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The US has been quite mild, at least compared to some of the possibilities, in its response to September 11th.  That has not stopped thousands of people whining for no good reason; the Taliban deserved to be destroyed and Iraq was a poster child for massive human rights violations.  This is an attempt to outline an ATL in which the US really took the gloves off. 

This ATL hangs on the premise that Bush is a warmongering, Muslim-hater, rabid imperialist – all charges which are constantly thrown at him.  I don’t consider that a fair picture, but its necessary for this ATL. 

September 11th:  Planes fly into the WTC and the pentagon.  Bush informs the world that the people responsible will be punished with maximum force.   Fingers are very quickly pointed at radical Islamic perversions, mainly AQ and OBL.  OBL is known to be hiding in Afghanistan, so Bush demands his immediate surrender – or else.  The Taliban attempts to stall. 

Bush has no patience with them and issues a final warning.  Unfortunately, the Taliban is part controlled by AQ or AQ sympathisers and they refuse to hand him over, claiming that the US will not giving him a fair trial.  Bush informs the world that Afghanistan is hiding the culprits and uses tactical nuclear weapons against AQ hideouts, causing massive civilian casuties.  The Taliban collapses and refugees flood into Iran and Pakistan. 

Bush holds a four-nation conference with Russia, China and Israel.  The Americans will turn a blind eye to any anti-Islamists measures the nations wish to take, including extermination, population moving, etc.  The US will provide whatever support it can to the nations. 

The Middle East quakes.  Bush has publicly blamed Saudi and Iraq factions for supplying money and support to AQ.  US forces in Saudi go into their bases and dig in, while preparing for offensive action.  Saudi government denies any involvement, but the US does not believe them.  The US is whipping up anti-Saudi feelings by exposing their human rights record and their treatment of women. 

In Iraq, Saddam refuses any limits on his actions and demands that the US stop threatening him.  In return, Bush uses a nuclear weapon on Baghdad, destroying the city and most of the Saddam government.  Shia factions quickly take to the streets and attack Sunnis, while Turkey takes over North Iraq, moving their Kurds to the area under US supervision. 

The destruction of Baghdad causes a crisis in Saudi.  The government tries to keep a lid on the unrest, but fundamentalist anti-Americans, army officials mad at US contempt, educated people without royal patronage, etc unite to face the royals.  The clergy proclaim the king and much of the royals’ enemies of Islam (true, but not in the sense they mean) and demand that the National Guard join them.  There are a few incidents when the National Guard fires on crowds, provoking mass strikes and riots.  The Saudi society is in revolt.  Eventually a coalition of army officers, educated businessmen and a few conservative princes seize power.  The army officials order the US bases surrounded and politely ask the US to withdraw. 

The US refuses.  Bush demands that the Saudis open their records and surrender military bases while FBI officers work with the locals to hunt terrorists.  The Saudis refuse to cooperate and start attacking US compounds.  Most hold out with US Navy carrier support used against Saudi troops and bases.  A few go down to glorious defeat.  Scenes of captured, tortured and executed US servicemen are used as anti-Saudi propaganda.  

The south of Saudi is occupied by Shias’, who are persecuted by the mainly Sunni Saudis and denied basic rights.  The US contacts some of them and offers support for a rebellion and then a US protectorate.  Many go along with the US and provide support to US troops – the US effectively bits off a chunk of Saudi (including most of the oil fields) and provides support to the Shias’. 

The collapse of Saudi hints to reformers in Iran that they might be next.  The religious leaders have been recruiting ex-Taliban fighters from the refugees and have been using secret police to spy on the army, which is believed not to support the clergy.  The reformers quietly sound out the US, but the Iranian secret police catch on and arrest some prominent reformers.  This tips of some army officers and the remaining reformers that there might be a purge coming, they launch a coup before the clergy can strike.  There are scenes of anti-Afghani feelings (the ex-Taliban fighters tried to roll back the concessions the reformers won, therefore making themselves VERY unpopular) and many members of the religious police find themselves strung up by their dangly bits.  The US recognises the new government in exchange for it holding free elections, renouncing WND and establishing proper guarantees of rights for women/Sunnis/non-Muslims/etc.  The US also offers to provide economic support. 

The US actions are savagely denounced in the EU as overreaction.  Part of this is honest feeling, but the rest in the massive influx of refugees from Algeria, Tusnia and Libya, all of which are convinced that they’ll next on the US target list.  Many of them are generally obnoxious characters, who promptly start causing trouble – the EU seals its borders and uses combined naval patrols to sink refugee boats.  The EU expels Britain as Tony Blair’s support for Bush is making much of the US actions possible. 

Britain suffers major economic dislocation as the EU ends any support for Britain, contracts are cancelled, etc.  Ironically, this makes Tony more popular as there are strong anti-EU feelings running throughout British society, so public opinion is still behind the government.  The Americans help out with trade deals, economic support and other measures that practically invite Britain to join the US as a new state.  The Americans also crack down on IRA funding supplies and extradite suspects for the British.  The British government cracks down on Islamic organisation within Britain, expelling or arresting suspects without trial, as well as launching a massive enquiry into funds for Islamic organisations.  The Religious Act of 2002 bans any foreign support for religious institutions within Britain, while other laws prevent further immigration and ban arranged marriages.  Protesters are branded terrorists and expelled.

Pakistan hits meltdown as the flood of refugees from Afghanistan (both from the nuke strikes and the civil war) overloads the nation.  The government falls as civil war breaks out – Muslim solidity is forgotten as natives try to fight immigrants who are often suffering from radiation damage and/or other diseases.  The government is seized by army officers (again), who then fall to a popular front, and then to a group of Islamic activists.  The US demands that Pakistan surrender its nukes and, realising that they’ve tipped their hand too early, launch air strikes on the Pakistani nuke plants and permits the Indians to invade in a ‘border security exercise’. 

Israel launches a major purge of Palestine.  Egyptian army units forget their non-intervention orders and try to intervene, putting Egypt and Israel at war again, which Israel manages to win by invading Egypt to the Suez Canal.  Anti-Arab pogroms begin to hit Arabs who live within Israel proper, while many thousands of Palestinians are forced to head south or east to Saudi.  There is already a faction within the rump Saudi composed of Palestinian immigrants who were treated badly by the Saudis.  They want autonomy within Saudi or at least full citizenship.  The US is willing to support a Palestinian state somewhere in the Middle East (North Saudi/Jordan), provided it renounces any claim to the occupied territories and hands over known terrorists.  Syria starts making noises about supporting the Palestinian cause.

Turkey and Israel have a working relationship.  They swiftly sign a formal alliance and invade Syria jointly.  The Syrian government is wiped out by an Israeli air strike; reformers try to seize power, but don’t have the organisation or numbers (terror of the secret police + lack of weapons) to make their claims stick.  Turkey annexes most of North Syria, Israel allows the reformers to run the reminder, provided they hand over suspects, disarm and keep an open government. 

The North African states are teetering.  The EU is sinking refugee boats, which is causing a build-up of people with nowhere to escape too, therefore putting more pressure on the governments concerned, which are desperate to avoid US intervention.  The Moroccan government is overthrown in a military coup d’etat, which allows the military to start a clampdown and prepare for an occupation of the two Spanish towns.  Algeria and Tusnia are torn apart by civil strife, while Gaffiddi launches a major clamp down.  The Moroccans reoccupy the Spanish cities. 

Spain presses the US to do something.  The US’s response is basically ‘tough cheese’ – Bush has not forgotten what he considers the EU betrayal – and the Spanish are unhappy.  They threaten to reoccupy Gibraltar unless the US/UK bring pressure to bear on the Moroccans.  Bush threatens major military action against Spain if the Spanish distract the British from assisting the Americans, while also moving a marine division to Gibraltar. 

The EU goes ballistic.  The French and Germans spearhead a project to create a combined military force.  Italy and most of the other small nations chip in with what they can, although Poland stays out.  The Euros start to prepare an attack on Morocco and launch air raids.  The Moroccans have a fairly good AD system and manage to dent the French/Spanish air forces. 

The EU also tries to bring peace to the Balkans.  A mainly Italy/German force of ground troops is dispatched, as well as powerful air forces.  The US reluctantly provides some coordination facilities which the EU can’t.  The Russians help out a bit by pressing the Serbs to become more reasonable.  

The Russians have been coordinating anti-terrorist/anti-Islamic/’anti-anyone we don’t like’ movements with the US.  Russia has crushed Checan resistance by the most brutal means, as well as occupying Kazakhstan and providing some forces for Afghanistan.  Afghanistan is shattered and the Russians are actually welcomed in places.  India has captured the most important parts of Pakistan and has practically reintegrated the split nation.  Some indo-friendly Pakistanis have formed a government and are working with the Indians, although many other Pakistanis are fighting them.  India has also tried to seal the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, while occupying vital locations (age old ‘great game’ fears of Russia + US pressure to keep hitting AQ bases). 

Bush launches the new ‘Bush Doctrine’, which commits America to bringing world peace, and starts with China.  In an epic summit session, Bush and the Chinese government work out a series of compromises.  China will shut down North Korea, while allowing South Korea economic control and civil government.  (This appeases Chinese fears of US troops on the borders.)  The US agrees not to station any troops in Taiwan and arrange a series of odd compromises; the Taiwanese will agree to recognise the ‘one china, two systems’ plan, PRC agrees not to threaten Taiwan and both parties agree to coordinate their diplomatic actions.  China will also clamp down on Muslim factions in the west of China.

The US is drawing lines on a map of the Middle East.  The Palestinian factions are allowed control of North Saudi and Jordan, provided they get along with the natives and submit to limited US controls.  The Sunnis of Iraq are moved to Saudi, and are exchanged for most of the Saudi Shias’.  The reminder of the Saudi Shias are allowed to remain near the oil fields under direct US control.  Lebanon is united with the Syrian Free State.  Turkey’s control of North Iraq is recognised provided they allow the Kurds autonomy.  Mecca and Medina are declared city-states and some convenient American Muslim is appointed to run them. 

The new states are not exactly independent.  The US effectively controls them like the British did the princely states in the Raj.  The US controls their economical state, their foreign affairs and restricts their military.  On the other hand, the US permits all forms of religion and enforces equal treatment – all in all, it’s not necessarily a bad state.  The big no-no’s are nukes, armies and missiles.  The police forces are US trained and there are US forces near-by if needed. 

The US controls their technology as well.  The focus is on feeding the people and improving their status.  Feeding most of the population is easier without spending large amounts of money on useless technological systems – the US forbids advanced factories, although there are favourable trade terms for non-military items. 

The Euros issue a final warning to the Moroccans.  They refuse to evacuate the cities, citing colonial mistreatment and allegations of anti- Moroccan actions in the cities.  The Euros launch an invasion, using French, Spanish and Italian navvies and a combined army.  The Moroccan army is defeated on the field, but the Moroccans go underground and use partisan warfare.  Algeria declares its support for Moroccan independence and supplies arms and troops to them.  The Euros threaten to invade, launching air strikes, so the Algerians launch missiles at Europe with chemical warheads.  Italy and Spain are hard hit.  The Algerians have refrained from using chemicals on France because of the French nukes. 

The Spanish and Italians demand that the EU use nukes to retaliate.  The French try to stall, both out of concern for the nation and the desire to remain in control of the EU.  The other nations retaliate by challenging the French over vital issues in the EU, forcing the French hand.  To remain in control, the French have to deploy their nukes, so an Algerian city is destroyed.  The Algerian government collapses, so the EU moves peacekeepers in, but they are attacked by partisans.  By the end of the year, North Africa is a constant bleeding sore for the Europeans. 

In America, there is a limited police state.  Any Muslim organisation is considered suspect by the police/national guard/racists/etc.  Funds are frozen, people are investigated and trouble causers like Farrakhan are arrested and locked up for life.  There is some rioting as organisations such as the Nation of Islam are ordered to disband.  Some members of the administration who served as Saudi promoters are convicted of treason and executed.  Some Muslims (immigrants, not native-born) are shipped to the Middle East.

OBL is never seen again and was probably killed in the strikes on Afghanistan.  His death will never be acknowledged through, he’s far too useful as a bogeyman. 

Summery (I’m stopping here because it did not go quite the way I wanted):  The US has adopted a very harsh line towards Islamic nations and organisations.  The US controls most of the Middle East and is actively hampering their technical development.  The US also has Britain as a dependent state and soon to be promoted to statehood.  The EU has had unity forced upon it (although there may be a coming clash with the US/UK) and has occupied most of North Africa in an attempt to stem terrorists and immigrants.  Central Asia is a radioactive disaster area, with the Russians, Chinese and Indians slowly civilising the area.  Several important cities have been blown off the map; there is mass relocation of populations and megadeath on a grand scale.

Welcome to the nightmare…

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