The Onion Predicted The Rise Of The Islamic State In 2003

The satirical news site warned the Iraq War would fuel “a million bin Ladens.”

“If you thought Osama bin Laden was bad, just wait until the countless children who become orphaned by U.S. bombs in the coming weeks are all grown up. Do you think they will forget what country dropped the bombs that killed their parents?” said Eckert. “In 10 or 15 years, we will look back fondly on the days when there were only a few thousand Middle Easterners dedicated to destroying the U.S. and willing to die for the fundamentalist cause.”

He added, “From this war, a million bin Ladens will bloom.”


It will probably happen again, maybe in London, maybe in Madrid, maybe in a US city… because it’s relatively easy, as long as there are enough people ready to be martyrs. So what we need to do is combat the psychological impact of the events, and media hysteria or political exploitation militate against that. Both politicians and media need to acknowledge that you can’t guarantee to prevent such attacks, except by ratcheting up the security state to such a point that our societies cease to be the kind of places we want to live in. Of course, there’s the “dirty bomb” scenario, which may well happen somewhere, sometime, but it does no good in political, social or psychological terms to pretend that there is some simple solution that will prevent all this happening. Your solution of taking Raqqa might weaken ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but would probaly increase the threat of terrorist attacks in the West, since there has been a clear correlation over the last 30 years between Western military action and suicide attacks in Western countries.

So we need a Churchilian moment, a “blood, toil, tears and sweat…”  moment, where politicans tell citizens that the state will do its best, but there are going to be failures, rather than claiming magic solutions and giving ISIS what Margaret Thatcher called the “oxygen of publicity”.

ISIS is different from Al Qaeda in one crucial respect.  Their long term success demands that they occupy territory and establish a caliphate.  As such, war on ISIS makes a whole lot more sense than war on terror ever did. In this war the natural allies clearly include Iran and possibly Russia and Assad.  The “moderate rebels” in Syria is a fiction.  The role of Turkey and the Kurdish  Peshmerga is a little more tricky.

The terrorist attacks in Paris are more straightforward.  Rule one is to not overreact.  The most successful terrorist attack in history happened when Gavrilo Princip murdered the archduke of Austria.  The actual event was two death, but the subsequent overreaction lead to two world wars and nearly a hundred million deaths.


Sending thousands of troops won’t solve the problem:

Maybe we are misunderstanding their actual nature:

And, the obvious “solutions” may be just what they want us to do:

…and as usual, things are never as simple as they seem…
Krugman agrees…
I’m thinking 500,000 troops (among us, France, Russia, Germany, maybe UK) and an occupying force of maybe 1,000,000 (from the same sources). My back-of-the-envelope suggests it will take at least that level of effort to deal with things effectively over a long term.
Chris S.
Which will cost $6 billion dollars a day (based on the Iraq war).   Renewable electric power plants (wind, PV, nuclear) cost roughly $4/watt.  The U.S. generation capacity using fossil fuels is about 800Gw.  So for $3.2 trillion dollars or less than two years of war and occupation, we could completely kiss off the middle east  (and that’s not using any fossil fuel for electric power; not even U.S. oil).

About basicrulesoflife

Year 1935. Interests: Contemporary society problems, quality of life, happiness, understanding and changing ourselves - everything based on scientific evidence.
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