Friday, 24 October 2008

The Enemy Of My Enemy

At long last Al Qaida has ended months of speculation and endorsed a candidate. It'll be a lot of fun watching the more rabid right-wingers flailing around trying to claim that this is reverse psychology, considering so many of them insisted that every endorsement by US opponents in favour of Obama (or Kerry before him) had to be taken at face value.

Obviously, catching members of the right engaging in blatant hypocrisy is hardly a difficult task, it's about as hard as catching a duck engaging in blatant quacking. There’s another point to be made here, though. A lot of people protested back when various South American socialists and Palestinians with ties to Hamas were stating preferences for Obama (or Kerry before him) that assuming a political opponent of the US must be telling the truth when discussing what they want to happen in States is ridiculous.

Which, y’know, is obviously true. That’s not really the way I would tackle it, though. Even if they are telling the truth, then who cares? I don’t get a mindset, even after 9/11, where the number one priority is to make sure your enemy doesn’t get what they want. Surely the objective of picking a leader is maximising your own utility, and not minimising that of your opponents. Sure, the two are linked, but international politics isn’t a zero-sum game. Taken to its conclusion, the best guy for the job would be that Senator from The Dead Zone, since I’ll bet none of the anti-US agents out there want the next occupant of the Oval to nuke the entire world.

It was true then, and it’s true now. Even if Al Qaida genuinely does want McCain in the White House, I don’t care. There are thousands of metrics on which to judge the next President (and McCain loses, like, 99.95% of them), and which of them would make the enemy smile is pretty far down the list.

So, yeah, obvious non-issue. It'll be fun to watch the wing-nuts scrabble to get out of the beds they made, though.

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