[extropy-chat] 9/11 Commission Report

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Sun Jul 25 22:13:56 UTC 2004

--- Olga Bourlin <fauxever at sprynet.com> wrote:
> As a personal aside, in the last year or so I've had
> the worst dreams of my life regarding
> "end-of-the-world scenarios" caused by explosions -
> nuclear bombs and such (actually I haven't had
> nightmares any like this, ever - and they've been
> coming intermittently but consistently). 
> Is anyone else on this list as worried as I am? 
> Does anyone see any end in sight?  

Even as a grade schooler in the '80s, I looked back on
history and saw Mutually Assured Destruction keeping
us from nuclear war.  I see parallels to that here:
Muslim leaders see that American (and by extension
Western) vengeance is not as precise as they would
like, sweeping up some innocents along with those who
assaulted them, and that America's military options
are being stretched thin.  (I emphasize the leaders
here, who would be aware of this.)  Which makes
turning the Middle East into a glass desert seem like
possibly the only remaining solution that will make
America safe, *if* one of its cities is nuked (or
subject to large-scale biochemical attack, or the
like).  The other nuclear powers that can hit the US
might object somewhat, but in the aftermath of such an
attack, and since their own soil wouldn't be touched,
it is unlikely any of them would seriously threaten
MAD if America employed this option.  Which, in turn,
comes up with a kind of MAD even now: Muslim leaders
can make sure America is not attacked that way, or...

And further, if America is attacked, even the
terrorists know where their targets are.  Civic pride
might lead you to think your part of America is the
most important, but look at it through the terrorists'
eyes: they all know of Great Satan Bush, but how many
of them have even heard of, say, Silicon Valley?  Or
Disneyland?  Much of the US is almost guaranteed safe
from their first WMD shot - and odds are they'll only
have the resources to strike one city.

I rest easy at night, knowing the odds that our
efforts to create a better tomorrow that is proof
against this kind of thing will most likely have the
time they need to suceed.

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