Thursday, 15 July 2004

We live in scary times

There's been a huge amount of speculation on the web about a possible terrorist strike on the US in the coming months. It is always interesting - if worrying - to read the regular articles by J. R. Nyquist on the excellent Financial Sense Online website. To put it mildly, I am rather concerned about what might occur between now and the November elections in America:
The warnings qualitatively differ from previous warnings. Two data points serve to explain this qualitative shift. The first data point is the claim that al Qaeda has nuclear weapons that are probably deployed on U.S. soil. The second data point is the fact that steps are being taken to cope with a major disruption of the November elections.
There seems to be very little discussion about these concerns in the UK press. I wonder what the British government's real views are on this.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Neil (
"Saddam would still be firmly in place, with his delightful sons waiting in the wings for when he finally died of old age.  
Whatever our current problems, it is hard to see that as a better outcome." 
But he would still be contained. Iraq would still have been a threat to nobody. The rule of international law would be somewhat less threadbare. Al Quaeda would not have gained a new source of recruits. Our security (according to MI6) would be better. We would not have responsibility for running the place. And for the next thug to run the place. Rulers the world over would not have been taught that if you go along with US demands to get rid of WMDs you may get invaded anyway. Thousands of lives & hundreds of billions of dollars would not have been wasted. 
Most importantly a world in which promises, law, truth are of no importance & power comes purely from the barrel of air to ground missiles is a considerably more dangerous place. (The same obviously applies to our genocide in Yugoslavia)

24 July 2004, 23:09:05 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

Andrew Duffin (
Stuart - actually I have the highest regard for our European allies, that is to say, the Poles, the Czechs, the Spanish, and a few others.  
The countries whose policies I am not so keen on (not "hatred", please, I try very hard not to "hate" anyone: that way madness lies) are the ones who impeded and confounded the Iraq operation at every turn. No allies they! If France and Germany had had their way, Saddam would still be firmly in place, with his delightful sons waiting in the wings for when he finally died of old age.  
Whatever our current problems, it is hard to see that as a better outcome.

23 July 2004, 12:17:40 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

Sandy P (
Cabana Boy voted for the war resolution to call W's bluff. 
He voted for the war before he voted against it. 
Iraq was not folly. 
The Iranians got it last year. Location, location, location just ain't a real estate mantra. 
And there's another WMD report due out in September.

22 July 2004, 03:10:55 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

Neil (
Andrew even if I granted that any possible UK leadership is going to do a stiff upper lip loyal support of the US (I don't) that would not dissuade al Quaeda.  
If they were that reasonable/sane they would never have left Saudi in the first place. Al Quaeda are our implacable enemies - they must be stamped on relentlessly & that also means we target them not making extra enemies, not going off at tangents to invade Iraq or hiring them when it is useful to exterminate Serbs in Bosnia & Kosovo or Russians in Chechnya.

20 July 2004, 23:37:05 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

Squander Two (
Judging by the bye-election voters' reactions, not all that clever.

20 July 2004, 16:25:18 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

David Farrer said...

William (
From that link you posted, Howard appears to want to have a foot in either camp. He would not have voted for the war but he would have voted for it if the case was 'worded differently'. 
So the policy appears to be pro-war and anti-war. Clever.

20 July 2004, 11:23:02 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

Stuart Dickson (
Michael Howard has just renounced his support for the war. (BBC News, "Howard changes mind on WMD vote" 
Does that make him an "appeaser" too?  
No, just a very slow learner. 
Do not let your hatred for our European allies blind you to the appalling folly of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

19 July 2004, 13:28:44 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

Andrew Duffin (
Neil I don't agree. 
There is no realistic possibility of ANY British government joining the appeasers' coven in Europe, so what would Al Queda be hoping for? 
A Lib Dem overall majority perhaps? I don't think they are that stupid. 
No possible payback for them, therefore no atrocity, I think.

19 July 2004, 13:11:48 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

Neil (
I would be astonished if al Quaeda had nukes partly because, as Rowland says, they would have used them, but mainly because they are very hi-tech.  
Gas or germ has been described as the "poor man's atom bomb" & would be much easier to use & conceal, particularly germ warfare spread by a determined suicide. 
However, for obvious geographic reasons the US is not as accesible as Europe. The prime risk is, I think, in the UK in the run-up to the general election.

17 July 2004, 02:31:30 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

Roland Watson (
If there is one thing predictable about Al Qaeda, it is that they are unpredicatable. So, if everyone is talking about a pre-election strike, then it won't by implication happen. 
Nyquist is a bit off when he talks about "millions of casualties". Even a dozen 10Kt atom bombs won't guarantee that (especially a groundburst). 
A 10Kt groundburst in New York would kill tens of thousands with several times more injured. An airburst akin to Hiroshima would inflict far more damage because of its greater coverage, but Al Qaeda would not be capable of such a delivery. 
See my article at:

16 July 2004, 08:37:18 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

William (
After Madrid, it's unlikely al Qaeda will not take the opportunity to 'influence voters' in America. 
Whether they have nuclear capability, I somehow doubt it. If only for the reason that if they had them, they would surely have used them by now.

15 July 2004, 11:14:22 GMT+01:00