Apr 15 2010
The US President hit the nail on the head at the Washington Nuclear Summit as to why we are more at risk from nuclear attack now than in the last decades of the Cold War: radical Islamists of the Al Queda or Iranian regime template. I explain in my latest essay in the Mark, The New Nuclear Threat, as to why this threat seems more urgent than when we were facing off against a revolutionary regime willing to imprison and murder millions of its own citizens in order to retain power:
Islamist theocracies and terrorist groups, however, are very different. It’s not because they aren’t rational actors. They may be perfectly rational. It’s just that they’re working from an entirely different set of assumptions.
Islamist ideology is all about rejecting the decadence and wickedness of this corrupt world for a better existence in the afterlife. Even for Islamists ensconced within relatively comfortable Western countries, electric cars, iPads, and medical technology that can extend life by decades are no consolation for the fact that Satan rules this plane of existence.
How do you escape this hell on Earth? Why, please God and go to heaven of course. What’s the easiest way to do that according to their ideology? Kill infidels. How do you kill the largest number of infidels in the least amount of time? Nuke them.
But what if this results in a counter strike by the infidels? Even better, say the Islamists. All those tens of millions of Muslims who could be killed in a nuclear retaliation would also go to heaven. Mutually Assured Destruction becomes a win-win.