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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 19 Aug '10 10:31
    Another of my alternative history threads:

    Let's imagine that the Soviet Union had not collapsed in 1990, and thus that Communism had remained a world power and, during the 1990s, the main ideological antagonist of the capitalist West. Assuming that the September 11th attacks took place in this alternative world, I can think of two possible scenarios:

    1) Soviet involvement in 9/11 is immediately suspected, and the Cold War becomes even tenser, triggering a new arms race. Meanwhile, the Soviets seek to form alliances with Islamic powers such as Iran and support non-state movements such as al-Qaeda in an attempt to undermine the West. Thus the two anti-capitalist, anti-individualist movements, Islam and Communism, become uneasy allies against the capitalist West.

    2) After 9/11, the capitalist West becomes worried by the presence of alienated Muslim minorities, especially in Europe. The Soviet Union, which still controls mainly Muslim Central Asia, is similarly worried by its Muslim minorities. The US and the USSR begin to cooperate in counter-terrorism strategies and seek jointly to undermine overtly Islamist regimes such as Iran. Thus, the two secular ideologies, capitalist liberal democracy and Communism, become uneasy allies in the face of a religious third force.

    Which of these scenarios do posters think more plausible? Any alternative scenarios?
  2. 19 Aug '10 10:37
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Another of my alternative history threads:

    Let's imagine that the Soviet Union had not collapsed in 1990, and thus that Communism had remained a world power and, during the 1990s, the main ideological antagonist of the capitalist West. Assuming that the September 11th attacks took place in this alternative world, I can think of two possible scenarios:
    ...[text shortened]... force.

    Which of these scenarios do posters think more plausible? Any alternative scenarios?
    the 9/11 attacks won't come from a military superpower. there is nothing to gain for said superpower but mostly to lose. it forces the victim to accentuate security, to increase military budget etc. therefore i do not believe the us would have suspected the soviets.

    however i don't believe the soviets would work together with the americans unless they perceive a threat to their country as well. if the terrorists aren't complete morons they will help the soviets making this decision by only attacking american objectives. soviets will then carefully and subtly support terrorist groups to further undermine their adversary


    so in my view, none of your outcomes would pan out.
  3. 19 Aug '10 11:33
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    however i don't believe the soviets would work together with the americans unless they perceive a threat to their country as well. if the terrorists aren't complete morons they will help the soviets making this decision by only attacking american objectives. soviets will then carefully and subtly support terrorist groups to further undermine their adversary.
    Is it possible that the Islamists would see both Communism and capitalism as equal threats? The Soviet Union controlled large swathes of historically Muslim territory and had implemented a forcible programme of secularisation; they had invaded and waged a devastating war in Afghanistan; they were supporting Marxist and socialist regimes in the Arab world (eg, South Yemen). In other words, it's an open question as to whether the Islamists would have seen capitalism or Communism as their biggest enemy. But that leads to the possibility that September 11th might not have happened at all. Perhaps there would have been an attack on Moscow instead.

    On a side note, the current war in Afghanistan would have probably been infeasible if the Soviet Union had still existed, since the Russians would have been very hostile to a Western invasion of a neighbouring country.
  4. 19 Aug '10 12:06
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Is it possible that the Islamists would see both Communism and capitalism as equal threats? The Soviet Union controlled large swathes of historically Muslim territory and had implemented a forcible programme of secularisation; they had invaded and waged a devastating war in Afghanistan; they were supporting Marxist and socialist regimes in the Arab world ( ...[text shortened]... ince the Russians would have been very hostile to a Western invasion of a neighbouring country.
    very possible
    however a half decent terrorist leader will figure out that it doesn't pay to fight 2 superpowers at one time. al quaeda will have attacked the wtc on 9/11 and then bunker up in a soviet controlled afghanistan. and even if afghanistan wasn't soviet territory, they would have been reluctant to allow the us military to set up shop there, kinda like cuba repeated with table turned.

    we know what happened in wwii when hitler fought on 2 fronts. except hitler had a spanking good reason to open upthe second front: oil was running out, he needed to reach oil fields as fast as he could and the soviets were becoming stronger each passing moment.
    the terrorists have nothing to gain by fighting another opponent, they are already a guerilla movement so its not like they need to attack ussr before they get stronger.