Tuesday, July 26, 2005

To Bomb or Not to Bomb Mecca: A Debate Continues

Our recent post concerning the ethics, morality and military usefulness of bombing Mecca in the event of a nuclear terrorist attack here has elicited a lot of interest, particularly in the moderate blogosphere.

When I wrote the post, I thought it was an obvious opinion to be against attacking Mecca as a means to punish and perhaps help stop the terrorists. But it turns out that a number of very smart people disagree with me. The resulting debate has been incredible. Check out our original post for much of the debate. But, as is the nature of blogs, the debate has spread outwards and continued on a number of other sites.

For those of you interested in this surprisingly engaging topic, check out the following sites who have picked up on this story and continued the debate:

The Mighty Middle

The American Centrist

The Moderate Voice

Indpendent Sources



At 11:39 AM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

That was by far one of your better posts TYL and lots of real good reads came from it. That’s what this Blogging thing is all about though… isn’t it???
(Told you Alan had opened a great big can of worms up on us!!!)

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Lead Dog said...

I think most would agree that the development and delivery of nuclear weapons (apart from dirty nukes) against the United States would require state sponsorship - i.e., Islamist states with nuclear capacity.

As of today, Pakistan (our "loyal" ally against terror) has nukes and Iran seems to be on the verge of developing them.

Assuming one of these states used nuclear weapons against the US - why would we look to nuke Mecca in response as opposed to Karachi, Islamabad or Tehran?

Now, if a terrorist network were to nuke us - perhaps by obtaining a warhead from the former Soviet Union, etc., we would respond to this warped view of Islam by nuking the holy sites that appeal to all Muslims?

In either case - bombing Mecca would be suicidal. Let's see - every Islamic state on the planet, including Allies like Egypt and Turkey would declare war on the United States in response - or those governments would be toppled by their own people.

American Embassies and bases would no longer be secure - and all of our "traditional" post-WWII allies (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) would walk away from us in order to placate their own Muslim populations.

We would become international paraiahs - NATO would be dissolved. The UN Security Council (assuming NY wasn't the target of the original nuke) would disintegrate, and whatever hopes we ever had to "win" the war on terror would end.

Entirely moderate, currently patriotic American Muslims would no longer be so - waves of domestic terror attacks would lead to inevitable efforts to intern Americans.

And oh yeah - we would have NO FUCKING OIL - so the American economy would collapse.

I am all about carrot and stick in diplomacy, and even sometimes in war - I think Tancredo's statement is illustrative of how much the GOP just doesn't get it. If we nuked Mecca, we would have to liquidate the global Muslim population in order to be secure, and that is just not going to happen.

Finally, invoking cold war detente is deeply flawed - the terrorists would be totally ok with Mutually Assured Destruction - it is what tehy want anyway.

Threatening to bomb Mecca would not give terroists pause - a murder-suicide pact fits their strategy just fine. How does Tancredo feel about that?


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