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billvon

The new terrorist threat

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I must state that you are dead accurate.
Just as an example of how they love us over there: My father was on the Olymipic Commitee Security counsel due to his Counter-terrorism/interpol & para-military("the less you know, the better you'll sleep" deal & Him being an Olympian '64/Bobsled),
In '87, getting ready for '88 Seoule, all U.S. apprearing people had to stay in after dark and be escorted in the city. The violent protests of S. Koreans wanting N.Korean power to make the 1 Korea, blamed U.S. for everything under the sun.B|
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If I could be a Super Hero,
I chose to be: "GRANT-A-CLAUS". and work 365 days a Year.
http://www.hangout.no/speednews/

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I know where Bahrain is. The Prince of Bahrain was the Captain of the Polo team at Valley Forge Mil. Acad. (My Dad was his coach back then) He was also the Commander of the Core of Cadets his Last year at the Academy. A great guy but, I never knew where Bahrian was til I met him.(the poorest person in the country is a multi-millionaire just like in Kuwait).
_______________________________
If I could be a Super Hero,
I chose to be: "GRANT-A-CLAUS". and work 365 days a Year.
http://www.hangout.no/speednews/

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(Sorry - quotes don't seem to be working at the moment - the original quote was BillVon's about nuclear reactors producing plutonium). I hear this often from people, and I believe it's kind of a common misunderstanding. Either that or I have an uncommon misunderstanding :P
Most modern nuclear reactors contain plutonium as a fuel (or rather heat) source, but there is a difference between plutonium used in reactors and weapons-grade plutonium. My understanding (not being a nuclear physicist) is that weapons-grade is much higher in purity, which would require reprocessing to create a weapon out of it. Obviously, we wouldn't sell them the tools or materials to do this, but it doesn't mean they can't make them or get them from someone else. But it is a substantial effort - almost as much work as creating the fuel from scratch (uranium).
In other words, just because N. Korea has nuclear reactors, doesn't mean they can stick the plutonium from the reactors into a bomb and make it explode. Here's a better explanation:
http://www.top-education.com/warweapons/nr.htm
I think this is a common misunderstanding because of accidents like Chernobyl and three-mile island. A meltdown is not a nuclear explosion, but rather the beginning of a nuclear explosion. They are extremely rare because they are extremely difficult to make happen (the instances I mentioned were both a series of goof-ups and some freak events). The beginning of the explosion is certainly enough to rip apart the reactors and pollute the area around with radioactive particles, but the low-grade material doesn't have enough concentration to allow the start of the reaction to complete. You can't turn a meltdown into an ICBM type bomb, because you can't make it happen at a specific instant - it happens whenever it wants to happen. Also, the force of the explosion is a tiny fraction of a "real" nuclear weapon - you could do the same thing with conventional weapons. With our nuclear missles, we can trigger the explosion within a millisecond, allowing us to detonate at a a specific altitude with a full chain reaction.
Of course, N.K. could always just stuff the plutonium rods into a conventional bomb and have it explode and scatter the radioactive material, which would kill a lot of people. But they could do the same thing with sarin gas, only cheaper and more effective.
Trapped on the surface of a sphere. XKCD

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Hey, Prof...

If I can be so bold as to answer for someone else, methinks it's possibly because he was reading all the responses before he decided to write one himself. It wasn't meant for you...

Ciels-
Michele


~Do Angels keep the dreams we seek
While our hearts lie bleeding?~

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>North Korea does not have ICBMs. . . .
>Up until now North Korea has never flown a missile over 1,000 miles
>. The NoDong2 was the longest at 800 miles. The Taepo Dong 2
>(3700 mile range) cannot carry a nuclear warhead and cannot be
> modified to do so . . .

The Taepo-dong II has a theoretical range sufficient to reach Alaska (Anchorage according to some estimates) and, according to the Asian press, they have tested a three-stage missile that made it 3700 miles (there was a malfunction that terminated the flight early.) There are no unusual modifications required for nuclear weapons beyond those required for a conventional warhead of the same size and weight.

>Most analysts don't believe North Korea will develop a nuclear ICBM
> that can reach the US mainland before 2010.

I agree that they will not have a reliable (i.e. fully tested) delivery system in the next year or so, but they are very close - certainly many, many times closer than, say, Iraq.

>I really don't see how you can support this argument. They may
> have the potential to be a greater threat, but they are not currently
> a greater threat.

North Korea is close to being able to deliver nuclear weapons to the US, they are part of the axis of terror, and they're not a greater threat than Iraq? Pakistan has nuclear weapons, is selling nuclear technology to the axis of terror, and they're not a greater threat than Iraq? A suprising assesement, especially since most of the rhetoric against Iraq concerns their future, rather than their current, threat.

In any case, dealing with such such threats earlier rather than later makes them a lot more tractable. We've seen what waiting gets us.

>>We risk being seen as a country whose alliances are for sale to the
>> highest bidder.

>I think we are probably a country whose alliances are in our best
> interest at the time.

I don't think that giving hundreds of millions to terrorist groups that later use the money to attack us is ever in our best interest.

>That is an interesting line of thought. I don't think we deal with
> Russia and China differently just because they have nuclear
>weapons. They are not violating UN resolutions on a daily basis.

And if they were, we would not bomb their military installations regularly, because we fear their response. China has an abysmal human rights record, but we seem content to deal with them on a political, rather than a military, basis.

>They are not firing at our planes while those planes are trying to
> enforce those sanctions.

To be fair, they would be if we were bombing them on a weekly basis.

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To be fair, they would be if we were bombing them on a weekly basis.

I thought you supported going throught the UN for everything we do. We bomb Irag in response to their repeated attacks on our aircraft enforcing the UN no-fly zone. Should we stop enforcing the no-fly zone? Do we not have a right to self defense while enforcing this no-fly zone? When they fire at us are we supposed to shut everything down and start talking to them again? I don't get your point.


"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." Ben Franklin

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In any case, dealing with such such threats earlier rather than later makes them a lot more tractable. We've seen what waiting gets us.

Yes, and so far we are trying to do that diplomatically with N Korea and Pakistan. Isn't that what you support? Iraq has shown a total unwillingness to deal with us diplomatically. We tried that before they invaded Kuwait and they ignored us. We tried that with the weapons inspections after the Gulf War and they have ignored us. We let them snub their nose at us and the UN for far too long.

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There are no unusual modifications required for nuclear weapons beyond those required for a conventional warhead of the same size and weight.

The US government says that it is possible to modify the Taepo dong 2 to carry a nuclear warhead but most non-government groups say that it cannot. I haven't tested it myself so I don't know for sure.
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North Korea is close to being able to deliver nuclear weapons to the US, they are part of the axis of terror, and they're not a greater threat than Iraq? Pakistan has nuclear weapons, is selling nuclear technology to the axis of terror, and they're not a greater threat than Iraq?

Neither of those countries is spouting the rhetoric that Iraq is. The capability to use something does not equal the willingness to use it. N Korea is part of the axis of evil because of their support of terrorism not because we expect them to attack us. We are still diplomatically engaged with them. We are not with Iraq.

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I don't think that giving hundreds of millions to terrorist groups that later use the money to attack us is ever in our best interest.

Everything we do diplomatically has good and bad points. We always have to compromise to come to a solution. We just have to pick the option that gives us the most benefit for the least amount of pain. No one is just going to help us out of the goodness of their heart. Sometimes we have under estimated the amount of pain in the deals we make. We will do it again in the future. Diplomacy is not always the best option.


"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." Ben Franklin

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>In other words, just because N. Korea has nuclear reactors, doesn't
> mean they can stick the plutonium from the reactors into a bomb
> and make it explode.

Of course not. LWR reactors don't even start out with any plutonium in them. However, they can do one of three things:

1. Run the reactor (this produces plutonium) and take the resultant spent fuel and process it to get plutonium out. This is very, very difficult since the isotope you want (Pu-239) is hard to separate from the ones you don't (Pu-240, 241.)

2. Use the fuel to operate a fast breeder reactor to produce Pu-239 more quickly and efficiently.

3. Put the fuel itself through enrichment to get weapons-grade U-235.

All three are difficult, but not impossible. We make it possible by selling them reactors, which I think is unfortunate.

BTW a supercritical reaction played no part in the TMI accident; it was a pure LOCA.

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Most modern nuclear reactors contain plutonium as a fuel (or rather heat) source, but there is a difference between plutonium used in reactors and weapons-grade plutonium. My understanding (not being a nuclear physicist) is that weapons-grade is much higher in purity, which would require reprocessing to create a weapon out of it. Obviously, we wouldn't sell them the tools or materials to do this, but it doesn't mean they can't make them or get them from someone else. But it is a substantial effort - almost as much work as creating the fuel from scratch (uranium).

In other words, just because N. Korea has nuclear reactors, doesn't mean they can stick the plutonium from the reactors into a bomb and make it explode.

...

Of course, N.K. could always just stuff the plutonium rods into a conventional bomb and have it explode and scatter the radioactive material, which would kill a lot of people. But they could do the same thing with sarin gas, only cheaper and more effective.



I do not have access to intelligence information, but published reports suggest that N. Korea already had enough Pu for 2 nukes in 1994.

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>I thought you supported going throught the UN for everything we do.
> We bomb Irag in response to their repeated attacks on our aircraft
> enforcing the UN no-fly zone. Should we stop enforcing the no-fly
> zone? Do we not have a right to self defense while enforcing this no-
>fly zone?

Yes we do. I was not disputing our involvement in enforcement of UN sanctions; I was simply pointing out that firing on aircraft that are bombing you is quite different than, say, China firing on our aircraft unprovoked.

> Yes, and so far we are trying to do that diplomatically with N Korea
> and Pakistan. Isn't that what you support?

Yes, and we should do the same with lesser threats like Iraq.

> Iraq has shown a total unwillingness to deal with us diplomatically.

They seem willing now. It may well be, as you say, that we are now sabre rattling much more loudly, which would be a good result of said sabre rattling.

>We just have to pick the option that gives us the most benefit for
> the least amount of pain.

I would also suggest that we choose the option that gives us the least pain in the future, instead of just the next year or two.

>Diplomacy is not always the best option.

As more and more of the world acquires nuclear weapons, it must become the first and best option. The alternative is too grim to consider.

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It's definitely possible for North Korea to do these things, but I think the government determined that is was unlikely give their technological and financial state before they OK'ed the sale. And I believe part of the rationale was actually and environmental one, rather than a financial one. People in N.K. were deforresting the timber to burn wood, which they agreed to outlaw with out help of the U.S. led consortium (including South Korea and Japan). The bigger part of the deal was that by us providing them, they would agree to suspend all nuclear testing, since they argued they should be allowed to test to develop reactors (a bad argument, but it got them $100 mil).
Of course, all of this is moot in the face of politics. Politicians are all greedy liars, so it's hard for me to argue the official story when I don't necessarily believe it.
I do believe that North Korea is on the verge of a government collapse. They are more interested in surviving than building ICBMs with nukes. Our government fears instability in the area because of our economic interests, but I don't think they fear a nuclear strike. Maybe I'm stupid, but I don't either. And I agree with helping other countries in hard times, even if most of them come back and treat us like shit later. The people remember, even if the politicians don't.
Trapped on the surface of a sphere. XKCD

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I was not disputing our involvement in enforcement of UN sanctions; I was simply pointing out that firing on aircraft that are bombing you is quite different than, say, China firing on our aircraft unprovoked.



You're a little off base here. We're not just flying around randomly dropping bombs where ever we feel like. The iraquis are firing aa missles at our planes and then we are responding by attacking their radar sites.

Knowledge is only useful when it's accurate.

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>You're a little off base here. We're not just flying around randomly
> dropping bombs where ever we feel like. The iraquis are firing aa
> missles at our planes and then we are responding by attacking their
> radar sites.

Rumsfeld recently announced that they would be targeting command and control facilities to prevent their being used to help coordinate missile attacks against coalition aircraft. We take them out without being fired upon. In other words, we bomb where we feel like.

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I have followed this thread with a bit of interest and offer a few points.

1) Iraq is a more immediate threat to US well being. They have the attitude and conviction to attack us and the means.
How much biological technology have they bought from Russia? Tons. It takes next to nothing to produce biological agent, nothing to smuggle it into our country and only a moron to activate it. It is hard as Hell for us to find and protect against.
A bio weapon the size of a beer can holds the potential to kill 30,000 people. This scares me more than nukes, which we can at least target and destroy.
Iraq and any Islamic or religious terrorist holds a key advantage over a government like Communist Korea. Korea would attack us with the thought of profiting from it. If they nuke us, they don't profit. Cause we strike back and everyone loses. Nukes have been up to this point a defensive weapon only. Cause the first moron that uses them causes everyone to use them. We would not have used the bomb on Japan if we had thought Germany had on as well. It would have beena stalemate.
A terrorist attack using bio agents is no different than ramming a plane into the WTC. We spend years tracking the individuals responsible and those who are responsible don't care to profit. So long as they serve their holy cause they are happy. They don't give a rat's ass who suffers from their actions either, or they would have turned Osama over when we started bombing their rock pile country.
So the terrorist gets to strike with relative anonimity and without fear of repurcusion. This makes Iraq more of a threat than Korea. A country does not want to start a war unless it profits by it.

2) Diplomacy should be our first step at resolving any issue. Once it fails, break out the guns and stay out of the way of the professionals. Once we wage war, we should do so with no holds barred.

3) We should be allowed to bomb where we wish. We have the might to do, and the right. Not saying that our government is not as corrupt as any other in the history of the world, but I doubt we would target anything that did not have military value, unlike the suck ass scum we are facing. This is a bit different than how you phrased it. There is a measure of responsibility in our actions.

MHO
JJ
JJ

"Call me Darth Balls"

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Assuming it is as easy as you say to develop and deploy effective bio-weapons, how does an unprovoked invasion into the worlds most unstable region decrease the chance of some terrorist using bio-weapons against the US?
---
PCSS #10

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There is no assumption about it. A bio lab can be set up in the back of a step van. And when those pesky inspectors show up at your front door, just drive your lab out the back one. As for the rest of your question, let's break it down into a few areas:
1) Unprovoked??? Invading Sweden would be unprovoked. Invading Iraq is long over due. He needs to be out of power, period. If he has not done things against the U.S. directly, he's pulled the strings behind the stage. Had lame ass politicians not stopped at the end of the Gulf War this situation would be different now. So if there is an invasion coming up just think of it as rematch fight.
2) Invading the region may not make the situation better. But neither will doing nothing. We did nothing the last few years and got airplanes stuck in our ass, ships blown up and embassies attacked.
I'm all for peaceful resolutions and I'm a firm believer that the first person to resort to violence is normally a moron. However mankind's long run at attempting civilization is not exactly panning out. The current governments attempts at staging other puppet govenments, to basically take over those countries is about the same as the English trying to breed out the Scottish by raping the newlywed brides. Our methods have changed but not the reasons. Man is still a war mongering, greed motivated, lust filled, fear based creature. No matter the clothes we wear we have not really changed all that much in the last few thousand years.
So when you boil it all down, one country is not any better than another and chances are good that their reasons for doing dirty shit is basically the same. But hidden behind different flowery rhetoric that politians spout out their asses. What it comes down to is who has the might to enforce what they want...or who can influence enough other countries to ally with them and enforce what they want.
This is just my opinion here and I'm not saying it's right or wrong. There are two versions of every story and the truth lies somewhere inbetween. I'm sure all the Islamic terrorists have great stories to back up their shit as well.
If you happen to know a better solution let it fly. I'm all ears. Then you and I can run for office and solve the worlds problems. My first official act would be free jumps every Friday and mandantory nudity for all females on Saturday at my DZ.

JJ
JJ

"Call me Darth Balls"

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Kenny,

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I have yet to decipher if these people are simply anti-american or anti-Bush Administration.

I am beginning to think that if for some miracle, Pres. Bush was to come up with a way to feed all the poor in this country, they would find some way to criticize him.




I agree with that, some of the pro Iraq comments make me sick! Yea and about feeding the poor, These anti Busch/Americans would say it was Clintons Idea

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***
I have yet to decipher if these people are simply anti-american or anti-Bush Administration.
I am beginning to think that if for some miracle, Pres. Bush was to come up with a way to feed all the poor in this country, they would find some way to criticize him.



I agree with that, some of the pro Iraq comments make me sick! Yea and about feeding the poor, These anti Busch/Americans would say it was Clintons Idea



Welcome to the world of partisan politics. The same could be said of Bill Clinton. People who disagreed with some things he did didn't think he or his administration was capable of anything whatsoever good. Anything good that happened was attributed to the previous administration. Funny how those same people aren't attributing the good things to the previous administration any more.
Disagreeing with the president now doesn't make one any more anti-American than disagreeing with the president 3 years ago. Or even necessarily wrong or right.
Wendy W.
(who reserves the right to disagree with ANY US president she wishes to)
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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