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  1. 24 May '12 23:41
    Are terrorists stupid or are the real terrorists nonexistent?

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/05/14/the-case-of-the-missing-terrorists/

    Is it the common people who are really the stupid ones for being so easily duped?
  2. 25 May '12 01:06
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Are terrorists stupid or are the real terrorists nonexistent?

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/05/14/the-case-of-the-missing-terrorists/

    Is it the common people who are really the stupid ones for being so easily duped?
    Roberts raises some interesting questions, but as he rants on his argument falls apart, as most of the thing he asks "why haven't they happened?", they have happened somewhere, or the plan for them to happen has been foiled.

    Still his questions bring to mind that "false flag" attacks have been used throughout history for political purposes. Why not now?
  3. 25 May '12 12:49
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Roberts raises some interesting questions, but as he rants on his argument falls apart, as most of the thing he asks "why haven't they happened?", they have happened somewhere, or the plan for them to happen has been foiled.

    Still his questions bring to mind that "false flag" attacks have been used throughout history for political purposes. Why not now?
    His argument doesn't fall apart. He makes a good case that there are better targets and methods for terrorists. It is obvious that there are better methods than explosive underwear going through airport security. Why not kill people before going through airport security? There is no need to board a plane at all. Why not target the electrical grid? Poison the water supply? Sarin gas in a walmart?

    There are far better ways to scare Americans and disrupt their lives.
  4. 25 May '12 13:30
    You have to consider that terrorists generally aren't the smartest people around. If they were, then they wouldn't be terrorists in the first place.
  5. 25 May '12 13:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    You have to consider that terrorists generally aren't the smartest people around. If they were, then they wouldn't be terrorists in the first place.
    Nobody has claimed that the 911 attack was a stupid plan. If the goal was to cause a great deal of disruption and fear, it worked.

    Although, if it was a false flag event as some claim, then you might be right. Maybe the underwear bombs were not really the work of Al Qaeda either. Who knows.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 May '12 13:45
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    His argument doesn't fall apart. He makes a good case that there are better targets and methods for terrorists. It is obvious that there are better methods than explosive underwear going through airport security. Why not kill people before going through airport security? There is no need to board a plane at all. Why not target the electrical grid? Poison ...[text shortened]... arin gas in a walmart?

    There are far better ways to scare Americans and disrupt their lives.
    A bomb going off before security wouldn't have nearly the same level of impact as a hijacked or bombed plane would. The suicide bombers in Israel have adopted those methods of lower level random terror and, by and large, those methods have failed. It's probably not a big enough upside for AQ to find a willing suicide bomber somehow get him into the US to blow him up at a random restaurant, though I have no doubt some of these low level type plots have been prevented by infiltration and detection.

    The article makes it sound so easy to so something like dumping 1,000 nails on a main road during rush hour or cut off the electrical grid or poison the water supply. It's probably not as easy as it sounds and there are infiltrators in would be terror cells all over the place, along with wiretapping and other monitoring devices that can discover these plots before they are executed.

    With the few operatives who are crazy and talented (a rare combination) to want to give their lives to kill civilians, terrorist organizations likely want to get more bang for their buck. Hence 9/11, Madrid, 7/7, Bali and all of the foiled plots.

    What I really don't get is the thesis behind the article. Is the idea that there are literally NO people out there who want to kill American civilians; that after 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bin Laden etc. etc. etc., there are no would be terrorists out there who want to harm American interests? That all the threats and statements from AQ higher ups (and others) are figments of our imagination? That simply doesn't make sense.

    Even if one assumes, arguendo (which of course, is not true, but let's assume) that the embassy bombings, the USS Cole, 9/11, Bali, 7/7, Madrid, Richard Reid, the underwear bomber, Fort Dix, the 1993 WTC bombing, etc. etc. etc. were all carried out by Black Ops (along with the JFK assassination, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the Moon landing and framing Roger Rabbit), doesn't it stand to reason that Islamic fundamentalists would want to do US interests harm in light of the (in this fantasy world) unprovoked attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq? How does the idea that there simply is no terrorist threat make any sense according to any scenario?
  7. 25 May '12 13:56
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Nobody has claimed that the 911 attack was a stupid plan. If the goal was to cause a great deal of disruption and fear, it worked.

    Although, if it was a false flag event as some claim, then you might be right. Maybe the underwear bombs were not really the work of Al Qaeda either. Who knows.
    Even in the case of 9/11, it was just some guys with box cutters hijacking planes. If anything, the absence of "major" terrorist attacks like poisoning the water supply etc. shows that terrorist organizations are poorly organized and funded.
  8. 25 May '12 14:01
    Originally posted by sh76
    A bomb going off before security wouldn't have nearly the same level of impact as a hijacked or bombed plane would. The suicide bombers in Israel have adopted those methods of lower level random terror and, by and large, those methods have failed. It's probably not a big enough upside for AQ to find a willing suicide bomber somehow get him into the US to blow h ...[text shortened]... e idea that there simply is no terrorist threat make any sense according to any scenario?
    Nobody claimed that there is no terrorist threats at all. Heck, there are always guys like the unabomber and other crazies out there. The claim is that the terrorist threat is exaggerated.
    Why not target Jose Rodriguez or Donald Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Condi Rice, Colin Powell or some other guy just walking around? I never did understand why civilians are usually the targets. Why not get the guy that is a torturer of terrorists or a government "yes man"?

    Roberts brings up many good questions. It is not enough to just say terrorists are stupid or make careless mistakes. I think our government wants to keep the public in a constant state of fear so they support a hostile foreign policy agenda and prolonged occupations.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 May '12 14:05
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Nobody claimed that there is no terrorist threats at all. Heck, there are always guys like the unabomber and other crazies out there. The claim is that the terrorist threat is exaggerated.
    Why not target Jose Rodriguez or Donald Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Condi Rice, Colin Powell or some other guy just walking around? I never did understand wh ...[text shortened]... stant state of fear so they support a hostile foreign policy agenda and prolonged occupations.
    First, high profile leaders are more heavily guarded and more cautious than civilians are. Second, if Donald Rumsfeld were assassinated, would it really impact the feeling of security of the common person? Probably not. People would think "Well, that's Rumsfeld; it makes sense they'd go after him; but I'm just an anonymous nobody; I'm safe."

    The whole point of terrorism is to make people feel insecure and vulnerable. That's why the DC snipers were so effective at terrorizing the area; it was because the victims were completely random civilians. Assassinations may make political statements, but terrorism seeks goals completely aside from that.
  10. 25 May '12 14:08
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Even in the case of 9/11, it was just some guys with box cutters hijacking planes. If anything, the absence of "major" terrorist attacks like poisoning the water supply etc. shows that terrorist organizations are poorly organized and funded.
    Box cutters.....yeah, right.

    Even if I believed it really went down that way I would have to say that it is my country's defense that is poorly organized.

    Osama Bin Laden was a wealthy man. Where did the funding from the 911 attacks come from anyway? Oh, that's right....."it is of little consequence". Isn't that what the 911 commission to investigate 911 stated in their report?
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 May '12 14:09
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Nobody claimed that there is no terrorist threats at all. Heck, there are always guys like the unabomber and other crazies out there. The claim is that the terrorist threat is exaggerated.
    Exaggerated by what factor? 20%? 50%? 99%?

    Let's assume it is exaggerated. So what do we do with that information? Do we stop screening people are airports because the odds that terrorists are trying to bring the plane down are 1 in 5,000 instead of 1 in 10,000?

    There are many people who believe things like the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping are unconstitutional and reactionary. But those arguments apply whether the threat is exaggerated or not.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 May '12 14:11
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Box cutters.....yeah, right.

    Even if I believed it really went down that way I would have to say that it is my country's defense that is poorly organized.

    Osama Bin Laden was a wealthy man. Where did the funding from the 911 attacks come from anyway? Oh, that's right....."it is of little consequence". Isn't that what the 911 commission to investigate 911 stated in their report?
    Why would you have trouble believe that terrorists who had been rehearsing and training for years would be able to hijack planes with box cutters in an era when airport security was much more lax? What about the official account do you find implausible? Box cutters are sharp; they can cut a person's throat. You know that. You've seen box cutters. So why is it so hard to believe that they were used on 9/11?
  13. 25 May '12 14:13
    Originally posted by sh76
    First, high profile leaders are more heavily guarded and more cautious than civilians are. Second, if Donald Rumsfeld were assassinated, would it really impact the feeling of security of the common person? Probably not. People would think "Well, that's Rumsfeld; it makes sense they'd go after him; but I'm just an anonymous nobody; I'm safe."

    The whole point ...[text shortened]... ions may make political statements, but terrorism seeks goals completely aside from that.
    Ridiculous.

    It makes just as much sense to target a government guy as a civilian.
    They shape the policies.

    If they killed Rumsfeld, Americans would think that nobody is safe.
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 May '12 14:17
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Ridiculous.

    It makes just as much sense to target a government guy as a civilian.
    They shape the policies.

    If they killed Rumsfeld, Americans would think that nobody is safe.
    I hope you will take this as a compliment...

    You don't understand the terrorist mind.

    The terrorist wants to make people afraid to go to the corner supermarket to buy a bag of oranges or to take the train to work.

    Do you really think that assassinating Donald Rumsfeld will do this more so than bombing a random restaurant in Podunk?
  15. 25 May '12 14:18
    Originally posted by sh76
    Exaggerated by what factor? 20%? 50%? 99%?

    Let's assume it is exaggerated. So what do we do with that information? Do we stop screening people are airports because the odds that terrorists are trying to bring the plane down are 1 in 5,000 instead of 1 in 10,000?

    There are many people who believe things like the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping are ...[text shortened]... titutional and reactionary. But those arguments apply whether the threat is exaggerated or not.
    If attacks were carried out at places other than airports there would have to be screening expanded to places other than airports. That would be even more expensive and strike fear into the minds of all Americans.
    I don't have fear of terrorism at all. Of course, I live in a rural area. Not much reason for me to concern myself with it unless I lost my electricity. That would annoy me.