Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
United States

More On Tragedy 2087

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 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 Our web site is Howard @ radio free waee"

GatorMan writes "The Red Cross and 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 "" 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 I am sure /. users know better, but the general populace doesn't (always)."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

More On Tragedy

Comments Filter:
  • by kiwaiti ( 95197 ) <(kiwaiti) (at) (> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:57PM (#2288239) Homepage
    Yesterday, immediately after the attack, it was hard to think anything but "nuke the middle east back into stone age", which seemed to fit the would-be nukees' level of cultural development.

    Today, having calmed down a little, I have been thinking about feasible ways to prevent such acts of terrorism.

    Experts seem to agree that security measures can never completely prevent a determined, well organized attempt involving suicide killers. Never being fully secure, maybe we could still make pulling off something like this hard enough so it won't happen again. Please share your ideas.

    One thing I read on /. was "physically separate the pilots from the passenger cabin". I think that would make it a lot harder. It could be improved by adding security personnel in plain clothes (preferably Constable Angua von Überwald ;o) israeli-style.

    This act was obviously planned by a close and disciplined group. Such groups need money to operate. It has been suggested that Osama Bin Laden be involved in this. Regardless, he is definitely actively supporting terrorism, which is what we are trying to make more difficult.

    IIRC, Bin Laden is a sort of rich businessman from Saudi-Arabia. Probably he still owns some company (or companies), drawing his income from it (or them). The huge, illegal, (nonexistant) cartels of (nonexistant) multinational corporations (not) governing virtually all international trade all (don't) have well established procedures (not) to crush possible competitors. Considering the degree of interdependency in our economy and the fact that the WTC housed some quite influential offices, Bin Ladens commercial efforts might suddenly prove unfit for competition on global markets, as did many others, surprising unsuspecting watchers.

    Apparently, he gets lots of cash from fund-raising organizations operating in rich (read: G7) countries. Could these be found out, their efforts proved illegal, their money confiscated?

    These methods could be used against multiple targets. They seem to involve less martyr potential than nukes. Any other suggestions?


    • Today, having calmed down a little, I have been thinking about feasible ways to prevent such acts of terrorism.

      Simple. Here are just a few ways:

      1) Take actions to prevent the conditions that breed terrorism and show the people of the world that we pay more than lip service to the idea of 'defending liberty'.

      2) 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.
      • 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.

      • 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.
      • i got this in an email..but i almost completely disagree with both of your points. I would say that even if this was true (which it is not)...saying this sort of crap in the wake of a tragedy of this magnitude causes more grief and solves NOTHING. that was a pure flame intended only to cause anger and I am dissappointed in anyone who would do this. Thank goodness the majority of americans aren't like you or else we wouldn't have the heroes that are going into the dangerous situations to rescue people.

        this is the email I got.

        This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.
        America: The Good Neighbor.

        Widespread but only partial news coverage was given
        recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from
        Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television
        commentator. What follows is the full text of his
        trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional

        "This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the
        Americans as the most generous and possibly the least
        appreciated people on all the earth.

        Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and
        Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the
        Americans who poured in billions of dollars and
        forgave other billions in debts. None of these
        countries is today paying even the interest on its
        remaining debts to the United States.

        When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it
        was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward
        was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of
        Paris. I was there. I saw it.

        When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United
        States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59
        American communities were flattened by tornadoes.
        Nobody helped.

        The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped
        billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now
        newspapers in those countries are writing about the
        decadent, warmongering Americans.

        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?

        Why does no other land on earth even consider putting
        a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese
        technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German
        technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about
        American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -
        not once, but several times and safely home again.

        You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs
        right in the store window for everybody to look at.
        Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.
        They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless
        they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American
        dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

        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.

        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.

        Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one
        Canadian who is tired of hearing them get
        kicked around. They will come out of this thing with
        their flag high. And when they do, they'll have every right to turn their
        backs of the lands that are gloating over their present troubles (even
        though they won't). I hope Canada is not one of those."

        • by TobyWong ( 168498 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:48PM (#2289763)
          Sorry to say but a lot of those "angelic acts" had alterior motives. They helped rebuild japan to ensure a military staging point close to the western european front. For every legitimate gov't they helped support there are 3 more coups they engineered or illegitimate leaders they propped up.

          By lumping a pile of vastly different political situations in with what is certainly a tragedy, the author attempts to legitimize some very questinable acts. It's in poor taste to use this tragedy to push a political agenda.

          • by zama ( 244613 ) <> 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.

        • by mmcdouga ( 459816 ) <mmcdouga&saul,cis,upenn,edu> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @09:02PM (#2289825) Homepage
          This was broadcast in 1973 after the US withdrew from Vietnam. Sinclair died in 1984.

          (The Europeans have started making decent planes since then.)

          More information is available here [].

          The original text is avaiable here [].

          For some reason, the email version (I received one too) omits the references to China, Israel, Egypt and Nicaragua, among others.

      • 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.

        • 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 @11:08PM (#2290306)

            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.

            The systemic problem is that after WWII a bunch of Europeans were given land in the Middle East and the people who were there are understandably pissed. If you have a solution to this problem that doesn't require the removal of either group, then I would love to hear it. Nobody else seems to. Globalization is irrelevant.

    • 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.

      • 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...
      • 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 catseye_95051 ( 102231 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:04PM (#2288861)
          As it happens the Israelies have solved this one.
          They have a gun (special bullet i believe) tht has a large bullet and low muzzle velocity. Will put down a human, wont go through steel.

          But secondly, to be honest, in a hijacking ill take my chances with depressurization. If the hijacker is put down there are always the breathing masks for the passengers.
          • But secondly, to be honest, in a hijacking ill take my chances with depressurization. If the hijacker is put down there are always the breathing masks for the passengers.

            Up until yesterday you'd have been a fool to take that risk. By sitting still and doing exactly as the hijacker said you'd have stood an excellent chance of making it out alive and unharmed.

            What happened yesterday is totally without precedent and it would be unwise to make such a drastic policy and procedural change [carrying guns on commercial flights] without considering first what other measures might be more appropriate and secondly whether the additional risks incurred [of carrying weapons] are matched by a corresponding increase of overall safety.

            Sadly I have no idea of a feasible means of measuring such an impact without waiting for it to happen again and plotting statistical graphs. How very depressing.

        • by NetJunkie ( 56134 )
          Air marshalls carried guns on aircraft for a long time. They came out with a special rounder to be used. It's commercially available now to people like me that live in apartments and don't want shots to go through walls should they have to defend themselves.

          It's called MagSafe (as well as a few other brands). Basically the point of the round has a resin tip with small "BBs" in it. It fractures on impact and loses energy. It'll really hurt someone, but loses a LOT of it's energy when it hits drywall, and wouldn't go through the skin of a plane.
        • No problem (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )
          What they need is something like the Glaser Safety Slug [] []. Bullet does fairly well against humans but won't go through much else. For aircraft, you'd probably use the normal pressure version (the one for sale here is high pressure) which penetrates even less.
      • 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 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 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 darkonc ( 47285 ) <> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @10:42PM (#2290214) Homepage Journal
        It's worth some meditation that after Oklahoma, some people were quick to hunt down any Muslim to vent their anger against -- but when it turned out to be McVeigh, they didn't even THINK about taking their anger out against the nearest Christian, or American, or Vet.

        I think it's because when painting with a wide brush threatens to paint ourselves, we're quicker to separate the extremists from the general population. Just like most Americans, Christians and Vets didn't agree with McVeigs actions (even those who agreed with his complaints), most Muslmims and palestinians disagree with the actions of the terrorists (even if they share the anger and/or pain).

        BTW: Islam has strict rules against the killing of non-combatants -- especially women and children. In that context, most Muslims are horrified that these kinds of attacks could take place in the name of their religion.

    • by torpor ( 458 ) <ibisum@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:09PM (#2288317) Homepage Journal
      The only effective weapon against terrorism is to do absolutely nothing.

      Make any change at all in response, and you are instantly losing. Pandering to the desired effect, which is 'change'.

      Say what you will about the loss of life, and the human tragedy of it, but the fact remains: humans die, whether at the hands of other humans, or by their own doing.

      Yes, it's horrific the way things went down in New York yesterday. Terrible, and we all suffered through it (thanks to live action television) with those souls in the street and in the buildings and planes.

      Americans fear death. Everything they do - their entire culture - is designed to prolong the inevitable.

      It is this nations biggest weakness.

      Responding to this form of terrorism with anything less than an utterly peaceful view is to let the terrorists win.

      Killing terrorists in retaliation won't work - they've already demonstrated they're not afraid of death - something that most Americans can not truly admit.

      Face it. In this particular case, America is not the superpower, since those who do not fear death have the mightiest weapon of all.

      However, we should of course expect a typically American reaction. Bombing of specific targets. Categorically standard propagation of information by American news/propaganda corporations. Political jousting and hustling. Conspiracy, subterfuge, irresolution.

      Made for TV movies will be on the airwaves by June ...
      • by AntiFreeze ( 31247 ) <> 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.

      • by sterno ( 16320 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:47PM (#2288697) Homepage
        Perhaps what we need to do is just invest in their country. Turn it into Starbuck's land. Overwhelm them with everything they hate about our country. Drown them in VCR's and Satellite TV. Turn them into TV addled zombies like we are so that they will fear death. Hell, make them fear not being home in time to watch the new episode of Friends.
      • by trcooper ( 18794 ) <> 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.
      • 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!
    • 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 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.

      • 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 "'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.
    • I am on the mailing list of a group [] that advocates third-party nonviolent observers in crisis areas . Here is their press release:

      Quote for the lazy: "Instead of hundreds of billions for weapons of destruction which we manufacture for ourselves and sell around the world, we should allocate hundreds of billions of dollars for feeding the world's hungry, housing the homeless, healing the sick and helping heal the wounds of war and hatred around the world. The only real security is for the United States to become a real friend of all the world's people."

      For immediate release

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

      We at Peaceworkers are heartbroken by the tragedies that continue to unfold in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The depth of the violence is incomprehensible. It is a time for us to draw our loved ones close. And, it a time for us to draw close to our hearts those not immediately in our circles and to keep those who have died close in our hearts and prayers. We also hold up the families and friends who either know their loved one has died or who wait in anguished limbo. We wish strength and endurance to those police, firefighters, rescue workers, medical personnel and public officials working to save lives.

      And, we ask each of us to draw close to those who will be scapegoated for these horrific acts. These acts were not carried out by an ethnic group, race of people or religion. Each of us individually and collectively, must be forthright in resisting any scapegoating or attempts to retaliate with violence.

      We also call upon the United States government not to respond with violence, thus escalating the spiral of violence.

      This is a time for deep reflection and grief. The horrible carnage reminds us that no amount of armaments can protect us from such violent attacks. It is a time to understand the unity of all people and to build our security based on that understanding. . Instead of hundreds of billions for weapons of destruction which we manufacture for ourselves and sell around the world, we should allocate hundreds of billions of dollars for feeding the world's hungry, housing the homeless, healing the sick and helping heal the wounds of war and hatred around the world. The only real security is for the United States to become a real friend of all the world's people.

      From: Ken Butigan,
      Adjunct Professor at the Franciscan School of
      Theology, Berkeley; 510-533-8181

      Nightmare and A New Beginning?

      September 11, 2001. It is late afternoon. By now, it seems unnecesary to recount the facts of this unspeakable day. We know the details neither by dint of will nor by the rigors of memorization but by the molten visceral after-image burning through us in the way that one passenger plane, then another, and then still another burned through the skin of buildings and then ferociously through the flesh of the unsuspecting within.

      The radio all day long repeats the facts. A troupe of airliners, three headed for California, swung away from their their appointed paths and slammed with almost impossible precision into New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, buildings teeming with people even as they are (or were) fraught with economic and military power. But the facts give way to deeper realities. Just as the 110 storey twin towers at the southern edge of Manhattan seemed inconcievably to lose their shape and dissolve as they imploded before the horrified and disbelieving crowd in the street below (one news account reported that they strained their arms upward in unison as an autonomic, if futile, attempt to keep the skyscrapers from collapsing), so too do the facts seem to dematerialize.

      It is not that the facts about this catastrophe are not real. Rather, they are like the ten thousand bits of debris that have blasted across the banks of the Potomac, the rugged wilderness of western Pennsylvania (where the fourth hijacked plane went down, presumably not having reached its target), and the concrete canyons of New York City.

      The facts are everywhere and nowhere. They peel away to reveal the nightmare just below the surface, the landscape of endless loss and sorrow. The ashes of death are in our mouths. Laid before us is the unutterable collision of two worlds, made suddenly and irretrievably concrete in the finality of this destruction.

      The nightmare is just beginning for the victims of this violence, for their families and friends. We must clearly articulate our horror and condemnation of these premeditated acts of murder. We must find, as negligible as they may be, ways to offer solace to those most directly caught in the stunning brutality spreading out from this most recent ground zero of horrific violence.

      The nightmare, however, is not theirs alone. We as a nation have added this experience of violence to the long tapestry of violence that stains our history. The great danger lies in how we interpret and respond to this nightmare.

      It is too early to say who perpetrated them. There will, nonetheless, likely be strenous efforts by the U.S. to retaliate. As a nation, it is critically important that we recognize that, quite likely, this nightmare is not a new one. Quite likely it is a nightmare drenched in the blood of a retaliatory cycle of violence, and that if the U.S. responds(as government war planners put it)either "proportionately" or massively" there will not only be enormous -- and likely indiscriminate-- bloodshed, it will strenuously escalate and accelerate the wheel of what has been named "redemptive violence." Unfortunately, our history as a species and as a nation painfully reveals that retributive violence is not "redemptive" at all. It does not "save" or make "secure." In fact, it increases the liklihood for new retaliation.

      Now is the time for us to clamber off the wheel of violence. It is the only worthy legacy we can offer to those who died today.

      To this end, I feel personally moved in more profound way that ever to recommit myself to the spiritual journey of creative nonviolence so that true justice can flourish and genuine peace can be every being's lot.

      This means mourning the dead, condemning this horrific violence, but also once and for all acknowledging our own violence and justice and seeking a new path. In this most shocking moment, we have paradoxically been given a moment to desire -- and work for -- the well-being of all. Let us let the unimaginably horrific violence experienced today in the Eastern United States help us understand, in a way we perhaps have never understood before, what such "death from the skies" means, and help us to humbly acknowledge the violence we have perpetrated in this way in the past and continue to contemplate, under certain politically-defined circumstances, in the future.

      Most of all, let us be transformed in light of this horror to recognize, again, that we are all one. In this moment of unspeakable fire, may we once and for all commit ourselves, in a deeply powerful way, to the path of active nonviolence for justice, love, and well being for the earth and for all its inhabitants. Let us take action so that, hope against hope, we can choose -- as Martin Luther King, Jr. implored -- nonviolence, not nonexistence.
    • 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".

  • Amazon Donation Page (Score:5, Informative)

    by jeff67 ( 318942 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:59PM (#2288255)
    It's worth mentioning that Amazon isn't charging their usual cut for the service, all money is going to Red Cross. And (this is a bit odd) it's refundable for 30 days.
  • by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:59PM (#2288256) Journal
    I'm not kidding. Go to [], and instead of the horrible sight you think you'll see, you'll find something different.
  • Check Out Amazon (Score:4, Informative)

    by digitac ( 24581 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:00PM (#2288258) Homepage
    This may not be exactly on topic with the story above but relevent.

    I've been watching's RedCross donation page today. It was mentioned here earlier. It has just passed $1 million collected with over 36,000 people contributing. Truely amazing.

    I hope everyone will consider donating at least a little bit to help the victims.

  • Speaking of PVRs... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Booker ( 6173 )
    Ok, perhaps this is flamebait, but I'm asking, because I think it has some relevance.

    I read on the 'net that when "The WB" covered Bush's speech yesterday, there was a mic on that shouldn't have been. They claimed that they heard someone feeding lines to Bush during the first part of the speech - i.e. reading lines to Bush, Bush then repeating what he heard.

    Anyone else see this? Or is it political FUD? It would explain his strangely halting delivery.
    • 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....

  • A short while ago, there was a press conference from the Pentagon. Rumsfield and the director of the FBI both spoke. The Director said that no arrests have yet been made of any suspects. There were some "questionings" -- an uninformative word to me -- but no arrests.

    Just wanted to clarify that.

  • by hhg ( 200613 )
    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.
  • Ah man NATO... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Ghoser777 ( 113623 )
    Not only did the terrorists bombing piss us off really bad (a it should), so we're already more than likely to go bomb anything remotely related to the terrorists (well, ur state was adjacent to theirs, but now we also got NATO wanting to get into the action. So barring UN intervention of some kind (I doubt it, although I don't know if we'd listen to them anyway), we're going to find a terrorist to blame and bomb the hell out of him and all his associates.

    Yeah, we may not find the real terrorist, but we'll make sure we can find someone else to blame. The government has that legitimacy thing and competence thing to maintain.

    What, the government would never do that? Hey, maybe they're all honest johns in D.C., but if anyone has ever read Fahrenheit 451, you know that the public doesn't want the government to catch THE terrorist, they want them to catch someone that the government say is the terrorist.

  • 5th Plane theory? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gordzilla ( 97994 )
    Maybe I missed it, but has there been a confirmation about a 5th plane enroute to Colarado? This "mutual defense clause" does that mean that it's possible that Norad has been damaged and the U.S. is blind in the air?

    I'm watchin CNN now and there's a reported talking about a single unidentified plane flying over NY and to me it looks like one of the new unmanned spy plane's.

  • 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 ?
    • by sulli ( 195030 )
      I have been extremely impressed with both the slashdot stories - getting better with all of the links to mirrors, eyewitness accounts, newspaper stories, and the rest - and the many eyewitness and survivor accounts. [] I've also found it a good place to share my own feelings about the events of yesterday, in an open and honest forum.

      As important, the signal to noise ratio is the best I've ever seen - almost everyone has been respectful and honest. I will admit to being an occasional troll myself, and I'm very pleased that there has been almost zero harassment or false stories - just as it should be.

      One [] of the stories is now number one on the Hall of Fame [] with 2422 stories. Again, just as it should be.

      Many thanks to the Slashdot crew for keeping the site running, and posting such meaningful, powerful stories. And thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. It's made a difference for thousands of people.

  • by Memophage ( 88273 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:07PM (#2288303)
    I find it interesting that this past Friday, (September 7th) the U.S. Department of State issued the following "Worldwide Caution" travel bulletin for the benefit of US travelers:

    "Over the last several months, the U.S. Government has learned that U.S. citizens and interests abroad may be at increased risk of a terrorist action from extremist groups. In addition, we have received unconfirmed information that terrorist actions may be taken against U.S. military facilities and/or establishments frequented by U.S. military personnel in Korea and Japan. We are also concerned about information we received in May 2001 that American citizens may be the target of a terrorist threat from extremist groups with links to Usama Bin Ladin's Al-Qaida organization. In the past, such individuals have not distinguished between official and civilian targets. As always, we take this information seriously. U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert."

    [From: []]

    The U.S. Department of State apparently knew that something was up, just not exactly what.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thanks to modern technology, if we can recover DNA samples, we can clone them and put their clones on trial!
  • by kstumpf ( 218897 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:08PM (#2288313)
    I'm glad to hear that airport security for passenger flights will be increased. I haven't seen mention, though, of non-passenger flights. There are other planes in the air, such as Fedex and UPS. Surely these planes make cross-continental flights and carry alot of fuel, making them dangerous weapons should terrorists be at the controls. Has anyone seen this point raised yet?
    • 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.
  • This article [] links the CIA with Bin Laden... Scary? I saw Orrin mouthing off yesterday as well.

    This link was discovered via Slashdot, via Michael Moore's page.


    • 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...

  • Airport security (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pope ( 17780 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:10PM (#2288336)
    I've been hearing about the proposal to beef up security for domestic flights in the USA: bravo!
    I have flown many international flights, but only 3 or 4 times within the USA, and quite frankly security always seemed a little lax, even compared to Canada. This is not to say that airport officals are directly to blame for this tragedy, but one can also look at it pragmatically: there are HUGE numbers of people flying within the USA at all times, and regular delays only seem to piss people off. What will happen now if the security becomes much stricter? I'm afraid we'll all have to deal with it when the time comes, but it's not going to be a pretty sight trying to process that many people.

    In more positive news, many hundreds of Torontonians have turned out to donate blood! (OK, me included) Please disregard the troll who has been posting that the Red Cross has lots of blood: it's been a known fact for the past year that supplies have been *very* low both here and in the US. Go for it if you can! Even if your blood is not used for this emergency. blood is ALWAYS in demand, and will NOT get thrown out like the troll has implied. It all gets stored and sorted, never has there been a surplus!

    • by unformed ( 225214 )
      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 mimbleton ( 467957 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:11PM (#2288343) Homepage ml
  • by Compulawyer ( 318018 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:13PM (#2288364)
    I believe the full text of the treaty (including Article 5) is here []

    Or copy and paste:

  • by Unix_Poseur1 ( 442384 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:23PM (#2288455)

    Here are some links for the demonstration mentioned above. They are on the Dryden Flight Research center site which has an archive of aviation related images, videos, and more. An incredible site. The videos are particularly unsettling

    videos []

    photos []

    Unity folks, unity is important

  • article 5 (Score:3, Troll)

    by MillMan ( 85400 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:24PM (#2288475)
    I think the only reason they went for this is due to the incredibly high profile nature of this situation.

    The US will attack anyone it pleases, breaking international law if it has to, which it has done repeatedly. Most of our attacks dating back to the early 80's (Latin America) and probably earlier are usually denounced in the international press. There are only three things that really deter our government from attacks:

    1) US public opinion
    2) international public opinion
    3) threat of counterattack (ie we don't attack Russia because they killed x number of people over issue x, because they can nuke us. Countries like the former Yugoslovia or Somalia do not present this problem).

    And really #1 and #2 can be kept to a minimum when no one knows what is going on to begin with when the media doesn't report it.

    Since #1 is the most important you see information controls and propeganda in the US far more than the rest of the "civilized world". As such you can go to Canada and at least get a more accurate picture of things going on in the world, instead of another evening of Larry King talking to Chandra Levy's parents and a 1 paragraph mention of the thousands of people killed by security forces in country x in the back of the New York Times.

    If at a minimum the investigation shows the attackers to be Arab, whether they are connected to Bin Laden or even if they are American citizens, Afghanistan will be crushed. This is looking more likely by the hour.
  • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • 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.

      No, the US is the #1 exporter of arms, but arms sales are hardly our leading export. According to, arms deliveries from the US in 1999 were $18 billion (new contracts were $11 billion).

      By contrast, according to the latest Statistical Abstract [] (Table 1329), electrical machinery accounted for $75 billion dollars worth of exports, computers and office machinery, $40 billion, power generating machinery, $30 billion, etc. Total exports were about $960 billion, so arms sales are only about 2% of the total.

  • by Mtgman ( 195502 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:40PM (#2288630)
    Not only monetarially, even though my company [] 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 Since they are having heavy web traffic today, you may or may not be able to access the site.

    • 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.

  • by TrumpetPower! ( 190615 ) <> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:47PM (#2288700) Homepage

    Something I just thought of a little while ago, to help me gain some perspective on what happened:

    A Boeing 767-400ER [] has a maximum takeoff mass of a shade more than 200,000 kg. It has a typical cruise speed of 840 km/h.

    Using our favorite formula for kinetic energy, that comes to about 5.6 billion Joules, or between one and two tons of TNT.

    Or, in other words, just the force of that much mass at that speed is about the same as a WWII blockbuster bomb. Add in some twenty thousand gallons of jet fuel...and I still can't wrap my mind around that much destructive force.

    And I thought cars on the freeway were deadly!

    May such magnificient machines never again be used for such awful, awful purpose.


  • 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.

  • by AndroidCat ( 229562 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:00PM (#2288813) 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.
  • by MoNickels ( 1700 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:07PM (#2288892) Homepage
    For the last 36 hours, I've been keeping a weblog of the events in New York and DC, largely from the perspective of amateur vidoe and still photographers, keeps of weblogs and journals.

    World New York [].
  • by LinuxParanoid ( 64467 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:36PM (#2289054) Homepage Journal
    The Washington Post has two webpages showing a listing of all the businesses in the World Trade Center, sorted by name, but also showing which floor each business was on, both Tower 1 [] and Tower 2 []. Interesting to see the non-US companies listed there, but more grimly relevant for gauging survival probabilities of friends/acquaintances/loved ones.

  • by chhamilton ( 264664 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:03PM (#2289258)
    All the news out there has been hinting that the hijackers got control of the aircraft by luring the pilots out of the locked cockpit by killing passengers/flight attendants, and threatening to kill more. Typical company policy says that they are not to do that, despite it seeming like the right thing to do at the time.

    Why not physically seperate the cockpit from the rest of the aircraft? Currently, regulations and company policy make it so that their should be a door between the cockpit and passenger cabin, and that door is normally locked. However, if the pilots had a seperate external entrance to the cockpit, it would make it pretty much impossible for the hijackers to threaten the pilots directly, or attempt to take over the controls.

    Not to say this would prevent all hiijacks (you can still threaten the entire plane with a bomb or kill passengers to persuade the pilots), but it would prevent aircraft from being physically controlled by hijackers, and used as flying bombs.

    Just a thought...

  • by DumbSwede ( 521261 ) <> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:22PM (#2289356) Homepage 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 _Bunny ( 90075 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:40PM (#2289467) Homepage
    NASA has put some photos of the smoke plume on their website.

    They can be seen at []. Very interesting!
  • 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 [] 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 Jish ( 80046 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:31PM (#2289708)
    I just wanted to say that I think it is amazing how many people are donating to this and I really believe it should be a link on the front page of slashdot.

    To reiterate:

    Donate money []

    - Josh

  • gold under WTC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Goonie ( 8651 ) <{gro.arbmaneb} {ta} {lekrem.trebor}> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @11:18PM (#2290344) Homepage
    This article [] claims that there is very large (> 1 billion USD) amounts of gold stored in a vault under the WTC towers.
  • by ryanvm ( 247662 ) on Thursday September 13, 2001 @12:00AM (#2290486)
    With apologies to the original author, I would like to present a post I read in nntp:// It is very well written and insightful.

    Subject: view from a new yorker...

    the numbness is setting in... im looking at my family right now, each with
    that depressed face one gets on the 2nd day of a funeral....

    there is a depression hitting this city like you wouldnt believe.. everyone is
    just.. blah at this point.. its beyond even the point of saying "i cant
    believe it" its just a numbness... a blackness.

    there were slight racial incidents... my neighborhood is very near to an arab
    neighborhood, coincidentally only a few blocks from the mosque (sp?) where the
    original 1993 bombing was planned... anyways, there have been sirens and lots
    of police activity over there.. so far i have heard of a car being set on fire
    and a muslim beaten, but not killed... i think when the shcok wears off
    tomorrow, and people become increasingly angry at the growing number of death
    reports.. or when the stupid media starts showing bodies or body parts - the
    same as they keep sensationalizing the clips of people jumping out... as if
    thats something we need to see 17 times in one news report :( - well as the
    anger increases tomorrow, i fear common sense will not control people's actions
    tomorrow... hopefully people can keep their senses, and not turn into an
    LA-riots style race war.

    There are still particles floating in the air, and i am 4 miles away, across
    the river. there is a 1/4 inch thick layer of dust from the collapsed
    buildings.. there is also a burning tire smell in the air.. just hanging
    there..i find myself wishing for a breeze.

    stories of the few recovered survivors are filtering through, and there are
    "mental health crisis hotline" flyers posted all over NY...

    i personally dont even want to go to sleep.. im haunted by images, and today
    has been just a series of moments.. i have no sense of a continual and
    coherent passage of time today... just a series of isolated moments and
    emotions... this is the strangest feeling i have had. i decided to write this
    letter after i realized i had been sitting at my keyboard just staring at the
    computer screen for 10 minutes.. not doing anything.. i sort of zoned out.

    its gotten to the point where we have recieved so many phone calls from crying
    relatives and friends that i dont even want to pick up the phone anymore.

    no one is crying anymore... their eyes are sunken in and swollen to show they
    had been crying the whole day.. but not now... its a mental, emotional, and
    physical weariness.

    everything south of 34th street in manhattan is closed tomorrw. the rest of
    manhattan is going to be "business as usual."

    my fraternity brothers who own a hosue right nea the brooklyn bridge are
    telling me about the HUGE amount of commercial truck traffic into the city
    across the bridge. construction support and 18 wheelers full of rescue and
    recovery materials are working their way down... its sort of like that scene
    from "godzilla the movie" where the u.s army takes over nyc.

    stored i shopped in regularly are gone totally..

    people who are trapped in the rubble are calling the authorities from their
    cell phones!!! As the fire was still burning and fear of a gas explosion or
    further collapse was present - rescue workers have not gotten to the "ground
    zero" of the towers... however the surrounding rubble is being searched.

    a few of the people who were calling earlier from their cell phones are feared
    dead nwo from smoke inhalation.

    the national guard is a strong presence in nyc right now - and the scene of
    standard issue cammo gear and soldierly movements in and about the city is such
    a surreal and unfamiliar site...

    most major subway train lines are not able to get into manhattan from brooklyn
    tomorrow... the trade center was above one of the largest hubs in the NY subway
    system... all the major lines from brooklyn met there, and then proceeded to
    ther respective courses uptown or crosstown... this major station of course
    collapsed once the building collapsed...

    my brothers car was rear-ended by a police vehicle that started sliding out of
    control on the layer of ashes (as thick as 2 inches deep around 34th street
    (more than a mile away from the immediate crisis)

    and right now i feel myself getting struck with that numbness i spoke about.. i
    think i'll go and try to get some sleep right now... but just thought i would
    update you on the local condition here in nyc... from a ny'er

    -Steve 98 TJ

    My heartfelt sympathies go out to all those who are directly affected by this tragedy.

  • by Syre ( 234917 ) on Thursday September 13, 2001 @06:27AM (#2291249)

    The New York Times
    9/11 Neediest Fund

    The New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund is a one-month campaign established to collect contributions to relieve the suffering of families struck by death or injury in the World Trade Center calamity, both civilians and rescue workers.

    The campaign is being managed by The New York Times Co. Neediest Cases Fund, which will, as with the annual Neediest Cases campaign, cover all administrative costs.

    Contributions will be accepted through October 11 and then be allocated to the seven social service agencies which disburse funds in the annual Neediest Cases campaign, plus three foundations representing the uniform services. These are the Fire Safety Foundation, the Police Foundation, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Foundation, on behalf of Port Authority, Sanitation, and other agencies.

    You can contribute online: y=neediest911 []

    Donations can also be sent to:

    The New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund
    P.O. Box 5193
    General Post Office
    New York, NY 10087

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus