Friday, July 21, 2006

Critical Mass: Which City Will We Lose?

A month or so ago, I stumbled on an interesting question.

Many of my friends have the views about the Middle East typical of the American Left. I don't.

Nevertheless, while talking to one of these friends about Iran a few weeks ago, we discovered that we both agreed on a handful of things.

  • Iran is building nuclear bombs.
  • It's unlikely that either we or Israel will stop them before they're done.
  • It's clear that when they're done, they'll use them on Israel and the US.
  • After they do, Israel and the US will flatten Iran. This will be a tragedy, killing lots of Iranians who aren't as nutty as their government, but they'll still be dead.
"So," I asked casually, "which city do you think we'll lose?"

I got an immediate answer: New York.

After I recovered from my surprise, I tried asking other folks -- first friends, finally pretty much anybody. Everyone seems to think it's a completely reasonable topic of discussion and has quick answers.

Washington, D.C., and New York are the most common. Those aren't my pick; we're now watching over those cities fairly closely.

Los Angeles is a more interesting, frequent answer, though I don't think we'd lose the whole city -- it's too big -- so the PR value (a key goal) would be diminished. An occasional, interesting prediction is Las Vegas: sin city.

Try this yourself. Let me know what answers you get.

My bet is on Detroit. It's easy for foreigners to get to because it's close to the Canadian border. It's an international symbol of America and capitalism. And it's right in the heart of American Shia Islam.

"Muslim" is no synonym for "Iranian terrorist sympathizer," but a small fraction of a big number is enough. All that's needed is critical mass.


Anonymous B A said...

For some reason, in the last century several SciFi writers chose San Diego - perhaps because of the large Naval presence. Other cities in this hemisphere often chosen were Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Are you planning on putting it to a vote? If so, I have a few candidates in mind.

5:26 PM  

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