...busting up my brains for the words

Monday, July 18, 2005

Mutually assured destruction

Hugh Hewitt's program today was very provocative material for thought on the Doomsday Machine. It was instigated by Congressman Tancredo's statement that perhaps the U.S. ought to come forth with a declaration that if the U.S. is attacked with WMD by Islamic terrorists, our response could be to "take out their holy sites."
Hugh decried this as stupid and insane. But is it? After all, it worked during the Cold War.

Hugh seems to be leaping one step ahead of Tancredo's statement:

PC: Now here's the other thing, too, with the possibility of an attack. I had Juval Aviv on the program last Friday. He's a former Israeli counter terrorism expert. He's claiming that an attack on U.S. soil is imminent, like the kind we saw in London, within the next 90 days. And he said it's not just going to be one city like New York or just major areas, but probably six, seven, eight cities, some of them right in the heartland. Worse case scenario, if they do have these nukes inside the borders, and they were to use something like that, what would our response be?

TT: What would be the 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.

PC: Such as?

TT: Well, what if you said something like if this happens in the United States, and we determine it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their Holy sites.

PC: You're talking about bombing Mecca.

TT: Yeah. I mean, what if you said, what if you said that this is the...we recognize that this is the ultimate threat to the United States. Therefore, this is the ultimate threat...this is the ultimate response. I mean, I don't know. I'm just throwing out there some ideas, because it seems to me at this point in time, or 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.
(text courtesy of Radio Blogger. Emphasis mine.)

If the terrorists believe that there is a good chance that a wmd attack on America would mean the vaporization of Mecca, who thinks for a moment an Islamic fundamentalist would provoke such a thing? Tancredo's point is not that Mecca would be destroyed, but rather that America and Mecca would be preserved through the draconian threat.

Further, such a threat should inspire the rest of Islam to be more proactive in stopping the terrorists from carrying out such an attack upon America.

Having said all this, I still do not think it's a good idea. For if it failed, America would then be obliged to carry through with it's horrible retaliation and this would most likely bring about Armageddon, as Hugh projected.

One of the best opinions voiced on the program was from Yonni. He pointed out that an urge to bomb Mecca under such circumstances as a wmd attack upon America is "normal". There would be an instant gratification in seeing Mecca vaporized in retaliation for the most deadly and destructive weapons unleashed upon one or more American cities. But it would lead to a worse situation than what we now have or would then have in the realization of a gigantic crater created in the place where New York City used to stand.

All of these scenarios are very, very frightening and dreadfully depressing. But I think Hugh is right, despite the fact that he did not make a thorough explanation of the differences between the effect that Tancredo's threat might have in preventing such a deadly attack, and the dire consequences of America's following through on its threat.
I am reminded of the best movie ever made about this subject, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. As the nuclear attack proceeds upon the USSR, it is revealed by the Russian ambassador, Alexi de Sadesky, that his country has a weapon known as the Doomsday Machine. Once a nuclear attack is launched upon the Soviet Union, this terrible weapon would automatically destroy the entire world. Thus, no one would dare attack them.
"But," it is pointed out by President Merkin Muffley, "such a threat will not be effective unless you tell people about it first. Why didn't you tell anyone?!"
The Russian ambassador glumly notes that it was to be revealed soon during the Soviet Premier's birthday celebration.
I think that's what Tancredo's musing was about. He never said we should implement such a threat. He only posed the idea that it might be considered. And I think he'd posed it in the spirit that it would be such an awful threat to the terrorists, it would stay their hand and we would never, never have to carry it out. For the vaporization of Mecca would be doomsday for the Islamofascists.


  • At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey PMB. I think that they both have good points. As much as I would like to see Mecca vaporized, we will have a major problem on our hands. There are Muslims all over the place. It would be like a war in every county.

    Take care,

  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger pinkmonkeybird said…

    Thanks for your comment, Scottyd.
    I am very confident that you would not really like to see Mecca vaporized. What you'd meant to say is that if the Islamofascists vaporized, say NYC, you would like to repay the evildoers in kind.

    Please forgive me for clarifying for you.

  • At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your right the evildoers. Scottyd needs to take a While you were at it you should have pointed out my misspelling of Only the right folks admit their mistakes.

  • At 11:21 PM, Blogger pinkmonkeybird said…

    On the contrary, you spelled county perfectly.
    You're too modest.


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