ZENPUNDIT’S BATTING AVERAGE AS A PROPHET
Last January, I boldly made a number of predictions for 2004. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how I did, shall we ?:
” Al Qaida will switch from attempting catastrophic acts of terrorism against the American homeland in the short term to the assassination of high profile, non-American, ” soft targets ” with symbolic resonance. My short list would include the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Musharraf of Pakistan, Muhammed VI of Morocco, the Pope, a member of the British Royal Family and any minister of the ” New Europe ” governments that supported the Iraq war. “
Hmm. Al Qaida did not manage to assassinate anyone of any international prominence this year, though several attempts were made to wack Musharraf, none of them got off the ground. A number of officials from Iraq’s interim government were assassinated this year but the gunmen could have easily been ex-Baathists, Sadrists or hired criminals as easily as Zaqawri-al Qaida terrorists.
Al Qaida did turn away from hitting the American homeland and toward Europe on 3/11 with the massive train bombing in Madrid that helped replace pro-American Prime Minister Aznar with anti-American Leftist Zapatero.
“President Bush will be reelected, winning 52-54 % of the popular vote. Either Colin Powell or Donald Rumsfeld will resign from the cabinet but not both. If Rumsfeld resigns it will only be because he was forced out.”
Boy, I sure called that one !
“There will be a boom to replace Dick Cheney with Condi Rice on the GOP ticket which will not happen unless the Vice-President suffers a serious health problem.”
There were some rumblings prior to the Vice-Presidential debates about Cheney being a drag on the ticket. Rice, who was under fire herself at the time, was not mentioned but Rudy Giuliani and John McCain were – neither of whom are favorites of the Bush II inner circle. This said more about the speculators in question than it did about Bush or Cheney.
“American forces in Iraq will draw down for a potential intervention in Pakistan whether or not Musharraf survives the year. American special operatives will capture or kill a major Saudi financier of al Qaida terrorism, perhaps with Saudi complicity.”
Dead wrong here.
“A major al Qaida leader will be captured or killed by American forces.”
In response to the beheading of Paul Johnson, Saudi security almost immediately killed the al Qaida chief in Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz al-Muqrin. This was almost assuredly in response to heavy American pressure to ” do something”. The operational leader of the USS Cole bombing.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was also captured. Not an Osama bin Laden but not small fry either.
“The bioethics of implanting computer chips and components into human beings will become a media hot-button issue.”
I was too far ahead of the curve on this one. It’s still on the horizon in terms of being debated primarily in the internet media and blogosphere it has yet to hit the MSM in a big way. I’ll recycle it for 2005.
“Hard core leftists will challenge Tony Blair’s leadership of the Labor Party at the first opportunity, most likely after a scandal of some kind, be resoundingly crushed and will subsequently bolt the party.”
Dead wrong again but I think I might recycle this one too.