If I were an Islamic terrorist, not just a common street bomber, but a leader, a strategist, what would I be thinking these days?
My strategic goals:
- Islamic states throughout the Middle East and South Asia.
- Weakening, if not destroying, United States military power
- Enfeebling, if not destroying, democracy in the U.S. and Europe, but primarily in the U.S.
To establish Islamic states, I would need an enemy common to all Islamic people.
That’s simple enough. There is A) the West, and B) America.
The U.S. is a major military power, relying on high tech, highly organized armies. These can be bled into impotence by guerrilla forces. Draw them into a battle where they will suffer the death of a thousand cuts.
How? A major attack on one of their cities would likely work, and would be guaranteed to work if a right-wing government is in power. Conservatives historically seek power and destroy democracy. The further right the better. And the weaker the leader the better. A weak leader is easy prey for power-hungry subordinates.
If I were a terrorist, I would now consider myself successful.
I brought down a major symbol of American power, the World Trade Center. I was lucky enough to have an incredibly weak and poor American leader in George W. Bush, and have come to consider him almost an equal partner in my plan to bring down the United States – he and his party of morally and ethically corrupt Republicans, who seek permanent power and thus contribute to the coming collapse of their country.
I have drawn their armies, with virtually no effort on my part thanks to the megalomaniac arrogance of Bush, into a war they cannot win, a war which bleeds them to collapse, which tears apart the United States politically, which drains it economically.
I have partners working closely with me to destroy civil liberties in the United States. They have already suspended one of the most powerful tools of democracy, one of the foundational tools of Western liberty, the right of habeas corpus. They have effectively suspended provisions of their vaunted Bill of Rights, the latest effort being the revised wiretap law. Bush has aggregated to himself dictatorial powers in executive orders and in signing statements that deny the validity of laws passed by Congress. Bush and the Republicans, aided by weak Democrats, have given me all this, and they have, by practicing torture, by imprisoning without cause or justice thousands of innocent people, by slaughtering other thousands of innocents, given me recruits and recruiters in vast numbers.
And I have tens of millions more partners in the United States. I have all those citizens who blithely go on shopping while ignoring the rise of tyranny; citizens who have decided that ignorance is bliss, that biased news is real news, not that they can tell the difference anymore. I have all those citizens who don’t vote, and those who stupidly accept that voting machines proven to be easily compromised are okay because the people in power say so. I have all those citizens who can’t be bothered to read a book, who can’t be bothered to question what they see on television news, who think people shouting over each other is news, who believe everything they see and hear in political commercials. America is populated by herds of humans who fail the simplest tests of knowledge, who have no ability to think critically, who want only to be led, to be told what to think, what to buy, where to go, and where to stand while the ax comes down.
Let me not forget those citizens who cheer their blind, thoughtless, arrogant right-wing politicians who offer, as a solution to the problems I create, the nuclear bombing of my holy cities; who offer as a solution to the flood of illegal immigrants seeking escape from problems created in part by the United States the wholesale arrest and repatriation of these millions of people; who offer as a solution to terrorism the constant drumbeat of fear and the wholesale repression of dissent and criticism.
These citizens, and the Republican party, and the cabal headed by Bush and his puppetmaster Cheney, are my greatest weapons, my most powerful allies. If I can keep them in power, I can destroy the United States.
One more attack should do it, should drive the final nail in the coffin. One more major catastrophe. Perhaps exploding a major dam. Perhaps a suicide squad melting down a nuclear power plant. Perhaps a chemical refinery near a major population center. Perhaps assassinating some Supreme Court Justices or Cabinet officers.
The Republicans and the Bush Administration have given me the power that will allow the Americans to bring themselves to their knees. I barely have to do anything more.
And if they capture me, or kill me, so what? I will be with my God, and another will take my place. And another will take his place if God calls him. I know in my heart that the United States will not stop destroying itself, will not stop its policies of destruction and slaughter in the world, will not rein in its corporations as they despoil the world and ravage populations and create more hatred. The United States is like a blind, enraged elephant loose in a village. Its only weapon is rage and massive power. It will destroy all around it in the stupidity of rage, and then it will fall as the villagers rise up and reclaim their home.
The villagers will feel some pity for such a beast, but the people of the world will feel none for the blind, ugly thing that the United States has chosen to become.
If I were a terrorist, the United States would be my best friend, my greatest helper, and when it has exhausted itself and lies helpless before the world, I will feel no pity, no compassion, no sympathy. One does not pity evil.
But I am not a terrorist. I am a citizen of the United States watching my government and my people destroy what was once the hope of freedom, of liberty, of democracy in the world, watching them follow blindly, stupidly, the plan for their destruction laid out by brutal, calculating men in far lands and in Washington.
I no longer weep.
I vote. I watch. I read. I write.
In time, if the time comes, if I am able, I will rise up to reclaim my country from fascism, or whatever -ism the tyranny will be named. My comrades will call me a patriot. The powers in Washington will call me a terrorist. They will fail to understand that dissent is patriotism in its highest form, and that fighting a tyranny on one’s home soil is the highest form of dissent.
And in time, in time, they will fall.
It is my deepest hope that from that fall will rise the America that is in my heart, that lies in the heart of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the America the world needs, the America that the world looked to for so long as a sane harbor of reason, of democracy, of liberty.
But for now America is a long way from sanity, from reason, from democracy, from liberty. A long way.