Bombing America a Good Idea?

I really think you should include the “only really slightly white domestic US militants” in that equation.

And Just Plain Guys From Montana…

I get the feeling that the purpose of the OP is to gain assent on some key points in some as yet unstated argument. “ah HAH! So you DO agree that blah blah blah, so you cannot possibly refute the correllary argument of blah blah blah”.

Is there a name for this kind of post? I tried it myself once or twice and got the feeling that it’s frowned upon.

At present the Socialist Party USA has no military arm. But if we had some funding from oil-rich families . . . :slight_smile:

So you’ve started a couple of false front threads during your short guest membership, eh? Well, it’s free I suppose you can waste it how you
want. I, personally, don’t do that sort of thing. I guess I should address this because there are probably a few people “afraid” to

There is no “unstated argument”. The question of whether the US should bomb Syria or Iran is a completely different argument- with
completely different premises. If your comments are so sweeping that it makes your views seem hypocritical I would think you should
reflect on them before posting. I don’t get some big kick out of pointing out that stuff. They are only similar if we are examining the
moral correctness of using violence to solve the MENA conflict - a question that has been clearly begged in the affirmative for some
time now.

Setting off a hunt for domestic Reds& fellow travelers would certainly have some advantages from a psyops POV. The commie hatred
is already instilled, makes it easier for the admin to turn ship without losing face. “An old enemy has reared it’s head”, “the communist
worm is merely dissected, not dead”- that would be good stuff. But actually getting you guys trained and trustworthy is probably way
beyond their scope. :wink:

Any state or identifiable group would be foolish to admit to bombing the US, and it is highly questionable whether such a thing would acheive any objective or goal whatsoever (beyond terrorising the population or, perhaps, framing their enemy - ever wonder why Iran was so conspicuously doe-eyed when Iraq was invaded?)

However, a single team of special operatives whose mission was solely to impede economic activity could cause major havoc in the US. I suspect that as the century progresses and we come closer to the maximum atmospheric CO[sub]2[/sub] threshold allowed ([500ppm*: we’re are at 378ppm and rising at 3ppm per year), many countries who will be adversely affected might consider that they have nothing to lose by attempting to forcibly limit US emission by, say, targeting airports or power plants using deniable teams of special ops agents.

Improbable? Perhaps. But the [url=,6903,1153513,00.html]CIA]( thinks the threat is real.

Ugh sorry, try again:

I suspect that as the century progresses and we come closer to the maximum atmospheric CO[sub]2[/sub] threshold allowed (500ppm: we’re are at 378ppm and rising at 3ppm per year), many countries who will be adversely affected might consider that they have nothing to lose by attempting to forcibly limit US emission by, say, targeting airports or power plants using deniable teams of special ops agents.

Improbable? Perhaps. But the CIA thinks the threat is real

Sorry, I didn’t take the OP as seriously as I should have.

Paraphrasing, you’re asking whether the goal of “removing American troops from the MENA region and cutting off support for local regimes” would be furthered by perpetrating bombing acts in the U.S. (with or without a focus on avoiding personal injury and death) or by aiding domestic terror groups?

(Leaving out the discussion of whether that’s an accurate description of MENA terrorists’ goals.)

I can’t see how such action can be anything other than counter-productive. Such terror actions will simply convince and prove to the population and government that further intervention in foreign countries is neeced.

Regarding the domestic terror groups, if the links can be traced then that would be equivalent to the foregoing. If not, then it would be foreign-policy-neutral (did Timothy McVeigh or Unabomber have any effect on foreign policy?)

If I’m understanding you carnalK, you want to know how wise it would be for middle eastern countries and terrorist groups to funnel money into american terrorist groups/individuals as opposed to just trying to bomb us themselves.

My answer, it depends on the goals. If they’re trying to get our troops out of their country, then likely not. It would take a fairly impressive amount of bombings for the President to feel it necessary to bring troops to stop the attacks. Once the financial links are discovered, it would get much worse as the U.S. turns it’s attention on to the offending financeer and their home country. We can make a fairly large mess without using much in the way of ground troops. At best you’d be moving ground troops from one area to another without pulling them fully out of the region.

However, there are some possibilities there. The financial links would murk the issue up enough to be a hard sell to a portion of the public and global community, especially since this administration has credibility problems of their own making. If done properly, you could get the military chasing down too many leads or commiting resources to too many areas. This would be enormously difficult though.

Of course, most american terrorists seem to be of the “love the country but hate the government” breed and wouldn’t be willing to accept money from known terrorist groups. You’d have to heavily cover where the money was coming from.

The best idea would be to funnel the money into environmental terrorist groups or anarchist groups in an effort to create chaos. Those groups wouldn’t seem to care where the money was coming from. The downside to that is that those groups are already likely being watched which makes it difficult to contact and finance.

All in all, I think terror outsourcing just isn’t workable.

I am proposing that it would be wise for MENA militants to start a domestic US bombing campaign- and I gave two options for doing so that lower chance of bad optics and “blowback”. I wanted feedback on the possible success of those specific strategies.

Well in reality the US can’t do anything it wants just because it’s population is “convinced” of something- they actually need the money and resources to do it. If decided by the admin, terror attacks could just as easily be used by the government to flog an isolationist agenda to the American people and the population would be “convinced”. You guys might be underestimating the vast stretches of ungaurded infrastructure in North America. If the president realized he needed some real eyeballs on the job it will take a LOT of troops. Also, what if no “host country” is found(or even a convincing “scape goat” country).

I thought about this some more, and I have a hunch you think I am making a veiled reference to the “El Salvador Option”? I assure it did not even occur to me. An analogue in American policy history might be more like funding ObL during Afghanistan or the Contras in Nicaragua. Reviewing those programs may prove of some useful instruction to MENA militants, but I think the objectives and means available to the participants in the OP and the analogues are very different. Too different to really judge the usefulness of the tactic by means of analogy.

Sorry, I also wanted to address this point:

That is a very romantic attitude to have towards domestic terrorists, I wouldn’t count on it.
The first article I found:

There might not be much of middle east left to operate in if the American beast gets really riled up by more attacks on its home front. The terrorists might be left with Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and Afghanistan … if they’re lucky. Those desert countries have a lot of VERY vulnerable populations.

So Evil Captor if Syria, Iran and Jordan were all annexed by the US military in response to domestic bombings: how does that actually affect the described plan? American infrastructure can still be destroyed easily and cheaply.

How about if the US decided that collective punishment was the best option and firebomb massacred every city in the MENA region with a population over 20,000. Does this make my plan unworkable? No, there are plenty of recruits in rural regions and even within the USA itself (recruiting within the US would be a lot easier with the described commitment against creating civilian casualties and a juxtapositioned American led slaughter).

I really would prefer less “America would be mad” emphasis posts- that’s kind of a big “no shit”. Would the described tactics limit “blowback” compared to traditional methods?

What advantage would MENA get from harming the U.S. infrastructure if the Middle East gets turned into a sea of sand surrounding a few pits of molten glass? Do they really want that? I know they’re an angry bunch, but I always assumed that what they want is power in the Middle East, without the Americans involved. And no Middle East, no power.

BTW, I do NOT advocate bombing the Middle East. I just know from the reaction to 911 that any further successful attacks will enrage the gucks beyond reason … and they were never that close to reason anyway.

Evil Captor, so your argument against my proposed tactics is a literal belief in the “Madman doctrine”?

As I stated, I think American retaliation would be limited by a) world/domestic opinion if targets were carefully selected to avoid civilian deaths or alternatively by not directly running, only secretly funding the campaign and b) by the fact that oil costs would become prohibitive with escalating punitive US military action. Punitive bombings is all the US could really manage right now- another occupation is beyond current capabilities.

CarnalK, forgive me for misunderstanding your post. Still, I think you are greatly overestimating the number of domestic terrorists you could find for such a plan. I’m sure that there are large numbers of people that are very angry at the government, but it’s a whole different kettle of fish when you’re the one with your finger on the detonate button.

As far as lessening the blowback, not really. It may take a while for the groups to be tracked and the financial links to be sorted but it won’t take too long. Most terrorist groups or groups even kinda viewed to be terrorists are being watched. Their bank accounts, phones, and the like are probably also being monitored.

And when exactly has the current administration waited to have all of the knowledge before dropping bombs? Don’t seem to need international support either. Not to hijack the thread, but the group we’ve got in the white house don’t need no steenkeen excuses.

In other words, outsourcing of terrorist duties has too many flaws to be very feasible.

As for your contention that it would bring troops out of the areas in question, it would still take a lot of bombs for the President to think that the military is needed to guard the infrastructure. Even then, it would come from National Guard and reservists first. To get troops pulled from active war zones would take a lot of kabooms.

Will these tactics eventually result in US troops being pulled out of the Middle East? Possibly–but the timeframe we’re talking about is enormous.

I think, esp. once significant attacks on US soil are occurring on a regular basis, the US will dig in its heels and be reluctant to give up the fight, no matter the cost. Sacrifice, deprivation, loss of life, and conversion to a WWII-style military economy will be taken as necessary to stop the enemy who is trying to hurt us. Thus, while the US would, eventually, exhaust its resources trying to completely pacify the Middle East, it would only do so after the virtual destruction of the entire United States–it’s draftable population, its raw materials, its infrastructure, food supplies, etc. And most of the rest of the world, too, as the US would surely go to great lengths to maintain its supply lines for oil, steel, etc.

So, yes, it’s possible. But we are talking about WWIII here. Nukes may not actually be used, but such an escalation in the conflict would quickly drag in the rest of the world–esp. as China, India, Pakistan, and Russia are all parked right next to the field of play, and all have stakes in a broader conflict. After a good decade of that mess, maybe the US will finally be drained of its necessary resources, and forced to call it quits overseas. But what’s left of the Middle East at that point will make post-Soviet Afghanistan look like the Garden of Eden.

Summation: It seems to me that the best course of action for militants would be to ensure that there are NO attacks on US soil, while concentrating efforts on US troops abroad so as to increase casualties and loss of materiel to enormous levels. That way, voting Americans may, evntually, do the math: No one is attacking us here, but they keep killing everyone we send over there; maybe we should stop sending people over there.

Somewhere an FBI computer just beeped.

crosses CarnalK off the list of people who’ll ever hold a federal job or run for office… :slight_smile:

But that doesn’t, except on the margins, meet Al-Qaeda’s goal of changin US policy.
The OP does raise a question that’s been bugging me for a while - why the hell hasn’t US soil been targeted since 9/11? I’m not talking about 9/11-level attacks; I’ll assume for the moment that operations involving significant planning are difficult if not impossible with Al-Qaeda’s structure and safe havens under assault. But what about suicide and car bombs? They don’t take much infrastructure and the US certainly isn’t well gear-up to prevent them. I believe that they haven’t happened because Al-Qaeda, etc., haven’t chosen to use that tactic here. But why not? IMO, it would be effective.


What Toadspittle said, with the further comment that the WTC/Pentagon attacks, while undeniably costly and spectacular, have turned out, in the short term at least, to be a complete disaster from the strategic standpoint (IMO). Rather than push the US toward evicting itself from interference in in Middle Eastern affairs, as seems to have been the intention, the attacks have resulted in the US embedding itself far more deeply than before in the region, not to mention disrupting formerly safe havens for planning such as Libya and Afghanistan.

We are not necessarily dealing here with rational people, or with persons who at the very least have some fundamental understanding of the minds of their enemy, but if these people are at all rational they might realize that further domestic attacks cannot induce sufficient casualties to make any strategic difference unless they could employ special weapons that clearly are not available at present. In addition, any such attacks would likely bring ever more severe responses against the populations of the Middle East, not less, up to and including nuclear strikes, which, from an operational standpoint, would be laughably (and dangerously) easy to mount compared to the conventional ground actions that have been carried out so far.

Finally, there seems little question, IMO, that the US will find it difficult to maintain its current level of engagement in Iraq for more than a year or two without serious economic and social repercussions. Thus some disengaement will in fact occur with or without further actions against the US. In sum, there seems to be little strategic purpose to launching attacks on US soil again at this time.