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June 11, 2006

Comments

James Bowery

If the stories about (tens of?) thousands of suicide bombers are true the US has a lot more to worry about than 20 or 30 nukes.

John Robb

There's a scale issue involved.

James Bowery

Well perhaps I'm overestimating the intelligence of the Iranian high command, but it seems to me that if you're trying to dismantle the US as a substantial threat, you don't deploy your suicide bombers in the middle east. You deploy them in the US against well-selected political targets and spark a bunch of brush-fire revolutions exploiting existing internal tensions/fault lines in the US to make it ideologically collapse.

One angle is to simply target only sacred cows of Blue State (urban) America that substantial factions of Red State (rural) America finds offensive. Much of this would be consistent with a jihad against American decadence so it would be quite attractive to the clerics. Note, this is not attacking symbols of American power, but the symbols of American urban decadance.

Nukes can't do this.

Michael Tanji

“There’s a scale issue involved.”

Ha! Just a little. ;-)

Maybe I’m wrong but I’m fairly sure that history shows that Americans, when attacked, rally together, they don’t split apart. Rhetoric from the fringe aside, I can’t imagine any political or religious issue that would have us going down the Sunni-Shia path. You’ll notice the Phelps-Roper factions of the country are still pretty much limited to the number of people that can fit in minivan.

When your plan for global domination hinges on a second coming of any sort, a big boom is your only real option. Apparently now it is merely a question of whether or not they’re going to hear a big boom (or series of) before they can make one themselves . . .

James Bowery

Are there any objective metrics for how brittle the body politic is?

I really don't think the Iraq war would have been sustainable without the attack on the Pentagon, a Red State symbol, during 9/11.

Michael Tanji

A lack of objective metrics doesn't help either of our arguments, so we'll have to whip out and compare opinions or some other measuring stick.

I'm not aware that the Pentagon is a red state symbol. Last polls I saw had a majority of citizens holding the military as one of if not the most trustworth institutions in the country, which suggests to me that it is, if anything, purple (no pun intended).

3,000 dead in NYC would have led to what then? Cruise missle attacks against Tarnak Farms?

James Bowery

Did these guys:

http://www.strategypage.com/articles/the_war_of_red_and_the_blue_states.asp

make this up?

"The Red States muster 90 Combat Brigades compared to 33 for Blue. Red has 52 active Brigades compared to 6 for Blue and 38 National Guard Brigades to to 27."

Michael Tanji

Knowing who they are I'm sure it is accurate. I still don't take your point. Poking blues (or reds) with a stick (or IED) isn't going to cause the riff I think you are alluding to. Note the last line of the analysis:

"However, in spite of the rhetoric flying about, the prospect of a Civil War in the United States approaches zero. "

James Bowery

When domestic ground-truth issues like immigration are catching the beltway by surprise, the assurances of its analysts doesn't help.

Tangurena

>One angle is to simply target only sacred cows of Blue State (urban) America that substantial factions of Red State (rural) America finds offensive.

We saw this with the Amerithrax (Anthrax) letters. Letters were sent to people, politicians and institutions deemed offensive by the right wingers. As Ann Coulter said "the only thing [Tim McVeigh] did wrong was that he didn't go to the NY Times building." So the NY Times got one of the anthrax letters. And the timing of the anthrax letters was during the debates on the PATRIOT act.

>the attack on the Pentagon, a Red State symbol...
The Pentagon is a symbol of US MILITARY power projected onto the WORLD.
The WTC was a symbol of US ECONOMIC power projected onto the WORLD.
The Murrah building was a symbol of US POLITICAL power projected onto the US.
A quick indication of who did the attack would be to look at what the target was a symbol of.

>Maybe I’m wrong but I’m fairly sure that history shows that Americans, when attacked, rally together, they don’t split apart. Rhetoric from the fringe aside, I can’t imagine any political or religious issue that would have us going down the Sunni-Shia path.

I think you're wrong. The current administration could have used 911 to unite the nation. Instead, they used it to attack everyone they percieved as their enemies - especially other Americans. Nothing has been too large, too small, or too important to escape politicization by the administration. In the past, you would have been right. Now, as the slogan goes, "everything has changed since 911."

If the US were attacked again, my first thought would be that it was another political dirty trick by the administration.

David Neiwert at http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/ has been keeping track of the rightwing propaganda machine. In particular, he pays attention to the eliminationist rhetoric (like where Rush says we should murder every liberal in America, except for 2 at each campus).

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