The Sacrifice and the Reckoning: Sleepwalking

Current preparations for a nuclear event are totally inadequate. Anyone who wants to survive the next few years needs to take responsibility for his own survival. That means taking common sense precautions, including having enough food, water, money and other supplies to survive an extended period of social chaos. Having a Kearny Fallout Meter, which can be built for a few dollars with local hardware supplies, could also be a lifesaver.

Posted by Philomathean at August 3, 2005 8:21 AM

Al-Qaeda's MO changes but their signature is consistent: multiple simultaneous attacks. By this logic I would expect The Base to destroy two cities, not one, when the morning comes.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 4, 2005 9:52 AM

When that tragic day arrives I doubt that the left will wake to the sad reality with anything more than we've seen thus far. They've so bought into the "It's Bush's fault" demagougery that it's become a pathology. Admitting they were wrong to oppose stronger measures would be tantamount to admitting that the blood of innocents is on their hands.

And the rest of us have allowed a bunch of handringers to handcuff effective actions necessary to prevent such calamity.

The only solution I can see is to galvanize solid electoral support behind the President and I don't see that happening.

Posted by Mike on Hilton Head Island at August 4, 2005 10:36 PM

If we can win this war by democratizing one or two countries and thus see the rest of the muslim world reformed, so be it. If Iraqis and Afghanis can foster rule of law, and free themselves from a culture of shame, repression, and despotism, and thus achieve a relationship that reflects at least mutual respect, that would be good.

I don't think we have the time. I really don't.

If the Arabs/muslims Don't Get It, not too far down the road I see a world where the survivors piss themselves at the sound of jet engines in the distance. A cordoned world where what is left of Islam lives shunned totally by the rest of the world, fenced away from their only marketable commodity. Returned to the desert they came from, where they can be free to preach hate and practice tribal barbarism without the fuel of petrodollars to spread their infection across the world.

There are a billion of them, yes. But that's only a number. We've designed our machines of war to deal with larger ones than that. The Japanese were ready to die to the last man - right up until the realization that there would in fact be no honorable combat but merely extermination as an end to the conflict.

We need to impress the jihadis with the same reality. I accept the probability that they aren't wired sufficiently to grasp the concept. That is their affair.

The price we will pay - besides our city or cities - will be a brutal, one-on-one demarcation between those who understand the nature of man, and those whose wishes otherwise rule their lives.

It's heartbreaking. We don't have to wait for a city. We could pull our sword out just a little and make some points that would be impossible to misunderstand. The next time Iranians or Syrians fill the street to uulate and burn flags in celebration of the latest decapitation, why not pay them a visit via our Air Force? I'd pay good money to see a Reuters picture of thousands Palestinian savages running for their lives from a pair of A10's working a street in Ramallah. I really would. Everybody should choose a side. If they choose the enemy, let them know there is a price.

How about we inform Syria and Iraq that their forces (and population) have forty eight hours to fall back thirty kilometers from the Iraq border? Then kill whoever doesn't move. Flatten the towns. Occupy the ground. And wait. And warn them that the cordon will expand if resistance continues.

We have literally hundreds of Saudi diplomats roaming our country. We should PNG all but about a dozen of them. Yesterday. And close any Saudi funded madrassa operating on our soil. We'll end up saving lives in the long run. The life expectancy of a muslim in America after a WMD attack will be right up there with that of a mayfly.

This "strong horse" shit offends me on a visceral level. Our armed forces aren't designed to win hearts and minds, and we shouldn't ask them to. Our civility and forebearance are nothing but weapons in the hands of our enemies - especially the ones among us, in media and what is left of the Left. We need to break the language barrier - speak in terms they understand. We need to make it abundantly clear that we understand the stakes. To the hilt, to the end, and with no remorse.

The enemy leadership publicly proclaim their objective: nothing less than the end of western civilization. Tens of thousands of followers fill the streets to support them. Why don't we take them at their word?

It would be nice to end the conflict with a few nice words over tea between the new Pope of Reformed Islam and the leaders of the rest of the world.

I rather think the final chapter will be written by this century's Charles Martel. A year or a decade later than it should be, but that will probably be how this ends.

Posted by TmjUtah at August 5, 2005 12:18 AM


I think your comments are exactly accurate. I advocated nuking Mecca and Medina in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. To me, that would have been a proportional response--their two most important cities in exchange for ours. And it would have put every Muslim in the world on notice that if you f*ck with America we will make you wish you had never been born. It would have greatly clarified matters.

"Strong horse" indeed.

I also noted the Palestinians dancing in the streets that day and thought they should have been machine-gunned.

Having said all that, I have to give the Bush Administration credit. Their idea of attempting to squelch terrorism by spreading democracy in the Muslim world is indeed a noble cause. It's certainly saner and more peaceful that any of my ideas. The coalition soldiers who have given their lives in this effort have not done so in vain. If it succeeds, Bush should go down in history as one of our greatest Presidents.

It is certainly worth a try. But if it fails, then the gloves will have to come off.

The life expectancy of a muslim in America after a WMD attack will be right up there with that of a mayfly.

Truer words were never spoken. But the shit will really hit the fan if the PC government tries to prosecute patriotic Americans for "hate crimes" when we do our duty and kill the enemy.

Posted by rickl at August 5, 2005 5:00 PM

Time was, I would have limited my wrath to the organizers and perpetrators of Black Tuesday. Today, I'm leaning toward the radical position: the conviction that Islam is too violent and uncompromising an ideology for freedom to share a planet with.

I profoundly hope that's wrong...but I hope with even greater fervor that, should it prove right, the government of these United States will act upon it with all the power it commands.

We shall see. Gerard is correct; as matters stand, an American city is doomed to die. There's no reason to believe that matters will be altered until one does.


Posted by Francis W. Porretto at August 7, 2005 1:02 PM

"It was, during those years, our policy to never be the first to strike at our enemy's cities, but only to promise an overwhelming response."

Are you sure? didn't we have nuclear peace treaties with western europe? that we would defend them with nuclear weapons even in the case of conventional attack?

Posted by actus at August 8, 2005 10:21 AM


Yes, we were prepared to use nulcear weapons in defense of Western Europe, tactical nuclear weapons not strategic. These nukes were either for 155mm howitzers or Honest John rockets.

I was a part of HHB Division Artillery, 3rd Armored division, 72-75. Our mission was to plug the Fulda Gap. The Soviets were expected to advance 100km per day. we routinely engaged in war games that had us using tactical nukes on about the 3rd day (and we expected the Soviets to respond in kind). The goal was to slow the Soviet advance until rinforcements arrived from the US.

Posted by nobody important at August 9, 2005 7:51 AM

nobody -

Any Soviet attack was going to open with chemical attacks and tactical nukes (via FROG and standoff air) at NATO marshalling, logistics, and comms facilities. by the eighties we had just about reconfigured our NBC delivery to nukes only. Operating in an NBC environment is actually more dangerous than in a nuclear environment, and deadlier by far to civilian populations.

Right up until the death of the bear the Sovs kept their NBC and nuke assets (rocket forces, decontamination units, stockpiles) spun up as much as they were able.

It was the stationing of Pershings in West Germany that finally made the Sovs realize their option to fight and win a land war in Europe was gone. They never could compete on blue water, either... but it was the realization that even with their tremendous superiority in numbers they would still be unable to conduct an offensive fast enough to prevent REFORGER from working, or even keep the conflict limited to the theater.

FWIW, I was an artilleryman myself back then. We trained to survive chemical attacks, and deliver nukes.

rickl -

I haven't advocated nuking anyone. Yet. Especially any symbolic targets.

My aims are simpler. Ten thousand maniacs dancing in the street in celebration of a murdered American?

I reckon they'd be happy holding the knife if given the chance, since they went to the trouble of taking time off from their busy and fulfilling lives to dance in the street. They've chosen a side.

I don't really care that they treat their women and kids like slaves. Or that they are incapable of advancing the human condition via technological or philosophical pursuits. Or that they've spent the last century busily retrenching into a vicious tribal existence while the rest of the world has largely democratized, more or less.

I'm not even perturbed that they don't like me, or the rest of western civilization.

I'm a product of a society based on the rule of law. What they think is their affair. What they practice as religion, or how they wish to worship, is their affair, too - I can think of nothing more basic to individual freedom than personally respecting the choices of others in their pursuit of happiness.

Right up to the point where their fist meets my nose. We are long beyond that point, and the agenda and commitment on the part of a sizeable contingent of people who declare their muslim faith as license to kill are perfectly transparent to just about anyone who has watched TV, read papers, or spent most of their time not in caves for the last few decades.

Unless you are Juan Cole, or any Democrat left of Zell Miller, of course...

I am not interested in symbols. I'm not even committed to winning any kind of debate of the merits of the respective cultures in conflict here. You don't debate with killers; the conflict we face leaves no room for a negotiated solution with the players involved at this time.

I just want my family to live in freedom, and the best way to make that happen is to recognise the threat and deal with it with the resources at our disposal. Unlike the jihadis who write checks for or steal their weapons, we have quite a closet full of options to choose from. And we citizens do pull the trigger on our arsenal, sooner or later.

Chicago rules apply. They will, anyway. I share Gerard's fear that we will continue to futz around until we take a hit orders of magnitude worse than 9/11. Then we'll see what a nation of free men does when it finally wakes up.

Posted by TmjUtah at August 9, 2005 2:30 PM

The previously unknown mineral "Trinitite" was discovered 16 July 1945 on a patch of desert formerly known (in Spanish) as "The Dead Man's Journey". When and on what patch of desert will "Islamite" be discovered?

Posted by Tresho at August 9, 2005 10:33 PM

No Sleepwalking here. We are ready and prepared.

Jenny Hatch

Posted by Jenny Hatch at August 10, 2005 2:27 PM

nobody, TmjUtah - King of Battle, baby!

Philomathean - that fallout meter design looks straighforward enough that not even I could screw it up. I'm also going to start on a bug-out box this weekend.

Gerard - you've convinced me (actually, I'm a bit embarrassed that I needed to be convinced).

Posted by Chris of Dangerous Logic at August 12, 2005 10:11 AM

Gerard wrote: "Our enemy has not yet taken a woman or a child for a beheading."

Technically no, but the murder of Margaret Hassan and the Beslan massacre indicates our enemies don't hold to those standards when the women and children aren't theirs.

Posted by tagryn at August 12, 2005 11:48 AM
N.B.: Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged

Your essay is appalling, as are the comments of those cheering you on. I'm afraid the "stupidity limits" here are much too relaxed.

Posted by feh! at August 17, 2005 12:24 PM

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 1:00 PM

Wow, just sleep-walking in from James Wolcott's site. What a wake-up call. You guys are nuts.

Just saying.

Don't let yourself get stampeded by these fevered dreams. Stand tough but live a little. Don't be such overwrought chickenshits.

Posted by wetzel at August 17, 2005 1:12 PM

Sigh. I had hoped for worthier opponents than those generated by a barren VF hack, who lacks both the moral fiber and the intellectual courage to accept comments, but you have to take what you can get.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 1:26 PM

Yikes. If this is an example of humanity's survivors, the dead will envy each other.

Posted by Envy the Dead at August 17, 2005 1:49 PM

Truly fevered dreams. Some I share. I remember thinking, on 9/12/01, that there are millions of sealed containers heading for our ports. In one of them, floating up the Houston ship channel, might be a nuke. Thanks to the Bush administration, that is now impossible.

Posted by Dr S at August 17, 2005 2:38 PM

I have a question for the author of the essay and his many cheerleaders. In what way are you morally superior than the most brutal of the terrorists? I would like a SERIOUS argument based on any religious, ethical, or philosophical value system you desire. If you argue that you care more for innocent human life or the rule of law than the terrorists I will know that you are just sociopathic clowns who are to be taken seriously only as potential murderers.

Posted by Juan Gewanfri at August 17, 2005 2:46 PM

So if I write a mock-biblical screed on strong border defense and isolationism, do I get to have that adopted as our foreign policy too?

Posted by Jape at August 17, 2005 2:53 PM

Evidently a red state mindset in a blue state location yields this sort of turgid, self-important purple prose. Pity.

Posted by Declan at August 17, 2005 3:29 PM

What a hoot.

Do you do kid's birthday parties too?

Posted by nominal plumage at August 17, 2005 4:38 PM

Quod erat demonstrandum.



Well that proves it, then.

Posted by nomina plumage at August 17, 2005 4:40 PM

'Then we'll see what a nation of free men does when it finally wakes up.'

It heads down to Walmart for some cheap plastic consumer goods, in all probability.

Posted by nominal plumage at August 17, 2005 4:41 PM

We are all proud, DAMNED proud, to see exactly what your estimate of your fellow citizens is. After all, what is a comment stream without a slam on Wal Mart. Nothing at all.

Still, I do wish there would be some new successful American innovation for the left to slam. Wal Mart is so Von Dutch, don't you know.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 4:48 PM

You are not my fellow citizens.

Successful American innovation? Borrowing cheap credit from your main strategic competitor so you can then buy back from them the goods they make might be an innovation, I grant.

It's certainly an innovative way to go into debt to the country which seems to be growing rather large in your rear view window.

Posted by nominal plumage at August 17, 2005 5:07 PM

All Americans, born or naturalized, are indeed your fellow citizens. That's simply the simple fact. Alas, neither you nor any one else gets to choose who is in and who is out. That system of government is commonly called "Totalitarianism" in all its many manifestations.

I regret that you were evidently absent during those classes that instructed you in civics and the American way and system.

As to successful companies, that game is commonly known as capitalism and any one or any number can play. It is a serious game in which only the past and not the future can be known. This is demonstrated daily in that other great American institution, the stock market.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 5:24 PM

Stepping out now for steak and martini's at a dreadful capitalist restaurant in Dana Point.

Play nice.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 5:28 PM

"All Americans, born or naturalized, are indeed your fellow citizens. That's simply the simple fact."

Well, it may 'simply' be a 'simple' fact indeed. Pity that it's completely incorrect.

"I regret that you were evidently absent during those classes that instructed you in civics and the American way and system."

Yes I was absent, given that I live in a different country. Strange that, how the great importance of a grounding in American 'civics' seems to have escaped the importance of my teachers...


Thank you for demonstrating that other great American tradition of complete self-absorption, Mr van Helsing.

"It is a serious game in which only the past and not the future can be known."

I'm sorry - are you channelling Deepak Chopra? I seem to hear an echo.

Posted by nominal plumage at August 17, 2005 5:32 PM

Oh who really has the time to deal with all of this nonsense? Get yourselves a copy of Civ III and work out your frustration by nuking all the toy Muslim cities you want. After that you might want to try reading a book or two. If you're really ambitious, you could learn Arabic, and find out what a bunch of tools you really are.

Posted by Harvey Kessell at August 17, 2005 5:33 PM

I like this site. It's all like "the edge of the precipce looms" and "one of our cities will die"...then "oh, i'll be on vacation till the 15th."

Posted by dai at August 17, 2005 5:44 PM

"I advocated nuking Mecca and Medina in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. To me, that would have been a proportional response"

"Today, I'm leaning toward the radical position: the conviction that Islam is too violent and uncompromising an ideology for freedom to share a planet with."

Do any of you ever look in the mirror? Can it really be your goal to be a self-parody of those you hate?

The attempted complete destruction of those you fear for the sake of security. Cluestick: It's been tried repeatedly for several thousand years and it tends to backfire rather unpleasently . . . and you want to think this time it will work? No wonder you worship Bush; The blind leading the naked.

If there's a difference between Islamic Jihadists and the American far-right (as illistrated above), other than specific dieties, it escapes me.

Posted by Thumb at August 17, 2005 7:29 PM

Please allow me to commend the author and all like-minded contributers on their dedication to ridding the world of Islamic extremism vis a vis this glorious crusade into Mesopotamia. To spend your certainly too-few off hours in Iraq hunched over an armoured ThinkPad, expounding on the Gospel According To George, is indeed an act of unparalleled patriotism. It is so refreshing to hear from those who are actually on the front lines because, quite frankly, I am getting sick and tired of listening to armchair warriors, safely ensconced in the comfort of their own (oh, let's say...Oval?) offices disparaging the Appeasement Doctrine of such cowards as Max Cleland, John Kerry and Paul Hackett. (Bring 'em on, indeed.) I am glad to see that the old axiom of "Sign up or shut up" hit home with you, since the passion in your writings leads me to conclude that you have fearlessly followed in the steadfast footsteps of Generals Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter, Malkin and Hannity. May you return to a grateful nation with a steely resolve, a lapel full of gleaming medals, and at least one of your limbs still attached to your miserable little chickenhawk torsos. God Bless America. Amen.

Posted by DKV at August 17, 2005 8:23 PM

Hello wingnuts from sunny Australia. We have wingnuts too, but they are a pale imitation of the original and the best. Best democracy, best freedom, best wingnuts - it figures.

Keep fiddling while Rome burns; and throw a little gas on the flame while you can still afford it.

Posted by Glenn Condell at August 18, 2005 1:14 AM

"Our ancient enemy"? What are you talking about fella? Islamic people? Iraqis? Al Qaeda? What?

I would point out that none of these are ancient enemies of the American people so you are either just dead wrong or don't express yourself well in the melodramatic neo-victorian prose style you have chosen to rant in.

None of the above-mentioned hate the American people or America or as the Thief in Chief says "our freedom." They hate the policies of our state that are in alliance with dictators in their own lands and with our multi-national corporate masters who exploit their people and in the case of Iraq they hate the illegal and unjustified invasion of their country.

We can do much to reduce or eliminate terrorism by simply making some wise decisions that are not based on greed.

Posted by Lee at August 18, 2005 6:56 AM

You're insane.

It never dawns on you that all of this terrorism and cheering and car bombs going off daily is blowback for our policies in the Middle East?

You're a barbarian, with an ache to commit mass murder. We've already 'shocked-and-awed' Iraq. A country which has NEVER threatened the United States.

Someone mentioned the rule of law. I'll believe it when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et. al. are in the Hague.

Posted by CatsPjs at August 18, 2005 7:52 AM


Posted by stormy at August 18, 2005 10:43 AM

"The life expectancy of a muslim in America after a WMD attack will be right up there with that of a mayfly."

You're a lunatic, and I suspect you have a gun. Please tell me where you live so I can avoid that place.

Posted by ap at August 18, 2005 11:31 AM

Apparently, the difference between Islamic jihadists and the farthest-out of the American right is that the jihadists are actually willing to fight for their beliefs. This nauseating call to pre-emptive mass murder is so typical of the Chickenhawk right -- America faces the most hideous enemy in history and those bastards on the Left are ignoring the problem or aiding our enemies. Urgent action must be taken immediately or we're all doomed... somebody else should go do it. I mean, I'd love to go to war, but I'm busy right now, typing. See? But really, if I weren't so busy, I'd show those troops what it means to be a hero. I'd be saving America single-handedly.

You want to protect America from enemies? Great, go do it. There are recruiters in every city. Hell, you can probably even sign up on line.

Posted by William Rabkin at August 18, 2005 1:06 PM

Kill em all and let God sort em out! All the muslims must die, but we will not undignify their mass murder by decapitating them, oh no. That would be to act like them. As long as we have a hairs breadth of difference between our abominations and theirs, then we are superior. Their vaporizing deaths in thermonuclear blasts should sufficiently prove to the world that we are the moral betters, by God!

Because I have fevered dreams that "they" will at any moment kill me or my family, I am in my rights to hunt down and kill "them" and their families. That is the law of the bible and of the constitution, thank God.

When we are done killing all the Mohamedans, then we can still cleansing our country of those who oppose said killing. We must bring democracy to the world!

Posted by Sane American at August 18, 2005 1:51 PM

I happened upon this site via a link on another blog. This is truly frightening. Americans, presumably, advocating action that is totalitarianism at best, fascism at worst. Imposing our will on other cultures and societies?

Have we forgotten the sins of the early 20th century when the Nazis attempted the same in Europe and northern Africa?

Perhaps we should simply skip the next few elections and declare the president our new king. We can eliminate the Congress and the Supreme Court.

We can purge the country of all dissidents, deport or kill any non-white Americans, and start our world invasion. It's brilliant! Who needs diversity, anyway? If we all looked and acted the same, life would be so much easier!

Call me when you lunatics decide to start the apocalypse.

Posted by ilikedemocracy at August 18, 2005 1:58 PM

Can we just put all these fundamentalist right wing American freakshows and fundanmentalist Al Queda fanatics in a cage match together and air it on pay per view? Maybe we could just remove the citizenry of Iraq and our armed forces and stage it there?

Or is the danger that they would come to realize that they have so much in common that they would become friends, what with their mutual love of random murder of civilians to satisfy their endless bloodlust, their belief in the preeminence of theocracies over democracies, their disdain for due process, rule of law, and an independent judiciary, and their general megolomania and paranoia?

If the only difference is that one group favors AK-47's and the other AR-15's, and one prefers beheading and the other nuking, is that really so big a difference?

Posted by Sane American at August 18, 2005 2:03 PM

What's up with the overtly Nazi theme of this site?

Posted by little green johnson at August 18, 2005 2:34 PM

"I remember thinking, on 9/12/01, that there are millions of sealed containers heading for our ports. In one of them, floating up the Houston ship channel, might be a nuke. Thanks to the Bush administration, that is now impossible."

While I hope that you are correct, it's optimistic in the extreme. What steps has the Bush administration taken to improve port security?

* Withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty
* Invaded Iraq, but fail to secure munition sites
* Under-funded programs in the former Soviet Union proven to be effective in securing fissionable materials
* Over-committed troops (especially National Guard units) in the elective war against Iraq
* Rolled back regulations and/or enforcement thereof as political payback to domestic chemical and energy companies
* Of the $18 billion awarded to state and local governments for homeland defense, only $600 million went to port security (as of February 2005). The Coast Guard estimates that full security measures would cost over $5 billion. Meanwhile, we've spent over $200 billion attempting to 'secure Iraq'.
* From "The Container Security Initiative was developed to allow US inspectors to screen high-risk shipping containers at major foreign ports before they are loaded in ships bound for America." An excellent start, but not 100%. And far from 'impossible' to sneak something in.

But anyway, hope you're right.

Posted by yagi at August 18, 2005 4:43 PM

Note to all the lefty-types, sputtering at the idea of America responding if the enemy hits us with WMD:

If they nuke us, it will be total war. Like Rome vs. Carthage. That is sad, but obvious.

I think Bush chose a highly moral course after 9/11. Rather than wipe out all Muslims, he decided to help them reform by overthrowing two of their worst governments and setting up democracys. Will it work? Time will tell. But I think it is worth attempting.

It will certainly be difficult. Have travelled extensively in the Middle East, I am familiar with the pathological mindset that is all too commonplace there (everything is the fault of the West and/or the Jews). Sadly, attempts at reform are harmed by the constant drumbeat of the Western left's own delusions (e.g. Bush only invaded Afghanistan to build a pipeline) which are adopted by the radical Islamists more and more.

Posted by Jay at August 18, 2005 6:01 PM

Why can't any of you rightwing fascists spell?
Democracys? Is that like monkeys? And you wonder
why we liberals are so elitist, so full of contempt for the mouthbreathers among us? Democracys. That's why.

Posted by DKV at August 18, 2005 7:00 PM

Sory. U be lait. T parrty wuz yestiday. Butt u b plenty smarttt, brainz. So otay. Diluth!

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 18, 2005 7:06 PM

My word, Gerard, you've certainly triggered the ire of the lunatic Left! It speaks well of the clarity and force of your statement that the moonbats should be swarming thus. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Francis W. Porretto at August 19, 2005 3:42 AM

My word, Gerald, that silly lunatic left that believes slaughtering millions of civilians is wrong is certainly irate about you. What moral relativists! Silly moonbats. We are hard at work spreading "democracys" to the dirty pagan brown people, at least the ones we don't shoot on sight, nuke or rape in our prisons. It speaks well of the clarity and force of your statement that all people with a conscience are shocked and appalled at your inhumanity to man. Good work!

Posted by Sane American at August 19, 2005 8:04 AM

I guess some people never learned to think in hypothetical terms. The whole point of Gerard's essay (perhaps in fact his site) is to make people think about the aftermath of a nuclear event in one of our cities. His concern is predicated on his observations of our responses to an attack upon our citizenry which, in it's scope and intent, was certainly designed to kill as many people as possible, regardless of their age, sex, religion or combatant status. Perhaps you recall it, it was in all the papers.

I will be most interested in the responses of many of the commenters here IF a nuclear event is staged in the U.S. Somehow I don't think they will be too concerned with international treaties and self-constructed moral quandries. Apparently they have forgotten their uneasiness immediately following 9/11, when almost everyone expected another, more horrific attack at any time. Many of us have not, and have been thinking about how uneasy the nation will be after it's citizens have been nuked.

If we never explore the limits of our self-proclaimed enemies' admitted goals, then we will be much more likely to strike out blindly and very, very harshly when they achieve them. Believe it or not, most wingnuts would like to avoid living in a future where the United States is responsible for slaughtering 1 billion people. But then, why think about possible grim futures when the present can be rationalized to suit certain utopian ideals?

Posted by Chris at August 19, 2005 8:20 AM

Chris: well said.

Posted by tagryn at August 19, 2005 9:17 AM

Here's the deal-- 9/11 was synthetic terror manufactured by the US government. US intelligence agencies knew exactly what was going to happen on 9/11 and let it happen in order to pursue their geopolitical agenda. Note, I am not blaming Bush for this, though he is certainly guilty of covering-up US government involvement in 9/11. In any case, we will only be nuked by "Al Qaeda" if the US government decides that is necessary to promote another war. Personally, I wouldn't worry about that too much. You should really turn your attention to those in the US government who facilitated the 9/11 attacks-- particularly those who stood down the US air force and those who brought down the twin towers with controlled demolitions.

Both conservatives and liberals need to wake up to these facts.

Posted by Spooked at August 19, 2005 9:19 AM

Sorry, but that's much too insane even for me.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 19, 2005 9:54 AM

Good lord, the 101st keyboard commandoes are going "nukular" now? Nuke 'em all, that'll fix the problem? If this damned war is so important, and you're in such a bloodlust, why are you here, and not in Iraq?

Posted by David at August 19, 2005 12:21 PM

Please seek professional help before you hurt someone or yourself.

Posted by dr.shrink at August 19, 2005 7:15 PM

I never seriously expected any wingnut on this blog to answer my question "in what way are you morally superior to the terrorists?" That would have required some tiny bit of intellectual courage.
Your cowardice is trumped only by your supreme moral relativeness, uber-political correctness, and blind embrace of big government.

Posted by Juan Gewanfri at August 19, 2005 10:52 PM

Okay, Juan. Here's your answer. Terrorists intentionally target civilians, or non-combatants. Their aim in doing so is to induce the larger population to acquiese to their demands by their demonstrated willingness to commit any and all atrocities, anywhere, anytime, totally at random. They will blow up women, children, dogs and cats. They simply don't care. If you believe that women and children are legitimate targets, then you need to explain why that is.

The United States uses it's military forces in conventional ways, that is, they target combatants, those who can defend themselves. At great risk to themselves, our military avoids civilian casualties whenever possible. As munitions have become more precise, so has our willingness to use them. As a society we no longer tolerate indiscriminate applications of force because our capabilities are so much higher.

Let's look at it this way. If someone picks a fight with us, we leave the bar, go outside in the parking lot, and wait for our adversary to take his best shot. A terrorist will wait for you to leave, and then kill someone else at random, preferrably the barmaid. The hope is to get you so rattled that you will never leave the bar, allowing them the run of the parking lot.

Bottom line, we avoid killing those who can't defend themselves whenever possible, even if it costs us our own soldiers. Terrorists don't give a shit who or how many they kill, as long as they make a statement.

Posted by Chris at August 20, 2005 4:52 AM

"Between 8,789 and 10,638 civilians have died since war began March 19, 2003, according to one group of British and American researchers that surveys media reports and eyewitness accounts."

I've scanned about for iraq & afghan civlians killed since. This is a good source about the difficulties of counting the innocents killed.

Posted by Apathetic at August 20, 2005 7:11 AM

Chris - not to mention the *causes* each side is fighting for. In our case, things like liberty, democratic representation, women's rights, freedom of religion, etc. In the Islamists' case, we're talking things like universal sharia, oppression of women, restoration of the Caliphate, suppression of any religion but Wahhabist Islam, and so on. You merely need look at al-Qaeda's writings & how Afghanistan was ruled by the Taliban to see what our enemies want.

Between the two, I know which side needs to win.

Apathetic - Morally, the intent of an act is at least as important as its outcome. Bombings which accidentally kill civilians & the death of innocents who get caught in a firefight aren't the same as detonating car bombs in crowds of civilians and blowing up the Red Cross and UN headquarters. The Coalition's actions in Iraq don't even equate to the Allied operations at the end of WWII; were we operating at that level, you've have seen B-52s pounding Fallujah into the ground with nothing but rubble left afterwards. We may eventually get to that point, for example if Gerard's scenario comes to pass, but let's not mistake the current situation for total war. We're not close to it, yet.

Posted by tagryn at August 20, 2005 7:33 AM

Interesting discussion. Problem is the right support ed Saddam in his Iran Crusade. You are just a windbag.

Posted by Friendly Fire at August 20, 2005 10:31 AM

Ah yes, and time was forever frozen at that precise moment.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 20, 2005 10:55 AM

Guys, guys!
We need both right wing crazies and left wing crazies in America -- don't you guys read Hegel?

This website is clearly for the sometimes impotent white male suburbans, who are worried we aren't getting down enough on the dune coons. But these guys are also the dudes who go fight -- we need them!

Other websites are clearly for the chickenshit lefties who couldn't fight a wet dish rag, and who are personal cowards -- but these dudes are often right about our country going too far in its grim Manichaen fights (see Vietnam). We need these left wing pussies, too!

As the two sides fight, we get a synthesis ofthe truth ..i.e. we'll kick Arab ass, but not too much.

Really, folks, Marx was wrong about many things, but not about historical criticism. From thesis and anti-thesis, we get...the American army!

Now you white guy right wingers go masturbate with your fake AK 47's, and you left winger pussies go get bitch-slapped by your hairy legged wives who earn more than you.

Meanwhile, we all support our brave dudes overseas -- they're the true heroes!

We're all Americans!

A Kansan Republican

Posted by Kansas Republican at August 20, 2005 3:02 PM

Thanks, tagryn. Most people have no idea how strategic bombing was carried out in WWII and how it is carried out now. And a great deal of people have no idea what our enemies have been saying, or they don't believe them. But then again, they aren't responsible for the American people, are they?

I didn't get my fake AK-47. I have to whack off with a fake Schmeisser, but it's old school.

Posted by Chris at August 20, 2005 6:13 PM

Thanks for answering a question I never asked. intentional vs unintential killing of civilians.

My question was why are those who advocate the killing of hundreds of thousands of brown skinned muslim civilians morally superior to those who supported the killing of 3000 predominately white skinned christians on 9/11?

Posted by Juan Gewanfri at August 20, 2005 6:21 PM

"We eventually become that which we most despise."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We should kill anybody who looks at us funny, and anybody who might look like them, and anybody who wears funny hats as well! We have to defend ourselves against people who would do to us what we are planning to do to them!" American inDigestion

The definition of right wing loony appears to be a certain denial of irony, rejection of empathy, and antipathy towards the practice of Christianity with a corresponding dedication to the most heinous acts of the Old Testament.

Posted by boing!!! at August 20, 2005 6:36 PM

We're certainly glad you cleared that up. We were beginning to wonder.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 20, 2005 6:38 PM

Gerard's essay isn't *advocating*, it's *predicting*...and warning.

Others have raised similar concerns.

But it's the old analogical problem of the owls vs. the roosters. For many, "it is still dead of night," and resent having their sleep disturbed by the warner's calls for awakening.

Posted by tagryn at August 20, 2005 7:10 PM

Thank you for clarifying a point that seems to have eluded many here in their rush to screed.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 20, 2005 8:40 PM

-- [Removed for excess frothing...]

Posted by Juan Gewanfri at August 20, 2005 8:56 PM

-- [ Removed for excess frothing] --

Posted by product of vietnam at August 20, 2005 9:01 PM

PoV: Ad hominems add nothing constructive to the conversation.

Posted by tagryn at August 20, 2005 9:24 PM

hey, here's a trivia question:

which nation is the only country in the world to kill thousands of human beings in an instant when they exploded a nuclear weapon over a densely populated urban area? (hint: this nation did it twice.)

sooo.... isn't it a little bit misguided to claim the moral high ground about matters of nuclear devastation?

let me understand: are you saying we should live our lives in fear of a horrific attack on American soil, because so many people around the world are afraid of us attacking them? that we should fear a terroristic nuclear attack because our policies and wars the world over have created so many possibly vengeful young men who might be willing to give Old Glory a little tasta her own medicine?

or is it just because it's a freaky idea?

well, regardless, when does a violent cycle become no longer sustainable? after bomb number one or the retributive bomb number two? circular destruction -- nah, nothing to be a-feared'f 'bout that. not 'specially 'cuz we're the ones who's got the most nukes, eh?

Posted by libertied at August 22, 2005 12:24 AM

If you pose a question that Political Correctness Enforcer Gerard is afraid to answer, he will delete it and ban further posts from you. You will become an online non-person:
Like an inconvenient photo of a dissident in the former Soviet Union: Doctored faster than it takes his Mom to say "There there Sweetie, don't listen to those mean people." after he runs to her in tears.
Consider yourselves warned
Counsel for J.G.

Posted by the front at August 22, 2005 1:46 PM

It seems you have, as have others, mistaken this comments section for a UseNet message board. Wrong.

My place. My rules. Be good. Be cool. Try not to drool on the furniture or be gone.

Arbitrary? Why yes, I am.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 22, 2005 2:12 PM

I note that your remark, except for the curious "counsel for J.G.," exceeds neither the obscenity or stupidity limits. Welcome my boy.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 22, 2005 2:13 PM

The unspoken assumption of the people who consider this discussion hateful or racist is that things will never get any worse; that the WTC, as bad as it was, was the end rather than the beginning. I hope they're right, but there is absolutely no such guarantee. The professed goal of Al Qaeda is to destroy at least one, preferably several, American cities with WMD's. There are enormous sums of money and effort being expended to make this a reality. The scenario described here is one where they have successfully accomplished this dream. The point of this essay is that "religion of peace" denial about the nature of Islamism would not survive such an attack.

Lee: the "ancient enemy" referred to is Islam, which at one point controlled a large part of Europe, Spain included. (Or "Andalusia", as Bin Laden refers to it.) The Islamic world was at war with the West centuries before the existence of Israel, or multinational corporations, or of the United States. Why should this history be relevant to us? Because it is relevant to Bin Laden and to the millions throughout the Muslim world who sympathize with him. Why do you think Bin Laden rants about "Crusaders?" Why has Bin Laden demanded that all European territory formerly occupied by the Muslims be returned to their control? The Islamists obviously have no hope of making this happen by conventional military means, but they apparently believe they have a chance of making it happen through terrorism and subversion.

Nor do I believe that our dealings with repressive Arab governments are the root of this hatred. Where did all those repressive Arab leaders come from? The assorted tyrants of the Middle East are the products of their own societies and of the hates, fears and inadequacies of those societies. If the Islamic culture and worldview are so benign and compatible with democracy and pluralism, why is there no Muslim majority society (with the possible exception of Turkey) which is fully democratic? And if rage about repressive Arab leaders is the root of Islamism, why is this ideology so prevalent among French, British, and Scandanavian Muslims? Why the surge of Islamic separatism in the Netherlands? Is the Netherlands "repressive"? Do European Muslims believe that there is more freedom in Tehran than in Amsterdam?

Much of the criticism posted here seems based on a lack of historical awareness and on blissful denial about contemporary Islamic ideology.

Posted by Milo at August 26, 2005 9:55 PM

Indeed it is and as such can be discarded as a testimony to the failure of the educational system to require a working knowledge of history as well as some insight into the self. It also merely reinforces the premise of sleepwalking.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at August 26, 2005 10:12 PM

Well, five years hence, and has anyone's mind changed? Reading the screeding has been enlightening, Gerard, to say the the way, how was your steak and martini?

Posted by Jewel at May 5, 2010 11:36 AM

Five years hence, more people are in denial than ever. Roughly half the population, perhaps a majority. They elected a President named Hussein.

Who would have taken that bet 8 1/2 years ago?

Posted by rickl at May 5, 2010 4:56 PM

What changes after five years?

Well... I cannot imagine a situation in which this administration would employ nuclear weapons.


There would have to be a regime change first.

Other than that, no change here. It is become a race between the destroyers of the Republic who wish to fundamentally change the country... and the destroyers of civilization, who are much more honest about their goals.

Same reality, though, when you take down the stencils and turn up the lights. Same reality.

America traditionally get into wars whose importance is directly inverse to our ability to wage or win them at the opening gun.

Each year of this administration weakens our warfighting capability like a cancer. As bad as is the trickle down ennui of people who just really wish the war would conveniently go away, we'll be scrapping hardware and RIFfing the core of our senior company grade and junior field grades before too long, too. They must have something to cut and it won't be grants to whatever ACORN is calling itself these days.

The Long War continues.

Posted by TmjUtah at May 5, 2010 6:51 PM

An interesting essay. Seems to reach near the optimum of indignant sputtering from leftists. I'm uncertain, though, of the likeliness of this happening. Also, it does need to be said emphatically that Islam is not inevitably an evil religion--it's simply one that is currently fostering a percentage of evil people. Going after Islam or Muslims in general is a Really Bad Mistake; it provides political cover for the sleepwalkers, and should policies be implemented that go after all Islam it has the potential to cause Versailles-like reaction among Islam in general, push it farther towards the pole of the evil people currently comprising quite a small percentage of the population, and in general act to prolong the conflict. My nightmare in that case is the possibility of vigilantes going after everyone, from peaceful Muslims, to Sikhs (completely different from Muslims, but they wear turbans and most of them look Afghani or Indian), to anyone who looks ethnically Indian or Middle cetera. That would, indeed, be very damaging to our country.

Posted by Tom Dickson-Hunt at May 5, 2010 8:06 PM

One thing, I think, that we have learned since 9/11 is that it is the Left, rather than Islam, that is our most immediate enemy. The Left is the source of the nihilism and self-loathing that currently besets Western civilization. Islam was not a threat during much of the 19th and 20th centuries when the West was self-confident and unashamed and unapologetic about asserting its cultural and military superiority. We cannot possibly hope to defeat Islam until we regain our cultural self-confidence, and that will require defeating the Left first and foremost.

Posted by rickl at May 5, 2010 8:35 PM

Would Barry be bothered enough to quit a golf game if San Diego were hit with a bomb?

Posted by Jewel at May 5, 2010 9:35 PM

M. Arnold's father published (quite successfully)an edition of Thucydides "History of the Peloponnesian War." The "darkling plain" is said to be inspired by the battle of Epipolae, the beginning of the end for Athens.

Begin, and cease, and then again begin...

The verse, and your essay, have held up well.

Posted by tao9 at May 6, 2010 12:39 AM

Tom, interesting that you chose the words 'Versailles like reaction' are you saying that there was another way to deal with the menace of Nazism other than through total military destruction? Could you be sleepwalking just a little bit?

Posted by at May 6, 2010 3:00 AM

Every viable nation has the potential for genocidal fury. Once two or more nations trigger that fury in each other, what is known as War occurs, real war and not the Cold War type (e.g. Vietnam, Gulf I, Gulf II). America has only seen three wars of this type, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and WWII. There is an extremely high probability that we will see our fourth sooner rather than later. Everyone will use everything they have at their disposal to win; and there is no questioning or debating these facts.

The only question is what it looks like when its over.

Posted by Carolus Martellus at May 6, 2010 6:28 AM

Carolus, what quite a lot places will look like is Mars or the Moon.

It's a long time since the full fury of the Norse heritage of Britain and thence America has been unleashed. Not even during World War II, except on two occasions; after all, gas could have been used at any time.

Posted by Fletcher Christian at May 6, 2010 8:20 AM

It is curious seeing these things again after so much time.

Posted by Eric Blair at May 6, 2010 12:50 PM

@person without a name:
The Treaty of Versailles was signed after World War I, which was essentially pointless--it resulted simply from the tangles of alliances that possessed Europe at that point in history, and the Germany of that time was nowhere near the sort of evil attained by the Nazis later on. Versailles, which imposed heavily punitive terms of surrender on the Germans, finished the job the war had began of destroying Germany's industry and economy (the inflation endemic during the Weimar Republic was literally so bad as to require people to carry their currency in wheelbarrows). The resentment this caused made Germany into the tinderbox that Adolf Hitler was able to exploit to gain power and start the Second World War. My worry is that an unrestricted war against Islam in general would drive much more of the majority of peaceful Muslims into the arms of the terrorists, which would not be productive on any count.

Posted by Tom Dickson-Hunt at May 6, 2010 5:49 PM

In 1914 the Germans marched unprovoked into Belgium and France. They killed anyone who showed resistance and burned their houses. THEY started a war that killed millions. They didn't deserve punishment for that?

As for "peaceful Muslims", I'm not impressed. They tacitly support their more straightforward and violent brethren by their silent acquiescence. "Peaceful" Muslims rarely condemn the jihadis in no uncertain terms. Usually any criticism is couched in "yes, but" language. If and when the West declares war on Islam itself, it will serve to clarify matters. The battle lines will be clearly drawn.

But as I said earlier, we have to declare war on the Left first, and defeat them, before we can properly turn our attention to Islam.

Posted by rickl at May 6, 2010 7:25 PM

Germany was allied with Austria-Hungary, who started the war by retaliating against Serbia when a Serbian national killed their crown prince. Declarations of war had been exchanged before the fighting began. I'm not extolling the virtue of the German Empire, but it was not near the kind of evil that the Nazis were.
As for Muslims, though I have not known many personally, all who I have denounced terrorism unconditionally. It is no more just to demonize them based on their tenuous-at-best connection with the jihadis than it would be to attack all Christians based on the actions of the Spanish Inquisition.

Posted by Tom Dickson-Hunt at May 6, 2010 8:48 PM

What Mr Vanderleun delineates here is only the needle tip of the problem, the threat that can pierce civilization in a fit of fire.

What must be borne in mind is that Islam's fatalistic agenda represents a gradation from benign victims of the religion to an assertive demographic hegemony, demands for "religious rights" in the West such as halal foods in school cafeterias, special prayer times, etc., to lawfare and civil intimidation which keeps us nicely cowed, right up (or down) to acts of terrorism. Each of these stages is carefully coordinated and funded by the faithful among us and their foreign masters.

It is this matrix of actions, fundamentally the essence of the Islamic goal of conquest, that our deluded leaders and their masses of followers, so ably referenced by Mr Vanderleun, have omitted from honest public dialogue. Yet many of us know the score in spite of their self-deception or at the least know that something is not right with the mainstream tropes.

Islam itself is not compatible with Western Civilization and the only humane, preemptive means of dealing with this problem is to invite Muslims to leave the U.S., with incentives if necessary, and by force if necessary. Their Koranic goal of domination is absolutely incompatible with our Constitution.

An excellent site to keep up with Islamic shenanigans in the U.S. is here:

Islam is both political AND religious in form and doctrine, which cannot be said of Christianity. To compare these religions in terms of violence wrought upon the world betrays a profound ignorance of history.

Posted by Potomac at May 6, 2010 11:21 PM

Tom Dickson-Hunt:
No, I wasn't trying to equate the Germany of 1914 with the Germany of 1939, and I'm aware of the tangled web of alliances that set off WWI. But nevertheless, it was the German invasion of Belgium and France that really got the ball rolling. Belgium and France never had any intention of invading Germany.

Posted by rickl at May 7, 2010 12:52 AM

rickl, ever hear of Plan 17? The whole French war plan was an invasion of Germany.

Problem was, the Germans were just a lot more efficient (and quick) at the mobilization.

The Belgians got screwed, though, that's for sure. Absent that, it's possible that the British would have stayed out, and Germany/Austria Hungary win in 1915, 1916 at the latest.

Posted by Eric Blair at May 7, 2010 8:52 PM

It's true that Germany wanted a war--they pushed for Austria-Hungary to go after Serbia--but many of the nations involved were fairly eager to go to war; no one had the slightest inkling what horrors WWI would entail. Going after Germany specifically is a bit unfair.

Posted by Tom Dickson-Hunt at May 7, 2010 9:40 PM

OK, you gave me Belgium, so I'll give you France. Deal? ;)

(How did we get onto WWI, anyway?) Well, it may not be a complete digression, since I've long believed that the start of WWIII will resemble the start of WWI more closely than the start of WWII.

Posted by rickl at May 8, 2010 11:47 AM

Years ago after reading the Tom Clancy novel "The Sum of All Fears" I was delighted to see that they were doing a screen adaptation of it. Upon seeing the film though I found it disturbing that the "PC police" had re-written it in such a way that the bad guys were Neo-Nazi's instead of Jihadist.

The scenario of Nuclear Terror has been a nasty little kernel laying deep in my mind since the first Gulf war.

If Jihadist get there hands on these kind of weapons, the only thing we can truly be sure of is that they will most certainly use them.

Posted by Robert Scott at February 14, 2011 1:54 PM

The image shows a man on a Los Santos Beach Lifeguard jetski with his gun aimed at
someone behind him as he speeds through the water.
It's a bit touchy with the helicopter, but feels more intuitive in the boats
and on bikes. For example, when he is injured, he
holds his side and grows more fatigued after activity.

Posted by gta 5 hack at February 14, 2014 11:29 AM

Nobody wants war. I mean nobody wants to think or talk about war. Deep down inside, though, they want war. They are too pussified to contemplate all that this means, but I believe most people in America and the west understand that the balloon will rise.

It would behoove us to get ahead of the loop and start making the right decisions regarding our defense as a nation, and as individuals. Remember how Rumsfeld and Pres. Bush decided to leave the artillery behind? If you want to definitely lose a war, do not bring your artillery. This is the move of fools, but we fully did this. They said, "you have air cover." Then, when night fell, or missiles flew, our fighting men had no indirect fires and no air cover. Brilliant.

We need a return to strategic thinking, and we need it desperately.

Posted by Casey Klahn at October 25, 2015 9:28 AM

Your vision 11 years ago was correct but not all encompassing. You could not allow yourself to imagine more than a city destroyed. What if the plan were to create such mass destruction that retaliation would be almost impossible? What if the bomb is but a feint, a misdirection away from something worse? You know what I'm talking about.

Posted by Frank at October 26, 2015 8:19 PM