(This is an alternate history scenario of a "Better world" where George Bush was much harsher after 9/11)
Enemy Capitals Attacked
But suddenly the Bush-inspired violence in Europe came to an abrupt end. After the storm, came a quiet. At first, it was not understood why. But soon, everyone knew why.
On October 5th, drones armed with battlefield nuclear bombs eliminated portions of Riyadh, Tehran, Dubai and Damascus. In Tehran, political opposition forces rounded up survivors of the Mohammad Khatami/Mahmoud Ahmadinejad religious regime and executed them, and their bodies hung upside-down from lampposts, just as the bodies of Mussolini and his mistress were displayed in Italy. Iranians are still struggling to consolidate a republican government.
King Fahd, principal members of the House of Saud, and most of the king’s advisors rose as super-heated molecules in the mushroom cloud that towered over Riyadh. Impoverished survivors of the House have been jockeying for and bickering over the king’s title to rule a country that no longer exists ever since. Saudi brothers and cousins of the late king have resorted to assassination and murder of each other in a turf war that recalls the Prohibition gang wars of 20th century America.
The royal family of Abu Dhabi fled when U.S. Navy vessels approached its shores. The United Arab Emirates subsequently disintegrated. Navy Seal teams and Special Forces units covertly sent into Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Iran before the drone launches neutralized, before they could act, the security forces responsible for sabotaging oil facilities in case of hostilities. Stealth bombers pinpointed the palaces and bunkers of Saddam Hussein in and around Bagdad and flattened them with tons of heavy ordnance, including napalm. Hussein and his sons were consumed in the fires. The Iraqi government collapsed and this artificially created country has also been in a state of chaos ever since, marked by interminable tribal warfare between Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds.
Oil fields nationalized or expropriated by the Arabs were returned to their rightful owners, American, British and French oil companies. Although many of the claims are nearly a century old and now mired in court challenges and disputes over prior claims, oil is flowing and is cheap. Aramco, a Saudi-American “partnership” for decades, was abruptly dissolved. The Petroleum Club of Houston filed for bankruptcy. Numerous stocks of companies in which Arabs held majority interests were delisted from trading on Wall Street.
Holy Shrines Eliminated
But what ended what might have been continued rioting and dissension in Europe and elsewhere for years by immigrant Muslims was President Bush’s most courageous act. On October 6th, without warning, one Stealth bomber took off from the Enterprise in the Mediterranean, and another from Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The first dropped a two-kiloton bomb on Mecca. The second dropped a two-kiloton bomb on Mohammad’s burial place in Medina. The Kaaba in Mecca and the Green Dome in Medina were rendered gaseous. Tens of thousands of pilgrims perished in the blasts.
More stunned than Westerners by the operation were Muslims. Their holy shrines were erased from existence in milliseconds. The expected wrath of Allah did not materialize. He had forsaken his chosen people. The sun did not rise in the West. The stars did not begin to vanish. The Five Pillars of Islam were rendered redundant, proven meaningless. The absence of supernatural retaliation and vengeful global punishment resulted in mass disorientation among Muslims, a species of trauma still being studied by top psychologists in major universities. Suicide rates among Muslims skyrocketed suicides that did not include bombs detonated in public, but which were private affairs of family heads killing their own families before themselves.
Countless other Muslims simply ceased adhering to the faith. Once-faithful Muslims proclaimed their apostasy, preaching tearfully and angrily to sympathetic crowds about what a fraud Islam was. Women discarded their burqas and veils, and even burned them in the streets in demonstrations of freedom. Prayer rugs were turned into welcome mats or converted into scratching posts for cats. Mosques in Western nations were eventually abandoned by the dozens. Once-influential imams and mullahs preached to ever diminishing congregations. Several clerics were arrested by authorities for plotting terrorist acts against the U.S. government and are serving life sentences.
In a completely unrelated and unexpected development, on October 6th the government of Hosni Mubarak announced the return of the Suez Canal to the British and French governments. “The government and people of Egypt,” announced Mubarak, “apologize for the actions of Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, who was nothing more than a bandit aided and abetted in his theft by a very strange American president.”
By April of 2002, the world had settled down again. Vladimir Putin of Russia had stopped making bellicose threats against the U.S. and directed his energies to extinguishing the Islamic “separatist” movements within Russia. Former Soviet “republics” have formed an effective alliance against Russia to forestall any “reunification” moves by Moscow. China clamped down on the “democracy” movement there, evicted Western business and industrial “partners” and confiscated their holdings. Hong Kong defied Peking with its own separatist movement and won its independence.
Droves of diehard Muslims began returning whence they came, abandoning their self-created ghettos and separatist enclaves, leaving Western nations now hostile to their creed, to countries still governed by the diminishing power of Sharia law, or where they thought there was still a chance of reestablishing it. Talk of a global caliphate ceased. Islamic “civil rights” organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations” and the Islamic Society and Circle of North America found their funding drying up and they dissolved. Several officials of those organizations left the U.S. just ahead of arrest by authorities investigating their role in the attacks, or just steps ahead of being served subpoenas by authorities investigating their finances. The Muslim Brotherhood, sire of all such organizations in the West, experienced a renewed extermination effort by Mubarak’s government.
George Bush was severely criticized by the American and European press. He was accused of “cowboy geopolitics” and charged with jeopardizing world peace with his unilateral military actions, actions taken without first consulting the United Nations. Calls were made in the U.N. by Russia and China to hold the U.S. responsible for the “callous collateral casualties, in the hundreds of thousands, in actions that can only be described as criminal.” Newly appointed Secretary of State John Bolton answered them in January, 2002, “If the United Nations regards the United States as a renegade nation, why is this body still here?”