March 02, 2005

Gallup Poll: 27% of Americans Support Nuking Terrorists

A Gallup poll leaked today by Editor & Publisher reveals that nearly one in four Americans support using nuclear weapons "to attack terrorist facilitiesā€¯. Nearly two-thirds of Americans support the assassination of "known terroristsā€¯ and 39% agreed that torturing known terrorists was legitimate "if they know details about future terrorist attacks in the U.S.ā€¯

We at the Jawa Report have long speculated that the threatened use of nuclear weapons against Mecca could serve as a rational deterrent to Islamic jihadis using weapons of mass destruction against the US. Indeed, many Washington insiders suggest that the Administration has sent back-door messages to terrorist organizations that if they were to use a WMD within the borders of the US that a nuclear strike against Mecca would result. This, they argue, is the reason no WMD attack has happened since 9-11.

However far-fetched the MAD scenario may sound--and it does seem far-fetched to us that the President would have actually made such threats--what is clear is that a large number of Americans do not think the use of nuclear weapons are taboo per se. James Joyner summarizes the findings nicely:

The wording, though, is critical. If it conveys that nuclear weapons against the facility was the only way to prevent the attack, I'd be quite surprised indeed if only 27% would be willing.
UPDATE: I see LGF is on this one too. Charles notes "Are you listening, Tehran?"

And someone ought to remind this guy that we sort of won the Cold War.

Related articles of interest:
The Case for Nuking Mecca
Nuking Mecca and MAD

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:31 AM | Comments |