Mutually Assured Destruction?

One could easily make the case that MAD between the US and the Soviet Union kept the peace during the cold war. I think we need to instill a similar policy with the “Muslim World” in order to prevent future terrorism. The problem is that the terrorists (and the Muslims who hate America) are apparently not afraid to die.

So, here is my idea. We adopt a new policy – if there is any terrorism on american soil (or the soil of any of our allies) which is linked to Islamic fundamentalists, we destroy Mecca - their holiest city, the “birthplace of the prophet.”

I think this mutually assured destruction policy is the only thing that can possibly prevent Islamic terrorism against America and its allies (Israel included). If they know that an attack against the US is an attack against Mecca, they would probably think twice about their actions.

The only potential drawback I can think of is that once we destroy it, then there will be an all-out jihad against the US. To that, I would simply say: you mean like what we have right now??

What do you all think about this mutually assured destruction idea? It worked (imo) during the cold war.

The “all out jihad” that exists now would be NOTHING if we attacked mecca. When it comes to fighting the war against afghanistan we rely on a coalition of arab countries who are against the talliban. The same went for the war against Iraq. Destroy MECCA and that coalition is gone. Yeah, yeah I know what you could say to that, and thats that the US doesnt really need this coalition. My answer would be, that in todays age of the UN and such we DO need that coalition so as to have legitimacy to fight the war. Not to mention we have a lot of economic interest in arab countries.

Now, Going to your idea of MAD and in reference to the arab ountires of today. MAD is a concept that means neither country would attack another because of the fear of an all out genocide. When dealing with the Soviet Union, that idea kept either side from entering in a direct conventional war with the other. The last time I checked, afghanistan is not a nuclear power, and knowing that the US could nuke any city we want, hasnt stopped them thus far.

What was said in the first paragraph of the OP should be a direct indication of why NOT to attack Mecca. Thats simply that the muslims who have been attacking the United States are not afraid to die. That will not change, whether we destroy mecca or not.

Right. Instead of a handful of fanatical lunatics, let’s haul off and do something that will (a) justify the attributions said lunatics have laid on us in their propaganda, and (b) get over ONE BILLION people legitimately pissed off at us.

Please, for the love of all that’s dear to you, think before you post such things.

**Emergency message for Kalt!! Emergency!


I realize they are not afraid to die, but they love mecca and care for it, don’t they? Surely they don’t want their actions to cause the destruction of Mecca.

If we explained to them, over and over again, that an attack against the US is an attack (and destruction of) Mecca, that might be enough to keep them at bay.

that pretty much sums it up kalt… maybe not them being afraid of the US is the question here, but rather the retaliation from them. Thats not MAD, because there would not be a worldwide destruction of americans and muslims. The MAD of the cold war was an all out nuclear holocaust. Also, there would be no logical reason for the US to explain the destruction of MECCA, so they would have nothing to fear from us. Also, you think if people are not afraid to kill themselves they would be afraid if MECCA was destroyed, regardless of how much they loved it? The past actions of the people who attacked the US shows exactly why they would not be afraid. So again, no, MAD does not work, or is even eligible in this situation.

a.) Islamic extremists carry out a major terrorist attack on the United States.

b.) The United States nukes Mecca.

c.) All remaining Muslims say “Oh well, I guess that wraps it up for Islam” and convert to Rastafarianism.

Theologically speaking Mecca is a holy city, yes, but it’s not like it’s necesssary for Islam to exist. They could find–or build–or new place to make their pilgrimages to (New Mecca–probably on the ruins of the old), and you can pray in the direction of radioactive ruins just as easily as you can in the direction of a big fancy mosque.

Merely making such a threat, let alone carrying it out, would guarantee eternal enmity and war between the U.S. and Muslims everywhere. Mecca is important to them, yes, but I think they would conclude that standing up to what all of them would conclude was The Great Satan on Earth would be more important. In the end, I’m sure justice would matter more than the Kaaba. Orthodox Islam is very strict about avoiding idolatry.

Also, a historical note: In 70 C.E. the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Temple of the Jews and sacked Jerusalem. Leaf through the Old Testament sometime to see just how important the Temple was to Jews in Biblical times. Note two things: one, it was the Second Temple–an earlier one had already been destroyed. What can be destroyed can be rebuilt. Note too that there has never been a Third Temple, yet there are still Jews and there is still Judaism.

Finally: Mecca, 1993 pop. 966,381. Frankly, it was bad enough to threaten wholesale nuclear destruction against the people of another nation in response to an attack by that nation. To mass-murder a million people in response to actions which neither they nor even their rulers took and over which they have no control whatsoever is simply obscene. Morally, it’s the same thinking as bin Laden’s–you have a grievance, real or imagined, against some large, undefined group–“the West”, “Islam”–so you go and murder a bunch of innocent people.


Help me out here, will you? I really want to know if you are understanding the words you are reading in this thread.

The most holy place in all of Islam is the mosque in Mecca. Threatening to destroy that will bring out the ire of approximately one billion people on this planet against this nation.

You are familiar with basic arithmetic, are you not? Please be so kind as to subtract from one billion the approximate current population of the United States. Do not deduct approximately six million (or whatever the current Muslim population of the US is). You will notice that leaves still in the neighbourhood of one billion people left still pissed off at us for merely threatening to take out the most holy site in all of Islam.

Instead of capitulating to us, rather they would likely just eradicate us and then the problem of the US taking out Mecca would be solved.

You may wish to have our nation commit suicide in mass, but I seriously doubt the vast majority of the population here is willing to do that.

Not to mention that it would turn us into exactly what bin Laden and his ilk already say we are.

Monty: I thought it was only a teeny little subset of muslims who are violent, not all one billion of them.

You are jumping to the conclusion that they would still commit terrorist acts against america if we tell them “hey, you do it again, and say goodbye to mecca.” Once russia knew that if they attacked us they would be destroyed (and vice-versa), peace prevailed. Are muslims not as smart/rational as the russians?

“They” already hate us. “They” already want to destroy us. “They” already have jihads against us. “They” have already struck on our soil. “They” are not afraid to die. But “they” really love their Mecca. You can’t persuade people not to do something unless you give them a damn good reason not to do it. The retaliatory destruction of Mecca is about the only reason I can think of giving them to make them think twice about more terrorism.

Kalt, you are correct that only a “teeny subset of muslims” results in terrorism, but we would be no better morally if we attacked mecca, and therefore would have the retalliation of the entire muslim world upon us. No, they wouldnt all become suicide bombers, but they would have a serious legitimate gripe against us that could result in violence.

I think you are also missing the point made by MEBuckner, and that is how would that stop them from being muslim or put them into submissive fear? As he said, jeruseleam was destroyed and rebuilt. If we destroyed mecca, it would simply be rebuilt.

As for the threat of destroying Mecca? That would probably have a similar backlash as if we were to actually destroy it.

If we promised to destroy Mecca if a Muslim-sponsored terrorist attack hit the U.S., you can bet your bottom Sheckel that an Israeli extremist is going to launch a terrorist attack on the U.S. in such a way that it looks like the Muslims did it.

Right now, it’s only a fanatic minority. Destroying, or threatening to destroy, one of the very Five Pillars of Islam is a certain recipe for disaster.

No, you are jumping to the conclusion that Mecca is “just another town.” It is not. The Pilgrimage is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Try to get that into your head, please.

This is completely irrelevant because there was not a requirement for those who believed in Communism to make a pilgrimage to the Soviet Union (not Russia, the Soviet Union). There is, in Islam, a requirement (one of the aforementioned Pillars) to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. If that city is destroyed, especially with nukes, then the Muslims really can’t make the Pilgrimage, can they?

Certainly they are. Apparently, in this thread, we’re trying to discover if you are.

Bullshit. A fanatical minority hates the US, and very many of those, when pressed, no doubt can not elucidate why they hate us other than that they have been taught by other fanatics to hate us.

Bullshit. There are Muslims serving in the US Armed Forces, and even a couple of military Chaplains are Muslims.

Bullshit. Only a fanatical minority have issued fatwas against the United States. Most Muslim scholars consider those to be invalid anyway.

Bullshit. Those who attacked the United States last month were not representative of the entirety of Islam, but of a very small fanatical minority.

There are also members of our military not afraid to die. When I was on Active Duty, I tried to distance myself from those fools too until they got kicked out. That is a dantgerous person to have on your side.

Good God, man! Are you completely incapable of learning?!?! The “they” you keep yammering about is not the entirety of Islam, but just a fanatical minority. Also, the Quran requires Muslims to make a pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime to Mecca.

Not just look at it.

Not just think about it.

Not just remember the good old days when people could do that before it was nuked into oblivian.


We now have completely convincing evidence in this very thread that this assertion is utter crapola. You have repeatedly been shown convincing evidence that your plan to destroy Mecca is a Bad Idea with a Capital B. You now have a damn good reason not to do it. Yet you continue to assert that it is, contrary to the evidence before you, a good idea.

And yet you are completely ignoring the facts that (a) the people of Mecca did not attack you, (b) the one billion or so Muslims on the planet are required by their religion to make a pilgrimage there at some time in their life, and © following your little plan will (1) make us into what bin Laden says we are & (2) justify what he has already done.

So you can just maybe communicate on a more informed level (I know it’s not quite likely but I’ll take a stab at it happening anyway), here are the Five Pillars of Islam:

[list=1][li]pronouncing the confession of faith (shahada or kalima);[/li][li] performing the five daily prayers (salat);[/li][li] fasting during the month of Ramadan (saum);[/li][li] paying the alms tax (zakat);[/li][li] and performing, at least once in life, the major pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).[/li]*Taken from Encarta Online[sup]R[/sup][/list=1]

The Quran is a very fascinating book. Take some time away from your irrational hatred of Islam and read it, please. You may then come to an understanding of what some of us have been trying to tell you in this thread.

*Originally posted by Kalt *
**I realize they are not afraid to die, but they love mecca and care for it, don’t they? Surely they don’t want their actions to cause the destruction of Mecca.

If we explained to them, over and over again, that an attack against the US is an attack (and destruction of) Mecca, that might be enough to keep them at bay. **[/QUOTE}

Even if most of them approach this position rationally all you you need is a handful of nut-bags…

Also Kalt I don’t know if you’ve seen this thread yet but check it out: Ask the Muslim Guy

*Originally posted by Asylum *

*Originally posted by Kalt *
**If we explained to them, over and over again, that an attack against the US is an attack (and destruction of) Mecca, that might be enough to keep them at bay. **

that’s the second time i’ve done that dangit.[/sub]


Having an uncontrollable, violent “minority” (seems like a rather large minority when they show them all dancing in the streets burning US flags…) with the sole desire of destroying the US is a “recipe for disaster” in my opinion… especially when airplans are crashing into buildings and anthrax is being spread all over the place.


Exactly - that’s what makes the mutually assured destruction concept feasible. If it were “just another town” I would not have started this thread.

You know what? I care about the “pillars of islam” about as much as Osama Bin Laden cares about the safety of New Yorkers. There are plenty of muslims who never make the Haj to Mecca who still think they are going to heaven. Religions adapt to changing times. If Islam is as strong of a religion as you probably think it is, then Islam would adapt to Four Pillars and life would go on. Surely every Muslim would not go to hell if there were no Mecca to visit. And if they would all go to hell - that just bolsters the power of the mutually assured destruction warning. “If you attack america, you will go to hell.” Sounds great to me.


Good, so it’s only that small fanatical minority we need to get our “if you attack america, say goodbye to Mecca” message out to. That makes it easier, especially if a lot of them don’t really know why they hate the US.


There were Russian-American citizens during the cold war who didn’t seem to mind our nukes pointed at Moscow. Anyway, Americanized Muslims don’t take the Koran as literally as the Muslims living over in Muslim World. I would imagine it is a very small percentage of 2nd/3rd/4th generation American Muslims who make the Haj to Mecca. They probably have a Mecca Haj video/DVD at Blockbuster that you can rent and watch to cross of that “Pillar.”


You mean the Islamic Scholars who live here in america and drive their lexuses and eat mcdonalds and watch The Simpsons? Yeah, I’m sure they can find a line in the Koran that says the Muslim World’s jihads are invalid. Jerry Falwell could find a line in the bible that “says” peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches are the tool of the devil.

If people are willing to believe it (and die for it!) then it is true as far as religious interpretations go. Religion means what religious leaders say it means. Whether this jihad or that jihad is “Islamically Valid” is quite moot when people are killing under its authority.


Yeah, that’s the politically correct thing to say. Aside from the 2nd+ generation liberalized pseudo-muslims living here in America, I don’t see too much sympathy from Islam. I see a lot of partying in the streets and burning of american flags, though. The muslim world (i.e. the islamic nations of the middle east) DOES NOT LIKE AMERICA. That is a fact, not a politically incorrect statement. I realize not every muslim over there would have the inclination or the balls to come over here and commit a suicide attack, but that doesn’t mean they disapprove of it when it happens.

“Requires” is such a harsh word. With all the debate over what the Koran “really means” surely someone will figure out that “requires” doesn’t really mean “you have to or you go to hell” in that section of the Koran. People are really proficient at making their religious texts adapt to their present reality.

Why would a Muslim commit an act that they know would result in all other muslims being damned to hell? Maybe I give Muslims more credit than you do.

Anyway, if “all of Islam” would speak up and get rid of the terrorists, that would be great. If my mutually assured destruction plan would not only give the “fanatical minority” a reason not to attack the US, but also gives a reason for the “non-fanatical majority” to keep their terrorists at bay, then that’s yet another plus.

I’ve skimmed it. I was shocked - it was the only book I’ve come across which I found to be more violent than the Bible. I had nightmares of my feet and hands being cut off on opposing sides of my body. shiver

No. It would be worse than it is now. If we were to blow up Mecca, or even threaten to, for whatever reason, Muslims the world over would take up arms against us.

And there is a big difference between the USSR and terrorists. The USSR had a traditional military that they knew not to use against the U.S. unless they receive similar retaliation. The terrorists don’t have that worry because we can’t pinpoint who they are.

Also a big theory going among some Muslims right now is that this is all a Jewish/American conspiracy to declare war on Islam. While this is bullshit, threatening to blow up Mecca would only confirm this in their minds and intensify the problem.

To get this outta the way first …

There is a difference between being uncontrollably violent and cheering a successful attack on a country one despises because it’s been giving aid to one’s enemies. Not every one of the people who cheered at the attack is a violent terrorist waiting for the right moment to kick our asses - I’d say they cheered that attack much like we may cheer hearing an attack on a Taliban bunker went through successfully. Not every one of us is filled with an all-consuming hatred for the Taliban (though I’d dare say there are very few Taliban sympathisers in America) and not every one of us is inclined to learn to fly a B-52 bomber jet in order to make such a strike, but we know we’re the “good guys” and they’re the “bad guys” and that the “good guys” “won” so we have reason to rejoice.

(Disclaimer, in case someone tries to read into that: No, I don’t think that targeting civilians like the terrorists did is similar to targeting a military target like we are doing, but to the people who are ill-informed and hate America because they’re taught to, I’m sure the distinction is blurry.)

Now that that’s out of the way … moving on to the rest of this premise.

It kept the military peace between the SU and the US, yes. Of course it also kept our population forever afraid of the nuclear bomb, it kept bomb drills in elementary schools and bunkers under houses, and allowed McCarthyism. Americans lived in absolute terror of anyone belonging to the Communist party or otherwise affiliated with it. It sparked a period of fierce competition between the US and the SU - which, in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, except that we perceived every one of their technological advances as a potential threat, instead of something we could learn, perfect, build off of, and then present back to them to see what they could do with it. It kept citizens of both countries in perennial fear. The Cold War was not a good thing, we could have probably learned a lot from the communist regimes we instead trade-sanctioned, threatened, and ostracised.

I think you need to make a clearer distinction here. The terrorists have proven that they are willing to die for their cause. Many people with devout religious beliefs, no matter what denomination, are not afraid to die because they know (or hope) it will lead them to a prosperous afterlife of Eternal bliss in Heaven (or the denominational/faith equivalent), yet do not actively seek out death for any cause. Those in the military are not afraid to die for their country, but standard military strategy does not include suicide runs and Kamikazi bombings, and while those in the military are more likely to die an unnatural death than those who aren’t, I would not say that people join the Army looking to die.

The terrorists are willing to die if necessary, but the whole Muslim world is not willing to die, nor does the whole Muslim world hate America.

What makes the difference between “us” and “them” - between terrorists and the rational, moral, civil world - is the way each group achieves its goals.

It is a rather loose definition, but just how to define terrorism is a bit rough anyway. The above definition, as I see it, would include not only attacks on civillians (as in the WTC attacks) but also attacks on military targets not engaged in war with the terrorist regime (USS Cole).

Terrorists do not operate “rationally”. While their minds may be sharp and their intelligence devastating, their actions are not logical. They make their demands and call attention to their causes not through any recognised means of government appeal, protest, or reform, but through violence. Terrorists have no rules, no laws, they know no boundaries, physical or moral. They kill indiscriminantly, they seek out targets with the greatest body count and not necessarily the greatest military or economic impact. They are punished only if caught, and the death of a terrorist creates a martyr so that other terrorists might be more inspired.

In the normal world, the world of negotiation - government policy and foreign relations and diplomacy - if one country has a problem with something another country has done, the disgruntled country first tries to solve the problem using one of the previously mentioned methods. (For example, we made demands of the Taliban to release Usama bin Laden to us, in exchange for our not bombing their country. They demanded proof and the right to try him in an Afghani court of law. This is “negotiation”.) When negotiation fails and there is no other resort, the disgruntled country may go to war.

War, however, has rules and regulations to which I do believe most of the world’s governments abide. One of them is that war does not intentionally target civillians. This is widely considered a good thing.

What you propose in your idea is the adoption of terrorist policies by the United States government. Not only would it entail us using “the threat of violence to inculcate fear”, by threatening to destroy a city whose inhabitants are by and large not responsible for the act we are responding to in order to "coerce or to intimidate […] societies" (terrorists of the Al-Qaeda or others; Muslims on a whole) “in the pursuit of goals that are generally political” (the elimination of terrorist regimes and perceived Muslim aggression); if the “policy” was ever put to use it would result in the destruction of targets not essential to curtailing the terrorism (the city of Mecca likely does not hold any terrorist training grounds) and the intentional, deliberate targeting of innocent civillians.

The day this country or any other democratic, free country resorts to governmentally-sponsored terrorism is the day that liberty dies. It is not possible to believe that all innocent humans have the inalienable right to life if we are wholesalely slaughtering hundreds of thousands of humans who had no bearing on the actions that angered us.

Yes, we did threaten to retaliate in kind if Russia launched a nuclear missile at us. Might I add, though, that this was a clearly-defined war objective between two governments, and that the response is fairly equal in magnitude to the action.

Assuming the terrorists managed as “efficient” (it sickens me to use that word in this context) of an attack as they did with the WTC attack - hypothetically saying we had made this ultimatum before the planes crashed on 11 September - we would be destroying nearly a million lives (if not more) in retaliation for the deaths of between 6 and 7 thousand. If you do not see a glaring imbalance between those numbers, then perhaps it is time to get your vision checked.

Coincidentally, bin Laden in other threads has been defamed because he “reacted inappropriately” to his complaints with U.S. policy when he took out his aggressions on the innocent civillians. Yet there are not many in our government who did not know that, so long as there are American troops in Saudi Arabia and Americans support Israel over Palestine, the Al-Qaeda would continue using its terrorist attacks against us. Would we not also be “reacting inappropriately” to our complaints with terrorism being used against us when we take out our aggressions on the innocent civillians living in Mecca, even though our intentions were made clear a great deal of time beforehand? Let us not be hypocritical …

I am not so sure they would. After all, if Usama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda had the higher goal of coercing America into a holy war with all of the Muslim world, and if other terrorist organisations hold this same goal, there is not much of a better way to go about it than to poke America with a pointy stick until America destroys the Muslims’ most holy city. I am not certain that the terrorists do not put their missions and causes before the lives of other Muslims or the preservation of their holy places.

If, as many knowledgeable people in the Islam religion have stated on these very boards, what the terrorists do is a perversion of their religion, is it not possible that they have further perverted their religion far enough that they hold no regard for Mecca if it means they acheive their goals? Is it not possible that they may consider the completion of their mission to draw us into jihad the ultimate ‘end’, and be willing to sacrifice anything as a means to that end? I would not be comfortable making the assumption that they would not sacrifice the city, nor would I be comfortable hoping for them to believe we were serious.

The terrorists spread propaganda in order to convince other Muslims to hate us and take arms against us. If we destroyed Mecca, they would no longer need propaganda to recruit their minions - they would have our true actions to do it for them.

Only potential drawback? Only?!

Besides having the blood of upwards of a million innocent lives on our hands?

Besides stooping to terrorism, besides lowering our standards morally and politically to perform what would become the most vilious, disgusting, atrocious singular acts ever promulgated?

Besides all but renouncing everything our country fought for, and all that it stands for?

shakes head

What we are in now is nothing compared to what we would be up against if we were to do this. Yes, Usama bin Laden called for a “jihad” against the United States. Do you see Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the UAE, Jordan, Sudan, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, etc., lining up to attack us? Are other Islamic armies filtering into Afghanistan to protect the Taliban from their fate? No. The Taliban is not actively resisting us, they are hiding and fleeing, from what I have been able to tell. (Others may know more - I find the gritty details of war and battles to be boring.) The only people “fighting back” are those who are planning more terrorist attacks, and we are doing everything in our capability to stop them. No more hijackings have occured since 11 September; no more lives have been claimed at the hands of terrorists. One man has died from Anthrax, and several others are being treated, but it is hardly a sweeping attack, hardly evidence of an “all-out jihad”, and not even certainly linkable to any terrorist regime yet.

We are not seeing an “all-out jihad” against the United States. We are seeing the Al-Qaeda attempting to turn tail and hide, and hoping to recoup and reattack from their new locations. Some Muslims have protested - mostly peacefully - against our acts, but then again, so have some Americans. Are these Americans guilty of “all-out jihad” against our country too? Certainly not. It is not surprising that Muslims are unhappy with our actions; considering the state of affairs in most countries bordering Afghanistan, the oppression of their government and the regulation of their media information, it is neither surprising that some may (in their ignorance of the true issues) say they support the Taliban. But none of them have taken up arms against us yet.

In short, I think that if our government implemented this policy, the majority of American citizens would rise up in rage against it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see people clamouring for impeachment.

And if our government used this method, all the officials who upheld its indoctrination would be tried for war crimes and likely indicted. And then what kind of position would we be in to resist the “all-out jihad” that would come our way?

Right now only a small minority of Muslims are violent enemies of the United States. But if we threaten to violently attack all Muslims (and a threat to destroy Mecca is a threat to violently attack Islam itself, and hence all Muslims throughout the world), then we can only expect that all Muslims will become our violent enemies. A policy which is guaranteed to increase the number of people who are openly waging war on us by a factor of a million is a bad policy, even if it could somehow be morally justified, which this could not.

And threatening people like this does not deter them. Has the United States been “deterred” by the terrorist actions against it? Bin Laden threatens more attacks on us. He threatens to attack things we love and care about. Do we respond to these threats to things we love and care about by giving in to bin Laden? Hell no! We respond by saying we’re gonna go kill the sonavabitch.

Kalt, please listen to these people. However much you desire to provide some sort of solution here, it is not functional in the least. To prove this, allow me to ask one single question;

And after we nuke Mecca we are (almost assuredly) attacked again. Then what do we do? Nuke Medina? Nuke Jerusalem? Do you see where this is going? Most of all, such an act would permanently and justifiably galvanize the entire Muslim world’s hatred for the United States.

If you want to see a real solution to this problem, go to my “Let Them Drink Oil” thread in this same forum.