Who the terrorists least want in office

A few months ago a friend of mine told me that, come Election Day, the choice of who he would vote for would be made simply by answering this question: ‘Who do the terrorists least want in office?’ By this he implied that the answer was Bush, the assumption being that Bush scares terrorists. I think this isn’t just wrong, but diametrically wrong. Bush is the best adversary that a terrorist could want. Determined, zealous, combative, and antagonistic, Bush is the epitome of a straight-out-of-a-comic-book enemy. He elevates the conflict to epic drama, precisely the kind of drama that instills fear and recruits impressionable moderates to the terrorists’ cause.

And let’s not forget that a regime as worrisome as Iran actually endorsed Bush, though perhaps that’s more a comment on Kerry. Hard to know.

I really don’t think that terrorists are trembling that Bush will lead America for the next four years. The vast peacable majority of the world’s populace is disappointed, of course, but terrorists aren’t like most people. To them the only good conflict is one that becomes mythic and changes the way people think. Bush is this mythic enemy. Can you imagine a terrorist trying to rally young men to his cause by invoking the evil determination of John Kerry?