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Never forget that we’re crazy

I was about to just add a comment, but I found myself with things to say that are better said up here on the front page.

Brian indicated my attitudes correctly. I certainly don’t wish things to go down the hell road… but they could. Many seem not to take into account the intensity of feelings amongst American citizens and the ways in which Americans as a people tend to react.

The first WTC bombing, the occasional blown up airliner, even the attack on the USS Cole were just the events of another Evening News. The USA is a huge country. Events of that size are unusual but not enought to impact the average person on a gut level.

The events of 9/11 were quite another matter. It got everyone’s attention. Everyone has friends, relatives, coworkers in New York City. The USA is a very mobile culture. Large parts of the population have worked or studied there at one time or another in their lives. The reaction, if you knew America and Americans was rather predictable: “We’ll find the bastards responsible and make them pay.” I know my business partner could vouch one of the first coherent things out of my mouth after the “OH MY GOD. ALL THOSE PEOPLE!!!” was about what we were going to do to bin Laden/Afghanistan and/or Saddam/Iraq. Others may not have been as familiar with the “intel” as I, but the gut reaction was repeated from one side of the planet to the other, wherever an American stood watching the live events.

The results after a little over one year is bin Laden/Afghanistan are down. He’s most likely roasting over a slow spit in some special deep hellpit along with his pilot friends and Saddam will be joining him shortly. It has been all very controlled and measured. Very careful to not cause too much harm to anyone’s sensibilities in Europe or elsewhere. Very controlled, very directed and undeflectable fury.

It should be quite noticeable the fury hasn’t cooled down very much in 12 months. Why? Because this is not a television media event, as much as media would like to move on to the Next Big Story. It’s real, and people do know the difference.

If someone were to be so foolish as to set off any “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (the weapons formerly known as NBC) the results will be different. If a nuke were to go off in San Franciso, or LA, or Detroit or where ever… the reaction would be extreme. Perhaps the government could restrain the populace and perhaps not. It would certainly risk not being re-elected if it didn’t do something very harsh. And if it happened more than once or if the death toll was in the millions as predicted for a worst-case Smallpox attack on an uninoculated populace… the reaction would be that of a berserker.

It would not be too extreme to say the results of such attack would be the use of methods similar to those of early Islam. Instead of “Convert or Die!” at sword point, it might well be the choice of “Change or die!” for the whole Arab world, guilty or not. And change they would. You don’t argue when 300 million heavily armed crazies are out for blood vengeance.

The lesson that must be drilled into any potential attacker out there is: the more of us you kill, the crazier and more violent we’ll get. If an attack passes some threshold of destruction on the continental USA the results will be exceedingly bad for children and other living things in the Middle East.

Look at pictures of Tokyo in 1945. That is the result of something done on American soil of similar scale (but not to civilians) to the WTC. You really don’t want to scale that up by a factor of a thousand. You really, really don’t.

17 comments to Never forget that we’re crazy

  • Nicely put. We prefer to think of ourselves as “eccentric” though…

  • Peter Schiavo

    In WWII, we spent 25% of our GDP to prosecute the war. Today, $2 trillion dollars a year will buy you a lot of ass-kicking. Offer citizenship to the people who are being forced out of Zimbabwe and South Africa, if they enlist. Buy out the Canadian Army. At least we appreciate them, unlike their own government. Hell, I’ll even sign up for a one year tour of occupation duty in Baghdad.

  • Sandy

    I can’t take credit for this, because I didn’t think of it this way. But, as another blogger who was going to tell an acquaintance in Mexico, Vietnam, Granada, etc. were business. This is personal.

  • “Very controlled, very directed and undeflectable fury.”

    Well put.

    Forget CNN. Ignore the New York Times. Out here in fly-over- country, Americans are in no hurry. We will not only punish the perps, we will root out the root causes of terrorism and hang them too.

  • I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it any more. I’m 57 years old, got drafted, joined the USAF, missed vietnam (barely). Was shat on by my fellow Americans and phuqued over by any and all that could employ me afterwards. However, my family goes back three hundred years in Tennessee, and while we might disagree in our own parlor, never doubt that we are Americans FIRST. All other nationalities, no matter how recent, are Americans also if they are here for freedom, and it’s blessings.
    We won’t be converted, and we won’t be conquered, hell… we can’t even be convinced, but we can be pis…d off. Contemplate.

  • John J. Coupal

    Regarding the smallpox immunization of the unprotected population:

    It’s good to see that the powers that be have now changed plans that maybe perhaps yes we definitely will innoculate all unprotected Americans (that is, all of us) against smallpox. Of course, the govspeak is for completing the necessary shots by 2004, 2005, etc. Kind of a ways off.

    Since mandatory protection against smallpox ended in America in 1971, this nation better get that program in gear. And Now.

    ..or, there are going to be a lot of unhappy voters in November.

  • Belle

    I have to agree. I watched the attacks from here in Singapore, with my newborn baby on my lap, thinking about my family in NYC (my cousins managed 2 restaurants in the towers, as well as others elsewhere), and the second thing I thought, after the initial horror and sadness was…we have to kill whoever did this. My husband opined that it was probably Osama, and I said: he’s not going to live very long.

  • Dale Amon

    As I understand it, there is sufficient Smallpox vaccine present to innoculate everyone in short order, and an emergency program would be carried out immediately if Smallpox were detected. Apparently the vaccine will protect you even if you have been exposed before you get it. I don’t know how long before, certainly before symptoms show I should think, but perhaps a doctor can comment?

    The delay is not just a normal government thing. Everyone is worried about liability. You see, the vaccine makes 1:1000 very ill and 1:1000000 die.

    If you were immunized as a child, as I was, a booster carries virtually no risk.

  • edwardVT

    Our ancestors established New Nations upon this Continent to escape religious and class warfare. These fools have now brought it to us and fail to comprehend the true meaning of “Never forgive, never forget.”
    And they have never understood the nature of Americans – crazy, call us that if you will but the last enemy that targeted our women and children was the American Indian. Reservations notwithstanding, they are for all intents and purposes extinct.
    Religious freedom is so essential to our image of ourselves, our image of America that we have bent over backwards to avoid action against believers of Islam present in America and we have done so in spite of evidence of their involvement in terrorist and anti-american activities.
    But should there be another attack then there will be indeed hell on earth. We will be their Reformation – Luther with a Nuclear Sword and binary biologicals.
    It will then become a simple question – 300 million Americans or X number of believers of Islam. There will be genocide to an extent never seen upon this earth and so be it.
    There is a window of opportunity for the “Moderate” believers of Islam to retake control of their Religion but there is little evidence that this is happening. And we Americans do pray that this does happen for we do not wish to become what they will force us to be with another attack.
    If we are forced to change, to impose a “Pax Americanus” upon the World, generations will curse the believers of Islam as they live under our “Peace”.

  • There must be some truth to the idea that sometimes an idea, an outlook, can spring forth simultaneously in different places due to some not-yet-understood soure of multiple causation. Just last night, I posted an article on my site discussing this very topic, and woke up today to see several other folks had written about it, too. Weird.

    Anyway, a money graf or two from my post, for any interested. The context is in regards to the possible use of suicide bombers in the US during the coming war with Iraq…

    “…what do you think Israel would be doing to you right now if it was the most powerful country on earth, and there was nobody keeping the lid on their responses?

    I know my people. The gloves will come off. About the second or third time this happens, every single shred of pacifist sentiment, fair play, or even prudent restraint in the conduct of the war, is going to blow away as if they never were. The clamor, the political pressure, we will put on our leaders to stop these attacks, will rise to the point that they’re going to quit worrying about who’s ultimately responsible, civilian casualties, collateral damage, world opinion, or anything else, and start killing people until the bombings stop. Look in the index of your history books under terms like Dresden, Tokyo, and firestorm. You don’t want to push us that hard. Our present taste for precision warfare may prove to be a passing fad.”

    I then point out an even more drastic possible measure, but you’re going to have to read the post for that. 😉

  • Trent Telenko

    The Japanese told the Americans in WW2 through their actions they were prepared to fight to the last man.

    America was prepared to kill all the Japanese in order to win.

    The US military was shipping 500,000 tons of chemical agents to the Pacific in 1945 for Operations Olympic and Coronet.

    Had the A-bomb failed to get the Japanese to surrender. The American warplan was to gas the Japanese like bugs.

    In the lifetime of many living Americans, the American government was prepared to conduct geniocide as a matter of policy in order to win a war.

    What American government can do once, it can do again if sufficiently motivated.

  • I’m in the Army, but let these people kill someone in my life and see if I don’t reclass into the infantry and if that fails buy some guns and round up a posse and go hunting. I would quite literally bring the fight back.

  • Jason

    As an American, I sometimes find it surprising how many incorrect assumptions the world holds about us. We are tyrants, we are weaklings, we meddle too much, we care too little, but never anything that comes close to the truth.

    Americans are workers. The middle-class work ethic is our national ideal. That oneself, and no one else, is in charge of ones own destiny.

    Sometimes that gets led astray, but, when pressed, it always eventually returns. And when we decide a problem is worth our attention, that entrepreneurial spirit gets turned to one thing and one thing only : the solution to that problem.

  • A_t

    “the last enemy that targeted our women and children was the American Indian. Reservations notwithstanding, they are for all intents and purposes extinct.”

    niiiice. So, as was true then, no addressing *why* they might be wanting to kill your women & children… naaah, just kill the lot of ’em. Spent the last few hundred years learning a lot?

  • Yes, A_t has a point. What was done to the American Indians was not ‘self defense’ by the United States, it was genocide in the service of ‘lebensraum’ (or ‘manifest destiny’ to use the favoured euphemism). There was never any serious attempt to reach a peaceful accommodation with the native inhabitance, other than tactical treaties which were torn up as soon as it was expedient. Let’s not loose sight of that.

  • Jason


    I typically like your arguments, and enjoy your writing style, but here you go to far in blaming us. It was not ‘self defense,’ but nor was it unprovoked genocide. Rather, to use a term you yourself invoked regarding our war on Iraq, it was ‘kulturkampf.’

    Perhaps, had 20th century sensibilities (or 21st) been present at the time, some agreement could have been reached. The cultures were incompatible, but not irreconcillably so. Nonetheless, had 20th century sensibilities been present, the problem would never have begun.

    The slaughter you refer to by ‘lebensraum’ was such only because we were stronger. I have no doubt that had our situations been reversed, we, the white-man invader, would have received no more quarter than we gave. The only peaceful solution was to turn around and go home, and, by then, that was not an option.

    Now, we find ourselves again in an uncomfortable situation, with no out but war. However, our sensibilities have change, and thus, though the situations are no different, the results will be.

    We have, through great trial and error, learn that genocide is not the only answer. Something much of the world, as of yet, has not.

  • Bill OH

    To borrow a phrase “Hell hath no fury like an America attacked”. One more 9/11 size “event” will force the socialists, mealy mouths and hand wringers into their hidey-holes until the mushroom clouds over the Middle East clear. If the current administration or leaders in the Pentagon even hesitate they will be replaced with those that will get the job done. Our “Greatest Generation” did not hesitate to bug-crush the Fascist regimes in their day, ours will not fail when called upon. Muslim may continue to be the most popular religion, but its adherents will be one of the smallest groups in number after the cleansing.

    They can say all they want about us, but when they attack our homes they will pay the ultimate price. Moderate Muslims have ample time to regain control, but will they? Likely not, virgins await those who sacrifice themselves for the cause. To take the whole group down with them would be a shame.

    Maybe we are a bit crazy.