Robert Novak gets the award for today’s most sobering column.

Relying on George Friedman, who runs a private intelligence service, Novak suggests that, in the wake of its big win in Spain, al Qaeda has a new target: George W. Bush and the American elections.

‘Failure of the Arab ‘street’ to rise in response to the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq has led to questions in the Arab world about al Qaeda’s relevance,’ writes Novak.

But now nobody can doubt the relevance of al Qaeda.

Friedman believes that, if there were to be another attack on America, al Qaeda — which, despite its low level of knowledge of what we’re like probably knows we aren’t Spaniards — would most likely want to hit early (summer) rather than late, when an attack might boost Bush’s chances.

Sort of takes your breath away, doesn’t it?