To destroy Al Qaeda, we must end the war on terror: Rand Corporation

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242 Responses to “To destroy Al Qaeda, we must end the war on terror: Rand Corporation”

  1. boingboing ate my name says:

    MDHATTER @#113 Not you, but lots of comments around you do. Plenty of good points have been made here, but not by the “Bushco did it / 9/11 was an inside job” types. You 9/11 troofers seriously piss me off with your amazing ability to ignore any fact that doesnt support your pre-conceived notions. Your like holocaust deniers in your ignorance and disrespect to the literally thousands of innocent people that died that day.
    Just when you think were making some progress, just when you think people might have some idea of what terrorism is all about and what should be done, here comes some pea-brained asshole who can only imagine a disney-esque bad guy in a dark cape who is responsible for all evil in the world. Boom! here we go, Bush did it, cause i really really hate Bush. Seriously guys, Bush is going to be gone in no time, then you’ll have to come up with something other then “bush did it” to explain the world’s ills.

    As for Noam Chomsky.. totally off topic so can we just leave it at:

    “Noam Chomsky is an idiot”{citation needed}

  2. boingboing ate my name says:

    #61 No one is saying that terrorism is imaginary

    I guess you skipped the earlier parts of this discussion?

  3. Antinous says:

    Manners, please.

  4. mdhatter says:

    GaryS – Out the gate, the Bush administration has been a failure at everything it tried (except dismantling the constitution, at which it has been rather successful).

    What makes you think everything else wasn’t just a distraction to keep us all busy fighting for our own pet issues.

  5. GregLondon says:

    bamn, here’s a different thought experiment for you. Let’s assume that 9/11 was the work of al queda terrorists and the US was caught with its pants down.

    Do you think invading Iraq is a good way to defeat al quada? When people argued against invading Iraq in response to 9/11, did you call them soft on terrorism? When people suggest that occupying a country by force until the populace loves us might be a misuse of US military manpower and US taxpayer money, do you think it is accurate to accuse them of having their head up their ass?

    Whether 9/11 was a terrorist attack or a conspiracy is irrelevant to whether or not you have an infatuation with military power. If you think every problem can be solved with sufficient application of military force, that the best solution to any problem is force, then the point of the RAND study is that you, bamn, are wrong in that view.

  6. Phikus says:

    TNH: I appreciate the time you have taken to look into this. I find I disagree with your analysis so far, however, and here’s why:

    I have found multiple reports from eyewitnesses that say there was no creaking of the WTC7 building prior to collapse, from independent sources, not just a debunking sight, or 2nd hand reports. (You get one of them in the video link I sent previously.) I have also heard numerous recordings of fireman at the scene saying “We’re going to have to bring it down.” and seen a video of the guy who was landlord at the time, remarking after the 9-11 Commission Report was published (inconclusively), by saying “we pulled it” (also in the aforementioned video, linked again here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2073592843640256739 .) They don’t seem to me to be describing pulling their own men, as I said earlier. The landlord admitted to a controlled demolition.

    WTC7 fell 7 hours after the 2nd tower fell. Such a controlled demolition would take an estimated minimum of two weeks to set up, assuming a team of 30 to 40 people, I have heard experts quote. So they’re saying that, with all the chaos and confusion that day at ground zero, they managed to get enough people in there set up a controlled demolition in 7 hours, and while the building was on fire. Hunh?

    Furthermore, none of the shots I have seen up close of the WTC7 tower from prior to collapse show significant structural damage. The fire that occurred all day never became a raging inferno (not anywhere close to the Madrid fire.) Remember that FEMA said all the kerosene from the planes hitting was burned off in / on towers 1 and 2: None of it spread to WTC7 (the WTC2 fire never even spread to the other side of the building.) So what was it that was burning? All observable evidence I have seen shows it stayed very cool (consisting of mostly office materials) putting out a less than huge amount of black smoke, indicating a cooler flame. Please send me a shot of the WTC7 building off true cause I have not seen this, from any of the angles I have seen, “20-story gash” withstanding. (Please show me a close up of this “gash.”) I’m not saying it wasn’t real, but a close examination should show whether this damage was surface or structurally threatening. In the shots I have seen, it appears to be surface damage with minimal impact on the overall structure.

    Let me ask you this: How did the complete powderization of all three towers occur? Carpet, computers, desks, chairs, countertops and concrete, all reduced to a fine dust. Have you seen the video of folks closely inspecting this? And how did it stay hot enough at the centers of all three buildings, three days later, to melt aluminum? Historically, only sites of controlled demolitions have done that, as well as producing the aforementioned cytoplasmic flow. Also please send me any similarly built steel framed structures that you say have burned down in a similar fashion? I have not seen any.

    I have read the 911debunking.com material, and I consider it far from a neutral source. I refrained from sending you links to “truther” sites (and there are plenty of them out there, debunking the debunking) because I wanted to stay with neutral sources, or composites verifiable from many different angles. The NOVA bit is far from unbiased as well, and is thoroughly debunked by Jeff King, the MIT prof. I mentioned earlier (linked again here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1822764959599063248 ) The fact that the support columns of WTC7 were closer to the parameter suggest even more strongly that the debris hitting that building could not have caused significant damage to the overall structure. No large debris hit the center of the roof, and if it had, it would have had more of tendency to have it caved it in, not collapse all support columns at the same time like it did.

    I have never suggested FDNY was part of a conspiracy. What I do believe, based on available data, is they they had prior warning that the building was going to be detonated, unlike in tower 1 and 2, and that they were allowed to clear their personnel. They may have been allowed to believe that their own personnel were “pulling the building.”

    And lastly, did you see any debris hit the building from any of the angles that set off this shock you see before it goes down? I would have thought you would be asking what caused this shock“. Are you saying that this could not have possibly been caused by a controlled demolition (as the landlord admitted and independent experts looking at footage, not knowing it was WTC7 have observed (also in the above WTC7 video))?

    I am not responding about the BBC broadcast, because I am not the one espousing its validity / non-validity. I merely provided a link so others could see it and draw their own conclusions (or not.)

    I find it interesting that there are so many angles of the events on this day that seem quite odd, especially taken as a whole. There are too many questions raised that are not so easily brushed aside. Given that a lot of the evidence has been destroyed (all of the remains of the WTC towers, for instance, leaving no room for a detailed post facto fire analysis) we may never really know for sure.

    I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say regarding the attack on the Pentagon. In regards to that, please bear this question in mind: If it went as the 911-Commission says, then why don’t they release footage of this event from all the various angles that were shot by the security cameras on the surrounding buildings? All of that footage was immediatly thereafter confiscated and remains sealed. We are only shown a couple of seconds from one angle. Why? (There are a lot of other questions that come to mind, but this seems like a good one to start with.)

    Thanks again.

  7. Ugly Canuck says:

    #28: Replace “feel” with “are”…

  8. sonny p fontaine says:

    me personally, i prefer the airport dogs sniffing for non-existent explosives. i also agree that the “al-qaeda” is a fiction.

  9. vaporlock says:

    “Al Qaeda == Emmanuelle Goldstein.”

    I agree!

    This video has interesting info on “Al Qaeda”.

    http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares

  10. Takuan says:

    Noam’s a smart, thoughtful, well-read and reasonable guy. As he said himself; the truth doesn’t come in sound-bites. It takes some work to understand what he says, that’s why those with their minds made up dismiss him. Remember Cassandra. The curse was not false prophesy.

  11. GregLondon says:

    Is our reaction too much? again, arguable.

    Our response to 9/11 was swift and powerful and completely destroyed the wrong target. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Still doesn’t. Never did. Never will.

    Was that too much? Hell yes.

    And when you get a military force occupying a land against the people’s wills, and more and more of those people are willing to fight the occupiers, do you know what you get?

    The Boston Massacre.

    Back in 1770, British troops were occupying a British colony in Massachusettes, trying to protect the loyalists from the colonial resistance to British rule, especially the Townshend Acts which were unpopular taxes in the colonies.

    An argument over whether a british officer owed a Boston wigmaker some money expanded into a larger standoff with gawkers and uninvolved spectators. Some kids threw snowballs, and a british solder, Private White, responded by hitting the wigmaker in the side of the head with a musket. Another British officer saw this and sent in several more British soldiers with fixed bayonets intending to relieve White and extract him. The mob grew and circled around Private White, until there were 300 or 400 colonists in a semicircle around White and about 12 British soldiers with bayonets.

    At this point, the colonists were goading the British to fire, and throwing snowballs and rocks at the troops. Someone threw a club at one British solder, Private Montgomery, and knocked him over. When he got up, Montgomery shouted “Fire” as he shot his musket into the crowd. After a pause, the troops fired into the civilians, hitting eleven people. Three died instantly, two died days later, the rest wounded.

    250 years later, that moment is still remembered in the US as a moment that showed the British use of force in the colonies as doing nothing but galvanizing the colonists against the British.

    How many Boston Massacres have we had in Iraq? Do you think if we have a bunch more, it’ll make things better?

    The point isn’t whether we imagined 9/11 or not. The point is whether military invasion of an uninvolved, sovereign nation is the best response to 9/11. The poitn is that any military operation involving an occupation in foreign lands among increasingly hostile civilians is neccessarily going to create Boston Massacre-like incidents. The point is the longer we stay, the more of those types of incidents we create.

    Five civilians. That’s all it was. Five colonists who were killed by the British. ANd they were part of an unruly mob goading and harrassing the British troops. And yet, we remember it 250 years later as an example of how horrible the occupying British were and how right our fight for independence was.

    You think we’re the only people who think that way? Do you think if we switch uniforms, and we’re the occupiers and the Iraqi civlians are throwing rocks and US troops fire and kill five civilians, you think that those left alive won’t see it the same way we saw the Boston Massacre?

  12. Agent 86 says:

    How much money did it have, back in 2001, is what is truly important. The size of a terrorist group is not strictly proportional to it’s capabilities. I know tons of otherwise normal people who would love to commit atrocities, knowing they would die quickly and that their families would receive a million+ dollars.

  13. mdhatter says:

    #66 – I guess you skipped the earlier parts of this discussion?

    J’accuse.

  14. GregLondon says:

    While we may be one of the most militarized nations since Sparta

    Sparta was an oligarchy, i.e. King Leonides. Athens was ruled by a tyrant, Hippias. When Athens overthrew Hippias, an athenian aristrocrat, Isagoras, asked Sparta to install him as the new Athenian tyrant. They do. By force. The Athenians revolt against Isagoras and he is banished. Another athenian is given power and he creates a pseudo democracy where about 1/10th of athenians will get to vote.

    When Sparta loses the battle of thermopolae 490 BC, their plan is to fall back to the ismith of corinth, defend sparta, and allow athens to fall. The athenian navy is what defeated the persian army and sent them packing home.

    The Athenian empire begins and grows. Sparta forms the Peloponesian League as a counter to athenian influence. By 430 BC, the athenians and spartans are fighting each other in the Pelloponesian war. Athens is defeated and the entire area is thrown into economic ruin. The war marks the end of the golden era of greece.

    Which is to say, if you want to compare us to Sparta, that’s only a compliment if you look at a tiny sliver of history without any additional context. Sparta was a tyranny ruled by kings, was fighting against democratic athens when it suited them and supported athens when it suited them, and the pelloponesian war they brought upon the area ruined Sparta, Athens, and all of Greece.

  15. 1klas says:

    Anyone else notice that the wonderful pie chart provided looks like a nearly inverted peace sign?

    Anyone else notice the hard work from the Rand Co folks to rotate the chart so it is less obvious?

    Just remember hiding something in plain sight don’t make it disappear…..

    Thanks Rand Co!

  16. Cragsavage says:

    Meh…I wasn’t espousing any particular philosophy…I’m neither a socialist nor an anarcho-syndicalist…(dammit…every time I write anarcho-syndicalist I just want to quote Monty Python…’Help, help! I’m being repressed!’) I’m not going to get drawn into a debate about the virtues of this or that system.

    I just dislike improper use of nomenclature…and the shonky political philosophy it stems from and, in turn, stems from it…

  17. mdhatter says:

    BBAMN, many people have been blaming The Clenisâ„¢ for 9/11 for years now. fwiw, I think there were means, motive, and opportunity for ti to be an inside job.

    Sorta like how nobody had any real idea what kind of hazmat was in the towers, so not enough people were warned of the dangers – despite a detailed environmental assessment (with photo’s, volumes, locations, etc..) having been completed not 6 months before 9/11. If I didn’t have a copy of that assessment, you’d be able to challenge my assertion. (The assessment was conducted to ASTM international standards, and paid for by the new owners of the Towers, conducted by a small MA firm, the owner of which I know professionally).

    When things don’t add up it’s usually because there is an unknown quantity involved, or false assumptions have been made. I try real hard to check my assumptions at the door, and see evidence for what it is.

    I know what you mean about the ‘truthers’ though. They just with raw anger and aim at what they’ve heard from someone who heard from someone who heard from someone who made crap up. Sad, really.

  18. ohmaar says:

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    • Antinous says:

      So Al Qaeda is just a figment of western imagination.

      No, Al Qaeda is just a product of western intervention.

  19. boingboing ate my name says:

    You totally dodged my question, but ill answer yours if you answer mine. After 9/11 i just really wanted the US to stomp on someone. Iraq was a good choice because Sadaam and his sons were just total bastards that deserved to die, IMO. However, no matter what my opinion of the Iraq war is, it has no bearing whatsoever on the events of 9/11.

  20. FoetusNail says:

    My comparison stops with “While we may be one of the most militarized nations since Sparta…” my statement makes no other comparison and was not intended as a compliment.

    Thanks for the great synopsis. The last I read of this period was contained in Donald Kagan’s – On the Origins of War, which I really must read again sometime.

  21. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    BBAMN @107:

    If you want people to not blow the whole terrorism thing out of proportion, then its helpful not to trivialize it either. Extreme reactions promote the same.

    If you want people to not trivialize terrorism, it’s helpful to not blow it out of proportion in the first place. Extreme hype promotes the same.

    It’s not underestimating the seriousness of terror to observe that Bush & Co. have hyped it, constantly and irresponsibly, for reasons unrelated to national security. At bottom, what people are deprecating is that hype.

    Hagbard @164:

    While Ground Zero was still burning, I heard something that really struck me in a press conference when there was a question about the toxicity of the smoke and dust. The spokesman said something like “The EPA has evaluated the site and all essential resources are safe.” If a reporter asked WTF that was supposed to mean, they didn’t play it on the radio report I was listening to.

    I remember that! It struck me as an odd piece of phrasing, and I wondered what they actually meant by it; but as far as I know, no one ever asked.

    Funeralpudding @180:

    I didn’t want to believe that part of our government could actually be more involved, but one video has blown my mind, and I challenge you to explain it, BAMN: It is the BBC video, of their reporter reporting on the spontaneous collapse of WTC7, while the building STANDS IN THE BACKGROUND BEHIND HER! It was more than twenty minutes before the building actually fell.

    I can explain it. By that time, they knew WTC7 was going to collapse. It wasn’t nearly as much of a surprise as the collapse of the main towers.

    Phikus @183: Here’s what happened: The planes hit the towers. The areas where the planes hit were engulfed in a fireball of jet fuel, which set fire to materials in the offices. After the fires had burned for a while, the individual floors got hot enough to sag. This pulled inward on the building’s exoskeleton. Eventually one of the building’s faces buckled and stopped supporting the interior floors. They fell. Their plummeting weight progressively hit and tore loose lower floors, adding them to the falling mass. Both collapses started from the damaged area of the tower and accelerated downward at a rate that was only a little slower than free-fall. The direction of fall started out nearly vertical, and there was little to deflect it. As the momentum of the falling mass increased, nothing could deflect it. The falling World Trade Towers accelerated themselves straight into the ground like the two barrels of a shotgun.

    As the towers fell, air trapped inside them was compressed. In some spots, the rapidly increasing pressure blew out windows in advance of the mass of falling floors. Some observers mistook these for independently triggered explosions.

    Moving on to the text of your comment:

    BAMN@178: I never said planes did not hit the buildings. If you look at the videos again, they do not buckle as you suggest, though damaged there to some extent by the fires.

    The buckling happened later, after the floors sagged.

    Both collapse from the bottom up, imploding straight down upon themselves.

    No. In both cases, the collapse starts in the damaged area and moves downward. Here’s the South Tower collapse. You can see the clouds of smoke and dust billow out from the initial failure, and the still structurally coherent block of floors above the damage tipping over and falling down into the general collapse.

    Eye-witnesses describe hearing explosions right as they begin to collapse.

    What eyewitnesses heard were loud abrupt noises — which, given the nearly unimaginable kinetic violence taking place, was not surprising.

    First there is debris thrown off from every window on the top floors at the same time, which began falling first:

    No. It doesn’t start at the top. It starts at the damage. That’s why the top of the South Tower starts its fall as a still-coherent cube of building. In addition, here’s footage of the North Tower collapse, with a clear view of the topmost windows. The failure starts near the top, because that’s where the damage is; but the floors above it don’t explode. They just fall straight down, spire and all.

    which may be the debris are mistaking for falling faster. Then they collapse in about 10 seconds, an average of ten floors per second.

    Nine seconds for the South Tower, eleven seconds for the North Tower: very close to the standard speed of falling bodies on this planet.

    If they had pancaked for even 1 second on each floor, each floor breaking the next, they would have taken ten times that time to fall.

    True; but I don’t see the point of the observation. There isn’t a standard delay per floor in a pancake-type collapse. The accelerating and ever-growing mass of floors had already accumulated so much momentum that slamming down into the lower floors didn’t slow its descent. It just tore them loose as it fell.

    For this reason, the National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded the pancake theory could not have occurred.

    That’s not what the NIST report concluded. If you’ll forgive me for quoting from Wikipedia:

    The NIST report analyzes the failure mechanism in detail. An early analysis explains that the kinetic energy of the upper portion of the building falling onto the story below exceeded by an order of magnitude the amount of energy that the lower story could absorb, crushing it and adding to the kinetic energy. This scenario repeated with each successive story, crushing the entire tower at near free-fall speed.

    Here’s the important point: there’s a wealth of reasons to indict the Bush administration. It isn’t necessary to theorize that they planned and executed the demolition of the World Trade Center.

    God knows, I’ve watched and re-watched the My Little Goat footage of Bush and asked myself why he’s neither shocked nor surprised nor curious when he hears about the attack. It’s hard to swallow. But that still doesn’t change the fact that the towers fell as a result of structural failure caused by fire.

    Beyond that, I’m not covering any bets.

  22. ohmaar says:

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    fr n m gld r prsdnt s t stpd t lstn t y gnss.

  23. The Blow Leprechaun says:

    I hate the war as much as the next guy, but I think Joelmichael #6 makes a good point about the data set they’re working with.

    If you’re dealing with international terrorism, who is the police force? The UN? NATO? These organizations are quasi-military at best. If you leave it up to individual countries to pursue police actions within their own borders, you run the risk of any one country dropping the ball, either deliberately or by just not having enough resources to do it properly, and now you have a terrorist haven and base of operations.

    No, what this tells me is that the answer will be political, not through force at all.

  24. Cowicide says:

    #63 posted by James David:

    Also, can this not turn into a debate over Noam Chomsky, please?

    Sorry, James… but this was inevitable. This Rand study confirms much of what Chomsky has been saying about this “war on terror” all along.

    Also, this isn’t much of a debate… we’ve all already established the man is nothing more than an idiot.

  25. buddy66 says:

    Whats ”shonky’? Like the lady asked the poet after a poetry reading, ”Is that a real poem or did you just make it up?

  26. Versh says:

    Sorry for the off-topic tagents, I just have a few loose ends…
    @ Takuan, excellent point– but I think labels still have value.

    @ hagbard, James David had the right idea. Though I enjoyed the discussion.

    @FoetusNail, clearly I cannot persuade you to see beyond the straw man version of Capitalism. For the record, Socialized medicine sounds like a neat idea.

    @#157 Cragsavage, sorry, you can’t have it both ways– Socialistic societies own the property, they simply allow the individual to possess it as long as they arbitrarily allow. It is what it is, hence the naming conventions.
    Tell you what, I’ll recheck my definitions if you promise to reevaluate yours.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion of the hapless Bush Administration.

    (9/11 wasn’t a government conspiracy, there’s too much bureaucratic malaise and administrative negligence for that sort of thing.)

  27. Kay the Complainer says:

    #68 – right on!

  28. James David says:

    This is what I argued when I was 17, organizing my first peace rally in Kennebunkport. Sadly, everybody was so reeling from 9/11 that the fervor wasn’t tempered by this kind of analysis. And, I think the results are clear. I am glad that this report is out, and think it’s hilarious that the chart resembles the peace sign.

  29. boingboing ate my name says:

    #64 Read my post again. I admit that reasonable people can differ as to our reaction to 9/11, but only a total fool would pretend it never happened.
    Look at #17 “To destroy al queda we have to destroy it in our imaginations because this is the only place where it exists. ”
    And #18 “The only thing that can defeat Al Qaeda is education and enlightenment. Al Qaeda only exists in the minds of western politicians and under the beds of the populace.”
    Im sorry if im not as classy as these guys, but ill take classless over stupid any day.

  30. Jacques says:

    No caca english_detective_guy.

    Farking geniuses, I could have told them all of this 8 years ago and saved everybody billions upon billions of dollars. Indeed, over a trillion at last count from what I hear.

    Of course, then George and Dick’s friends wouldn’t be rolling in money in their offshore accounts.

  31. stratosfyr says:

    I think the most important thing going on in Afghanistan right now is the establishment of a trained police force, the reestablishment of education, repairing and building infrastructure, and creating jobs. That’s the real work; keeping terrorists or insurgents or whatever they’re called today out of the way is secondary.

    The problem with Iraq was that GWB decided to invade on sketchy evidence while a lot of resources were still tied up in Afghanistan.

    If they’d waited until they started seeing actual success in Afghanistan, they might have had more success in Iraq. People want jobs and food and running water more than they want “liberators.”

  32. Phikus says:

    FOETISNAIL@44: You assume “our president” does any thinking at all. I don’t think he even picks his nose without Herr Rove telling him how to go about it. That’s like saying Dan Quayle did his own spelling (the few exceptions when he did, it was disastrous.) The first idiot puppet for the MIC (Mil. Indust. Comp.) and proof of concept was the Gipper (does anyone understand this colloquialism? how exactly does one gip?) They learned they could prop the likable old fart up and it didn’t matter what shit streamed from his mouth, America swallowed it (by and large.) Then the former director of the CIA and most likely mastermind of the coup in ’63 (Dallas) stepped up to take the reigns himself. Look what a disaster that was. (Cover of Time Magazine: WIMP PRESIDENT.) He didn’t need a thinking VP ’cause he was running the show (for the MIC, of course.) All that was needed was a place-holder for appearances.

    The best Bush Sr. ever said of his namesake in his memoirs was “an adequate son.” Do you think he would have said that if he had had any hope that his C-student cheerleader of a son could legitimately win the highest office in the land? There was no such hope until Karl took him to camp and they started training him to seem presidential. Karl knew that appearance is more important than substance in this world we live in currently. (He used to psyche his debate opponents out with boxes and boxes of empty note-cards on the table, to give the impression he had done tons of research, while he lied through his teeth.) You can’t train someone how to think, just how to act. As Eddie Izzard has insightfully elucidated: 90% of what people take in is how someone looks while publicly speaking, and only 10% of it is what is actually said. Anytime he wanders off script he shows what a complete idiot he is. It’s easier this way. A thinking president is less likely to be unquestioningly controlled by the MIC, and his smirking ass has more appeal to the bubbas manipulated into voting for him, the “Washington outsider” son of a Bush he is.

    But don’t get me started…

  33. mdhatter says:

    ‘Shonky’ is Australian for steer clear, mate.

  34. mdhatter says:

    Teresa, is that a +5 Occam’s razor you have there?

  35. Cragsavage says:

    Shonky: (adj.) a subtle combination of shoddy and wonky.

  36. mdhatter says:

    Theresa, I am rapidly approaching a point where I come here to read you as much as the Boingers themselves. Kudos.

  37. mdhatter says:

    One of the outstanding reasons for our extreme budget compared to other Nations is our Navy, which is the chief protector of the world’s sea lanes.

    1) the giant war in Iraq to clean up George H.W. Bush’s mess is the outstanding reason.

    2) I’m a navy brat. I grew up reading magazines full of articles by naval officers for naval officers. Tell me, what other Navy do we have to protect the worlds sea lanes from? Sudanese Pirates? China’s non-blue water navy? Iran’s 1970 technology that we sold them? Rusting Russian subs? Five of the other six largest Navies are owned by our allies.

    Bogey men are, at this point, who we are protecting it from. Bogey men and our own paranoia.

  38. Antinous says:

    After 9/11 i just really wanted the US to stomp on someone. Iraq was a good choice because Sadaam and his sons were just total bastards that deserved to die, IMO. However, no matter what my opinion of the Iraq war is, it has no bearing whatsoever on the events of 9/11.

    Boing Boing Ate My Name,

    Thanks for outing yourself as a card-carrying fascist. What are the deaths of a million little brown people compared to five thousand Americans when you just wanted to stomp on someone? Saddam and his sons were total bastards that deserved to die, so Iraq was a good idea? Bush and his family are total bastards who have killed far more people that Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party. Cry havoc and loose the dogs of war! Why aren’t you crying for Washington to be shelled, for Manhattan to be nuked, for the US to be sterilized by fire? Because you are a fascist, in its closest definition: someone who is willing to kill and maim and torture another race to benefit his own. You disgust me.

  39. FoetusNail says:

    @#137 you’re still just sliniging words.

    There has never been any true socialism.

    There has never been any genuine pursuit of socialism.

    Socialism does not deny poeple property rights.

    Socialism vests in the collective the means of production.

    Capitalism has without doubt been let loose unfettered.

    Capitalism gave us the slave trade.

    Capitalism gave us colonialism.

    Capitalism’s leagacy is millions upon millions suffering around the world as we sit here arguing.

  40. Phikus says:

    BAMN: I don’t accept your complete cop out. You have been deliberately insulting and continue to be steadfastly ignorant of all facts that don’t fit your preconceived notions. In typical hypocrite fashion, you continue to blame others for your specific failures. 9-11 aside, you asserted that bushco could not possibly have the agenda posited by the majority here. After your weak, specious, and incomplete attempt to meet me eye to eye, I gave you the easy out, to simply disprove one of the assertions made by FOETUSNAIL@165, which wholly contradict your main argument, and you couldn’t even do that (which btw, is completely on topic.) You were given more than enough patience and deference, and continually pissed it away. I shall not waste any more time on you.

  41. Takuan says:

    not used clothing?

  42. hagbard says:

    68 Greg London

    Yes, but we’re the good guys, so the situation in Iraq is not analogous, because we’re the good guys.

  43. GregLondon says:

    After 9/11 i just really wanted the US to stomp on someone.

    OK, now, note the title of this thread: “To destroy Al Qaeda, we must end the war on terror: Rand Corporation”.

    The question isn’t whether it felt good to stomp on someone after getting attacked, the question is whether stomping on someone, anyone, just because you wanted to, is a good way to win the war on terror and stop al queda and others from launching other attacks.

    What the RAND corporation is saying is that stomping on someone won’t normally stop terrorism. What they’re saying is that stomping on someone, might, in the long run, actually harm you and everyone around you.

    As for the 9/11 conspiracies, and in answer to your question, I don’t believe most of them. But that’s irrelevant to the topic of the thread.

    Iraq was a good choice because Sadaam and his sons were just total bastards that deserved to die, IMO.

    About one million Iraq civilians died as a direct outcome of US-enforced economic sanctions against Iraq. Even the most right-wing pundits will acknowledge at least half a million civilian deaths as a direct result of US sanctions. About half of those who died were children. And if you don’t care for Iraqi civilians, why is Saddam a bastard other than for the civilians he killed?

    180,000 American troops were permanently disabled during the first gulf war. So far, about 150,000 American troops have been permanently disabled during the Iraq war starting in 2003. That’s a third of a million americans permanently disabled to kill Saddam.

    And American weapons inspectors said that Saddam had essentially disarmed his WMD program since 1998. US inspectors were saying that in 2000. Blix was saying that in Feb 2003 before the invasion.

    Was that a “good choice”?

    Or was your desire (and a good chunk of America’s desire) to “stomp on someone” after 9/11 clouding your judgement of what was and was not a good choice?

    That is the point of what the Rand Corporation is saying. It isn’t what you want or what makes you feels good in the moment that is goign to be the best long term solution for a diffuse international problem. If you really want to talk about what is the “good choice”, then they’re showing you the data. And the data says “stomping on” makes it worse.

  44. Jeff says:

    #100 says, “So Al Qaeda is just a figment of western imagination.”

    That’s a good example of the second most powerful psychological force known: denial. Fear is number one. If it makes me uncomfortable, I’ll just deny it. The self is made of lots of little stories we just tell ourselves over and over again. If you start telling yourself something is true, and you can find a bunch of other nuts who’ll agree with you, you have a New Truth.

    One man’s truth is another man’s lie. Don’t fight the terror, just lay down and die.

  45. Phikus says:

    Tak: Can’t we play with your new pet a little before you put it away? (You can have mine. I’m done with him.)

  46. hagbard says:

    No, it’s 5 Occam’s razors in one precision-engineered philosophical head for the closest possible shave.

  47. Phikus says:

    The Gulf of Tonkin… Operation Northwoods

    Here is the Wikidedia synopsis:

    “Operation Northwoods, or Northwoods, was a 1962 U.S false flag conspiracy US government plan to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba. One plan was to “develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington”. The plan states, “The desired resultant from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western Hemisphere.” Operation Northwoods was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and signed by the Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer, to the Secretary of Defense.

    Several other proposals were listed, including the real or simulated actions against various U.S military and civilian targets. Operation Northwoods was part of the U.S. government’s Operation Mongoose anti-Castro initiative. It was never officially accepted or executed.” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods )

    So the Secretary of Defense at the time, Robert Strange McNamara (-his real full name!), brought this before JFK, but he would not sign off on it.

    See the actual documents at the National Security Archive.

  48. NumberSix says:

    The only thing that makes Chomsky an idiot is his inability to make his critics read his work before sounding off that he’s an idiot.
    The major failing of his writing is to make coherent arguments and back them up with historical fact.
    His biggest blunder is being a brilliant polyglot.
    Nobody likes a know-it-all.

  49. mdhatter says:

    #73 – No. You’re being insulting to no good end, and you’re not terribly talented at it.

  50. ivan256 says:

    They’re absolutely correct. Capitulation will eliminate any motivation for terrorist groups to continue to exist.

    Is this a surprise to anybody?

    Oh, were people under the impression that the disbanding of a terrorist group meant the terrorist group failed?

  51. minTphresh says:

    it’s o.k., not to worry. it’s our government, and they’re here to help.

  52. FoetusNail says:

    Nothing in this report contradicts what you are saying, other than your statement that history does not have something from which we can learn.

    Further, no one in this thread has said we should not defend ourselves as necessary. While, many are of the opinion that the invasion of Iraq was not only a huge mistake (some like Noam Chomsky would even say it was the criminal act of a terrorist state), but was also so poorly executed that the responsible parties should be removed from office for this alone; no one has yet said we should abandon the Iraqi people to their fate, though I’m sure many favor immediate withdrawal.

    I really have trouble understanding where some of these comments come from when this report is rather plainly written. I can only assume many have not yet found the time to read even the most pertinent bits.

  53. GregLondon says:

    Just when you think were making some progress,

    We’re making progress? We keep killing the Number-Two al Queda leader every month for the last six years or so. Six more months and we get a group discount.

    just when you think people might have some idea of what terrorism is all about and what should be done

    What is terrorism all about?

    What should be done?

  54. Takuan says:

    like discussing science with religionists, the only point is having a contrasting background to lay the facts out against.

  55. ivan256 says:

    #34: If you don’t count going into Iraq in the first place, clearly what this report states is that the mistake in Iraq was the disbanding of local forces.

  56. mdhatter says:

    also – BBAMN,

    “We are creating enemies faster than we can kill them”

    Your commentary here is a microcosm of that national truth about the USA. Good day.

  57. Takuan says:

    ah no,”sonky”

  58. mdhatter says:

    OHMARR

    If I could only harness all of the energy you liberals expend on trying to sift defeat from the continual stream of U.S. military and political victories, it might begin to solve your contrived energy crises.

    and if I had a windmill in front of your mouth, we’d have renewable electricity forever.

    Now that we’ve traded barbs, let me say this: The shadow is larger than the object that casts it. You’re seeing only the shadow, and you’re throwing rocks at that shadow.

    us ‘liberals’ don’t like wasting ammo like that. Too much collateral damage (like out reputation as a sensible nation).

  59. Takuan says:

    They used to beat everybody. There was a man — he was really old and couldn’t see and couldn’t hear. If the guards told him something to do and he didn’t do it because he couldn’t hear, they went into his cage and beat him up. They did this for a couple minutes, and after that they took him out and brought him to isolation. That happened to me as well, a lot of times.

    There doesn’t need to be a reason. First they would use a pepper spray. It’s burning. It is hot. You have trouble breathing and opening your eyes. All of your face is burning — your eyes especially and inside your nose. You can’t open your eyes because they are burning very hot. Since you have trouble breathing, you have to cough all the time. Then they’d punch me with their elbows. After they were done, they would write something down as to what could be the reason for it.

    We were allowed to do the call to prayer every day, but they used to play music over us at the same time. The music some of the time was rock music, but most of the time they played the [American] national anthem. Or they used to kick the doors.

    The worst thing about being in Guantánamo was having to live in the small cages. Most of the time there was nothing in there with me. Sometimes I had only my shorts on and nothing else. Nothing else except my shorts and myself.

    I never lost my hope, of course. Not losing my hope is an important part of my religion.

    Read an excerpt from Kurnaz’s book Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo at esquire.com/wifl08.

  60. FoetusNail says:

    What would the political answer be?

    From a cursory count, the authors data set includes information on about 650 groups that have used the tactic of terrorism since 1968. These groups range in size from a few members to 10′s of thousands.

    From this report, religious groups have never succeeded, probably because they have always refused political solutions.

    This report recommends local police and when necessary, such as in cases of an insurgency, military action.

    They also recommend criminalizing those activities that these groups need to operate; this is where it gets scary.

    Finally they recommend fighting the ideological battle.

    The final sentence of the report states:

    Based on al Qa’ida’s organizational structure and modus operandi, only a strategy based on careful police and intelligence work is likely to be effective.

    IMO – Whether al Qa’ida is real, an umbrella group, or simply a marketing tool is relatively unimportant as there are indeed violent groups opposed to any political settlement, which in their minds means eternal damnation, intent on fighting a hopeless battle.

  61. boingboing ate my name says:

    If you want people to not blow the whole terrorism thing out of proportion, then its helpful not to trivialize it either. Extreme reactions promote the same.

  62. Jeff says:

    BoingBoing Ate My Name, I love your name! So, Bush seems a bit stupid from time to time. But, as I’ve spent years reading about other presidents, Kings and Dictators, I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re all prone to being stupid. Each and every one of them. It’s not so much George’s problem (I think we would all love to play President), but the people who just kept giving him what he wanted. There is a lot of blame to go around.

  63. Takuan says:

    the only people that can defeat al Quaeda are the muslims.

  64. mdhatter says:

    Phikus – That would be a rhetorical scoreboard.

  65. FoetusNail says:

    I don’t believe I got you started, I was merely trying to describe how our next president (whom I can’t mention because of bb’s policy of not mentioning candidates if the original post did not do so) will be cornered this coming Jan. between his campaign promises and the reality we only imagine.

    Sorry for any confusion, but you will find we are in agreement.

  66. macrumpton says:

    Wow, Talk about hindsight. It would have been nice to have this information publicized, say 7 years ago?

    We could have saved a lot of lives, money and trouble by treating the criminals behind 9/11 like… criminals.

  67. Cowicide says:

    #76 posted by NumberSix:

    The major failing of his writing is to make coherent arguments and back them up with historical fact.

    Yeah, facts are for dumbshits.

  68. FoetusNail says:

    By “George H.W. Bush’s mess” do you mean his son?

  69. boingboing ate my name says:

    MDHATTER:
    Sorta like how nobody had any real idea what kind of hazmat was in the towers, so not enough people were warned of the dangers – despite a detailed environmental assessment (with photo’s, volumes, locations, etc..) having been completed not 6 months before 9/11. If I didn’t have a copy of that assessment, you’d be able to challenge my assertion. (The assessment was conducted to ASTM international standards, and paid for by the new owners of the Towers, conducted by a small MA firm, the owner of which I know professionally).

    If you ever worked for a government agency or big company you would understand instantly what happened here. You just can not even comprehend the amount of schizophrenia that a large bureaucracy can have. Let alone when you need many different organizations to communicate. Just because you are aware of a report doesnt mean that a fire department was a was aware of it at the time. In a pre 9/11 world, no one really was motivated to get this kind of information out to the people who needed it, now people point to 9/11 and say, this is why you need to make that shit available to people who need it (rescue workers and so on).

    #148 your horribly off topic and these two states are exclusive:
    Socialism does not deny poeple property rights.

    Socialism vests in the collective the means of production.

    Can I own a means of production privately? Dont answer that, as i said, off topic.

  70. Phikus says:

    BAMN@140: It seems to me that you are the one with pre-conceived notions, and the actions that occurred on 9-11 that are fact you have simply disregarded in order to make some “progress against terrorism” whatever that is. If you really looked at the events of that day objectively, I don’t know how you could continue to tow the party line. I guess it depends on where you’re getting your information, but I know you didn’t click on my link to a previous thread above to gain any new perspective with an open mind on this issue. It might do you some good to consider an alternative viewpoint, if you can manage to find a part of you with an open mind. Just because we don’t agree with you and this current administration’s viewpoint doesn’t mean we dishonor those who died that day. Perhaps we feel that the best way to honor them is to get to the truth of what happened and who may be truly responsible for it instead of believing this administration’s assertions hook line and sinker. You seem to say you know all the angles, but you didn’t consider that in your rush to go after some “terrorists”, did you?

    Don’t try to lump us in with holocaust deniers, either. You are just adding insult to injury. While you’re at it, don’t lump us in with people who don’t believe we went to the moon ether, please. In fact, don’t lump us in at all. Just try to stretch your mind a little and accept that your limited viewpoint may not have accounted for everything going on that day. Some fresh perspectives may be in order.

    As far as needing to blame all the ills of society on bushco, you are really revealing your ignorance here. There is just way too much evidence that these assholes really are the fevered egos tainting the gene pool I have stated they are. I certainly don’t blame everything bad that has ever occurred on this administration, but I challenge you to produce one item of objectively observable fact that contradicts the specific accusations I have made against this regime here in this thread. I welcome the day when this eight years of hypocrisy is over come January. Then we’ll see who blames all the ills of society on one party.

    MDHATTER@134: Not all Republicans are fascists, surely, as you say, but this administration has advanced the cause of fascism in this country more than any other presidency, perhaps more than all others combined. I don’t mean to re-open the debate when you were finding common ground, but I had to add that caveat to your comment, if I may. To your later comment about “truthers”, if that is what people who believe 9-11 was an inside job are called, all I can say is that all my assertions here have been personally well researched from objective sources. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself (if you haven’t already.)

    I have specifically abstained from this debate about Mr. Chomsky as per someone’s earlier request here. I am not about to start, other than to say that the guy certainly remains a controversial fellow, as evidenced above. Can we please drop him now? There are terrorists that need torturing and killing, for gawd’s sake…

  71. Phikus says:

    TNH: I appreciate your (as usual) well reasoned and researched viewpoints and accept some of your corrections (I over-summarized to some extent) but disagree with your conclusions concerning the WTC main towers. I don’t want to hijack this thread any further, but would love to discuss with you sometime how our viewpoints differ in greater detail. Suffice to leave it at the fact that similar fires have burned a lot hotter and longer (Madrid Feb 2005) without melting the steel cores. No other similarly constructed building before or since has collapsed in the manner the WTC main towers did.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on WTC7 (the collapse, not the BBC premature announcement) and how you believe that occurred. The official finding was that it was destroyed by fire. I simply don’t see how this could be the case, due to the way it collapsed, imploding neatly into its own footprint. I would also love to hear your opinion on the Pentagon strike and how all the data differs from the 9-11 commission’s official findings.

    Here’s the important point: there’s a wealth of reasons to indict the Bush administration. It isn’t necessary to theorize that they planned and executed the demolition of the World Trade Center.

    I couldn’t agree more. That was my original intention in pointing back to the assertions made earlier in the thread, and why I continually tried to point back to FOETUS’ comment #165, in a futile attempt to get us a little more on thread.

    Thanks again for all that you do.

  72. boingboing ate my name says:

    Ww mn, y jst dnt stp d y? Wht fcts? Y’v jst md sm blthrng nspprtd ssmptns. nd vn f nvr dsprvd y (!) y stll y hv prvn nthng. Y clm tht shld bck p my ssrtns wth cttns, yt stdfstly rfs t ct ny f yr srcs. Bt my fvrt s stll yr dsr tht dsprv yr ssrtns whn vry dctd prsn n th wrld knws tht f y mk clm, Y hv t prv t, nt th thr wy rnd. vn bsc lgc s trnd rnd wth y.
    Bt g hd nd strt rnd lk y wn.

  73. GregLondon says:

    ohmaar@186: pull our troops before they could get the job done.

    Gambling addicts will argue if they could just be allowed to play one more hand, they could win back everything they’ve lost and come out with a profit. And if you forcibly remove them from the table, they’ll blame you for their losses.

    And just because they blame you for their losses, doesn’t mean they’re right. It means they’re too stupid to do basic math.

    I for one am glad our president is too stupid

    Well, I agree he’s dumber than dirt, but I’m not quite as happy about that as you.

  74. hagbard says:

    Teresa: “Here’s the important point: there’s a wealth of reasons to indict the Bush administration. It isn’t necessary to theorize that they planned and executed the demolition of the World Trade Center. ”

    THANK YOU!

    What we had was more likely a conspiracy of opportunism.

    Something bad has happened: let’s invade Iraq now, which we wanted to do anyway.

    Oil prices are sky-rocketing: all the more reason to open up ANWR and the coasts for drilling.

    New Orleans is flooded: good time to remove environmental and labor regulations.

    We’re at war with Isla…I mean terrorism: good time for no-bid contracts. etc etc.

    If people would like to read more about how conspiracies of opportunism work, I recommend Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, which is about what she calls “disaster capitalism”, rather than administrative misdeeds per se. Still it illuminates this way of thinking and operating.

  75. ill lich says:

    #113 MDHATTER

    Sure, no deer hunter wants to run out of deer, but neither do terrorist hunters (as far as I can tell) intend to gut and skin their victims and keep the flesh in the freezer for consumption later– that’s not the point of the analogy. Similarly Bin Laden is not literally a Hydra who will grow two heads out his neck if we decapitate him. No analogy is 100% perfect, but I think my point was pretty clear– if you want to willfully ignore the validity of my argument in favor of snarkiness, fair enough.

  76. Antinous says:

    Our clever foreign policy has turned an obscure fringe sect into a vast international army. Way to go, W.

  77. boingboing ate my name says:

    #77 Well, im new at this so give me some time and ill be able to insult with the best of them. I am kind of curious about your “no” response, are you saying no to my whole post, or just parts of it? Do you agree with #17 and 18?

  78. Phikus says:

    Oh yeah, and don’t forget that during the debates with Kerry, they pulled a Cyrano De Bergerac with a wireless earphone so Karl could do all the talking.

    Good news! The House Judiciary Committee just voted to hold Rove in contempt of Congress (finally) for refusing to testify in the firing of the nine federal judges because they didn’t tow the fascist line.

  79. mdhatter says:

    Phikus, if you maintain a reasonable tone with BBAMN, he will apparently return the favor.

    I’m so not interested in a point by point teardown of the 9/11 theories. So much hot wind. So long as you focus on what’s behind you, you won’t see what’s coming. Look back, but focus ahead.

    I will say that the BBC Video with the reporter talking about the Salomon Brothers Building (WTC7) having collapsed, while it stands behind her is interesting, as is the loss of satellite feed mid-report, and the subsequent claim that the BBC lost all that days footage. Hadn’t heard that one before. Very odd.

    At some point there will be a Deeper Throat, and “All the Presidents Men II” will be published, or it won’t. Such is life as a peon.

  80. laughingchimp says:

    I heard Noam Chomsky make exactly the same point on NPR in 2002 – the way to stop terrorists is to criminalize the perpetrators and make political accommodations where possible (such as withdrawing troops from Saudi Arabia). Never expected something so sane from RAND though.

  81. Boba Fett Diop says:

    THEBLOWLEPRECHAUN:

    Your question, while valid, takes too narrow a view of the situation. The type of policing you describe is really only appropriate in the context of societies that have collapsed entirely, such as post-invasion Iraq and Afghanistan. Often a force of this nature can run the risk of being perceived as invaders (see NATO actions in Kosovo, or the Black & Tans and later the Paras in Ireland during the Troubles). That’s not to say that this approach can work in certain situations- the OAS has had some success in parts of central and SW Africa.

    What the paper seems to be arguing is that a better approach following 9/11 might have been to use existing law enforcement and investigatory bodies (FBI, MI5, Interpol) appropriately, while taking full advantage of intelligence assets on the ground (which had unfortunately been spread rather thin by CIA cutbacks) as well as higher level analysis. Then, through diplomacy, cooperation from local law enforcement and judicious use of military force only when necessary, apprehending the people responsible for the attacks and trying them (either through US courts or some international body).

    Instead, we had the invasion of one country without clear intelligence on the location of our targets (who, it seems, escaped during the encirclement of Tora Bora), and the invasion of another country for no apparent reason at all. This has now created situations in which military forces must now be used in a policing role, leading to exactly the kind of worst case scenario described in this paper.

    Furthermore, the kind of extra-judicial activities we now see on the part of several intelligence agencies are the direct result of this failed approach and serve two roles: satiating a public hungry for revenge but unsatisfied with the lack of military progress; and ass-covering for the massive errors of analysis and strategy made by higher level officials in the intelligence services and the administration.

  82. Takuan says:

    That is why it is called the “WarofTerror Industry”

  83. Phikus says:

    BAMN: Wow. It must really annoying that we free-thinkers standing up for the Rule of Law and the Constitution are in the way of your well-oiled terrorist-killing machine… I live to curtail that “progress” in the name of Capitalism.

  84. Takuan says:

    continual stream of “victories”??? America hasn’t won a war since 1945.

  85. Anonymous says:

    How does on participate in terrorism?

    Shall we impose democracy?

    How about a dictatorship and then keep it in power by sheer force to prevent the prevailing resistant to our actions under wraps, whether we are wrong or right under any given set of circumstances?

    How about we willing participate in devising financial instruments that allow us to systematically plunder funds from third-world and developing nations in order to wipe out the competition for the earths’ natural resources?

    But this is only the beginning. By the definition of terrorism, we all risk the participation at one point or another. As a matter of fact, most all of us are willing participants every day (accept for those who care nothing about such matters) by our sheer projection of intellectual capacities to undermine entire government entities or even just parts of it.

    To end war?
    To End terrorism?
    To end hunger?
    To end discontent?

    End end all forms of nonsensical behavior and actions we must do the following; willing it with are very consciousness, collectively.

    End greed and selfishness and focus on the needs of others. Care about ones self enough that he or she realizes that the only reason for existence is purely because of others. The planet itself allows us to be us, it provides us every small detail that affords us life. Without the planet we perish. In today’s age, very few even give the planet a second thought. Why should mother nature not dispose of us to save herself? She is giving us a chance to act. We must act now.

    Politicians must stop being “politicians” and begin being servants of the people and stewards of our natural resources, not just domestically, but internationally and collectively. Democracy does not exist on this planet, it is an illusion we have built up, an aspiration of which humanity has appeared to have lost all hope, only reserved for those who can manipulate that aspiration for their own betterment. That is the true state of democracy. Above all democracy focuses on “the self” and the “self” is what has got us into this mess. Perhaps we should finally acknowledge that democracy is just another failed system of governance.

    Business people must stop being business people and concentrate their efforts on the improvement of the reality we have created. Rather than focusing on squeezing every bit of profit attainable while subsisting on this absurd reality that wealth will cure all ills, we must focus our efforts on creating a new reality. A reality that reflects the needs the all of humanity, the earth and its ecological structures and in accordance with the principals of the universe so readily revealed to use by not only religions of ancients past, but modern-day science. Everything exists because everything else exists. Once something ceases to exist, all will cease to exist.

    Scientific and religious leaders need to stop fighting one another and realize they are working towards the same goal; understanding the universe as it is and our ultimate place in the scheme of things. Who has all the answers? Look around. Nobody. All great human achievements evolved from collective actions, rather than displays of argument. Collectively we must unite. This includes having dialogue with those we “hate” because they have a point of view and all points of view have some merit. All reality is a perception and all points-of-view begin with a perception that results in a reality.

    Economists need to stop feeding the corporate mentally and focus on the “real numbers” in that capitalism simply is not sustainable as an economic module or for the planet. Profits cannot grow forever and the more they grow, the more concentrated the wealth in one place. The more urgent we are in developing for profit, the more urgent we fixate on devouring natural resources and stripping the planet of the very things that sustain us.

    We must return to a simpler form of life in order to advance. Our advancements to date simply are not sustainable. We are running out of capital to fund the very technologies we need to turn the tide back in our favor allowing the planet to regenerate itself after our destruction in the last 100 years or so.

    We must collectively and consciously bring our population under control. The planet is not meant to sustain an infinite amount of any one species. As humans we have littered the planet with our presence and the earth simply groans under our feet. Furthermore, there simply is only so much food to go around. The fish in the oceans are disappearing along with many species across the planet and at alarming rates. This doesn’t just effect out supply of meat, animals are a crucial link in spreading the very seeds that germinate many plant species. This is why we have famine and starvation. There is not enough food to go around, so the only nations with the food are the ones with the money. It so happens to be that democracies have the money because they have leveraged capitalism to amass such wealth. often deploying manipulation of financial markets to assure their populations stay reasonably fed.

    These are just some of my thoughts, but I would like to hear the thoughts of others. Contemplated thought that is, rather than regurgitated thoughts of others who have contemplated nothing.

  86. Boba Fett Diop says:

    Sorry, that should be the African Union, not the OAS.

  87. Cragsavage says:

    BBAMN #153: It’s not ‘a’ means of production. It’s ‘the’ means of production. It’s a term for the economic base of society.

    Which…yes…theoretically can be collectivised whilst still allowing for private property.

    Nomenclature, again. Nom nom nom.

    And yeah – it’s off topic…but I figure that if you’re gonna ask a question you should allow the answer. Either that or just not ask the question.

  88. Takuan says:

    your government cannot and will not protect you from actual terror. Look at how they do everywhere else.

  89. GregLondon says:

    A conspiracy theory is impossible to disprove. Evidence to disprove any specific assertions made by the conspiracy theory can always be neutralized by expanding the conspiracy to include the just submitted evidence.

    No matter what you come up with, if someone is attached to the conspiracy theory, then they will always find a way to disprove the facts and leave room for their theory.

    Which is the reverse of normal logical arguments. normally, whoever makes the assertion must prove it. And a conspiracy theory is an assertion of a conspiracy. But folks making conspiracy assertions never prove it, they only seed enough doubt to satisfy their minds.

    Once they have a “truth” based on nothing but doubts, then it is quite easy to expand the doubts anytime anyone tries to prove the conspiracy wrong. They want to believe.

  90. GregLondon says:

    I see no need for conspiracies to explain the 9/11 attacks.

    bin Laden fought the Soviets in Afghanistan for several years. When the Sovs finally pull out in 1989, bin laden says “the credit goes to God, Praise and Glory be to Him, and the Mujahidin in Afghanistan”. He sees it as proof that his holy warriors as capable of taking down a superpower.

    When the US stations military forces in Saudia Arabia in 1990, in preparation for kicking Iraq out of Kuwait, bin Laden approaches the Saudi king and tells him to expell the US forces and that al Queda will protect saudi arabia from secular iraq. The king declines the offer. US invades Kuwait in 1991. bin Laden becomes publically critical of the Saudi government, and is forced to flee the country.

    four years later, Feb 1993, al queda blows up a truck bomb in the world trade center.

    The 11-sept-2001 was a continuation of those attacks.

    bin laden is a religious extremist who thinks if he takes down the superpowers that somehow his version of the perfect (extremist religious) world will become possible. There is nothing about 9/11 that requires a conspiracy involving the US. One simply has to look at bin laden’s history, his actions.

  91. Takuan says:

    that really was the idea

  92. The Blow Leprechaun says:

    We can (and do) use the FBI to combat terrorism within our own borders, but we can’t send the FBI to, say, Pakistan.

    It’s doubtful any of the organizations you mentioned would be allowed to operate freely within another country as a police force (with the exception of Interpol within the EU), so if we’re looking for police action, we have to rely on individual countries to handle it. I just don’t think that would happen thoroughly enough to be effective.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favor of military action – my whole point was that military doesn’t work, and policing is practically impossible, so we have to turn to options that might work, which looks like a political solution to me.

  93. mdhatter says:

    GregLondon, if you add in the fact that Rep. Charlie Wilson (amon others, including Bush the first) made sure osama bin laden had the weapons to fight the soviets, you’re pretty much on the ball with that.

    WOLVERINES!

  94. Phikus says:

    What’s my rhetorical score?

  95. Jeff says:

    #35 said, “Capitulation will eliminate any motivation for terrorist groups to continue to exist.”

    Capitulation in regard to what, exactly? For one to use this logic train, one first has to consider the original behavior (terrorism) as a rational, forgone response to the cause (define the cause). To justify terrorism as a legitimate response means it has won. If that’s the model we are going to use in our reality, then we might as just conclude the United States, or any other nation that wants to flex its muscles is justified in doing so, no matter what.

  96. Phikus says:

    TNH: Correction: Though I disagree with the NIST report conclusions (because they seem to be trying to reconstruct toward a predisposed supposition), the part I was trying to cite is that they debunk the “pancake theory”. However, I incorrectly stated their reasons for doing so:

    NIST’s findings do not support the “pancake theory” of collapse, which is premised on a progressive failure of the floor systems in the WTC towers (the composite floor system—that connected the core columns and the perimeter columns—consisted of a grid of steel “trusses” integrated with a concrete slab; see diagram below). Instead, the NIST investigation showed conclusively that the failure of the inwardly bowed perimeter columns initiated collapse and that the occurrence of this inward bowing required the sagging floors to remain connected to the columns and pull the columns inwards. Thus, the floors did not fail progressively to cause a pancaking phenomenon.”

    http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm

  97. cycle23 says:

    If you turn that image about 80 degrees counter clockwise….

  98. Phikus says:

    FOETUSNAIL@81: Indeed. I see we agree, I just don’t like any perpetuating of the myth that this guy does his own thinking (too much of that going on in the mainstream press.)

  99. mdhatter says:

    No, I mean the HW, our 41st president, formerly “The Head Spook” as he signed his name when he ran the CIA and we not-so covertly supported Saddam.

    You think it’s a coincidence Saddam was executed for a crime that was commited before we got in real deep with him (to counter weight Iran).

    Imagine the embarrassment to the USA if his later crimes were prosecuted and he could prove that Rumsfeld was a witness for the defense.

    what’s that I said?

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

  100. boingboing ate my name says:

    #154 k, fn. ll lk t yr bllsht, bt dnt xpct n pn mnd bt t.

  101. Anonymous says:

    If we do that the terrorists win! … So do we, but they get a little win too. Win-Win. We get peace, they get a compromise with their local government to not be arrested if they don’t do some stuff.

  102. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    MDHatter, Hagbard: thanks.

    Funeralpudding, here’s a good analysis of the WTC7 collapse. Short version: the FDNY could tell the building was going to collapse hours before it did. It was literally distorted off true, and making scary creaking noises. They pulled all their guys out (which took a while) and set up a perimeter barrier. The BBC newsroom, which knew more than the reporter who was doing the standup, had gotten word of the impending collapse. There’s lots of evidence that lots of people knew it was going to fall before it fell.

    Like the North and South towers, WTC7 had an odd tricky structure, with odd tricky vulnerabilities. It had taken far more damage than many people appreciated at the time. There’s photographic evidence for this, in spite of all the smoke and rubble and occluded sight lines.

    Much of the testimony about WTC7 is from FDNY personnel. They’re the ones who decided it was going to collapse, and pulled all their guys out of the area. They couldn’t fight the fires inside because they didn’t have enough water pressure — their operations inside were rescue, not firefighting — and the fires were getting bigger and bigger.

    There is no way, in this life or the next, that the FDNY was in on a conspiracy to take down the World Trade Center.

    WTC7 didn’t fall down like a building demolition. First, seismic evidence shows there was stuff hitting the ground for 18 seconds — twice as long as it took for the outside of the building to fall; and as I mentioned earlier, FDNY personnel observed well before the building collapsed that it was off true. There’s also photographic evidence that the two penthouses fell, one after the other, before the outer building visibly collapsed. It seems clear that there was some kind of interior structural failure.

    Note: a contributing factor may have been the presence in the building of a serious power-generation system, including transformers and a large supply of fuel,

    Second, WTC7 did not “implode into its own footprint” — and that, I saw with my own eyes. It was a shock. There was a huge heap of rubble covering the street next to the WTC7 site and smashed up against the building opposite. That wasn’t the only direction that happened, either. The buildings around it got nailed, including one nifty old Art Deco skyscraper I was fond of.

    Steel-framed skyscrapers had collapsed before. Others have done it since. Read this. You don’t have to reach steel-melting temperatures to bring down a steel building. The heat generated by a conventional fire is enough to make steel warp, sag, and lose its strength.

    It really is significant that the WTC buildings that collapsed weren’t built like most other skyscrapers. Their builders were cleverer than that, for certain values of clever. You should look at the link in my previous paragraph, so you’ll get them in context, but here are two images to show you the difference: a regular skyscraper. A tube within a tube structure. The second illustration shows the main towers, but like them, WTC7 also had a lot of its structural steel pushed out to the perimeter, rather than being made into a series of squared-off cages.

    Some additional links:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/wtc/index.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/02/part_of_the_conspiracy.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/03/part_of_the_conspiracy_2.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2008/07/controversy_conspiracies_iii.html

  103. Phikus says:

    BAMN@159: What would be the point then? Either try to look at it with an open mind or don’t bother.

  104. FoetusNail says:

    @#40 thanks Boba Fett Diop – There it is in a nutshell.

    I think the strangest days in each president’s life are when they receive their first full briefings. Briefings that will possibly leave little room to act.

    Imagine sitting there next January between a irock and a hard place with everyone staring at you after they’ve asked, what is your decision Mr. President.

  105. mdhatter says:

    BBAMN – “No” I won’t offer you the good faith act of going back to understand your point. Your insults show a lack of respect for the other commenters here. That may well have been earned by them, but you can express it better I suspect.

    Shorter: Throwing dirt loses you ground.

    Take a break and try again later.

  106. barbarafister says:

    #42 – (life, the universe, etc.) The FBI is in Pakistan

  107. mdhatter says:

    Sorry, under Ford. My bad.

    Still, the point that we normalized relations with Iraq while they were using chemical weapons, and supported Iraq against Iran is a major source of this mess, and G.H.W.Bush (the Sr.) didn’t have nothing to do with it.

  108. mdhatter says:

    Is that a rhetorical question?

  109. boingboing ate my name says:

    #150 I meant progress in a discussion, i.e. “this kind of tactic is more effective then that kind” or “the problem cant be solved unless underlying socal issues are resolved” You know, talking about terrorism rather then imagining some scenario where George Bush is responsible for the whole thing.

  110. ill lich says:

    #57 BOINGBOINGATEMYNAME

    It’s not that Al Quaeda is “imaginary”, it’s that you can’t destroy them with guns and bombs, anymore than you could kill the mythical Hydra by cutting off one of it’s heads. These are wars of ideas, and ideas are (in a sense) imaginary; the idea of terrorism isn’t going to be eradicated with a gun.

    The Hyrda analogy is nearly perfect– for every village you bomb to kill the terrorists hiding there you only sow more seeds of hatred towards the US among the innocents who were also living there, whose houses were destroyed and whose relatives were killed.

    The danger is to think that these evil men were BORN evil– nobody is born evil, something happens that makes them do what they do. I’ve never heard something so ignorant as Americans claiming “we don’t want to understand the terrorists, we want to KILL them!” — even a deer hunter needs to understand his prey, and if you want to make terrorism go away you should try to understand how a happy child playing ball with his friends becomes a human bomb a few years later.

    Those here claiming Al Quaeda is imaginary are perhaps just playing with words and ideas, but they are making one valid point without realizing it– hardly anybody trusts the US government anymore, not even US citizens. It wasn’t Al Quaeda that did that.

  111. mdhatter says:

    BBAMN, I can totally comprehend the corporate schizophrenia, but I can also see that it was not in their best interest to make that private info into public info. I have the info – I haven’t shared it (well, since it’s proprietary/ confidential info it’s not mine to share, is it?). It was a cluster[expletive] to be sure. Based on the Toxic Substances Control Act, the NYFD did have the info about the flammable and solvents, but the top to bottom asbestos assessment was never made public.

    As an aside – thank you for taking a better tone, despite our disagreements. Cheers.

  112. Versh says:

    @#59 Cowicide, #62 hagbard, #76 NumberSix

    Sure, I probably haven’t read as much Chomsky as you, but I know this much:
    He’s a socialist who has expressed views of labor unions as a potential force for revolutionary social change that would some how replace Capitalism and the State with a “new society democratically self-managed by workers.”

    So maybe I should have qualified my statement from earlier:
    Chomsky is an idiot about everything except Linguistics and Cultural Analysis. He is horrendously way-off when it comes to Philosophy.

    • Antinous says:

      By idiot, you mean he disagrees with you. That’s not, strictly speaking, the dictionary definition of idiot.

  113. Takuan says:

    ohmaar shall be my little treasure. I shall keep him and feed him and pet him forever.

  114. Takuan says:

    try punching through a half dozen, foot square, one inch boards stacked on each other. Now try with half inch spacers on two edges between each board.
    Works with bricks too.

  115. joelmichael says:

    Wouldn’t the 40% of policing qualify as using force to solve the problem? I think it suggests much of their data is based on terrorism within a country. If it is international terrorism, there is no way “policing” could solve it.

    By combining “policing” and “military force” you find that 47% of terrorists were shut down by some form of forceful authoritarian measures, compared to only 43% by politics.

  116. Boba Fett Diop says:

    Actually, the FBI frequently works in cooperation with a number of foreign intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and travels overseas in an advisory role. They also have a foreign presence through the Legal Attache program. Whether they do a good enough job at this remains to be seen.

    The CIA is prevented by statute from domestically spying on US citizens. Whether they still hold to these restrictions also remains to be seen.

  117. Todd Sieling says:

    Well spotted, Cycle23.

  118. boingboing ate my name says:

    I also dont want to drag this thread through a 9/11 debunking, and judging by what ive seen already, this will be a tedious process. Let me try another link and maybe I can be done with all this:

    http://www.debunking911.com/index.html

    To astroturfy?

    Also, i have to say that this line at #181 speaks volumes:

    “Do your own research and disprove me if you can.” Basic logic, dood, if you make a claim you have to prove it, not the other way around.

    So is that link good enough to not continue this madness, or should we run the post count up to about 250 or so chasing shadows?

  119. mdhatter says:

    OK Phikus, now you’re looking like the one using semantics to back up something you overstated to score a point. Just my 2 cents.

  120. Phikus says:

    GREGLONDON@68: Good point. The US was founded by terrorism. I wonder if this was accounted for in the equation (under political resolution, I suppose.)

  121. mdhatter says:

    BBAMN, I didn’t trivialize a thing. It is deadly serious, but I can’t see how trivializing those opinions you disagree with helps your point any.

  122. boingboing ate my name says:

    #79 Im sorry in what way? My comments in this thread have been mostly on the line of “9/11 happened, people disagree as to how to respond”

    #80 Thank you, yes. More importantly we should understand how much power the random dipshit who is president wields. Thats the real problem, not that George W Bush is a moron but that any moron who gets himself elected can do the shit that W did. As it stands now, we give the executive in particular and government in general an extreme amount of power and hope they dont abuse it.

  123. Super Nate says:

    When was the point of the war on terror was to win?

  124. NumberSix says:

    Ladies and gentlemen!

    The universe has solved itself. Everything is now at its logical conclusion. The Rand corporation and Noam Chomsky are in perfect agreement. If I may quote Dr. Chomsky:
    “The only way we can put a permanent end to terrorism is to stop participating in it,”

  125. Antinous says:

    Oy! Can we get back to vilifying the public figures instead of each other, please?

  126. Phikus says:

    =D No, and strangely, yes.

  127. NumberSix says:

    @Versh
    Not a socialist, an anarcho-syndicalist.

    Are you so blind that you are actually STILL buying into anti-socialist and anti-union propaganda that hasn’t been in fashion for 45 years? Are you afraid of people actually being their own masters?

  128. Phikus says:

    MDHATTER@200: I thought I tried that, originally. How much poo slinging must one endure to try to have a decent conversation?

    Anybody have a problem seeing the multiple links and citations I left @181, 183 & 185? -Just making sure my browser is working.

  129. Phikus says:

    Cycle23@4: Shhh! You weren’t supposed to notice that…

  130. mdhatter says:

    Ill Lich – have you ever met a deer hunter who wanted to run out of deer? Me neither. Awesome point.

  131. pete in Midland says:

    makes sense …. and to get people to drive the speed limit, we need to remove all posted speed limits.

  132. boingboing ate my name says:

    I agree with that too, but that’s no less precise than calling republicans “fascists”, is it? Not that you did so – I’m just trying out a comparison to further illuminate the misrepresentation you rightly called out. I think that’s all he was doing – namecalling.

    Let me just add to my previous statement, at the time, I just wanted to stomp someone. After several years of war, it no longer seemed like a great idea. I guess even us fascists learn.

    In any event, TNH says that 9/11 happened and that’s good enough for you guys, then i guess its good enough for me, even though ive been arguing that very point sense about #57.

    In the future, can i be insulted with something other then fascist? Its so overused and so on. Maybe coarse dickwad, or just plain ol’ asshat?

  133. Phikus says:

    Maybe I should ask if you are asking me hypothetically, hypothetically speaking…

  134. mdhatter says:

    And i never meant to call republicans “fascists”, just saying that it’s similar to calling France or Cuba or Democrats “socialists”.

    Really, I try to avoid that sort of name calling, but in an attempt to draw an analogy I inadvertently introduced an unnecessary buzzword (specifically, ‘fascist’) into this discussion. It was not aimed at anyone here. My bad if that was unclear.

  135. Phikus says:

    OHMAAR@100: Though MDHATTER put you well in your place, single-handedly, and though normally I dismiss blow-hards like yourself who use language like “you liberals…”out of hand as flame-baiting and unworthy of the attention you are trying to provoke, I will make an exception to your comment as it may well amuse the rest of us:

    “Absence of towers = Al Q. exists?” Wow. You can’t argue with “logic” like that. It must be easier than thinking. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent just because tha man said so… That’s truly the American way. What a patriotic American you have proven yourself to be! If you really want to know who made the towers go away, please consider these points of fact: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/05/19/is-the-government-co.html#comment-191751

    “Contrived energy crisis?” What planet are you living on? Do you have a chauffeur fill your Hummer so you haven’t noticed that gas prices have more than doubled since your boy w invaded the White House?

    Actually, I agree that the crisis is conveniently contrived by the Oil / Energy cartels and OPEC, but not in the way you suggest. They have been buying up all other ways to produce energy cheaply and efficiently, keeping these solutions to oil dependancy off the market so they can bleed the world for their own profit (last summer’s hike produced the largest profits ever reported by anyone in the history of capitalism. This summer is likely to do the same.) Contrived energy crisis is what bush’s buddies in Enron illegally created: Manufacturing false shortages by sending massive amounts of electricity through tiny relay stations and ordering other power stations to needlessly close down for “maintenance” in order to drive the prices up. This resulted in the rolling California blackouts, which no doubt you applauded since it made sure The Governator could take office.

    The reason the US invaded Iraq is not because of terrorists / 9-11, nor because Hussein was a “little Hitler” and w seriously thought they had WMDs. It was simply because they were over-producing oil (beyond the mandated OPEC max.) This was driving the price down, which would not be tolerated by some of the largest contributors to your fearless leader‘s campaigns. Plus the neo-con-men figured a way to make a hell of a lot of money off of defense and defense related industries for themselves: Pure and simple war profiteering! You’ve got to have a bad guy to point the finger at to get that juggernaut off the ground, now that the cold war is over (see the Wolfowitz Doctrine and the Project for a New American Century.) That’s where Al Q. came in handy.

  136. Phikus says:

    Fig 1: I figure it would have to just figure, figuratively speaking…

  137. mdhatter says:

    Ill lich, just how specific do I need to be to get past your persecution complex?

    I totally agree with you. The current admin does not want to run out of ‘deer’. The soviet “deer” went extinct, so we found more.

    I am running with your analogy. Wtf happened to reading comprehension? Jeebus.

  138. minTphresh says:

    bbamn, off topic, i know, but tell me your beliefs about the ‘gulf of tonkin’ incident. (this should be interesting…)

  139. Phikus says:

    MDHATTER@217: I just thought I’d correct a misstatement I’d made at 3am. I generally like your 2 cents, btw. Where is the scoreboard? I seemed to have missed that. =D

  140. Phikus says:

    BAMN@88: But he is a moron.
    ANT@89: bwahahahahaha!

  141. boingboing ate my name says:

    #86 Ok fine, ill take a break. For the record, i never said “We are creating enemies faster than we can kill them” you put those words in my mouth.

    As for respect, when you said “you reek of fear” my first response was “you reek of deez nutz” but i realized that i wasent making an actual point so i deleted it.

  142. FoetusNail says:

    Whoa, no one has said to stop investigating, arresting, and prosecuting criminals for criminal activities.

  143. hagbard says:

    While Ground Zero was still burning, I heard something that really struck me in a press conference when there was a question about the toxicity of the smoke and dust. The spokesman said something like “The EPA has evaluated the site and all essential resources are safe.” If a reporter asked WTF that was supposed to mean, they didn’t play it on the radio report I was listening to.

  144. Little John says:

    Okay, I give up; I’m obviously missing something that must be obvious: what has Cycle23@#4 spotted/noticed?

  145. cycle23 says:

    Heh, yeah, my angles were way off. I was laying on my side while reading the blog?

  146. Jeff says:

    Noam seems brilliant in some regards and retarded in others. We should all refuse to “participate” in the drama, and then the drama will go away. All we need to do is look the other way, then all those poor SOBs in those prison camps will fade away into the miasma of the “non-participant culture.” I should have been so enlightened before I decided to be a marine. We should let the bad guys win, and then the drama will be over. And if you were a Jew in a Nazi prison camp, well, sorry, but the allied forces were too busy not participating in Hilter’s little drama. Noam sounds like he’s made a profound discovery—he’s discovered what it’s like to be a coward. Let’s all clap and go off and eat some cake. Death by chocolate, please.

  147. hagbard says:

    Little John

    It’s the symbol of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, aka the peace sign.

  148. FoetusNail says:

    I seem to remember we sold them some of the equipment.

  149. funeralpudding says:

    BAMN, still waiting for your description of the BBC video I posted about in #180

  150. Cowicide says:

    Um… *cough* … ahem… ► Should read Cow’s links

  151. mdhatter says:

    I know you didn’t. I was quoting my bumper sticker.

    “you reek of deez nutz” would have been a great retort!!! Seriouslu, that’s much more BB style than just calling people idiots and fools.

    I look forward to your return, and some well reasoned discussion. Thank you for listening, and apologies for my playing moderator.

  152. mdhatter says:

    Does anyone actually think we’re trying to eradicate AQ?

    Really?

    If we do, what world threat justifies our military budget (larger than the rest of the world, combined).

    I had a professor in 1995 tell me that islamic terrorists were the next “other”, since the cold war was over and we needed the Russians oil to be on the world market. He nailed it.

    “Beware the military industrial complex” ring true these days – and only one of our two candidates is part of that complex.

  153. Phikus says:

    FOETIS: The confusion was all mine. You did clearly type “next january.” For some reason I thought you were talking about when this debacle began.

  154. Anonymous says:

    @JoeMichael: Police and military are both in the broad category of “force”; but they are organizationally, tactically, culturally, and otherwise quite distinct. This fact gets driven home rather unpleasantly when military forces get stuck playing police, or vice versa.

    I doubt anybody is going to argue that sitting around the campfire circle and singing is going to work; but there is a real, and nontrivial, difference between war and law enforcement(well, unless the neighborhood really sucks).

  155. boingboing ate my name says:

    Phikus @215
    because they seem to be trying to reconstruct toward a predisposed supposition

    And that would be illogical and silly.

    Sorry couldnt resist.

  156. FoetusNail says:

    These statements are not wild conspiracy theory and have been proven undeniable.

    Bush and friends came into office with the goal of using military force to affect regime change in Iraq.

    Bush and friends squandered the international support that arose after the attacks on 9-11.

    Bush and friends searched for a connection between 9-11 and Iraq that does not exist.

    Bush and friends lied to the American people about this connection, millions of whom still believe this connection exists.

    Bush and friends lied to Americans and the rest of the world about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction.

    Bush and friends committed a war crime by invading Iraq.

    Bush and friends have wasted over one-half trillion dollars in this folly.

    Bush and friends sanctioned the use of torture.

    This study does what all good studies do, it produces metrics to convert anecdotal evidence into quantifiable fact or disproves that evidence.

    The summary of this report could be: Bush’s counter-terrorism policies have been unfocused and unproductive.

    Bush’s remaining supporters believe three quarters of Americans are wrong and just don’t understand the situation.

  157. Individual says:

    Is there even any proof that “Al Queda” is a real organization? As far as I know it’s just a fiction.

  158. sonny p fontaine says:

    i can’t find my gum arabic comment here anymore.

    • Antinous says:

      i can’t find my gum arabic comment here anymore.

      You’re having a TIA. It’s in the liquid/solid thread.

  159. boingboing ate my name says:

    Man, Phikus most of that stuff has been debunked on the internet a long time ago. And i dont have an open mind about it for the same reason I dont have an open mind about Holocaust denial, Ive seen all this nonsense before and im not giving any more benefit of the doubt.
    And just look what we have here, just like Lucy and the football, its just the same thing again. A bunch of vague rumors and inuendo. Look, its getting late, do you really want me to refute that shit? Try
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/08/norad200608
    or
    http://scrwlschng.blgspt.cm/

    • Antinous says:

      boingboing ate my name,

      That blog link was a bit too astroturfy. I am, however, highly amused that you linked to a Vanity Fair article to prove a political point. For the sake of your own reputation, may I suggest the New York Times, BBC, Washington Post or any actual news source. Links to opinion pieces don’t really have much credibility as citations.

  160. Takuan says:

    hmmmm… note that Antinous?

  161. Versh says:

    @#123 Antinous
    No, not an idiot for disagreeing with me, an idiot for advocating such an incorrect ideology. I know it’s trendy to advocate a post-modern “multi-narrative cultural relativism” and “moral subjectivism”– but that doesn’t hold water when the subject is as extreme as terrorism. There are objective truths; and with certainty, I know other unjustified beliefs detrimental to life and peace are wrong. There’s no two ways about it. Economic and government organizations can be sorted by a similar gradient of right and wrong… Socialism doesn’t work and it always amounts to misery. By and by, I agree with Chomsky on anti-postmodernism stances toward cultural interpretations.

    @#124 NumberSix
    anarcho-syndicalism is still socialism.

    I don’t think I’m blind, and I certainly am not subscribing to anti-unionization and anti-socialism because of propaganda (unless you count multiple classes and dry tomes of essays as propaganda). I’m not trying to claim any form of intellectual superiority– I’m just trying to say I’ve read a lot into the subject, as in, a varied buffet of opposing philosophies throughout history.
    Besides, the only way people can be “their own masters” is by individual competition, i.e. freedom from corruption, favoritism, cronyism, graft, and the other myriad outcomes of unionized folly. People can interact as individuals under just laws, protected from the use of force, coercion and/or fraud.
    Post industrial societies don’t need unions, and socialism cannot work in practice (I don’t need to cite history do I?)
    I don’t want to dig up old Chomsky passages, but trust me, his supported reasoning is terribly weak. Mostly he opposes the straw man version Capitalism and endorses a logical opposite. It’s ridiculous, really.

  162. Phikus says:

    BAMN@161: Thanks for that clarification. There may be hope for you after all. In comment #74 I thought I made it pretty plain that I don’t think w is responsible for much of anything.

    MDHATTER@163: For my part, I agree with your usage. This administration is leaning heavily towards fascism, while Republicans by and large are simply the people being duped into voting for them (many of whom are in my family, btw.)

  163. mbatey says:

    Ah – I thought Cycle23 was suggesting Pac-Man was involved in the conspiracy…

  164. FoetusNail says:

    Thanks Phikus

  165. FoetusNail says:

    Wait a second what the hell is wrong with a little socialism or capitalism?

    BTW- MDHatter I was trying to be funny when asking, “By “George H.W. Bush’s mess” do you mean his son?” Cause his son has proven to be a helluva mess.

    If everyone wants to hop in the time machine all of these problems started long before GHWB, Reagan, or Carter. The Western Powers had one lost opportunity after WWII, but instead went right back to what they were doing before the war. So, here we are arguing over some crazy paranoid shit or ideological dogma, great. Is any one going to say wtf do we do now? This admin, while still dangerous, is all but in the bag; Iraqis are dying and Afghanistan is a full blown war.

    Really wtf would you do if you were sitting behind the desk next January?

  166. funeralpudding says:

    Me #180:
    I didn’t want to believe that part of our government could actually be more involved, but one video has blown my mind, and I challenge you to explain it, BAMN: It is the BBC video, of their reporter reporting on the spontaneous collapse of WTC7, while the building STANDS IN THE BACKGROUND BEHIND HER! It was more than twenty minutes before the building actually fell.

    Teresa Nielsen Hayden #207: I can explain it. By that time, they knew WTC7 was going to collapse. It wasn’t nearly as much of a surprise as the collapse of the main towers.

    But that’s just it, they didn’t know it was going to collapse – no steel framed tower had ever collapsed from fire alone. And the BBC reporter mentions the building specifically, and talks about its “spontaneous” collapse a full 23 minutes before it actually collapsed, again as it unbelievably stands in the background behind her in a live shot. And have you read the BBC’s explanation? On one hand it is laughable, especially the BBC’s use of a Youtube comment to defend their lack of answers and to cast dismissal at “conspiracy theories” – on the other that funny disappears quickly when you think of the ramifications of a lack of real answers.

  167. error404 says:

    The only effect of the war on Drugs was that hard drugs have never been so available and cheap in the USA as they are today.

    So I really hope your war on terror goes better or you’ll havce to get your prayer mat out and start working out which way Mecca is.

  168. padster123 says:

    Ah if only we’d known that, we could have avoided bombing Ireland back into the stone age.

    No, wait! That didn’t happen! We did solve it with policing and political settlements!

    If only Dubbya had taken a moment to talk to Bill and Tony, they might have been able to tell him a thing or two.

  169. FoetusNail says:

    Show me one case were true socialism was ever given a chance! I’m sick of throw away statements like that.

  170. Phikus says:

    FOETIS@165: Great synopsis!

    BAMN@167: Oh, I see. You can’t be bothered to go point by point in your own words, then support that with objective sources. You would rather grasp at straws, insultingly. I haven’t seen any debunking that satisfies these points I’ve made. Please show me, in the interest of enlightened debate (though I am now doubting you can get to that) or get the hell off this thread. You insult our intelligence for bothering to read your comments.

  171. mdhatter says:

    foetusnail, right on, true that, and that’s a damned good question.

    Honestly, I’d hope I was Arack-bay Ama-obay.

  172. FoetusNail says:

    21 Mar 03 DoD briefing – excerpt of SecDef comments below

    General Myers will provide some details on the progress of our operation, but first let me comment on the aims and objectives we have for the days ahead.
    Our goal is to defend the American people, and to eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and to liberate the Iraqi people.

    Coalition military operations are focused on achieving several specific objectives:

    To end the regime of Saddam Hussein by striking with force on a scope and scale that makes clear to Iraqis that he and his regime are finished.

    Next, to identify, isolate and eventually eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, production capabilities, and distribution networks.

    Third, to search for, capture, drive out terrorists who have found safe harbor in Iraq.

    Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can find related to terrorist networks in Iraq and beyond.

    Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can find related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction activity.

    Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian relief, food and medicine to the displaced and to the many needy Iraqi citizens.

    Seventh, to secure Iraq’s oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people, and which they will need to develop their country after decades of neglect by the Iraqi regime.

    And last, to help the Iraqi people create the conditions for a rapid transition to a representative self-government that is not a threat to its neighbors and is committed to ensuring the territorial integrity of that country.

    ________________________________________________

    So ,we went to Iraq to liberate her people and return the resources stolen by Saddam to the people. Sounds like Socialist Nation building to me.

    Yet in our own country we have the following:

    In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2004).

    In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 44.1% of all privately held stock, 58.0% of financial securities, and 57.3% of business equity. The top 10% have 85% to 90% of stock, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and over 75% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America.

    Please see

    Wealth, Income, and Power by G. William Domhoff

    If fettered Capitalism produced the current conditions, what would unfettered Capitalism produce?

  173. hagbard says:

    But I still have a doubt. He really doesn’t look or sound like an idiot to me. He seems very well-read, highly-intelligent, and thoroughly educated.

    Are you SURE you’re not calling him an idiot because he disagrees with you?

  174. sonny p fontaine says:

    yeah i know, i should’ve made it here too though.

    i do quite enjoy a good TIA every now and then.

  175. Pyros says:

    To destroy al queda we have to destroy it in our imaginations because this is the only place where it exists. It is not too unlike the red scare and all the crap we were told about the Soviets for over 50 years.

    I’m bored of the Al Quaeda scare. I’m ready for a new one. Any one know what Hugo Chavez had been doing lately? He’s got brown skin, and he’s got the cajones to stand up to the American imperialism once in awhile. Maybe he and his cohorts will do as the next propagandized despot.

  176. acx99 says:

    @1:

    The only thing that can defeat Al Qaeda is education and enlightenment. Al Qaeda only exists in the minds of western politicians and under the beds of the populace.

    Al Qaeda is a universal enemy, an enemy that exists everywhere but nowhere, and is used as a weapon to justify the actions of corrupt governments all over the world.

    Al Qaeda == Emmanuelle Goldstein.

  177. Phikus says:

    For my part, I was very skeptical and did want to believe, but I retained an open mind enough to allow certain facts to come to the surface and form a pattern to me because they were the only things that made the most sense, imho. I don’t need to prove what I have come to believe to anyone else. I have been reluctant to go down this path on this thread from the start. But if you ask me, I will tell you what I think, based on what evidence I have come to see. I continue to retain an open mind in viewing new evidence, or old evidence in a new light, if there is a compelling argument from a reliable source. I try to be objective, and I think I have a pretty good BS meter, but I am just a guy, living in these times, with all the information and disinformation we have available to us these days. I don’t pretend to be an expert myself in any science that might shed new light on what happened. I salute anyone who continues to search for what truth we can manage to find, such as we can perceive it, whether they agree with me in the end or not. The fact we can try to discus it intelligently and with mutual respect is a beautiful thing.

  178. acx99 says:

    @13, “Al Qaeda” is arabic slang for “The toilet” and literally translated means “The base”. Ironically and purely coincidentally im sure you’ll agree, “The base” is also something of a slang term for the core of the U.S. republican party.

  179. boingboing ate my name says:

    Well I wouldn’t want *my* credibility tarnished, so let me just respond to phikus’ post myself then.

    1: I wish I could believe we simply “let it happen”, but many facts blow a hole in this possibility. Combined US air forces were engaged in “Practice Armageddon” training maneuvers that day simulating invader attacks, effectively blinding them to the real attacks taking place. Tell me this was coincidence. If Osama had access to this kind of intel, we would have had much bigger problems that day. Too many US officials were warned not to travel by air on that day, beforehand.

    This was the point of the vanityfair article. Its a run through of what happened at neads (north east air defense station) during 9/11. These are the people who are ordering combat aircraft up that day. The impression i got is one of communication breakdowns and ineffectiveness. The fighter were never in a position to do anything and there is still the question of do what? Shoot them down?
    The rest of this statement is ad hoc BS. If Osama had access to this intel.. Too many officials were warned not to travel.. Nothing here proves a point of any kind.

  180. Versh says:

    Agreed. Noam Chomsky is an idiot.
    Takuan’s first post had it right, only muslims can end this madness… or rather, someone else can end extremist islamic practices.
    Until such incomplete philosophies of deficit and death end, until the uneducated stop wishing for a return to the 4th century, the rest of the world will just have to continue policing.

  181. Cragsavage says:

    Versh: ‘anarcho-syndicalism is still socialism.’

    Um. You got your Politics degree from…where…exactly? Anarcho-Syndicalism is a form of Anarchism.

    Anarchism is not Socialism. Facto, facto!

    You can’t just grab every element of the left and throw it under the blanket term ‘Socialism’. Because…well…that’s just plain inaccurate. It’s not like the differences between the two are even particularly subtle or nuanced. They’re not…they’re very separate philosophies with separate historical traditions/texts etc.

    And foetusnail is correct. There’s no historical lessons to learn about socialism, because socialism hasn’t manifested itself historically.

  182. boingboing ate my name says:

    2: We all know bush posed for photos for a full 20 minutes at that elementary school after being told the country was under attack, but why was it a full two hours after Air Force One took to the air before they had any kind of escort? I am not saying bush knew. I think he was clueless to the plan hatched by Rove, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc. I am just saying that if they truly believed America was under attack by a foreign power, and anywhere could be a target, he would have had an escort before they even took to the air, especially after a van of men “of middle eastern descent” dropped by where bush was staying at 6am that morning for an unscheduled “interview”, but were turned away by the Secret Service.

    What’s the point of any of this? Who cares how long an escort took to get there? Do you really think a mid air collision with air force one seemed like a realistic possiblity to anyone? And where is your New York times link about this vanload of guys? Again, what are you even proving here?

  183. Little John says:

    Hagbard @ #11, thanks for the tip.

    And, okay, the peace sign sign I saw, but Cycle23@#4 said 80 degrees, not even really close to 155 degrees.

    At 80 degrees, the circle is bisected rather horizontally, with a couple of arrow wings or something on the left. I thought maybe it Cycle23 saw a logo or something. Reminds me very vaguely of Amtrak, or, I thought, maybe it’s supposed to be the logo of one of the airlines hijacked in the 2001 attacks.

  184. boingboing ate my name says:

    3: The 9-11 commission report completely omits the steel cores that supported the TWC buildings in their “pancake effect” explanation. Similarly constructed buildings have burned for days without the cores melting. Even so, the buildings collapsed at terminal velocity, that is, at the same speed an object dropped would fall. If each floor crashed into the next, as they suggest, it would have produced at least some small delay per floor. The fires caused by the planes never got hot enough to melt the cores (office furnishings and computers do not burn hot enough.) Everything in those buildings was powderized. The only explanation is that they were professionally demolished, which would have taken weeks beforehand in preparation.

    The buildings collapsed because of a combination of the aircraft impact and subsequent fires, not fires alone. Fires dont have to get hot enough to melt steel anyway, steel weakens significantly at a much lower temperature, which combined with the aircraft damage is enough to collapse the building.
    As for the belief that the building collapsed at terminal velocity, what is your basis for believing that? Is it a video of someone timing the collapse? Just look at the video and you can see debris from the building falling away. That falling debris is falling at full speed and you can see the building collapsing slower then that.
    Your only explanation part is just assuming your conclusion. There is no basis to believe the building were destroyed via demolition, just you saying so.

  185. FoetusNail says:

    In response to Jeff @#28 – Sorry it took so long to find this in the report. I’ve excised as much as possible, I hope I’ve not changed the author’s intent.

    Some have argued that history has little to offer, since al Qa’ida’s global breadth and decentralized organizational structure make it somewhat different from many other terrorist organizations, even religious ones.

    But this is not true.

    While al Qa’ida is different from many other terrorist organizations because of its global reach, its modus operandi is not atypical. Like other groups, its members need to communicate with each other, raise funds, build a support network, plan and execute attacks, and establish a base (or bases) of operation. Most of these nodes are vulnerable to penetration by police and intelligence agencies.

    Indeed, its organizational structure makes it vulnerable to a policing and intelligence strategy.

    As Mark Sageman argued, the most effective tools to defeating al Qa’ida and the global Salafi jihad “simply amount to good police work.”

  186. Ugly Canuck says:

    #20 (defunct) Eastern Airlines Logo?

  187. ill lich says:

    Some will think this idea is counter-intuitive, but it makes perfect sense to me. It’s like fighting an ant infestation in your house– poison will only work for a short time, and you can’t go around stomping on them one by one; clean up the house so there is no food for them to come looking for. People don’t become suicide bombers when they see they have a good future to look forward to.

    “What happens to a dream deferred?”

  188. boingboing ate my name says:

    4: WTC 7 was destroyed utterly, but was not hit by airplanes or falling debris. 3 days later, it was still hot enough to melt aluminum at the site. Originally the 9-11 commission said they had no explanation as to how it fell, then the landlord later admitted that they had “pulled” the building, which is to say it was professionally demolished, which, again, would have taken weeks of prior planning.

    Total bullshit. The owner said he pulled the fire crews not the building. And again, where are your links to reliable sources for this stuff?

    Here is a pdf with the statements of the fire chief at the scene, he doesnt talk about explosives, just pulling his people out.
    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110154.PDF

  189. wordgirrl says:

    the link in the story is to the research brief. if you want to read the full monograph, please go to http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG741/

    –the editor (not of boingboing–of the rb and mg)

  190. JFlex says:

    Nice call, Cycle23, regardless of the degrees.

    Perhaps just as important is the finding itself. It gives weight to the anti-American librals who want to talk to them terrists.

  191. boingboing ate my name says:

    For you guys saying that AQ is just exists in our minds, did we imagine 9/11? Is our perception of the threat overblown? You can argue that. Is our reaction too much? again, arguable. Is the threat totally imaginary? nly f y hv yr hd shvd p yr ss.

  192. boingboing ate my name says:

    Let me just pause for a second and invite phikus to answer a few questions of my own. How do you explain the entire sequence of events we all saw on television? I.e. if this was a controlled demolition, how do you explain the aircraft visibly hitting the buildings? How do you explain the fact that the buildings began to buckle right where the aircraft had damaged them?

  193. boingboing ate my name says:

    Is this the “pull it” quote to which you were referring?

    “I remember getting a call from the Fire Department commander, telling me they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, you know, ‘We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is just pull it.’ And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse.”

  194. boingboing ate my name says:

    If fettered Capitalism produced the current conditions, what would unfettered Capitalism produce?

    Hopelessly off topic rambling?

  195. AndAnotherThing says:

    From the Economist July 19th:

    “six excellent ideas

    In an internet video in September 2007 Abu Yahya al-Libi, a prominent al-Qaeda leader, mockingly gave the West six tips to wage ideological warfare: highlight the views of jihadists who renounce violence; publicise stories about jihadist atrocities against Muslims; enlist Muslim religious leaders to denounce jihadists as heretics; back Islamic movements that emphasise politics over jihad; discredit and neutralise jihadist ideologues; and play up personal or doctrinal disputes among jihadists. These would indeed be good starting-points.”

    shame he’s on the other side really.

    full story is here: http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11750386

  196. Nelson.C says:

    Funeralpudding #221 et al: The BBC recently revisited their earlier programme on WTC7 to coincide with the immanent release of the NIST report. In it, they reveal that they have found the missing tape (misfiled in the shelves for 2003, IIRC) and play it. With the segment is Jane Standley’s voiceover pointing out that she was only recently arrived in NY, wasn’t familiar with the geography, and was suffering from the confused and fragmentary communications that everyone else in Manhattan was suffering at the time.

    If you watch the video, you can see that Standley isn’t really reporting on the collapse, she’s waffling in answer to leading questions from the guy in the London studio, since he has a better idea of what’s going on than she does, ironically. (It’s a play you can quite often see on TV these days, where the news show has someone out doing an OB, who’s really only there to provide a sense of faux immediacy and an echo-board for the studio newsreader.)

    The studio guy is responding to a report (from AP, as I recall) that WTC7 has collapsed. It seems likely that the report was a garbled version of the NY Fire Chief’s decision to evacuate the area at around 3 PM in case of collapse, about two and a half hours before the actual collapse.

    The Fire Chief, not knowing that steel-framed towers aren’t supposed to collapse, made the decision based on an inspection of WTC7, during which he saw much on-going fire damage and damage from the WTC1 collapse. As he says, “You could hear the building creak above us, you could hear things fall, you could hear the fire burning. You could see columns just hanging from the upper floors, gaping holes in the floors up above us. There was an elevator car that was blown out of the shaft and it was down the hall. This is the massive impact of Tower 1 onto Tower 7.” Presumably, having had a bit of experience with buildings collapsing after fire-damage, he knows what a dangerous building looks and sounds like.

  197. Agent 86 says:

    oh noes, now we can’t do those things because it would be negotiating with terrorists! Those terrorizers are wraskely.

  198. Agent 86 says:

    Ow ow ow ow

  199. funeralpudding says:

    I know the Bush administration knew of the impending attack on 9/11, they were even briefed specifically by the CIA beforehand on the possible use of planes as missiles. I didn’t want to believe that part of our government could actually be more involved, but one video has blown my mind, and I challenge you to explain it, BAMN: It is the BBC video, of their reporter reporting on the spontaneous collapse of WTC7, while the building STANDS IN THE BACKGROUND BEHIND HER! It was more than twenty minutes before the building actually fell. It shouldn’t be hard to find a copy, search “wtc7″ +BBC.

    If the building “spontaneously” fell, how did this reporter know about it and report about it before it happened? The BBC still refuses to answer questions about where they got their information about the collapse. The logic hits me like a brick wall when I think about it, and I’d love to hear your explanation.

  200. Phikus says:

    BAMN starting at 174: I can’t believe you want to drag this thread through this (I would have suggested a better forum) but here goes:

    1: The fact that our combined defensive parameter was preoccupied on that day, engaged in simulated war-games that left them without proper arsenal doesn’t bother you? If you think they don’t have protocols for shooting down a passenger plane endangering the densest areas of human population, you’re very naive. I thought at least you would have read Tom Clancy. As for the warnings not to fly that day, here is but one example: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/12/MN229389.DTL
    The other comments are my synopsis, based on available fact.

    2: It matters because it is very odd behavior. It really doesn’t make sense. And we supposedly didn’t know how we were being attacked, or going to be attacked. Are you saying it is standard procedure to leave AF1 unattended during an enemy attack of unknown capacity? There are plenty of air-bases that were close enough to have given escort. I don’t need to prove anything to you. Do your own research and disprove me if you can.

    3: You really don’t know what you’re talking about here. Who told you that common office materials burn hot enough to burn steel cores of the size and density of the WTC towers? The 9-11 Commission Report and the popular mechanics attempt at debunking wouldn’t even touch that one with a steel girder. (Pop Mechanics favors the “pancake theory” that just doesn’t hold water, as re-debunked above.) Just because you say it is so doesn’t mean its true. If you watch the video, the plane impact is fully absorbed by both planes. There is fire for a while, and then people are seen in the holes made by the planes. (Tak, can you find this? -shot of a blonde woman peering out the hole?) Tell me that is hot enough to melt core steel. Also, watch the video again. As soon as it starts to implode, all the debris falls at the same rate. Any structural engineer will tell you, as it falls, there are squibs and streamers of gas and dust that are the tell-tale signs of detonation, as well as the resultant clouds of cytoplasmic flow.

    4: Did you look at the video I linked there? Did you even read the 9-11 commission report? (Do you know what you are trying to defend?) There were several views of WTC7 imploding. Linked again for your convenience here:http://www.wtc7.net/ and here:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2073592843640256739
    Tell me that was caused somehow by the small amount of debris that hit WTC7…

    I can’t wait ’til you get to the Pentagon Strike…

    But I’ll make it easier on you, if you like. Lets see if you can refute even one of FEOTUS’s statements above at #165 from an objective news source, since that seems to be the really the big stick that is up your ass.

    BTW, Why do you keep dragging holocaust deniers into this? That has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion, off thread as it already is! Does it help if I tell you I believe the holocaust really occurred? Will you please shut up about it now?

  201. garys says:

    Out the gate, the Bush administration has been a failure at everything it tried (except dismantling the constitution, at which it has been rather successful). The fact that Bush bumped up Republican congressional numbers in ’02 and ’04, and got reelected in ’04, based on fear-mongering and the cowardly smearing of heroes such as Max Cleland, is morally criminal. So yes, the “war on terror” as waged by Bush has been primarily a war for domestic political power.

    That said, my concern is that there is something like a “Moore’s law” for destructive power. Put another way, I fear we are heading toward a future where even a single person could, without much effort, kill millions.

    Ok, before you go looking for the tinfoil hat on my head, here is the logic: Ten thousand years ago, killing even ten people was a difficult, highly risky task done hand-to-hand. A thousand years ago, it might have been done slightly more easily with arrows. A hundred years ago, there were bombs or revolvers that could do it, and it become not uncommon for one or two people to kill a dozen others. By 1927, a single person was able to kill 44 people and himself with bombs at the Bath School. By 1995, a couple of domestic terrorists were able to kill 168 people in Oklahoma City. By 2001, a dozen terrorists were able to kill thousands of people and inflict economic damage in the billions.

    So the question is: What happens if the equipment and instructions for genetically engineering a hybrid of ebola virus and the flu are so simple and easily available they they can be ordered from e-bay? What happens if cold fusion is finally achieved using materials available at radio shack?

    Science fiction writers frequently imagine a world where a single person can create enormous damage, but inevitably require that person to hold some special skills. In the real world, the people with those skills eventually share what they discover with the world, making it possible for anyone to inflict the same harm without needing the skills.

    The best analogy I see is with computer viruses. It used to be that programming a virus was hard, and only a very few people had that talent. Of those, even fewer were willing to use that talent for evil. Researchers continued to publish information about viruses and how viruses worked. That research and information was packaged into virus assembly programs. Now any 12 year old unskilled “script kiddie” (I know, old term) can download virus building tools and use them to build a virus quickly.

    I fear we will one day hit the point where today’s unskilled serial killer can employ similar off-the-shelf technology to kill on a genocidal scale. If that happens, we will look back at this time and wonder why we were too busy stopping photographers and pulling water bottles out of carry on luggage to see the real threat.

    I’m quite sure the current “war on terror” won’t work against these new threats. But I’m also sure that policing and politics are insufficient on their own. Whatever approach we take to preventing a repeat of past tragedies must be supplemented by a war on mental illness, poverty, and hopelessness. These would go a long way to reducing the number of people who snap and pick up the increasingly destructive tools that scientific progress seems to inevitably spawn.

  202. Phikus says:

    *3 above: I meant to say absorbed by both buildings.

  203. minTphresh says:

    al quaeda started out as ‘freedom fighters’, fighting the infernal commies to free their ‘homeland’ (afghanistan). they were financed and organized by ghwbush and the u.s. cia. when they finally shook off the russkies, they turned their attn to forming a radical islamic govt. which then (among other things) irradicated opium growing in the region. oddly enough, since we have ‘liberated’ them, opium production has soared to unheard of levels! yumm, cheap heroin! now IF AQ had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11, i doubt if it was anything but peripheral, as 9/11 has all the earmarks of a ‘false flag’ operation. AQ at that time (09.11.01) had approx 200 members, now it has become a global entity of over 11,000 members. still taking covert funds from the u.s. govt. gotta love that ‘military industrial complex’!

  204. GregLondon says:

    In the future, can i be insulted with something other then fascist?

    Depends. If in the future there is a debate about the best solution to fighting some terrorist organization who previously attacked the US, will you want to stomp someone, anyone, or will you consider RAND’s findings above?

    How you answer that question also answers your question.

  205. Cowicide says:

    #54 posted by Versh:

    Noam Chomsky is an idiot.

    Great argument with lots of backup, Versh. See if I can halp your case against this idiot here..

    This idiot has received honorary degrees from universities around the world, including:

    -University of London
    -University of Chicago
    -Loyola University of Chicago
    -Swarthmore College
    -Delhi University
    -Bard College
    -University of Massachusetts
    -University of Pennsylvania
    -Georgetown University
    -Amherst College
    -Cambridge University
    -University of Buenos Aires
    -McGill University
    -Universitat Rovira i Virgili
    -Columbia University
    -Villanova University
    -University of Connecticut
    -University of Maine
    -Scuola Normale Superiore
    -University of Western Ontario
    -University of Toronto
    -Harvard University
    -Universidad de Chile
    -University of Bologna
    -Universidad de la Frontera
    -University of Calcutta
    -Universidad Nacional de Colombia
    -Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    -Santo Domingo Institute of Technology
    -Uppsala University
    -University of Athens
    -University of Cyprus

    This idiot ranks with Marx, Shakespeare and the Bible as one of the 10 most quoted sources in the humanities – and is the only idiot among them still alive.

    One of this idiot’s staunchest critics, the philosopher Hilary Putnam, acknowledged that reading this idiot was to be “struck by a sense of great intellectual power; one knows one is encountering an extraordinary mind” …

    When the New York Times called this idiot “arguably the most important intellectual alive today”, the writer continued: “[So] how can he write such terrible things about American foreign policy?”

    This idiot was voted the leading living public intellectual in The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll conducted by the British magazine Prospect. The idiot reacted, saying “I don’t pay a lot of attention to polls”.

    What an idiot he is… : /

  206. mdhatter says:

    There’s no historical lessons to learn about socialism, because socialism hasn’t manifested itself historically.

    I agree with that too, but that’s no less precise than calling republicans “fascists”, is it? Not that you did so – I’m just trying out a comparison to further illuminate the misrepresentation you rightly called out. I think that’s all he was doing – namecalling.

  207. Phikus says:

    BAMN@178: I never said planes did not hit the buildings. If you look at the videos again, they do not buckle as you suggest, though damaged there to some extent by the fires. Both collapse from the bottom up, imploding straight down upon themselves. Eye-witnesses describe hearing explosions right as they begin to collapse. First there is debris thrown off from every window on the top floors at the same time, which began falling first: which may be the debris are mistaking for falling faster. Then they collapse in about 10 seconds, an average of ten floors per second. If they had pancaked for even 1 second on each floor, each floor breaking the next, they would have taken ten times that time to fall. For this reason, the National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded the pancake theory could not have occurred.

    Why don’t you check this video by noted MIT prefessor Jeff King: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1822764959599063248

  208. Phikus says:

    *debris you are mistaking for falling faster…

  209. in_awe says:

    It seems that RAND is talking about traditional “terrorist groups” that have a specific political goal in mind related to a sovereign nation’s political circumstances (IRA, FRELIMO in Mozambique, TAMIL Tigers in Sri Lanka, etc.). In most cases there is a gradual transitioning from direct confrontation to conversation and conversion of goals to a somewhat more acceptable middle ground position that can be attained. This can take as little as a decade or nearly a century as the government in power exhausts several approaches of dealing with the terrorists – usually starting with a police response at the inception to military intervention to a return of police efforts as headway is made. The society at large typically transitions as well in accepting modified demands in exchange for peace.

    In the Middle East there are the al Qaeda and the Taliban. It seems that the Taliban are more of a insurgency focused on overthrowing a national government. They intermix terror attacks with small group military actions. A military response seems to be a logical defensive approach at this stage. Co-opting them into a power sharing arrangement will probably be the end result of the struggle in Afghanistan.

    Al Qaeda on the other hand has a broader stated goal of not only forcing the withdrawal of US and other Western military and civil forces in the Middle East, but the rolling back of the Western social and legal model. Nation states are relevant only as stepping stones along the path toward a general undermining of non-Muslim cultures. I sincerely doubt that the targets of this group will succeed often enough in infiltrating al Qaeda to make any meaningful headway against it. Nor is traditional police work likely to win the struggle. Al Qaeda benefits from rogue leadership in Pakistan’s NW Frontier region providing santuary for their camps and training centers. Sympathetic governmental elements exist elsewhere as well.

    Given the global nature of the group and its devotees, a large number of unconnected cells have appeared around the world. They share a common goal and tactics but most seem to operate autonomously. While some have benefited from training provided by al Qaeda, killing bin Laden will not bring the terror web down – bin Laden only serves mostly as an inspirational figure rather than operational director to groups in Africa, Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

    I fear that we will see on a larger scale the exhaustion process played out. Finally, Muslims and non-Muslims alike will tire of the endless violence. More “moderate” terrorists will gain internal influence in some terror groups and bargains will be struck. (See recent decisions made in the UK for examples.) As a first step, I expect that sharia law and councils will eventually be permitted with segments within those Western societies (initially Muslim communities) “voluntarily” submitting to their role with government acquiesence. We will see freedom of expression and behavior governmentally constrained as a trade-off for peace. Next a UN sponsored Treaty of Religious Diversity and Rights will be fashioned to require such changes and nations will sign it. Broadening political, religious, and legal influence will follow under the implicit threat of more violence. It will be the beginning of the end of liberal Western culture as we know it.

    Some of these individual cells will hold transnational goals and there may be in-fighting among them if some are viewed as not radical or active enough. Another may move-in to quicken the pace of change. A government focusing on a specific group will miss the next group organizing somewhere else preparing to leapfrog the first group.

    The alternative to bargaining will be escalating religious based terrorist violence moving closer and closer to widespread use of biological and chemical doomsday weapons. The al Qaeda goal seems to be structured as a zero sum game – if radical Islam can’t dominate the globe, then nobody else can either.

  210. FoetusNail says:

    The 911 hijackers were many things, but they were not ignorant, nor were they a bunch of sad-sacks with deferred dreams.

    These guys were brainwashed by religion. Muslims will never stop this, moderate Muslims enable these activities. Not all fundies come from fundamentalist homes. Moderate mommies and daddies plant the seeds, which are then nurtured, read exploited, by others for their own purposes.

    Until mommies and daddies of any religious persuasion stop this abusive brainwashing of their own children this shit will continue until the end times.

    To once again paraphrase Sam Harris, the 911 hijackers showed a religious people what it really means to believe in god.

  211. hagbard says:

    I bet he meant collectivist.

  212. Phikus says:

    More for BAMN: An eyewitness account of a former police officer who heard multiple explosions as WTC7 fell, and views from all angles and major news media. Also the BBC report on WTC falling 20 minutes before it fell: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2073592843640256739

    “Pull it” is a phrase that refers to the controlled demolition of a building. If it pertained to the firefighters, it would have been “pull ‘em” or “pull them.” The firefighters were reported to have said: “We’re going to have to bring it down.” Was this in reference to their own people too?

    My apologies to the moderators and everyone else who is bored with this totally off topic discussion. Any suggestions? (At least no names of candidates were mentioned…)

  213. minamisan says:

    40% policing? oh dear god, please no… not that…

  214. James David says:

    @#57 BoingBoing Ate My Name:
    I think Mr. Cory Doctorow has something to say about this!

    No one is saying that terrorism is imaginary, or that people with violent ideologies don’t exist. We should realize, however, that their influence is exaggerated (both in the sense of its being overstated and that it increases when it hits the spotlight – or when the bombs start falling. Strange that those can have similar effects on politics…)

  215. FoetusNail says:

    The authors of this report hold no real hope for a negotiated settlement, nor do they recommend negotiating.

    This bargaining space does not exist with many terrorist groups. As the concluding chapter notes, for instance, al Qa’ida’s broad goals of establishing a caliphate across the Middle East offer no bargaining room with western governments.

    Since al Qa’ida’s goal remains the establishment of a pan-Islamic caliphate, there is little reason to expect that a negotiated settlement with governments in the Middle East is possible.

  216. hagbard says:

    #54 Versh

    Agreed. Noam Chomsky is an idiot, and everyone who has ever read anything by him is a moran.

  217. oldgold75 says:

    Interestingly, many seem to still believe 9/11 was the result of a bunch of bumbling arab hijackers that couldn’t even get a cessna off the ground. And if it truly were arabs, why didn’t we just bomb Saudi Arabia?. My point is, simply, that the whole “terrorist” scenario is based on propaganda and misinformation. Get back to bottom line that what you think you saw on TV and read in the newspapers was erroneous and full of crap, and the terrorist fear factor “brought to you by the makers of world domination policies”, is just another distraction to keep you from seeing behind the curtain. Sad.

  218. hagbard says:

    Just guessing, but I think his curriculum has included Hayek, Friedman, and of course Rand.

  219. FoetusNail says:

    Good Morning,

    Just something I heard recently. Sorry I can’t remember much, it may have been a The Daily Show w/JS book interview. Anyway, the idea was that the Bay of Pigs was important because it shaped Kennedy’s attitudes about the JCS; his distrust may have saved our ass during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This Northwoods crap probably had the same result. Thought it was an interesting take.

    _________________________________

    Why did we go to Iraq? This is my theory, please post your’s again since I’m new.

    I believe we went into Iraq because the Saudi’s want us there. The Saudi’s spent billions building plug-n-play facilities, which contributed to our quick and easy GW I. When our presence became impossible, they asked us to leave. Knowing they will one day need the protection of their best customer, everyone decided to transfer to Iraq. Saddam being the brilliant;) strategist that he was, along with boatloads of help from our own government, made his country the only logical/possible option.

    So, we are now prepositioned for the final meltdown over the last drop of M.E. oil. This is why I say we will never leave Iraq. Whomever the new president is they may be able to back off from policing day to day problems, but we will never withdraw from bases like Camp Victory or Camp Anaconda or…

  220. Jeff says:

    When using historical president when evaluating current situations, it may be useful to also remember that you can never use the past with much accuracy to define the present with regard to human behavior. We have nothing in our history to compare the current Muslim terrorist situation with; too many factors are unique. And it is unlikely that we will ever be able to stamp out terrorism totally. How can you defeat terrorism when terrorism is borne on the shoulders of dysfunctional human psychology? Should we force everyone into therapy? Drug the water? As long as people feel shit upon they will retaliate, rationalizing the most repugnant behavior as being necessary to their cause: justice. That is a historically definable truism.

  221. FoetusNail says:

    To the contrary, my post relates the lies, deceit, and hypocrisy of those that led us into this morass. Why do they set as an objective the socialization of Iraq’s oil production, while their domestic policy rapidly redistributes this country’s wealth in the opposite direction? What would they be doing if there were no restraints on their policy? I consider theses to be rather pointed and pertinent questions. Over one-half trillion dollars has been transfered from our children’s children’s pockets into the pockets of the already rich and powerful.

  222. Phikus says:

    Well, since TNH doesn’t seem to be interested in discussing this further, or in addressing the Pentagon attack on 9-11 at all in her analysis, I leave it to you, if you are so inclined, to consider this smoking gun of the events on that day. Bring your razors, please: http://www.pentagonstrike.co.uk/flash.htm#Main

  223. boingboing ate my name says:

    Lets perform a thought experiment about the BBC video. Lets say you guys are right, and the BBC is reporting WTC7 as having been collapsed 20 min before it actually did. (I dont really think thats what you can see on the vid, but lets just assume it is) What is the implication of this? That whomever destroyed WTC7 told the BBC? Does that really make sense, that an elaborate conspiracy would inform a foreign news service??? Again, i ask, what are you trying to prove here?

  224. James David says:

    Also, can this not turn into a debate over Noam Chomsky, please?

  225. Versh says:

    @#130 FoetusNail
    The same could be said about a pure form of Capitalism. I hate throwaway statements as well. I don’t think I’m generalizing too much. Well, okay, yeah I’m not exact as I should be, but from what I’ve read, more wrong has been done in the pursuit of Socialism’s ideals than Capitalism’s.

    @#132 hagbard
    He’s a Philosophical idiot. He has intelligence in other fields, but when it comes to politics and ideologies, he’s only capable of weak philosophizing. I did say I agree with him when it comes to that crummy post-modernism stuff didn’t I?

    @#133 Cragsavage
    No you got me, I don’t have a politics degree.

    However, to quote various dictionaries,
    Anarcho-syndicalism:
    “A branch or field of anarchy that focuses on the abolishment of capitalism, elimination of compulsory government and the establishment governed by trade unions.”
    Okay, ignoring those contradiction of terms (organized groups such as unions lording over other workers is a form a government, so I don’t really see the anarchy in that).
    Yet it is claimed this is how it is set apart from socialism:
    “Essentially an argument that free relations in a socialist economy cannot be enforced by an authoritarian state. Such a state would instead rule out free relations or cause them to quickly deteriorate given the nature of centralized power.”
    Well, it is just me, or does it seem that any form of stable society is a constructed effort against the instabilities of anarchism?
    Sorry, but syndicalism is a formal agreement, a group governed by a recognition of somekind of authority. Forget the intentions and call it as it is– Anarchism isn’t Socialism, but Syndicalism is just a vague euphemism for Socialism.

    Besides, I’m not “grabbing every element of the left” under such collectivist generalizations. I’m just generalizing the harmful systems of ideas from more destructive ones. Unfettered socialism posits that individuals have no right to exist for their own sake, that their lives and their work do not belong to them, but belong to society, that the only justification of their existence is their service to society, and that society may dispose of them in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.
    To quote Tara Smith “The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights; under socialism, the right to property (which is the right of use and disposal) is vested in “society as a whole,” i.e., in the collective, with production and distribution controlled by the state, i.e., by the government.”
    Socialism, even if it could be practiced according to the ideal, has a premise I cannot agree with.
    As for Anarchy– it’s as simple as this, we need a government to protect people from other people who implement force, coercion and fraud. Society needs laws, and thereby, needs a group to enforce them.

    @#134 mdhatter
    I’m not just name calling (okay, calling Chomsky and idiot is childish), but I’m also trying to make a point.

    @#135 hagbard
    Collectivist, socialist, fascist, tomato, tomahto, etc. Fascism is a more worse form of collectivism but it doesn’t disprove the general premise.

    Believe it or not, I’m trying to find common ground and not be argumentative for argumentativeness sake.

  226. FoetusNail says:

    MDHatter – While we may be one of the most militarized nations since Sparta it is not completely without reason.

    One of the outstanding reasons for our extreme budget compared to other Nations is our Navy, which is the chief protector of the world’s sea lanes. The Coast Guard, Marines, and Air Force also play a part in this mission. Our trade and that of every nation on earth depends on our continued watch.

    So even if we were to suddenly shift to a less militarized economy we would still be spending disproportionally to other Nations.

    This is one place where we should recieve a little credit on our UN dues, which we have shamefully avoided paying.

  227. Phikus says:

    Undeniably, bush has done more for “Al Quaeda” than anyone, even Mr. Bin Laden. After all, they’re old buddies. It was the Saudis, and the Bin Laden family specifically, that bailed out w’s failed oil company (his father wouldn’t even do that) and it was w that made sure all the Bin Laden family were escorted out of the country on 9-12, when no one else in the country, not even H.W. could fly. Propping Al Q. up as enemy no. 1 simply ensured they would get droves of followers streaming in for years to come, which bush’s policies and tactics made even more of a certainty. Still don’t believe Al Q. and the bushes are linked by a golden chain and had the most to gain from 9-11 and the ensuing war (other than Cheney’s Halliburton)? Consider the Carlyle Group.

  228. Takuan says:

    perhaps people should worry less about labels and categories and just look at real world results: Numbers killed,numbers starving, numbers maimed, numbers denied any hope of school or work, numbers denied any medical care, numbers denied clean water. You know, like that.

  229. hagbard says:

    I could go on and on about capitalism vs socialism, or individualism vs collectivism, but I think it would be off-topic for this thread. Chomsky was brought up in reference to his thoughts about US foreign policy and terrorism, IMO, and not his thoughts about labor and capital.

    I think I should have listened to James David earlier.

  230. FoetusNail says:

    The truly bizarre fact is that in spite of all evidence to the contrary 25% of those polled still support this administration. As I said before, this means 25% of Americans are so arrogant as to believe the rest of us in this country, and most others around the world, are simply clueless idiots.

  231. mdhatter says:

    Is the threat totally imaginary?

    No, but is the reaction totally proportional?

    Only if you have your head shoved up your ass.

    That’s classy. You reek of fear.

  232. Jeff says:

    #55, You can reduce all human group dynamics to the basics of communication. So yes, contemporary terrorism can be compared to many similar systems. But unfortunately our history can not show us a time when the pathology of culture has been combined with so much readily available communications and weapons technology. If terrorism is going to become a greater fact of life than it already is, then using every bit of advanced technology at our disposal to fight with seems to be a logical tactic. IMHO. Anything else would seem pitifully Luddite.

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