April 27, 2004

Making the Arab Street rise up...

An interesting new item on Lileks this morning: bq. This is just an odd story, for many reasons. It hasnít gotten much play in the last week. It might not get play in the future because a confession in an Arab state often involves jumper cables. The report says they intended to mix a combination of 71 lethal chemicals, which they said has never been done before, including blistering agents to cause third-degree burns, nerve gas and choking agents. bq. If itís all true, then it would seem to indicate that they guys lack the tactical acumen. They have several goals: first, get the US out of the region. Second, destroy all the regional governments they donít like. Third, conquer the world. If they were as crafty and canny as feared theyíd take these steps in the proper order, but they appear to want to do #1 and #2 simultaneously, which is remarkably stupid. The US, in response to terror attacks in Iraq, will carefully attempt to convert the miscreants to jam, if thatís what it comes down to. But if the Al Qaeda et al hits Saudi Arabia and Jordon before achieving the first objective, they just get more grief: Arab governments are less likely to play nice. Theyíre more likely to disappear huge numbers of people, raze villages, apply cheese graters to your scalp to get confessions, etc. Your average Jordanian may be passively rooting for American defeat out of the usual stupid sense of solidarity, but take out 15 blocks in Amman and suddenly he wants something done against these guys. This may be the one thing that makes the Arab Street rise up: it gets leveled, by Arabs. The link in question points to a CNN story about a foiled al Qaeda plot that would have unleashed a deadly cloud of chemicals in the heart of Jordan's capital, Amman. bq. The plot was within days of being carried out, Jordanian officials said, when security forces broke it up April 20. And more: bq. In a series of raids, the Jordanians said, they seized 20 tons of chemicals and numerous explosives. Also seized were three trucks equipped with specially modified plows, apparently designed to crash through security barricades. Posted by DaveH at April 27, 2004 11:53 AM