John McCain isn't boasting about a new endorsement, one of the very, very few he has received from overseas. It came a few days ago: "Al Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," read a commentary on a password-protected Islamist Web site that is closely linked to Al Qaeda and often disseminates the group's propaganda.
Nicholas D. Kristof of the NY Times reports that the endorsement of Mr. McCain by a Qaeda-affiliated Web site isn't a surprise to security specialists. Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism director, and Joseph Nye, the former chairman of the National Intelligence Council, have both suggested that Al Qaeda prefers Mr. McCain. "From their perspective, a continuation of Bush policies is best for recruiting," said Professor Nye.
Washington Post staff writers Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung add that Al-Qaeda gloated that the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush.
In language that was by turns mocking and ominous, they also tell us that Al-Qaeda is watching the U.S. stock market's downward slide with something akin to jubilation, with its leaders hailing the financial crisis as a vindication of its strategy of crippling America's economy through endless, costly foreign wars against Islamist insurgents, having lured Washington into a trap that had "exhausted its resources and bankrupted its economy."