Let’s be clear about one simple fact: for me islamic radicals represent evil. And yes, the word evil is a “subjective” assessment. And let’s be more specific; islamic radicals who propagate the values of salafism (considering all non-muslims and moderate muslims as viable targets for terrorism) I qualify as “evil”. Evil means – having uncompromising goals towards destruction of good things – (and that including my lifestyle and civilization in general).
Having said that – I also regard christian dominionists (i.e. christian fundamentalists) as “evil”, for much the same reasons. These people want to use force to interfere in mine and your life, and they want to interfere in the societal order which I hold dear. And in that light capitalism is much the same. Free market fundamentalism is an invasive ideology that has created an invasive system, and one that uses force. The system we actually do have may not even be proper capitalism, granted, but I do not believe whatever form of capitalism we have (or might have) is going to do much good for societal equality, justice or the common good.That’s the problem with these sacred “-isms”.
That only leaves me with the moral obligation to understand evil. In the real world (the one where adult people live) there is no actual evil. Evil doesn’t exist – evil is a religious construct of blanket dismissal of the choices of others. I have understood for several decades that all choices don’t exist in a moral vacuum. Decades ago I had the interesting fortune to have a few lengthy discussions with an actual national socialist. I won’t mention the name of the man I refer to, other than mention he was an organizing member of storm-front, and a convicted criminal. He was politically active and an admirer of Adolf Hitler and the bodyguard of a well-known former nazi widow in my country. That was making a rather bold statement.
Contrary to what you’d expect this guy was also rational and sincere, and he knew what he was talking about. In a casual discussion he was a very good public relations agent for the cause of evil. While he debated me on socialism (and was patient and respectful when I defended democracy – he loathed democracy) a few years later he was convicted for severe violence against immigrants. He may have been involved in hate murders years later.
and he may have been involved in murders. He ended rather sadly, and from what I know he is a pretty heavy alcoholic and drug addict. I’d qualify him as having largely failed in attaining all of his political ambitions.
So now – why do I openly speculate about “what Al Qaeda might do” to be successful? Clearly, from my perspective AG is pure evil. Well in short because I don’t think Al Qaeda is what the media or the government claims it would be. I have come to believe that most probably the organizational entity of Al Qaeda is not something real but rather is a legal or polemical construct by the enemies of “certain elements in islam”, intent on either creating a polar competitive entity (or a “leit-motif” as it were). I think Al Qaeda is a device, and not something real. I think AQ was invented (and probably not as an intentional conspiracy) but rather evolved as a departmental narrative. In this narrative various top ranking elements in the CIA, the FBI, the pentagon, the US-based AIPAC, Mossad and elements in the Neo-conservative movement had a voice. These analysis are not mine, and I personally like the ideas in the BBC series “the power of nightmares” a lot.
Frankly, I don’t believe there are all that many radical muslims out there (except a few insipid morons) who’d call themselves “al Qaeda”. I equally don’t believe that most radical muslims want what most westerns assume they want. Yes there are radical islamists (=idiots) who seek nothing less than the total destruction of the political orders represented by EU or the US. And they probably even more want to see Israel gone, and any foreigners the hell out of Saudi Arabia (respectively barred from having much influence over muslim lands). Now… after a century of bullying and interventionist policies, I find the hatred of a range of muslims towards western society not at all difficult to understand. I don’t think it’s smart, but “hating” is what “damaged” people do.
Mind you, my relative gesture of understanding won’t make one iota for one of these nutcase islamic radicals – they’ll still cut my throat chanting allahu akbar. Or whatever. So morally my position towards these islamists is mostly the same as my moral position towards rabid dogs : I usually tend to like dogs, but rabid dogs belong in cages – or euthanized.
Next I need to come to terms with who acted in a particular manner to turn a few million muslims in to “haters”. I do not want to forgive muslims their own pathological response, but surely many actions of western nations in the colonial era have heaped fuel on this fire.
So my next analysis is one of how these rabid human animals would act, or could act, if they had a consistent and well-planned strategy. And I don’t worry whether or not any islamic radicals gets any ideas from me – I am sure the intelligence agencies are competent enough to have thought of these ideas ages ago.
What do all the intelligence communities think Al Qaeda [AQ] want ?
Let’s assume that there is some kind of collaborative, crowd-sourced grass roots movements of “religious nihilists”, which I can conveniently oversimplify as belong to AQ. Now let’s assume these people are diabolical in their goals and truly patient, resourceful and imaginative. Now let’s assume these alleged miscreants desire the following
1) to oust any western influence from arabic countries, and specifically Saudi Arabia
2) they want islamic countries to become “more pure” islamic, specifically a wahabi-central sunni interpretation of Islam. (i.e. Salafism)
3) they seek the destruction of the state of Israel
4) they seek the creation of some for of coherent entity of geopolitical sunni-slanted islamic entity, i.e. “the caliphate”
5) they seek to destroy the US (and probably the EU, Russia and other non-muslim countries as well), respectively end these entities as geopolitical players.
I don’t want to speculate on the sheer pathology, resulting of trauma, massive lack of self-confidence, perceived sense of humiliation with these (alleged) goals. I think the above 5 points are oversimplifications at best, and I think I’d be hard pressed to find great inconsistencies in the perceptions of many violent islamic radicals with the above list, and even greater delusions in many islamophobic westerners.
That brings us to motive. Why do these wicked souls desire these things? I do think there are truly wicked souls in radical islam who desire evils not just born of a more or less justifiable sense of outrage (or the usual pathologies in human neurology) – I actually think there are a lot of utter assholes in Islam who adhere to overly simplistic conservative or tribal notions. Saudi still execute a large amount of fairly innocent people by beheading. This is unacceptable by even the most culturally relativist values I care to entertain; what the Wahhabi do and advocate in their vitriolic sharia I can never rhyme with my understanding of good or decency. There are aspects of current Islam (as there are in most fundamentalist religions) that can never be consistent with ambitions of pluriform society, pure freedom, progress, sexual identity, pursuit of happiness, etc. But the question is whether this is Islam. I myself still can’t walk in my chosen style of clothes in the real world without the occasional verbal abuse, and that’s the Netherlands, and it’s simply a universal fact of an intolerant, tribal, mentally handicapped, miserably educated world. A lot of people out there, Islamic or not, are pretty intensely stupid, white people in my own country included.
This tendency towards xenophobia is just a little worse in Islam. Or evangelical Christianity for that matter.
Economy in terrorism
Terrorism is a filthy business, and it is a business where the practitioners have to constantly deliberate investment versus result. The professional Salafist terrorist is a smart, motivated individual, something like the fictional Abdallah Jones in the recent Neal Stephenson novel Reamde. Clearly Jones is a bit over the top, but he’s a professional and he’s bloody realistic as well as sincere. I don’t think there are many “jōnin” (or mastermind) Islamic terrorists such as Jones, as clearly most islamic terrorists are not as diabolically smart. A terrorist such as Jones must have pretty complex value systems; they have to understand the world of Kafir, immerse themselves in it with little compunction (the 9/11 terrorists dated pink haired strippers and snorted cocaine) yet still remain dead set of their (often suicidal) acts of completion. Some of these people must have had doubts, and when they did they probably ended up becoming CIA informers or “weeded out”, i.e. dead.
A truly sinister terrorist mastermind such as Jones (and I would not compare him with someone like Osama Bin Laden or Al Zawaheri, who were so well-known he had to hide in a glorified latrine most of their effective career) has a short shelf life. Effectiveness as an islamic nutter terrorist leads to prominence… Prominence for a terrorist makes you appear on watch lists, and that effectively ends most terrorist careers, whether because of death, internment in some big state torture facility, or “having to hide to avoid either”.
We can trace the fate of effective terrorists all over the world, and I think terrorists have realized by now that the governments of the western nations are using them as excuse-lunatics to roll back most democratic entitlements in the same western world for wholly unrelated reasons. Terrorists should feel pretty annoyed about that sometimes. These islamist funny-farm people are doing most of the grunt propaganda work of fascist-inclined elements in western society.
So what’s left for them? Crash the whole mess into the ground and create a new 1984-analogue Kalifate paradise from the ashes? Let’s assume that most Jones-like terrorists evil masterminds are leaning towards that ridiculously unlikely (overly simplistic) end-goal. Basicly we’ll assume that the Salafidiots want to win by turning the whole world in a smoldering carbon copy of Afghanistan.
Silly, but let’s leave it at that.
1. The Death Of A Thousand Cuts
First tactic would be to make the western world attack itself. If that is the goal of the Islamic masterminds, they are already pretty successful. We are seeing more widespread protest infrastructures (anon, wikileaks, occupy) emerge, and with good reason. For the alleged islamic radical these are all symptons of societal gangrene, and that’s what they like.
The sordid mess with airport security scanners, scares over underwear bombers (and next – anal cavity bombers) is a form of out of control societal immune system response. The security apparatus we have seen emerge in the western world has little to do with actual Terrorists. It does affect the actions and plans of terror groups, but not that much. Scattering cameras in the western world is more an act of aggression against democratic entitlements or freedoms of anyone else than terrorists. Now the actual terrorists want that – they want to create an irreconcilable rift between society and its elites. The terrorists hate the current geopolitical power structures and they want to alienate the western citizenry from these elites.
The best way to do that is by creating scares, and clearly the interests if AQ are congruent with the interests of inner-system radicals, such as AIPAC or various 3-letter agencies. AQ and those in charge of society actually want the same – they want normal people afraid, manageable, and in docile consent with an ever tighter apparatus of status quo or conservative values. If AQ wants to do something other than sit on its laurels and wait this process out, it should take the vulnerable spots of western infrastructure (traffic, transports of goods, money exchange, internet communications) and conduct visible and demonstrative operations there, depending on their relative level of competence. While Osama Bin Laden was no stranger of internet porn, clearly the values of internet are an affront to Salafism. Al Qutb loathed western depravity, and let’s take his word for his goals – we desired nothing short of expunging modern media, entertainment, the sexual revolution and turn the world in to the demonstrative societal chastity we see in the Arabic peninsula. Or, the chastity that existed in the early 20th century I suppose, because these days the elites of the Arabic peninsula fuck harder and nastier than most people in the developed world, but let’s ignore than briefly.
There is much progress to be made here – I’d start with money traffic. If AQ can disrupt or contaminate just a few banking communications systems (cut several internet cables under the sea at once using undersea mines?) this would cause a global panic. Cut several of them at once and you’d have a systemic crash.
But there are many opportunities here.
2. Attack Hollywood – stimulate content piracy
Hollywood is an essential element to sustaining the illusion of a free American spirit. Hollywood is fully in bed with the Pentagon these days – Hollywoods needs those military shots, and the Pentagon offers them for free, courtesy of US taxpayers. This is all straight from “the new american century” [http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm] playbook (courtesy of Goebbels) and it involved corrupting old media and news outlets to the side of the governing elites. This process has been consolidated. If I were Al Qaeda I’d focus on taking apart Hollywood. The best way to do this is to massively undermine the profit margins of cinema, TV and commercial music [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wB7CDHC0eY]. This isn’t difficult at this stage; these entertainment media are already scraping the barrel of profitability.
While I do not envision a widespread coalition between AQ and various software/media piracy organizations, AQ can actually pick up where ‘content pirates’ leave off. List the most vulnerable content, and start at the top. Windows 8 should be a nice target. I suppose ruining a few tens of billions of US dollars through hacking the latest world’s operating system isn’t as sexy and demonstrative (and it won’t get you nearer those 80+ houri virgins any time soon) but it does qualify as a nail in the coffin of Microsoft, one of the biggest remaining residual sources of income for the US. The more people hate these big industries, i.e. Microsoft, IBM, Apple for
not delivering delivering even less on their promise, the quicker the current apparatus of media goes belly-up.
Another great target – porn. Not good for islamic purity, but porn remains a big player in Hollywood, money-wise. And porn has become an ever more toxic infuence over society. Well, personally I don’t believe that; the more pornography becomes an effort of “motivated amateurs” the less money it makes. Now I do not advocate to the likes of AQ to round up a few tens of thousands of sexy Arab girls and undermine the stranglehold hollywood gonzo has over the western penis with a sincere “domestic effort”, it doesn’t take much effort to target the most revenue generating content and pirate it surgically. You don’t even have to watch it while you do!
3. Fomenting christian religious hysteria
Christians are easy to target for terrorist activity. Just spread rumours. To turn otherwise placid and well-hidden christians in to total meddlesome morons is to spread the idea “Islam is taking over”. It doesn’t even have to (remotely) be true. Otherwise completely worldly ex-Christians will feel pangs of guilt when faced with cooked numbers that “islam is overtaking Europe” and scurry back to the pulpits to demand immediate action. Right now the US is rolling back centuries on science education, equal rights, fact-based debate because a fairly small percentage of outspoken christian radicals “demands immediate action”. The resurge of dominionism to the center stage of US society is more damaging to the US defence industry, the economy, education, even the very ability to make money than ten dirty bombs detonated in several major US cities. This is a major target zone for any AQ activism.
This is a creative endeavor. Try to trick the panicked herbivore in to stampeding. By creating alarming rumours, by just a few demonstrative deaths, by spreading these smug little videos AQ can mobilize tens of millions of utterly retarded people in the world “to not take this any more” and start hollering out of their window, just five paces from their TV. This is extremely polarizing and disruptive and it is one of the most effective and infective strategies to make Europeans utterly loathe Americans. Create rifts people?
Now I wouldn’t dream of AQ targeting Westboro Baptist church with a well-planned explosion, but such a strategy would militarize a few million Nascar watchers from their couch “in to buying a shotgun” and becoming a total nuisance. Americans are quick to return to formerly abandoned values of 19th century atavistic superstitions (as opposed to the real faith, Islam, clearly) when “furriners” come to bomb their churches. It’s just a question of which churches you bomb when you entertain these ambitions. Yanno, just saying.
4. The vulnerabilities of the agricultural-industrial complex
While some of the above has been moderately jocular in nature, an actual attack on the agricultural infrastructure of the US is serious business. And it remarkably easy. AQ can take the most nasty pests, insects, fungi, weeds, small rodents from Africa, Asia, Australia and import these. This isn’t rocket science. Just talk with locals in these countries, make a list of how these pests live, smuggle them in to the US and release in something resembling their natural habitat. For example – if you take a nuisance insect that eats up most of the African crops, collect a bunch of varieties and release them in the US in the season these insects start breeding. Release them, together with several dozen other pest species, in a dozen different locations. Preferably woods, so the insects can “burrow in” the local ecology before spilling over in to agricultural regions.
An act such as this might however make AQ suffer from some public relations issues – since the US still feeds most of the developing world. If AQ would be inclined to pull this stunt off the several year collapse of commercial food-stocks might literally kill tens of millions over the ensuing decade from starvation. But that’s good from the perspective of Salafism, right? Poverty vectors towards Islam.
5. Currency wars
For AQ are two ways to conduct currency wars. The first one is the difficult but highly effective strategy – print fake dollar bills and throw the bills from buildings. This is a highly effective strategy and it doesn’t even have to be very difficult. Just print out a few dozen big shopping bags per city, and set this up in ten or more major US cities. Find a high building somewhere in the inner city, and acquire an air cannon – something with a big fan ventilator will do. Then just BLOW the 20 to 100 dollar fake bills out from the rooftops. For added impact add a few % real dollar bills in the stacks of fake bills. If the storm of scattering down dollar bills hits the main streets you’ll have a major traffic jam, and hysterical people making off with bundles of fake dollar bills – which they will try to spend as fast as possible. It will be glaringly obvious the dollars are in fact fake, but that doesn’t matter much – a few million stores will be extremely paranoid about accepting any dollar bill for weeks. The mere rumor of “terrorists” throwing piles of fake dollars from the rooftops will cause a major collapse of confidence in the US greenback.
There is another way to attack the credibility of the dollar, and it involves sabotaging normal dollars. It is very simple – take 10.000 dollars in nearly stacked piles, and “sabotage” the marks of identification that the dollar is in fact a real dollar. These marks of identification are well known – a magnetic strip is best “nuked” and rendered inoperable with a normal microwave for a few seconds, miniscule droplets of ink or subtlke pen marks would impair the bar codes and small holes would sabotage recognition colour dots. The trick is to do this in a manner that the dollars would still be accepted by stores – but bad enough that banks will start rejecting them at a rate of at least 50% or more. This will hurt confidence in street currencies, and if done in tandem with the first attack it will again make the dollar slide fast in everyday commerce.
6. Expose 9/11 for what it really was
I won’t say much about this – Whatever and whoever caused the terrorist strike against New York in 2001, the official story has become a bit shaky. It doesn’t take much effort to cobble together a few Youtube video’s that sound moderately coherent, and blankly deny involvement. If AQ publicizes statements blaming the US government in to taking a few confused stooges and letting them fly into the WTC buildings, the resulting publicity fall-out will spiral in to riots all throughout the US. It wouldn’t take much to make millions of people have doubts at this stage. This is a vulnerable spot that can easily be leverage societal alienation with Americans towards their (not really) elected government. AQ should use this vulnerability as soon as possible.
But if you do – please make these viral vids of the same quality as the Kony2012 initiative, OK?
8. Work towards narcotics illegalization in Al Ghraib
Not legalization! Prohibition has signified decades of great damage to western society. The war on Drugs continues to drain vital resources from all of western society. The last thing AQ would want is an end to prohibition. So what AQ should do is to target drug traders. Take the worst and nastiest drug peddlers in Colombia, and start to execute them one by one. And then target the most vicious prohibitionists in the US and Europe and target those as well. This will disrupt money interests, as well as make an end to prohibition the politically most unacceptable option. The system becomes increasingly calcified where it is out under stress – attack that system and it tenses up.
Mind you, I would love an end to prohibition, and not because I am anywhere near a drug user. I loathe prohibition because it causes widespread societal decay, bloated law enforcement agencies where fascism and preatorianism festers. Prohibition is real bad for society and most certainly worse than if hard street drugs were legally available. Worse, prohibition props up the worst banking and financial agencies in the world. Prohibition literally is the biggest remaining source of finance for terrorism. So, AQ would benefit greatly of they’d weaponize and empower those elements in society that are most militant about prohibition. Everyone will rally about them and support them.
9. LSD in Tapwater, products in supermarkets
This need only be done a few times. Leave an AQ message in a food product in a supermarket and give it a major dose of hallucinogens. This would be truly bad – hundreds of supermarkets would have to restock. That’s tens billions of dollars in of lost revenues, because a handful of soccer moms get a wild trip. The panic would sweep the nation. Nuff said.
Don’t use some poison – use LSD! It’s better if the victim of such an attack were interviewed half hysterically after the attack. Hint – LSD dissolves in fatty materials such as peanut butter.
10. Robots, robots, robots
AQ has been sort of a retarded grass roots movement of xenophobes. One would not associate AQ with high tech attacks. I mean, the underwear bomber was kind of a moron. AQ would however benefit greatly from one specific type of intrusion attempt, and that is to decypher the control codes for drones. This isn’t hard. The future will be all about robotics, and AQ should get in on the action. But since AQ is kind of an impoverished bunch of cookoo loons, this would be kind of an uphill struggle, so I’d pick the easy targets.
A stolen law enforcement drone, equipped with an automated USAS12 twin drum-fed shotgun unleashing from the sky over the equivalent of a a burning man parade would set back law enforcement militarization of US society by a decade. AQ can either make their own drones, or hack into a law enforcement one. I suppose either effort would be about equivalent.
Not making much statements on the use of drones to attack sensitive targets (oil tanks) or carry NBC weapons. I leave that up to your respective sordid imaginations.
Defending against terrorism is a very costly affair, in more ways than one. Organizations such as the US DHS do not necessarily serve any interest other than damage society and eat up resources. In effect the DHS is itself doing a better job than any islamist organization in destroying the civilized fabric of western society. In that light putting up a fight against terrorism, without any interest or rational analysis why people stoop to the levels of such lateral strategies is more akin to an auto-immune disease. The question I pose is – would it be more cheaper and more rational to just pay off potential terrorists in some way? Wouldn’t it be more rational (and cheaper) to just dismantle “the war on drugs”, or “the war on terror” and save the US a few hundred billion a year “and take a few terrorist attacks” every so often? It worked for the UK for decades.