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  • Deltapooh
    replied
    Our image will continue to decline until the world needs us to save their asses. That's how it always is. The South Korean President once said he wanted all American soldiers to leave SK. Rumsfield said that was fine with him. When the SK president realized the man was serious, he shut up.

    Europe is convinced it's pretty much safe now. That's going to change the moment the first Chinese Carrier Battle Group sail within a few hundred miles of the main land.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeJ
    replied
    Just some relevant news clippings. Al Qaeda may not have anticipated the extent of the US response, but it would seem this declining regard for the US is what they've long been wanting.

    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...news-headlines

    Poll: U.S. Image Abroad Worse Since Iraq War
    By William Douglas
    WASHINGTON BUREAU

    June 4, 2003

    Washington - The United States' image abroad, bad before the war against Iraq, has plunged further in its aftermath, according to a survey released yesterday.

    The poll, conducted in 20 countries and the Palestinian Authority by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, found softening international support for the war on terrorism, growing fear in several countries that they will be attacked by the United States, and an expansion of deep distrust among Muslims of President George W. Bush and his policies.

    "The war with Iraq has further divided the publics of the world," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. "The rift between Americans and Western Europeans has widened and the bottom has fallen out in support of the U.S. in most of the Muslim world."

    Most of the respondents named Bush as the main source of their mistrust of America. In a blow to the White House, U.S. residents questioned said that, on foreign affairs, they had more faith in British Prime Minister Tony Blair than in Bush.

    Eighty-three percent of U.S. residents said they have "a lot" or "some" confidence in Blair to do the right things on international issues while 78 percent said the same about Bush. Only one country, Israel, picked Bush first as a world leader they trust.

    The most dramatic element of the survey, conducted between April 28 and May 15, was the continuing free-fall of America's image in Muslim countries.

    In Indonesia, favorable opinion of the United States nose-dived from 75 percent in 1999/2000 to 61 percent last summer to 15 percent last month. In Jordan, a U.S. ally, favorable opinion fell from 25 percent last summer to 1 percent last month.

    And Muslims' regard for Osama bin Laden was up in several countries. Seventy-one percent of Palestinian respondents and 58 percent of Indonesians said they have confidence in bin Laden to "do the right thing regarding world affairs."

    Following the U.S. war in Iraq, more than 71 percent of those polled in Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey said they are worried American forces could invade their lands.

    "Something that I'd never thought I'd see and something that is of great concern to me is that people now fear American power," said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who chairs the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

    "The strong dislike of the United States is no longer concentrated in the regions of conflict, that is the Mideast and Pakistan," Kohut said. "It now extends into Africa ... and Indonesia."

    At the same time, the intensely negative pre-war view of the United States eased in some countries, particularly in Western Europe. In Britain, 70 percent viewed the United States favorably - more than the 43 percent measured in March, but less than the 83 percent in 1999/2000, Kohut said. Patterns were similar in Germany, France and Italy.

    "A belief that the U.S. pursues a unilateralist foreign policy has only grown all around the world after the war," Kohut said. That has contributed to a dip in support for Bush's global war on terrorism.

    The survey was based on about 16,000 interviews conducted in 31 languages. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three to four percentage points.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deltapooh
    replied
    Islamic Fundamentalism is a political movement meant to undermine Western interest in the Middle East and ultimately supress the great powers on Earth, facilitating success. Bin Laden miscalculated American resolve. We'd spent the last decade or so proving time and again America lacked staying power and resolve to tolerate great risk in the Middle East.

    The West is scared of Arabs. They beat the British into submission, and undermined American foriegn policy. In some cases they have reasons not to like us. However, todays movement goes beyond the efforts of the CIA or anyone else. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out how important the region is to maintaining the status of the US and others. Whoever controls the oil flow has great leverage and power.

    Most of the pro-Western governments in power today are hated for not using that leverage to promote Islam. Democracy robbed the all-powerful Clerics of many of their powers. Thus, they are using those tools to change that. The twisted governments we all enjoy blaming each other for installing are actually not much different from anti-Western governments. Case in point, Iran. The government there eliminated the American influence. Yet, I doubt many people would know the difference, except maybe when they are being beaten, the guards take a moment to pray at sunrise and sunset.

    Bin Laden wants to depose the Saudi monarchy not because of the hardships it's brought to the people, but to seize power, and use that as leverage to expand his position. As MikeJ stated, 9/11 was an eventual move Al-Qaeda needed to make. It was an acceptable risk because the US had shown a lack of resolve in the Middle East that was nothing short of cowardly. Saddam and Somalia were just two examples of this weakness.

    Most Muslims in the Middle East saw the Gulf War as King Faad trying to give the White Satan an opportunity to improve their position with them. Issues after the war, particularly, the continuation of operations, fueled the ideal we had exploited that opportunity to our advantage.

    The US appeared weak and impotent. So Bin Laden seized the opportunity.

    As for the Palestinians, the uprisings are putting pressure on the US to get Israel out. Despite the huge casualties, Israel is appearing to concede. That's what matters to the Palestinians and fanatics in the Islam world. They must appear strong, not giving an inch to inspire support.

    To be honest, Palestinian's oppression by the Israelis is not an exception. Nobody wants the Palestinians. Arab support is likely driven both by hatred of Israel, and the desire to keep the Palestinians off their hands.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeJ
    replied
    Originally posted by LanceRunolfsson

    If their goal was the destruction of themselves and the Taliban and the US occupation of two Moslem Nations then they have succeeded brilliantly. The worst thing that ever happened to any Arab was the withdrawal of the European Colonial powers after WWII. The Moslem has displayed such startling incapacity for self governance. That it would seem that foreign occupation no matter how brutal or repressive would be an improvement for them over any thing they are capable of producing themselves.
    The occupation of Muslim nations is certainly a potential means to an end. Many Muslims are angry that US soldiers are occupying these nations and if that can be built upon then Al Qaeda is closer to realizing their objectives.

    As for their inability for self-governance, one look at all new states after colonisation seems to suggest this is not limited to Muslims. And then of course, there is foreign interference.

    We could conclude that South Americans can not govern themselves, pointing to the turbulence during the Cold War - but then much of that was caused by either of the superpowers or their respective intelligence services.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeJ
    replied
    Originally posted by LanceRunolfsson

    What was going on was a phased withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and the Land for peace initiative very stupid for the Israelis but they were doing it. The uprising and the assassination of the Israeli prime minster by an Jewish orthodox fanatic put this all to a halt.
    The second intifada and the sporadic violence that preceeded came much too late for a link to be established here.

    After Rabin's assasination, the phased withdrawl was not completed. Settlement expansion rapidly increased under Netanyahu.

    The uprising didn't begin until several years later.


    Really all the uprising has accomplished is reminding most Israelis that the Arabs will never tolerate the existence of a Jewish state in Israel (I'm not necessarily saying that there should be one just pointing up facts.).
    Not to condone it, but as I said earlier, it seems to be the only time the international community tries to deal with the issue - when violence is high. Under Netanyahu the level of violence was tolerable to the world community and the peace process was totally stalled. Nobody outside the immediate region gave a damn, because the violence wasn't flooding their daily news.


    Though the current peace plan has the Israeli government recognizing the possibility of a Palestine unlike Americans the Israelis are not naive enough to truly belive that the Arab idea of a Palestine will not always be one that includes the entirety of the old British mandate. The problem with the Pals is that there are so many of them that are so stupid that they want an all or nothing outcome now. And will not accept an interim "improvement" in their condition. Neither side occupies a moral high ground OTH the Pals are in a position to "improve" their current position where the Israelis are not. The reason I keep putting "improve" in quotes is because when they are not revolting Arabs in Israel have much better living conditions than in most of the Arab world. [/B]
    Well the Arab league did offer to normalize relations for adherance to the principles of the Oslo accord.

    Palestinian polls show distinct cause and effect relationships between the peace process and terror. Most polls seem to indicate that only a small minority ( I think around 20%? ) believe Palestine should include all of the British mandate. Most seem to equate Palestine with West Bank + Gaza. An important note that support for the terrorists (whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel) does not mean support for their goals. It may just mean support for anyone who is fighting the guys rolling tanks up and down their streets, or support for the social programs (upon which many in the occupied territories rely) of organizations like Hamas.

    Leave a comment:


  • LanceRunolfsson
    replied
    From a purely logical standpoint, 9/11 was the move Al Qaeda had to eventually make.
    If their goal was the destruction of themselves and the Taliban and the US occupation of two Moslem Nations then they have succeeded brilliantly. The worst thing that ever happened to any Arab was the withdrawal of the European Colonial powers after WWII. The Moslem has displayed such startling incapacity for self governance. That it would seem that foreign occupation no matter how brutal or repressive would be an improvement for them over any thing they are capable of producing themselves.

    Leave a comment:


  • LanceRunolfsson
    replied
    What would have been the net result of no Palestinian uprising?
    Mike,
    What was going on was a phased withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and the Land for peace initiative very stupid for the Israelis but they were doing it. The uprising and the assassination of the Israeli prime minster by an Jewish orthodox fanatic put this all to a halt. Really all the uprising has accomplished is reminding most Israelis that the Arabs will never tolerate the existence of a Jewish state in Israel (I'm not necessarily saying that there should be one just pointing up facts.). Though the current peace plan has the Israeli government recognizing the possibility of a Palestine unlike Americans the Israelis are not naive enough to truly belive that the Arab idea of a Palestine will not always be one that includes the entirety of the old British mandate. The problem with the Pals is that there are so many of them that are so stupid that they want an all or nothing outcome now. And will not accept an interim "improvement" in their condition. Neither side occupies a moral high ground OTH the Pals are in a position to "improve" their current position where the Israelis are not. The reason I keep putting "improve" in quotes is because when they are not revolting Arabs in Israel have much better living conditions than in most of the Arab world.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeJ
    replied
    Originally posted by LanceRunolfsson

    But actually this is probably a fairly accurate assessment. What has been the net result of the Palestinian uprising? A delay of Israeli withdrawal from the west bank! if not for the uprising the Pals would have had an autonomous zone Juden Frie as it were two years ago at least. What was the net result of 9/11? A political windfall for the anti Arab, Fascist, political right, in the US. The destruction of a Moslem fundamentalist state. The creation of an environment in which terrorist operations are much more difficult to execute. The near destruction of the largest Moslem terrorist network on the planet. The destruction of Sadams regime. Yeah them Moslem fanatics are real crafty indeed:^)
    What would have been the net result of no Palestinian uprising? Settlement expansion. What happened when Palestinians weren't blowing themselves up? The world forgot about them. Status quo was fine.

    Sadly, it's only when people are dying that the idea of a Palestinian state gets attention.

    As for Al Qaeda, perhaps the only way they're getting their fringe ideology mainstream (which is in turn the only way they're going to see a unified Islamic state) is by giving them an external enemy they can unite against.

    From a purely logical standpoint, 9/11 was the move Al Qaeda had to eventually make.

    How else were they going to achieve their objectives?

    Leave a comment:


  • LanceRunolfsson
    replied
    People must see something to believe. Most of the west see Arab terrorists as a bunch of stupid, murderous fanatics who have a hard time working a tiolet, let alone developing ingenious ways to promote their political ideals.
    But actually this is probably a fairly accurate assessment. What has been the net result of the Palestinian uprising? A delay of Israeli withdrawal from the west bank! if not for the uprising the Pals would have had an autonomous zone Juden Frie as it were two years ago at least. What was the net result of 9/11? A political windfall for the anti Arab, Fascist, political right, in the US. The destruction of a Moslem fundamentalist state. The creation of an environment in which terrorist operations are much more difficult to execute. The near destruction of the largest Moslem terrorist network on the planet. The destruction of Sadams regime. Yeah them Moslem fanatics are real crafty indeed:^)

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeJ
    replied
    The missile would need to fly very low to avoid radar
    I don't see any real need for this kind of weapon to avoid radar.

    Leave a comment:


  • tigersqn
    replied
    Originally posted by Tim McBride

    Perhaps, Uranium and Plutoniam are very heavy dense materials though; I wonder if you could get enough in the payload, since you need explosives and a detinator(Something that is a proximity system(ie for an airburst), since an impact explosive of a dirty bomb would lessen the effect)
    There are other, less dense materials (and easier to obtain) which could be used in the manufacture of a "dirty bomb"; such as Cesium 137, Cobalt 57, Strontium 85, etc..... Although the applicable materials have varying levels of radioactivity, any detected radioactivity in a terrorist explosion would be sure to cause a wave of panic in the surrounding area. This, ultimately, is the goal of the terrorist; to sow fear.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deltapooh
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeJ


    Well, in a terrorist context is that really necessary? Cities worth hitting tend to be large. GPS guidance is probably not used to necessarily be extremely precise, but because it would be a cost efficient (and easily procured) way to guide the missile to its target.

    Not to mention Galileo is officially a go now, which means there will probably be another system to use if the US shuts down its GPS network for security reasons.

    I think I read somewhere that the EU is planning on eventually using the Galileo system to run transport. Cars, trucks, airplanes, etc could all become dependant on GPS/Galileo, which means emergency shut downs would probably not be possible.
    The missile would need to fly very low to avoid radar. Depending on it's path, that could push the missile to altitudes where defensive forces can detect and possibly intercept them. Yet, if it's coming in from the sea to hit a costal city, it could fly low and avoid obstacles.

    One solution would be to design a program similar to what is used in Tomahawks. You simply input varying altitudes for GPS locations. As the missile passes that point, it changes altitude. It's not perfect, but can't be too difficult.

    Tomahawks are so expensive because of all the things they can do. However, terrorist don't need things like update capabilities, heavy payloads, and long ranges. All they need is to get the missile from point A to point B without being destroyed.

    GPS is still not exact. The military using codes can get reading down to a few feet. Civilian accuracy is far less. However, again, as MikeJ, accuracy is not the most important thing.

    Probably enough for a so called "dirty bomb" though. Or even chemical or biological warheads if they can figure out an adequate means of dispersal.
    I'm confident once it is proven, people will feel justified in funding payload and range increases. 22kg isn't alot. As Tim McBride pointed out, you need the means to make the weapon effective. That can eat up weight as well. However a GPS or timed fuse shouldn't weigh too much. I'm also certain the terrorist could get their hands on altitude based fuses.

    Either way, cruise missiles are a dangerous threat I don't believe the government is doing enough to address.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeJ
    replied
    The advantage to something like this over a car bomb is that you don't need access to whatever you're trying to hit.

    I bet with a slightly larger investment the range could be increased (while keeping the size reasonably small) and its real use from a terrorist perspective would be for groups like Hamas or Hezbollah to fire rockets into Israeli population centers.

    How it might affect the US? Well, something as small and mobile as this can be fired off a boat presumably. Don't even need to enter the US to hit many of the densest population centers in North America. With no way to cover every inch of territorial waters efficiently it would render useless all the increased port security and customs checks intended to prevent WMD delivery into the continental US.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tim McBride
    replied
    Originally posted by tigersqn


    Probably enough for a so called "dirty bomb" though. Or even chemical or biological warheads if they can figure out an adequate means of dispersal.
    Perhaps, Uranium and Plutoniam are very heavy dense materials though; I wonder if you could get enough in the payload, since you need explosives and a detinator(Something that is a proximity system(ie for an airburst), since an impact explosive of a dirty bomb would lessen the effect)

    Leave a comment:


  • tigersqn
    replied
    Originally posted by Tim McBride
    His payload is only 22kg, range is limited to 100miles.......

    A Tomahawk can carry roughly a 1,000 pound warhead, a distance of 700+ miles.........

    22kg is a small amount of RDX, car bombs are more effective and they have the people willing to deliver them
    Probably enough for a so called "dirty bomb" though. Or even chemical or biological warheads if they can figure out an adequate means of dispersal.

    Leave a comment:

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