Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory believe that terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction are inevitable.
The grim familiarity Livermore scientists have with doomsday scenarios that were once reserved for Hollywood thrillers-and their understanding of statistical probability-gives them an air of fatalism when talking about the likely toll of death and injury in the war on terrorism. It's not a matter of whether terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction will attack the United States, they say. It's a matter of when.
"That's why I think one of the first acts of the Department of Homeland Security," said Livermore's Stoutland, "should be to define a matrix of success that will not judge them as failures in the event of a single successful terrorist attack. Because I think an attack by terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction is inevitable. I don't know how many people will be killed or what kind of attack it might be. But it's inevitable."
Once a WMD terrorist attack happens on American soil the resulting populist rage will force the government to do things which today are considered to be totally beyond the pale. Large scale deportation of Muslim non-citizens would become probable and it it is not impossible to imagine even the deportation of some citizen Muslims. Also, some Muslims regimes which are now safe from US attack would become immediate targets for overthrow. The rage directed toward Saudi Arabia would certainly send that regime into the dustbin of history. The Saudis really ought to crack down much harder in order to save themselves from American rage once a WMD terrorist attack happens. Elite opinion can only ignore the opinions of the populace on a given issue when the populace cares less about that issue than about other issues. In the wake of a WMD attack the elites would lose their ability to control the response.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 January 12 01:59 AM Terrorists WMD|