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On "The Glassing of Mecca"
July 19, 2005 5:13 AM   Subscribe

Answering the "Glass Mecca" Strategy. Regarding the comments by Rep. Tom Tancredo offering the nuclear terrorist attack response of "nuking Mecca.” …More inside posted by Dunvegan (178 comments total)

 
Ultimate threat? And, even if so…what exactly would be the consequences of Tancredo’s “ultimate response”?
posted by Dunvegan at 5:17 AM on July 19, 2005


I agree, if our cities are nuked they should be prepared for us not to be responding with even a hint of restraint.

Though I doubt the Muslims would just give up and convert once they see Allah won't protect his holy city. I'm not talking genocide here, just a big fuck you to muslims everywhere who don't take responsibility for fixing this terrorism stuff themselves.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:27 AM on July 19, 2005


To my great shame, I admit I was soberly discussing this option with my friends (among invasion and others) as a retaliatory measure against Saudi Arabia for 9/11. To the great shame of the United States, it never really addressed Saudi Arabia's culpability for 9/11. As a side issue, I think that failure of leadership is one reason why people like Tancredo are in a position to make irresponsible comments like that.

As to the consequences of launching a nuclear weapon at Mecca, I can imagine that Jerusalem and the Vatican City would be targets of a NBC attack of some sort in retaliation. A lot of people, and potentially a culture or two would be annihilated in the process. Genocide is likely. Terrorism would continue for several generations with the survivors.
posted by Rothko at 5:30 AM on July 19, 2005


Sounds like an excellent way of eliminating the risk of us ever not being at war again.
posted by Slothrup at 5:31 AM on July 19, 2005


Well, we've always wondered how we could begin a nuclear war in an ethically responsible way! What's important is that a whole bunch of people die in a terrible fashion immediately, and then radiation sickness kills millions more in the most painful way possible.

I also think it would be useful for babies to be born terribly deformed, many without heads or with withered limbs. That way, when Jesus comes, we'll all be like, "Hey, check these guys out! They're bleeding from their anuses, ha ha!". It's vital that we revel in the undeniable justice of this hypothetical "apocalypse".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:38 AM on July 19, 2005


The trouble with "getting tough" with Saudi Arabia is that any replacement regime may well be a whole lot less friendly to the US than the group that's in there now.

For all the troubles in Iraq, the people there are a lot more secular than those in Saudi Arabia. Deposing the Sheiks may well result in a government that makes Iran look tame by comparison.
posted by dsquid at 5:39 AM on July 19, 2005


Would they really nuke Jerusalem in response? It would be even more of a holy city to the Muslims if Mecca is gone. Chemical or Biological attack would be likely though.

I think the Vatican could be protected from anything but a nuke if it was put in lock-down and militarily guarded.

I wouldn't mind a chance at open warfare with the middle east dictatorships and theocracies, we would kick their ass, it's this terrorism thing we can't handle.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:42 AM on July 19, 2005


Since most of the jihadies thumb their nose at the true teachings of Islam-
they may not even care that Mecca is leveled...
posted by stevejensen at 5:46 AM on July 19, 2005


You know, there's something to be said for nuking Mecca and Jerusalem and the Vatican. It would be the ultimate triumph of science over theocracy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:48 AM on July 19, 2005


I wouldn't mind a chance at open warfare with the middle east dictatorships and theocracies

Good, good! I also think war is a fine thing - ah, the blood, the amputations, the hatred of the enemy, etc etc. What guns do you own, American person?
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:48 AM on July 19, 2005


So.... when the next Christianist terrorist like Eric Rudolph strikes, we'll do what, exactly? Napalm the Vatican?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:48 AM on July 19, 2005


If Rudolph nukes our cities, we can Nuke the vatican if you want. It wouldn't make much sense since, IIRC, he isn't a Catholic and I doubt he can afford a nuke himself, but go for it.

the quidnunc kid: Let me restate, I would prefer open warfare to this neverending war on terrorism bullshit. If we go for the standard total war of old at least we could win at some point.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:53 AM on July 19, 2005


I have an idea. The next time there is a terrorist attacks let's catch the perpetrators!
posted by srboisvert at 5:57 AM on July 19, 2005


Then again, we haven't seen much Catholic terrorism since the Spanish Inquisition. Where are the Southern Baptists headquartered?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:58 AM on July 19, 2005


we haven't seen much Catholic terrorism since the Spanish Inquisition

Um. The IRA?
posted by sciurus at 6:02 AM on July 19, 2005


I agree, if our cities are nuked they should be prepared for us not to be responding with even a hint of restraint.

Absolutely, but the key word here is "they."

The countries providing nuclear weapons used against the US should be held accountable.

The countries providing aid and support to the people who perpetrate such an act should be held accountable.

But what is the point of launching a nuclear attack against a country based on religious symbolism? Nuke Mecca. And then what? Light a cigarette and relish the afterglow?

The glib remarks of Tancredo are intemperate and unhelpful. But I bet they sure makes Red Staters feel like real big men.
posted by three blind mice at 6:02 AM on July 19, 2005


Is there anyone thinking in a counter-intuitive way about reacting to acts of terror? I’m not trying to be flip, and I’m not trying to play the “what would Jesus do?” game, but what set of reaction alternatives are you left with after you react in the strongest way possible?
posted by mania at 6:04 AM on July 19, 2005


Have you every been to ground zero at Hiroshima?

Guess what, there were buildings still standing (and are still there today) after the bomb hit.

The aerial photos at the peace museum there are very weird, it almost seems like the buildings that survived were almost at random.

The aggressor in this situation would look pretty inane and make a martyr out of the holy site if a bomb hit it and it was still standing afterwards....

Nukes are fucked any way you look at it.
posted by rawfishy at 6:07 AM on July 19, 2005


Um. The IRA?

Eurgh. I hang my head in shame. No jokes here.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:07 AM on July 19, 2005


American people, "they" attacked you. You have strong armies - kill "them" all, destroy their cities and convert "them" to your gods. Did God give you your nuclear weapons so that you would be weak? USE THEM. Destroy all those who threaten you - you are the master race, we who live in poor nations are inferior beings who look to you as our lords. This is the way of history, of nature!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:11 AM on July 19, 2005


I cannot believe that anyone, here and elsewhere, would honestly believe that levelling a supremely religious site would bring anything other than an all out religious war for some thousand years. It would give radical fundamentalist recruiters everything they ever wanted, not to mention call a just a few pre-nuked-mecca pacifists to arms against the US. Tancredo was about 8 months too early with his comment.
posted by RobertFrost at 6:12 AM on July 19, 2005


It's not like all the terrorists will be hanging out in Mecca. Nuking it would only severely piss off the rest of the world that doesn't already hate us.

And I agree with srboisvert: how bout if we just catch them?
posted by bshort at 6:12 AM on July 19, 2005


111 is back, and his name is furiousxgeorge -- awesome. Slothrup has it right. If you want to radicalize the entire Muslim community, the vast majority of which are trying to live peaceful lives, nuking their holiest city seems like a good way to start.
posted by chunking express at 6:13 AM on July 19, 2005


Tancredo: "I mean, I don't know, I'm just throwing out there some ideas..."

Nothing like a little old-fashioned brainstorming.

What would he propose if instead of nukes toenail clippers were the nearest implement at hand?
posted by Hobbacocka at 6:17 AM on July 19, 2005


Nuking Mecca would be asinine. Frankly, it would piss off the Saudis, and they can fuck us quite nicely two easy ways: refuse to sell us any more oil, or divest their considerable holdings in the stock market.

Come on, be serious. We are not going to fuck our oil supply and our stock market.
posted by beth at 6:19 AM on July 19, 2005


Answering the "Glass Mecca" Strategy
Long post, so I blogged it to keep the blue neater.
posted by Dunvegan at 6:23 AM on July 19, 2005


I'd be interested in hearing what MeFites think is a plausible response to the nuking of a US city if Tancredo's strategy seems too extreme. "Arrest the terrorists"—already dead from the blast, no doubt—is going to sound a little....impotent to some.
posted by dhoyt at 6:29 AM on July 19, 2005


I think Rep. Tom Tancredo is a very foolish man for letting himself being tricked in giving this non-constructive and challenging reply !!

(i think a reaction like that would make the whole world turn their back to the US)
posted by borq at 6:34 AM on July 19, 2005


Dunvegan, thanks for correcting your first link, but:

First of all, it says "Glassing Mecca", which makes more sense.

Secondly, is this a self-link? If not, what's the source? Who is Leia Amidon?
posted by beagle at 6:36 AM on July 19, 2005


I love this idea. So when do we nuke Salt Lake City for the atrocities commited by the Osmonds?
posted by fatbobsmith at 6:37 AM on July 19, 2005


Wow.
posted by Jairus at 6:43 AM on July 19, 2005


Tancredo is the congressman for Littleton, CO. Has he learned nothing?
posted by maggiemaggie at 6:46 AM on July 19, 2005


Wow, I can't believe the comments I'm reading here!

let me get this straight. A few fundamentalists get together and nuke a city in America. America should respond by nuking a 'holy city'!

After nuking Mecca you will have lost. Lost your ideals, turned all Muslims against you and most importantly you will have lost to the Fundamentalists by giving in to their wish for a holy war.

You people are seriously screwed up.


Oh yes, sciurus, the IRA are not a catholic terrorist force, they are marxist. Lumping the IRA with catholics is exactly the same as lumping Al Qaeda with all Muslims.... does nothing but spread the fear and prejudice.

you people seem to be going down the same route that Unionists in Northern Ireland took - believing that catholics were the enemy (instead of realising it's a few hundred thugs with armalites). Same thing.
posted by twistedonion at 6:46 AM on July 19, 2005


Well that certainly taught anyone who thinks that Tancredo is anything but a jingoistic moron.
posted by clevershark at 6:47 AM on July 19, 2005


I'd be interested in hearing what MeFites think is a plausible response to the nuking of a US city if Tancredo's strategy seems too extreme.

The purpose of guerilla / terrorist / insurgent tactics is to fight an overwhelmingly more powerful enemy. To do this, terrorists attack in a way the enemy cannot defend against, and in a way that offers the enemy little or no possibility of an appropriate response.

So I think it's a fundementally silly question. The whole point of terrorism is that there is usually no appropriate (or "plausible") response available. Virtually anything the responder could do ends up playing into the terrorists' hands.

So a failure to imagine a more appropriate response to the nuking of a US city doesn't mean that the idea of nuking Mecca somehow becomes reasonable.
posted by Western Infidels at 6:56 AM on July 19, 2005


dhoyt, having a national "everybody eat peanut butter" day would be just as plausible a response. Mecca has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. This is a crucial misunderstanding on your part, and I feel sorry for you.
posted by odinsdream at 7:00 AM on July 19, 2005


Oh yeah! Hooray for nuclear war over b.s. religious beliefs! Wow, this guy actually made the rednecks with "Nuke their ass & take their gas" bumper stickers look intelligent.

Faint of Butt, You know Colorado Springs is the most religious city in America. Can we put it on the list?

stevejensen, Your wrong on two counts. First, the "jihadies" do practice the "true teachings of Islam," just like Graham Capill practices the true teachings of christianity. Second, taking back Mecca is one of the few things "jihadies" do care about. Still, you might be right that they wouldn't mind seeing Mecca "purified." I expect there are christians praying for Muslims to nuke NYC too.

twistedonion, only the old splinter group called the "Official IRA" is Marxist. As I understand it, the Catholic favoring "Provisional IRA" is more associated to violence.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:04 AM on July 19, 2005


I really don't understand by what logic nuking Mecca *wouldn't* be an act of terrorism in itself.
posted by clevershark at 7:04 AM on July 19, 2005


Mecca has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. This is a crucial misunderstanding on your part, and I feel sorry for you.

WTF are you talking about? I never commented, today or any other day, that Mecca had anything to do with terrorism or that we should nuke it. I asked what is a plausible response should that scenario arise since Tancredo's strategy sounds (understandably) extreme & irrational.

You need to read the comments more clearly before "feeling sorry" for anyone.
posted by dhoyt at 7:06 AM on July 19, 2005


dhoyt, furiousxgeorge:

Let me remind you that one FIFTH of the GLOBAL population is Muslim. What possible reasonable strategic advantage is going to be gained by nuking their holiest site? I guarantee you that it will not deter future terrorists, nor lead to the 'self-policing' you so desire. However, it will permanently infuriate over a billion people.


Oh, and let me also remind you that Muslims are not limited to the Middle East. Start open warfare with the Saudis and you will likely have to start it with Indonesia as well, not to mention combat 'insurgency' in a dozen other countries. If you are itching for open warfare so badly, perhaps you should volunteer to be the first at the front.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 7:09 AM on July 19, 2005


Am I missing something here? Tancredo was simply considering the possibility of being forced to follow through on a problematic threat. "You know, there are things that you could threaten to do before something like that happens and then you may have to do afterwards that are quite draconian."

Why aren't people interpreting this as a warning against making outlandish threats? His point seems to be nothing more than this: don't make empty threats. They may come back to bite you in the ass.
posted by oddman at 7:10 AM on July 19, 2005


western infidels: So a failure to imagine a more appropriate response to the nuking of a US city doesn't mean that the idea of nuking Mecca somehow becomes reasonable.

Let's imagine. I don't think it's fundamentally silly to consider responses. There would be a response of some sort. Which one is the best?

The whole point of terrorism is that there is usually no appropriate (or "plausible") response available. Virtually anything the responder could do ends up playing into the terrorists' hands.


I agree, but is there a response out there that would not play into the terrorists hands?
posted by mania at 7:10 AM on July 19, 2005


-2 originality Tomcredo.

Isn't this debate just the old Cold War conflict between 'theories' of counterforce v. countervalue deterrence rehashed for the "post 9/11 environment"? Both of those theories, in rough sketch (IANApostapocalpyticdoomesdaynavelgazer), tried to avoid Mutually Assured Destruction by either destroying the other's means of destruction or destroy so much of the other country that no rational actor would continue the fight.

The counterweight policy, questionable policy for the cold war, seem entirely inapplicable where there is no country to deter. Even so, the entire problem with it was that it required a rational actor, which in times of war, seemed highly unlikely. Rational response after, say, Mecca blowing up, is implausible. Even a "counterforce" response seems unworkable, given that a suicide bomber is already dead; but either this means you go after their training camps, or you move on past tired, 50 year old constructions of national security decision-making.

Finally, if we're really out to "punish" the "terrorists" by blowing up Mecca or other non-military targets (remember, this is obstensibly "not a war against Islam"), what can't we do? Why don't we just pillage their womens, sow salt into the earth, sodomize their men (wait, Gitmo's got that) and fly hijacked airliners into mosque minerets? As bad as they are, nuking Mecca is somehow worse. Well, because it begins to sound alot like the methods used by terrorists themselves. The terrorists will have already won. (heh)

(on preview: damn, clevershark, you beat me to it.
posted by soda pop at 7:11 AM on July 19, 2005


"I mean, I don't know, I'm just throwing out there some ideas because it seems to me . . . at that point in time you would be talking about taking the most draconian measures you could possibly imagine and because other than that all you could do is once again tighten up internally."

He does of course put this little disclaimer at the end... you know - just throwing round some ideas... it's all just brainstorming you know...

The thing is that there is no great network of terrorists... there is no headquarters to bomb. There are simply a handful of extremists out there willing to follow their twisted logic thought o it's conclusion.

To attack any religious sites as a statement to these extremists will not help for two reasons 1- The extremists believe that any muslim that doesn't support their cause is not a true muslim, therefor any that die either deserve it or are martyrs to their cause. 2- It will encourage more people to become extremists... More terrorists.

Any thought of nuking and killing thousands of innocents is surely madness...

But this is just common sense isn't it?
posted by Meccabilly at 7:11 AM on July 19, 2005


I'd be interested in hearing what MeFites think is a plausible response to the nuking of a US city if Tancredo's strategy seems too extreme.

The countries providing nuclear weapons used against the US should be held accountable.

The countries providing aid and support to the people who perpetrate such an act should be held accountable.

Short of that dhoyt what do you do? Kill a bunch of innocent people in retaliation just because you can? Retaliate against a country that is not reponsible just because they happen to contain a holy city?

On the other hand, what else do you do? When Hitler invaded Norway and the Norweigans fought back and "terrorized" the Germans by killing them a few at a time. The Germans simply rounded up innocent civilians and shot them in retaliation. It worked. For a short while anyway.

I suppose the Christian response of turning the other cheek and offering compassion and understanding is just out of the question.

on preview,oddman: don't make empty threats. They may come back to bite you in the ass.

Exactly. Empty threats about nuking Mecca are not helpful.
posted by three blind mice at 7:13 AM on July 19, 2005


> Oh yes, sciurus, the IRA are not a catholic terrorist
> force, they are marxist

I think the defining ideology of the IRA was less that they were Marxist, than they were Nationalist/Republican.

The old stickies/Official Sinn Fein were avowed Marxist/Leninists, but along with other Irish socialist groups, they completely renounced terrorism and armed struggle back in the early seventies, and while the Provisional IRA leadership sometimes flirted with Marxist style rhetoric in the early days, I don't know how much buy in there was from the rank and file -- very little I suspect.

The vast majority of their constituency *was* catholic, so spouting atheistic marxism as a central tenet of their ideology would have been extremely counterproductive.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:14 AM on July 19, 2005


chunking express: “111 is back, and his name is furiousxgeorge — awesome. ”

No way, 111 was much more eloquent (or long-winded) and would never, ever had written: “this terrorism stuff”.
No, this looks like your garden variety xenophobe.
posted by signal at 7:15 AM on July 19, 2005


Dhoyt, your framing appeared disengenuous: "if Tancredo's strategy seems too extreme" Had you said "since," there would have been little confusion.

The course of action should be similar to that preceding the attack. A nuclear attack would be a terrible tragedy, but a radical response will not constitute an act of deterrence in the eyes of ordinary Muslims, but a clear escalation. Since it is not a 'people' who are responsible for terrorism but a group of 'persons' with a specific ideology, a large-scale attack on a city largely occupied by non-terrorists is profoundly foolish. Not to mention profoundly unethical.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 7:16 AM on July 19, 2005


Have you every been to ground zero at Hiroshima?

Guess what, there were buildings still standing (and are still there today) after the bomb hit.


You are arguing against Tancredo strictly on the basis that it might not take the buildings down?? Heh. Actually, nukes do a little bit more damage now.

While I disagree with referring to any person as his holiness or to any city as 'holy', willfully targeting civilian populations makes the US indistinguishable from the terrorists on one level. I'd be happier if they gave the Saudis fair warning and just used conventional bombs. That way we still get to destroy culture without the nuclear fallout!

Mecca has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. This is a crucial misunderstanding on your part, and I feel sorry for you.

Right. Don't you think that's inaccurate? Mecca is a factor insofar as Bin Laden claims he wants the 'infidel' out of the Holy Land, and Mecca is in the Holy Land.
posted by tweak at 7:16 AM on July 19, 2005


I agree, but is there a response out there that would not play into the terrorists hands?

Winning around those who would become terrorists. Counter the argument that the West is an immoral cancer on the face of the Earth that must be destroyed. Effecting peaceful change in non-democratic countries.

Wow it sort of sounds boring doesn't it... Let's blow some shit up...
posted by Meccabilly at 7:17 AM on July 19, 2005


So what's Representative Moron going to propose the next time he is asked to "throw some ideas out there"? Rounding up muslims into internment camps perhaps? Destroying mosques in American cities? Jerusalem is, by most accounts, the third holiest site in Islam, would Mr. Tancredo like to nuke that too once he's done putting Mecca and Medina to the proverbial sword?
posted by clevershark at 7:18 AM on July 19, 2005


I'd be happier if they gave the Saudis fair warning and just used conventional bombs. That way we still get to destroy culture without the nuclear fallout!

Hmm. Equally fucking idiotic. For precisely the same reasons.

Oh, and culture does not equal buildings.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 7:21 AM on July 19, 2005


Oh please. This whole story deserves nothing but contempt. From WorldNetDaily(!):
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a staunch critic of the federal government's lax immigration and border enforcement policies, said yesterday he would request a briefing from the Justice Department on information it has on plans revealed by WND this week for a nuclear attack on the U.S. by al-Qaida terrorists.

[...]

Tancredo also plans to meet with the author of a book that provides new evidence al-Qaida has used the insecure Mexican border to bring nuclear devices into the country along with thousands of sleeper agents.

Al-Qaida's plans, known as "America's Hiroshima" according to captured terrorists and terrorist documents, calls for the multiple detonation of nuclear weapons, already in the possession of Osama bin Laden's operatives currently inside the U.S. The agents and arms having been smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border with the help of the MS-13 street gang and other organized crime groups, according to the report originating in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, a premium, online intelligence newsletter published by the founder of WND.
The great thing about Al Qaeda is that it's united all our hate groups; survivalist nutjobs, white-power nutjobs, anti-immigration nutjobs, you name it.

By the way, if you'd like to read more of these stories to be sure you remain in the maximum heightened state of fear, be sure to subscribe to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, a premium, online intelligence newsletter published by the founder of WND.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:22 AM on July 19, 2005


"The aggressor in this situation would look pretty inane and make a martyr out of the holy site if a bomb hit it and it was still standing afterwards...."

Good point, we better use two.



Seriously folks, what would we do if several US cities were nuked by terrorists? It would wreck our economy, it is doubtful we could support the massive spending on our conventional forces, what options are left?

I'm anti-war for the most part but at some point you have to say, us or them?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:22 AM on July 19, 2005


Right. Don't you think that's inaccurate? Mecca is a factor insofar as Bin Laden claims he wants the 'infidel' out of the Holy Land, and Mecca is in the Holy Land.

It's as much a factor as the planet Earth is a factor in that all this is happenening there... But while Death Star style tactics may destroy islamic terrorism it may be throwing out the baby with the bathwater...

On preview: What?
posted by Meccabilly at 7:22 AM on July 19, 2005


Nuke Scientology.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:24 AM on July 19, 2005


Oh yes, sciurus, the IRA are not a catholic terrorist force, they are marxist

There are lefties in the IRA but the key Marxists were Official IRA rather than Provos - Cathal Goulding and the like were run out of power in the sixties. But certainly at this point, the defining ideology of the majority of their sympathizers and members is more thug than marxism or catholicism.

But if you're arguing that ordinary Catholics like me are no more responsible for the IRA's actions or getting them to disband than Muslims for Al Qaeda, I surely agree.
posted by jamesonandwater at 7:26 AM on July 19, 2005


"Al-Qaida nukes already in U.S.
Terrorists, bombs smuggled across Mexico border by MS-13 gangsters"


Of course they have...
posted by Meccabilly at 7:26 AM on July 19, 2005


Nuking Jerusalem and the Vatican would be a good thing. With the holy cities of the 3 major religions destroyed, that would put an end to 90% of the world's conflict. The world would be a much better place if the judeo-christian religions never existed.
posted by mike3k at 7:27 AM on July 19, 2005


I'm sorry, I missed something, what would be the tactical advantage in nuking holy sites again? Are we trying to kill Allah?

On preview:

Nuking Jerusalem and the Vatican would be a good thing. With the holy cities of the 3 major religions destroyed, that would put an end to 90% of the world's conflict.

The Greeks and Babylonians both destroyed the Jewish Beet Hamigdash (main temple) which was the holiest site. Destroying holy sites just pisses people off. It doesn't destroy the religion.
posted by Edible Energy at 7:30 AM on July 19, 2005


Hmm. Equally fucking idiotic. For precisely the same reasons.

Next time I will include notation so that you may read my comments with a sarcastic voice, Dr_Johnson. Like training wheels for you so that you don't have to get all upset when you willfully misread what I wrote. Or maybe you don't think terrorists are bad and thus my equation of US bombing of Mecca as terroristic is a valid criticism?

Oh, and culture does not equal buildings.

True, but buildings can play a significant part, would you not agree? Look at what Hulagu Khan did to Baghdad, for example (along with slaughtering civilians). Buildings act as important cultural symbols and can help provide a common identity for a group of people.

Nuking Jerusalem and the Vatican would be a good thing. With the holy cities of the 3 major religions destroyed, that would put an end to 90% of the world's conflict. The world would be a much better place if the judeo-christian religions never existed.

LOL!!1 Mike3k, are you Tancredo's retarded younger brother? You guys should get together and exchange notes.
posted by tweak at 7:35 AM on July 19, 2005


I'm anti-war for the most part but at some point you have to say, us or them?

Nuking Jerusalem and the Vatican would be a good thing. With the holy cities of the 3 major religions destroyed, that would put an end to 90% of the world's conflict.

Damn. Sometimes the stupidity on Metafilter is astounding -- I don't even know where to begin. (Well that, or the both of you are hilarious.)
posted by chunking express at 7:36 AM on July 19, 2005


Nuking Jerusalem and the Vatican would be a good thing.

Most people who call themselves Christians - especially those troublesome ones known as evangelicals - would be more than happy to see the Vatican nuked. The Vatican is a symbol to Catholics and not much of a symbol at that.

Nuking Jerusalem, on the other hand, would at least end the disupute over ownership for about 10,000 years or so.. then it would start all over again.

On the other hand a decent education that involves reading more than one book and encourages critical thinking would put an end to religion without bombs.
posted by three blind mice at 7:38 AM on July 19, 2005


Seriously folks, what would we do if several US cities were nuked by terrorists? It would wreck our economy, it is doubtful we could support the massive spending on our conventional forces, what options are left?

Really, though. What do you think this would possibly accomplish? It would not bring back the dead, nor our wrecked economy, it would not provide us with any strategic advantage to speak of, and it would lead to a large-scale escalation of hostilities. What, particularly, is appealing about the option for you?
posted by Dr_Johnson at 7:39 AM on July 19, 2005


> Nuke Scientology.

Liberate Occupied Clearwater Now!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:41 AM on July 19, 2005


Dhoyt, your framing appeared disengenuous: "if Tancredo's strategy seems too extreme" Had you said "since," there would have been little confusion.

Only on MeFi would the difference of a word lead to comments like "I feel sorry for you" ;) Wow.

In any case, the scenario would be awful but garnering support for any kind of crazy ill-advised retaliation would probably not be hard either, which is scary. These are natural responses...

The countries providing nuclear weapons used against the US should be held accountable.

The countries providing aid and support to the people who perpetrate such an act should be held accountable.


But the pursuit of responsible parties & harboring countries led to a lot of dispute—and a lot of unsatisfied people—after 9/11, so why would this be any different?

Nuking Jerusalem and the Vatican would be a good thing. With the holy cities of the 3 major religions destroyed, that would put an end to 90% of the world's conflict. The world would be a much better place if the judeo-christian religions never existed.

Do you advocate nuking Mecca additionally?
posted by dhoyt at 7:41 AM on July 19, 2005


Jeff and Peter - thanks for correcting me, there's my protestant upbring clouding things again! I had always believed and never questioned the notion that the IRA was Marxist. Made it more palpable (not the terrorism but the ideology) seeing as I'm a bit of a red myself

Still don't like classifying them as a Catholic Terrorist group. Gives too much legitimacy to the fools living down the street from me

I say this as I look out at the colourful bunting and flags hanging all over the place - a nice reminder of how easy it is to divide communities through fear and terrorism, Don't let it happen to you America!
posted by twistedonion at 7:42 AM on July 19, 2005


Relax. He's from Colorado.
posted by carter at 7:42 AM on July 19, 2005


I'm anti-war for the most part but at some point you have to say, us or them?

I'm a rational and civil person for the most part but sometimes you just have to say, You Mother is Fat.

On the other hand a decent education that involves reading more than one book and encourages critical thinking would put an end to religion without bombs.

I remeber meeting a guy who would only read the bible and refused to watch TV or films... He said that any other type of reading of media was a polution of the mind.

I said, "What about Charton Heston in 'The Ten commandments" and he told me it was someone elses a interpriation of the bible.

So I said, "Well isn't the bible in English merely an interpritation of the original source", to which he replied... "No, it's the word of God."

I then gave up and went down the pub.

On Preview: Religion is stupid.
posted by Meccabilly at 7:43 AM on July 19, 2005


Who is this Tancredo? Does he chair any defense committees? Does he have any real influence on government policy? No, he's just an idiot congressman talking out of his ass.
There is no evidence whatsoever that nuking Mecca is being considered (seriously or otherwise) by the "real" policy makers as a response to nuclear terrorism.
This is an interesting little "what if?" discussion, but it has little bearing on reality.
posted by rocket88 at 7:44 AM on July 19, 2005


You ask me why nuke Mecca, I say...Why Not?

I'll probably be a cloud of radioactive vapor at this point, so best case I get revenge, worst case I'm still a cloud of radioactive vapor.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:45 AM on July 19, 2005


You ask me why nuke Mecca, I say...Why Not?

I'll probably be a cloud of radioactive vapor at this point, so best case I get revenge, worst case I'm still a cloud of radioactive vapor.


Troll, no?
posted by Meccabilly at 7:47 AM on July 19, 2005


willfully misread what I wrote:

I'd be happier if they gave the Saudis fair warning and just used conventional bombs

I frankly fail to intuit the sarcasm in such a statement. Call me slow if you like...

Buildings act as important cultural symbols and can help provide a common identity for a group of people

I believe your usage was more directed at culture in the sense of 'kultur' not culture in the Geertzian sense of culture, but whatever. Turn your sarcasm down and you won't get such responses. Text is unfortunately not always the best delivery mechanism in this regard.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 7:48 AM on July 19, 2005


Nuke me first.

Please.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:53 AM on July 19, 2005


"Troll, no?"

No, the hypotehtical all this is based on involves nukes already planted and ready to go. I live in a major city, I'll probably be dead, and jealous of all you still left alive. I'm not saying nuke Mecca BEFORE they nuke us, that would be silly.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:54 AM on July 19, 2005


A yes, the revenge rationale. I feel privileged to be in the presence of a humanist of your caliber.

(n.b.: sarcasm)
posted by Dr_Johnson at 7:55 AM on July 19, 2005


I'm not saying nuke Mecca BEFORE they nuke us, that would be silly.

That was sans-irony i presume...
posted by Meccabilly at 7:57 AM on July 19, 2005


furiousxgeorge wrote: I'm anti-war for the most part

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Also, I'm not one for MeFi policing, but this has got to be the most asinine discussion I've ever seen here. There should be a new word for how apocalyptically stupid it is to debate the geopolitical pros and cons of dropping nuclear bombs on Mecca. How about spectasinine? That might cover it.
posted by gompa at 8:00 AM on July 19, 2005


Right. Don't you think that's inaccurate? Mecca is a factor insofar as Bin Laden claims he wants the 'infidel' out of the Holy Land, and Mecca is in the Holy Land.

Ah. So, if I'm reading you correctly, Mecca is related to terrorism because Bin Laden Says So? Well, I guess you win this argument.
posted by odinsdream at 8:03 AM on July 19, 2005


Meccabilly on responses to terror: Winning around those who would become terrorists. Counter the argument that the West is an immoral cancer on the face of the Earth that must be destroyed. Effecting peaceful change in non-democratic countries.

I agree. America may be losing the only war that can make a difference in long-term behavior: the war of ideas. I would submit that force should not be the centerpiece of American strategy, or response. Force -- in this setting -- does not result in the shift in ideas that is necessary to limit the spread of violent ideologies.

America is mismanaging the use and role of force and will probably do so again in any response to another act of terror. America's ability to wage ideas seems to be at low ebb, leaving the force option the quick and seemingly obvious alternative. When all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.
posted by mania at 8:09 AM on July 19, 2005


There *is* a way to put an end to world's problems - once and for all. Here's the plan: We get the eggheads running one of them thar particle accelerator doohickies to crank the fucker up to 11 and hump a couple o' pounds of photons or dark matter or something the fuck in there. This'll create an artificial black hole that'll consume the entire planet, thus ridding the world of terrorism forever. Admittedly it'll also rid the universe of the panet earth as well, but when all of us God-fearin' folk are at the pearly gates we can say "in your FACE, Islam!"

Sweet.
posted by NeonSurge at 8:11 AM on July 19, 2005


I really am anti-war in most cases. I am a liberal and I opposed the Iraq war. Advocating for the nuking of Mecca is just a hobby of mine. It would really get the terrorists, how are they ever going to get into heaven if they can't do the Hajj?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:11 AM on July 19, 2005


odinsdream: I was on a roll, that statement was overly pedantic of me.

Dr_Johnson: Ok, you're right, upon re-reading my post what I thought was obvious sarcasm does look stupid. :/
posted by tweak at 8:14 AM on July 19, 2005


It would make more sense to nuke Moscow, since that's where they would have gotten the damn thing from.

No, wait, we should bomb Harvard, since that's where they will have learned how to put a nuclear warhead to use.

No... no... wait. We should bomb Hiroshima again. Hey, last time we did that, the whole war ended lickety-split.

Wait. Better idea! We should nuke Syndey! After 9/11 we spent most of our energy going after Iraq. That could be our deterrent. You attack us, we'll attack some other completely uninvolved nation at random. Maybe not Sydney. Maybe Toronto. They'd NEVER expect that.

This is lunacy. Put the goddam nukes away and go CATCH these bastards.
posted by JWright at 8:17 AM on July 19, 2005


> Still don't like classifying them as a Catholic Terrorist group

I don't think they *should* be classified as being Catholic. In fact, Irish Nationalism has never been exclusively associated with Catholicism. Some of the key figures like Wolfe Tone, Erskine Childers and Roger Casement were, of course, Protestants.

The Irish troubles have always struck me, (from my comfortable vantage over here on the mainland), as being predominantly political rather than religious. The fact that the two communities also happen to divide along religious lines seems almost arbitrary from this distance.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:18 AM on July 19, 2005


I really am anti-war in most cases. I am a liberal and I opposed the Iraq war. Advocating for the nuking of Mecca is just a hobby of mine. It would really get the terrorists, how are they ever going to get into heaven if they can't do the Hajj?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:11 AM PST on July 1


If you're joking, you're not very funny, and if you're not, you're insane. Stop posting.

Killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people at an Islamic holy site is a horrible idea, and if you can't understand why, you need to just kill yourself already.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:27 AM on July 19, 2005


> but sometimes you just have to say, You Mother is Fat

OK.

Aminah Bint Wahhab Ibn Abd Manaf Ibn Zahrah was so fat that her coffin was the second choice for a Jewish homeland.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:28 AM on July 19, 2005


Advocating for the nuking of Mecca is just a hobby of mine. It would really get the terrorists, how are they ever going to get into heaven if they can't do the Hajj?

Yes indeed. Nothing infuriates someone set on starting an apocalyptic global conflagration between the Islamic world and the West like launching an apocalyptic global conflagration between the Islamic world and the West. That'll learn 'em.

Damn, this spectasinine discussion has me doing all kinds of stuff I normally try to avoid, like letting glib, thoughtless remarks bug me a little. But what the hell, in for a penny, in for a pound. So, dude, your "hobby"? Ignorance and misanthropy aren't hobbies, they're faults.
posted by gompa at 8:28 AM on July 19, 2005


I'm just thankful MeFi is around so a lot of these folks can just Flame On here without feeling the need to run for office or something.

Nukes as a legitimate option? Some of you folks are very sick indeed.
posted by AspectRatio at 8:31 AM on July 19, 2005


I'm just thankful MeFi is around so a lot of these folks can just Flame On here without feeling the need to run for office or something.

Nukes as a legitimate option? Some of you folks are very sick indeed.
posted by AspectRatio at 8:32 AM on July 19, 2005


Also: PeterMcD's Yo' Momma's so fat joke just redeemed the whole thread.
posted by gompa at 8:32 AM on July 19, 2005


"Nukes as a legitimate option?"

A legitimate option as a response to a nuking...that has been pretty standard policy for a long time now. The only question we face in the terrorism situation is who to target.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:55 AM on July 19, 2005


But the pursuit of responsible parties & harboring countries led to a lot of dispute—and a lot of unsatisfied people—after 9/11, so why would this be any different?

Countries?

These are natural responses..

Absolutely. If you're a fucking psychopath.
posted by mr.marx at 9:17 AM on July 19, 2005


PeterMcDermott writes "Aminah Bint Wahhab Ibn Abd Manaf Ibn Zahrah was so fat that her coffin was the second choice for a Jewish homeland."

OK, that *was* funny :-)
posted by clevershark at 9:23 AM on July 19, 2005


Countries?

Yes. Harboring countries. IE, countries which harbor terrorists. What's your question?


Absolutely. If you're a fucking psychopath.

Man you guys are incredible.

READ THE COMMENT CLOSELY:


These are natural responses...

The countries providing nuclear weapons used against the US should be held accountable.

The countries providing aid and support to the people who perpetrate such an act should be held accountable.


Three Blind Mice's responses were "natural", ie, they sounded good, but the process of arrested the offending parties or holding their harboring-countries responsible is fairly complicated, as 9/11 proved. Do you have a problem with what he said? What is psychopathic about his analysis or my response?
posted by dhoyt at 9:24 AM on July 19, 2005


FWIW, nuking Mecca would be about as smart and productive a move in the war on terror as doing something else that's completely pointless, besides the point, and motivated by "other factors"... like, say, invading Iraq.
posted by clevershark at 9:26 AM on July 19, 2005


The only question we face in the terrorism situation is who to target.

Your President. You want to stop Terrorism, stop terrorising.

(simplistic I know, I'm just trying to get to your level of thinking)
posted by twistedonion at 9:27 AM on July 19, 2005


Jesus, this was kinda thin for an FPP. Tancredo doesn't even know what/where Mecca is, and is obviously just saying something dumb off the cuff. Yeah, he's ignorant, but he's a Western Republican who's obviously never given things like this much thought at all.
And man, did dhoyt become a straw man or what? I didn't think that he was arguing to nuke Mecca, and I'm inclined to argue with him.
(I will say though that if a nuclear weapon goes off in America, the population of the US won't be satisfied unless we retaliate with nuclear weapons. And since we kinda are the drunk guy at the bar of international politics, I have to think that no matter who nukes us, Iran and/or Syria is getting vaporized in retaliation).
posted by klangklangston at 9:36 AM on July 19, 2005


What Mania Said. We're all talking about reacting to something that hasn't happened, spurred on by reactions to things that have happened (increasing terrorist attacks). I really hope there's someone in the State Department that is thinking along those lines, Mania.

It won't be easy though. The ideas that America currently spreads are manifest through our culture, which is HATED by the fundamentalists, Christian and Muslim alike. How do you get people to love you? How would you propose we wage this "war of ideas"?
posted by joecacti at 9:39 AM on July 19, 2005


dhoyt: you responding before the quote was kinda confusing.
this is what I read:
"garnering support for any kind of crazy ill-advised retaliation would probably not be hard either, which is scary. These are natural responses..."

but I see you ment the "..." as a colon. my bad, and my apologies.
posted by mr.marx at 9:41 AM on July 19, 2005


I'm sure there's some kind of irony in all this. If only I could see what it was.

Don't worry, I'll work on it.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:45 AM on July 19, 2005


Tancredo doesn't even know what/where Mecca is, and is obviously just saying something dumb off the cuff

Nonetheless, this was picked up and discussed on most of the major cable news networks. Shockingly (or perhaps not), the suggestion found some defenders among the ranks of the conservative talking heads. Never underestimate the appeal of mindless belligerence.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 9:46 AM on July 19, 2005


twistedonion, you're wrong about the IRA. Whilst they are not necessarily motivated by the evangelisation of Catholicism, IRA members are almost exclusively Catholic. At least by descent.

I see your point that the struggle wasn't one of Catholicism against Protestantism, but to ignore the fact that religion was involved is to ignore one of the reasons that the struggle lasted so long. Whether you like it or not, the sides involved in the Northern Ireland conflict were divided starkly by their religious origins. It was a sad trick of history.

The INLA is (was, if it is now defunct) Marxist.
posted by veedubya at 9:54 AM on July 19, 2005


Why nuke Mecca when you can nuke the moon?
posted by brownpau at 9:57 AM on July 19, 2005


joecacti, this is a good starting place:
The main American weapon in the battle of ideas should be the truth — truth about the societies, their rulers, and terrorist leaders. The truth should be disseminated through open channels where possible, and covertly where necessary, but the promotion of individual freedom and respect for others' life, faith, and property must remain at the heart of any strategy.
posted by mania at 10:02 AM on July 19, 2005


but I see you ment the "..." as a colon. my bad, and my apologies.

No problem. I'd hoped my saying a nuclear response was crazy, scary and ill-advised was clear enough ;)
posted by dhoyt at 10:04 AM on July 19, 2005


Say, why not really fuck up dem Muslimites: drop big ass bombs on Mecca filled with pig blood! Now there's a rational response.

It would defile the area, and force decades of purification. Then we win! Sweet!

And I'm insane!

Yeah!
posted by mooncrow at 10:09 AM on July 19, 2005


"On the other hand a decent education that involves reading more than one book and encourages critical thinking would put an end to religion without bombs." - Three Blind Mice.

So, really I don't want it to seem like I've got some axe to grind with you personally or anything like that. But, please tell me your kidding.
posted by oddman at 10:41 AM on July 19, 2005


Yeah mania, we did a great job of following through on those ideas, didn't we?
posted by caddis at 10:44 AM on July 19, 2005


A moral response to a Jihadist nuking an American city? How could there be one? Listen people this discussion is coming all from the wrong directions.

Mutually Assured destruction WORKED. But it's premised on a rival functional state being the main operator behind the wheel of a nuclear exchange. States, if they have a even a barely functioning economic engine, inevitably evolve a self-surviving power structure. They do NOT want to die. Problem is the Jihadi's only thrive in failed states.

This may seem counter intuitive but history has proven it correct: Nuclear proliferation is the only answer. We need to make a stable Nuclear state in the Middle East. Iran.

We must allow - perhaps not publicly - but tacitly allow Iran to develop Nukes. This will balance the power of that region. And give us a target. A political and military target. That will not want to die.

The nukes Iran would develop would like be stand-off capacity. That would be the intelligent investment. A small strategic force of ICBMs might be developed, but they would not be a dependable core to a nuclear weapon strategy. So Iran would likely not pose a unique strategic threat - no more than China and Russia already do.

Now if we "let" them develop nukes we have achieved something of a solution to the Israel problem. In that Israel would then HAVE to pursue more political options with it's neighbors.

If we "let" Iran have nukes then we also make them part of The Package. We make Teheran a target. IF a nukes is touched off on US soil — Tehran goes as does Karachi, Beijing and Moscow. Everybody get's hit. Just like the good ol days.

Everybody knows this. It's unlikely, then, that these players act overtly with military power. just like the good ol days.

When EVERYBODY is on the table the various actors involved in STATE sponsored terrorism are placed on shorter leashes.

Iran - who currently has a great deal of influence over Jihadi's - would become an even more respected power center in the Muslim world. They would serve to drain the brain trust and labor pool currently under recruitment by Al Queda. They would be The Shit. And, Jihadi would not have to hide in a cave. Much better for recruitment commercials.

Iran - not being Arab - would also be a much needed answer to to the weight the Suads throw around.

Could this spark an arms race in the Muslim world? Possibly. But it will also force Cold War like alliances that would benefit Super-power structures like China, the EU and, in the long run, the US.

Any way.

If a nukes went off on US soil - and that will happen eventually at this rate - it wold be perfectly "reasoned" to retaliate in kind. Those of you argueing to simply "catch" people who have murdered millions are out of your minds.

I think nuking another Atomic state - such as Pakistan - would be a much more balanced response than targeting a non-strategic site like a purely religiose center.

But ulimately every reposnse would have to be "revenge". And I'm ok with that.
posted by tkchrist at 11:02 AM on July 19, 2005


I think the US should nuke tkchrist.
posted by chunking express at 11:14 AM on July 19, 2005


Nuclear proliferation is the only answer.

Er....????

Dude... seriously... You gotta be joking.

Terrorists are not part of a state, they are a loose grouping of people driven by a similar ideology. There is no terror network, its a phantom enemy. Sure there are gonna be groups of fanatics that want to follow through on their bizarre logic, but it's not a worldwide network.

Nuclear proliferation is clearly not an answer.

You logic is flawed, your reasoning spurious, you theory bizarre and either your trolling or sitting in your room wearing a shiney tin foil hat.
posted by Meccabilly at 11:22 AM on July 19, 2005


Meccabilly's right. We shouldn't target a state for retaliation against terrorists. Granted, some states harbor more terrorists than others, but every state has them to some degree and destroying one state won't do anything for the terrorist network around the world. We need to completely switch our thinking, our weapons, our intelligence, everything. This is a different enemy we're fighting and we can't treat warfare like we used to.

There is no retaliation for any terrorist act because they are covert and most are suicide bombers. All we can do is try to stop it before it happens. And I don't see much of that kind of thinking in the US government today.
posted by Moral Animal at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2005


If you want to stop Islamic terrorism, don't nuke Mecca, just start blowing up oil tankers, or invest a few billions in nuclear power plants rather than nuclear bombs. why should we punish the muslims with our valuable nuclear missisles. Just cut off their primary source of money and let Allah pay for their kebbob without all our dollars.
posted by Megafly at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2005


beth writes "Frankly, it would piss off the Saudis, and they can fuck us quite nicely two easy ways: refuse to sell us any more oil, or divest their considerable holdings in the stock market. "

Also don't the Saudi's own a significant percentage of US real estate? Could be they would just pop that big ol' housing bubble you have happening.
posted by Mitheral at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2005


Then again, we haven't seen much Catholic terrorism since the Spanish Inquisition. Where are the Southern Baptists headquartered?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:58 AM CST on July 19 [!]


Nashville, TN.

Please do not nuke Nashville. It's the Athens of the South, you know.

I actually understand the "Glass Mecca" argument. I really, really do. I know intellectually it is not feasible, but I want it to be. I want something that affects these people. I want something I can hold against these terrorists and say "Hey, enough. Or else."

I understand not everyone in the middle east is a terrorist, I understand that innocent civilians would be killed. But bear with me a moment.

That's the problem, there is no "or else" with terrorists. There is nothing they hold dear. They occupy no geographic space. This is the closest I've heard of thus far. And it is still a helluva long shot.

They claim to do what they do in the name of Islam, and in the name of Allah. If you then show them you are willing to dismantle and destroy everything having to do with Islam and Allah, then at least you have a CHANCE.

Right now, we have no chance. If we left Iraq tomorrow (which we should do anyway), do you think terrorist attacks would never occur again?

But, if a nuke goes off in NYC or Chicago or L.A., it will be open season on anyone with ruddy skin.

I'm not saying it is right, I'm saying it will happen.

I think that's truly the only thing preventing it from happening right now. I believe that terrorist networks have possession of nuclear material, and I believe they are capable of setting off at the very least a dirty bomb.

The only reason they haven't is because they know, on some level, that it would be revisited by carnage and death on a scale not yet seen in human history.

And it probably still wouldn't work. They'd probably attack us again, solely because we retaliated. Then we'd retaliate for the retaliation.

What do you do in a situation like that?

If we are attacked again, what do we do? And again after that? And again after that?

Do we never retaliate because they are "hard to find"?

You are fighting people who are not afraid of death. The only thing they MIGHT be afraid of is the death of their loved ones and the destruction of their holy artifacts.

This is a very difficult situation. Diplomacy cannot work because there is no state to negotiate with. Even if there were, we have nothing to offer them. We are the Great Satan. We are to be destroyed. What can you offer someone who wants your total destruction?

The only people who can stop this are the Muslims themselves. And right now they are not motivated, because although they "condemn" attacks in newspaper reports, they do precious little to stop it. The dancing in the streets after 9/11 spoke to how the average middle-eastern Muslim "condemns" these attacks.

This topic makes me very upset and I usually try not to even talk about it, because I become a different person. I am not aggressive or vengeful by nature, but on this topic, my patience is wearing frightfully thin.

I want vengeance. I want justice. I want to kill 25 of "them" when they kill 25 of our soldiers.

But I don't know how.

The "innocent" civilians are knowingly housing and aiding the insurgents. When do they cease being "innocent"? When do they begin to pay for their participation?
posted by Ynoxas at 11:35 AM on July 19, 2005


I also say we nuke Ynoxas.

Revenge does not equal justice. Maybe it did in the 7th century, but it shouldn't today.
posted by chunking express at 11:40 AM on July 19, 2005


I think that's truly the only thing preventing it from happening right now. I believe that terrorist networks have possession of nuclear material, and I believe they are capable of setting off at the very least a dirty bomb.

The only reason they haven't is because they know, on some level, that it would be revisited by carnage and death on a scale not yet seen in human history.


1. A dirty bomb is a fantasy. There is no such thing. It is a phantom weapon that will never work. Studies by weapons scientists have shown that there would be no deaths from exposure to radiation due to the dispersal of the materials. It's simply a bogeyman dreamt up to scare people.

2. The reason terrorists havn't nuked us is because they can't. They don't have the ability to build or deliver nukes. Germany could never build the bomb. Saddam couldn't - there is no way a disparate group of fanatics ever will.

I want vengeance. I want justice. I want to kill 25 of "them" when they kill 25 of our soldiers.
But I don't know how.


And that's why we never can. There is no way to retaliate.
I understand why you feel frustrated and impotent, I understand why people want to say 'or else'.

There is a better way.

They claim to do what they do in the name of Islam, and in the name of Allah. If you then show them you are willing to dismantle and destroy everything having to do with Islam and Allah, then at least you have a CHANCE.

They claim they are the true Muslims. Those that don't agree are not. They don't care who you kill. Any Muslim who doesn't support them is not a true muslim in their mind and if they die then they deserve it. If you kill their supporters you create Martyrs.

There is a better way.
posted by Meccabilly at 11:50 AM on July 19, 2005


What is the better way?
posted by dhoyt at 11:52 AM on July 19, 2005


What is the better way?

Simplistic platitudes.
posted by LionIndex at 11:59 AM on July 19, 2005


As i said before.

Winning around those who would become terrorists. Counter the argument that the West is an immoral cancer on the face of the Earth that must be destroyed. Effecting peaceful change in non-democratic countries.

It is the ideology that creates the fanatics. The idea that western liberalism infects the purity of islam and must be destroyed.

Islamist fanatics first tried to terroirise thier own governments and people to halt the westernisation of the middle east and it failed. The people turned against them. They now believe that attacking us is the answer.

By invading and attacking those in the Middle East we make the situation worse. By threatening other countries we give them amunition. We create more supporters of the extreamists.

We have to show a resolve to peacfully change despotic and dictatorial governments to democratic, prosperous nations who are looking to better themselves and their people.

It's not as attractive to those who find a visceral satisfaction in military action but it is the best way to make all the countries of the world safer.
posted by Meccabilly at 12:01 PM on July 19, 2005


Another problem with all of this (ignoring the most obvious - the nukes) is that this is exactly what the terrorists want to do - divide the world. Already, many people are targeting the muslim community as a whole for revenge and I've heard English rumors (or is it rumours?) that part of the cause for the London bombings is support of the US wars.

If we're trying to dissolve a covert world-wide network, isn't working together the best option, and not making threats on religious and cultural landmarks?
posted by Moral Animal at 12:02 PM on July 19, 2005


And I don't mean that in a naive "Why can't we all just get along?" kind of way, but rather that the more actions terrorists take against us, the more solid our partnerships with the Middle East and Europe should become. I see the opposite happening (pointing the finger and playing the blame game).
posted by Moral Animal at 12:06 PM on July 19, 2005


Already, many people are targeting the muslim community as a whole for revenge and I've heard English rumors (or is it rumours?) that part of the cause for the London bombings is support of the US wars.

Attacking Iraq was absolutely part of the reasoning for four of my fellow citizens to attack thier own capitial. They became fanatics for reasons we will never fully understand, but Iraq was surely one of the reasons.

If we're trying to dissolve a covert world-wide network, isn't working together the best option, and not making threats on religious and cultural landmarks?

Absolutely. But there is no world wide super network of terrorist. Simply disparate groups of fanatics working to the same goal.
posted by Meccabilly at 12:06 PM on July 19, 2005


You logic is flawed, your reasoning spurious, you theory bizarre and either your trolling or sitting in your room wearing a shiney tin foil hat.

And the details you have provided to refute my theory are so refined! And the ad hominem— brilliantly original. Wow.

You, sir, have convinced me to... to... well, what ever your argument is I am sold! Is there a mailing list you can put me on?

(and it's a "shiny" aluminum foil hat)
posted by tkchrist at 12:07 PM on July 19, 2005


And I don't mean that in a naive "Why can't we all just get along?" kind of way, but rather that the more actions terrorists take against us, the more solid our partnerships with the Middle East and Europe should become. I see the opposite happening (pointing the finger and playing the blame game).

I totally agree.
posted by Meccabilly at 12:08 PM on July 19, 2005


Hobbies of Mine
by furiousxgeorge

1. Advocating for the nuking of Mecca
2. Swapping the salt and sugar at restaurant tables
3. Attending anti-war rallies
4. Touching my boobs while reading the New Yorker
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:10 PM on July 19, 2005


If we're trying to dissolve a covert world-wide network, isn't working together the best option, and not making threats on religious and cultural landmarks?

Nope. Now, back to the subject at hand, after we kidnap the holy black cube out of Mecca, do we cover it in shit, or bacon?

buncha no good freedom-haters
posted by iron chef morimoto at 12:11 PM on July 19, 2005


Absolutely. But there is no world wide super network of terrorist. Simply disparate groups of fanatics working to the same goal.

Right, which is why I think local governments should work more closely with local muslim communities to create an open communication network (and not tolerate local citizens displaying hatred). And federal governments doing the same.

Not that communication can solve all our problems, but I just don't see enough of that going on right now.
posted by Moral Animal at 12:12 PM on July 19, 2005



And the details you have provided to refute my theory are so refined! And the ad hominem— brilliantly original. Wow.

You, sir, have convinced me to... to... well, what ever your argument is I am sold! Is there a mailing list you can put me on?


But you're trolling us though, yeah? You were being sarcastic.

em>
(and it's a "shiny" aluminum foil hat)

Yes, yes, we could all use the spell check button a lot more.
posted by Meccabilly at 12:14 PM on July 19, 2005


SLDT - Now that's some funny shit.

Nope. Now, back to the subject at hand, after we kidnap the holy black cube out of Mecca, do we cover it in shit, or bacon?

Why not pig manure? Best of both worlds.
posted by Moral Animal at 12:15 PM on July 19, 2005


I want vengeance. I want justice. I want to kill 25 of "them" when they kill 25 of our soldiers.

But I don't know how.

The "innocent" civilians are knowingly housing and aiding the insurgents. When do they cease being "innocent"? When do they begin to pay for their participation?


wait a minute... take the point of view of an Iraqi civilian for a moment. Doesn't the same argument regarding culpability apply? Troops waste non-insurgents everyday, though they may not mean to.

I become very nervous with arguments regarding the 'harboring' of terrorists. First, terrorism is not an either/or category though everyone seems to have forgotten this. An angry, impoverished muslim male remains just that until he is radicalized into acts we construe as terroristic. In this sense, there IS no them, NO particular demographic you can point to and say "o.k, they're the ones. Weed them out and spare the rest." Even Al Quaeda fails to live up to the standard of GI Joe diplomacy, even if we can point to Osama Bin Laden and construe him as a criminal mastermind. For this reason, the notion of 'harboring' is awfully vague, as is your frightening use of the idea of 'innocence.'
posted by Dr_Johnson at 12:17 PM on July 19, 2005


(harboring 'insurgents'- i.e. foreign fighters- is a slightly different matter, of course)
posted by Dr_Johnson at 12:28 PM on July 19, 2005


Could the better way be the outlandish, extreme, unprecedented move srblosvert suggested above:

I have an idea. The next time there is a terrorist attacks let's catch the perpetrators!

Guess it's not titillating enough for the keyboard warrior fantasies.
posted by funambulist at 12:34 PM on July 19, 2005


But you're trolling us though, yeah? You were being sarcastic.

No. I was not. But you were being needlessly insulting.

And it's obvious you never really read - or thought about what I was saying. you latched on the controversial statement - proliferation - and stopped thinking. Typical.

The point was - YES - the Jihadist movement is largely and conveniently stateless. Excepting in some financing and the Saudi sponsored Madrassa system. But this is because there is no viable structure for the frustrations of these Jihadi foot soldiers to be channeled and directed.

So, therefore, you help CREATE a state - such as a powerful Iran that attracts the type of actor who would go stateless. Then you have not only a point of negotiation but a target should something "military" happen. You do this by both economic incentives, enticing them to be more democratic where possible, and by allowing them to developed a regionally strategic defense system. And unfortunately - because of a Nuclear Israel - that (theoretically) should include nukes. it is the missing ingredient.

Now this ain't just my theory. A number of very smart - very liberal - people have suggested this.

We did this kind of thing in reverse with Iraq. We created another failed state by disarming it. To disastrous effect.

And the point about a nuke going off on US soil. You really think people would go for a Law & Order solution to something like that when we invading a country on the fucking RUMOR they had nukes? I don't advocate targeting a religious center
but we should make in known that we would target strategic cities in *retaliation* for such a thing. As that may have some deterrent effect to State actors. Regardless if they are involved - it would be the only strategic move left in an impossible situation.

Excuse me, though. I have to adjust my shiny hat.
posted by tkchrist at 12:41 PM on July 19, 2005


And it's obvious you never really read - or thought about what I was saying. you latched on the controversial statement - proliferation - and stopped thinking. Typical.

No, i did read it, I just felt that that particular line summed up the crazy best.


So, therefore, you help CREATE a state - such as a powerful Iran that attracts the type of actor who would go stateless. Then you have not only a point of negotiation but a target should something "military" happen. You do this by both economic incentives, enticing them to be more democratic where possible,


You assume that the extremists will align themselves with this new state? They see democracy as un-muslim.

They would only be attracted by a fully islamic state, a dictatorship based on their personal interpretation of Islam.

Now this ain't just my theory. A number of very smart - very liberal - people have suggested this.


Who? And why does it matter if they are liberal or not. I would reckon they are crazy weather liberal or right wing.

As that may have some deterrent effect to State actors.

That's if you can get the terrorists to align themselves with these countries.
posted by Meccabilly at 12:52 PM on July 19, 2005


funambulist:

It's hard to "catch" them when they blow themselves up or perish in the same crashed airplane.

There needs to be prevention. And the only people who can help prevent this are other Muslims.

Dr_J:

I'm not sure what you mean. If a particular family at 313 Saddam Street lets an insurgent sleep in their house, and know that he goes out during the day and throws grenades at guard houses and shoots at convoys, they are culpable and are no longer innocent bystanders/civilians. Do we not storm their house because they are civilians?

They are the ones who can help stop this. We have to motivate them to do the right thing and turn them in. If that can be accomplished via fear of reprisal, then so be it. I no longer care at this point.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:52 PM on July 19, 2005


If that can be accomplished via fear of reprisal, then so be it. I no longer care at this point.

That is sad to hear.
posted by Meccabilly at 12:57 PM on July 19, 2005


Revenge does not equal justice.

Who said anything about justice? If New York get's nuked we aren't talking about justice anymore. The system would go ape shit.

Again are you people not paying attention? We invaded a country on the rumor it had nukes. What do think would happen if we actually GOT nuked?

I'm not saying how things SHOULD be. I'm telling you how things are. Arrest the perpetrators? Who is fucking fantasizing now?
posted by tkchrist at 1:05 PM on July 19, 2005


Do you REALLY think fear or reprisal are going to solve this problem? Really? Because this question is the hinge for the whole issue, ultimately. People opposed to the conpletely wacky idea of bombing Mecca are suggesting that such a reprisal is likely only to radicalize Muslims. I have a strong suspicion that knocking down the door of "313 Saddam Street" and locking up insurgents or anyone else who might be floating around is likely to do the same, though on a smaller scale. The many-headed hydra is not threatened by the lopping off of a few.

(a slight aside, but I wonder whether you distinguish between people who aim there attacks at convoys and those who aim their attacks at civilian targets. Once upon a time we distinguished between these two groups, now they are painted in the same cloth. God knows we've praised and supported the former role ourselves at many points in our history)
posted by Dr_Johnson at 1:10 PM on July 19, 2005


I have a strong suspicion that knocking down the door of "313 Saddam Street" and locking up insurgents or anyone else who might be floating around is likely to do the same, though on a smaller scale. The many-headed hydra is not threatened by the lopping off of a few.

That's why the military option will never defeat terrorism. You can't have a war on a concept. It's like having a war on war.
posted by Meccabilly at 1:14 PM on July 19, 2005


You assume that the extremists will align themselves with this new state?

Reading comprehension. You will drain the pool of future recruits by giving an more legitimate, rational and beneficial alternative to living in caves or blowing themselves up. People will act in their self interests if they see that they can. The extremisit would have to deal with a Mulim superpower. they would have no choice.

During the age of the bilateral superpowers these SAME groups were kept somewhat in check. If they had a "side" or a sponsor, with similar culture, that had actual status and power they would align with it.

The cold war is rife with examples of this.

They see democracy as un-muslim

Bullshit. They see western capitalism and imperialism as un-Muslim - they see globalism as un-Muslim. They don't know - except in brief instances in Indonesia - what democracy actually IS. They don't have the critical mass yet to evolve it. You need a fully evolved state on power parody with a western state to do this. Iran has the economic engine to do it - with oil - but they lack the power. The might.

We could allow Iran to develop limited nukes in exchange for them recognizing Israel, etc.
posted by tkchrist at 1:20 PM on July 19, 2005


You will drain the pool of future recruits by giving an more legitimate, rational and beneficial alternative to living in caves or blowing themselves up.


Because the terrorists are simply looking for some home comforts?

People will act in their self interests if they see that they can. The extremist would have to deal with a Muslim superpower. they would have no choice.


Would these new superpowers be democracies or Islamic states?

Bullshit. They see western capitalism and imperialism as un-Muslim - they see globalism as un-Muslim. They don't know - except in brief instances in Indonesia - what democracy actually IS. They don't have the critical mass yet to evolve it. You need a fully evolved state on power parody with a western state to do this. Iran has the economic engine to do it - with oil - but they lack the power. The might.

The Islamic extremists view western culture as corrupting the pure islam. They believe that their governments have sold out and their politicians are non-muslims. They belive the only government should be one based solely on the Koran and since there is only one set of laws, only one truth, then there is no point to elections. Therefor they think that democracy is un-muslim.
posted by Meccabilly at 1:35 PM on July 19, 2005


>> The aggressor in this situation would look pretty inane and
>> make a martyr out of the holy site if a bomb hit it and it was
>> still standing afterwards....

> Actually, nukes do a little bit more damage now.

The accuracy with which you can hit the target and the considerably greater explosive yields you get from modern nuclear weapons allows the military to lay waste to pretty much anything... and don't think the military wouldn't hit the target again if it looked even vaguely intact after an attack. If you tell the military to wreck something and you order them to use a nuclear solution you get exactly what you asked for: horrible, inconceivable destruction.

We're not even talking about an ICBM strike with a megaton+ weapon, and probably not even a single warhead SLBM attack (at around 475 kilotons). It's more likely that any attack would involve a single cruise missile with a (roughly) 200 kiloton equivalent explosive power warhead.

Let's put that in perspective... take more than one and a half million refrigerators, or, say, two Nimitz class Aircraft Carriers; translate that mass into TNT and drop it on something. On someone. Then blow it up... and that's a relatively small nuclear weapon by modern standards.
posted by snarfodox at 1:51 PM on July 19, 2005


tkchrist: One tiny little problem with your idea is that the Wahhabites like Osama despise Shiite Iran just as much as "the West" (which is why they keep killing Iraqi Shiites and may even have attacked Iran itself).

Everybody else: Just how stupid is this, really? Just apart from the sheer monstruous immorality of nuking any city, I can just point out at one precedent in history where an imperial power in the Middle East decided to deal with a bunch of violent religious zealots by destroying their most holy site. Nearly 2000 years later, Temple Mount is still a place of discord.
posted by Skeptic at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2005


Would these new superpowers be democracies or Islamic states?

Whatever. As long as they are stable.

The Islamic extremists view western culture as corrupting the pure islam...blah blah blah

No shit. Goddamn your obtuse. I know Extremism IS. That isn't the issue. The point is to evolve the movements - or the people they target - and force them to align them by necessity. History proves this effective.

Look Bin Laden isn't just going to go apply for Iranian citizenship if Iran becomes a viable power. Ok. You are so missing the point.

But Bin Laden will have to DEAL with a powerful Iran. His potential followers will be philosophically moved to them in one sense or another - just like under the thousands of extremists kept in check with Pan-Arabism in the 50-60's. Like under Nassir and his alignment with the USSR. And Nassir was a colossal fucking failure, but they STILL name buildings, build statues after the guy. Because Nassir could walk with the big boys in the super-powers. He was aligned with a nuclear power.

Look, is this "theory"? Hell yes. But most of you are just parroting the same tired shit with no details how you'd make anything work.
posted by tkchrist at 2:08 PM on July 19, 2005


I wonder if there is some way to convince the mid-East community that Rep. Tom Tancredo in no way represents even the marginally sane population of the USA.

One hates to think there are people who might actually be reading the headlines over there and thinking that the USA is actually a nuclear threat to the mid-East.

'cause that sort of shit would surely just encourage the less-sane ones over there to go all gung-ho for joining terrorist gangs.

Come to think of it, Tom's spew must surely be construed as an action that harms the USA's national security. Can't something be done about that? I'm sure it can't be legal.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:29 PM on July 19, 2005


I have a strong suspicion that knocking down the door of "313 Saddam Street" and locking up insurgents or anyone else who might be floating around is likely to do the same, though on a smaller scale. The many-headed hydra is not threatened by the lopping off of a few.

Ok, so addressing it at the micro level, the individual insurgents, won't work. And, addressing it at the macro level, i.e. blowing up their entire town, won't work.

What, pray tell, would work? Asking nicely?

As I said above, I hate discussing this topic because it is so hard to be objective about it. If that is a failing on my part, then so it is. I can't help it.

Arresting a few radicals is not going to stop suicide bombers. And it is not going to stop those who support them, both financially and ideologically.

It is going to take a kind of heinous retribution that we don't have the stomach for in the USA. So, I guess all hope is lost. We just "endure" terrorist attacks, wherever they occur, and don't force those who support them to stop it.

What do we do? Hell if I know. But nothing so far is working, so I'm ready for new ideas.

However, as I said above... what do we have to offer them? They want us dead, destroyed, eliminated.

I don't think giving them trips to Disneyworld and memberships to Augusta National is going to appease their religious fervor.

If you were President, what could you offer "the terrorists" (whoever that is) that would appease them and make them say "Oh, you guys are alright"? What do you have to offer that they even want, except our demise?
posted by Ynoxas at 2:38 PM on July 19, 2005


I want vengeance. I want justice. I want to kill 25 of "them" when they kill 25 of our soldiers.
But I don't know how.
The "innocent" civilians are knowingly housing and aiding the insurgents. When do they cease being "innocent"? When do they begin to pay for their participation?


If any nation were to invade the USA, would you house and aid insurgents? I would.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:39 PM on July 19, 2005


Has anybody drawn a correlation to what happened in hiroshima & nagasaki?
How many people died in Perl Harbor?
How was the government at the time compared to our current one?

I am supprised that it didn't happen. The only thing that I think saved the holysites was G.W.'s connections money wise, oil wise, etc. I don't think the current administration would have any qualms at all.
posted by djlerman at 2:54 PM on July 19, 2005


If any nation were to invade the USA, would you house and aid insurgents? I would.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:39 PM CST on July 19 [!]


That's a fair question fff, and I don't know that I have an answer. But I know I would expect retribution if the enemy found out I was supporting the insurgency. I would know what I was doing was "wrong" and punishable.

And, the only thing that would deter me would be if the enemy were to massacre people by the hundreds who also supported the insurgency. Arresting someone across the street and giving them a stern talking to would not deter me. But certain death for me and my family would.

I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand.

On preview: djlerman, I'm fairly well convinced the ONLY reason most of the middle east was not bombed flat with conventional weapons is because of Shrub's connection to the Saudi ruling family. I figure his dad was connected first, considering Shrub couldn't do anything on his own without his daddy's help for most of his life.
posted by Ynoxas at 3:02 PM on July 19, 2005


It is going to take a kind of heinous retribution that we don't have the stomach for in the USA

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Heart of Darkness. I'm only surprised it took so long.

Again, you appear to be seeing the solution in terms of battling the bearers of an idea, rather than the idea itself. The political scientist Ernest Gellner once pointed out that such 'purification' movements are endemic to Islam, as they are endemic to other religions as well (note the 'great awakenings' found in evangelical christianity from time to time). Trying to stop it through violence will, I guarantee you, only inflame their will. Solutions which try to attack the body of the idea, rather than its many human manifestations, are likely to serve a better purpose. I know that the economic arguments often put foreward by the left lack the appeal of immediate action or outcomes, but at least they attempt to quell one of the major roots of radicalism, in the form of hopelessness and despair that arises from extremely poor life chances. Building infrastructure, producing a viable economy, and encouraging growth may have better effects than direct retaliation.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 3:15 PM on July 19, 2005


tkchrist: One tiny little problem with your idea is that the Wahhabites like Osama despise Shiite Iran just as much as "the West"

This was once true. But there are now Shia IN or working closely with AQ. And the point isn't to make Bin Laden suddenly Iranian. The point would be to make a regional State Power to rival him and syphon off - coopt - his message. And this DOES work.

Look. Iran is getting nukes if we want them to or not. We might as well make them official members of the club complimented with all the rules and consequences all us other club members have. Iran is a rational state - Islamic Republic or not. And rather than blow them the fuck up we should make THEM the overlords of these assholes.
posted by tkchrist at 3:36 PM on July 19, 2005


Tk: And it's obvious you never really read - or thought about what I was saying. you latched on the controversial statement - proliferation - and stopped thinking. Typical.
You think too much of yourself here. I read your idea, and it's dumb.

The point was - YES - the Jihadist movement is largely and conveniently stateless. Excepting in some financing and the Saudi sponsored Madrassa system. But this is because there is no viable structure for the frustrations of these Jihadi foot soldiers to be channeled and directed.
Why not have them try gym? Or masturbation?

So, therefore, you help CREATE a state - such as a powerful Iran that attracts the type of actor who would go stateless. Then you have not only a point of negotiation but a target should something "military" happen. You do this by both economic incentives, enticing them to be more democratic where possible, and by allowing them to developed a regionally strategic defense system. And unfortunately - because of a Nuclear Israel - that (theoretically) should include nukes. it is the missing ingredient.
No, and here's why: The US tried influencing Iranian policy fairly openly, well, until about 1979. So, the current government (a totalitarian Shiite state) bases its popularity on diametrical opposition to the US. That's how they unite the crowd, same as Hitler or Stalin (since totalitarianism requires constant mobilization). Because of their internal military strength, the Mullahs are able to stave off any real internal democratic reform. The anti-US sentiment runs so high that their president, a democratic-minded reformer, would castigate the US even over earthquake aid.
So, your proposal is that we "let them have" nukes by easing up on the IAEA inspections and removing embargos. Ok. Say they do get nukes. Their international cachet increases, but so does the internal cachet of the clerics. As Iran is already an on-again-off-again state sponsor of terrorism against Israel, why would they stop? There's less incentive now if they can legitimately threaten to nuke Iraq, our 51st state.
Second off, the thought is that somehow their radicalization would be limited by the new found credibility. Why? The US is still going to push for democratisation and secular societies, if only because those are the societies that buy Nikes. The young of Iran are going to be just as motivated to consume, to be cool, to be untraditional, as they are now, unless you're endorsing a brutal crackdown. That's the true force of change within Iran, and because of that, those are the clerics' real enemies. Because of the need to maintain mobilization, and because of their newfound nuclear power, the Iranians are going to be even more belligerant in order to keep domestic control. (Think of the clerics as Bismark in robes).
So, while your theory might legitimately weaken the ability of Arab terrorists to attack the US, it would be bad for both US interests and the world at large. A better course of action is for the US to continue to moderately oppose Iranian regional hegemony, allow them greater nuclear power plant (but not nuclear weapon) technology, and appeal to the middle, counting on the long march of global liberalism to undermine their support.

Now this ain't just my theory. A number of very smart - very liberal - people have suggested this.
Ah, an appeal to authority.
The idea is flawed, impatient, reckless and unlikely to have the intended effects. Perhaps there's a job for you in the Bush administration after all.
posted by klangklangston at 3:39 PM on July 19, 2005


...the only thing that would deter me would be if the enemy were to massacre people by the hundreds who also supported the insurgency.

Ah. Well there's the difference between you and I: if the invading country took to massacring those of us supporting the insurgents, I'd become an insurgent myself.

I am surprised you would choose to play along with an invasion of America.

If most of America is that meek, perhaps a more enlightened country -- ie. one that looks after its own citizens better, providing quality social welfare that ensures everyone has personal health and safety -- should take over the USA.

I suggest you encourage Norway to invade.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:47 PM on July 19, 2005


As Iran is already an on-again-off-again state sponsor of terrorism against Israel, why would they stop?

Who cares if they stop? The point is IF they are state sponsored by Iran then Iran becomes a target. If Iran uses nukes Iran get's nuked. And you have nothing to prove your assertions whether an Atomic Iran would be more belligerent or less internally progressive than it would be otherwise. Fucking complete speculation.

So, while your theory might legitimately weaken the ability of Arab terrorists to attack the US

And BINGO. That's the plan, Sam.

it would be bad for both US interests and the world at large.

And you provide no argument to support that at all. All though. Sure. It COULD be bad. But things are bad either way we go.

Ah, an appeal to authority.

No. It's the truth. It ain't MY idea. I wasn't laying claim to it just suggesting it as a possibility other than your...uh...your... what were you saying to do again? What were the details? Oh. Yeah. Right. There were none. How many times do one of you guys drop Chompsky or Zinn? So just shut the fuck up.

The idea is flawed, impatient, reckless and unlikely to have the intended effects. Perhaps there's a job for you in the Bush administration after all.

And just so crazy it might work.

Ok. Now your just rude. So. Like. Fuck off asshole.
posted by tkchrist at 4:00 PM on July 19, 2005


I suggest you encourage Norway to invade.

I thought they already had?

FFF is right. I have admit that if I were Iraqi it would be likely I would be an insurgent. That is the situation we have placed ourselves. Where we are the Redcoats.
posted by tkchrist at 4:13 PM on July 19, 2005


Right on, tk. Also, Tancredo's comments are useful in that they spotlight the consensus view (at least in the red states) that the US is at war with Islam. He sure seems to think so.
posted by squirrel at 8:14 PM on July 19, 2005


"Who cares if they stop? The point is IF they are state sponsored by Iran then Iran becomes a target. If Iran uses nukes Iran get's nuked. And you have nothing to prove your assertions whether an Atomic Iran would be more belligerent or less internally progressive than it would be otherwise. Fucking complete speculation."
Ah. So the plan is to actively encourage an increase in hostility? And wait, you provide no evidence (and dismiss the question) that Iran would be less belligerent, and yet I'm the speculator? Nice one, crank.
"And BINGO. That's the plan, Sam."
Right. So, it reduces Islamic Arab terrorism, while doing nothing to reduce secular Arab terrorism or Persian Islamic terrorism, with the added bonus of creating a more defiant hard-line theocracy? Sorry if that doesn't sound like much of a plan, Chief.
"And you provide no argument to support that at all. All though. Sure. It COULD be bad. But things are bad either way we go."
The argument is that providing a totalitarian government bent on internal violent repression with the means to ensure its own immunity to change is the same retarded line of thought that gave us the Shah in the first place.
"No. It's the truth. It ain't MY idea. I wasn't laying claim to it just suggesting it as a possibility other than your...uh...your... what were you saying to do again? What were the details? Oh. Yeah. Right. There were none. How many times do one of you guys drop Chompsky or Zinn? So just shut the fuck up."
What was I saying we do? Battle ideology with cultural liberalism, counting on the generational drift to weaken social control and working actively to suport economic development (noting that materialism is the enemy of fundamentalism), while maintaining a moderate stance and eschewing inept power machinations. Details include withdrawing opposition to Iran's nuclear power program, so long as there are severe IAEA caveats; increasing the ability of Iranian expats to communicate with their relatives; toning down anti-Iranian rhetoric and supporting a diversification of their economy through ECOSOC... You know, complex answers to complex problems. But no, because some liberal you read on the net says that Iran should get the bomb, you think that's a great idea.
And Chompsky? Zinn? What the fuck straws are you grasping at? You might have noted that I'm endorsing a modified neo-liberal platform, something that both Zinn and Chompsky would disagree with. But hey, keep windmilling your arms, you might hit eventually.
"And just so crazy it might work.

Ok. Now your just rude. So. Like. Fuck off asshole."
Just so crazy it might work? Excuse me if I don't take my foreign policy ideas from the fucking A-Team, Murdock.
Promoting policy that's so crazy it might work would fit in great with the current "Hey, we'll probably be greeted as liberators" crew.
And don't get mad at me just because you were spouting stupid shit on the internet, chinstrap.
posted by klangklangston at 9:19 PM on July 19, 2005


It's a stupid idea, but not any more stupid than the assholes on the Left who think all wars are corrupt; or think that invading Iraq was the worst idea ever (i.e, it was a good, reasonable, if not great idea).
posted by ParisParamus at 9:59 PM on July 19, 2005


This is a more interesting idea: get Hamas to go to war against Al Qaeda, to keep them busy, and leave us alone. But no nukes, please.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:06 PM on July 19, 2005


If WMDs are not found in Iraq, and in large quantity (or at least objective evidence that they were destroyed), then, in terms of American politics, the war was a sham, and the President should be indicted.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:57 AM EST on April 29

posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:27 PM on July 19, 2005


they were found, and there was objerctivee evidence they were destroyed. And moved. Dick. ;-)
posted by ParisParamus at 10:30 PM on July 19, 2005


ROBL
posted by ParisParamus at 10:30 PM on July 19, 2005


they were found, and there was objerctivee evidence they were destroyed. And moved.

Destroyed and moved? Links, please.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:42 PM on July 19, 2005


Found AND destroyed AND moved.

I'm sure PP will be able to provide you with all the "CNSnews" and LGF links that point to the evidence -- evidence which no respectable news organization will go near with a ten foot pole... must be a conspiracy of that damn lib'rul media.
posted by clevershark at 10:47 PM on July 19, 2005


To the extent there would ever be evidence of such, there's evidence of movement of large quantities of shit to Syria.

In any case, people who, at this juncture, assign any legitimacy to UN conclusions about WMDs Iraq had are beyond the pale. The war was 200% legitimated by the conclusions of all the world's major intelligence organizations; Hussein's use of WMDs against his own people, as well as against Iran, and his perpetual inspection bullshit campaign. The only unfortunate thing about the Iraq war was that it wasn't done in 1998 or 1999. And thankfully, the American people agree with me.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:48 PM on July 19, 2005


clevershark, LGF is a superb source of information. What's your problem with it? The name? Have you ever read it?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:51 PM on July 19, 2005


To the extent there would ever be evidence of such, there's evidence of movement of large quantities of shit to Syria.

Do you have any real evidence or do I just have to trust you?

And thankfully, the American people agree with me.

You are a joke, Paris.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:58 PM on July 19, 2005


Wow, Paris, you just keep huffin' more and more of that gas as you're out in the shed longer and longer... I hear that you used to be reasonable, and yet you're defending LGF for a legitimate source? 9/11 really did just make you stop any attempt at critical thinking, didn't it?
posted by klangklangston at 11:06 PM on July 19, 2005


ParisParamus: to borrow your own words, you are "depraved and arrogant".
posted by mosch at 11:21 PM on July 19, 2005


It was only a matter of time before ParisParamus brought his own unique brand of absurd into the duscussion.

If you have any links to the evidence of any WMDs in iraq at the time of invasion please post now.

No. It's the truth. It ain't MY idea. I wasn't laying claim to it just suggesting it as a possibility


TK... who are these Liberals (or other) who think that nuclear proliferation is a good idea? Who are these powerful people... please post links to three or more people.... Or one person... any?... please.... that's all i'm asking. If you can show me it's not just the lunatic ravings of a 'net crazy I might have less contempt for the crazyness...

TK, you are on the list along with Paris... But you entertain me with the Crazy you spout so please don't go a'changin'...
posted by Meccabilly at 2:10 AM on July 20, 2005


It's hard to "catch" them when they blow themselves up or perish in the same crashed airplane.

Right, then, we've solved the problem already, because the terrorists already die, and there's no such thing as terrorist networks! Who would have thought?

How about, it's hard to catch terrorist networks when: you 'forget' about your top targets then round up a bunch of farmers from Afghan mountains to keep in a camp and practice all sorts of fun 'interrogation methods' on them; you rely on the most corrupt intelligence service of a military regime to which you're tied in a peculiar sort of alliance that dates back to collaborationg in funding those very terrorist networks; you cut off investigations into funding of the biggest terrorist attack in history; you have financial ties to the wealthiest countries that do still finance terrorists, so you bomb the poorer countries instead; you create more terrorists by bombing said countries, and allow them to roam free and kidnap people at will. Need we go on?

There needs to be prevention. And the only people who can help prevent this are other Muslims.

Well, maybe the intelligence capacities of ordinary citizens, Muslims or otherwise, far outstrips that of the CIA and MI5 and all other secret services and respective military and governments put together, but it's still the latter's job, and unlike ordinary citizens, they get well paid for it.

Keep fantasising about nukes instead of fantasising about accountability for elected politicians. After all, both are about as inapplicable, it seems.
posted by funambulist at 2:50 AM on July 20, 2005


Sorry...that was clear as mud...I'm not feeling quite tip-top today, please excuse the confusion.

No...NOT a self-reference. Here's what happened: So...no self-referencing intent.

I posted the FPP first...read the comments...created a comment myself that became embarasingly long...tried to atone for my sins in the blue by putting the dratted essay-length post somewhere else for those who don't wish to muddle and scroll through a 100 or so lines of post here.

I was just attempting to substitute in-the-blue slogging for short link to off-site blogging.

I need to stop mixing my media or maxing my manuscripts.

Apologies for any confusion. I'll haul out the ole' HPO-Day excuse: Surgery + Medication + Posting = Whaaaa?

Oh...and yes, Leia Amidon is Dunvegan. (Although sometimes in my head they get into the occasional ideological drunken wet t-shirt wrasslin', ultimately there's not much I can do about it.)
posted by Dunvegan at 3:21 AM on July 20, 2005


Battle ideology with cultural liberalism, counting on the generational drift to weaken social control and working actively to support economic development (noting that materialism is the enemy of fundamentalism), while maintaining a moderate stance and eschewing inept power machinations.

Oh. Jeebus. Who says I don't, and the theory I espouse, support ALL those things? I certainly favor all that, sparky.

But all those things could... no strike that-- WILL take decades. How long will it take to create a bomb? What? Five-six years at most?

Bush invading Iraq has essentially made it a necessity for states like Iran to have a strategic stand off deterrent. The lesson of Iraq is this... if you want to deter the crazy Americans you better have nukes.

So. Look. Iran is GOING to get the bomb. They are almost there NOW. With the technical expertise provided by NK and AQ Kahn. Who knows. It is going to happen anyway. So what are you going to do? Sanctions? What? Because the classic response to IAEA violations in times past have not done shit.

What state was deterred by IAEA? Brazil? Maybe. Iraq? Only partially. With the full weight of military intervention and economic deprivation. And look what that did? And sanctions or any economic punitive action against Iran will also "entrench" the mullahs and cause domestic repression. Like it has in NK, like it did in Iraq and Pakistan. It will make it more necessary for Iran to conduct covert terror sponsorship to sway local rivals.

Oh my gawd you endorse repression and terror! Noooooo!

So it's going to happen. Iran WILL get nukes. And we should therefore GET something from it.

God damn it. Knock off the insults and Think!

That FACT is, history proves, that when a state goes nuclear it becomes MORE stable and it's neighbors LESS hostile. Am I endorsing that every state get a bomb. Fuck no. So calm your ass down. But THAT region requires that somebody balance Israel. Neutralize their importance to the west. And Israel will NEVER give up their nukes.

Yeah. It's a radical theory. But your "theory" is toothless and inert. You ignore reality.

So lighten up on the ad homs and fucking think before your knee jerks.
posted by tkchrist at 10:28 AM on July 20, 2005


"But all those things could... no strike that-- WILL take decades. How long will it take to create a bomb? What? Five-six years at most?"
Wow, it's almost like you had a realization: Truly effective Middle East policy will take decades to effect, especially to overcome our negative image. Trying to do something rash like allowing nuclear weapons is, well, ill-considered at best.
"So what are you going to do? Sanctions? What? Because the classic response to IAEA violations in times past have not done shit."
Development aid administered by the UN is the best ideological weapon that we have. Despite Iran's oil wealth, they have a need to diversify into high tech sectors, and need Western expertise. By administering aid programs through the UN, we can encourage greater connectivity while avoiding the taint of open US clientelism. The goal shouldn't be forcing them not to adopt the bomb, but making it in their own best interests to eschew one and making sure that they feel engaged and relatively safe (while continuing to criticize them on their human rights abuses). And Iran's been held off of the bomb so far by the IAEA. It's far from a forgone conclusion that they'll get one.
"That FACT is, history proves, that when a state goes nuclear it becomes MORE stable and it's neighbors LESS hostile."
Right. That's why the DPRK is the kindest, most gentle nation on earth. That's why there haven't been continual border clashes between India and Pakistan, especially post bomb tests. History flat out does not support your assertion.
"Like it has in NK, like it did in Iraq and Pakistan. It will make it more necessary for Iran to conduct covert terror sponsorship to sway local rivals."
Sorry, that's just wrong again. The DPRK didn't become repressive because of sanctions, it became repressive and we imposed sanctions after they failed to abide by the anti-proliferation treaty. And the assertion that Iran would have to "sway local rivals" is totally a product of your mind. The idea that Iran would choke back on supporting Hezbollah because they were secure with a bomb is ludicrous. It simply does not follow.
"That FACT is, history proves, that when a state goes nuclear it becomes MORE stable and it's neighbors LESS hostile. Am I endorsing that every state get a bomb. Fuck no. So calm your ass down. But THAT region requires that somebody balance Israel. Neutralize their importance to the west. And Israel will NEVER give up their nukes."
So, the easier answer would be to distance ourselves from Israeli military aid. That would do us more good in the Middle East than trying to allow Iran to gain nuclear weapons (which they'd surely share with Syria, which would then have no problem extending its influence in Lebanon. Which would compromise one of the most secular and progressive societies in the Arab world...)
"Yeah. It's a radical theory. But your "theory" is toothless and inert. You ignore reality."
The attraction of the radical must matter more to you than it does to me. You're not going to shoe-horn the Middle East into your radically regressive policy view of the cold war MAD deterrent.
"So lighten up on the ad homs and fucking think before your knee jerks."
Again, you accuse me of a knee-jerk response because your idea is a dangerous and ignorant one. Oh, and as a side note: I have yet to say that we shouldn't listen to your idea because of some characteristic of yours. Rather, I've held that you're putting forth a retarded idea that fails on its own merits. Your understanding of Middle East policy is as shallow as your understanding of logical fallacies.
posted by klangklangston at 2:18 PM on July 20, 2005


Wow, it's almost like you had a realization

Wow. It's almost like you weren't arrogant and condescending either. Did I ever SAY that solutions to the middleast were not long term in nature? No. The problem being that Iran is going to developed a bomb NOW. So we have limited time to take advantage of that.

It's far from a forgone conclusion that they'll get one.

See. What a crock of shit. You cannot be serious. You tell me this in three or four years. We will revisit that. I KNOW it will happen. You will be eating crow. Be sure to prepare your spin now, though.

So, the easier answer would be to distance ourselves from Israeli military aid

Another thing I advocate. Golly. Kooky ol' me. Unlikely though given who is the whitehouse, huh?

which they'd surely share with Syria, which would then have no problem extending its influence in Lebanon. Which would compromise one of the most secular and progressive societies in the Arab world

WHAT!? You REALLY think Iran would share it's nukes with Syria? Is anybody else reading this?

Persian Iran would share nukes with Arab Syria. Just because Teheran (under pressure of a near-by US invasion) issued some PR about sharing science with Syria youthink that means some strategic alliance that would include the Holy Grail of power? You really belive that and I know your an idiot.

I have yet to say that we shouldn't listen to your idea because of some characteristic of yours.

Oh, no saying things like: Perhaps there's a job for you in the Bush administration after all; Excuse me if I don't take my foreign policy ideas from the fucking A-Team

None of that was meant as a personal dig at mental state or to imply anything personal. No. Not you. Your statement about me working for the Bush administration was in no way (guilt by) associating me with Neocon philosophy when clearly I am not. No. Not you.

No, bud. You didn't listen at all.

Could this theory be a crock. Sure. But you wouldn't know.

I'm done with you asshole. Plonk.
posted by tkchrist at 3:27 PM on July 20, 2005


"Persian Iran would share nukes with Arab Syria. Just because Teheran (under pressure of a near-by US invasion) issued some PR about sharing science with Syria youthink that means some strategic alliance that would include the Holy Grail of power? You really belive that and I know your an idiot."
You do know, of course, that Iran and Syria share the financing of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and that Iran and Syria have been quite open about working with each other in the region, right? The change in Iran's relations with Syria came, oddly enough, when Syria supported the first US-Iraq war. While Iran had no official position, it was unofficially gleeful about the invasion of Iraq, and relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt thawed some. Iran even openly backed Syrian intervention in Lebanon after the assissination of Hariri. So your apopleptics over the supposed alliance are roughly the same as saying "France and England would never work together! Why, France is Catholic and England is Protestant! And they speak different languages!" At the very least, a nuclear Iran would project force into Lebanon, under the auspices of protecting the Shia there (because there is no official census, the Iranians hold that the Muslim population is predominantly Shia, and that having the strong presidential office held constitutionally by a Sunni is an oppressive system, even though they worked to support that president when his ouster was called for during the intifadah for independence). So, yeah, a nuclear Iran could be counted on to use that influence to become increasingly belligerent in Southern Lebanon and would likely share the technology with Syria, in order to further compromise Israel.
"See. What a crock of shit. You cannot be serious. You tell me this in three or four years. We will revisit that. I KNOW it will happen. You will be eating crow. Be sure to prepare your spin now, though."
Right. Three or four years, that's your prediction? We'll see. Here's what has to happen for Iran to avoid going nuclear: They have to be given power development aid, most likely by the EU. The US has to take a position of moderate neutrality (as opposed to restrained aggression), and work actively on bringing Iran into the community of nations. We can make being non-nuclear worth their while. If we hadn't invaded Iraq, we'd be able to make a credible threat of force, but we can't now, so we'll have to convince NATO to do a little saber rattling. We'll have to stymie their development of nuclear weapon technology, which is quite separate from nuclear power technology. If Khan had worked with Iran (which isn't publicly proven one way or the other yet), then it's still going to take them years to build the facillities to even have a test bomb. And, since Iran isn't able to send students abroad, they have a serious scientific deficit (unlike Pakistan and India, who had plenty of students able to come to the West).
Even if they're working on it actively now (which we can't say how much they're actively on it and how much is bluster), it's going to take five or six years at least just to build all of the infrastructure needed to support the testing.
"None of that was meant as a personal dig at mental state or to imply anything personal. No. Not you. Your statement about me working for the Bush administration was in no way (guilt by) associating me with Neocon philosophy when clearly I am not. No. Not you."
You don't know what an ad hominem is, do you? It's not just an insult, you baboon, it's implying that your idea isn't valid BECAUSE of that insult. If I had said that you couldn't be trusted on this because you were an Iranian ex-pat who wanted to see Iranian prestige increased, and because of that we couldn't trust you, or if I had said that you had gotten all of your information from World Nut Daily, and because of that we couldn't trust you, those are ad hominem attacks. Or if I pointed out that because you don't know the difference between "you're" and "your," your argument falls on its face. That would be an ad hominem attack. Just saying that your idea is dumb, and because of your combative promotion of your dumb idea, you must be a moron, that's not an ad hominem. That's an insult. If you weren't a moron, you'd understand the difference in implied causation.
posted by klangklangston at 6:49 AM on July 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


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