CNN is reporting that the FBI is warning of suicide attacks in the United States. This, unfortunately, is a no-brainer. The terror that was been waged in Israel is exactly the kind of terror we are going to see in the United States. Ever since 9/11 I’ve been worried that we would start to see this. I don’t think it will take very many such attacks to really cripple the American way of life. We will probably be very willing to slash civil liberties after the 10th bomb goes off. It will be not be pretty and I sincerely hope it doesn’t start happening.
Now the best way to eliminate your enemies is to turn them into friends. I’m not suggesting we kiss and make up with the likes of Osama Bin Laden, but I do believe that our mid-East policy is so horrible that we causing our own problems. We need to have a balanced and rational and not utterly self-serving policy in the middle East. We need to be fair and we need to prove that we mean to harm to the Arab and Muslin people. This may be hard because the neo-Conservatives do mean them harm!. They have a Biblical approach to policy in the middle East and it is completely nuts. We absolutely, for sure, need a win-win approach to the middle East and this is a mindset the Bush administration is incapable of.
6 thoughts on “Suicide Attacks”
The bigger point of my earlier and much longer post was to say that every group has its breaking point and the terrorists “win” whenever they get either us or the moderate Muslim world to hit our respective breaking points.
Its not just a matter of not offending moderate Muslims while we look for a win-win relationship with men who glorify the killing of 2 year old girls and pregnant women. Its also a matter of not letting something hit our country that makes us lose our collective minds and go facist. I think you see the need to not offend the moderate muslim world quite clearly and that is a very good start. I just want you to also recognize that our people are not some bedrock of reason and logic. If the offense is bad enough and if the images we see on TV are more than we can handle, then the American public can potentially snap and turn into the sort of nation everyone pretends to fear when they slander us for their own political convenience.
That is the biggest danger I see and I believe that is the goal of the extremist muslim terrorists. If they can push us over the edge, then we become the instrument they need to polarize the Islamic world and to recreate it in their image.
That is exactly what I wish to prevent and I am perfectly willing to support the use of any means possible to quietly and discretely eliminate these thugs before they can accomplish their goals. Murder, assasination, contract killing or whatever you wish to call it is fine so long as we prevent another 911 and prevent the larger political changes that will eventually occur as a result of it.
I think the single biggest problem in Saudi Arabia are the elements of their religous community that teach intollerance and hatred. They are the ones who will bring any internal Saudi problem into focus by characterizing it as an American problem.
Unless the Saudi royal family comes up with a better approach, I do not think their government will last another 10 years.
Do you have any idea how many Germans we killed in the first few years of occupation?
There can be no appeasement or win-win scenarios with the extremists. The want to kill innocent men, women and children for their own agenda. I am not saying we kill everyone, but I propose we do kill the leaders and we do kill anyone who demonstrates the ability and the will do hit us. We find them and we take them down first whenever possible.
We have some serious issues in the mid-east. I recently read that a large amount of the young men in Saudi Arabia sympathized with Bin Laden. Add chronic unemployement to that mix and you have a country with some serious problems.
It’s no coincidence that the land of our “friends and allies” was home to most of the hijackers.
Additionally, the Royal Family is increasing viewed as too pro-US. Saudi Arabia is in trouble and we won’t be able to simply kill off all possible terrorists in the country. Unfortunately, I think much of what we do now hurts our standing with them. Whatever the answer is, we’ll have to find it soon.
You said “We do it by being brutal, unconcerned with legal restrictions and relentless.”
This is nuts. I don’t think it is possible to successfully dominate or eliminate our “enemies” with these tactics. We can’t kill ’em all and the more we do kill the more motivated those we don’t kill are. If it takes $50,000 to mount a 9/11 type of attack, we cannot ever be safe in such a world.
Of course, there are some extremists, but as you and I agree, your average Arab/Muslim IS a rational, moral person. The extremists are a minority. We need a win-win situation with the rational folks and the irrational extremists will no longer have an audience. Why aren’t we killing Germans and Japanese anymore? The extremists in those countries lost out.
Peace, man, is frickin’ possible! I insist it is.
I have a totally different take on this issue. How would you respond to a bully? Do you give him your lunch money and hope he will be nice to you? Do you whine “please leave me alone” and hope he has pity on you? Or do you hit him so hard his mother can feel it and give him a reason to avoid you in the future? I pick the later.
What you are saying makes sense if you suspend disbelief and assume you are dealing with reasonable, rational and honorable people. Islamic extremists are none of these things. Please understand that I am not talking about Muslims in general. I am only talking about the violent extremists out there. They are the danger we face. You are not going to make yourself safe from these people by appeasing them. You are not going to make yourself safe by becoming their friends. When the western powers gave Czechoslovakia to the Germans it did not appease them. It only encouraged them to take more.
These people glorify the nuts who turned commercial planes into weapons and killed thousands of men, women & children. I remember seeing a 2 year old little girl on the list of passengers for one of the hijacked planes on 911. I remember hearing about a pregnant woman who jumped out of the world trade center while it was burning. I watch other wackos murdering random Americans on TV. Are these the guys we should “be turning into our friends”?
I agree we are walking a tight rope here. If we take the wrong steps then we risk the danger of dramatically increasing the number of Islamic extremists. If we do this, then I think Bin Laden and his crew have won. I believe this is their real goal in fighting us anyway. They are trying to provoke us into actions and situations that can be used as a rally cry for their own cause. They are provoking us to do things to swell their ranks from a tiny percentage of the Islamic world to the dominant voice of Islam. That and the fact that we have dangerously overextended our military forces are my two biggest objections to our taking Iraq.
On the other hand, if we get hit again then we run a risk of the hawkish ranks in our own country swelling. Maybe the next 911 will be the critical breaking point or maybe it will be the one after that or another one somewhere down the road. Eventually, we as a nation will snap and become something we cannot imagine today. I don’t know about you, but this scares me more than the future 911 scenarios themselves.
I will explain. People are great and terrible. Each individual is capable of the best and worst that humanity can be. Groups of people, however, are like a dumb animal. Groups of people are more like sheep or lemings than anything else (fads like disco and country & western line dancing come to mind at this point). Groups are motivated most directly by base emotions like fear and greed. Greed IS the reason capitalism works. Mutually aligned self interest is the reason humanity bands together for anything constructive or destructive. Fear, however is also an incredible strong and consistent motivator of people and has been throughout recorded history. With the right catalyst, fear overrides all other motivations. Most hate is tied to fear of losing something we value or rationalizing something we have lost. I am not saying this hate is rational, but usually at the base of it is a fear of losing something or an anger about something that has been lost.
Now remember how wide eyed and “Charles Bronson” everyone got right after 911. If we could have targeted an offending nation in the days immediately after the tragedy, you probably could have had a majority of the American public in favor of a massive nuclear assault. What happens the next time? What if the next one kills 100,000 Americans? What if its a dirty bomb or a biological and our airwaves are filled with constant images of crying, ravaged American children who die in unspeakable ways before our very eyes?
To me, the change this will have on the American people is my biggest fear. The anger, fear and hatred that will fill our country after such a tragedy seems unavoidable to me. Thats the real nightmare. Our nation will snap. Civil liberties will be ignored and anyone who speaks up for them will be an object of scorn. Things like toleration and pity will disappear. We will effectively become a facist state. With the media being who they are, they will lead the charge in whatever direction public opinion sways them. That means you will have programming that makes Fox News look like the NPR.
Once all of this happens, then we will do something really stupid and give the billion plus muslims a bigger reason to become extremists and Bin Laden wins. He wins because this is another way to push us into doing things that allows him to unite the Arab world under his banner of hatred and intolerance. Ironically, he may not be able to convert his Islamic brothers to this banner until he has converted us first.
How do we stop this sort of nightmare from happening? We do it by being brutal, unconcerned with legal restrictions and relentless. Most importantly, we do it all very quietly. We hire the sorts of thugs that inhabit our nightmares and we give them a very generous bounty for every marked enemy they kill. We do it behind the scenes and keep the press quiet about it. I know a lot of liberals out there will choke on their granola when they hear some proposal like this, but you do not take out irrational, dedicated murderers with appeals to their reason or with legal procedures. You meet their force with a much harder and more agressive force of our own. You put aside a sense of morale superiority and do what is needed to survive. In short, you bring a gun to a knife fight. Not just to protect the lives of our citizens, but to also protect our very way of life.