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   Undertoad  Thursday Oct 11 11:56 PM

10/12 early: AWACS coverage



This wire service graphic will probably be in a lot of newspapers today. The technology is amazing...

And I can't believe they're showing the enemy exactly the zone that won't be covered. East of Seattle, North of Denver, and West of Mpls will be the danger zone, not covered by any aircraft or radar. Cellar readers in Montana and North Dakota should be carefully watching the skies tomorrow.

(I'm kidding! I kid the Cellar readers!)

If terrorism should strike a nuclear power plant, the plant most likely to affect the Cellar is Limerick. Salem, Hope Creek or Peach Bottom would also cause some trouble. TMI 1 if prevailing winds are bad.



elSicomoro  Friday Oct 12 12:45 AM

Re: 10/12 early: AWACS coverage

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
And I can't believe they're showing the enemy exactly the zone that won't be covered. East of Seattle, North of Denver, and West of Mpls will be the danger zone, not covered by any aircraft or radar. Cellar readers in Montana and North Dakota should be carefully watching the skies tomorrow.
But isn't that where all the missile silos are supposedly located anyway?

It used to scare the hell out of me living 90 miles from a nuclear power plant. But given that I (and other Philly-area Cellar Dwellars) live relatively close to 3-mile Island, I guess I'm not too terribly bothered by it anymore.

Quote:
(I'm kidding! I kid the Cellar readers!)
This map is nice...for me to POOP on!


doc  Friday Oct 12 02:26 AM

How does this map show the uncovered areas? It says their are 5 of these E-3s being used and each has radar coverage of 375 klicks. It would be hard for anyone without real good radar to know where any of these are at any given time.



doc  Friday Oct 12 02:27 AM

Man, I need to change that sig. It's sort of not really appropriate anymore



Katkeeper  Friday Oct 12 06:45 AM

Since I live about 10 miles west of TMI and was in the area for the "incident" there (as was Undertoad), I have thought about whether this is a bad area to be. TMI would abe a poor choice for terrorists because one of the reactors has been closed down since 1979.

I think they are very symbol oriented - like choosing the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as targets - and probably get ecxcited by the thought of destroying such symbols of western decadence and power.



Undertoad  Friday Oct 12 09:58 AM

Re: Re: 10/12 early: AWACS coverage

Quote:
Originally posted by sycamore
This map is nice...for me to POOP on!


But seriously folks... this thread has gone on longer than it takes for me to bang a Yorkie. I haven't had this much fun since the vet chopped off my nads!

(People are sure to be confused now)


Undertoad  Friday Oct 12 10:03 AM

<i>How does this map show the uncovered areas?
</i>

It doesn't really, but I figure if they are concentrating on the metro areas and nuke plants, that's the section where they won't be watching. An AWACS plane could be in radar distance of Seattle and still not cover all of Montana.



dave  Friday Oct 12 06:21 PM

That was a good joke Tony...

FOR ME TO POOP ON!

Hehe, the Hasselhoff one cracks me up every time too...



juju2112  Saturday Oct 13 01:23 AM

There is a nuclear power plant right near where I live. It's in Russellville, Arkansas, about 2 1/2 hours from here.
<br>
From the looks of things, the only way to avoid them is to move west.
<br>
<br>
-- juju



Katkeeper  Saturday Oct 13 09:06 AM

If the terrorists were to hit a nuclear plant and cause a release of radioactive material, they would have to deal with the wrath of all of the rest of the world. Perhaps they know that.



lisa  Saturday Oct 13 09:12 AM

Actually, if you look closely, it seems like the only way to avoid being anywhere near nukes is to avoid being near people. Denver seems to be the only population center without one withing 100 miles or so.

The distribution of nuclear power stations seems to coincide fairly well with the distribution of populous areas -- which makes a lot of sense.

Of course, it seems like the best course of action, if you want to avoid being hit by a terrorist attack, is to live in the middle of nowhere -- but most people don't want that kind of life. That's why we all live on top of each other.



Undertoad  Saturday Oct 13 11:40 AM

Juju, 2 1/2 hours is a long way off. You should be fine unless the winds are pointing directly at you after an accident. I was 19 miles away from Three Mile Island when it burped, now I'm 9 miles away from Limerick. Those are the types of distances that you would have to worry about.

Where I am now, they have a system of warning sirens in case of accident. They test them at 5% "strength" at 2pm the first Monday of every month. And at 5% "strength", you are nearly deafened if you are 100 feet from the siren.

Even in case of meltdown, you have about 5 hours to get away from the most serious danger zones. In that space of time, I would be able to walk far enough away, even if I had no vehicle.



Katkeeper  Saturday Oct 13 02:02 PM

Walk far enough away in 5 hours? A good reason to stay in shape.

I can see myself now putting 2 cats in my backpack and walking for 5 hours. I'm not sure what else I would take.

At the time of TMI, I had boxes with slides of my work that I had decided to take. Oh, and I would have taken Undertoad.



Slight  Saturday Oct 13 04:22 PM

I visited a mothballed Nuclear powerplant for chemistry class in 11th grade and they said the the reactor cores had like 3 feet thick steel around them (it sure looked like it did). The "tour" guide said that the core could take a direct hit from a 747 or an internal nuclear explosion (not both) without being compromised. Wether or not thats true or whether or not old "nuke" plants are built this way who knows?

Incidentally we got to see the room that Homer works in aka. the control room. They said it would have been covered 24/7 and I think there is a back up room and a back up crew. It is kinda of stupid to publish a map with targets on it. It's sorta like the map with lights on it in Homer's office (Lenny:"Uh-oh, There goes Albany!")

I think the site in southern WA is the Hanford nuclear plant superfunds cleanup site, and I don't think there is a fuctional plant there anymore. Hanford used to be a weapons grade plutionium manufacturing plant. Put on the now contaminated Columbia river for cooling water.



MaggieL  Saturday Oct 13 06:05 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Slight
I visited a mothballed Nuclear powerplant for chemistry class in 11th grade and they said the the reactor cores had like 3 feet thick steel around them (it sure looked like it did). The "tour" guide said that the core could take a direct hit from a 747 or an internal nuclear explosion (not both) without being compromised. Wether or not thats true or whether or not old "nuke" plants are built this way who knows?
Was that before or after Three Mile Island? :-)

I doubt it would be necessary to breech the reactor vessel to cause a boatload of trouble...just the containment building, especially if you managed to damage much of the coolant loops (especially the primary) in the process.

I imagine the thought of what even a moderately-sized aircraft loaded with explosives could do to a typical operating nuke is the cause for concern.


blowmeetheclown  Saturday Oct 13 07:28 PM

Actually, wouldn't you just have to damage the intake for the cooling ponds? Maybe just dump some quick-dry cement in there and wait for the siren? I wouldn't think you'd have to damage the core directly. Then again, I've never put much thought into it...



Slight  Saturday Oct 13 10:03 PM

Quote:
orginally posted by MaggieL
Was that before or after Three Mile Island? :-)

I doubt it would be necessary to breech the reactor vessel to cause a boatload of trouble...just the containment building, especially if you managed to damage much of the coolant loops (especially the primary) in the process.
Ok make Slight do research, fine! Construction on Washington Nuclear Plant-1 was discontinued in 1983. The three mile island incident occured in 1979 a year after the plant opened. So maybe they fixed the problems with the three mile island incident but wtf do I know, construction on WNP-1, 2, 3 and 4 was started in 1970 so they might have had time to fix what was wrong with TMI.

I would assume that you keep the primary loop inside the dome, but I don't know for sure. If you did take out the external secondary loop there is still enough (alot of it!) water inside to cool the reactors and you would drop the control rods. TMI lost water because of a leaky valve and that probably wouldn't happen in this case. And as be-low-meet-the-he-clown suggest taking out the external cooling loop would have the same effect as taking out the secondary loop.

I would like to correct myself; there is an operating plant near the Hanford site. It is Washington Nuclear Plant 2. That makes that site an even better target.

And I have now realized that even if the AP had not released this map, the info is still availible on other sites.


leif  Sunday Oct 14 01:29 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by lisa
Of course, it seems like the best course of action, if you want to avoid being hit by a terrorist attack, is to live in the middle of nowhere -- but most people don't want that kind of life. That's why we all live on top of each other.
Or you could live in a country that doesn't have a habbit of meddling with volatile forign conflicts for their own economic interests, and making YOU and ME targets for terrorists.


Whit  Sunday Oct 14 02:17 PM

Such countries exist? That's odd I can't think of any country that doesn't meddle for profit. Think of how many countries bug the U.S. for financial aid. Don't you think everyone of them is bullying smaller countries for cash as well? That's life.

What the terrorists did was jump the biggest dog in the pack. (Of countries that tend to dispense aid) Make no mistake they'd love to nail EVERY UN/NATO allied country.

On a side note, Juju drives slower than my Grandma. I live about eighty miles from the nuke plant in Russelville, and he lives less than seventy miles from me tops.

It's an impressive structure that I enjoy seeing from the highway when I drive through that area. It's amazing that mankind can make something like that and still kill each other in droves. You'd think we'd be over that by now...



MaggieL  Sunday Oct 14 03:25 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Slight
Ok make Slight do research, fine! Construction on Washington Nuclear Plant-1 was discontinued in 1983. The three mile island incident occured in 1979 a year after the plant opened. So maybe they fixed the problems with the three mile island incident but wtf do I know
I hadn't really thought there'd been much signficant nuke construction after TMI, and the incident was a watershed in a lot of people thinkining about nuclear safety. It was probably the first time that popular culture realized that a fission reactor might be something that you couldn't simply "turn off" if it became unruly. Chernobyl was still seven years in the future.

Nor was it my intent to make y'all do research; I just *remeber* when the TMI Unit 2 incident went down and how scary it was to those of us living somewhat nearby. Not that Limmerick isn't a hell of a lot closer.


Undertoad  Sunday Oct 14 03:46 PM

Scary for you? We were pretty close! They announced over the PA system at school (high school, where I was at the time) that we were not to go outside between classes and not to linger outside at the end of the day waiting for the bus. Science teachers brought out their geiger counters and explained radiation and why it was hard to measure simple background radiation.

I remember two kids running outside across the campus between classes, and everyone saying how dumb they were. Despite the usual generational love of fear and danger, extreme peer pressures, etc. Almost everyone understood that this was different.



russotto  Sunday Oct 14 04:09 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
Even in case of meltdown, you have about 5 hours to get away from the most serious danger zones. In that space of time, I would be able to walk far enough away, even if I had no vehicle.
You'd need to. The evacuation plan for Limerick is Rt 422 East. If shit happens at Limerick, that road is going to become a glow in the dark parking lot.

(my personal plan is to head to 422 West, at full speed. IIRC under normal wind conditions the plume would go mostly UP first, then head southeast. Thus, counterintuitively, heading straight for the plant to get to the northwest side might be the best bet)


Undertoad  Sunday Oct 14 10:39 PM

There wouldn't be a plume though. A nuclear plant can't act like a nuclear bomb; I forget why. But the worst case is the meltdown, where the rods that control chain reactions can't be inserted back into the core. In such a case the generated heat gets so hot that it melts everything until it sinks right into the ground.

That's what someone told me, anyway. So the major radioactivity leak happens after it's melted out of its containment. That's the time period you've got to get away.

Saw a bit of one of the night's TV news magazines where they demonstrated what would probably happen if a jet collided with the containment hull. The jet would turn into dust, basically, and wouldn't penetrate the hull.

Nevertheless there was a suggestion that anti-aircraft guns be located near the plants as a last resort. And another suggestion that it's Tom Ridge's call.



jaguar  Sunday Oct 14 11:06 PM

Depends, chenobyl blew its cap off and was a plum that covered 3/4 of europe. On the otherside that was not properly designed.



MaggieL  Monday Oct 15 12:24 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
There wouldn't be a plume though. A nuclear plant can't act like a nuclear bomb; I forget why. But the worst case is the meltdown, where the rods that control chain reactions can't be inserted back into the core.
Fission plants aren't designed in a way that makes it at all feasible to bring the fissile material together fast enough to cause a nuclear explosion. Fissile material tends to resist being packed densely enough to explode by getting hot and losing density due to the expansion of vapor and gas. The rate of the nuclear reaction and the level of released energy is dependant on the density of the reacting materials. That's why a nuclear bomb is basically constructed by setting up the fissile material in two or more pieces and arranging to bring them together rapidly with an chemical implosion.

So a "meltdown".--which is slang for uncontrollable runaway fission--is probably the nastiest thing that can happen with just a reactor. The "down" part of the term evokes an image of creating a pile of hot slag, in the "China Syndrome" type of scenario. But when such an event breaches the containment. it can also result in the release of radioactive steam and smoke, which certainly can result in a plume.

Enough conventional explosives close to a reactor could concievably scatter radioactive debris in an even nastier way, and if the reactor vessel *was* breached maybe even the fuel itself. It's not a fission explosion as such, but it's certainly still nothing you'd wanna be downwind of.

I recall an article on the topic of using nuke plants to amplify the destructive power of conventional weapons in Scientific American some years ago.


tw  Monday Oct 15 02:26 AM

Nuclear Reactors - answering all previous posts

To correct some misconceptions.

TMI 2 resulted from a loss of coolant, a complete cutoff of the emergency cooling system, and control room actions that repeatedly thwarted automatic controls to recover. IOW much the same would happen if a jumbo hit the control room rather than the containment building.

What was to fix after TMI? The problem was top management - GPU - who knew nothing about nuclear power and whose cost control mentality was so ingrained that they would not replace that leaky valve during the maintenace shutdown. That maintenance period has just been completed the previous month, but because the valve cost too much money, then top management decided to not replace it.

TMI1 was not permitted to restart until all GPU management was replaced. TMI1 restart was delayed because the president of GPU refused to resign. The day after he finally did resign is the day that TMI1 got its license renewed for operation. That is the reason for TMI2's failure. Top management whose cost control mentalities were so dominant that TMI2 operators could not get any phone lines (they only had two) and could not place outgoing calls (all circuits were busy).

What would it take to get a high priority phone line into TMI2? A call from GPU top management to Bell of PA. GPU corporate would not even do that. Jimmy Carter finally solved TMI's phone problems by making Bell connect all TMI phone lines directly to the White House switchboard. Yes - it was GPU top management that caused the TMI2 meltdown.

A new core design was recently developed so that a reactor core could shut itself down automatically if it overheated. But that new design is not (as of yet I think) installed in any reactors.

A PWR containment dome is one of the hardest structures on the earth. But the explosion inside TMI2 was almost large enought to burst that structure.

For those of you in the TMI area - did you know that TMI operators were in such a panic over a possible second explosion that they planned to setup monitoring cameras and abandon the site. Therefore Jimmy Carter and wife appearred for a visit - to calm some very scared people. In fact, Carter was on-site being briefed by Denton during the hours that a second explosion was predicted.

Also for those in the TMI area - those emergency cooling pumps should not have survived pumping against closed valves. Eventually one pump failed. Had the second pump failed any time in the one year period after the meltdown, then China Syndrome would have restarted. Yes, the dirty little secret we know today - TMI2 was in that much trouble for up to a year after the event.

Nuclear reactors do not have fuel high enough in U-235 content to become a bomb. To make Uranium into bomb grade material, well, that is what they found in Iraq. It is an expensive, technically challenging, and energy consuming task to convert low grade power reactor fuel into weapons grade uranium. Converting weapons grade fuel back to low grade is easy which is why there is no uranium fuel shortage in todays markets.

Chernobyl is of completely different design. There is no containment dome. The Nuclear reactor is air cooled - much like a British nuclear reactor, long before TMI, that failed and spread radioactivity in a large agricultural area. Also Chernobyl type reactors use graphite as a moderator. But graphite is flammable only making a Chernobyl type design that much more dangerous. Chernobyl did not explode so much as it caught fire. The entire core disappeared - was spread out downwind in the countryside and into the plants basement.

One type of reactor that can make fuel is a breeder reactor. Fermi 1 was to be a breeder reactor that created electricity and more nuclear fuel. Breeders are unstable which is why Detriot was also almost lost to contamination by this major nuclear accident - before TMI.

The Europeans also tried to develop a breeder and failed - after the US gave up. Currently Japan is trying to develop a breeder which is why more than 50% of the world's Plutonium is currently in Japan.

How do you find nuclear power plants? They are marked on automobile road maps. Their existance and location is well documented in newspaper and magazine archives. Locating 100+ nuclear plants in the US is common knowledge.



jaguar  Monday Oct 15 08:59 AM

sad fact number 207:
ExGPUMBA: I am sucha tightass i'd rather cause a nuclear meltdown than spend real money!
CorperateAmerica: You start tomorrow!



juju2112  Monday Oct 15 09:07 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Whit

What the terrorists did was jump the biggest dog in the pack. (Of countries that tend to dispense aid) Make no mistake they'd love to nail EVERY UN/NATO allied country.
Ya know, ever since George Bush floated that dumb "make no mistake" saying, everyone is using it! What is with this saying? I keep imagining millions of people running around this country with serious looks on their faces citing, "make no mistake! make no mistake!". Does everyone love our president now or what?
<br>
<br>
Quote:

On a side note, Juju drives slower than my Grandma. I live about eighty miles from the nuke plant in Russelville, and he lives less than seventy miles from me tops.
Actually, I don't think i've ever driven there.. i just woke Kathy up and asked her how far it was. :] But she was half-asleep so I guess I should've expected the number to be a little off.
<br><br>
And I don't drive slow. Just....cautiously. <g>
<br><br>



Quote:
It's an impressive structure that I enjoy seeing from the highway when I drive through that area. It's amazing that mankind can make something like that and still kill each other in droves. You'd think we'd be over that by now...
<br>
<br>
60 Minutes did a pretty cool show last night on nuclear power plants and how government is trying to terrorist-proof them. It actually said that the reactor walls were 6 feet thick. There was a video clip of a fighter-plane on some sort of track slamming into the side of one of those walls, and completely disintigrating on impact. Apparently it didn't even get 1 inch into the wall.


MaggieL  Monday Oct 15 11:48 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by juju2112

Ya know, ever since George Bush floated that dumb "make no mistake" saying, everyone is using it! What is with this saying? I keep imagining millions of people running around this country with serious looks on their faces citing, "make no mistake! make no mistake!". Does everyone love our president now or what?
.
That "make no mistake" riff is a Nixonism...he of "I am not a crook" fame. I guess enough of the electorate is too young to remeber that that it doesn't matter anymore.


leif  Monday Oct 15 12:59 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Whit
Such countries exist? That's odd I can't think of any country that doesn't meddle for profit. Think of how many countries bug the U.S. for financial aid. Don't you think everyone of them is bullying smaller countries for cash as well? That's life.

What the terrorists did was jump the biggest dog in the pack. (Of countries that tend to dispense aid) Make no mistake they'd love to nail EVERY UN/NATO allied country.
No, we were not attacked because "were the biggest dog in the pack", or because we're a "beacon of freedom", or any oher such silly nonsense. We were the target because we are the country leading the military occupation of the Middle East. Yes, even the smallest countries ask for aid. But the "asking for aid" kind of meddling pisses off far fewer extremists than the "supply military support" kind of meddling. We've got alternate energy otpions, and everyone with a good head on them realizes the only reason we're there is Oil. Maybe we should spend some of the millions that are being thown away to bomb a wartorn country further into the stoneage on something productive like developng our alternative energy options. The oil isn't gonna last forever anyway!

Quote:

It's an impressive structure that I enjoy seeing from the highway when I drive through that area. It's amazing that mankind can make something like that and still kill each other in droves. You'd think we'd be over that by now...
Maybe if bin Laden could only see a few of our power plants he wouldn't hate us so much, huh?


russotto  Monday Oct 15 01:32 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
There wouldn't be a plume though. A nuclear plant can't act like a nuclear bomb; I forget why. But the worst case is the meltdown, where the rods that control chain reactions can't be inserted back into the core. In such a case the generated heat gets so hot that it melts everything until it sinks right into the ground.
The plume in a worst-case nuclear meltdown is of radioactive steam and other material.


russotto  Monday Oct 15 01:36 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by leif

No, we were not attacked because "were the biggest dog in the pack", or because we're a "beacon of freedom", or any oher such silly nonsense. We were the target because we are the country leading the military occupation of the Middle East.
And what military occupation would that be? Not even Iraq is occupied. bin Laden claims to object to American military presence in Saudi Arabia, but that's not occupation.

More blame-America-first crap.


leif  Monday Oct 15 05:40 PM

We've got a significant military presence and a significant influence on the Saudi government. We use their airspace for our military actions. Ditto for other neighboring countries.

Do we need to have a military presence in the reigon? Is that what our forefathers intended our government for? Is that what taxpayers want (or would want if they had more access to uncensored news)?



Whit  Monday Oct 15 06:15 PM

LOL
Hey, I'm all for alternative energy resources. That even made sense to me when I was a kid and Jimmy Carter was pushing for the research. And yeah the US throws its weight around ALOT in that region. But that's life.
Do you really question that other countries would do any different in our shoes? I mean damn, we push Democracy down everyones throats, yeah. We also push Capitalism like mad. We even have the audacity to try to make other countries clean up their human rights records. What bastards we are, eh?
Have you listened to what the mainstream Islamic people are saying? Have you listened to Bin Laden at all? He even called for a Jihad! The idiots not even a religious leader and he calls for a holy war???
C'mon dude, presenting people with someone to balme makes it truly easy to unify them, and make them fanatics ready to do his will. He's no different than alot of other madmen that came before. Actually there is one difference, it's much easier to do damage today than it used to be.



MaggieL  Monday Oct 15 11:17 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by leif

Do we need to have a military presence in the reigon? Is that what our forefathers intended our government for? Is that what taxpayers want (or would want if they had more access to uncensored news)?
That's nearly irrelevant now, IMHO. I think the relevent question now is: "Do we want anybody who wants to influence US foriegn policy to know that an effective way to advance their cause is kill a few thousand innocent civilians on our territory and then blame it on us because 'we made them do it'?"

What "radicalized" bin Laden about "US troops in Saudi" was the fact that *he* wanted to bring *his* army of Muhajadeen from Afghanistan to defend Saudi from Iraq. For some strange reason apparently the Saudis thought maybe the Coalition forces were a better deal. Imagine that. Now all of a sudden *after* 9/11 bin Laden fancies himself the champion of the Palestinians too. Somehow it seems that Arafat doesn't want him as their champion either.

What a load of hooey. Can you imagine what would have happened if bin Laden had been allowed to try defend Saudi Arabia against the Iraqis? They would have kicked his butt all the way to Yemen. and into the sea.


jaguar  Tuesday Oct 16 12:35 AM

Yes there are US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, a deeply Islamic country and home to many of the guys on board those planes. I think its more unsee 'occupation' that directly haivng tropps there, subtle influence etc.

Not only is oil gonna run out but Nuclear Power itself is deeply unprofitable and very unsafe. I remember reading a statistic about there on average with todays safty standards a 1/1000 chance of a major incident every milellium, now, times that but *how* many plants? Not good.



Undertoad  Tuesday Oct 16 11:05 AM

Nuclear power could be made to be safer, but there has been little interest in that concept since 1979.



leif  Tuesday Oct 16 01:37 PM

tT?ay "alternative energy" I don't mean nuclear; I was more thinking along the lines of hydrogen fuel-cells or other modern/clean technologies. I'm no scientist; I just know what I've picked up on NPR, Slashdot, AlterNet.org, and the like, but it sounds to me like the technology is here and we just need to put it into widespread use.

whit:
C'mon dude, presenting people with someone to blame makes it truly easy to unify them, and make them fanatics ready to do his will.

Uh, are you talking about OBL giving his followers someone to blame? Because that same thing is happening in America! Within hours of the attack, his name was on all the news stations. Remember, there has still been zero conclusive evidence against him. He's said we deserved it, and that he's happy about the attack, but thats no surprise. He was probably happy after McVeigh's bombing too, and lots everyone from Jerry Falwell to ME has said we had it coming (though for somewhat different reasons...). I'm not saying he's an innocent guy (he's certainly guilty of SOME terrorist acts, or so I'm told), but I would just think with the "Intelligence" infrastructure we've got we could dig up just a smidgen of proof against the guy IN THIS TERRORIST ACT. And the fact that we can't do that makes me wonder if he's really the guy, or if we're just being given a enemy to direct our rage at.

Of course, now that we've spent hundreds of millions (billions yet?) bombing Afghanistan, and killed countless civilians (including UN aid workers), Curious George can't exactly pull out and say "yeah, the real guilty parties are actually over here. Sorry about all that!".

The Taliban has said repeatedly that they are willing the negotiate, if we can just show them some proof bin Laden was involved. We (supposedly) have the proof; why not just show it to them? "National Security Concerns". Well, little kids wearing rags are getting blown the fuck up because of our precious national security, and our national 'security' can't even keep people from getting Anthrax in the mail. Does the fact that americans would rather watch coverage of "America Strikes Back" than "America Peacefully Negotiates" have anything to do with it?

whit:
And yeah the US throws its weight around ALOT in that region. But that's life.
So people can get real angry and crash airplanes into us, and "thats life" too? Because us "throwing our weight around" and them crashing planes into shit are sorta inter-related issues. You can't just brush it off; bombing the fuck out of some kids in the desert isn't gonna stop terrorists. Even if we killed off all the known terrorists, new people would follow them. We need to look at WHY there are millions of people who think the U.S. is evil, and that all Americans are scum.

Are YOU and ME benefiting from an economy that relies on their oil? If we started using (readily available) other energy sources, would it hurt us that much? President Bush's family is certainly benefiting. They've got a lot of money in the oil industry. I'd be just as happy with my car being powered by hydrogen. We could've started moving to cleaner energy years ago, but because our leaders have bussiness interests elsewhere we're now at "war".

I'd continue but I'm at work...
(this "new war" has really cut in on the workplace-productivity; I've probably spent more time reading+posting on various boards in the last month than the previous year combined!)



MaggieL  Tuesday Oct 16 03:00 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by leif
tT?ay "alternative energy" I don't mean nuclear; I was more thinking along the lines of hydrogen fuel-cells or other modern/clean technologies. I'm no scientist; I just know what I've picked up on NPR, Slashdot, AlterNet.org, and the like, but it sounds to me like the technology is here and we just need to put it into widespread use.
Learning energy tech from NPR and /. is like learning about computers at Sears. You'll be entitled to hold the opinion that we should just switch to alternate energy when you actually know something about it.

Quote:
Within hours of the attack, his name was on all the news stations. Remember, there has still been zero conclusive evidence against him.
That just *might* have something to do with the tfact that he's been threateneing to do exactly this sort of thing for years, has written extensively on techniques for doing it, and his people have been stopped just before doing it before a number of times. Those who have seen the evidence (which isn't on cnn.com for your personal perusal yet to protect the sources and methods that produced it--remeber the story of Enigma and Coventry?) say it's compelling.

Quote:
everyone from Jerry Falwell to ME has said we had it coming
Now *thats'* a broad range of authoritiative sources. Falwell's theory was that it was God punishing the queers...the same reasoning he applied to AIDS, as I recall.

Quote:
The Taliban has said repeatedly that they are willing the negotiate, if we can just show them some proof bin Laden was involved.
Their willingess to "negotiate" suddenly appeared when we demonstrated we were ready to apply military force and had widespread backing for it. "Negotiating" isn't being offered now, nor should it be. The time for "negotiating" was back last December, when the UN imposed sanctions on the Taliban for not surrendering bin Laden and his buddies.

Quote:
We (supposedly) have the proof; why not just show it to them? "National Security Concerns". Well, little kids wearing rags are getting blown the fuck up because of our precious national security,
No, they're getting blown up because their government is run by outlaw religious fanatics who are providing a front operation for terrorists. This isn't time to open the bazaar. "Our precious national security" has to do with keeping *our* kids out of rags and safe from being blown up. Where has your concern about Afghan kids been for the last ten years?

Quote:

Are YOU and ME benefiting from an economy that relies on their oil?...
I'd continue but I'm at work...
Well, *you* don't seem to be doing too badly then, eh?


Whit  Tuesday Oct 16 06:35 PM

Heh, you tell 'em MaggieL!

Leif you continue to talk about both the plight of the kids and new energy resources. When and if we FINALLY move on to something better those kids are screwed. Oil is the major export of the region by far, what income will they have when we don't buy anymore?

Personaly the need for alternative (read as BETTER) energy sources has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. Not only does George have alot of cash in oil, so did Gore. I agree completely that the reason we haven't moved on is political. I've actually agreed with several things you've said but you haven't seemed to notice. I might even suggest you do some background and find out who the Isreali's say was behind it, I htink you'd find it interesting.

Anyway, let me explain why I said, "That's life." The U.S. is a nation, it's primary funtion is the welfare of it's own citizens. We are not responsible for improving their lives. Most of the world feels we should do more to help them but we haven't dealt with alot of problems at home. If they don't like the way we've acted, then fine. Let them use diplomatic means. If that doesn't work then they're just SOL. We don't like alot of things China does, but last time I checked we didn't hijack planes and fly into their buildings. We cope.

I also agree that the bombing has been heavy handed and clumsy. Yes lot's of innocent's have died. No question we need to do better. I however don't forget the fact that I don't have a better idea. Do you?



leif  Tuesday Oct 16 07:30 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by MaggieL
Learning energy tech from NPR and /. is like learning about computers at Sears. You'll be entitled to hold the opinion that we should just switch to alternate energy when you actually know something about it.
Fair enough, like I said I'm no expert. I realize we can't "just switch over", but the technology is certainly there and it just seems like we could be moving more in that direction.

Quote:
Originally posted by MaggieL
That just *might* have something to do with the tfact that he's been threateneing to do exactly this sort of thing for years, has written extensively on techniques for doing it, and his people have been stopped just before doing it before a number of times. Those who have seen the evidence (which isn't on cnn.com for your personal perusal yet to protect the sources and methods that produced it--remeber the story of Enigma and Coventry?) say it's compelling.
His own son still claims he couldn't have done it. Not that I believe him any more than CNN, but it does raise further doubt. Has anyone who you have reason to trust seen the evidence and said it's compelling?

Quote:
Originally posted by MaggieL
Now *thats'* a broad range of authoritiative sources. Falwell's theory was that it was God punishing the queers...the same reasoning he applied to AIDS, as I recall.
Yes, Falwell had a list of guilty parties that included the ACLU and the People for the American Way. Falwell says a lot of crazy stuff. I was just illustrating the point that simply saying that the U.S. deserved this doesn't make someone a terrorist (bin Laden has said he thought the attack was "joyous", but didn't say he was involved, and many have taken this as an admission of guilt).

Quote:
Originally posted by MaggieL
Their willingess to "negotiate" suddenly appeared when we demonstrated we were ready to apply military force and had widespread backing for it. "Negotiating" isn't being offered now, nor should it be. The time for "negotiating" was back last December, when the UN imposed sanctions on the Taliban for not surrendering bin Laden and his buddies.
[/b]
I think the "time for negotiating" is never over; in my opinion there should always be a continuing effort to resolve the matter without dropping bombs.

Quote:
Originally posted by MaggieL
No, they're getting blown up because their government is run by outlaw religious fanatics who are providing a front operation for terrorists. This isn't time to open the bazaar. "Our precious national security" has to do with keeping *our* kids out of rags and safe from being blown up. Where has your concern about Afghan kids been for the last ten years?
My concern for the Afghan kids has been pretty minimal for the past ten years. There are kids suffering all over the world. The ones in Afghanistan have suddenly a discussion item now that practically everyone I talk to is in favor of bombing their country.

Quote:
Originally posted by Whit
I also agree that the bombing has been heavy handed and clumsy. Yes lot's of innocent's have died. No question we need to do better. I however don't forget the fact that I don't have a better idea. Do you?
Yeah, I have a much better idea. How about we stop killing civilians in the name of stopping terrorism? It doesn't take a genius to realize that the U.S. is commiting terrorist acts of it's own. And it's real hard to have any respect for a country that kills civilians in an anti-terrorist military campaign.

Quote:
Originally posted by Whit
The U.S. is a nation, it's primary funtion is the welfare of it's own citizens. We are not responsible for improving their lives. Most of the world feels we should do more to help them but we haven't dealt with alot of problems at home.
I'm not even talking about spending money on aid programs for these people; I'm just saying it's stupid to spend money killing them. They've got it bad enough, they don't need our bombs raining down from the sky too.


elSicomoro  Tuesday Oct 16 08:00 PM

There seems to be enough evidence linking the hijackers back to al-Qaeda, which is headed by bin Laden. In addition, from what I understand, there is solid evidence linking bin Laden to the bombings of the American embassies in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi. This alone should compel the Taliban to surrender bin Laden for these crimes. The US was very clear: surrender bin Laden or you're getting bombed. No negotiation. Why should there be in a situation like this? They had almost a month to surrender him. Not to mention, the US was and is dropping FOOD to feed their people. The Taliban cannot even feed its own people.

I'm the last person to advocate war, but let's be realistic here. We're in a military action with several countries in order to capture Osama bin Laden. Innocent lives will be lost...but you have to use the least of the evils. If we send troops into Afghanistan right now, we would lose countless soldiers. We could negotiate until Jesus comes back with futile results. So, option #3. Furthermore, it's not like the US is TRYING to hurt innocent civilians.

Innocent civilians were killed during the Kosovo conflict (the Chinese consulate?), but I didn't hear many people complaining then.


And Jerry Falwell is a puke, period.



Undertoad  Tuesday Oct 16 09:40 PM

The US has taken absolutely remarkable steps to ensure that civilians don't get hurt. They do things like find the target they want to take out, and map the pattern of the explosion that will be caused to determine whether the blast will take out second stories of civilian structures. They actually select the bomb that will have the least destructive blast pattern to civilians.

Meanwhile, the anti-aircraft guns of the Taliban, often fired at night at targets they can't even see, do not have such carefully worked-out trajectories.

The Taliban has probably out-killed the US in civilian deaths by a factor of 10 to 1. Meanwhile, the US did another incredible thing - it apologized for the civilian deaths.

This is a remarkably civilized war, in which the technology of munitions is a major factor in the diplomacy. And each night is a new round of bombing, each day both sides get their latest say - not just to each other, but to almost everyone in the world who is listening.



russotto  Tuesday Oct 16 09:58 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by leif
We've got a significant military presence and a significant influence on the Saudi government. We use their airspace for our military actions. Ditto for other neighboring countries.
A damn far cry from a military occupation.


leif  Wednesday Oct 17 01:07 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by sycamore
Innocent civilians were killed during the Kosovo conflict (the Chinese consulate?), but I didn't hear many people complaining then.
I was complaining, as were humans rights groups all over the world.

How is it that we can justify killing civilians so eaisily yet be surprised when someone strikes back at our civilians?
Quote:
Originally posted by sycamore
And Jerry Falwell is a puke, period.
Well, at least we can agree on that!

Also, about our so-generous food drops:
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,...355618,00.html
They are largely unwanted, when they reach people at all, and are really just part of the war here at home (public relations). After all, you just used them as justification for a pro-bombing argument. ;-)

I don't mean to ruffle feathers; I've been reading this board for a while now and I like this group! I just think that there isn't ever justification for killing civilians. Regardless of their causes or convictions it was wrong for the terrorists to do what they did, and regardless of our cause or our need for justice it is wrong for us to kill civilians in our military strikes. Nobody here (as far as I know) would look into to the eyes of some kid and kill him or her; how is it that you can so eaisily support a military operation that (even by accident) does the same thing?


Whit  Wednesday Oct 17 02:17 AM

I understand how you feel. As UT pointed out our military is doing it's best to minimize civilian casulties. But the fact remains that we are calling this a war for a reason. In war no one is safe, yes I know that includes myself, my friends and my family.
The fact is that when we started anyone with any sense braced for serious and numerous terroist actions.Frankly, I'm shocked that we haven't seen more than a few anthrax scares. The rules of war never preclude civilians getting killed. It's sad, and the US is trying to reach a higher standard on this. We're just not there yet.

Let me be plain, I have a four year old daughter. When I look at her I know that an Al-Queda terrorist with a crop duster and a suit case full of disease could kill her and everyone else in the city tomorrow. I also know that individual would truly believe her death (as an infidel) would get him a free trip to heaven. This is why action of some sort is necessary. My heart goes out to the inoccent victims of our attacks. Again, I simply choose to believe that our military is acting from the best information it has, and is making every attemt to minimize casulties. I choose to believe that George really does have a case against Bin Laden.

I haven't dismissed that someone else might have done it, nor have I dismissed that Bin Laden would do worse should he have the opportunity. This man and these people want you, me and our children dead. Our actions are in self-defense. Yes it's brutal and has killed innocents, but it's the best we can manage. If you have a better idea then step up. If not understand then understand that given a choice between leaving my daughter in (even very minimal) danger or letting the neighbors of murderers (and yes even their kids) die I will choose my daughter every time. If this makes me a monster than so be it. If you have a child look that child in the eye and then explain why inaction is acceptable.

Let's just hope and pray that in the future we can do better.



MaggieL  Wednesday Oct 17 09:10 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by leif

His own son still claims he couldn't have done it. Not that I believe him any more than CNN, but it does raise further doubt.
Spare me. That interview was pathetic. The kid is 18. The interview does nothing to raise doubt. What's he going to do, say "Oh, yeah, my Dad ran the whole show?"
Quote:
Has anyone who you have reason to trust seen the evidence
and said it's compelling?
Nobody who has seen the evidence has disputed the conclusion. That includes a scrutload of Congresscritters and foreign heads of state. Somehow I trust Tony Blair more than binLaden's kid.
Quote:
I was just illustrating the point that simply saying that the U.S. deserved this doesn't make someone a terrorist [/b]
No, it means they support terrorists.
Quote:
I think the "time for negotiating" is never over; in my opinion there should always be a continuing effort to resolve the matter without dropping bombs
.
There's nothing to negotiate, nor any reason to compromise. A negotiation that opens with the death of six thousand civilians isn't a negotiation, it's war.
Quote:
The ones in Afghanistan have suddenly a discussion item now that practically everyone I talk to is in favor of bombing their country.
Grow up. The Taliban sponsors bombing *our* country. Repeatedly.
These scum are already under indictment for the last couple of times they did it.
Quote:
Yeah, I have a much better idea. How about we stop killing civilians in the name of stopping terrorism? It doesn't take a genius to realize that the U.S. is commiting terrorist acts of it's own.
You seriously need to look up the definition of terrorism. It shouldn't take a genius to understand why it doesn't apply.
Quote:
And it's real hard to have any respect for a country that kills civilians in an anti-terrorist military campaign.
*Any* military action is going to kill civilians, especially when the combatants make a point of hiding in a civilian population deliberately in order to cause civilian casualties and then pump them for propiganda value, in the hopes that folks like yourself will call for us to slack off on them. It's reprehensible.


Joe  Wednesday Oct 17 12:43 PM

civilians

I think the civilian casualties are pretty light on their side compared to what they have been on our side.

We didn't want this war. We would have been perfectly happy to have had Sept. 11 be just another day, and not attack Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, our hand has been forced. You can't waltz into our biggest city, blow down the biggest buildings with everyone inside, and walk away thinking nothing will happen. We HAVE to fight now.

The Taliban know that civilian casualties make great propaganda. If they themselves wanted to reduce this, they could move their forces out of the cities into neutral territory. We would never attack a city of just civilians any more than we'd bomb a refugee camp.

Why don't the Taliban do this? They know it would be suicide. If we know a site is just Taliban fighters, we would immediately strike there. They know that by mixing themselves into the civilian population we won't attack as fiercely, we'll have to be very careful.

They are using their own civilians as human shields, just as Iraq did in the Gulf War. They are also using Islam as a shield, sleeping in their mosques at night, because they know that blown-up mosques also make great propaganda and we won't hit them there.

Cowards.



leif  Wednesday Oct 17 02:44 PM

Re: civilians

Quote:
Originally posted by Joe
I think the civilian casualties are pretty light on their side compared to what they have been on our side.
This war is older than a lot of people would like to think. For instance, we've (indirectly) killed a half million kids in Iraq though U.N. sanctions. (yes, I know a lot of you don't think that's relavent, but if the terrorists do, and Osama bin Laden has said he does, I think it's very relevant)
By their count, the U.S. is directly and indirectly responsible for millions of Islamic deaths over the past few decades. The terrorists aren't the only ones holding the U.S. responsible; human rights groups have been on our back for years about it. To people on that side of the world, the U.S. is not a "beacon of freedom" at all.
Quote:
Originally posted by Joe
Unfortunately, our hand has been forced. You can't waltz into our biggest city, blow down the biggest buildings with everyone inside, and walk away thinking nothing will happen. We HAVE to fight now.[/b]
Yes, we must do something. Yes, someone must pay. But we aren't exactly killing Osama with these bombings! I'm all for the covert operations. I wish they'd tell us about it, but if they want to go in silent-ninja style and take out the bad guys I'm all for it. But dropping cluster bombs over a populated city? C'mon! Cluster bombs are thought to miss their targets up to 60% of the time, and frequently don't explode on impact (since they are more powerful than landmines, a reigion full of these (like Kosovo after our peacekeeping effort there) is quite dangerous). Each bomb contains 150 smaller bombs, and statistically between 5% and 12% of them don't explode on impact. So, even if these bombs are only targeted at military convoys as claimed, each will leave behind several landmines (unexploded pieces from cluster bombs) on publicly traveled roads! Civilian deaths, both immediate and delayed, are inevitable when this kind of weapon is used.

OK, I'm taking Maggie's bait and actually looking up terrorism:
  • Terrorism n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
The U.S. Military, an organized group, is using both force and violence against people and property with the intention of coercing a government to extradite someone. Our reasons are certainly political; and I would say our ideological differences certainly have come into play as well. All that leaves is the unlawfull part. What laws apply? I'm sure that by local laws they would consider our bombings unlawfull; by our laws killing people is unlawfull. But, as is always pointed out, people die in war. Thats just how it is.

If we can say our murder of innocent's is not a criminal act, because our leaders have declared a war (on 'evil' in general), how can we deem the WTC bombings a criminal act? They told us we were at war, after all! If war makes murder legal, then anyone the president deems evil is fair game!
(no, I just can't get over GWB's War-on-Evil speech. Especially coming from a president who is so judemental he doesn't consider Athiests citizens; THIS is the man who determines who is evil enough to be murdered by the most powerfull military in the world?)

Naturally, I think that the WTC attack was criminal. I just can't condem it without simultaneously condeming other murder of innocents. I didn't personally know anyone who died in WTC; to me the lives lost in New York are no more or less a tragedy than the people who are dying right now accross the world under U.S. bombs.
Quote:
Originally posted by MaggieL
Grow up. The Taliban sponsors bombing *our* country. Repeatedly.
These scum are already under indictment for the last couple of times they did it.
I was unaware the Taliban had bombed our country. Could you elaborate? Also, I'd love to see some background on joe's claim that they are, as Iraq did in the Gulf War, using civilians as a shield. I don't know if thats true; I certainly hadn't heard that.

Also, joe: I wouldn't call someone a coward for sleeping in their chruch because they're worried about getting blown up. How's self-preservation cowardly?

Again, I realize that we have to do SOMETHING. I just don't think what were doing is effective OR morally acceptable. Can you imagine the Taliban saying "Stop! We've had enough! You can have Osama!"? Sure, it's possible, I just don't think it's very likely. So if not that, what is our goal? When will the airstrikes be done and over with?

Whit, you say you choose your daughter's saftey over the innocent neighbors of terrorists. I'm glad to hear it. But what if these attacks only fuel the terrorists' fire? We can't possibly kill all the terrorists; thats about as likely as the drug war resulting in zero domestic drug use. And the remaining terrorists (I think most will remain after this) will now have one more reason to hate America.

I try to tell myself that their hatred of the American people is misplaced, that it isn't the american people who behind the injustice in their home; but when we show national support for this war (a war that really ammounts to our own terrorist acts) it makes sense that they view the average american citizen as the enemy.

CNN has made up a list of 6 questions for Osama, and I'm very eager to hear what comes of it. They said that if they don't find his response newsworthy they don't air it; I really hope we get to hear what he says. I think more likely than not, he's guilty; but I still want to hear what the guy has to say.


juju2112  Wednesday Oct 17 03:14 PM

Setting aside the justification for the bombings on the Taliban, let's talk about our goals, and how we are meeting them with the actions that we are taking.

This fanatical army, from what I understand, is a distributed one. Like as in peer to peer and gnutella. Many different cells or 'nodes' operate independently. There is no central server.

So, just as suing one guy in America for sharing files on gnutella isn't going to stop a guy in Russia from sharing files with a guy in Germany -- So bombing an organization in Afganistan isn't going to stop the machinery of terrorism. You're attacking a single node.

If I bomb Earthlink's headquarters, does the internet stop functioning? Of course not! Lots of people are pissed off at us. If you kill the
"leaders", all the pissed off minions are not going to just go home and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwitches.



MaggieL  Wednesday Oct 17 04:27 PM

Re: Re: civilians

Quote:
Originally posted by leif
I was unaware the Taliban had bombed our country. Could you elaborate? Also, I'd love to see some background on joe's claim that they are, as Iraq did in the Gulf War, using civilians as a shield. I don't know if thats true; I certainly hadn't heard that.
I'm not going to bother responding to leif after this posting, because he doesn't seem to have heard much about what's going on, and there's only so much cluelessness I can tolerate. Perhaps he missed the explosions in New York City back on 9/11. Stolen aircraft loaded with jet fuel were used as kamikaze bombs to attack US civilians.

The man financing and directing the operation was described back in August by the Pakistanis and the Russians as the Taliban's de facto defense minister. The Taliban has been on bin Laden's payroll to the tune of $100 million over the last ten years while the Taliban has been under UN embargo for refusing to extradite him. bin Laden countersigns orders issued by Omar. Basically, the spoiled little rich boy has bought himself a country to play commando in.

As for using civilans as a shield, after the ammo dumps in tunnels outside of Faram were bombed, causing secondary explosions for three hours afterward, the Taliban toured the world press though the town, showed them 30 graves and told them 270 civilians had died there.

Although now that the Taliban has almost no aircraft left, we probably won't see many more stoies like these:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
August 15, 2000

Taliban Jets Raid Taloqan, Kill Six Children, Injure Twelve other Civilians

(August 15)-Two Taliban jet fighters carried out air sorties today on Taloqan City at 6:40 pm (Afghanistan Standard Time), dropping a total of four bombs.

Two bombs struck a civilian neighborhood within the city, killing six children and wounding twelve civilians while destroying one house and partially damaging two more. Among those injured, eight were local commuters. Two other bombs landed outside the city.

It is believed that the indiscriminate aerial bombardment, one day after the latest Taliban-Pakistani-bin Laden failure of a military advance on Taloqan, marks a sign of frustration as the enemy has sought to take its revenge by randomly targeting civilian neighborhoods..
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One comment on JuJu's posting:

Quote:
This fanatical army, from what I understand, is a distributed one. Like as in peer to peer and gnutella. Many different cells or 'nodes' operate independently. There is no central server.
Not quite true. While the cells are semiautonomous after being dispatched for a mission, their training, command and control and finance are a bit more centralized than that. It's not so much like Gnutella but more like Napster.


Joe  Wednesday Oct 17 04:37 PM

well heck then

Pull the army out, send in the RIAA!

"In other news today, the Taliban army has been sued for vicarious infringement of human rights by allowing terrorists to operate from within it's borders. The Taliban argue that no such activity takes place, that all operations are legal. The RIAA states that in random samplings of Taliban activity, 99% of activity was terrorist in nature.

In anticipation of the demise of the army, Taliban fringe group activity has risen dramatically recently...."



leif  Wednesday Oct 17 05:52 PM

Re: Re: Re: civilians

Quote:
Originally posted by MaggieL
I'm not going to bother responding to leif after this posting, because he doesn't seem to have heard much about what's going on, and there's only so much cluelessness I can tolerate. Perhaps he missed the explosions in New York City back on 9/11. Stolen aircraft loaded with jet fuel were used as kamikaze bombs to attack US civilians.
Hijackers of still uncertain origin crashing our planes into buildings is very different that the Taliban bombing us, which is what you originally claimed. It's possible the Taliban paid for it, but it's just as likely that our old pal Saddam did! (he praised the attacks, after all.) That doesn't change the fact that the Taliban are still cruel facists who have forced their way into power. The Taliban shouldn't be in power, and I can see why people would support fighting them. But our bombs are killing civilians! Read the links above regarding cluster bombs!

I agree with juju's post, but I just hope the RIAA doesn't turn that around and start comparing peer2peer users to terrorist cells. ;-)
It's bad enough with hacking being a terrorist offense now!


juju2112  Wednesday Oct 17 06:38 PM

Re: Re: Re: civilians

Quote:

Not quite true. While the cells are semiautonomous after being dispatched for a mission, their training, command and control and finance are a bit more centralized than that. It's not so much like Gnutella but more like Napster.
Well, I suppose you're right in that it's not an entirely 1-to-1 analogy, but I still think it's an accurate one.

With Napster, if you take out the central server, the networks stops working. This is not the case with al-Quaeda. killing Osama will cause the network to take a hit in organizational efficiency, but the network will still go on. Other members will step up to the plate. Many people have already speculated that if he's taken out, he'll be seen as a martyr and another al-Queda member will take his place.

I've lost the link now, but I read one news article where a "funding" cell was broken up inside the U.S.. Its sole purpose was to provide funding and resources to al-Quaeda. So, i'm sure Osama does provide funding...supposedly he even founded this organization. But I suspect that it's designed to go on without him.

Don't get me wrong...killing him is a good step and we should do it. But this attack is being played out as potentially having a large benefit when in fact it may not.


Whit  Wednesday Oct 17 07:11 PM

You guy's seem to be forgetting that these are TRAINED terrorists. They got their training in Bin Laden's camps IN Afganistan. Al-Queda is largely based there and what we have to gain is ending the training in that area. Basicaly forcing them to set-up shop elsewhere. This will take some time and alot of money. George's claim is that as soon as they try to set-up elsewhere we'll use our political influence to get said country to help and chase them out again.

This is all common knowledge. George has stated as much in his speeches.

Simple question: Which is more dangerous, a bunch of untrained psychos full of hate with limited funds or a bunch of well-trained well-funded terrorists with a solid information base?



Undertoad  Wednesday Oct 17 07:23 PM

[replying to juju] I think that particular spin is coming from the public, not public officials or even the media. Every time Bush has talked about terrorism, it has constituted a very long term war, the dead-or-alive retrieval of bin Laden only being one aspect of it.

But since getting their butts kicked seems to be a historically effective approach to terrorists, let us go and kick some butts. Besides, since intelligence is now paying attention, any upsetting the apple cart may cause more of the network to be exposed.

And from a psychological point of view, it should hurt recruitment if nothing else. There's no fun joining a gang when that gang is getting its ass kicked.

And from the sounds of things, not everyone in this organization is driven by religious fanaticism. What was one of the last stops before 9/11? A strip bar, where there was booze drunk and brags laid down. Not model Muslims. Furthermore, there is some evidence that not all the hijackers believed they were on suicide missions.

BTW on those 500,000 Iranian kids who've apparently died - so says the UN - I thought that was the result of diplomatic efforts to stop the possible production of chemical and biological weapons?

When you're dealing with the leadership of a nation, and that leadership does absolutely reprehensible things, what are you going to do? You hate to hurt the people not responsible, but we've only seen MORE trouble from assassinating the two-bit dictators who wreak havoc. If Hussein cared more about 500,000 kids than we did, he would make an effort to re-join the civilized world where diplomacy is how things are done.

Lastly, bin Laden is not really concerned about those kids either. He just wants to bring Persians into the fold by claiming they have complaints and should be warring against the west with him.



elSicomoro  Thursday Oct 18 08:10 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by leif
I was complaining, as were humans rights groups all over the world.
No doubt that the US commits human rights violations...the death penalty comes to mind. But it was an accidental strike during a military action. Hence why there wasn't that much complaining regarding the situation after the initial incident.

Quote:
How is it that we can justify killing civilians so eaisily yet be surprised when someone strikes back at our civilians?
It's quite simple really. Military action. We were not battling any country as of September 11, 2001--unless you can really count Iraq. There was no real need to get bin Laden at that point...at least in the eyes of the US Government.

NO ONE wants to see civilians die. Lord knows I don't. And I'm not a big fan of a long-scale war. And I don't think getting bin Laden is going to solve the problem of terrorism. But it will eradicate the US of its most dangerous enemy...and hopefully take out some of the al-Queda network in the process.

Look at it this way as well--we are attacking a barren isolated country that doesn't offer the US jack shit. There's a rarity.

Quote:
and are really just part of the war here at home (public relations). After all, you just used them as justification for a pro-bombing argument. ;-)
I did not say that. It was merely a point. The US was dropping food to Afghanistan before we started the bombing raids. I knew that...and I'm sure a lot of educated Americans knew that as well.

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I don't mean to ruffle feathers; I've been reading this board for a while now and I like this group! I just think that there isn't ever justification for killing civilians.
Okay, let's take the rationale and apply it to World War II for a minute. Lots and lots of innocent folks were killed. But had we tried to play nice, would Germany and Japan have ever surrendered? It took not one, but TWO nuclear bombs to get Japan to surrender. Was it horrible? Absolutely! Necessary? Yes.

In the end, war is a problem, never a solution. However, even I (the idealistic one) know good and well that you cannot avoid casualties in fighting a battle. Do you think that the US could actually NEGOTIATE with the Taliban? Highly unlikely.

You can't reason with stupid.


Your reply here?

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