[ExI] riots again

Charlie Stross charlie.stross at gmail.com
Sat Oct 6 17:18:16 UTC 2012

On 6 Oct 2012, at 18:01, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Oct 6, 2012  Charlie Stross <charlie.stross at gmail.com> wrote:
> > If you want to reduce death tolls, focus on self-driving cars. Auto accidents kill more people in the USA every month than 9/11 killed as a one-off.
> True, but imagine if after 9/11 the USA had done nothing to the organization that did it nor to the government that protected it,

That would have been politically impossible -- at least, for an attack of the 9/11 type against a nation with the culture and self-image of the USA.

> imagine if they had implicitly said that you can attack the USA at will and there would be no negative consequences of any sort; there would have been a 9/11 every month or something worse, possibly much much worse.   

Disagree. I tend to think that 9/11 was a fluke; the Hamburg cell just got lucky. For a value of "lucky" that killed off everyone capable of launching such an attack -- they were ObL's elite specialists, and they were all expended in a single suicide raid.

Put it another way, Richard Reid is more typical of their regular rank and file. In a couple of decades' time circus clown troupes will be doing the terrorist routine in place of the keystone kops; first their shoes fail to explode, then their underpants fail to explode, then the wings won't even fall off the klown airliner ...

(I'm hoping it goes this way. The last thing fanatics of any stripe can cope with is ridicule.)

-- Charlie

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