Friday, October 15, 2010
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This article appeared in PajamasMedia. It is satire. I have included the full text here, with some improvements, for your convenience.
By Barry Rubin
The new al-Qaida magazine, called Inspire, has created quite a stir with its articles explaining various ways to kill Americans. Yet despite the presence of no less than three American citizens on the terrorist publication’s staff this is pure amateurish stuff.
For example, the magazine advises would-be terrorists to use a pick-up truck, getting it to top speed, then mowing down American pedestrians. This shows ignorance of the fact that pick-up trucks are too proletarian for elite American areas unless they are from lawn services and are carrying actual mowers. Elsewhere, any privately owned pick-up truck probably has anti-terrorist, pro-American bumper stickers so unless the terrorists engaged in such camouflage they would probably fail.
Such a strategy, then, would only succeed in killing or injuring ordinary Americans. If these clueless terrorists knew anything about the United States they would understand that elite policymakers, decisionmakers, and opinionmakers wouldn’t care about that.
Instead, an SUV with an Obama bumper sticker would probably be far more effective at luring elite Americans into a state of complacency after which they can be run over with ease.
Another al-Qaida idea is to bomb restaurants in Washington DC with the hope of dismembering a few government officials. This, too, is a questionable technique. The Obama Administration, as part of its counterterrorist policy, has pledged to hire ten new bureaucrats for each one slain by terrorists.
Moreover, with the First Lady’s food campaigns, government officials will soon only be permitted to eat at restaurants that serve carrots instead of potatoes, don’t use salt, and don’t serve soft drinks. All those restaurants will quickly go bankrupt, so that’s out, too.
Given the constant injunctions to understand what drives people to terrorism, to feel sorry for terrorists, and to engage them in dialogue, however, I have decided to give al-Qaida some help. Here, then are my top suggestions of how to kill Americans:
1. Deny them liberty. Americans thrive on high levels of freedom. For them, the ability to make decisions for themselves is akin to oxygen. Reduce this ability to make their own choices and you have deployed the equivalent of krypton against Superman.
2. Spend them into oblivion. Increasing deficits will saddle future generations with impossible debt. Government spending and unfunded pension funds, among other methods, will so demoralize Americans that they will fall over like bowling pins.
3. Increase government regulation. America has thrived on free enterprise, initiative, and entrepreneurship. It’s no accident that people speak of the economy being “strangled,” one of the most effective and popular ways of murdering people.
4. Teach kids to hate their own country. By turning grade schools, high schools, and universities into factories for producing anti-Americans, you will destroy American self-confidence, pride, and will-power, leading them to collapse from terminal depression. You don’t need suicide bombers if you can get them to commit suicide.
5. Raise taxes higher and higher. See Points two and three, above.
6. Destroy their competitive willpower. America has grown and prospered through energetic competition. By doing things like giving trophies to all players in children’s sports’ leagues even if they finish in last place, for example, you can create indifference to skill and excellence. Thus, they will die out like the dinosaurs, unable to compete with other countries.
7. Create dependency on food stamps, welfare, and unemployment insurance. This will poison them into passivity. You don’t need bombs if you can turn them into bums.
8. Divide Americans along racial, religious, ethnic, and gender lines, getting them to fight each other. You don’t have to kill them directly. Just get them to do it each other!
9. Manipulate U.S. foreign policy into endlessly apologizing, bowing, making concessions, even refusing to identify their enemies. Get them, meanwhile, to undermine and give the cold shoulder to friends. This will lead to loss of credibility, leverage, and deterrence, making them easier targets.
10. Destroy the health care system, thus ensuring Americans die from natural causes and diseases.
11. Subvert free speech and the intellectual debate. Get them to discuss issues by name-calling rather than using logic and evidence. Restrict the possibility of expressing opinions you don’t like. Ensure that much of the mass media spends its time manipulating rather than reporting the news. Lacking accurate information and ideas that work, Americans will have the equivalent of mental breakdowns and expire.
These are just a few simple suggestions for killing Americans in far larger numbers, at much lower risk, and considerably less spending of resources then such primitive instruments as knives, bombs, and guns.
Fortunately, no one has ever thought of combining all of these methods up until now and America has remained the world’s strongest country in terms of its economy, military strength, and cultural creativity. But if anybody ever figures out this kind of strategy for weakening and defeating the United States, Americans and the whole world will be in trouble.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at http://www.gloria-center.org and of his blog, Rubin Reports, http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com.