Resolved: The Destruction of NY or DC by Terrorists in Inevitable

According to news reports, Saddam has finally succeeded in developing the bomb. Make that, TWO bombs and counting.
Which gets us to this discussion point (and to my solicitation of your most humble opinion):

New York and Washington, D.C. are just too tempting as terrorist targets and eventually (say, within 50-70 years) either or both will be hit by either a nuclear device or a chemical/biological warfare agent of massive proportions. To strike at these cities is to strike at the heart of the U.S. and must be at the top of the wish list of dozens of well-connected terrorist factions.

It also seems probable within this time span that Israel (Tel Aviv?) will be attacked similarly in some mad suicide mission, state-directed or no. After all, if terrorists are willing to drive a truck load of explosives into assorted buildings, why not a nuclear weapon? Why not trail a mist of anthrax over a major city by way of a Cessna? Surely they must dream of doing such evil and eventually they will acquire the means of doing so. Tick tock…

Sorry to be obvious, but let me say I hope this NEVER happens and that any groups contemplating it are caught and liquidated by any means necessary.

A few years ago, people said the same thing.

And then McVeigh blew up Oklahoma City.

Draw your own conclusions.

So that I can get to sleep at nights, I have to keep telling myself that the Pentagon’s Department of Massive Stupid Wasteful Projects (DoMSWP) has in place a project that is finally neither stupid nor wasteful: A fool-proof method for scanning & identifying every single overseas package coming into the country by any route imaginable containing anything radioactive.

What I don’t need right now is for somebody to come along and post the reasons why that’s just not possible.

Ducking the issue won’t alter the threat board, nor should it give us a sense of security. Considering our government’s best efforts still allow hundreds of tons of illegal drugs and hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to get into the country each and every year, I’m concerned about the issue at hand. Saddam has the bomb. Former Soviet republics cannot account for all their nuclear weapons. Atomic bomb-making materials are intercepted on their way to Iran. Fundamentalist regimes and splinter groups in the mideast want to see our nation suffer.

Considering that I live near a huge population center on the East Coast, I’m hoping the U.S. and allied intellegence agencies are doing everything humanly possible to keep us safe. Frankly, if the FBI wants to scan my e-mail–or anyone else’s e-mail–fine by me. We’re living in a new era and the rules have changed.

we could not physically prevent this from happening. something like SADM (small man portable nuclear device, fits in a back-pack… and for the life of me I can’t remember what the acronym stands for) could easily be brought into newyork… you could sail a personal craft into any harbor in the country and rent/steal a car.

however, here’s why I think it won’t happen… we americans are rather well known for our military, and our seemingly endless desire to show it off… and we’re a vindictive bunch. I think most countries know that any large scale act of war would meet with a massive mobilation of our armed forces, probably leading to the complete annhiliation of the offending country. and there’s no gaurantee that we’d actually hit only the actual offender, maybe his neighbor, ally, etc. so if country X is contemplating such an act and country Y hears about it, it is in country Y’s best interest to talk country X out of said act…

basically I think everyone realizes that you don’t f*ck with the most powerful country on the planet when a Texan is in office… :wink:

still… a scary idea

A very scary idea indeed, especially since I live in NYC.

I did grow up in Buffalo, NY, and we were often told that we would be the first to go in a nuclear strike, because Niagara Falls was The Prime Target (because of the power generated there, not the tacky honeymoon suites).

So I think it’s hard to exactly predict what would be “tempting” to a terrorist. As Montfort pointed out, Oklahoma City was tempting in its own way. For a terrorist coming from outside our country, the reasoning might be that NY or DC is too “obvious” a target, and that security might be tighter. Also, if the plan is for the terrorist to activate a device, and then get away, NY is a bad option. Have you seen the traffic on the George Washington Bridge lately?

And–trust me–I have no intentions of being an alarmist. What really got me thinking was the Clinton Administration’s own warning that major terrorist attacks on the American homeland are going to be a fact of life in the 21st century. Yes, that’s the Clinton Administration talking.

I once said in a college class that it seemed that everyone hates the United States. A fellow student corrected me and said, no, they don’t hate us, they resent us. But resentment does not explain terrorism. What fuels these nutty terrorists isn’t resentment or Allah’s divine message or anything other than undiluted hatred.

Rational players can be understood. Vengeful lunatics cannot be and its precisely this unreasoned hatred that scares the shi* out of me.