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Comment: Re:The no-WMD crowd was accidentally correct (Score 1) 263

by tinkerton (#49746259) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Sure, things are more complicated than I'm claiming. But I was well aware of what was happening while it was going on. You're using as reference the most egregious cheerleader of the WMD campaign.

Do you think people currently care about Iranian WMD? Not only did they never exist, nobody even would care if they did.It's just an alibi. Of course you need to make a lot of noise about it to make the alibi work.

Comment: Re:An intelligence officer? Well he MUST be expert (Score 1) 263

by tinkerton (#49746221) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Syria's defense was good enough to hurt a lot. Saudi Arabia doesn't care much about that because they're not attacking directly. They're avoiding open military conflict. The same with Turkey. The only ones actually openly attacking Syria is Israel, but even they are mostly working indirectly by supporting those inside.

Comment: Re:The no-WMD crowd was accidentally correct (Score 1) 263

by tinkerton (#49733883) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

I think the relation between your narrative and reality is very weak. WMD were not a driving force for the US invasion. They were merely the alibi. You've got the reasoning behind the alibi wrong, but even if you had it right it would already be missing the point. The 'doubt' there was left was only about a theoretical question. WMD or no WMD: then one shell of mustard gas proves the WMD thesis. But if the question had been 'significant WMD, enough to be militarily relevant' then there was no doubt. The bottom line is the US took Iraq because they could, and people went along with the alibi to save face.

Comment: Re:An intelligence officer? Well he MUST be expert (Score 1) 263

by tinkerton (#49725853) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Assad did have a powerful military. That didn't stop the Saudis.But I agree, the whole WMD excuse was made into something important by people who knew very well that Iraq was almost defenseless. As Wolfowitz said in the runup to the war 'I could take Iraq with 10000 men'.(If I recall correctly). If Iraq had been strong everything would have been different.So it was important for Saddam to appear strong. I've heard claims that oh dear Saddam fooled us into thinking he had WMD. Bollocks.

Comment: The utter depravity of Saddam & Sons (Score 1) 263

by tinkerton (#49725557) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

I call bullshit. Sure, they were a nasty bunch but there's a lot of those around . Saddam himself was cruel but he also thought it was necessary to be so. As dictators go, he was relatively competent. That was maybe the main reason the US turned on him: too competent. Iraq had been developing itself very well and was becoming a bit too independent and too powerful.
The sadism of his eldest son was another matter.

Comment: Re:The no-WMD crowd was accidentally correct (Score 1) 263

by tinkerton (#49725001) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

By Judy Miller. Really. She's full-o-shit.

What all of the intelligence community understood was that whatever the WMD capacity was of Iraq, it was insignificant. That they were uncertain of Saddam's efforts or intents , that I can see. It's hard to prove a negative. But part of the effect of the propaganda effort was to change the question. "Saddam would like to have chemical weapons". "Saddam is trying to make them". "Saddam would make them if we normalize relations".

I think politicians on the other hand were often eager to be fooled. They were deliberately gullible because they often thought taking over Iraq was not such a bad idea. Because of a simple logic that removing something bad would make things better. Because they thought it a good idea to redesign the neighborhood. Because they didn't see any other way to end the blockade. Because being perceived as being fooled was preferable to being perceived as afraid to row against the current. Because they thought it was going to succeed and didn't want to be on the wrong side afterwards.

In practice what happens with propaganda is there is no real center anymore of people who really know what's going on. Everyone is just believing someone elses lies. The same is still going on about Iran.

Comment: Re:So what about the War of the Worlds Thesis (Score 1) 57

by tinkerton (#49390069) Attached to: Invaders Demand Flu Shots

At face value your example is stupid because it's a single case , but indeed there is a very valid argument that if one species can be infected by a virus while the other is completely immune , it means that viruses are very much adapted to us as well and that makes it likely that a newcomer is immune rather than vulnerable.

Comment: So what about the War of the Worlds Thesis (Score 1) 57

by tinkerton (#49388301) Attached to: Invaders Demand Flu Shots

That aliens would be vulnerable to our viruses and diseases?
Maybe our viruses wouldn't be able to interact with them at all. Which way does it go?
The way we have most experience with, a population exposed to and being decimated by a disease from elsewere ?
What about the alternative, a disease not being able to lock on to a population that is too alien? Is that possible?

Comment: Re:How is this new? (Score 1) 172

Sensible comment. There's a marketing story about how a toothpaste increased their sales by 15% just by increasing the size of the opening of the tube. Since then, they've all done that. And with they I don't mean toothpaste brands. Think about it the next time you squirt some detergent in the sink

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