Wednesday, July 20, 2005

To Bomb or Not to Bomb

So, I've been following the "Bomb Mecca" debate around the blogosphere with some interest. There seem to be two crowds, one that might get serious on the second nuclear detonation and the other that wants to nuke something right now on general principle. Not much in between.

And over at Captain's Quarters we get:
...neither does Tancredo really support the idea of incinerating 350,000 people and setting a match to the quick-burning fuse of world wide holocaust by "bombing Mecca" in response to a nuclear terrorist attack.
Because, naturally, it wouldn't be New York going up in flames that lit the fuse, it would be our response. Just like it's never the bus bombing that ends the cease-fire, but always the Israeli response.

Ace of Spades says, almost apologetically, as if he's being too war-mongery:

If Al Qaeda gets a nuke and blows up a US city-- well, under those sort of circumstances, I don't think it will necessarily be verboten to suggest that the next nuclear detonation on US soil results in a detonation on the Arabian Peninsula.[emphasis mine]
Okaaay. Give 'em one free city. Sure, why not? Can we stipulate that it be Ace's city and not mine?

Seriously though, I just don't understand why no one wants to make that suggestion right now. Sure, Osama and company can't be reasoned with. But what about the Saudi princes who fund the hate-teaching madrassas and the hate-preaching imams? They might not be able to stop every last subway bombing, but no one could put together a nuclear attack without serious support. I have no problem letting the Saudis (or the Iranians, or the Syrians or the Pakistanis)know that the days of plausible deniability are over. If they are indeed over. If not, I guess there's no point.

I can see why everyone is horrified at the thought of actually bombing Mecca. I'm a softy, steeped in liberalism and whatnot. I have no interest in seeing a bunch of dead Arabs. But then again, I have no interest is seeing a bunch of dead Americans. If a little saber rattling helps focus the Saudi mind, I'm OK with it. I don't see much difference between that and the Cold War policy of MAD .

However, as I've said before, I'd like to see some tough, non-violent action being taken right now that will hopefully eliminate the need to make these decisions in the future. Here's a good list of the kind of actions I'm talking about.

Rod Dreher captured our dilema:
It occurs to me that it is insane that we're even having this conversation. It occurs to me that given the events of 9/11, and the determination and capabilities of our enemies, it is even more insane not to. God help us all.

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