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September 01, 2004


Almost two years ago I wrote about my fear that Al-Qaeda would target child care centers in an attempt to paralyze and enrage the U.S.

Osama bin Laden attacked the World Trade Center because he wanted to not only strike at a symbol of America, he wanted to hit us economically, as well as horrify and enrage us. Not many targets can satisfy those same criteria now, certainly not a football game. Many of the ones that do are much more closely guarded now than they were then. If Al-Qaeda wants to hit us like they did a year ago, to hit us even harder than they did last year, they won't hit a skyscraper, or bomb a mall. They'll bomb daycare centers. Multiple ones, across the U.S. at more or less the same time. Perhaps around noon EST, since by that time the West Coast centers would be seeing the last of the morning arrivals.

Al-Qaeda's objective is to start a massive war between the House of Islam and the United States, and that can only come about if they enrage the American populace to such a degree that we start demanding wholesale destruction of the Middle East. The fact of such simultaneous attacks would be an almost surefire way to enrage us beyond anything we or the world has ever experienced. It could be argued that such attacks are unlikely because they would cost Al-Qaeda potential supporters, but Al-Qaeda isn't looking for support so much as it is attempting to bring forth Armageddon.

A day care/elementary school bombing hasn't happened in the U.S. yet, but that's no longer true for Russia--Hundreds Held in Russian School; 8 Killed

More than a dozen militants wearing suicide-bomb belts seized a southern Russian school in a region bordering Chechnya on Wednesday, taking hostage about 400 people half of them children and threatening to blow up the building if police storm it. At least eight people have been killed, one of them a school parent.

The only unsuccessful outcome for the terrorists, for them to be overpowered before they can kill any of the innocents, is the least likely to occur. Given the mixed success Russian forces had with the use of Fentanyl* in the last large hostage crisis, that gas will almost certainly not be used prior to Russian forces storming the building, especially given the difference in body mass between an elementary school child and an adult terrorist. Essentially a dose large enough to knock out a terrorist will probably kill a first-grader.

Anything other than a successful storming of the building that results in minimal casualties among the hostages will be seen by other Islamic groups as a victory, and they will adjust their tactics accordingly. Indeed, it's possible that the act is already seen as a victory for the Chechen terrorists, thanks to no-win situation the Russian government now finds itself in.

Imagine the enormous leverage such an attack would give terrorists in countries that already have a tendency to appease fundamentalist Islamic groups--France and Spain, for example.

In the United States, I find it hard to imagine a public reaction to such an attack that wouldn't be essentially medieval in its nature and demands. When it comes down to it, "Nuke 'em till they glow" is nothing more than a semantic update of "May the streets run red with the blood of the enemy," and the West has proven itself capable of far more than that numerous times.

In fact, when it comes to the capacity for, as well as the sheer enjoyment of, violence and murder, the West is probably the most vicious culture the world has ever produced--a fact that, though fairly clear during the Crusades and in the 1630's, has been repeatedly forgotten in the centuries since--for in the centuries since, the West has repeatedly attempted to restrain itself.

This restraint is habitually misinterpreted as emasculation by the foolish and ignorant of the world. They see only a fear of the night in the mild-mannered stranger sitting in the corner, and fail to perceive that it's because he's a werewolf. The ignorant do their best to push him out of the door, while he, handicapped by the fact that he refuses to give in to his dark animal nature, puts up what resistance he can. The foolish urge the ignorant on, reveling in the incremental progress made. Woe betide them both if the effort succeeds, for what was pushed out into the night returns as a slavering beast**, and it will make no distinction between those who pushed it out, those who cheered the effort, and those who merely stood aside.

With every attack they make Islamic Terrorists inch closer to such a conclusion. The fact that they claim to welcome it is proof only that deep down they don't believe in such a possibility. It is not faith, but madness, and the culture that tolerates such a lunacy risks being devastated by a much more potent insanity at a later date, an insanity that the world might now see sooner rather than later--if the Russians love their children too.

*Or whichever gas it was. The body mass rule holds, at least for most of the chemicals I'm familiar with, except when a certain (very small) dosage of a particular gas instantly kills both children and adults.

**And his perfect.

Postscript: Updates on the Russian hostage situation here. (lvi)

Posted by Bigwig at September 1, 2004 02:18 PM | TrackBack
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My first thought on hearing about this was, likewise, "don't they realise what the Russians are going to do to Chechnya because of this?"

Of course, if the "Chechens" involved are really assorted scum-of-the-world Arabs and central Asian Muslims imported by the Saudi Entity to "help" Chechnya, then the actual ethnic Chechens are going to be doubly-fucked for this one; punished for something they didn't even have a connection to for anything other than being the excuse for some Wahhabist scum to kill some people.

I'm sure the war on terror will end (not that terrorism, the tactic, will never be used again, but that it will be used far less and not in the service of radical Islam).

I'm even sure we'll win (that is, the West will not become Wahhabist muslims, and the backs of the Wahhabists and their allies will be broken).

I'm not sure the cost will be one we like paying, though the damage will be more spiritual than physical or monetary.

Posted by: Sigivald at September 1, 2004 04:13 PM

Sigival has a good point about blameless Chechin's suffering for this. That is one reason why I have considered the following approach: the next time anyone, Russia, the US, whoever (the French??) decides to massively retaliated against some Muslim target, save one or more MOAB for the Saudi royal family living areas in SA. We need to get a point about sponsership made before Islam becomes a defunct religion.

Posted by: Oscar at September 1, 2004 07:03 PM

Oh, we are perfectly capable of nuking them til they glow -- one school, bye bye Mecca. A second, and bye bye Medina.

That would not surprise me.

Later I might regret it, but most would not regret it when it happened. After all, one might have the idea that we need to become an enormous barbarian to discourage barbarism.

I don't particularly approve of torture, or of the kinds of things that happened at Abu Ghraib. Those things suggested that we were becoming the enemy in particularly insidious ways.

But scorched earth? Sometimes ending a fight before it starts is not the worst thing. I don't know how many US citizens feel that way, but it is likely a sizeable number.

Now, the question -- do people feel a need to elect Bush because that will put someone in the White House who will, indeed, unleash Armageddon given an emotional excuse?

Posted by: Scorpio at September 1, 2004 09:16 PM

It seems that the tactics of the Abu Sayyaf – a terrorist group run by Bin Laden’s cousins – trained these Chechen rebels very well. They are masters at this kind of action being the only ones who have done this and in their estimation successfully.

As a former teacher I know how vulnerable our schools are across the country. Being aware of Abu Sayyaf's tactics, and just as you indicated, it's only a matter of time before we too become victims of this tactic.

Posted by: Michele at September 1, 2004 09:44 PM

Oh, thatwas hyperbole, Bigwig, about the west being the most viscious culture. Viscous in self-criticism, maybe, but next time you are near a croisant, remember it celebrating Vienna being freed from the Turks after the second seige in 1683. Victor David Hansen uses more space to elaborate on Western culture to make his point about carnage, so if you had time to elaborate and explain how the Thirty years war and misbegotten Crusades equals, say, Cambodia, or China under Japanese invasion, or my father's brother being shot by the North Korean's because he was too badly wounded to keep up with the other prisoners, then you can begin to preface a work dumping on the West. Ok, so we made mobile home trailer parks, and yeah, the Nazis were bad, at least in the league of Mao's GReat Leap Forward, and Stalin and Lenin's insame purges, but remember the spiritual failures involved in the WEstern Culture or lose your context every time.

Posted by: Rich at September 1, 2004 11:41 PM

The Saudi sponsorship started 20 years ago in Afganistan and was financed by European and US oil money and with the blessing of the CIA with the SAS training mojahedin. Good Old Ronnie called them "freedom fighters" - well, they still are who they were then. The chickens came home to roost. When hitting the Saudis with the MOAB you've mentioned, another one should go to the Reagan memorial.

Posted by: Pessimist at September 1, 2004 11:52 PM

> Now, the question -- do people feel a need to elect Bush because that will put someone in the White House who will, indeed, unleash Armageddon given an emotional excuse?

Since the only presidents to plan a nuke attack and carry one out were Dems....

We already know that Bush won't go to nukes immediately.

We don't know about Kerry. He might follow "go French" ("wander around the middle east looking for someone to surrender to" as Reynolds described the recent French reaction to hostage taking) or he might go psycho because he knows if he's seen as soft, he might as well resign. Or, he might "go Bush".

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 2, 2004 01:56 PM
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