Everybody's Got One
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Breaking eggs  

Thomas Schelling on Islamist strategic thinking (via 2 Blowhards):
When we think about weapons, many people seem to think that terrorists will use whatever weapon they can get their hands on. But consider the use of, say, smallpox from a cost-benefit analysis. They could release smallpox in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. But smallpox is a very difficult disease to contain in a world of global travel, and the United States is the country best equipped to deal with an outbreak. Releasing smallpox in the United States, then, could result in many more deaths in poor countries with relatively bad health systems like Indonesia and Pakistan than in the United States. I'm not sure that would be a result the terrorists would welcome. By unleashing such widespread death in the developing world -- especially in places where they enjoy support today -- they could substantially reduce their approval and assistance from people who are now their allies.
Not necessarily. I'm not sure that even factors into their analysis. What's the balance between Third World and First World victims in jihadi actions, the Moslem-to-kaffir kill ratio? Ten to one? A hundred to one? A thousand?

Like the ideological democidal movements of the 20th century, the Islamists say they hate the West, but they mostly kill their own.

posted by Kelly | 4:21 PM link