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Author Topic: Why Al Qaeda hasn't hit the US again: Osama's Damoclean Sword...nuke Mecca?
Daruma28
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I just read this article.

I don't know if this is true or not...but it certainly holds to the old Cold War MAD policies that kept us from global ICBM exchanges.

quote:
...Bin Laden is playing poker with a Texas cowboy holding the nuclear aces
Has U.S. threatened
to vaporize Mecca?

Intelligence expert says nuke option is reason bin Laden has been quiet
Posted: January 7, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern


© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Why hasn't Osama bin Laden's terror network executed an attack on U.S. soil since 9-11?

Simple, says Dr. Jack Wheeler, creator of an acclaimed intelligence website dubbed "the oasis for rational conservatives": The U.S. has threatened to nuke the Muslim holy city of Mecca should the terror leader strike America again.

On his website, To the Point, Wheeler explains how the Bush administration has identified the potential of wiping Mecca off the map as bin Laden's ultimate point of vulnerability – the Damoclean Sword hanging over his head.

"Israel … recognizes that the Aswan Dam is Egypt's Damoclean Sword," writes Wheeler. "There is no possibility whatever of Egypt's winning a war with Israel, for if Aswan is blown, all of inhabited Egypt is under 20 feet of water. Once the Israelis made this clear to the Egyptians, the possibility of any future Egyptian attack on Israel like that of 1948, 1967, and 1972 is gone."

Wheeler says talk of bin Laden's Damoclean Sword has infiltrated the Beltway.

Writes Wheeler in his members-only column: "There has been a rumor floating in the Washington ether for some time now that George Bush has figured out what Sword of Damocles is suspended over Osama bin Laden's head. It's whispered among Capitol Hill staffers on the intel and armed services committees; White House NSC (National Security Council) members clam up tight if you begin to hint at it; and State Department neo-cons love to give their liberal counterparts cardiac arrhythmia by elliptically conversing about it in their presence.

"The whispers and hints and ellipses are getting louder now because the rumor explains the inexplicable: Why hasn't there been a repeat of 9-11? How can it be that after this unimaginable tragedy and Osama's constant threats of another, we have gone over three years without a single terrorist attack on American soil?"

Available only to subscribers of To the Point, Wheeler ends his column by explaining the effectiveness of the Mecca threat.

"Completely obliterating the terrorists' holiest of holies, rendering what is for them the world's most sacred spot a radioactive hole in the ground is retribution of biblical proportions – and those are the only proportions that will do the job.

"Osama would have laughed off such a threat, given his view that Americans are wussies who cut and run after a few losses, such as Lebanon in 1983 and Somalia in 1993. Part of Bush's rationale for invading Afghanistan and Iraq – obviously never expressed publicly – was to convince Osama that his threat to nuke Mecca was real. Osama hates America just as much as ever, but he is laughing no more."

Wheeler says bin Laden is "playing poker with a Texas cowboy holding the nuclear aces," so there's nothing al-Qaida could do that could come remotely close to risking obliterating Mecca.

Writes Wheeler: "So far, Osama has decided not to see if GW is bluffing. Smart move."

[Eek!]

[ January 07, 2005, 05:46 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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A. Alzabo
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If nuking Mecca is such a deterrent threat, I guess we never need to worry about Islamic terrorism again.

I'm not holding my breath...

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Wayward Son
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Considering that an unprovoked attack on Mecca (which it would be, regardless if any terrorists struck first) would inflame precisely the type of jihad against the U.S. that Osama wants, I very much doubt it is in the cards at all. Osama would not only call our bluff, he would be happy to pay for it, because at the end of the game he would win big.
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DonaldD
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Of course, this assumes that a) OBL believes America would actually nuke a city of non-combatants in order to punish a terrorist group loosely affiliated with religious icons situated there, and that b) OBL actually cares about Islamic holy sites, as opposed to a newly unified pan-arab caliphate. I can't imagine anything that would unite 1.5 billion muslims against the US faster than Bush nuking Mecca. And suddenly, OBL would have hundreds of thousands or even millions of very motivated, probably very active 5th columnists on US soil.

If neo-cons actually buy into this, they've started sniffing the Kool-aid. OBL may be many things, but he's just not that stupid. I should hope the US isn't either.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
If neo-cons actually buy into this, they've started sniffing the Kool-aid. OBL may be many things, but he's just not that stupid. I should hope the US isn't either.
Agreed. This is more of the "Shoot them with bullets smeared with hog fat!" vengeance fantasies that seem to be going around in response to 9/11 (that I think helped lead to the abuses at Abu Ghraib). I tend to think it says more about our perception of Al Qaeda and the Arab World than any reality.
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Daruma28
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quote:
State Department neo-cons love to give their liberal counterparts cardiac arrhythmia by elliptically conversing about it in their presence...
Hee hee -- I expected no less from more than a few Ornerians....

I don't know if it's true or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were.

Sometimes foreign policy things can really be that simple.

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Daruma28
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Alzabo.....gimme a break with the knee jerk Abu Ghraib references already. Sheesh.

Abu Ghraib is not the be all end all of the administration, the war on terror, Alberto Gonzalez's nomination, the military, Rumsfeld or anything else.

What led to Abu Ghraib?

An oversensational press looking to make mountains out of molehills to try and tar the administartion in any way possible.

[Roll Eyes]

I really could care less about Abu Ghraib already.

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The Drake
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I tend to discount massive retaliation as the reason for the lack of terror attacks inside the US, but I do think it is an interesting question.

Is Bin Laden No Longer Determined to Attack Inside the United States? Some analysts suggest that his rhetoric has changed to help isolate the United States from other nations, including Europe.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/10511693.htm

I believe that there is only one reason why there have been no attacks, and that is because the terrorists have chosen not to attack. I believe one factor is a desire to keep Americans divided internally. This is their best chance of seeing the US withdraw from the middle east as quickly and completely as possible. I don't have a source for that, but I'm at least as credible as the "Nuke Mecca" guy...

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Daruma28
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Sure Drake. That is most definitely a very palusible theory. I think it also shows that 9/11 and our response was a giant miscalculation on OBL's part.
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TomDavidson
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"Completely obliterating the terrorists' holiest of holies, rendering what is for them the world's most sacred spot a radioactive hole in the ground is retribution of biblical proportions – and those are the only proportions that will do the job."

I submit that anyone who makes this argument is an idiot who neither understands the nature of Islamic fundamentalism nor the fundamentals of nuclear brinksmanship.

A nuclear retaliation against Mecca is something that only Texas cowboys might consider, laughing and joking about it as they spit a bit of chaw out of the sides of their smirking mouths -- just to indulge in the same kind of stereotyping you'd see here -- but it's not a threat that would bring the Muslim world to its knees.

Consider: would American Jews and Christians alike suddenly surrender to China if they nuked Bethlehem? Or Jerusalem? Of course not.

Mecca is a city and a memorial. The Hajj is a state of mind, symbolized by a big black cube. And nuking it will only demonstrate America's complete and total contempt for the Islamic faith, WITHOUT fundamentally weakening and/or disarming the members of that faith.

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Daruma28
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But Tom......you may think otherwise. I may think otherwise. Hell, most people probably think the idea is ludicrous.

But that doesn't matter. What does matter is that IF their is truth to this, the only thing that TRULY matters is that diplomacy and brinkmanship are nothing but a more complex game of high stakes poker.

I don't believe for a SECOND the US would EVER Nuke Mecca and Medina after a terrorist attack - but that's not the gist of the point here. As long as Dubya and his administration can make OBL and AQ BELIEVE he would, it would be quite an effective deterrant.

Maybe OBL looked at the previous poker game between Bush and Saddam, and he saw how Bush upped the ante, saw Saddam call it, only to find out it was not a bluff. Maybe he doesn't want to call this bluff because of the chance that this "Crazy, Right Wing Fundamentalist Cowboy" just might not be bluffing......

You can disagree or call it ridiculous, or "neo-con kool-aid" but I think the probability that this is actually what has happened is quite possible and wouldn't surprise me in the least.

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ben5
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It would be great for Bin laden if we nuked mecca, most of the arab world and eastern europe would go and aid Bin laden.
I don't think bin laden is so stupid to belive that bush would nuke a heavily populated city that happens to be Islam's most holy site.

[ January 07, 2005, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: ben5 ]

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Daruma28
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I really don't think Bin Laden would like it one bit.

I see the common argument that OBL would like nothing more as it would aid recruitment, etc.

Sorry, don't buy it. Whatever you want to call OBL, I think one characteristic overlooked is that he genuinely believes in his faith in Islamic funcamentalism.

One of his supposed points of outrage is the so called defilement of the holy land by having American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia. We're supposed to believe he'd be happy to see the central locale for all of Islam obliberated?

In fact, I do believe that if OBL thought there was a true chance that Bush would Nuke Mecca if another 9/11 occurred, he would most definitely be concerned about it.

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Redskullvw
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Considering I made this exact proposal back in October 2001, ie Medina is nuked first, then if yet another attack happens Mecca is glass too. At the time, many of you screamed war mongerer and how absolutely reprhensible such an action would be against Islam.

I also was amazed at how many of you thought all we could do is negotiate with the Taliban, and broker a peace in the Middle East that left Israel hanging by a thread. I think OBL was pretty sure thats how America would respond. Most of you stated that any MAD proposal which placed Mecca or Medina in the nuclear crosshairs would result in wholesale terrorism of an unrestricted nature. I am wonder if those who cannot contemplate this MAD are as wrong as they were about the options availible to us regarding Afghanistan in October 2001.

And Tom, I will assume you are calling me an idiot since I propossed just this sort of strategy immediately after 9-11. If I recall correctly, you were in the camp calling for negotiation and accomadation of the Taliban.

Consider this Tom. there are only a handful of sects in Islam, hundreds and possibly thousands in Christianity, and less than 10 in Judaism. If you declared war on Catholics and first nuked Jerusalem, and then Rome, not only would you take out a signifigant number of Catholics and Catholic leaders, but also a bunch of Jews, Christians from other sects, and even "gasp" moslems. Is the Striking of Mecca and Medina equivelent?

No it isn't because the cities are closed to all except moslems, Jews cannot even get into Saudi Arabia, and Christians are almost exclusively sequestered in the capitol, or near the Persian Gulf shore.

So if your senario where China lobs a bomb at us is taken to its logical conclusion: China hitting a signifigant Christian site or Jewish site also, by proximity, would result in the elimination of moslems as well. Results of such a strike would be the world generally being very angry at China.

We take out Mecca or Medina. Only moslems, and signifigantly the Wahhabist Clerics who control those sites, would be effected. No Christians or Jews, and likely few agnostics and atheists as well since both cities are almost religious based city states in the first place. In fact, by nuking either city much of the Wahhabist religious leadership would be vaporized.

In comparing your proposal, to that put forth as subject matter for this thread, I would submit that your China senario is indeed idiotic, while the Mecca/Medina MAD proposal seems to be plausible. Given that you were demonstably wrong concerning our options in October of 2001, I will propose that you are possibly equally wrong concerning the MAD brinksmanship that is being discussed now. But then again, aparently I am an idiot for ever having made such a proposal, and your wisdom concerning diplomatic and military options post 9-11 has proven to be somewhat flawless so I will indeed done the mantel of village idiot again. Of course even idiots like me have to be right some of the time.

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carmachu
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quote:
Originally posted by ben5:
It would be great for Bin laden if we nuked mecca, most of the arab world and eastern europe would go and aid Bin laden.
I don't think bin laden is so stupid to belive that bush would nuke a heavily populated city that happens to be Islam's most holy site.

The problem is, why yes it would unite the arab world like nothing else would, It would remove the beloved holy site of true believers. IF OBL, is a true believer as he professess AND he believes that Bush means what he says and says what he means, its another cold war like stalemate.

And personally, hats off if its true. I've said it before in 2000, and I'll say it again, Bush is abit smarter than folks give him credit for,a nd keep underestimating him.

carmachu

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Daruma28
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Don't be too harsh here red...I believe guys like Tom have knee jerk horror at the very thought.

By no means am I advocating a nuclear strike and if we ever did, it would indeed be a tragedy.

But being president does definitely involve making tough decsions such as wielding Nuclear power - which includes the diplomatic threat of it as well.

I would bet Clinton probably made the same sort of behind the scenes threat to North Korea....

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Alzabo.....gimme a break with the knee jerk Abu Ghraib references already. Sheesh.

Abu Ghraib is not the be all end all of the administration, the war on terror, Alberto Gonzalez's nomination, the military, Rumsfeld or anything else.


My reference wasn't kneejerk. There is a lot of retributive wetdreaming that is still going on, particularly

on the Right these days. Your article is an example. Actually nuking Mecca would be a net boon to Al Qaeda, but you guys seem to enjoy attacking the most peripherally related targets, so be my guest.

quote:
What led to Abu Ghraib?

An oversensational press looking to make mountains out of molehills to try and tar the administartion in any way possible.

I guess if I supported torture, I'd try to forget about it too.
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A. Alzabo
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quote:
It would be great for Bin laden if we nuked mecca, most of the arab world and eastern europe would go and aid Bin laden.
I don't think bin laden is so stupid to belive that bush would nuke a heavily populated city that happens to be Islam's most holy site.

Not to mention that Saudi Arabia has not declared war on the U.S., despite the actions of Al Qaeda.

I suspect even or allies wouldn't accept us actually nuking a noncombatant nation due to the actions of third party actors.

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Gaoics79
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Nuke Mecca, LOL. Are people really taking this lunacy seriously?
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Daruma28
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Ooohhhhhh....you've definitely seized the moral high ground, as I now "support torture." [Roll Eyes]

The only wet dreaming here is the constant salivating by the left wingers and anti-Bushies that have siezed Abu Ghraib as the perfect wet noodle to flog anything and everything they disagree with.

A talk about tactics for diplomatic brinkmanship?

"Must be the same mindset that led to Abu Ghraib...."

GMAFB.

Enough of Abu Ghraib.

Of all the things that has happened since 9/11, Abu Ghraib ranks pretty damn low on the totem pole of horrific events and tragedies, and nor is it an overall indictment of anything except in the minds of the left wing appeasement/anti-Bush crowd.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
We take out Mecca or Medina. Only moslems, and signifigantly the Wahhabist Clerics who control those sites, would be effected. No Christians or Jews, and likely few agnostics and atheists as well since both cities are almost religious based city states in the first place. In fact, by nuking either city much of the Wahhabist religious leadership would be vaporized.

Red, would the Saudis (our ally we just nuked, despite their protestations) then continue to sell us oil? Would it even remain a standing nation at that point? I tend to think not, since they're already precarious now.

If we did that (and I'm not a "no nukes, ever!" type), I predict a global diaspora of Chechen-style butchery that beggars description as virtually all of the Muslim world is simultaneously radicalized to action and hollowed out by hopelessness at the same time.

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Nuke Mecca, LOL. Are people really taking this lunacy seriously?

I would say MAD policies were also "lunacy." I believe the USSR took it quite seriously.

Maybe Bush would never do it. But like I said, he only needs to make OBL/AQ THINK he would, and the tactic is a success.

I don't see why that idea is so hard to grasp....maybe you guys should watch a few shows of poker matches they now show on ESPN.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Enough of Abu Ghraib.

Of all the things that has happened since 9/11, Abu Ghraib ranks pretty damn low on the totem pole of horrific events and tragedies, and nor is it an overall indictment of anything except in the minds of the left wing appeasement/anti-Bush crowd.

Whatever Daruma.
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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Maybe Bush would never do it. But like I said, he only needs to make OBL/AQ THINK he would, and the tactic is a success.

I don't see why that idea is so hard to grasp....maybe you guys should watch a few shows of poker matches they now show on ESPN.

It's not hard to grasp, Daruma. It just makes no sense.
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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Nuke Mecca, LOL. Are people really taking this lunacy seriously?
The inmates are currently running the asylum, jasonr.
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Daruma28
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Which is why it makes perfect sense.

Or do you profess to know exactly how OBL and AQ think or believe?

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Which is why it makes perfect sense.

Or do you profess to know exactly how OBL and AQ think or believe?

No Daruma, I don't. But why do you get to get away with it, whenever you support something?
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Daruma28
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I don't profess to know. I just don't find it surprising or ludicrous to contemplate the possibilities that using a nuclear brinkmanship tactic when dealing with fanatics like OBL and AQ.

You may think logically and reasonably that the idea is preposterous. But than I know of one thing I can say with absolute certainty: your idea of rational thought (as well as mine and most others in the West) is vastly different for what OBL et al consider rational.

You and others likeminded read the article I posted and trip all over yourselves to dismiss it as ridiculous lunacy.

All I'm saying is it wouldn't surprise me one bit if it were true.

International diplomacy and war most definitely involves bluffing and brinkmanship. In fact, I do believe that Bush never would pull the trigger on such a threat -- but I also believe that it would be entirely concievable and credible if he and his advisors thought the THREAT of doing what they would never do could still be an important deterrent to use.

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A. Alzabo
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This is silly. The backlash against a retaliatory nuclear strike on a nation because of the actions of that same nation's enemies would be enormous. Not just in the Muslim world, but amongst all nations. This "solution" doesn't take into account anyone else besides the U.S. and bin Laden -- not even f-n' Saudi Arabia! Heloooo!

If we have to nuke a place, then we have to -- but there is little that Al Qaeda could possibly do that would make this retaliation look even close to appropriate. The downside for us just doesn't seem worth it.

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Daruma28
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Alzabo, your talking about an actual Nuclear Strike.

I'm talking about a Nuclear Strike used as a threat for deterrance.

A bluff.

I'm not calling for the actual strike.

I'm only saying that it wouldn't surprise me in the least if using the threat for deterrance were really being used as a tactic....like I said, it wouldn't surprise in the least if Clinton had done it with North Korea either.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
All I'm saying is it wouldn't surprise me one bit if it were true.

Good grief Daruma! Would it mollify you any if I said that we implicitly threaten to nuke anybody who steps over certain lines (ie Iraq using chemical weapons on our soldiers)? In many of those cases, I am fine with the nuclear threat.

I'm not against the threat in this case, Daruma. It's that an even cursory rumination on the consequences of this action by the U.S. makes this bluff weak enough to be silly, no matter how much you love Mecca. It would only work if Al Qeada's only means of attacking within the U.S. was some sort of WMD attack, and even then it's iffy.

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Daruma28
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Like I said....you or I can see the weakness of this bluff - but we most certainly see the world much differently from how OBL sees it.

We may think it's unrealistic...but then OBL most assuredly sees everything in a much different light. Like if the assumption is correct that OBL thought American would turn tail and run after 9/11, only to find out otherwise, maybe he now isn't so sure of how the US will act if their is another attack on US soil.

That uncertainty can be a pretty influential factor when weighing the credibility of a threat from your enemy.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
We may think it's unrealistic...but then OBL most assuredly sees everything in a much different light. Like if the assumption is correct that OBL thought American would turn tail and run after 9/11, only to find out otherwise, maybe he now isn't so sure of how the US will act if their is another attack on US soil.


We'll just have to agree to disagree, then. OBL isn't a space-alien. He's a rational actor according to his goals -- notice he hasn't blown himself up for Dar Al Islam. He's a Western-educated engineer. I think he knows more about us than you think, although less than he thinks.

I think he sees the threat is pretty empty barring a simply astonishing success on his part, and I don't think nuking Mecca would end the problem (unlike, say, blowing up the world during the MAD years). If the bluff stops terrorism, then actually destroying Mecca is even better since no Muslim would then have a reason to fight. We should do it tomorrow.

I think this article is just another example of the vengeance fantasies that seem to bubble up every now and then. There just isn't any "Muslim Kryptonite", no matter how much we wish.

But, hey, I have no love for the Wahabbis or Saudi Arabia for that matter.

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LoverOfJoy
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Where Bush has played the bluffing game is in his comment of being either with us or against us.

What gives OBL so much power is that it's hard to know who the enemy really is. No government is directly behind attacks. Financial aid is layered behind all kinds of other things. Governments can outsource their military to terrorists that enable them to attack without being attacked. And if OBL doesn't do exactly what the governments wanted, they can't do much about it either.

Bush tells everyone that they can't harbor terrorists, fund terrorists or be associated with terrorists. Basically, Bush told the world that the terrorists can't hide behind innocents. "Innocents" hiding terrorists behind them are potential targets.

The "bluff", if there is any, is how far he'd go with it. Iraq upped the ante. OBL and other anti-americans have made it more interesting because for years they have described America as some great Satan that is capable of all kinds of evil. So the people they taught are more likely to believe that Bush would kill innocents that are remotely connected to terrorists.

This forces those "innocents" to really choose a side instead of trying to play both sides of the fence. Who will win? Will OBL really win? Is he strong enough, yet? If not, they are really scared to harbor OBL anymore. Maybe Bush would nuke us. Maybe he would invade our country. Maybe gossip spreads word of Meccan glass but it doesn't have to be as specific as that.

If Bush plays his cards right, OBL will run out of places to hide...maybe. But OBL probably has enough rabid followers to always have a place to hide forever. That doesn't necessarily mean he could plan any real attacks in the US, though.

The thing is, OBL tried much the same bluff. He made a similar "with us or against us" threat before the election. Polls didn't seem to show much bump one way or another, though. I think Bush's threat had much more of an impact. Probably not as good as he hoped, though.

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David Ricardo
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This is such a ridiculously stupid WorldNetDaily article that I am surprised someone even posted it.
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Redskullvw
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Well if he or someone in the American diplomatic corps is smart has let it be known exactly what we are likely to do. A word dropped on the Syrian Ambassador privately, a word to a lybian diplomat, a comment over cocktails to Middle Eastern representatives at an economic conference would all serve as a back channel resource to inform governments that we would and could do much more than they are likely to be comfortable with.

Considering that the Wahhabist movement and clerics serve as both the financial resource and religious justification for combat against the infidel, and Western infadels in particular, how long would it take for radical militant islam to wither and die if the seats of wahhabbist power were removed? For example would a Sunni or ****e moslem be willing to adopt radical militant views and actions if there was no financial funding of it and there were not a cadre of radical islamic clerics preaching 70 virgins and paradise?

It would die quickly. They know it. OBL may be the secular leader of radical militant islam, but the wahhabbist clerics are the ones who actually provide the fianacial backing and theological justification the allows an average person to become a rabid terrorist against all that isn't islamic. I really do think that we are placing both public and private restrictions on the Wahhabbist clerics, which is resulting in limitations on OBL's resources and manpower. For example, we have publicly, and with Saudi governmental support, stopped the yearly telethons aimed against the west and jews. There are not telethons which are sanctioned by the clerics that gather funds to be given to hezzballah or hammas anymore. But you have to wonder why the clerics in Mecca and Medina have become much less vocal in their support for terror.

Without Mecca and Medina, the Wahhabbist movement would revert back to what it once was. An escoteric splinter sect holding influence only in the desert wastelands of Arabia. They know this. And so do the other sects of the moslem world. And these other sects, the ones who dont have clerics preaching death to the west and jews, will not allow the wahhabbist to do anything which would result in the elimination of two out of three holy cities.

Why has OBL been reduced to a few kidnappings in Packistan and not much else? Because someone has put the word out to the clerics of Mecca and Medina that we will not allow a second 9-11. Why have the Middle Eastern states, and also the North African states suddenly become so compliant with us? We can't know for sure, but Lybia dropped its nuclear program and isn't invading Chad any more. Sudan is now under a cease fire and is potentially laying off a 20 year civil war which was mostly a genocide against christians and animists. Egypt came clean and dropped its nuke program this week. And Jordanian security forces spent much of the fall expelling radical wahhabbists and breaking terror cells. Why?

Thats the question to be answered and one of the plausible answers is that the United States has dropped a gauntlet infront of them privately. We will allow the proxy war in Iraq to go on so that the Islamic radicals of the world have a military public fourm. We allow it because we know that the origins of these terrorist have been put on notice. Saudi schools are no longer using the Wahhabbist approved text books stating Jews drink the blood of islamic children. Given time, and without daily exhortions by clerics calling for death of the West, children of today are not likely to become terrorist. We have defined the battle and its terms are favorable to us, not our enemy.

The only option left for them is to accept the way we havee defined the war, or to escalate it. And if they know that by commiting another grand scale attack would result in a glass paving incident they are unable to escalate. Unable because such an incident would liquidate much of the religious cadre who supports the radical militant terrorists, and because the majority of the islamic world would become hostile to continued wahhabbist influence over the remaining holy city.

In trying to explain away why OBL hasn't repeated a magnitude attack like 9-11, you cannot belive that we are lucky. We certainly still have busted boarders. Anyone can still get into the USA. Getting material inside the USA for weapons would still be easy. Shipping in weapons is still easy. Even the likelihood of being caught setting up cells is low. INS and the other Homeland security agencies simply do not have the manpower nor the technological tools availible to stop such threats. Heck the CIA still doesn't have enough arab translators availible to translate and transcript intercepts... let alone glean intelligence from such intercepts in a timely manner. So somehow, some way the terrorists are effectively opperating with one hand behind their back.

Do I know for sure we have made the MAD tectical choice in regard to Mecca or Medina? No, but something like it, and equally unpalatible to the Wahhabbist clerics has to be in place to explain why there have been no further attacks, and why insurgecy by radical islamic terrorists is falling appart.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Considering that the Wahhabist movement and clerics serve as both the financial resource and religious justification for combat against the infidel, and Western infadels in particular, how long would it take for radical militant islam to wither and die if the seats of wahhabbist power were removed? For example would a Sunni or ****e moslem be willing to adopt radical militant views and actions if there was no financial funding of it and there were not a cadre of radical islamic clerics preaching 70 virgins and paradise?

This is my major problem with the "MAD" argument in this case, Red. If the nuclear threat works because OBL knows militant Islam would die if we really did it, then we should do it right this minute, regardless of AQ's actions. Forget threatening, we should just do it.The argument for why it works as MAD is an even better argument for why we should immediately nuke Mecca.

I think it is more likely that Al Qaeda used up everything that it had for some time on the 9/11 attacks. They can't put together something that big right now because they no longer have the element of suprise -- the greatest assett they had for the 9/11 attacks.

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DonaldD
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quote:
Like I said....you or I can see the weakness of this bluff - but we most certainly see the world much differently from how OBL sees it.

We may think it's unrealistic...but then OBL most assuredly sees everything in a much different light. Like if the assumption is correct that OBL thought American would turn tail and run after 9/11, only to find out otherwise, maybe he now isn't so sure of how the US will act if their is another attack on US soil. - Daruma

If the US decision makers actually misunderestimate OBL this badly, they've already lost the war.

This whole bluff rests on OBL and al Qaeda's inability to see what is so patently obvious to both Alzabo and you, Daruma. Both you and Alzabo... with the same understanding... yet too deep for OBL to grasp... hmmm

And the whole concept that destroying Mecca would magically emasculate the entire Muslim population of the planet is laughable. Would any particular Christian sect roll over and die when faced with the loss of a holy site? Do people really believe the Muslim faith is so idol-based or so much more shallow than Christian belief? Does anybody think that the Haj is some kind of super-battery, powering Muslim faith around the globe, and without it all their clocks will start blinking 12:00am?

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JLMyers
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quote:

An oversensational press looking to make mountains out of molehills to try and tar the administartion in any way possible.

I really could care less about Abu Ghraib already.

Yes Abu Ghraib was the presses fault! Damn Liberal Media! You should have said in my opinion. Stating something as if it is a fact doesn't make it true. Unless you are Ron Lambert. Did you start that thread on Abu Ghraib before or after you decided you could care less about it? And of course you don't want to hear about Abu Ghraib anymore, it makes the president and this administration look bad.

quote:

You can disagree or call it ridiculous, or "neo-con kool-aid" but I think the probability that this is actually what has happened is quite possible and wouldn't surprise me in the least.

I disagree and it is ridiculous. I wish OBL was this stupid. But, at least this time you said "I think".

Red,

An invasion of Afghanistan was fait acompli after 9-11. Not the same as nuking an innocent city. And I have never suggested negotiating with the Taliban or Al Queda.

quote:
In trying to explain away why OBL hasn't repeated a magnitude attack like 9-11, you cannot belive that we are lucky. We certainly still have busted boarders. Anyone can still get into the USA. Getting material inside the USA for weapons would still be easy. Shipping in weapons is still easy. Even the likelihood of being caught setting up cells is low. INS and the other Homeland security agencies simply do not have the manpower nor the technological tools availible to stop such threats. Heck the CIA still doesn't have enough arab translators availible to translate and transcript intercepts... let alone glean intelligence from such intercepts in a timely manner. So somehow, some way the terrorists are effectively opperating with one hand behind their back.
This is a good question. One worthy of discussion. But I doubt the threat of nuking Mecca is the reason.

Heck, maybe Daruma has a point. Maybe Bush is so nuts, OBL and a lot of us are not sure what he is capable of. But I don't think Bush if that crazy or that OBL is that stupid. A bluff is only good if the other guy thinks there is a possibility that you have it. And Daruma if you ever get to Texas I'll teach you how to play Texas Hold'em. [Wink]

KE

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FiredrakeRAGE
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I only have a few things to say - specifically addressing the 'no further attacks'.

First, we might not have had further attacks due to the risk factors. If we check 1 person in 100, and a terrorist plot needs 2 people, that is a 1/50 chance of stopping them. While small, it would be such a large morale and intelligence victory for us that terrorists might not wish to risk it.

Secondly, you do not address plot complexity. Having a few people go into a few malls with a machine gun and start shooting could be effective terrorism. However, plots like that tend to fail for many reasons - most of the time issues internal to the group end up fragmenting the group, and leading to arrests.

Thirdly (and the most convincing argument) is simply that OBL has strategy in mind. His strategy (from my POV) seems not to kill us so much as to unite the Middle-East behind him. Actions that have negative publicity for OBL and actions that are detrimental to his cause (whatever it is) are unlikely to be used.

Also, please remember that OBL & Co. are hunted men. It is probably a little hard to concentrate on plotting to kill infidels when you cannot spend more than a night in a single place.

Edited to add: We tend to think of OBL as much more powerful than he actually is. I am convinced that he is far less of a threat than we might believe.

--Firedrake

[ January 08, 2005, 12:49 AM: Message edited by: FiredrakeRAGE ]

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