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News A new year of terror

  1. Jan 1, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    We have enemies, to be sure, and who knows what the new year will bring, but I just wanted to throw out one perspective to consider in all of this. While I was growing up, we expected that the world might end in a great flash at any moment. The red scare had convinced many Americans that the Russians wanted to destroy us, and for fear or ideology they probably did. As opposed to the situation today, the enemy was not limited to suicide bombers, stolen nuclear fuel, or bathtub chemistry. We were facing an enemy who had top notch scientists, budgets equal to our own, fleets of ships, submarines, aircraft, and who at the peak of the cold war had something like 30,000 nuclear missiles with most of them pointed at us and our allies.

    The threat was not that we might lose some building, bridges, or even a city, we believed, and probably correctly so, that the entire planet would be destroyed in a few hours - maybe days or weeks - but for all practical purposes, nothing would survive anywhere. Not only did we know that the enemy had tried to put nuclear weapons in Cuba - our own backyard - we also knew that tensions were often high and that the decision to launch a first strike, which was certain to be followed by a retaliatory strike, might be based on some sort of mathematical game in which we were the expendable masses. Most of us understood that it was a numbers game and all that it would take to end humanity was one nut with his finger on the red button.

    Nothing that I see today even comes close to equaling the threat posed by the Soviets and the cold war. Obviously we need to respond in a reasonable way to an enemy who wishes us harm, but these guys are a bunch of clowns compared to the Soviets. And there is absolutely no reason to sacrifice rights and liberties to rhetoric and fear mongering.

    There is nothing new under the sun including the cries for more security at the expense of rights protected by the Constitution. In my opinion, the greatest threat to all Americans comes from within our own borders - blind and unquestioning patriotism, unchecked rhetoric, and the use of fear as a political tool. These are the real enemies to what we are. The world has always been hanging by a thread and it will probably continue to do so for many generations to come. But once we give up rights that were paid for in blood, we may not get them back for decades if ever. And the problem with giving up rights is that we can easily give up more than we know until it’s too late.

    One last thought: Keep in mind that 911 was over four years ago - longer than we were engaged in WWI or WWII. The war on terror will probably last for decades.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2006 #2


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    I think you are forgetting something. Those aircraft, bombers, silos, and subs, all capable of whiping out our entire country where their own deterant. The only reasons the Russians didn't attack us was because they were one huge target to our ICBM's. Terrorists, on the other hand, are small groups of people in a number of countries that don't fear a silo down in Montana.

    You also have to realize that these people have nothing to lose compared to the Russians. The russians feared that a submarine losing communications with their base could set off a chain reaction that would end the world. Terrorists, on the other hand, could detonate a bomb right on wall street with almost no immediate consequence. Hell they pulled 9/11 off, what makes you think they are less of a threat then the russians? Even the Russians never directly attacked us.... No Russian ever rationally felt that strapping a bomb to himself and detonating in downtown LA would lead to anything but the full destruction of their entire country (and world).

    And let me ask you something else. Do you feel the lack of terrorist attacks have been because of the government's actions since 9/11 or do you think there has been no terrorist attacks regardless of what the government does? Do you feel lower crime in city X is due to what its police force does or is it lower regardless of what city X's police force does?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2006
  4. Jan 1, 2006 #3
    Taking Bets on how many times Bush says the word "Terror" in the State of the Union.
  5. Jan 1, 2006 #4


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    Can't be more then the number of bush/america bashing threads that comes up here in a week. I remembered when it was 2 a day, new threads... is everyone on vacation... (ok I assume since it is vacation for all sorts of people, the answer is yes.... yes they are).
  6. Jan 1, 2006 #5
    More Terror

    About the cold war; as soon as it was over it became apparent that the west had grossly overestimated the military potential of the Soviet Union and vice versa. Also both sides were convinced that the sole purpose of the other side was the destruction of it’s adversaries, or our side. Why? For the west it was obvious, Marx and Lenin had clearly preached the holy end state for the word, “mir” to be reached by global communism. That had to be prevented at all cost. For the East is was equally obvious. The sole and only purpose of imperialism was expansionism, to get even more wealthy with more territory. Hadn’t Napoleon tried it and after him Hitler? All the misery comes from the west. It was only a matter of time before the NATO would do the same.

    This is called enemy image building. It’s as old as mankind. Create an enemy and you have a target for your people to work for and enduring anything in the process just to prevent that imaginary enemy to prevail, thus gaining and / or consolidating your own leadership.

    Look at the last Iraq war, identical process. The Nazi propaganda, the Russian revolution all identical process.

    The current most important terror enemy, lacking real ones, is global warming and their deniers, the skeptics.
  7. Jan 1, 2006 #6


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    ... why does every single possible topic always come down to global warming?
  8. Jan 1, 2006 #7
    Well If you had the flu, wouldn't you occasionally talk about it.

    Humanity is also ill.
  9. Jan 1, 2006 #8
    Please don't put bush in the same category as America.

    It is terribly demeaning to Americans.

    America is a great nation, despite the current occupant of the oval office. 2006 offers an opportunity for the opposition to gain control of at least one branch of government, which would give them subpoena power. Once we rip the veil of secrecy off the WH cabal they will be finished and the world can start healing and progressing toward a better future.

    OK, maybe not, call me an optimist.:cool:
  10. Jan 1, 2006 #9
    So the planet warming up is not a problem? :bugeye:

    Do you seriously believe that what you consider to be false claims about global warming, and people who share your opinion are being portrayed falsely as an important terror threat? :surprised Did you not read Chrichtons book State of Fear? It is just the opposite. Portraying those concerned about global warming as terrorists.

    I used to hold your opinions in high esteem as an alternative view to balance my understanding of climate change. I find it healthy to keep everything in perspective.

    PS, Despite your views on global warming I do not consider you a terror threat. :tongue:
  11. Jan 1, 2006 #10
    Trying to keep it on a terror thread instead of global warming. If you want to discus that, please open another thread at the appropriate place. It's now purely about the psychologic mechanism and mutual positive feedback :wink: between scaremongers and the to be terrified population, with media and leaders in between and regardless of the current enemy / threat - hype (be it heathens, huns, commies, capitalist, meteorite impact, global warming, whatever)

    About the percieved terrorist - enemy role of the climate sceptics:


    Edit And to balance that, meet the current champion scaremonger:

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2006
  12. Jan 1, 2006 #11
    I fail to see your point from that blog.

    Who are the leaders exploiting global warming to consolidate their power?

    [edit]Overpeck is trying to take over the world?:surprised

    Andre what you are doing here is projection. You are accusing Overpeck of doing exactly what you yourself are doing. I appreciate your skepticism, but the scaremongering about how you and your fellow skeptics are being "enemy imaged built" is hyperbolic.
    As far as staying on topic, I am. I don't wish to argue global warming. I want to understand why you would consider it's skeptics to be a percieved terror threat.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2006
  13. Jan 1, 2006 #12
    Well unfortunately you have not seen the correspondance with the people concerned but take it from me that this particular (science) journalist considers the climate sceptics as one of the major threats to the world by succeeding in delaying climate issues.

    Just count the occurences of (British) Leadership here:


    Power corrupts, If people listen to you and do as you tell them, you have power. There is the limelight, there is social leading position and the research money. All you have to do is tell how scaring things will be if you don't do as told.

    Absolutely not, I'm trying to unscare and I'm trying to unexplain anthropogenic global warming. That's exactly the opposite. After ample study I think I have some clue about what climate really has been in the Pleistocene and projecting that on the future shows that global warming is a futile notion.

    However, coming to think of it, I could consider starting a new scaremonger campaign, if that's what it is to get the people listening. There are some very effective candidates for that, the Amazon turbite fan, for instance, or the Storegga continental slope land slide.

    Thanks for the tip. :biggrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017 at 10:49 PM
  14. Jan 1, 2006 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    It was widely believed and probably true that given an edge, one super-power might take the intiative and launch a first strike. And don't forget that we also had worries over suitcase bombs, chemical warfare, and really all of the threats that we have today. An all out nuclear strike was not the only way that the Soviets might get us. They too could act like terrorists.

    The terrorist are a desparate bunch of clowns with virtually no budget or resources, and who have managed what exactly - twenty guys with box knives who took avantage of our complacency? During the cold war we lived on the precipice of extinction for decades - the enemy was far more formidable. And as I said, they also could employ the techniques of terror. There is nothing new.

    Our borders and ports are virtually wide open. Most overseas cargo is received without inspection, and most cargo that goes on aircrafts is never inspected.

    I think the enemy's capabilities have been seriously exaggerated. They are a threat to be sure, and as I said, we have to respond in a reasonable manner, but they are nothing compared to the Soviets; and certainly not worth the loss of Constitutional rights.

    Be brave. If you live in fear of the enemy has won.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2006
  15. Jan 1, 2006 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    What has cost us much more than 911?
    Katrina. There, we really did lose an entire city and many Americans did suffer greatly. I think we need a war on the government's ineptitude.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2006
  16. Jan 1, 2006 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    One more question: Where is Osama?

    Okay, and here's another one. We haven't even mentioned the Chinese. In order to get a feel for the attitudes found in the sixties and the threat that we percieved, watch the Manchurian Candidate.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2006
  17. Jan 1, 2006 #16
    Somewhere by Pakistan and Afghanistan boder IF he's still alive.It is possible that he could be dead because earth quake that happend it could destroyed the bulding that he was hididing in.
    The Chinese is a thert but not a big chance.They just want have a better ecconmy and us going to war whould make that harder but that doesn't it's not possible and the us should perpared.The country I see as the biggest to the U.S. is North Korea they have nuclear weapons and it is possible form them to use them aganist South Korea,Japan or the U.S.
  18. Jan 2, 2006 #17


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    Or that something might be detected incorrectly as incoming missiles, resulting in an actual launch of nukes. This kind of close call happened more often than we will ever know.

    I feel the comparison is very good and interesting. Younger members who did not grow up during the Cold War aren't as likely to understand. There still is the fear of nuclear weapons falling in the wrong hands, whether a desperate nation state like N. Korea, or a Manchurian Candidate, or terrorists.

    Do we as individual Americans fear being killed/injured in a terrorist attack the same way we feared nuclear attack? Not unless terrorists use nuclear weapons, and since people aren't building bomb shelters like they did during the Cold War, this doesn't appear to be the case.

    Currently natural disasters are far more threatening (resulting in greater loss of homes and lives), and may be increasing in frequency and intensity due to global warming. Personally I am more concerned about this than terrorism.

    Terrorism is being exaggerated. The most annoying has been referring to insurgents in Iraq as terrorists. And good question about Osama--especially after all the NSA spying that's been going on.
  19. Jan 2, 2006 #18


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    I agree.

    In 2004, over 16,000 people in the US were murdered (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=12&did=169 Note: The 16,000 is based on a population of about 294 million with a murder rate of 5.5 per 100,000). Worldwide, about 1900 people were killed by terrorism . Of those killed by terrorism, 726 occurred in the Middle East, 636 occurred in Europe, and 502 occurred in South Asia. 9 people in the entire Western Hemisphere were killed by terrorism.(http://www.tkb.org/documents/Downloads/NCTC_Report.pdf)

    2004 was pretty typical (2001 being a major exception). Because of the US geographical location, our major threat has been domestic terrorist threats, such as Timothy McVeigh (the OK City bombing was the second worst terrorist incident pushing 1995 to 160 deaths due to terrorism. Fourth worst year was 1993 (first World Trade Center bombing) with 6 deaths due to terrorism (1982 was third with 8 deaths). (http://www.fbi.gov/publications/terror/terror2000_2001.htm)

    It's important to prevent terrorist groups from establishing a permanent base to raise funds and operate from (an effort the US was slow to join even after the first World Trade Center bombing). The threat isn't significant enough to be worth the loss of civil liberties.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017 at 10:50 PM
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