September 29, 2001

Camping in Big Sur

September 28, 2001

I missed this yesterday, but I was interested to learn than Reuters does not use the term "terrorist" because news organization feels it is an emotive term (i.e. "We do not characterize the subjects of news stories but instead report their actions, identity, and background"). According to this article, Reuters has received a lot of hit for describing recent events as "suicide plane attacks" as opposed to "terrorist attacks."

September 27, 2001

"Why do they hate us?" was a question asked by President Bush in his speech to Congress last Thursday night. Well, many Arabs, Muslims, and other foreigners have their reasons. Time magazine and The Christian Science Monitor explore the grievances (economic, cultural, political, historic) many people have with the United States and the West. Until we as a country have a better understanding of these qualms, we probably cannot expect the end of animosity toward the Unites States.

September 26, 2001

Other countries have other interests in joining America's anti-terrorism campaign (besides avoiding becoming an enemy of an angry behemoth). The Christian Science Monitor discusses Russia's quest to address the "Chechen problem" by joining the American cause: Russia surfs antiterrorist wave - The Kremlin is swiftly repackaging many of its own longstanding geopolitical goals to give them an antiterrorist hue. On Monday, Putin sent an envoy to Chechnya as part of his 72-hour ultimatum to rebels over ending conflict in the region.

Similarly, both India and Pakistan stand to benefit by the easing or lifting of sanctions if they corporate with the US. The US is increasingly seeking to re-establish ties with former adversaries in the coalition-building effort.

Iran, along with other countries that may be targets by the United States, want a
global coalition against terrorism to be headed by the United Nations, not the US.

September 25, 2001

Some more on germ warfare:



The FAA allowed crop-duster planes to fly again while the it reportedly considers arming pilots to protect against further terrorist incursions into the cockpit (Guns in the cockpit means we'll probably need to screen pilots more carefully -- what's to stop an armed pilot from taking down a plane?)

The stock market appears to be continuing its rebound despite bad news from AOL and plunging consumer confidence.

September 24, 2001

Keeping with the germ warfare theme:

The United States is highly vulnerable to biological attack should a weaponized biological agent (especially smallpox) fall into the wrong hands. All it would take is exposure of Americans returning to the Unites States. A few days later, after returning to their normal routine they come down with flu-like symptoms. By then, co-workers and family members could be exposed and the agent could quickly spread. A truly frightening prospect.

As expected, the market recovered a bit today.

September 23, 2001

Time Magazine reported that a cropduster manual was discovered in a suspected terrorist hideout. This is significant because a cropduster could be used to disperse biological or chemical agents across population centers, agricultural zones, or water supplies. Accordingly, here are some more biological warfare articles and resources:



September 22, 2001
Emerging infectious disease and biowarfare have always been two of my more morbid interests. The recent events in the United States again brought the prospect of bioweapons to the forefront. Below are a list of articles and sites relevant to biological weapons. I highly recommend the book
Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World-Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran It, by Ken Alibek. Also on the list should be The Coming Plague : Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett.



September 21, 2001
I thought the speech writers for Bush did a good job, though the continual references to God near the end were a bit much. It was almost as if we're also going to pursue this as our own Holy War.

Some more on the technological aspects and organization of the al Qaeda terrorist network:

  • CNN reports the Osama bin Laden network relies on both high- and low-tech means of communication.
  • Several sources (including CourtTV and NewsFactor) report the growing importance of the Internet in coordinating terrorist actions.
  • CNN terrorism expert Peter Bergen discusses whether it is accurate to compare the al Qaeda terrorist network to the organization of the Mafia.
  • The FBI continued to look into the financial records of the suspected skijackers.

Countries that recently have not shared the same views as America are contributing their terrorism intelligence to the U.S. effort:

Not much surprise that Osama bin Laden's ties to the Taliban are more than spiritual: Taliban Gain Income From bin Laden

Is Hollywood the next target?

September 20, 2001

Interesting articles on attacks apparently planned for the coming weekend and a hacker posting a list of hundreds of e-mail addresses of subscribers belonging to an "Islamist" mailing list. One subscriber is a suspect in the terrorist attack.

I'm amused by Saddam offering 'humanitarian' aid to victims in the U.S. Saddam surely recognizes he's near the top of the American list of terrorist sponsors.

CNN also denied that footage showing Palestinians celebrating in reaction to the WTC attack was from a previous event 10 years ago.

September 18, 2001
No comments today.

September 17, 2001
The U.S. market really tanked today - no surprise there. In the long run, the attacks could actually boost the market through

  • Interest rate cuts by the Fed,
  • Rebuilding downtown Manhattan
  • Preparing for and participating in a global war against terrorism
  • American investor patriotism (yeah, right - I'll believe that when I see it)

I believe things will settle down early next week. A little war-mongering has usually been good for the economy.

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