I am very fond of looking for the “law of unintended consequences” to kick in and I see two instances where that is either already happening or could soon happen.
First: Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama. Her fans (site pests?) are being very vocal on her website (by the thousands) in their opposition to her endorsement. I just spent a fascinated 15 minutes reading through opinions offered by Oprah’s fans and couldn’t really get a clear focus on what upsets them the most: Oprah’s money or the fact that she has an opinion, or something else altogether – but the fact remains, they are upset with her over the endorsement. All the posts were interesting, some of them even bordered on literate, but I must ask – the poster on the discussion board who said that Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich were the most qualified candidates is either demented or kidding, right? The unintended consequence could, however, be a voter stampede to another candidate.
Second: The death of Benazir Bhutto yesterday has generated a great deal of emotional intensity in that very volatile part of the world. Nuclear weapons and excessive, unreasoning emotion are NOT a particularly healthy mix!
The naysayers vis-à-vis the former Prime Minister’s character and point of view are already weighing in and several articles I have read have likened her to a Pakistani version of Hillary Rodham Clinton: leftist, corrupt, money-grubbing and utterly unable to speak the truth under any circumstances. Then there are the columnists who point out that Mrs. Clinton met Benazir Bhutto ONE TIME and that Hillary's claim to have known her for “years” is therefore utterly unbelievable and crass. Seems like textbook First Grifter behavior to me! How do they sleep at night? (Probably very well is my guess.)
AS TO THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, beloved of me if nobody else. When Al Qaeda attacked us on September 11th, they expected a certain response from the U.S. They had an imperfect understanding of our national character and, worse yet, a complete misunderstanding about who the new United States President really was. It has always been clear to me that Al Qaeda read far too many DNC talking points memos and Al Qaeda truly did believe that our President was stupid. It seems clear to me that they expected our national response to be just as trifling as it had been all the other times they had attacked us. They had not counted on an actual man being Commander in Chief. The unintended consequence was, of course, ultimately the destruction of the Taliban-run government in Afghanistan and the toppling of Saddam Hussein.
The violence being fomented in Iraq by Al Qaeda, rather than giving them added power, turned off the Sunni Muslims who are now doing everything possible to eject Al Qaeda from Iraq.
Now the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Whatever her past governing skills, or lack thereof, Al Qaeda has claimed “responsibility” (I hate that phrase more than you can imagine) for her death. They should be claiming shame and guilt! It is possible that the people in the provinces wherein the terrorists have traditionally been given sanctuary will be so utterly enraged by this claimed assassination that they will emulate their brethren in Iraq, reject the terrorists and drive them out of their hiding places and – hopefully – into the waiting and welcoming muzzles of American or Coalition weapons!
Well that’s my take on things, at any rate. How accurate? Who knows. Time will tell.