[extropy-chat] 9/11 Commission Report

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Mon Jul 26 00:49:34 UTC 2004

--- Jon Swanson <jon.swanson at gmail.com> wrote:
> It sounds like you are saying that most terrorists
> would not have
> heard of silicon valley or Disneyland.  I disagree
> with this, it would
> make sense that many of the people planning these
> attacks are actually
> incredibly intelligent, and are quite capable of
> doing research.
> Although many smaller cells may be ignorant of such
> targets, higher
> ups in larger organizations probably are not.

Yes, *BUT*...the higher-ups need to sell their
inferiors, who will actually be sacrificing
themselves, on the choice of target.  Of course the
lower cells could agree on the value of hitting the
headquarters of the infidels' military, and many of
them had undoubtedly heard of Osama's previous target
and thus agreed it would be worthy of finishing off.
But the place where the infidels make computers?  Eh.
The place where the infidels go to have fun?  Maybe if
it had religious significance, but Disneyland's no
holy site (as the terrorists would see it - though
doubtless some Americans do in fact ascribe religious
significance to it).

Don't worry as much about the intelligent enemies as
about the idiot fanatics.  There are many more of the
latter, and they tend not to value their own lives as

>  Terrorists lately seem to be targeting travelling
> westerners,
> especially contractors and engineers of major
> corporations.

Because they're convenient targets.  The higher-ups
can identify important foreigners who are already
there; to the lower-downs, one is as easy to kidnap
and execute as another, so they're easily persuaded.
Targets in other lands take more persuasion.

> Many of these groups are not ragtag untrained
> fanatics. They are
> disciplined, calculating fanatics.

The leaders, yes.  If we only had the leaders to worry
about, 'twould be a mere thorn, pesky but easy to
eventually deal with.  But the war is ideological, for
the hearts and minds of the masses in the Middle East
just as much as for the life and limb of our own
citizens.  To secure the former is to secure the
latter; to antagonize the former, even in the name of
securing the latter, is most assuredly to merely place
the latter at greater risk.  Deprive the leaders of
new recruits, and we win.

--- Kevin Freels <megaquark at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >"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 just hope that they never realize that a low
> profile target would put more
> fear in the American population than any high
> profile target ever could, and
> that said target is most likely easier.

They're not doing it first and foremost to strike
terror into our hearts.  They're doing it first and
foremost to promote their own ideology back home.
They care little for the masses who wept worldwide
after 9/11; their target audience is, for example, the
Palestinians who celebrated when the WTC collapsed.
Low-profile targets won't impress that audience, and
they know it.

Which suggests one grisly solution: post snipers in
villages all over the Middle East, let the terrorists
attack again, and massacre anyone who parties in one
quick wave before word of the sniping can spread.
Intent: silence the voices who say this kind of thing
is good.  But while the scale of the solution is what
we need, and even if the initial terrorist attack was
blood-free - like if the "attack" was nothing but a
fake news report that quickly spread - this would not
be an acceptable solution, especially since it would
risk many enemies slipping through the net and,
independently, creating several new recruits for the
enemy.  We need to find a less bloody, and preferably
less coercive, way to as thoroughly ferret out and
silence or convert those who promote this sort of holy

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