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North Korea Air Sample Shows Radiation 543

Posted by kdawson
from the what-went-boom? dept.
Apocalypse111 writes, "According to CNN.com, air samples taken over North Korea have not yet shown any radiation from the event on Monday that North Korea claims was a nuclear test. This is not definitive proof that the event was non-nuclear, as it may either have been so small and deep that it did not let any radioactive debris escape, or perhaps the North Koreans sealed the site." Furthering speculation over whether North Korea has actually exploded a nuclear device, vk38 writes to point out a (free) article in today's Wall Street Journal claiming that the blast could have been set off by exploding fertilizer (ammonium nitrate). The article points to the Texas City disaster of 1947, in which 7,700 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the hold of a ship with the estimated power of 2 to 4 kilotons of TNT.
Update: 10/14 08:03 GMT by Z : The story at CNN has been updated: "A preliminary analysis of air samples from North Korea shows 'radioactive debris consistent with a North Korea nuclear test,' according to a statement from the office of the top U.S. intelligence official."
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North Korea Air Sample Shows Radiation

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  • In Other News (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CodeArtisan (795142) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:59PM (#16430105)
    Iran has also exploded a nuclear bomb. Or something. We're not really sure. Coulda been anything really.

    Seriously though - is this really news ? Shouldn't we wait until it's confirmed one way or the other before it makes sense to comment on it ?
  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:00PM (#16430133) Homepage

    Are we justified sanctioning and otherwise punishing it, even if it lied?

    This is more than an abstract question (like the famous "if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there...").

    Saddam's Hussein downfall was (at least partially) brought about by his insinuating that he still has WMDs privately — to keep neighbors in fear, soldiers brave, and citizens proud, while claiming loudly, that he got rid of them all (which turned out to be true, after all)...

  • Sanctions? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CrazyTalk (662055) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:00PM (#16430137)
    The ironic thing is, the nations of the world are looking to impose sanctions - but can we really impose sanctions if it turns out it wasnt a nuke in the first place?
  • Re:In Other News (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MyNymWasTaken (879908) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:01PM (#16430147)
    Why would it be on slashdot, or any other social news site, then?
  • It doesn't matter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:02PM (#16430167)
    For years they guy has been openly claiming to be working on a bomb. The fact that he does not unambiguously have one yet is astounding.

    With all the information that is public, it *is* trivial to create a bomb. Access to plutonium, which he has, is the hard part.

    I hate to introduce politics, but it has to be said, Saddam maybe, could have, possibly, been working on something, if you look at the intelligence "just so." North Korea, has been openly saying they are working on these bombs. North Korea sells arms to our enemies. I blame Bush on all counts. The guy is all about acquiring power, but without the wisdom or honor to use it well.

    I am remeinded if Bill Maher, Usually you have an administration that is corrupt or one that is inept. The Bush administration is both.
  • by zogger (617870) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:06PM (#16430221) Homepage Journal
    ..a real nuke, but the government right now REALLY doesn't want it to be a real nuke, because they would have to put up or shut up over their "no nukes for axis of e-vile" places. So who knows? They have been more or less threatening Iran now for a long time on the theory they are even developing one, and saying "dire consequences" and a lot of pre emptive strike speculation, etc. So, what can they do to N. Korea if they really had one? Invade, or a pre emptive strike? Ha! They are already on the serious manure list for most everything, what else practically can they do about it? What "sanctions" are even left of any importance that aren't already beng imposed?

    OK, get back to the question. If a nuke was buried deep enough and the caverns sealed before the blast, with a very small nuke, would radiation escape to be detected? And wasn't there a lot of talk the other day that the seismograph guys were good enough to tell just from the signature?
  • Re:Sanctions? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:12PM (#16430289) Journal
    Yes

    Should I be arrested for calling you every night and threaten to shoot you and your children, even if I don't actually own a gun?

    The fact that North Korea is saying they have nukes is threat enough to warrant attention.
  • Re:Sanctions? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Duncan3 (10537) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:12PM (#16430291) Homepage
    What exactly would you saction?

    The are already starving, lack electricity in 95% of the country, are almost completely uneducated, and make most starving African nations look rich in comparison.

    They quite literally have nothing to lose, which is very sad.
  • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:14PM (#16430307)
    So, what can they do to N. Korea if they really had one? Invade, or a pre emptive strike? Ha! They are already on the serious manure list for most everything, what else practically can they do about it? What "sanctions" are even left of any importance that aren't already beng imposed?

    I think that "total" economic sanctions would be effective. This means absolutely nothing in or out--no food, no medicine--nothing. Despite complete self-reliance being Dear Leader's wet dream, the NK regime would collapse. However, Russia and China would never go along with it; the westerners would be wracked with guilt about millions (more) NKans starving to death; and the NK generals might obliterate Seoul in the regime's death throes.

  • by kinglink (195330) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:18PM (#16430351)
    North Korea seems to have failed at the very essence of the Nuclear test. The idea isn't to test if your nuclear bomb work, you better fucking know your technology is ready before you even hint you have the bomb. The idea of a nuclear test is to PROVE you have the bomb, and to prove it works, and to show everyone you got big balls. They have not done this, and this further proves it. They might have one, but you don't brag about an underground nuclear test unless you have something to prove and North Korea definatly has that.

    Personally I think it proves they DONT have a bomb.... yet. And more likely their real first test will be over Japan/Israel/South Korea/ whereever else, and their second will be during the all out nuclear bombardment where all the countries give them all the nuclear power they need, though they'll have to figure out how to contain it.

    North Korea and Iran are both playing dangerous games. They are acting like children at the grown ups tables. Let's hope they mature or get slapped before they become teenagers who get into a massive car accident and "kill" one or more of the adults
  • by throx (42621) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:19PM (#16430363) Homepage
    If we run around telling him he didn't really explode a nuke then it's only incentive for him to try again. Far better to pat him on the head and pretend it was the world's most wildly successful nuke test and get down to the business of what to do about it.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:22PM (#16430391) Homepage Journal
    We created Saddam, made him a credible threat, basically placed him in power... and more importantly he is within our reach. We can't mess with North Korea without the blessing of China.
  • by nuzak (959558) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:26PM (#16430433) Journal
    Blockades are an act of war. I mean, this is a regime that calls being served kimchee that's too warm an act of war, but this would really actually be one. You may as well just start knocking out the artillery with a surprise attack.

  • by krell (896769) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:30PM (#16430497) Journal
    "If you dislike Bush, you should abhor Chavez [umb.edu]"

    OT, but good call. Can you imagine what people would have done if Bush had given a big loud speech blaming Jews for all the evil in the world for the last 2,000 years? Chavez did this. Or if Bush made a public speech with crude sexist comments about foreign female diplomats? Chavez did this (about Rice). Or, to show how petty he was, Bush passed laws to force all the radio stations in the country to play only the music he personally liked? Chavez did this...

    I guess this proves the rule "A fascist dictator is my friend if he happens to hate George W. Bush".
  • Re:C'mon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:36PM (#16430561)
    I don't know of many underground mines that come pre-equipped with a few thousand tons of explosive. Do you?
  • Re:In Other News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:38PM (#16430599) Homepage Journal
    I think the news is that there is still *no* confirmation. North Korea said they were going to test a nuclear bomb, there was an explosion, and AFAIK, they claimed success. However, we're a week out and we are still not sure.

    So yes, we should know by now, but we don't. This is news.
  • Especially since (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:49PM (#16430749)
    They are using it as a point of blackmail. If you look at their rhetoric they are demanding that the world congratulate them on their successful test, saying that any sanctions will be an act of war (wtf?), and that how they proceed from here will depend on how nice people are to them.

    To run with your analogy this is like someone holding a gun to their child's head and demanding you give them money to not shoot their kid. Regardless of if it's a cap gun, the fact that they'd stoop to that level of blackmail means that they need to be stopped.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:52PM (#16430795) Homepage Journal
    I don't know, I think the Chinese would probably kill a whole lot of Korean civilians on their way to dominance of their government. I mean this is the country that is running around killing people and refusing to let their family even see the body, prompting people to assume that they're organlegging - and they probably are. I wouldn't trust them to stop at the 38th parallel, or any other line... China has repeatedly shown itself to be a nation without any belief in human rights, at least at the level of their political administration.
  • by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:52PM (#16430803)
    test is to prove that you have a nuke. Testing publicly before you actually had more than a few dozen seems silly. Nobody in their right minds would threaten to use a Nuke, particularly if they only had one or two. Sure they might cause a localised disaster here - how much damage can one nuke cause to the US - but the response would turn the whole country into a sheet of glass.

    Who bets this was a well calculated plan by some sensible N.K. scientists to demonstrate that in fact they have nothing for us to fear.
    Of course idiot Kim wouldn't know what a real nuke is capable of, probably felt the earth shake and thought to himself, "cool, now I have a big penis too.". Also a calculated response from some sensible N.K. scientists.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:52PM (#16430805) Homepage Journal
    I hate to introduce politics, but it has to be said, Saddam maybe, could have, possibly, been working on something, if you look at the intelligence "just so." North Korea, has been openly saying they are working on these bombs.

    Which is why Kim Jong Il is still in power and Saddam isn't.
    Bullies don't pick on those who could seriously fight back.
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:07PM (#16430975) Homepage
    The theory is trivial, and the tech and materials are mostly trivial, again with the exception of the plutonium. But that doesn't mean constructing a working implosion device is trivial. You have to be extremely precise in your calculations in order to pull it off. This is why the culmination of a nuclear program always involves a live test, because that's really the only way to be sure that your math and engineering were correct.

    And, because in the modern age there are thousands of seismic sites and many radiological sites that can detect the seismic and radioactive signature of a nuclear explosion, a nuclear test is also the announcement that you have succeeded in your nuclear ambitions. For a recent example of how a nuclear test is both final exam and public announcement, see Pakistan.

    So the fact that a successfull nuclear test would be quite apparent (and as we are seeing the absence of a nuclear test as well), and that NK called China to tell them so they would be sure China was watching closely, tells me that this was probably a real nuclear test. A test that, it would appear, failed. If memory serves, they told China to expect a 2KT explosion, with the actual measurement at about 0.5KT?

    Sounds to me like they had at best a partial detonation of the nuclear material, but didn't have the timing of the high explosives good enough to pack all the plutonium into a small enough ball for it all to react before the reaction force blew it apart.

    Saddam could bluff about having chemical weapons. Kim can bluff about developing nukes, but it really doesn't make sense to try to bluff a nuclear test. And of course we know he desperately wants them. So I'm going with the theory that this was a real nuclear test, just a failed one, and North Korea doesn't have a working nuke yet, but they are very close. The data from just this test may be enough for them to fix it.
  • by SydShamino (547793) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:14PM (#16431051)
    Even without WMD Iraq is no cakewalk (as we see in present day).

    The present-day insurgents weren't in Iraq until after we removed Saddam from power. He ran a run-of-the-mill dictatorship that used his religion (and that of most of his country) as a tool to control people, but he was no religious fanatic. He disliked the Taliban and the Bin Laden extremists almost as much as the U.S. does.

    Saddam's Iraq was a cakewalk. We "accomplished" that mission quickly, efficiently, and with minimal casualties on our side. Then, we started screwing almost everything up, and haven't stopped yet. We needed to create a stabler, more secure country faster, before zealots and extremists had time to enter the country and set up shop. Probably having more troops from a wider variety of allies would have helped tremendously, but that would have required us to earn more allies through discourse and compromise, something this administration is not able to do.

    Had we not entered Iraq, Saddam would have continued to do an adequate job of suppressing religious fanatics, and Iraq would not have become another Taliban country. (He would have continued suppressing his own people, too; he was still a dictator, murderer, and thug. I'm not denying that. But there are plenty of other murderous dictators in power around the world, some of which are our allies.) Overall, we've probably left the country in worse shape than if we'd just left it alone.

    We should have sent many, many more troops to Afghanistan (where we had internation support and justification for our invasion) to avoid the problems that country is having - resurgent Taliban because we didn't kill them all back then when they were in the open, and the country falling back into its longtime role as the world's opium supplier (something the Taliban had tried to suppress, but now profits from).
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:14PM (#16431061) Homepage
    No, the sarin was not largely potent, it was degraded and no longer sarin at all.

    Bush claimed that Saddam had an active program and was continuing to stockpile. This is false, and continues to be false.

    The only WMD that have been found are the ones that nobody on earth doubted he had. That they were badly accounted for is also not in doubt, as it was all part of Saddam's suicidally stupid bluff. It was not a "stockpile" if it was not maintained, and hence claiming that he had WMD is incorrect if you accept that an impotent WMD is not a WMD.

    No relevent devices have been found to this day.
  • I disagree... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:38PM (#16431323) Journal
    It's far better that they blow up their own country than someone else's. Just keep saying "Nuh-uh!" long enough, and they'll waste some more of their weapons grade materiel in a mountain compression exercise...
  • by Thuktun (221615) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:40PM (#16431335) Homepage Journal
    Well, consider this: if someone comes to you and says "hey, I just crapped in your locker" without laughing, what do you do? either you punch him in the face rightaway for having crapped in your locker, or you don't believe him, look inside your locker, discover no turd, then turn around and punch him in the face for being a stupid asshole. Either way, you punch him in the face.
    And what if, instead, he crapped in his own locker? Aside from the smell, and the insinuation that he could crap elsewhere, how does that justify punching him?
  • by crabpeople (720852) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:41PM (#16431345) Journal
    And how many people has chavez killed? How many wars has he started?
    Unless you think petty namecalling is equivalent to hundreds of thousands dead. I mean the CIA even tried to kill chavez in a coup, if anything hes remarkably polite considering that. Saddam tried to kill bush's dad and look how he reacted.

    NK != IRAN != VENEZUELA

    Though that doesnt stop the administration from making you think otherwise.

  • by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:49PM (#16431401)
    Doesn't this theory assume that the theoretical large pile of conventional explosives is detonated from a single source? Couldn't the signature of the detonation be shortened by detonating the same amount of material with multiple detonators?
  • by freezin fat guy (713417) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:49PM (#16431413)
    Actually there ARE a lot of people who dislike Bush and abhor Chavez. We can all be ignorant and paint each other with broad "my side is pure light and yours is pure evil" simplistic nonsense. Of course not everyone on the right wants another Adolf Hitler. Of course not everyone on the left wants a Hugo Chavez.

    p.s. The fact that Chavez is a horrible dictator doesn't change the fact that Bush is a terrible president.
  • by k2r (255754) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:55PM (#16431487)
    What if the explosion in 2004 happened while transporting / stacking explosives to fake a nuclear test?
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ryongcho n_disaster&oldid=79574083 [wikipedia.org]

    k2r
  • by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:58PM (#16431521)
    Oh wow!!!!!!!!!!!111!!! STRONGLY INDICATE! My goodness! I assume this is synonymous with "it is widely believed" esp. when uttered at the beginning of a Fox News broadcast. e.g. "It is widely believed that John Kerry ate a baby for lunch on Tuesday."
  • Re:Oh my gawd (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @07:04PM (#16431579)
    Fission actually.
  • by susano_otter (123650) on Friday October 13, 2006 @07:09PM (#16431641) Homepage
    The punching is justified because analogies always fail when discussed in bad faith.

    Better to avoid analogies altogether in this case, and talk about rogue nations developing nuclear weapons and selling missile technology to other rogue nations, while holding cities full of people hostage using the credible threat of devastating and unavoidable chemical weapons attacks.

    Talk about the actual facts of the matter, and suddenly the whole idea of punching becomes both eminently desireable and eminently unworkable.

    What now?
  • Re:In Other News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lally Singh (3427) on Friday October 13, 2006 @07:25PM (#16431775) Journal
    This is really the best confirmation data we have. DPRK says they set off a nuke. Even if a nuke had fizzled, it would've been bigger than the 550T explosion the seismometers felt. From here [washingtonmonthly.com], "A geology professor at Yale, Jeffrey Park, emails to tell me that the updated Richter magnitude for the North Korea event is 3.5, which he calls "mighty small for a crude nuke." And that's true: it suggests a very small yield. But the odd thing is that it's actually harder to build a 1 kiloton weapon than a 5 or 10 kiloton weapon, and it's unlikely North Korea has the expertise to do this."

    So, nobody's really sure what to believe right now, and eventually it'll just fall to consensus on the data we already have.

    The best place to hear about the debate's over at ArmsControlWonk [armscontrolwonk.com]. New radionucliotide data, insider info from some well-placed anonymous sources, and insights into the scientific cultures within dictatorships paints an interesting picture.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @08:33PM (#16432429)
    The present-day insurgents weren't in Iraq until after we removed Saddam from power.

    They were in Iraq. They were school teachers, doctors, construction workers, grocers, electricians, etc...

  • by AoT (107216) on Friday October 13, 2006 @08:37PM (#16432467) Homepage Journal
    The present-day insurgents weren't in Iraq until after we removed Saddam from power.

    I agree with your comment but you're technically wrong on this point. The vast majority of these insurgents were in country prior to the war but not actually fighting. And a lot of the Shi'a insurgents are related, literally and figuratively, to the uprising following the first Gulf War that we encouraged then let Saddam crush.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @09:38PM (#16432847)
    Can you please cite sources for those claims and accusations? I never heard of such thing and as far as I see it is all bullshit character assassination, which is the tipical US reaction to all the world leaders who don't bow down to them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @09:47PM (#16432905)
    If you want to compare the 2 countries, I'll simplify it for you. Iraq has 10% of the worlds oil reserve, north korea has a 22 million refugee hopefuls.
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday October 13, 2006 @10:41PM (#16433095) Homepage
    As long as you're happy with your wandering logic. Let me summarize: he had WMDs, but wasn't sure which ones he had and/or how many. So none of it counts.

    He had none at the time that it mattered -- when the case for war was made.

    It's that simple, and laser focused. No, none of the weapons from before Gulf War I that were not maintained count. And that, so far, is every one we've found.
  • by Gocho (16619) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @12:04AM (#16433539)
    How many people has Chavez killed? Let's see... there were 19 people killed at a march armed with FLAGS and SINGING. Chavez ordered the military and his civilian followers to shoot (http://www.venezuelaenvideos.com/pt01v01.htm). How about the ones killed by his inaction and invitation for crime? (The guy in charged of security says the media is exagerating when they say 90 thousand have been killed... he adds "it's only been 60 thousand, people!" (http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.p hp?t=117819). Wait... how about the miners at La Paragua killed by the military just some weeks ago? Is buying 3 BILLION DOLLARS worth of AK-47s a sign of peace? (http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/672 198221/m/5900086190001) Well maybe... but then he says "To all of you against me.. this is a peaceful revolution, but WE ARE ARMED". Oh... and how about everyone who is tagged as a "traitor" for having signed against him in preparation for a referendum (which is a constitutional right, mind you) (http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.com/2005/04/tasc on-list-modern-political-apartheid.html)... By the way.... you can download it off kazaa and thepiratebay.

    I'm venezuelan. I know what I'm talking about.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:29AM (#16433913)
    >He ran a run-of-the-mill dictatorship that used his religion as a tool to control people

    Wrong. Iraq wasnt a religious state, unlike the USA
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:45AM (#16433977)
    Note that Clinton has said that the intelligence available to his administration when he left office indicated that Iraq was actively developing WMDs.

    Nevertheless, I believe that the Bush Administration should have framed the Iraq War, when it first started, in the terms they frame it in now: Iraq refused to allow UN inspectors to do their jobs, despite numerous UN resolutions requiring it. In other words, Saddam could say he'd destroyed every last WMD until he's blue in the face, but we would never know one way or the other until Saddam acquiesced to full and unfettered inspections.
  • by SQL Error (16383) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @04:08AM (#16434415)
    Lenin and Stalin killed 40 million of their own people.
    Mao killed 60 million of his own people.

    The Tsars and the Chinese nationalists were pikers when it came to bad government compared to the communists.

    The fundamental law of communism is that it is the worst political system ever invented. No exceptions.
  • by krell (896769) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @06:36AM (#16434899) Journal
    "I don't pretend to know you or your politics so I won't direct these words at you personally but I have heard US American Neocons spout that kind of rhetoric on TV"

    For one thing, American neocons aren't in power. There's a difference between speaking in front of your think tank and being a world leader speaking on the world stage. Chalk this one up to another mention of the "neocon" bogeyman in conversations where it does not belong. Aside from that: can you CITE references where Neocons did what Chavez did: 1) blame Jews for all the evil in the world 2) put lewd sexual language about female diplomats in their speeches? 3) Neocons wanting to censor all music they did not like from the radio?

    Can you back up your claim?

    Thanks also for the alternatve history of the Cold War... you described things that never happened except PRIOR to WW2.
  • by krell (896769) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @06:46AM (#16434931) Journal
    "Aside from the first one, which was the Iranian president and not Chavez"

    It was the Venezuelan dictator who made the speech blaming Jews for all the evil in the world for the last 2,000 years. This speech was Dec. 24, 2005.

    "But one thing is still true about him, this being pretty much the fundamental law of communism--he's still better than the nasty right-wing fucker who immediately preceded him(Lenin and the Tsars, Mao and Chiang Kai-shek, Castro and Batiste)."

    You need to check your history:

    Lenin: The Tsars (who had already moderated a whole lot) were gone by the time Lenin seized power. Lenin actually overthrew a fledgling post-Tsar democracy. He made things significantly worse, grabbing for himself more power than the Tsars ever had, re-invading the former vassal states that the Tsars had actually let go free, and slaughtering many hundreds of thousands of people.

    Mao and Chiang Kai-shek: Clearly no comparison at all here. Mao ordered more than 30,000,000 people killed. The relatively mild legacy of Chiang has been apparent in how Taiwan was ran after Mao's conquest. Chiang's government, the Nationalists, had run all of China for quite a while before Mao came along: pre-Mao China was significantly lacking in the routine atrocity that Mao ushered in. Do you really know anything about it at all?

    Castro and Batista: Aside from the mass execution of political prisoners by Castro, and the many tens of thousands killed by his invasions of other countries (Batista stayed home), there are so many other factors such as freedom of religion, freedom of the press (many beleaguered newspapers under Batista, no independent ones at all under Castro).

    Every single one of these was much worse than the one before. That's the fundamental law of Communism.
  • by krell (896769) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @08:57AM (#16435371) Journal
    Every one of those examples was Communist. You are correct that they are "governments run by a single person or very small group where everything in the country is owned by them". That is how communism ends up being out here in the real world. We have seen plenty of communism in all of its glory. What this probably boils down to is disagreements among factions of communists as to which are the real communists. Then it becomes a matter similar to 7th Day Adventists saying that Catholics are not Christians. If the majority of those involved in a movement can't go a long way to DEFINING it, who can? Scores of millions of members of the ruling Communist Parties of these countries can't be ignored.

    "The only socialism the world has seen has been in democratic countries."

    Socialism is the degree to which ruling elites control the private and personal economic affairs of the people. Socialism has been very strong in the named communist countries. It has been weak in the democracies.
  • by aminorex (141494) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @04:45PM (#16445839) Homepage Journal
    > He does say some outragous bullshit

    I read his speech at the U.N., so now I like him a LOT.
    He's got the balls to tell the truth.
    Of course this makes him hated by those who live in darkness and lies.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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