in his good time.

Later, of course. I'm sure he's working on a "big story" that he's afraid he can "say little about at this time, for reasons that will soon become clear."

I hate to examine the crass politics of a tragedy in the making (actually, since these bastards killed eight people just taking the school, it's already a major tragedy), but here goes:

I've never bought the theory that a major terrorist attack in the US would help George W. Bush. Yes, it could shake people out of their "Are we there yet? Can we just declare victory and pretend we've won?" complacency, but the public would also hold the Bush Administration's failure to prevent such an attack against Bush.

On the other hand: A major terrorist attack outside the US, especially directed at a country other than the US, shakes people out of their complacency but can't be held against Bush. In fact, to the extent people bother thinking about it at all, they may begin to wonder why there have been several successful major terrorist attacks in Russia but not here. Unless they think that Al Qaeda has just decided to give up, they have to give some amount of credit to the Bush Administration's handling of security.

This should be a major, major story. Not only is it the sort of "important foreign news story" that American reporters claim they wish they could report more of, but there is also an obvious human/dramatic story here-- the sort of story that gets big ratings. It's not often that you have a story that's both objectively important and has the dramatic impact that the newsmagazine shows favor.

But I think the media knows that this story helps Bush, indirectly but inevitably. And so I think we'll see this story -- both important and a ratings-grabber -- reported only begrudgingly and lightly at that.

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posted by Ace at 02:16 PM

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