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More On Tragedy 2087

Posted by Hemos
from the following-the-news dept.
There's been lots more happening today - arrests and suspect taken from the Westin Hotel in Boston, as well as the Park Hotel in Newton, MA, which is right down the road for me. There's been some thoughtful submissons about people saving the feeds on their [PVR]s, so that the moment isn't lost in time. NATO has invoked Article 5, meaning that for first in history, I believe, the mutual defense clause has been activated. More news included below.
Scott Laird writes "We've received notice that our network facilities in NYC are going to run out of Diesel in ~2 hours, and there's no way to get more diesel to them until lower manhattan is opened up. Since we're located in the same facilties as most of the other major network providers in Manhattan, odds are there are going to be a lot of things dropping off the air this afternoon."

ELBnet writes It would be a godsend if the various survivor registries would pool their data, or if someone sets up a google-like search engine to reach all of them at once - and that is a great idea. I set up the search engine at WWW.ELBnet.com/wtc but need URLs to populate it. Please e-mail me any suggested URLS and I'll add them.

Also please don't /. the site... let the people who need it get to it. Spread the word."

Radio Free Wazee writes "Radio Free Wazee has suspended its normal programming in order to provide a relay for National Public Radio. Most of the sites are slammed -- we've got room for about 320 listeners. You'll need an MP3 player (WinAMP, etc.) -- the stream is at http://live.str3am.com:2310/listen.pls Our web site is http://www.ideashot.com/wazee.org Howard @ radio free waee"

GatorMan writes "The Red Cross and Amazon.com have setup a donations page for disaster relief to aide in the recovery of our people. I've seen it jump $100,000 in an hour (thanks to my $10 I'm sure) with over 25,000 donations so far, very promising. No where else on Earth could you find support like this."

winksmith writes "as many of us look on the recent crashes in horror, we will also be pushed towards more tech solutions to some of the scenarios witnessed. i believe experts agree that the buildings may have stood up to forces of the crash had it not been for the very hot fuel burning w/i the building. the building themselves were designed to take aircraft impacts (albeit circa 1960 aircraft). this disaster may spark re-interest in fuel additives for jet fuel that would immediately put out fires upon impact.

the faa and nasa ran some very extensive tests including the purposeful crashing of a large boeing jet (B720) in december of 1984. the tests were not encouraging. details are available. figure 1-1 shows the jet crashing.

no one can second guess what would have happened, but perhaps continued research into this area might have played a role in saving a few more lives. and still may in the future."

Wiggins writes ""The Internet Fraud Complaint Center recently received several complaints that someone is using the letters, "FBI" or "fbi.gov" in an e-mail address in order to make it seem that the message is coming from an FBI employee. In several cases, the message said, "Your application is approved. Please fill out this form to confirm your identity" and solicited the person's name, address, credit card number and expiration date." More on the http://www.ifccfbi.gov/. I am sure /. users know better, but the general populace doesn't (always)."

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More On Tragedy

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  • by hhg (200613) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:03PM (#2288278)
    I would like to thank all of you who have contributed with your comments here on slashdot in regards to this case in the last two days. You have been an invaluble source for extensive information far beyond what any comercial news-source could ever be. You have given a human perspective to the unimaginable.

    Again, thank you. And God bless us all.
  • by compuslave (521127) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:05PM (#2288292)
    with the enourmous amount of hackers and computer specialists in the slashdot community, it seems that this community could be used to identify the responsible parties, and aid the authorities. I am not asking for vigilante action, but maybe some targeted information gathering. I'm thinking is terms of bots to collect information and a central database to gather and mine data. after important data has been verified (prevent passing on false rumors) then passing the results to the authorities. We've got all this computing power. It's time to use it for something more important than Quake.
  • by sien (35268) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:07PM (#2288301) Homepage
    I'd just like to say that I've used slashdot a bit over the past two days and I've been impressed.
    Of course there has been wild speculation that was inaccurate - but there was also this everywhere.
    The accounts of survivors here and some of the links provided have been really good.
    What does everyone else thing of slashdot's coverage ?
  • Arm Pilots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by catseye_95051 (102231) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:07PM (#2288304)
    This ocurred to me last night.

    Every commercial airline pilot i have ever met was an ex air-force pilot. (In the USe abotu the only way to learn to fly jhets is to join the US Airforce.)

    Given that, I would think they have training on the proper handling of a side arm. Maybe its time to arm them all.

  • by LordNimon (85072) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:07PM (#2288306)
    it was hard to think anything but "nuke the middle east back into stone age"

    Hard for you, maybe, but not for the 7+ million Muslims in the United States who condemn this attack just like everyone else. No, these people are thinking, "Shit, now everyone is going to blame all of us right away."

  • by henley (29988) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:09PM (#2288321) Homepage

    I'm in the UK, and I have no PVR. This is a comment regarding motive & conclusions, not facts.

    In that vein, and regardless of my feelings about the gentleman concerned, under the circumstances I am very prepared to cut him some slack. I wouldn't trust myself to get a 4-word sentence out straight if placed in a similar situation. Any assistance the man needed to get the right words out to the world would be very astute and appropriate.

    All IMHO, obviously....

  • Your head... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:11PM (#2288345)
    is up your ass.

    To do nothing will embolden more attackers.
  • Re:Arm Pilots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:13PM (#2288362) Homepage
    Well, maybe, but then there would always be guns on the aircraft, freeing the hijaakers from having to figure out how to smuggle them on board. Instead, they could just sneak up on the pilots and grab the guns from them. Perhaps if the guns were "keyed" to the pilots' thumbprints or something, so that they couldn't be used by anyone else...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:13PM (#2288371)
    And why shouldn't they? When did the last Christian suicide bomber blow up a building in the United States?
  • by LordNimon (85072) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:16PM (#2288402)
    Killing terrorists in retaliation won't work - they've already demonstrated they're not afraid of death

    You don't kill terrorists to punish them, you kill them to get rid of them! The more terrorists you kill, the less terrorism there will be. Duh!

    Of course, the hard part is killing only the terrorists and sparing the innocent victims of Mid-East strife.

  • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:23PM (#2288452) Journal
    I think one of the key aspects of this act of terrorism was the use of passenger planes. What will you be thinking of next time you board a plane for a cross-country flight? That's just what the terrorists want you to think. A UPS plane wouldn't have been as effective for that.
  • by hoggoth (414195) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:23PM (#2288454) Journal
    This isn't supposed to be flamebait, but I'm sure I'll get slammed for it. I'm not going to be an anonymous coward over this, so please respond with thought not blind bigotry.


    The people who did this are barbaric animals with no regard for life.


    Having said that, perhaps the U.S. should think twice about supporting and funding Israel's occupation and methodical elimination of the Palestinian homeland. It's no surprise that the Middle East region all refers to Israel as the 51st state of the USA. I wish influential American Jews would do more to push for moderation in Israel and for US separation from the issue.

    Just recently the UN discussions used some 'heated' words to describe Israel's policies (racist, etc) and both Israel and the US walked out of the talks. Why is condemnation of Israeli policy an insult to the US? The US and Israel are rightfully seen as a political unit. Why are my tax dollars paying for this?

    Now I'm sure public opinion will swing even more strongly against any Arab viewpoints, making any peace unlikely.


    For the record I am neither Arabic nor Jewish. Just a citizen of the USA that has become more and more disheartened to see a nation of people that know terrible oppression firsthand now dishing it out.

  • by Synn (6288) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:23PM (#2288462)
    It's real simple. We've known of terrorist orginazations for decades but have done very little to combat it.

    All civilized nations need to delcare war on terrorism.

    Make it real simple:

    If you're a terrorist organzation you are at war with us and will be treated as such(ie killed).

    If you are a country that habors or funds terrorists you will be treated no differently than the terrorists.

    There needs to be a message sent that terrorism in any form will no longer be tolerated and treaties should be put into place so that if it rears its ugly head again in the future it'll be eliminated with the same vengence we used on those that commited these acts.

  • Re:Arm Pilots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by henley (29988) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:24PM (#2288469) Homepage
    Every commercial airline pilot i have ever met was an ex air-force pilot. (In the USe abotu the only way to learn to fly jhets is to join the US Airforce.) Given that, I would think they have training on the proper handling of a side arm. Maybe its time to arm them all.

    I have two points for your consideration:

    1. Do you have any idea how Bad a thing it is to puncture a thin-skinned pressure vessel? Let alone one containing hundreds of people at altitude potentially over an inhabited area?
    2. I can't quote stats (and under the circumstances I don't want to quote stats) but it occurs to me that the number of law enforcement personnel attacked or injured by their own weapon is non-trivial.

    Firearms on civil aircraft... nope, that's a scary idea. Try Again.

  • by AugstWest (79042) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:25PM (#2288484)
    ...that on some level, we brought this upon ourselves.

    Our "defense" industry is largely what caused this debacle -- the number one export for the United States is weapons. Think about that for a second -- we make more money selling weapons to the rest of the world than any other thing that we make.

    The middle eastern countries are mostly split into 2 factions. We, in the United States, choose one of the 2 teams and sell arms to them. Often, we will sell arms to both sides. Remember iran-contra? Anyone? Anyone? Oh, wait, that was patriotic heroism. Only a crackhead or a defense industry salesman would sell fucking ARMS to IRAN.

    So, basically, our #1 export is pouring gasoline on fires that have burned for thousands of years. Eventually, one of those fires hits us back here at home, and everyone wants to cry out "more defense" as if this could protect us, or help us sleep at night.

    This attack is a reminder that ballistic missles aren't going to save us anymore. Star wars isn't going to stop 8 men with knives from hijacking
    domestic flights.

    The only thing that is going to save us a sane, rational foreign policy that doesn't incense our enemies in the middle east.

    This isn't even a partisan issue. Clinton is as much to blame as either Bush, Ronald Reagan is as much to blame as Lyndon Johnson.

    We as a nation need to stop instigating fights if we want to stay out of them. It's that simple.
  • Fix The Planes (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jmvidal (21345) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:26PM (#2288490) Homepage Journal
    Im amazed that no one has proposed the obvious technical solutions to this specific problem. I, for one, am amazed that this did not happen earlier. In a distributed system no single agent should have too much power. Pilots of jumbo jets have too much distructive power. We need to fix that.

    For example, if a plane diverges from its set flight-path a mechanism should kick-in which sets it on autopilot at x-thousand feet. This can only be overriden by ground control.

    Or, how about a button that upon pressing locks the airplane on a fixed altitude and sounds the alarm. You know, like the safe in any convinence store.

    Submit your own idea.

  • by Ghoser777 (113623) <[moc.cam] [ta] [abnerhaf]> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:29PM (#2288509) Homepage
    Ohpss, I meant to say some; I didn't want to implicate all. Secondly, I am a Chrisitian, so that's why I abhor this type of conduct. Thridly, there may never have been a suicide bombing by a Chrisitian, but there defintely have been bombings.

    Oh yeah, what about Christians that are for the death penalty (they exist). If they are against the death penalty, do we still consider them pro-life?

    F-bacher
  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:29PM (#2288512)
    Bush was correct to make the hosts of terrorists as guilty as the terrorists themselves. Just as in criminal law it is illegal to aid a criminal, so it must be with regards to states and terrorists. Hopefully in the future, nations will look at the treatment "host" nations get and give them pause. They may also step up efforts to suppress terrorists internally before they act.

    Secondly, we have to be realistic about striking back at terrorists and the nations who host them. This has little to do with right and wrong - the US has meddled in the Middle East for decades, and Islamic regimes are well known for their support of terror policies. There are no innocent parties, so forget about who has morality on their side. Start worrying about protecting your famillies, interests, values, and property. You were never in the "right" so forget about sheltering your petty morality. This is a war. You will have to kill innocent civillians. If you do not, you may die. Those who support Islamic fundamentalist regimes are your enemy, regardless of their direct involvement with terrorist acts.

    Americans killed plenty of innocent Germans and Italians and Japanese in WW2 to protect its interests. It was acceptable then, it is acceptable now.

  • by frknfrk (127417) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:30PM (#2288521) Homepage
    let's not forget that the US and others would LOVE to send aid, food, medicine, etc, to the PEOPLE of Iraq. However Saddam does not allow this. and let's not forget that it was an Iraqi army which marched over Kuwait, and was repelled. and let's not forget that it has been Iraq which has persisted in the attempt to build nuclear and biological weapons when it is obvious that Saddam cannot be allowed to possess these weapons.

    bottom line: food, medicine, and other aid is readily offered to the people of Iraq. the government of Iraq (Saddam) will not allow this aid to be given, then turns and tells the people of Iraq that the US denies them food, medicine, and safety. that the US bombs them without cause.

    maybe Saddam should stop trying to build biological weapons and allow his people to eat. but then he wouldn't have fear to rule them with.

    i can't believe i am saying this, but perhaps Saddam should look to Khadafi (yes, Khadafi) as an example of a leader who sets aside his own goals and looks to provide his people with a future in the next century.

    -sam
  • Re:Arm Pilots (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NedAtl (521242) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:31PM (#2288536)
    If your arm the pilots, then you have to train the pilots. After trained getting a firearm from one would be as difficult for an assailent to get a firearm from a police or FBI officer, different story than just handing a firearm over to a bunch of untrained(firearms wise) pilots.

    A more logical solution which has been brought up is the reinstatement of the Air Marshall programs.
    An armed US marshal is a threat to any terrorist if their on the aircraft.

    and while I HATE to point to anything the PROC does good. They have had "Air Police" for some time, they utilize plastic rounds in 9mm's to prevent the rounds from being able to depressurize the cabin. Perhaps a thought.

    Ned
  • by AntiFreeze (31247) <antifreeze42 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:35PM (#2288575) Homepage Journal
    You are absolutely correct. Terrorism's point is to force a change within your target -- in this case, retaliation could be exactly what the terrorists are hoping for. I sure don't know what they're thinking.

    Doing absolutely nothing would be an impressive reaction. But it will never happen. America must react. Why? My reasoning is slightly different than yours: Politicians must fight for re-election. Any politician who is against retaliation would be comitting professional suicide. Speaking of reservations is one thing, but doing anything other than fully going along with whatever the President's plan will be would cause a massive public uproar. This has caused to much pain for too many people -- ignoring it is not an option. Emotions conflict with logical reasoning. I've unfortunately encounterred this sentiment more frequently than I'd like to admit.

  • Re:Arm Pilots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by glebfrank (58922) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:35PM (#2288579)
    I would think they have training on the proper handling of a side arm. Maybe its time to arm them all.

    I see a few replys to your post saying "shooting a gun in pressurized cabin is dangerous, blah blah blah." May I remind them that since yesterday, the safety of the plane and its passengers is NO LONGER the chief concern. That era is gone, say bye bye.
  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:35PM (#2288583)
    Global commerce has little to do with this issue. More relevant is US support for Israel and the oil sheiks. The Islamic fundamentalists want the oil sheiks out of the Middle East so they can turn the monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait), into theocracies (Afghanistan).

    I am not condemming US policy - the US was right to support the Israelis, and the oil sheiks have been filling our cars with cheap gas for decades.

  • Re:Fix The Planes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow (508) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:36PM (#2288586) Homepage
    Sure, and the first time someone switches on a call phone during a landing approach the plane takes control away from the pilot?

    Taking control away from the pilots isn't the solution here. Making sure the pilots are able to retain control of the aircraft is the only way to avert tragedies like this.

    There are at least two ways to accomplish this:

    1. Physically seperate the flight crew from the cabin.
    2. Protect the flight crew.

    Personally, I'd much rather fly on a plane featuring an armed-to-the-teeth Marine than on one where a computer might decide to take over on behalf of the pilot. Being a geek, I have very little faith in all-powerful technology.
  • by Mtgman (195502) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:40PM (#2288630)
    Not only monetarially, even though my company [sprint.com] has donated over $500,000 already, there have been many, many more stories of fantastic generosity in the face of these attacks. Allow me to share a story.

    I have a story to relate about blood donating today. My wife Melissa and I went to our local donation center yesterday to try to donate blood. We picked our daughter Alexis up early from school and went to stand in line. We got there around 3 and put our names on the list. After waiting about 45 minutes or so we were told it would be at least a couple more hours, so we went home and made some sandwiches and had a light dinner, then went back around 5. Around 6:20 we were told the nurses were exhausted and wouldn't be able to get very many more people through and we were asked to make appointments for donating the next day. We made an appointment for noon the next day and left.

    All of that is kind of peripheral to the story though. The real story is the vast number of other people who were there. There was a line of people out the door and halfway around the building. I'd estimate a hundred people or more. For a donation center which only services about a dozen people a day on a regular day, this was an extremely busy day. They were eliminating much of the paperwork and putting it off so they could keep up the rate at which they actually drew blood(I later found out that they had stayed past 11 to catch up on the paperwork even though they stopped drawing blood around 7). But the donors were there, and they stayed there for HOURS. There were people who were there, standing outside the doors of the donation center, from before noon until almost 6 PM. The mood was very friendly, there was not too much chatting, everything was kind of subdued, but optimistic and glad to do whatever they could to help, even though they were hundreds of miles away(the DFW area) and no one I spoke with knew anyone in those areas. They were just there because they felt it was the right thing to do. There was a little bit of grumbling when people were turned away, but most made future appointments.

    Today Melissa and I went back for our noon appointment. The place was packed again. There was a line out the door AGAIN! There were donations of food and refreshments from local stores. Papa Johns pizza had a person who had come out early that morning with the back of his SUV loaded with pizza and sodas. He donated blood and then spent the rest of the day handing out pizza and drinks to any and everyone who wanted some who was waiting in line. He left a couple of times to go get more and fresh pizza for the staff and people donating. The backup and wait was large again. People were taking a number, getting a time estimate of when their number would be called then going back to work and calling in when their time was close. If they were about to be called, they left work and came back. And they REALLY DID COME BACK!

    Jason's Deli dropped off several party trays of snacks and bags and bags of deli sandwiches like they would bring to a catered event. The Kroger down the street came by with supplies of bottled water and food because many people, myself included, were skipping lunch to come stand in line. Both today and last night there were several people who took the day off work/school to volunteer at the center to handle the non-medical work. They were passing out questionnaires, making sure all the donor info was filled out correctly, keeping the lines flowing smoothly and doing their best to keep the work flowing well. I estimate six or seven volunteers last night and an equal number today. Things like bringing new bags and tourniquets for the nurses, keeping the lines in order, walking up and down the lines answering questions about the wait, how long you have to wait between donations, reassuring people who were first-time donors and who were nervous.

    There was a young man who skipped school today because he felt that volunteering to help the nurses at the donation center was more important. When I saw him he was helping a woman who was feeling faint after donating by keeping her company and keeping a cool, wet rag on her forehead and bringing her drinks and snacks. He was running errands for the nurses and helping patients in any way he could. He was cracking jokes and making many people feel more comfortable during what is a very nerve wracking experience for first time donors. The nurses expressed their appreciation for his efforts a couple of times in the short time I was there.

    The number of people who shared their time, their money, their very lifeblood(literally!) to give aid to strangers whom they shared nothing with except the distinction of being Americans. Then the acknowledgement of the needs of the support workers who do vital things like draw blood and the outpouring of help given by volunteers and local businesses. Melissa and I were spending time re-assuring first time donors(I've donated well over a gallon and Melissa has donated several times as well) and while she was on the table(after I was done) I took the kids and went across the street and purchased several gallons of orange juice and apple juice to stock the pantry of the donation center(it is important to drink juice or water, not soda, because soda is a diuretic). I wish I could do more and so do many of the other people who were in line. America has a fantastic reputation for pulling together in a time of crisis, and I consider myself privileged to have been in the same room with so many giving, caring people yesterday and today. If any of you can, please donate blood and/or support the Red Cross.

    I'm including a snippet of an email sent out to us at work with contact info for the local Red Cross and donation info. If you're not in the DFW area, please look up your local chapter and ask what they need. Typically they need money because they can't ship supplies up there due to air travel restrictions.

    If you would like to donate money, you can make checks payable to Red Cross, and mail directly to:

    Red Cross
    4800 Harry Hines Blvd.
    Dallas, TX 75235

    Writing DR789 in the memo line of your check will ensure the money goes directly to the victims of the WTC and Pentagon tragedies.

    Or, you can call 1-800-HELP-NOW to make a donation by phone. For more information, go to the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org. Since they are having heavy web traffic today, you may or may not be able to access the site.

    Steven
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:44PM (#2288676)
    I do not think armed pilots is an appropriate measure. I do think that eliminating carry on luggage would be a giant step in securing air traffic. Annoying for passengers, yes. Annoying for would-be hijackers, most definitely.
  • by update() (217397) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:45PM (#2288685) Homepage
    This isn't a useful place to have a substantive discussion of this issue, but can I respectfully suggest you try to acquire a fuller and more balanced understanding of this topic if you're going to hold forth on it?

    Having said that, perhaps the U.S. should think twice about supporting and funding Israel's occupation and methodical elimination of the Palestinian homeland.

    I don't know if you're aware of this but the fundamental problem in that area is that since the founding of Israel, the Arab countries have continuously devoted themselves to its destruction. I think you also have some major misconceptions regarding the nature of a "Palestinian homeland" which could be more accurately described as "whatever area happens to be under Israeli control at the moment".

    Not to diminish the reality that many Arabs did lose their homes and property and that the current occupation is untenable and harmful to both sides.

    Just recently the UN discussions used some 'heated' words to describe Israel's policies (racist, etc) and both Israel and the US walked out of the talks. Why is condemnation of Israeli policy an insult to the US?

    The use of the word "racist" is a non-event. The issue was conference ostensibly intended to fight racism that turned into a wildly anti-semitic assault depicting Israel (one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world) as the sole locus of evil. Yes, it's appropriate that the US government didn't lend legitimacy to it, and European countries should be ashamed of their compliance.

    Why are my tax dollars paying for this?

    If it makes you feel better, think about how much we spend on defense each year. Now think about the dollar value of the fact that Iraq didn't have nukes in 1991. Was aid to Israel cost effective?

    Just a citizen of the USA that has become more and more disheartened to see a nation of people that know terrible oppression firsthand now dishing it out.

    I'm not going to relentlessly cheerlead Israel -- their settlement policy in the West Bank was a mistake and it's come back to haunt them. But it's worth keeping in mind that the only country in that region in which Arabs can vote is Israel. In the rest of the area, the best they can hope for is a reasonably benign king (Morocco, Jordan) or despot (Egypt). And also that the current hostility isn't because Israel denied the Palestinians a homeland but because it offered them one.

  • by codetalker (245862) <mobersne@NoSPaM.chat.carleton.ca> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:47PM (#2288695)

    There are hundreds of known terrorists. I don't think that the point of this lesson is to mobilize the entire United States in the effort to wipe out one specific terrorist group. It should extend to all terrorists. The denial given out by various terrorist groups only show that they are terrorist groups. Since terrorism at any scale is reprehnsible it should not make one iota of difference if you bomb a cafe with no casualties or follow through on the recent, horrible events. You should be treated the same way.

    The problem lies in the fact that there is no tangible target which to direct military force. Bombs cannot descriminate between the innocent and the guilty, soldiers can, but they have to know what to look for. Terrorists are small groups of people who plan in secret and are not very keen on announcing their intentions. The only way to detect these people is with Police and Inteligence agencies. The military can provide the force at that point.

    I bet the US government will attack the Afgahn Taliban and make many arrests, to the cheers of it's citizens, but the problem of terrorism will still remain. The only way to combat this effectively is to severly restrict the freedoms and processes of society as we know it. It's analagous to network security as I'm sure many here can relate. You must constantly screen traffic and be on the look out for bad stuff. Rouge procceses and the like. This means monitoring things much more closely. You had better be prepared for greater Police power and restricted rights. Just imagine, a Police state with 'Firewall USA' installed on your borders harbours and airports. If this is becomes a reality, in an awful sort of sense, this terrorist attack will have succeeded in destroying the American way of life. We can only pray that justice is done and that power is used responsibly.

  • by MagikSlinger (259969) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:49PM (#2288722) Homepage Journal

    Sadly, this is true. I remember hearing about this shortly after the Embassy bombings a couple years ago. In fact, 60 minutes did a profile on Bin Laden and spoke to some of his then supporters in Congress. To say they were upset by the blowback would be an understatement.

    We used the Third World (and I do mean we -- even if you didn't support it, we all payed taxes to support it whether you wanted to or not) as chess pieces in the Cold War. This geopolitical game of chess destroyed nations and killed millions of lives. It has tragically disrupted the lives of several billion people, and turned once self-reliant cultures into those begging children you see in those Save the Children commercials. Now we are all paying the price. The game is over, but the pieces haven't finished. Russia has to deal with Islamic fundamentalists who want to splinter the Russian Federation and just plain get revenge on them for Afghanistan. We have to deal with Saddam Hussein, the theocracy of Iran and the Afghani "freedom fighters" like Bin Laden. All cases of blowback.

    One would hope we would have learned from these mistakes, but we never do...

  • by Mtgman (195502) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:53PM (#2288748)
    I wish I had thought about it when I originally posted that, but the number of people across the metroplex who have been donating blood and helping is staggering. Lest someone look at my figures of a hundred people yesterday and today and think that palty, I would remind you that there were no less than a dozen small centers like the one I was at, all at least equally busy and there were several emergency blood drives set up. The largest was at Reunion Arena in Downtown Dallas and had over 1,600 people in line to donate blood. They had 35 nurses drawing blood full-time and over a hundred assistants and the line was still just barely crawling. The estimated time for those waiting in line was over 8 hours! They had to ask all the non-O type blood donors to go home and come back tomorrow because they couldn't keep up with the sheer press of people who were there to give the gift of life in the wake of this tragedy. All in all there have been thousands and thousands of units of blood donated across the DFW area in the past 36 hours. An amazing response. And as I said in my original post, those who were sent home, even after waiting hours and hours, still CAME BACK THE NEXT DAY! They waited hours AGAIN! All to donate blood for people they don't know, and who will probably never meet. Truly a great gift in todays age of impatience and lack of leisure time.

    Steven
  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:53PM (#2288751)
    Your average terrorist that is willing to smash jetliners into buildings with 25,000 people in them, doesn't give a flying fart about corporate greed and globalization.

    Those are just buzz words for dissatisfied Western youths whom don't know what evils lurk out there in the world.

    What will prevent terrorism? Through out history, the only way to prevent terror is to cleanly and violently defend your interests and remove the heads and bases of the threat.

    I cite the Barbary Coast 1797-1806 and the German Spy threat in the United States and UK from 1939-1945 as examples of this working.

    The Mossad has also had some good experiances with this working as well.

    The French experiance in Spain during the Neopelonic Wars and the German experiance on the Russian Front and Balkins during World War Two as tacticts that do not work.
  • by tcc (140386) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:53PM (#2288752) Homepage Journal
    Here where I work, I've sent an email to everyone saying "if you want to donate but don't want to use your credit card, come to see me to give your donation and I will issue the whole payment as 1 transaction with my credit card, if everyone could donate 5$ or 10$, it's not much, but together we can make a difference".

    Some people do lunches on friday or order pizza, well maybe for juste one week they should be grateful for living and escaping that inhuman act, and bring a lunch and donate the money they'd usually spend.

    Just some ideas... I'm sure some people are reading this right now and wish to pay but don't want to give their CCs because of security in electronic transactions, or go to the trouble of signing up, well now you can do a difference.
  • by sudog (101964) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:56PM (#2288776) Homepage
    The architect of the buildings themselves gave an interview that specifically said that the building were over-engineered for NATURAL disasters, not aircraft crashes. He said they did withstand the impacts but the explosive forces of the impacts probably stripped the fire-proofing from the steel supports, which then probably melted in the jet-fuel heat.

    He said that the sprinkler systems were designed for paper, cardboard, and desk fire loads--jet fuel doesn't respond so well to water sprinklers, that's why the aviation buildings he designed have foam fire extinguisher systems--NOT water.

    Once again, the architect of the trade towers themselves insisted that the buildings were prepared for any natural disaster, but that disasters like this could obviously *not* be prepared for.

    He also said he didn't even know whether or not the sprinkler systems were activated, let alone helping or hindering matters any.

    He said that the heat from the jet fuel melted the steel supports and that probably only a single floor gave way--but that the momentum from the drop (with all the floors above it) was enough to overload the supports below, and the supports below that, and so on right down to ground floor.

    So please make the correction--they weren't designed to withstand jet impact. Maybe a propellor airplane, maybe not--I have no idea where you got that info from. Doesn't matter.

    -sudog
  • by trcooper (18794) <coop.redout@org> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:00PM (#2288817) Homepage
    Not all terrorists do not fear death. Bin Laden for instance does. He's not the one who's performing the suicide attacks, his minions are. The Taliban, who are harboring Bin Laden, also fear death.

    Sure, as I understand it, their belief is that dying for their cause is a straight ticket to heaven, but that doesn't mean they don't fear death. Christians also believe that they will be sent to heaven at their death, but that doesn't erase the fear of death in all of us. And obviously whoever is behind this, fears death, because they haven't taken accountability for it. These people aren't fearless, they're cowards.

    The reason that these terrorists are willing to die isn't common to their culture. It's common to any military establishment. The purpose of training soldiers is to get them to do things rational people would not normally do. We train our soldiers this way, and every army in history had to lead men, who had a better chance of dying than surviving into a battle. In war there is an expected loss of life on all sides, everyone involved is aware of this.

    Making these terrorists out to be somehow braver than Americans is simply false. Up to 300 firefighters risked and lost their lives trying to save people at the WTC. They knew they were at risk, and put their lives in harms way to help someone else. This is bravery on a national scale. A few terrorists lost their lives, to perform a dispicable and cowardly act, this is not bravery.

    These terrorists do not have the tools or the resolution to win. We can, should and will fight them. America has the resources, resolution, and unity to do this, the commitment from our allies only makes us stronger. These terrorists are weak, and they are cowards. They will fall quickly, and those who have harbored them in the past will be afraid to harbor them in the future.
  • Re:The Americans (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:02PM (#2288842)
    First a few facts:


    I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?


    Ever heard about the Airbus corporation? Concorde? The Eurofighter? The Airbus is used by many of the major airlines in the world. The Airbus A350 has perhaps the longest range in any commercial passenger aircraft.


    When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.


    All three countries that you mention have their own corporations which design and manufactures trains, locomotives, railway tracks etc.. they also run and service these themselves. France has the what is considered the best (and the fastest) locomotives in the world. Incidentally, India has one of the largest railway networks in the world. Can you state the time when USA has actually helped these countries run their railway systems?


    I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

    Countries around the world help nations in need. There have been numerous occassions when even small nations such as New Zealand have rushed to the aid of countries in distress - NZ helped out Indonesia during their political crisis..the Dutch aided Israel during the unrest there...to name just a few examples. USA has the largest economy in the world and resources far greater than any other country in the world, so it is not surprising that some of the smaller nations don't rush to aid USA financially.


    My point:

    The USA has a lot of good things going for them and their contribution to the world is extraordinary. But in trying to state this, please don't trash the rest of the world.
  • by jiheison (468171) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:10PM (#2288914) Homepage
    Do you think that Mossad has more or less terrorism to deal with thanks to their effort? If we crack down on terrorist, inevitably harming the innocent and killing the supposed guilty extrajudicially (as Israel is doing), will there be more or fewer people motivated to strike us?

    We haven't exactly taken a soft line on terrorism so far, and look what happened. You simply can't kill them all, and the more you try, the more you spawn.
  • by metachimp (456723) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nibrud.hsidat.> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:11PM (#2288923) Homepage
    We as a nation need to stop instigating fights if we want to stay out of them. It's that simple.


    Or, at the very least, put some forethought into how we conduct ourselves abroad. Internationally, people pay attention to the fact that in the recent past, the US has actively toppled democratically elected governments that we don't like, created insurgencies, and have chosen to ally ourselves with nations that commit injustices both inside their borders and in the territory of their neighbors.

    Our "blank-check and blind-loyalty" policy towards Israel, for instance, is probably one of the main reasons why the attack occurred. We could play a much more constructive role there, I believe. We should condition our military support of Israel on their continued and genuine pursuit of a settlement with the Palestinians. We support the archaic and medieval monarchies of the Persian Gulf, and continuously oppose democratic reform in that area. This is what makes us such a tantalizing target. Some of these 'terrorists' cut their teeth in wars of national liberation, in which we stood on the 'wrong' side.


    That being said, terrorism is a long, slow, painful way to wage a war. Ask any resident of Belfast, Gaza or San Salvador. However, it flourishes wherever people feel systematically victimized and oppressed, and there is no interest in addressing their concerns.


    Religion and/or political ideology are used to short circuit the logic sector of the brain. How else do you get people to steer airliners into buildings? It is not inherent in Islam to condone violence, no more than it is in Christianity, just as the desire for national identity or sovreignty does not require violence. It does give charismatic people the ability to influence others just enough to disengage their rational thought processes. Combine someone like this with groups of people who are traumatized by the misdeeds of a particular country, and violence of the most explosive nature is right around the corner.


    Back to my original point... Perhaps, during the quest for justice that has ensued from these events, it might be in our interest to not just focus on the planners of the attack, but on the larger issues of justice that give rise to these attacks in the first place. It cannot adequately be argued that these people are just simply irrational and they hate us and want us all to die. People don't commit acts like this without what they perceive to be provocation.


    I have heard a lot of people around me say "Why? Why did this happen?" For pete's sake, wake up. The reasons are many. I hate that this happened, and I feel genuine sadness for all those who lost friends and family in the attack. My hope is that down the road, people will take a good hard look at what we, as a nation, do outside our borders. I have read various columnists talk about how we need a national mission in response to these awful atrocities. I have a suggestion: we as a nation, should commit ourselves to re-assessing our activities abroad, confronting hypocrisy in our activities in the global community, and re-committing ourselves to being a nation that fosters justice everywhere, no matter what combination of politically expedient forces are out there.

  • by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:16PM (#2288959) Homepage Journal
    see your children starving to death ....
    see your children dieing on contamination caused by A-10 amunition used in Kuweit/Iraq ...
    see your children die on simple deseases because the embargo let not enough medicals through ....
    see your children be killed by armed civilians thinking your child had a stone in his hand where it was dried bread ...

    I don't think you need to be a fundamentalist to think you have to d something.
    In fact those are the people believing in liberty, those are the people who are not free and prefere to die instead to live under -no freedom-.

    USA denies everybodies freedom except their own citicens' (at least their own citicens believe they are free, nice trick)

    Why does a country, seeming to believe in personal freedom, not understand, that all other people also like to be free?

    Regards,
    angel'o'sphere
  • by Elxmon (110747) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:17PM (#2288966) Homepage
    Does anyone have any objection to facial recognition systems at customs? And a database of people who should either be checked out carefully, bounced, or arrested on the spot? Didn't think so
    I spoke of just such things to my coworkers last night. I worried that people would be jumping on the bandwagon for things like Facial Recognition Cameras at airports. This is not the answer. Who is to say that these people who committed this terrible act have ever been arrested for anything in this nation before, or whatever would have put them on the list of "people who should be checked out carefully"? And who is going to write this software? Will it unfairly discriminate against people with Arabic genetics? I worry enough about those with Arab families recieving an unwanted backlash.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning yesterday's attack any more than the next guy. I was horrified when my roomate's dad called at 730am (when NO ONE ever calls my house) and told me to turn on the news and wake his son up. I went through most of yesterday in shock. And all the news continues to shock me.

    But, my point is, let us not let this tragedy spur us into action that would take away the freedoms that make the United States what it is. The posts someone has posted about the Canadian giving American its due (sorry too lazy to link) sum up some of my feelings. But I'll bet most anyone here that legislation goes through pushing things like Carnivore and Facial Recognition Software in public places that will do more harm than good.
  • by Jethro (14165) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:17PM (#2288971) Homepage
    For the record, I am a citizen of Israel, but have been living in the USA for three years. Probably become a citizen soon if I feel like it.

    Media coverage of the middle-east situation is horrible, biased and very, very one-sided. I've even heard a reported on NPR comment that "...it's hard to sympathise with the three Israeli teenagers who were clubbed to death."

    Israel's so-called military and racist actions are all in response to terrorism - suicide bombers blowing up school busses, streets crowded with children, etc.

    In the past, palestenians have complained about mistreatment and such, and went on a terror spree for years. Israel's response was giving them autonomy, helping the PLO (a known and established terrorist group!) transition into the Palestenian Authority, and pump money into the PA to help them develop. Israel also supplied the PA police force with weapons.

    The current mideast crisis started about a year ago, when the PA was well established, Israel had a pro-peace government, and it looked like there might be peace at long last.

    Then an Israeli official visited a site that's holy to both Islam and Judaism. This is what sparked the whole affair. I will repeat this, because it's important.

    The current Palestenian terrorism was all sparked by an Israeli official visiting a Holy site, holy to both Jewdaism and Islam. They claim he visited, and thus desecrated the muslim part. Their response to this was not a formal comlpaint, not simple outrage, not anything within reason. They broke into the jewish site, killed people, ripped up holy books, and basically wrecked the place. Basically they started rioting, with the PA police force armed by the Israeli governemnt doing absolutely nothing to stop the riots. In fact, they were shooting at the Israeli forces who were forced to come in and take care of the rioters, who were threatening Israeil citizens.

    Point is, Israel went above and beyond what anyone would have imagined a few years ago to solve the terrorist problem in a peaceful way - granting the PA autonomic control of the so-called Occupied Territories. The PA may have tried to make it work for a while - but couls not control the HAMAS and HIZBULLA. Eventually they stopped trying to cnotrol them. Now the PA is basically a launching ground for terrorism.

    Despite this, Israel has acted with restraint - trying to deter terrorists rather than all-out military action. Ironically this is largely due to US demands.

    And don't assume Israel's just taking your tax-money and giving nothing back. Go ask Intel how much of their tech was developed in their Israeli labs. A lot of high-tech stuff originates from Israel.
  • by Arandir (19206) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:18PM (#2288975) Homepage Journal
    During the crusades the Islamic communities of Asia Minor and the Middle East supported and harbored Jewish and Christians from the barbarian Europeans.

    For thirteen hundred years the Islamic faith has been one of peace, civilization and high culture. The Quran condemns the killing of the innocent. It condemns suicide in any form. It condemns the degredation of women.

    Every faith has its extremist bigots who use religion as nothing more than an excuse for their acts of evil.
  • by jiheison (468171) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:26PM (#2288988) Homepage
    I think it is a mistake to assume that there is no rationale behind the hatred for the US. It excuses us from addressing our own shortcomings, and justifys our own irrational violence.

    Terrorists would not be attacking us if we were not a bully in the international community. In fact, when it comes to identifying other lifesyles & political systems that simply can not be tolerated, we are the most guilty. No one has rained more destruction on its ideological enemies than the US.
  • Umm, yeah, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ferkelparade (415620) <sven@lrd g . de> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:26PM (#2288989) Homepage
    ...there is still a slight difference between the criminal himself and someone helping a criminal - and criminal law fully recognizes that difference: the murderer gets the chair (at least in your civilized country, over here, he'll have to settle for lifelong imprisonment), the guy who hides him gets away with maybe a couple of years.

    And, by the way, killing innocent people was acceptable in WW2 and should be equally acceptable now? Did it ever occur to you that that was propably exactly what those suicide pilots were thinking?
  • by Theodore Logan (139352) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:28PM (#2288997)
    This situation is a tragedy. Your attitude is another one. A third is that many people actually seem to agree with you. I have replied to so many posts just like yours these past two days that it's getting tiresome, but I will try once again anyhow.

    This has little to do with right and wrong

    I disagree. When you have to decide whether to kill people or not, it always has to do with right and wrong.

    This is a war. You will have to kill innocent civillians.

    This is an act of terrorism, not war. If you don't believe there is a difference, look both words up in your dictionary of choice - you may be surprised at what you find. And no, you don't have to kill innocent civilians. I am embarrased having to point this out, but if someone is to be killed, it is the people responsible. Innocent civilians are, well, uuh, innocent. Does that not make it clear enough why they should not be killed for a crime (and allow me to repeat that: this is an act of terrorism, in other word a crime, not an act of war (or at least that's what we think at this point in time)) someone else, who may or may share their opinions about americans, committed.

    Americans killed plenty of innocent Germans and Italians and Japanese in WW2 to protect its interests. It was acceptable then, it is acceptable now.

    Really? If I try real hard, I think I can see a tiny difference between killing civilians because there is total war in all of Europe, and where more than 15 million people have died, than when some random extremists bomb a couple of buildings and where casualties MAY count in the thousands (that is not yet for sure - may as well be hundreds).

    If every country replied to terrorist acts the way you think they should be replied to, we would have total war, everywhere, all the time.

    Move cautiously. Think rationally. Locate the guilty. Punish the guilty. Forget. Move on. REPEAT

  • Re:Fix The Planes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by opusman (33143) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:29PM (#2289008) Homepage
    Even better, make the flight deck inaccessible from the passenger cabin. Stretch the bodies of airplanes a meter or two, or take out a couple of rows of seats. Give the pilots their own door to the outside, a toilet and bed, and food & drink facilities, and put a nice thick metal wall between them and the passengers.
  • Note: The US is over here. Middle Eastern dictatorships are over there. Gues which one is doing more to take away their freedom?
  • by pcidevel (207951) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:57PM (#2289224)
    see your children starving to death ....

    And this is the US's fault how?..

    see your children dieing on contamination caused by A-10 amunition used in Kuweit/Iraq ...

    I've got a bright idea.. don't try to take over another country and we won't come in a shoot at you.. Iraq clearly started that fight..

    see your children die on simple deseases because the embargo let not enough medicals through ....

    Again.. don't start wars with us you aren't prepared to fight.. I'm sorry that there is a trade embargo against these countries.. but again and again they prove they need to be punished (see the events of yesterday).. Get a clue, act like adults and we treat you like adults..

    see your children be killed by armed civilians thinking your child had a stone in his hand where it was dried bread ...

    Again.. this is the US's fault how?.. The Arabic people are shooting each other because of us?.. doubt it..

    USA denies everybodies freedom except their own citicens' (at least their own citicens believe they are free, nice trick)

    How are we making anyone in the Middle East 'not free'?.. They have their own rulers.. we only ask that they don't invade neighboring countries that happen to be our allies.. that isn't restricting the freedom of the people in the Arabic countries.. How are the US citizen's not free?.. please give a few examples...
  • by unformed (225214) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:10PM (#2289295)
    that said why not keep an armed guard in plainclothes on every plane. The cost per ticket wouldn't be much increased, whereas the safety would definitely increase. And I'm almost willing to bet most passengers (especially now) would be willing to pitch in an extra dollar for the safety precautions.
  • by devastopol (141787) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:13PM (#2289313)
    Based on a lot of observing, conversations, & thinking since yesterday, I couldn't help but speculate on these disturbing perspectives:

    all the hijackers -- feeling an air of invincibility about them, fearing nothing since they've reconciled their fates:
    our brave actions will change the course of humanity forever.. our lives will be well spent in further realizing our worthy cause!

    passengers at initial moment of hijacking:
    oh my god.. oh my god.. i can't believe this is happening.. i'm going to be sick to my stomach.. oh my god..

    scared passengers on both flights looking out windows, dawning on a terrifying realization:
    they're not diverting us to another country? where are we going?! why are we flying so low?? no! no! no!!

    office workers turning towards approaching jet engine noise:
    OH S***!

    pushed to the edge in desperation & panic.. some trapped people fall & jump from the towers:
    better a quick death than being burned alive.. [stomachs clenched, eyes closed, overwhelmed by the effects of g-force and the tremendous rush of air]

    hijackers in the 2nd plane, in visual range of target, given a morale boost:
    look! our compatriots successfully carried out their attack! we must not fail in ours! let us gloriously complete this! [bank the wings 45 degrees for maximum structural damage spread..] no pain, no time for pain.. this will be over in the blink of an eye

    executives and staff on top floors of both towers, who likely had numerous advantages in life going for them:
    oh my god.. oh my god.. this can't be happening, it can't end like this! not now.. oh please god, let me get out of this alive..

    various observers, remarking on further ramifications:
    I wonder how much asbestos is in that air..

    better load up on gas.. stock up on everything..

    what's going to happen to my investments?

    how can I profit from this? I wonder what plays I should make in the market when it reopens..

    thanks to the criminal jerks of the world here comes the further erosion of our personal liberties.. from no longer being able to leave your bikes on your lawns and having not to lock up everything 20 years ago and being free to light fireworks in every city.. to ever-tightening gun control laws.. and now this.. this inevitable approach of the police state

    the end times are closer than ever.. Revelations..

    ===

    [Finally, I'd like to offer my own analysis on this event.]

    In the big picture this is just another evolution in human society. Two forces collide, neither willing to back down. This will escalate in fits and starts until an equilibrium point is established through a war of attrition, and even before then humanity will characteristically be well into its next point of conflict.

    Repeat this process until a workable common ground is roughly pounded out for all, at least until evolutionary drifts once again create too much disparity for peace to bear.

    History/Evolution is an enormously multi-factored process. No individual or mere group of individuals can bear 100% of whatever is to be blamed. Every individual automatically tries their personal best within the seen & unseen boundaries of their circumstances, contributing to matching societal forces accordingly. If we wish to effect change for the better, we are already doing it, or else our circumstances do not permit us to.
  • by SteveM (11242) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:14PM (#2289314)

    No, these people are thinking, "Shit, now everyone is going to blame all of us right away."

    This is a bit from an email from my brother as part of an ongoing discussion about yesterday's events:

    I too have trouble with people looking at Middle Easterners in the US and blaming or feeling ill will toward them. I wish some high ranking government official would say, "if you blame them, then please blame all white people for Oklahoma City. Since that thought probably seems ridiculous to you, stop associating bad things with people just because they might look like people who are suspects".

    I hope some high ranking official does.

    Steve M

  • by jiheison (468171) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:18PM (#2289340) Homepage
    1) Do you think that Arabs would care about Israel if we had put it in our backyard instead of theirs? Lets remember that Israel is a figment of our own guilt stemming from our own history of anti-semetism. How brave of us to make up for not defending them against oppression by carving a nation out of someone elses land and propping it up with guns and a mandate to kill anyone in their way. How dare they call us pigs when we refuse to do anything about the lives and land that are illegally taken from them everyday with the weapons we supply.

    2) Yes corporations are the basis of everything we have. So? Does that mean that they aren't exploitative? Are you so arrogant as to believe that the reason that American's don't live hand to mouth is because we just work harder than the rest of the world. Or that we are inherently smarter. I hate to break it to you, but your comfortable life is built on the backs or third world labor and evironmental destruction. Wake up and smell the rainforest burning. The next time you buy a cheap meal, ask yourself how many people starved to make it possible. The next time you buy anything made overseas, ask yourself who's land was stripped of resources to build it.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:20PM (#2289347)
    "the number one export for the United States is weapons."

    Oh? And where do you get your numbers? Either way, I find it hard to believe in light of how the number one exporter of weapons globally is France.

    "The middle eastern countries are mostly split into 2 factions."

    Oh, I wish.

    Israel is one by itself.

    Predominantly Muslim countries that are genuinely friendly towards the US (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan) make a second.

    Predominantly Muslim countries whose governments are on friendly terms with the United States, but whose populace isn't all that keen on that idea (Yemen comes to mind). That's three.

    Predominantly Muslim countries who don't really give a damn one way or another (Afghanistan, Pakistan). Four.

    Predominantly Muslim countries that were outright hostile to the US, but now want friendlier relations (Iran, Lybia). Five.

    Predominantly Muslim countries that continue to be outright hostile to the US (Iraq).

    That's at least six I can divide the Muslim world into. Of course, for a real analysis, you'll need to look at that part of the world on a country-by-country basis, because each one has different relations with the US (we set up diplomatic relations with nation-states, not religions). This is just as generalized as I feel comfortable with.

    "The only thing that is going to save us a sane, rational foreign policy that doesn't incense our enemies in the middle east."

    It would appear that our enemies in the Middle East are neither all that sane (suicidal) or rational (the only big winner here is Israel). So how will being "sane" and "rational" be all that better?

    And besides, it's real easy to be an armchair diplomat than to actually try to deal with internatonal relations. I note that you only call for vague improvements with no specific ideas on how to make those improvements.

    Your ally is using military force against terrorist cells targeting civilians. How do you respond? Do you tell them that they shouldn't defend themselves as scores of their civilians are brutally murdered, or do aid them with materiel that may itself be used against civilian targets?

    Your main enemy (militarily, economically, philosophically) is backing one side in a war against another side that has a habit of using weapons of mass destruction. Do you let your arch-rival take control of oil fields vital to the survival of the Western world while continuing to spread a philosophy that is hostile to you, or do you turn a blind eye to chemical weapon attacks by their enemies?

    During hostilities involving one of your allies, you have an intelligence-gathering ship off-shore, feeding information to another one of your allies. That second ally, in turn, feeds that information to the enemy of your first ally. The first ally then proceeds to attack and disable your ship, killing scores of her crew. Do you cry out for retribution while it is shown how you're not as good an ally as you should have been (helping their enemies shoot their planes from the sky), or do you sweep it under the rug as a misunderstanding, outraging survivors of the attack?

    These aren't so cut-and-dry that a lack of US arms would have solved the problem, and these are all situations that US foreign policy makers needed to deal with in the Middle East (along with scores of other extremely ugly, no-win situations).

    While it's real easy for people like you to sit in your comfortable desk chairs and pound away at a keyboard, there are life-and-death decisions that need to be made, ones where people will die no matter what you do, people will be hostile towards you no matter what you do, and no two people agree on who the good guys and the bad guys are.

    If we get involved, people are slaughtered. If we don't get involved, people are slaughtered. The only difference is that in the second one we actually fucking TRIED to do something, instead of just abandoning those people to their hapless fate.

    Welcome to real life.
  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:22PM (#2289356) Journal
    The World is going to change.

    In light of the horrific events of September 11, 2001, the World has to change, and it falls to the United States to be the instrument of that change.

    With the fall of the Soviet Union, the most immediate and powerful threat to western interests and ideals, America had expected the world to become a safer and saner place. This regrettably is not the case. The irrational acts of fanatical, misguided, and just plain evil men, show that we cannot just leave the world to sort out its problems for itself. I had once been one to criticize the U.S. in the past for its tendency toward unilateral action on the world stage, but it now seems the world stage is a farce and a facade. The U.N. has been hijacked by angry, petty nations who are too myopic to see all their fundamental problems stem from denial of basic freedoms to their people. Name one truly democratic nation with a free press that feels oppressed by the other democratic nations of the world. I surely can't. The oppression perceived by undemocratic nations and the people that live in them is an imaginary construct. The control of information within these societies in effect creates a brainwashed populace, all too eager to blame external forces for their plight, rather than place the blame where deserved, their own cynical, self serving leadership.

    Does the United States or some other democratic nation ever exploit or take advantage of countries less blessed with wealth and freedom? Yes. Does this make democracy or freedom evil? No. Such exploitation would not occur if the nations that perceived this abuse were fair brokers themselves. If you want true free trade with the civilized world, this includes the free trade of information and ideas. Enough carping, complaining and finger pointing about injustices of the past. Look within the borders of those doing the finger pointing. How could you not recognize that half their population, the female half, are not just second class citizens, but slaves? Their legal justice systems a joke. Torture and murder common and condoned for ancient and petty reasons. Fanaticism exalted and idealized.

    There is a politically correct notion that all cultures are unique, and therefor need to be preserved in present form. I say there are cultures that suffer a cancer of intolerance and oppression. It is not intolerance and oppression to excise these elements from nations, societies and cultures, that have demonstrated they cannot do so for themselves, and to place within these states, institutions to ensure the rights of their citizenry. Look to Japan if you think this cannot be done.

    America has again and again expressed exasperation at the lack of restraint other countries have exercised in dealing with external and terrorist threats. Our own restraint has bought us nothing. Certainly not the respect of those who see our restraint as weakness.

    While our actions must be just, they must also to an extent be preemptive. Criminal and terrorist elements must not be allowed to consolidate power, wealth and influence. Once we have dispatched those who have quickly brought us harm, we must turn our eyes to those that slowly suck the soul of our nation, and corrupt the nations they operate from. I speak of course of the drug trade. Whether you favor the decriminalization of drugs or not, there is no reason to allow those who break our laws and violate our borders to evade consequences, while we at the same time incarcerate our own citizens who are in effect their victims. This network of crime, corruption and influence no doubt further diminishes our stature in the eyes of those that would do us harm, and emboldens them by our inability to deal certain justice to this undeniably evil and strictly self serving cabal of dealers in human misery.

    As Pearl Harbor was a call to action in 1941, the current action of these terrorists is the same. To those that say these circumstances are different, the world more complex, the evil more hidden, I say do not look for shades of gray where there are none. While we may not know for certain all individuals involved, and the exact involvement of each individual, we know, or will know shortly with great certainty, the major players involved. And unlike their operatives who lash out at total innocents, we can and should surgically remove them like the cancer they are.

    Unlike the `50s, `60s and `70s super powers' brinkmanship, there remains no reason to support the regimes of nations that fall short of realizing democratic ideals. Notice should be served to one and all, friend and foe, that only those nations who struggle to advance the freedoms and well being of their populations will be considered allies.

    If America has fallen short in any of its ideals, now is a time to recapture their true essence: the responsible, fair and just wielding of power and influence to improve the condition of humanity as a whole. Implicit in this, the assumption that the condition of humanity is diminished by allowing evil, wherever it is, to flourish.

    To those that hate America, I say you engage in a form of self hatred, as America is a mirror of the world. Its diverse citizenry, all of whom have a democratic say in its actions, include those who share your race, your religion, your culture. America will include their outrage, their sense of betrayal, in its retaliation for transgressions transcendent.

  • by JesseL (107722) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:22PM (#2289360) Homepage Journal
    You see, terrorism will always exist as long as it is effective.

    Nope, terrorism will exist as long as terrorists can convince themselves that it will be effective.These people aren't necessarily rational.

  • by smallpaul (65919) <paul&prescod,net> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:23PM (#2289367)

    Reign in corporate greed and globalization. As long as our bottom line takes precendence over human rights, we will be a target of (quite justifiable) rage and (condemnable) violence.

    Give me a break. Do you really think that Osama is angry about GLOBALIZATION? About the hegemony of McDonald's? He's pissed about American support for Israel. He's pissed about US bases in the Middle East. He's probably pissed about the decimation of Iraq. Globalization is something North American college students get pissy about. Most of the world has real problems (AIDS, oppression, genocide) and globalization doesn't even rank.

  • by ansible (9585) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:27PM (#2289394) Journal

    Every faith has its extremist bigots who use religion as nothing more than an excuse for their acts of evil.

    I think this point can't be emphasized enough.

    Are the guys that bomb abortion clinics fair representitives of Christianity? No, I don't think so.

    If these terrorists were in a different country, they'd probably be a different religion. That doesn't matter. They use things like religion and nationalistic pride to give credibility to their actions.

    To give a computer example, these terrorists are like the little punks that write viruses. They can say that they're raising awareness about some issue, but the fact of the matter is that they get off by causing destruction. Relatively minor destruction in the case of virus-writers, but destruction just the same.

  • by pcidevel (207951) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:37PM (#2289443)
    The US supported the corrupt regime of the Shah in Iran (so did the Brits).
    The US supported the Afghan militias during the Soviet invasion. Osama bin Laden was trained under this support. The same people the US equipped, now rule Afghanistan.
    The US has alternately supported and destabilized Iran and Iraq at various times.
    The US has propped up the corrupt monarchies in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
    ...and more


    None of these examples show how the United States prevented stood in the way of the Freedom of the Arabic people.. I'm sorry that the Arabic leaders are keeping the Arabic people from their deserved freedom, but this isn't the US.. these people that are fighting a 'War of Terrorism' against the US are the very people restricting the freedom of the Arabic peoples... It's incredibly hypocritical for them to be constantly shouting how they are fighting the US in the name of freedom, when these people (Hussien, bin Laden, et al) are the very people that are performing atrocities and restricting the freedom of their people..

    When a country is at war with one of our enemies, we may help to fund those wars... It's in our own self interst to do this.. This is in no way a restriction of the freedom of the people of those countries.. and we are more than allowed to change our opinions at a later date if these countries suddenly become a threat to our nation..
  • by Preposterous Coward (211739) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:39PM (#2289458)
    The WSJ today mentioned an airport where the security-screening folks make $6.25 or $6.50 an hour to start.

    The fast-food restaurants in the same airport pay workers $7 an hour to start.

    Perhaps this says something about our priorities?

  • by joneshenry (9497) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:41PM (#2289472)
    I have read too many claims that if the US were to "moderate" its support of Israel and pressure Israel to sign a treaty with the Palestinians the conflict could be brought to a peaceful end.

    In fact such a peace treaty is simply impossible. The Palestinians will never compromise on their demand for the right of return [bbc.co.uk] for the Palestinian refugees created in past wars. That demand is what sunk any hope of a deal even with Barak, who was willing to compromise on just about everything else. On the other hand, Israel can never accept such a demand, because to give in would mean instant demographic suicide, the end of Israel's being a Jewish state. (As it is, within 20 years Israel might have more Palestinians than Jews.)

    What seems inevitable is that Israel will decide to create even more Palestinian refugees in a desperate effort to physically partition the nation with a defensible perimeter. On that day the other Middle Eastern nations will have to decide whether or not to start an all-out, possible nuclear, war with Israel. I'm not sure how US disengagement from the Arab governments surrounding Israel would help to prevent this war.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:21PM (#2289901)
    Interesting. Only that the IRA is missing -- Ohh, that's right, they are white. White people can't be terrorists, they are just fighting for their freedom from England; and this is patriotic.

    -- A White, Irish-American Male

  • by Ender Ryan (79406) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:22PM (#2289905) Journal
    You need to take your head out of your ass. Americans are no different than the people of any other country. When the time calls for it, most Americans are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

    Did you see how many firemen died trying to save people? Did you see how many people ran back to the toppling buildings to do what they could to help?

    After Pearl Harbor you know what many American men did, they joined up! They wanted to fight! They would rather fight and die than sit and do nothing! 200+ firemen are DEAD because they were trying to save others! Doctors in the area rushed in to help, some of which are missing.

    Open your fucking eyes!
  • encouraging words (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:26PM (#2289922)
    "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win though to absolute victory... With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God."

    - President Franklin D Roosevelt
    December 8th, 1941
    Speaking to the American people after the attack on Pearl Harbor
  • by Korova (69186) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:37PM (#2289969)
    I want to make an analogy to help people try to get inside the heads of the terrorists who perpetrated yesterday's atrocities. It is inevitably an uncomfortable analogy, perhaps especially for the slashdot community.

    Think of a typical all-American high school. Think of the football team. Think of the big powerful swaggering star quarterback.

    Perhaps he is a good guy. But he is the hero, and he throws his weight a bit. Perhaps he's a nice guy and is an alterboy on Sundays, it doesn't matter.

    Perhaps there are some lesser kids at the school. Not necessarily geeks. Maybe goths. Anyway in persuit of the all-American way the quaterback is somewhat down on such people. They resent him. The probably don't resent his athletic ability ("Who'd want to be a jock?"). They resent his attitude that he is God's chosen student. They resent being belittled. They resent being told that football is everything.

    One of these put-upon kids puts a fire-cracker in the quaterback's locker and as it happens sets fire to his year book etc.

    The Quaterback is hopping mad and goes around saying "when I catch that F***er, I'm going to rip him apart! If anyone knows who he is and isn't telling me I'll rip them apart too!"

    Now destroying the WTC is not the same as a firecracker, but the analogy stands. Be aware, America, that much of the world does see you as an overbearing and self satisfied and opinionated, just like the quaterback in the story.
  • rational p.o.v. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by fifth children (470632) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:49PM (#2290009) Homepage
    yeah, my friend (non-slashdotter) wrote this and sent it to a couple senators. it pretty much sums up what i, and i'm sure others, have been thinking. lines might be a little fucked up... oh well.

    Dear Senator,
    Please do not give in to the pressure to call for extensive retribution
    against the people harboring the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11
    attack. Too many people have already died in the attack; we must not kill
    any more innocent people. Please, I beg you to consider the implications of
    a retaliatory attack. If we strike back at the terrorists and the country
    harboring them, not only will more innocent people be killed but this will
    continue a vicious cycle that ends only with the death of the entire human
    race. Revenge only begets revenge.
    Please to not give in to political pressure. I may not represent the
    majority of Americans, but I know that the killing will never end if we
    strike back blindly and without discerning between terrorist and civilian.
    To strike back now would be to ensure that another attack will come later in
    time. I plead with you to consider the possibility that we can use this
    situation to set a precedent for all of humanity.
    We can use this opportunity to extend a friendly hand to all of our
    brothers around the world. We can work with all human beings to create a
    better future for mankind. Any country, whether weak or strong, large or
    small, wicked or righteous, can attack another country. To strike back now
    would only show the terrorists that we are no better than they are. Please
    consider my message. Violence begets violence in a vicious cycle of death.
    Peaceful solidarity as a human race offers us a chance to break this cycle.

    If we must consider biblical texts at this time, let us consider this:

    "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a
    tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes
    you on the right cheek, turn the other also;"

    "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,"

    Thank You,
    Jacob B____
  • by zama (244613) <bbcasNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @10:01PM (#2290056)
    Mod this guy UP!

    Lemme preface my own response with the fact that I am not an expert, and that I'm at work and haven't had the chance to look up everything. However:

    I really, really, really hate to have to be a cynic at a time like this. But... it's not like we did all the things that Sinclair mentions out of generousity, there was blatent self-interest. The same time we were propping up the French government we were preparing to overthrow the prime minister of Iran. After we "pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries" should we be surprised that "newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, war mongering Americans" when you realize how much of that American money went into the pockets of brutal totalitarian regimes? Suharto, Saddam Hussein, Noriega, etc, etc... While we forgiving international debts we were arming and indebting various middle eastern factions against the Soviet Union. Many of the same factions that now hate the US for abandoning or manipulating them. Hell, we trained many of them. It's not like these people just started hating us for no reason whatsoever. We're reaping the rewards of about 60 years of a really nasty foreign policy in the Middle-East.

    I don't want to be the bad guy when we need to be united - but what I hope comes out of this tragedy is a better understanding among American citizens as to why a sizeable portion of the world hates them. I hope to see guilt and redemption, not self-congradulatory patriotic pandering - we are not nor have ever been a "Good Neighbor". But it's about time we were.

  • Re:Arm Pilots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Flower (31351) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @10:20PM (#2290129) Homepage
    No. People followed SOP and went along with the hijackers. That is why it worked. Do you really believe that if the passengers actually knew they were going to crash into a building filled with 1000s of people they wouldn't have done anything? Three of the victims were a family with a 2 year old daughter. Do you really think the father would have meekly sat there if he knew his child was going to die no matter what?

    As a new father I know if I had a clue about what was actually going to happen they would have found my charred teeth around somebody's throat. But if I had *any* hope that if I complied my wife and son would eventually get off that plane? I'd obey.

    Forget giving a person a gun and just give them a good sized hardcover. See my previous post http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=21572&cid=2288 468 on why arming passengers is a stupid idea.

  • by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @10:31PM (#2290181) Homepage Journal
    Give me a break. Do you really think that Osama is angry about GLOBALIZATION? About the hegemony of McDonald's? He's pissed about American support for Israel. He's pissed about US bases in the Middle East. He's probably pissed about the decimation of Iraq. Globalization is something North American college students get pissy about. Most of the world has real problems (AIDS, oppression, genocide) and globalization doesn't even rank.

    No, but I think that globalism is one of the things that brings him supporters. Get rid of the systemic problems and go after the terrorists. THat way more terrorists don't step in to fill the void.
  • by smallpaul (65919) <paul&prescod,net> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @11:29PM (#2290388)

    This is an important point. Globalization is certainly not new. The amount of trade in material goods has not changed very significantly in the last century.

    If the amount of trade is your measure of globalization and that hasn't changed very much then we aren't "globalizing" are we? We're maintaining our level of globalization. Do you want us to roll back to 19th century levels of trade? Is that what the protests are about? If this isn't your measure of globalization then why do you raise it?

    What has changed, is the greatly increased importance of multinational corporations.

    So is this "increased power of multinational corporations" globalization or not? Is amount of trade globalization? If not, why did you mention it? You give me your definition and we can work from there. Can you perhaps explain how the "multinationals" are at the bottom of all of these problems in the Middle East?

    Pardon me for being blunt, but your first sentence here is terribly ignorant.

    Fair enough. I was wrong. It really doesn't demonstrate anything about globalization. The US has bases in allied countries. That predates the "rise of multinationals" by many decades. The US does not have bases in the countries it has the most trade with (the "defending the profits" theory). It has bases in particular countries for historical reasons.

    This is a common claim, but it demonstrably false. Large-scale international trade did not stop two world wars.

    You're right. The essential links are democracy and capitalism. What two democractic, capitalist countries have fought a major war against each other?

    Anyhow, it is very easy to swing sticks at strawmen. Globalization is an especially easy one because the "bad guys" are corporations. What are you proposing as an alternative? Cessation of trade? Outlawing of multinationals? Tobin tax?

    Democratic caplitalism has solved more problems than it has caused and that is much more than can be said for competing systems. If you want to tweak the system, by all means, let's do so. But if you're going to argue against the whole thing you'll have to demonstrate that there is a deep problem and present an alternative that solves it.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Thursday September 13, 2001 @12:05AM (#2290503) Journal

    This act was obviously planned by a close and disciplined group. Such groups need money to operate

    Wow! It just occurs to me... There was money to be made (by the terrorists) through short selling. I hope the financial institutions involved can dilegently investigate any suspicious short sales in the days leading up to this attack.

    This just occured to me. I hope it is not just occuring to the investigators. Large short sales of insurance companies and other businesses housed in the WTC could lead us straight to the terrorist "network".

  • by Foggymyst (521254) on Thursday September 13, 2001 @01:50AM (#2290741)
    You can assume that no one knew they were going to die. How many hijackings end in the death of everyone? Very few. They have already released statments saying that conversations aboard one of the planes that were transmitted through one of the pilot's mike went along the lines of "Dont do anything foolish and you wont get hurt." However, the Pittsburgh plane terrorists told the passengers they were going to die. The plane crashed in the middle of nowhere and we can safely assume this was a last ditch effort by the terrorists to kill anyone as the passengers took over the plane. The point i'm making is, if the passengers on those other planes knew what was going to happen...they would have ripped the terrorists apart with their teeth. We have entered a world where when your plane gets hijacked, assume you are already dead. ~Steve www.foggymyst.com
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2001 @02:21AM (#2290816)
    It is exactly this sort of arrogant ignorance that enrages some people quite a bit...

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