I’ll admit I was surprised by the new bin Laden video. I was more than half convinced he was scorpion food in the rubble of Tora Bora. But this is the first convincing evidence (on video, referring to recent events) since the end of 2001 that he is still, unfortunately, among the living. Perhaps he was in bad shape physically, and wanted to wait until he appeared reasonably healthy before going in front of the camera.
The timing, just four days before the US election, is interesting. And of course pundits in and out of the blogosphere are indulging in uninformed speculation about the impact of bin Laden’s reappearance on the voters.
The conventional wisdom, I suppose, is that the video helps Bush by reminding voters of the war on terror, one of the President’s supposed strengths. On the other hand it reminds voters that despite Bush’s endless vows over the past three years to kill or capture him, bin Laden is obviously alive and uncaptured. (Did one of these possibilities occur to bin Laden?)
Or maybe it won’t affect the election’s outcome at all. Take your pick.