February 29, 2008

The Passion of the Obama


"Here he is in El Paso meeting with some schoolkids. This was right after he fed an entire auditorium with just a single stick of French bread and a pack of hot dogs" - The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: Barry is rocking the world down in Texas
Posted at 11:18 AM

-- Two hours later, second thoughts. --

The original title for this entry was "Suffer the little children to come unto me in Texas." That was, it seemed to me in the moment, a light enough touch for the illustration supplied this morning by "The Secret Steve Jobs." Over at that site I also entered a glib, cheap comment:

Does this mean we are headed to the passion, the crucifixion,and the subsequent ascending into heaven stuff? And will this be before or after the election?

Now the web draws out the cheap shot and the glib comment like no other medium, and I find myself guilty as charged across all the 20 years I've been a part of it.

But after a moment's reflection the chilling subtext of that glib rim-shot started to occur to me as I recalled recent reports of lax security at Obama appearances. ( ABC News: As Obama Security Rises, Lapses Remain ) And since I am of an age where I can remember the 1960s, I was chilled even more as images from the more violent of those days came back to me. Chief among them were November 22, 1963, April 4, 1968, and June 6, 1968. These are, as I'm sure you know from the first date, the days on which John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy were assassinated.

When you first have children, you shortly discover that you also have several new and secret fears. Fears of things happening to your child that are so terrible that even though you can imagine them, you cannot admit to yourself that you have imagined them. If you have children you know what I'm talking about. Even if our separate secret fears are not precisely the same, the power and the horror of them are.

At this point we are also dealing -- in the same secret manner -- with our secret fear concerning Barack Obama. At this point, we all wonder in the back of our minds, "What happens to the country if something happens to Obama?" This may note have been the case as recently as December, but it is certainly the case today.

Much is made of the concept that just the face and name of Obama running not only salves wounds in the souls of many of our citizens, but improves our standing in the world. Indeed, the candidacy "that is not about race except when it is about race" is one of the memes that powers the Obama phenomenon. It's a stealth concept because it is not something that the Obama campaign wishes to be raised in all its aspects; only in the aspects that benefit it.

If you've been paying attention, the campaign runs itself like this. Obama's race is not an issue except when it is -- and then only in a positive, healing way, never as having a potential for division. Obama's middle name is never to be used. "Barack" is to be transformed, whenever possible, as "Barry." To support the candidate is to receive a "Get Out of Racism Free" card. To criticize the candidate in any way on any issue is to confess a membership in the Klu Klux Klan. The candidate's upbringing, past, and political non-accomplishments do not exist, only the positive present and the glowing future. Testimonials from anti-Semites are not to be acknowledged, only accepted. Obama is referred to as "The Man with the Plan," but the elements of that plan are not exactly spelled out. Fair enough. Politics as usual. Brilliant campaign, really.

Both supporters and detractors all know -- even if many will not, cannot, or are not permitted to by polite conversation to say -- that Obama's ever increasing allure is due to his race more than any other aspect of his candidacy. His image is a clever political construct; a polished bronze avatar cast from equal parts of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. With Obama you get three, three, three American saints in one. Obama is not the Second Coming to many Americans, he is the Messiah incarnate.

Our secret fear is, as we have learned from our history, that Messiahs can become sacrifices. Avatars invite assassination. And it does not take any imagination at all to envision the vast and deep chaos that would occur should anything happen to this man at this time.

Absent a significant attack similar to 9/11 it is difficult to think of anything that could be worse for the country at this juncture. And yet it is more probable that an attempt on Obama will be made than at any time in the last few decades. The country has been infected with Bush hate for so long, and the popular culture has been so infested with dreams and threats and "works of art" imagining the death of Bush, that extending that level of political hate to Obama is trivial.

In December of 2003, I wrote this item:

Where Bush Hate is Heading which began:

A minor moron moment making its way on the talk shows today are the new lyrics by Eminem:
"F--k money. I don't rap for dead presidents.
I'd rather see the president dead. "

Even though written to be brain fade of the month, Eminem's lyrics encapsulate where Bush Hate is heading.

Bush Hate, at the rate of festering intensity currently observable, is headed towards only one singular event: An attempt on the life of George W. Bush by an American citizen.

Since 2003 the incidents that have reinforced and promulgated this cultural poison have only proliferated. For those that hate Bush -- and they are legion -- these dreams of the death of Bush by violent means seem either justified by his "many crimes and lies," or simply a bit of artistic playfulness well within the protection of the First Amendment.

Of course, threats against the life of the President are not at all protected by the First Amendment, but the lack of any Secret Service follow up to the threats has created an atmosphere in which they have proliferated. When things such as this are perceived to be without consequence by one's political foes they spread through the body politic like a slow poison.

The result is that once the body politic is poisoned enough to play with the idea of killing George Bush, it isn't much of a reach to extend that to the killing of Barack Obama. It has doubtless entered the minds of many of our more depraved citizens much as the same idea rattles about the minds of Bush haters. It's another case of "What you throw into the ocean comes back in on the tide."

Although in my youth I would have been an acolyte for Obama, I could not at this point ever support him. Everything about his campaign arouses in me a deep and abiding suspicion. Everything in his very short resume is unpersuasive in terms of his preparedness. Everything in his record and his statements tells me he would be a disastrous president. But should Obama be elected, Obama will become my president. That's the deal with a democracy. You don't always get what you want or what you need.

That said, I think all sane Americans of good will can agree that something happening to Obama would be just about the worst thing to happen to our political system since those three terrible days in the 1960s. The abiding problem is that not all Americans are sane -- especially those of the political persuasion. That those who hate Bush have, over the past eight years, made an attempt on the life of Barack Obama more probable is not at all ironic. It is horrifying and to their shame.

We can only pray that the Secret Service and other organizations charged with Obama's security are up to the challenge, because challenged they will be.

Posted by Vanderleun at February 29, 2008 11:18 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

You and I are on opposites sides of this rift which is defined by the question "Is McCain Worth Supporting?" -- I'm in Galt's Gulch, resolute in my convictions that if Obamamania is so widespread and people are so committed to it, let them go ahead and have it, for buyer's remorse never arrives for the window-shopper. May the regret be swift, may the lesson be learned forever, and may the education come casualty-free.

But if you've read Ayn Rand's novel, you'll know the men who fled to Galt's Gulch did not do so free of reservations. It was a painful decision for them. Thus it is for me.

And every time that jug-eared High Prince of demagoguery and Blame-America-Firstism opens his yawning yaphole, it makes me question my decision all OVER again. But hey. I'm in California. Who really cares.

Dark times.

Buy gold.

Posted by: Morgan K Freeberg at February 28, 2008 1:01 PM

And yet, since 2003, nobody actually took a shot at Bush. (At least that we know about).

So, what does that mean? I think it means that Obama does not have anything to worry about.

Posted by: Eric Blair` at February 28, 2008 1:48 PM

We do indeed disagree on this issue. I'm in the opposite camp because I do not believe that buyer's remorse will be swift or certain. I believe that the potential damage to be done by a Clinton or Obama administration in terms of the military, the judiciary, and to the security of the nation will far outlive the administration itself regardless of its record.

The idea is not what will or will not teach the electorate this or that lesson "for their own good." That's nanny statism no matter who's making it. The idea is to sail the ship of state safely. I'm never for electing Ahab. In that scenario you just end up floating on your coffin.

Posted by: vanderleun at February 28, 2008 2:00 PM

"And yet, since 2003, nobody actually took a shot at Bush."

Not, I am sure you will agree, for lack of longing. And perhaps because the Secret Service and other security agencies are simply very good at their job. We wouldn't know since one of the signal strengths of a Secret Service is that it is, you know, "Secret."

As for Obama having nothing to worry about, well, as we learn in the Sacred Book of the Godfather:

Michael Corleone: "If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone. "

Posted by: vanderleun at February 28, 2008 2:06 PM

It's a watch what you wish for moment or occupational hazard. I'm not sure which. It would be an event that the word chaos could not do justice to.

"Messiahs Die Young"
(Ivan Doroschuk/Men Without Hats)

All of those things that I wanted to say
Well you can take those things and throw them all away- hey hey
Because he who points the finger well only he gets hung
That's why I don't to be a messiah, messiahs die young

All of those things that I wanted to be
Well you can take those things and throw them back at me- he he
Because he is only just as good as he who is the one
That's why I don't to be a messiah, messiahs die young

Messiahs die young.
Messiahs die young!
They die young,
Messiahs die young!
Messiahs die young.
Messiahs die young!
They die young.

Why get in line if you don't want to wait
They say that time is money-- sell your watch today, hey hey
And if you've never been to China well the slow boat leaves at one
That's why I don't want to be a messiah, messiahs die
I don't want to be a messiah, messiahs die
I don't want to be a messiah! I just want to have fun
Not die young.
Messiahs die young!
They die young.
Messiahs die young!
Messiahs die young.
Messiahs die young!
Messiahs die young.

Posted by: David McKinnis at February 28, 2008 5:27 PM

To paraphrase an old saying" 'if there is no messiah, then it becomes necessary to invent one'.

"But if you've read Ayn Rand's novel"

I did. Once, when I was young.

But I grew up.

Posted by: Philip at February 28, 2008 6:58 PM

Once you've actually done body security for a national figure, you never look at the world the same way again.

You have to see everything for what it really is the first time you see it.
you have to make decisions instantly knowing full well that mistakes will be fatal. Decisions are necessary about every other minute.

You have to extrapolate the most lethal potential for every person you see in your area of responsibility, while at the same time knowing that your imagination doesn't equip you very well for the job. There is a corollary here, too - where not dangerous, the people around your primary are weighted toward clumsy, stupid, or some daunting mixture of the two.

Worst of all, you have to be right, think right, act right every time. The threat only has to get lucky once.

Professionals work from play books. Ideologues and crazies just show up.

If Obama does end up in a national election there is the real possibility he might fail. If he wins and is sworn in and then morphs into the workaday reality of just another populist hack, what reaction might we see from those massively invested in his mantle of changey-hopeness? There is without a doubt a demonstrable strata of "I'll live in my REALITY and no one else's!" on the Left. They are committed.

(Some relieved folks might say "Great! In which institution?" but they would only be disappointed.)

I'd be more worried about action from the Left, myself. All things considered. Some dreams are too perfect to be allowed to fail.

Posted by: TmjUtah at February 28, 2008 9:24 PM

Seems to me there is a lust for Obama's assassination streaming quite readily from those on the left. Its as if they really desire such an event for the political scores which might come afterward.

Posted by: Kar at February 28, 2008 9:32 PM

What Kar said.

That's what I can't shake here; Yes, plenty of people have been longing for Bush to go away. But given that, in all that time, you'd think somebody would have tried something.

A dead messiah just feeds all sorts of nasty fantasies; but ok, fine. Then let's do a thought experiment:

Who would try it, and why? And what would be the consequences?

Posted by: Eric Blair at February 29, 2008 5:18 AM

Professionals work from play books. Ideologues and crazies just show up.

Interesting - American assassins have been tagged as lone nuts (unless you believe the conspiracy theories), but Saddam did send guys to get Bush 41.

If you ran Al Qaeda in Iraq, would you target (a) McCain, since he is intent on keeping US troops there, or (b) Obama, since his death would disrupt American politics?

Does the answer depend on whether AQ in Iraq's involvement can be reliably concealed?

Re this:

...Obama's ever increasing allure is due to his race more than any other aspect of his candidacy

Well, yes - clearly if he were white, 47, eloquent, and had no resume he would be, well, John Edwards.

However, do remember that he is also the pure anti-war candidate, since he opposed the war in 2002. Hence, by backing Obama Dhis enthusiasts not only embrace three saints of the 60's, but also the two great causes, civil rights and anti-war. Obama is the ultimate 60's flashback for Dems (how did Hillary survive this long?).

Posted by: Tom Maguire at February 29, 2008 5:27 AM

I too am concerned that the Clintons will have Obama whacked. I mean they know all about how the secret service operates...

Posted by: Kevin at February 29, 2008 5:42 AM

This may be a little difficult- squeeze your eyes shut and try not to tense up too much.

Politics are important b/c of national defense and business. These are the Republican strengths. Defending individualism and private property so that business can happen. Dems are for feel-good, "leveling the field" collectivist social programs first and everything else is only a means to that end.
Since the era of "mommy-government" (approx coinciding with the "baby-boom" coming of age) we have had horrible presidents and congressmen. McCain is nothing more than the lesser (much) of two evils.

And if something were to happen to Obama- so what? I'm sure someone would be found to advance his backers agenda. What if McCain were attacked? Would that matter? Of course not- McCain is just another white politician and there's plenty of those.
How is it that this country of 300 mmm can only produce presidential candidates like this? Obama, clinton, Bush, McCain, Kerry, Edwards, Paul, Jackson, Gore.... a sad lot, all of them.

Posted by: Robert at February 29, 2008 5:44 AM

I agree that the possibility that Obama will "get to shake hands with Vince Foster" is, unfortunately, a very real possibility.

Posted by: Bilwick at February 29, 2008 5:45 AM

I agree with Kar and TmjUtah, the predilection for political violence seems much stronger for those on the Left. Conservatives believe in defeating political speech with which they disagree, the Left believes in silencing political speech w. which they disagree. I know there are examples of violence committed (anti-abortion, Oklahoma City, Unabomber) by the media's favorite bogeyman --angry white men--but in all cases, they seem to have been retaliatory and not pre-emptive. As twisted as the post hoc justifications for violence committed from the "Right" are, there is always a purported causa proxima. I don't see a such a causa proxima that might serve as justification no matter how twisted one's mind might be, there's just not enough information out there about him. Of course, if anything should befall Obama, or any candidate, I fully expect the media to blame an angry white man first, replete w. the presumption that the angry white man is a Republican, Evangelical, a Rush Limbaugh listener or some other flavor of "scary conservative".

Posted by: mjhlaw at February 29, 2008 6:03 AM

Kar's got it exactly right. Elements of the Left really seem to be interested in an Obama assassination, presumably because it would trigger the kind of turmoil and "revolution" they seek.

No doubt such an event would result in "open season" on the Left's perceived political enemies. If the assassin was, like JFK's, a hard-leftist like themselves, it wouldn't matter because they wouldn't believe it anyway.

As always in such scenarios it's important to look at who stands to lose, and who stands to gain.

Posted by: Art at February 29, 2008 6:28 AM

When you say you "grew up," Philip, what does that mean? Not pushing Randianism here but when people say things along those lines it usually means: "I decided my life was not my own, and consequently decided to let my life, liberty and property be at its disposal of the State."

Posted by: Bilwick1 at February 29, 2008 6:40 AM

"The Left" would not like to be lead by a black man, but they need progressive self identity. They fantisize about the scenerio that would serve their egos best.

Posted by: Cincinnatus at February 29, 2008 7:37 AM

This is the most vacuous reasoning I've seen yet this year.

Because the "kill Bush" venom has leaked into the body politic, "kill Obama" is now possible?

Has it occurred to you that "kill Bush" occurs within a particular, recognizable subset of the political spectrum? And that "kill Obama" is most emphatically not going to occur within that same subset?

Do you genuinely believe that the insane venom on the far left, simply by virtue of appearing, causes similar venom at other places on the political spectrum?

Sorry, pal. Nobody over here on the right is saying "Kill Obama." The sorts that do, don't get the air play that their much more numerous counterparts get on the left. We actually despise violent radicals over here, we don't embrace them and secretly wish we were them.

Convince me that Eminem or the Kos Kids are likely to turn on Obama the way they did on Bush, and I'll think you have a point. Failing that, your fear for Obama is nothing but an alarmingly shallow association between Obama and Bobby Kennedy, illustrating yet again the inability of self-absorbed Boomer radicals to let go of the one time when they could almost plausibly call themselves both relevant and moral.

(Unrelated to this topic, please visit my political blog, "Plumb Bob Blog: Squaring the Culture," at http://www.plumbobblog.com. Thanks.)

Posted by: Plumb Bob at February 29, 2008 7:38 AM

I wouldn't put it past the Dems to try to take out Senator Obama. Think about it.

1. Pay off some nutjob patsy with a history of wingnut ranting to do the job.

2. Hillary "courageously" steps in to run in Obama's place.

3. Dems win every election for the next 30 years.

Posted by: MikeZero at February 29, 2008 7:39 AM

To Muslims who follow Shariah law, Obama is an apostate, a crime punishable by death ! According to their system,the father's religion determines the religion of the offspring. Unfortunately,having an Apostate to Islam be the president of the U.S. will only confirm their opinion of us and endanger the life of such a President

Posted by: j. newman at February 29, 2008 9:39 AM

You might also want to re-think that second "r" in Barack Obama's first name, my friend.

Posted by: Everyman at February 29, 2008 1:43 PM

In the horrible, and unlikely, event of an assassination - the perp would most likely be a jihadi. They hate all americans anyway - even the suppine and retreating ones. Certainly any that under sharia law are apostates - like the Christian Obama - son of a muslim.

What's worse is that the Left in American would invent yet another conspiracy hysteria to account for their cognitive disequilibrium. Just like they dont believe Sirhan Sirhan whacked RFK b/c Palestinians are good. Just like they beleive the CIA hit JFK b/c there is no way a lone commie traitor would b/c communism is good and the USSR wasn't so bad...

Posted by: Neocon Don at February 29, 2008 2:16 PM

I just thought of something that sickens me.

It's obvious that if he were assassinated, as a martyr he'd advance their cause far more than as a mediocre president. They're deliberately PLANTING the idea, hoping some nut will take them up on him, allowing them to come down hard on the entire right.

I really hope I'm developing clinical paranoia.

Posted by: Jim C. at February 29, 2008 2:31 PM

Thanks, Everyman. Done.

Posted by: vanderleun at February 29, 2008 2:49 PM

What a sad day when I disagree with "Eric Blair" but here it must be so. Obama has plenty to worry about and people HAVE planned and plotted to destroy George Bush; the forces of sanity simply were better at protection than the forces of chaos were at destruction.

This is another example of the inescapable inverse rule of percentages: To get what they want, the crazies-anarchists-jihadis-bush/clinton/obama/whoever haters need only do it right ONCE. The cops/military/secret service need to get it right every single time. Hundreds, thousands of times.

The odds are not with us.

I'd never vote for Obama and I'll work hard for McCain or whoever his Republican opponent is. But Gerard has it right - if he's elected, he's my President. If I then could protect him with my own life, I would. 'Cause that's the way democracy is. Come hell or Hillary.

Posted by: askmom at February 29, 2008 3:52 PM

'When you say you "grew up," Philip, what does that mean?'

Means I concluded that an adolescent fantasy was likely and eventually going to kill me and, more importantly, others in my chosen profession.

'Not pushing Randianism here but when people say things along those lines it usually means: "I decided my life was not my own, and consequently decided to let my life, liberty and property be at its disposal of the State."'

Essentially what military service is, Bilwick.

Posted by: Philip at February 29, 2008 5:35 PM

I won't do a thought experiment on this.

BUT it's my opinion that a foreign - based attack would be flat stupid. Especially if there's a chance Obama or Hillary will be elected, doubly stupid if one actually wins. Our enemies should already be pretty happy with our coming domestic political situation, sad to say, and not feel the need to try anything overt.

It is a basic tenet of strategy that "If you enemy is intent on destroying himself, get out of his way. Obama or Hillary! will be disasters, both abroad and domestically. Obama, frankly, is further Left than McGovern, and Hillary! will damage through incompetence what she misses with ideology. Back in 1992 I posited that the Clintons' took what was left of an already- dead - party for its last joyride. I stand by it. With the passing of Democrats like Miller and Lieberman out of the party, there's no "there" there... no statesmen. Just hacks positioning themselves from news cycle to news cycle, election to election. The nation is without representatives, rather it is afflicted with parasites. Sadly, McCain brings a demonstrated desire to accommodate Democrat agendas and almost certainly any of the three candidates are going to be dealing with Democrat majorities. (Caveat: An Obama candidacy may well change that potential. May.)

Two, maybe four years down the road, our competitors and enemies may decide the formulas change in favor of active operations against us. We'll be on the event horizon of fiscal insolvency via benefit addiction, moral bankruptcy throughout the executive and legislative branches, and with the judiciary composed of whatever hacks are allowed to make it past a Democrat controlled senate.

Don't even think about what our military will have contracted to by then. Volunteers, remember? I don't think about it at all. I've done all my crying over shit I can't control.

If I was an Iraqi politician, I'd make it a point to read up on U.S. history, 1972 - 1976. And also talk to some Boat People. Then try to get my stuff in one bag pretty damned quick. We aren't going to be much help after November, and I reckon the real Iraqi Tet will happen early the following spring.

Even after a couple of years, stumbling, bereft of leadership, confidence, or multiple military options, the opportunity cost for any nation state even suspected of complicity (passive or active, it won't matter) is pretty much beyond the pale for anyone sane. By then we'll be past ready to pull a trigger on some faceless bastard on the other side of the planet and our politicians will fall all over themselves supporting such action in the hope we will not go after them first. The Other, his family, and several tens of thousands of his neighbors may well pay, just for good measure. In addition, there is more than one state out there that's not running on pragmatic self interest; theocraticaly suicidal, if you will, so the timing of a decapitation strike can still depend more on opportunity and equipment than cold political calculation.

In further defense of my opinion that things are not so dire for the hopey-changey man, in all honesty Senator Obama is already coming under more intense scrutiny than I would have thought probable. Journos may be biased but most can at least pour piss out of a boot. Obama is beyond the pale; scratch the gold and it's something worse than lead beneath.

He'll be past his sainthood date within a month. Sooner if they don't send his wife to the same undisclosed location that Bill is going to be at. So, he stays away from open cars and book depositories... or walks in the park... until then and he should be okay.

Interesting times.

Posted by: TmjUtah at February 29, 2008 9:31 PM

You know, the level of trust, idealism and just generally the level of hope and faith, excitement and interest in the future shown here, on this page, in this group of, dare I say, white men ... is not unlike that shown on any of a zillion white guy blogs, anywhere. And I had came here to read because I thought Vanderleun's comments on FakeSteve so damned funny.

What is it, that happens to men past forty, fifty, that it is like this everywhere? Do none of you regularly get laid, or what? I'm not kidding, I am officially baffled and about ready to chalk it up to something testosterone. It has a sell-by date? Whatever, it ain't pretty, and is also the reason your wife left and your kids can't stand you.

Is it just too, too unmanly to have a heart, and to use it in concert with your intellect? I think so, and what's more, I think that's exactly the reason you're all so threatened by Obama, so scared.

No matter. He's not going away, and there are so many more like him. And--take it from a woman--(oh right, like that's going to happen) these whole men are, in addition, sex on the hoof. Eat your little crabbed hearts out, guys. Or, here, I actually offer you: a clue.

Posted by: Zo at February 29, 2008 11:38 PM

Oh, Zo, I'm so sorry you share my gender. It doesn't make me ashamed to be a woman, just ashamed *you* are a woman.

I know it's hard for someone who votes with her hormones to understand, but surprisingly enough this discussion has nothing to do with sexual prowess or the lack thereof. The people who post here regularly have long memories. They can remember the 1970s and how the country went to hell in a handbasket after unrestrained liberalism took over government. They can remember things like "malaise," gas lines, galloping inflation, hostages, orgies of hippie excess, and (ugh) double-knit polyester. They don't particularly want to return to those chilling days of yesteryear, just so you can have your Presidential beefcake and eat it too.

Oh yeah, and for the record--hubby is a conservative white Republican in his early forties, and he's sex on a stick.

Posted by: Fran at March 1, 2008 3:22 AM

The senator sweeps many off their feet at political rallies. Here's why:

Who can take a sunrise
Sprinkle it in dew
Cover it in chocolate
and a miracle or two?

The Obasm can

The Obasm can

The Obasm can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good

Who can take a rainbow
Wrap it is a sigh
Soak it in the sun
and make a strawberry lemon pie?

The Obasm can

The Obasm can

The Obasm can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good

The Obasm makes
Satisfying and delicious
Talk about your childhood wishes
You can even eat the dishes

Who can take tomorrow
Dip it in a dream
Seperate the sorrow
And collect up all the cream?

The Obasm can

The Obasm can

The Obasm can cause he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good
And the world tastes good cause The Obasm
THINKS it should

Posted by: JD at March 1, 2008 4:31 AM


I have a few edits to append to my previous post, all in the interest of grammar and for clarity:

1."If your enemy is intent on destroying himself, get out of his way".

2. Even after a couple of years, stumbling, bereft of leadership, confidence, or multiple military options, the opportunity cost for any nation state even suspected of complicity (passive or active, it won't matter) in an assassination attempt on a sitting president is pretty much beyond the pale for anyone sane. It would be an act of war.

Posted by: TmjUtah at March 1, 2008 8:21 AM