This piece was posted at a comment thread at Belmont Club on an article regarding the potential use of nuclear weapons against Jihadist forces, and is reproduced here in part:
I have long opposed any first use of nuclear weapons in the war against Islam. Recent events in Iran and Pakistan have begun to erode that opposition. Ahmadinejad’s irrational obsession with hastening the 12th imam’s arrival represents far too great a threat to be ignored. The same goes for Pakistan's radicals getting anywhere near a nuclear device.
While I agree that the notion of broaching first-use as a viable deterrent is pathetic at best, at least there is some forward motion in examining large-scale measures against global jihad. Conducting limited theater mop-ups of Islamic aggression does nothing to address the bigger issue of Islam’s supremacist doctrine. What follows is a treatment I posted at another forum about the various forms of a functional deterrent to terrorism. Please comment as you see fit. This NATO paper is some sort of attempt to begin considering exactly what it will take to bring Islam into line. I can only note how NATO’s approach only hastens the advent of a Muslim holocaust. This catastrophe something that I continue to predict and little has presented itself to counter such a notion. Our only hope of averting such a horrendous outcome is to find a functional deterrent.
I have been working on this idea for a long time. While an extremely difficult concept in practice, I feel it is something that needs to be addressed. Far too much of current counter-terrorist policy is dedicated to stalling, appeasement, police action or stopgap military strategies that are ineffective at best. Nor do these measures address the overarching issue of how nuclear proliferation has foreshortened our schedule of response. Recent instability in nuclear-armed Pakistan has only highlighted this reduced timeframe.
NOTE: All of the following tactics are mentioned with the explicit intent of reducing the overall loss of human life. Irresponsible recommendations to "nuke 'em all" or variations thereof are unwelcome. That said, this admonition should not be construed as dismissing limited engagements like those used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most military historians have finally conceded that the World War II nuclear attacks saved Japanese lives. The exceptionally violent nature of Islam makes it irresponsible to exclude from consideration similar "limited use" scenarios.
To continue: Here is a list of the major goals that functional deterrence should achieve. Any given approach need not succeed at enacting all of these features in order to qualify. Append this roster as you see fit and repost it if I have omitted any significant elements.
Stopping major terrorist atrocities: This should always be the primary focus of deterrence. It may not be possible to halt or adequately deter low-level jihad in places such as Thailand but attacks such as the 9-11 atrocity, Beslan, Madrid, Bali and London should come to an end or be met with distinct penalties.
Attaching a heavy price tag to further attacks: Be it through disproportionate retaliation, appropriation of assets or denial of access to worship, Islam must begin to experience reciprocal predation, discomfort or deprivation for its continued assaults upon the West.
Encouraging or coercing Muslims to self-police: Deterrence should possess sufficient dissuasive power whereby Muslim populations take it upon themselves to dismantle jihadi terror networks within their own sphere. Whether through outright fear or more subtle methods of penalty and reward, Islam must be made to clean its own house. Due to language or cultural barriers, the West is ill suited to such a job. What’s more, we have absolutely no obligation to perform such a rigorous and time-consuming task. Muslims know best who is and who is not participating in jihad. Let them taste the fruits of having embraced taqiyya as they attempt to winnow out the terrorists from their own midst.
Actively eroding support for jihadism: Although similar to the foregoing item we also need to address methods that reduce the glamour and attraction of participating in terrorist activity. Propaganda methods involving ridicule, humiliation, shame or condemnation and fear are one path. Collective punishment, especially within terrorist family networks, is another. Comprehensive biometric tracking of known and suspected jihadis could be yet another.
Support for or mandate to reform Islam: I include this option for the dreamers and optimists. There is little evidence to date that Islam can be rehabilitated into a peaceful entity. All indications are that it already has reformed into a more violent and intolerant version of itself when compared to its state some 50-100 years ago.
Some potential measures to consider on an individual basis or in combination:
One exceptionally economical way of deterring people from engaging in terrorism is to make sure that they die for doing so. The problem of recidivism no longer remains an issue. Obviously, we cannot pursue every last jihadi on earth. That has already been addressed with respect to Islam cleaning its own house. Still, it would set a powerful example if the top tiers of jihad’s commanders, financiers, indoctrinators and scholars all began to experience severe physical attrition. The high context nature of Muslim culture both encourages and rewards people for being indispensable. To eliminate such irreplaceable elements of terrorism’s network structure will weaken it significantly. Doing so might possibly allow for other methods—less likely to work on their own—to realize some measure of success.
More than anything, it would represent major progress if jihadi leadership no longer felt comfortable making personal appearances before large assemblies or maintaining a conspicuous public presence of any sort. Again, in high context cultures this diminishes personal power in the very strongest sense. Without going into why Western governments are so loath to implement such a program, suffice to say that is would be very inexpensive when compared to our current rate of monetary expenditure in fighting Global Terrorism.
Propaganda — A Cautionary Tale:
Islamic terrorists continue to agitate for the use of nuclear weapons against the far better armed West. Muslim populations need to be informed of how exceptionally dangerous such a notion is. Making them aware of this would involve creating a really well produced Middle East version of "The Day After Tomorrow". Not the more recent global warming movie but that 1980s American video about the aftermath of a nuclear war. The program should show retaliation for a nuclear terrorist attack on a major American city. Explicit recreations should portray Cairo, Islamabad, Tehran, Riyadh and Damascus all vaporizing in nuclear explosions. Extremely vivid and graphic detail should be used to demonstrate just how devastating and gruesome such a response would be. Accurate recreations of firestorms, burning cement, boiling lakes and disintegrating buildings should all be included. The footage would also show easily recognized landmarks within each metropolis being destroyed along with its more affluent neighborhoods.
Subsequent footage should document the immense human suffering from radiation poisoning, exposure, starvation and epidemics that would sweep the affected areas. All of this should be burned onto millions of DVDs with sub-tracks in Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Hindi and so forth. These would then be airdropped over the entire Arab Middle East and made to coincide with peak viewing cycles during Ramadan. To enhance public notice of this, airings of the video would also be electronically piggybacked onto al Jazeera, al Manar and other Arab state television broadcast channels. This would guarantee a splash of publicity and assure follow up viewing of the airdropped DVDs.
I can think of few other ways for America to clearly communicate the incredibly perilous position Muslims are being placed in by their jihadi co-religionists. Whether they agree with them or not is entirely of zero consequence. Islam is currently headed directly towards such an outcome and if there is some way of inspiring Muslims to begin reforming Islam or killing off their jihadist clergy and followers then this catastrophe might be averted.
Taking The Shrines as Hostages:
Through unilateral or coalition military action the shrines at Mecca and Medina are taken and held hostage against future terrorist attacks. Somehow, we need to reach out and touch over ONE BILLION Muslims. The haj (pilgrimage), is annually attended by over one million Muslims. For many, it is a once-in-a-lifetime event that may well involve the most costly financial outlay they ever make. Missing such an opportunity due to terrorist atrocities might well cause individuals who are denied the haj to rethink their support of jihad. Once the shrines are captured, a span of thirteen months must pass without a single major terrorist atrocity before the haj can resume.
The shrines would be surrounded by a no-man’s land of minefields covered by computer controlled automatic weapons fire directed by night vision systems. If anything, the captured shines would also serve as the ultimate “flypaper” in how they would attract the most fanatical jihadis thereby distracting them from attacking other Western targets. Additionally, all attendees of the haj would have to undergo comprehensive biometric analysis in order to participate. The database assembled would provide a powerful tool in profiling terrorist families and groups.
Holding these shrines as physical hostages would also serve another purpose. Should there be a chemical or biological attack on a Western city, Medina would be contaminated with a similar agent. A second one would result in Mecca being contaminated as well. This is a significant deterrent as cleaning up either site would cost untold BILLIONS of dollars. In the case of a nuclear terrorist attack, first Medina and then Mecca would be obliterated.
Water Poverty is endemic throughout the MME (Muslim Middle East). As populations grow, increasing amounts of water previously used for agricultural purposes are diverted into municipal drinking supplies. Deep aquifers are being pumped out at unsustainable rates and corrupt Arab governments are not willing to expend the massive amounts of money required to build expensive desalination plants or the nuclear reactors needed to power them.
One ton of grain requires ONE THOUSAND tons of water to grow. The average human diet consumes one third of a ton of grain per year, requiring over 300 tons of water. A Western diet rich in livestock can see that number rise to 800 tons of water needed to sustain such intake. Iran recently overtook Japan as the world’s largest grain importer. The MENA (Middle East North Africa) region ranks as the fastest growing market for imported grain. The water needed to accommodate this region’s combined consumption requires a volume roughly equivalent to the entire annual flow of the NILE RIVER. Bringing in foreign grain is just another way of importing water.
An immediate halt to exports of grain by America, Canada and Australia to the MME would bring about mass starvation in a matter of months, if not weeks. It borders on the ludicrous to consider how Islam continues antagonizing the West even as it is helplessly dependent upon it for their daily bread. An embargo of food shipments is one strategy that Russia and China—both major food importers—could not possibly triangulate against. One or two terrorist nuclear atrocities against the West could easily help it overcome any moral compunction about halting food shipments. No amount of money or any other lever could make the needed food magically appear. Even an oil embargo would not impact the West soon enough to counter the almost immediate onset of starvation.
Appropriation of Assets:
The 9-11 atrocity easily cost America on the order of ONE TRILLION dollars. A vast majority of the hijackers involved came from Saudi Arabia and were indoctrinated by Saudi Wahhabists. The USA would be well within its rights to appropriate the Ghawar Oilfield as compensation for this attack. Similarly, confiscation of other MME petroleum sources could serve as a form of retaliation against future attacks. Deprived of massive petrodollar wealth, the building of mosques and furnishing of weapons or money to terrorist organizations would come to a screeching halt.
Massively Disproportionate Retaliation:
For each new terrorist atrocity a major MME city ceases to exist. To date, Islam has not even begun to feel the West’s pain. World War II saw the firebombing of Tokyo and Dresden as direct retaliation for military aggression. At present, reluctance to identify Islam itself as an actual military foe is one of the only things inhibiting recognition of disproportionate retaliation as a useful tool. Again, a few more atrocities may change all that.
One way or the other, Muslims must be made to quake in fear with the announcement of each new terrorist attack. Uncertainty—a favorite tool of the jihadists—must be turned against Islam until homeless outraged Muslims scurry down to the local mosque and slit the jihadi imam’s throat. This is the self-policing that is currently absent and so badly needed.
Another form of massively disproportionate retaliation involves issuing a proclamation that even one single terrorist nuclear attack upon the West will result in rogue regimes like Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and Syria all undergoing nuclear bombardment. This might inspire such terrorist havens to begin reversing the damage they have done.
Reverse Immigration and Containment:
The deportation of all Muslim immigrants back to their countries of origin may well prove necessary. Taqiyya makes it impossible to trust the followers of Islam. Much like World War II, Muslim citizens may need to be placed in internment camps if they refuse repatriation to their countries of origin. Like Mexico, Islam continues to export excess population that might otherwise agitate for change. The West needs to reassemble Islam’s diaspora and make Islamic nations confront their own shortcomings. With populations returned to their true levels, water poverty would loom even larger as a threat against further terrorist atrocities.
Outright Demolition of the Shrines:
This is an extreme measure suggested by someone else I know that is aimed at crushing Islamic morale by demonstrating the fallibility of Allah. I include it for the sake of discussion.
In closing I will ask that you please post your own reactions to the various measures I have listed. I do not pretend that my list is comprehensive nor do I advocate their immediate use, save only for the targeted assassinations. However gruesome or morally objectionable any of them might be, we are confronted by an enemy who would not flinch to simultaneously inflict all of them upon the West if it was within their power to do so.
This is the one motivating factor that drives me to examine such ideas. All options must be kept open if we are to have any hope of deterring Islam much less defeating it. Far more likely is that one or more of these measures will need to be used before this conflict concludes. I believe it is vital that the West begins to understand the potential dimensions of what may be required to survive. None of this is pretty but—then again—neither is the prospect of life under shari’a law.