Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 21, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE NEXT ATTACK....The insurgency seems to have found a new way of killing people in Iraq: a bomb on board a tanker carrying chlorine exploded outside a restaurant today, killing six people and injuring dozens of others. As Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank suggested earlier (see post below), Iraq is proving to be an excellent training ground for jihadists eager to hone their skills.

But it could have been worse. It could have been an attack on a chemical plant, with the potential to cause casualties on the level of Bhopal or worse. Or, as Stephen Flynn reports in our current issue, an attack on an oil refinery, like Sunoco's facility in densely populated Philadelphia, which might kill tens of thousands even in a crude attack by suicide bombers:

Readers may be surprised to learn that an oil refinery can pose such a huge threat; terrorists, rest assured, are not. Al-Qaeda has been acquiring experience in these kinds of attacks in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and sharing the details of constructing improvised explosive devices in Internet chat rooms. All the information on the dangers of hydrofluoric acid and the vulnerability of the Sunoco facility can be found in publicly available reports that are accessible with the click of a mouse. And there are dozens of other similar plants near urban areas -- from refineries to chemical factories to water-treatment facilities -- where, to this day, in a worst-case scenario, hundreds of thousands of Americans could be killed or injured.

I suspect this is a story that no longer gets much attention because everyone is just tired of it. Too wonky. But either the threat of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil is serious or it's not. If it's not, let's say so and cut out the color coded nonsense. But if it is, how is it that the Republican Party has gotten away with ignoring the whole thing merely because they have an ideological aversion to regulating industry?

Because it really doesn't boil down to much more than that. Dick Cheney's son-in-law may have been the point man for this stuff, but it's not as if he had a tough fight on his hands. The entire adminstration and the entire Republican Party was on his side:

Because 85 percent of the critical infrastructure within the United States is privately owned, federal efforts to advance homeland security would have clashed with the conservative belief that Washington should avoid regulating industry. In July 2002, the White House made this thinking official doctrine when it quietly released The National Strategy for Homeland Security. The policy paper establishes that "the government should only address those activities that the market does not adequately provide -- for example, national defense and border security." However, as a rule, the government found, "sufficient incentives exist in the private market to supply protection. In these cases we should rely on the private sector."

The whole thing is really beyond belief. Maybe that's why it doesn't get a lot of attention any more. But as Flynn points out, it's hardly an insurmountable problem: there are a finite number of truly likely targets; the technology exists to make them substantially safer in case of a successful terrorist attack; and the cost would probably be in the range of a few billion dollars. Not chickenfeed, but a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the Iraq war.

But we're not doing anything about it. In fact, the latest proposal from the White House even goes so far as to prevent states from enacting their own laws. Apparently we're willing to bear any burden and pay any price....as long as that doesn't include writing a few regulations for the chemical industry. That's beyond the pale. It's the true-believer monomania of movement conservatism at its finest.

Kevin Drum 12:29 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (158)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

You turned a news story into a plug for one of your employers article, even though the plugged article was only tangentially related... and then a sub-plug for something that ran last month.

I am in awe, Kevin. That's why you're blogging and I'm not. It never would have occurred to me to connect a chlorine explosion in a restaurant with alleged imperfections in homeland security. *long, slow clap.*

Posted by: American Hawk on February 21, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

File suit for endangering the public.

In particular, with the Sunuco factory, the surrounding community should file a suit against them for failure to protect against the danger of terrorism.

Once the property responsibilities of the Sunuco owners are realized, then a whole lot of security changes will take place.

The problem with the private sector is that, under the communist government of the Republicans, these companies figure the government will save them from their property responsibilities.

In fact, I caught Arnold Kling, the so called libertarian. Arnold, in discussion with the National Review communists, was hinting that libertarian property rights need to be limited so that the fossil fuel industrry can avoid lawsuits on the global warming issue.

The private sector responds to lawsuits, and the people of Philadelphia need to start suing before the terrorist attack.

Posted by: Matt on February 21, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

But either the threat of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil is serious or it's not. If it's not, let's say so and cut out the color coded nonsense.

after Nov 2004, the administration DID cut the color-coded nonsense. I take it as proof that the they feel that the threat of an attck on the US is not serious ... which is, of course, contradicted by their hype.

Posted by: Nads on February 21, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to point out that the perpetrators of the Bhopal catastrophe were its owners, who have never been brought to justice.

Perhaps the jihadists should collectivize some capital, purchase an oil refinery or chemical plant, do business as usual, and kill Americans. They would not receive the Padilla treatment and could use the insurance money to purchase another facility to let degrade and kill more Americans. I would suggest they name their capital collective Carbide Union of Jihadis.

By becoming capitalist elites, the jihadists could do much more damage for a longer time than mere terrorists could.

Posted by: Brojo on February 21, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq is proving to be an excellent training ground for jihadists eager to hone their skills.

Yeah, it takes years of intensive training to put a bomb on a tanker truck. For all you know, the idiot bomber thought it was a gasoline tanker.

Sometimes I wonder if some leftists aren't actually disappointed that there haven't been attacks in the U.S. Think of all the political hay they could make out of it.

Posted by: rnc on February 21, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” — John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

“As long as it doesn’t involve raising taxes or regulating corporations.” — The Rove-Cheney-Bush Usurpistration

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on February 21, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

...either the threat of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil is serious or it's not...

Well, I for one feel eminently safer knowing that terrorists can only carry 3 oz. of hair gel onto an airliner.

That didn't require any regulation of private industry, did it?

Posted by: JM on February 21, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

I am in awe, Kevin. That's why you're blogging and I'm not. It never would have occurred to me to connect a chlorine explosion in a restaurant with alleged imperfections in homeland security. *long, slow clap.*
Posted by: American Hawk

Yes, the inter-play of complicated issues has always been one to stimey the Republicans. From being greeted with flowers to leaving chemical facilities unsecured in the US, it seems that the only ideas which register with you are the most simplistic and ideologically biased ones, bonus points if they fit on a bumper sticker.

Two. More. Years.

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

I have to question how much of this "chemical plant! Railroad! Oil refinery!" drumbeat is nothing more than Security Theater(tm).

From my experience in process plants, if you don't know what you are doing and you climb over the fence, even with a satchel full of C4, you are just going to kill yourself and make a bit of a mess.

Whereas if you _do_ know what you are doing, no amount of security below the level of a complete Soviet-style crackdown/exclusion zone will stop you. And the Soviets had plenty of accidents (some terrorism too).

I think a lot of this stems from people in key positions (esp, but not only, journalists) who slept through science class, have never worked in a production facility, and who see a chemical plant and think "Ooooh! Scary! Must be daaaaangerous".

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 21, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Apparently we're willing to bear any burden and pay any cost....as long as that doesn't include writing a few regulations for the chemical industry."

There is no "war on terror" and there is no "homeland security".

The fraudulent "war on terror" is nothing but a pretext for corporate-imperialist wars of unprovoked aggression to seize control of the vast Middle Eastern and Caspian Basin oil reserves for Dick Cheney's ultra-rich cronies in the US-based multinational oil companies.

And fraudulent "homeland security" is nothing but a pretext for undermining the US Constitution and establishing an authoritarian dictatorship of, by and for America's ultra-rich, neo-fascist, corporate-feudalist ruling class.

The Cheney Cartel doesn't care about protecting Americans from terrorist attacks. In the 1990s PNAC openly called for a "new Pearl Harbor" to frighten the American people into supporting its corporate-imperialist, petro-fascist agenda.

In 2001, the Bush administration deliberately ignored numerous warnings of an impending, major Al Qaeda attack on US soil, and allowed the attack to happen -- thus, getting the "new Pearl Harbor" that they proceeded to exploit to establish authoritarianism at home and launch their long-planned war of aggression to seize control of Iraq's oil.

Cheney and his gang would be very happy if there were another large-scale attack -- it would allow them to take the next steps of declaring martial law at home and launching their next war of aggression against Iran.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

The private sector responds to lawsuits, and the people of Philadelphia need to start suing

Yeah, well, in addition to putting the burden of protecting the homeland on the private sector, Republicans are also making it harder to file such suits.

It's the perfect storm.

Posted by: the idiot on February 21, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

So does Kevin think jihadists are dangerous and a threar to us?

Posted by: Joe on February 21, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Thank God the Bush Administration has refused to burden industry with security regulations!!

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on February 21, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, well, in addition to putting the burden of protecting the homeland on the private sector
It's their plant, they should protect it. The government should ensure they protect it, not do it for them.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

rnc wrote: "I wonder if some leftists aren't actually disappointed that there haven't been attacks in the U.S. Think of all the political hay they could make out of it."

On the other hand, you don't have to "wonder" this about the Bush administration, since in the 1990s many of the principals of the Bush administration signed on to PNAC's document which publicly called for just such an attack -- "a new Pearl Harbor" -- and then, once in power in the Bush administration, deliberately ignored the numerous specific warnings about an impending Al Qaeda attack so as to allow it to occur, and then proceeded to make "political hay" out of it, principally to justify their long planned war of aggression to seize control of Iraq's oil.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, it takes years of intensive training to put a bomb on a tanker truck. For all you know, the idiot bomber thought it was a gasoline tanker.
Sometimes I wonder if some leftists aren't actually disappointed that there haven't been attacks in the U.S. Think of all the political hay they could make out of it.
Posted by: rnc

Listen, you really are a dimwit, if you think detonators, timers, and shaped charges are just simple to make and require no expertise or training.

Have you noticed that the insurgents have shot down 7 helos in the last two months? Do you know why? Because they've been practicing and they've developed effective strategies for using the weapons they have against our equipment.

This one of the serious drawbacks of an on-going counter-insurgency operation against an adaptive enemy: they learn the weakpoints in your equipment and tactics. Now obviously tactics can be adjusted, but the procurement pipeline for a new tank, humvee, or helicopter takes a bit longer. So we can't just replace all our Abrams tanks once the enemy has perfected the right multi-detonating shaped charge.

Try to seriously think through the implications of what's being discussed just once before you post.

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky:
I agree as far as chemical plants are concerned, but it's not too dificult to get a big fire going in a refinery, and that will just spread on it's own - except, of course, if safeguards are in place.

Posted by: Jörgen in Germany on February 21, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

It never would have occurred to me to connect a chlorine explosion in a restaurant with alleged imperfections in homeland security.

PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE IMPOSTER. The imposter spells his name "Hawk". Nobody is stupid enough not to see the connection between a chlorine explosion in a restaurant and imperfections in homeland security. He's just trying to make conservatives look foolish by playing the fool, but it only works because liberals are so foolish to begin with they're easy to fool, because they're fools, so he's not even playing the fool because he's a liberal imposter.

Those imperfections in homeland security, I point out even though liberal fools will find the analysis too substantial to get their heads around, were cleverly designed by the office of the Vice President, with the help of his son in law, to make us *SAFER*. Has there been an attack on an oil refinery or chemical plant on US soil? No. I rest my case.

Posted by: American Hock on February 21, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Cyntax
Listen, you really are a dimwit, if you think detonators, timers, and shaped charges are just simple to make and require no expertise or training.

Actually, that exact argument has been made repeatedly here on WashMonthly to argue against proof that Iran is supplying support to jihadists.

Have you noticed that the insurgents have shot down 7 helos in the last two months? Do you know why? Because they've been practicing and they've developed effective strategies for using the weapons they have against our equipment.

No. It's because they got new weapons.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Joe writes: So does Kevin think jihadists are dangerous and a threar to us?

Does Joe think that a trillion dollar war in Iraq has made us safer from said jihadists, who were motivated by dangerous ideologues based in Afghanistan?

Posted by: JM on February 21, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

"...Whereas if you _do_ know what you are doing, no amount of security below the level of a complete Soviet-style crackdown/exclusion zone will stop you. And the Soviets had plenty of accidents (some terrorism too)..."
Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 21, 2007 at 1:47 PM

I agree with Cranky on this one. If we do have an attack at a big refinery or chemical plant here it
most likely would be an inside job by a stray nutcase not a well-planned AQ operation. Also, if
the casualties as a result exceeded those of 9/11 I don't think it have the symbolically spectacular impact, and I feel certain
they (AQ) are after a bigger spectacle.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 21, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

So when will the Democratically controled congress send up legislation on this issue? Its no longer all Bush's problem anymore. The Democrates won the Nov. elction promising change, here's a good place to start.

When will we see the legislation???

Posted by: buffpilot on February 21, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK
But if it is, how is it that the Republican Party has gotten away with ignoring the whole thing merely because they have an ideological aversion to regulating industry?

The Republican Party is not ignoring it merely because of an ideological aversion to regulating industry; parts of the Republican Party (notably, much of the present administration, but this orientation is not limited to the administration) have an vested interest in enabling terrorist attacks against the United States, since the fear thus engendered is the only way they have found to sell their authoritarian policies. It would be foolish to think that free-market ideology alone, to the exclusion of recognition and pursuit of this vested interest, motivates the Republican Party here.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"As Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank suggested earlier, Iraq is proving to be an excellent training ground for jihadists eager to hone their skills."

Jesus Christ, this place might as well be TNR some days.

Since when are ex-Baathist Sunnis, resisting a new Shiite-led order, called "jihadists"? The kind that would then, if not attacking "us" in Iraq, would attack our chemical plants in the US?

Sounds a lot like Bush talking. Or at least the neo-con writers of his propaganda.

It wouldn't matter if it were only Mr. Drum who was so completely ridiculous (gullible, duplicitous?) but this narrrative is the one we read every single day written by the neo-cons in our media.

Posted by: luci on February 21, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, that exact argument has been made repeatedly here on WashMonthly to argue against proof that Iran is supplying support to jihadists.

Cite, please.

No. It's because they got new weapons.

Cite, please.

Also, I realize that RSM is too Kool-Aid infused to be educatable, but I'm compelled to point out that demonstrating that weapons are of Iranian origin -- for which the jury's still out, considering the well-known mendacity of this Administration -- is a world away from proving said weapons were supplied by the Iranaian government, especially in a free-market weapon selling zone like the Middle East.

But since ol' RSM apparently has a bee in his bonnet about Iraq, one wonders why he appears to embrace the rationale Islamist terrorists used to target Americans -- that is, they arm and support the enemy.

Why do you hate America, RSM?

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK
Sometimes I wonder if some leftists aren't actually disappointed that there haven't been attacks in the U.S. Think of all the political hay they could make out of it.


There have been attacks in the US, and the people cynically exploiting them to promote a preconceived political agenda are on the right.

Where have you been this entire Presidency?

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Industry should be regulated to the point where the Republican party ceases to exist, that point would be a step toward civilization.

Posted by: cld on February 21, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think that leaving our chemical industry vulnerable to any kind of physical attack is a "conservative" idea, it is a Bush presidency idea typical of their incompetence.

When my son was going to school in Philly, we would drive past the refinery on the way to and from the airport. All it would take is a few incendiary mortar rounds to set off one of the tanks of petrochemicals, no great planning involved in that one (well, maybe in getting the mortar and ammo there) and no great feat of intellect. (If I can think of it...)

I figure myself as a libretarian leaning conservative of the small govnerment variety and my thought is that if the government is supposed to do anything at all, it is to protect the national resources and citizens of the country from attack, not to mention try to avoid a man made disaster of the proportions that an attack on a chemical or nuclear plant would bring.

My great uncle was a Monsanto plant manager in Texas City on April 16, 1947 when a ship in harbor blew up killing a lot of people and destroying the capability of most of the refineries there (they were all interconnected by pipelines.) That was a stupid accident, imagine what would happen if someone planned it.

Posted by: mikeyes on February 21, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Ah Kevin: Yet again you fail to see the planning and effort that has gone into the war on terrorism. By providing a training ground for terrorists we have increased their numbers and in effect flooded the market with them. The invisible hand of the market will now assure their destruction through competition. Those that may survive the competition will have inferior IED due to the cost cutting that they engaged in in order to win the competition. The effect is to strike yet another blow in the name of the greatest President ever and the free market system.

As usual, I am in awe of its brillance!

Posted by: American Hock on February 21, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Whereas if you _do_ know what you are doing, no amount of security below the level of a complete Soviet-style crackdown/exclusion zone will stop you. And the Soviets had plenty of accidents (some terrorism too).
Posted by: Cranky Observer

I disagree. From my experience in the military there are number of different levels of security that can be created around various types of sites that will have varying amounts of effectiveness depending on the skill, sophistication, and resources of your attacker.

Defending an ammo dump in Germany, with good amounts of surrounding cover, from the Spetsnatz (Soviet Special Forces)-- very hard.

Creating mid-level security barriers around chemical/production plants is very possible. This has a follow-on effect of making attackers dedicate more resources to their efforts, which in turn raises their operating profile in-theatre and makes them easier to detect with police style surveillance.

For example, no security around a facility could mean that 5 people could do the job, but mid-level security could increase the operational requirements to 15 people. All of these people must gain entry to the country, must have covers that allow them to move to the target area, must have astaging area; all of which makes them more vulnerable and the operation more costly.

Is that a 100% guarantee that the operation won't be attempted? Not at all. Is it worth raising the hurdles for our would-be attackers? I'd say yes.

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I will agree with Red State Mike on one of his points. And that is that chemical plant owners should foot the bill in insuring that their plants are safe and reasonably difficult to target by terrorists.

Note, by "footing the bill" I mean that they should take the profit loss necessary to insure this without passing the cost onto the public.

Suck it up bitchs, it's what you tell the working men and women of America to do.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 21, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

""As Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank suggested earlier, Iraq is proving to be an excellent training ground for jihadists eager to hone their skills."

Since you persist in the repeating of neo-con lies, I'd just point out that the "evidence" in that MoJo piece, which claimed jihadi terrorism had gotten worse, rested on really weak data.

From the article, the main evidence was: the rate of jihadist attacks on Western interests and citizens around the world (outside of Afghanistan and Iraq) has risen from 7.2 to 9 a year, while the yearly fatality rate in these attacks has increased by 4 percent from 191 to 198."

"18 American civilians have been killed by jihadist groups since the war in Iraq began in 2003. Four American civilians were killed in attacks attributed to jihadist groups in the period between 9/11 and the Iraq War."

From 10/2001 to 3/2003: 4 deaths from jihadi terrorists
From 3/2003 to 2007:: 18 deaths from jihadi terrorists

Man, that's some weak-ass data to be drawing conclusions from . But go on promoting it. I'm sure the NYT, WashPo, TNR, CNN etc would.

Posted by: luci on February 21, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter version:

Conservative ideology trumps public safety.

Posted by: AkaDad on February 21, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Listen, we've already been down this road with airline transportation. What's the difference? The airlines had a terrorist event. That's the difference.

Posted by: Pat_AlexVA on February 21, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Listen, we've already been down this road with airline transportation. What's the difference? The airlines had a terrorist event. That's the difference."
Posted by: Pat_AlexVA on February 21, 2007 at 2:23 PM

What happened to that "proactive" buzzword that business championed in the '90's? Now, we seem back to: "The squeaky wheel gets the most oil"

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 21, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky observer - good post.

But Red State Mike posted: No. It's because they got new weapons.
I have been paying close attention to that situation, because the U.S. military is heavily dependent upon helicopters, and because the Soviet Union was basically defeated in Afghanistan when we provided good Stinger missiles to the Mujahideen. [sp?] But the reports I have seen recently from our own military suggest that it is, indeed, the use of different tactics by the Iraqi insurgents that has resulted in the recent spate of helicopter downings, not the introduction of new weaponry.

Posted by: chasmrich on February 21, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

So when will the Democratically controled congress send up legislation on this issue? Its no longer all Bush's problem anymore. The Democrates won the Nov. elction promising change, here's a good place to start.
When will we see the legislation???
Posted by: buffpilot

Hey bp, they're working on cleaning up the mess the Dear Leader has left. There's a lot of mess though; here's some of the Dems working to help those soldiers that BusCo says they support so much (at least enough for bumper-stickers):

    (Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Patty Murray (D-WA) wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, urging him to launch an Inspector General's investigation of the deplorable living conditions facing returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans at the Army's flagship military hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

      Apparently dear Leader knew nothing about this until the NYT broke the story. Talk about effective management.

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory
RSM: Actually, that exact argument has been made repeatedly here on WashMonthly to argue against proof that Iran is supplying support to jihadists.

Cite, please.

One example, from a Drum front page post in February...

The truth is that EFPs are simple to make for anyone who knows how to do it. Far from a sophisticated assembly operation that might require state supervision, all that is required is one of those disks, some high-powered explosive (which is easy to procure in Iraq) and a container, such as a piece of pipe. I asked a Pentagon analyst specializing in such devices how much each one would cost to make. "Twenty bucks," he answered after a brief calculation. "Thirty at most."

So do you agree with Cyntax that "you really are a dimwit, if you think detonators, timers, and shaped charges are just simple to make and require no expertise or training" or do you agree with Drum that "all that is required is one of those disks, some high-powered explosive (which is easy to procure in Iraq) and a container, such as a piece of pipe."?

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

No. It's because they got new weapons.
Posted by: Red State Mike

Unless you think RPGs and machine guns are new to Iraq, you're woefully misinformed (as usual).

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

shouldn't be surprised -- there was some reich wing fuckwit yesterday declaring the teachers' union a greater threat than a nuclear attack on an american city

Posted by: linda on February 21, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Cyntax
Unless you think RPGs and machine guns are new to Iraq, you're woefully misinformed (as usual).

OK, I googled, and the military sez that most of the recent spate have been brought down by heavy machine guns. One was "an advanced technology missile". As far as generally woefully misinformed, I recently (December) left a mil unit whose mission was to investigate the cause of shoot downs. Up until then I studied all of them.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

RSM,

You really have to start being specific about what you mean.

For example the timed explosives that are being used to penetrate armored vehicles are more sophisticated than the original IEDs. The newer technique is to use to timed explosions. One to breach the armor and one to damage the occupants. That demonstrates that the insurgents are learning.

From there you seem to want to jump to the conclusion that are learning from Iran. While I would not discount the idea that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is training splinter groups from the Mahdi Army (a Shi'ite group), I seriously doubt the Iranians are training the Sunni insurgents, as you seem to be suggesting.

You should remember that Sadaam's Feydayin Guard were trained in insurgency tactics. The Sunni insurgents who came from the Iraqi Army that GWB disbanded already have the core expertise to improve on their tactics. When we left the ammo dumps unsecured, they had the opportunity to collect quite a lot of material for use later.

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

You really have to start being specific about what you mean.

I'm not really taking a position one way or another. I'm just noting a dissonance between your argument that it is hard, and the other argument that it is not. I don't know the answer myself. It would seem like it would be hard to me. As for my drawing the conclusion that Iran must be involved if what you say holds true...I'm not making that argument.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Is American Hawk posting from Iraq?

Otherwise, I will not waste my pretty mind oh his bullshite...

Posted by: me on February 21, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

How come the righties wheren't out in front on the WOT before 911,Was there no threat or where they that cluless about world affairs. Oh and don't forget to keep up on all the stories about Walter Reed med center and how bad they treat our troops.

Posted by: john john on February 21, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

What's an "advanced technology missile"? Sounds like the mujahideen didn't use up ALL of their Stingers.

I remember a big fight I had once with conservatives who argued that there was no way Bush, even with the warnings, could have figured out what would happen on 9-11, so it was pointless to blame him for failing to make it a priority in August. I thought it was a fair point, and worth taking seriously.

SDo I took it seriously.

I argued, well, what COULD have happened if Bush had ordered Rice to make it a priority, even though there was nothing more to go on than chatter so 'something' would happen soon?

FWIW, I figured that 1) We already knew Al Qaeda would attack targets like the WTC, since they'd done that already, and 2) We'd already had warnings about hijacking airliners. In fact, there was lots of discussion about how they could use a hijacked airliner as a weapon, rather than a hostage for ransom situation.

So IF it had been a priority, wouldn't somebody have been assigned THOSE two parameters, with the instruction: well, how would you do it? (It seems to me that the reason we didn't see suicide bombers flying the planes into the towers is simply cuz nobody was ever tasked with, well, HOW would YOU do it to cause maximum damage? There as talk about smuggling bombs onto the planes, which of course now we know were bombs all by themselves. It's hindisght -- but that's the frigging point -- to realize that this wouldn't have been hard for some MacGyver guy at a desk to work out, no?)

So, here's the other shoe: if somebody was gonna do maximum damage, or perhaps just make the biggest bang possible, HOW would you do it?

As a f'r instance: there is a huge sugar handling facility in Baltimore harbor, with thousands of tons of stuff that, under the right conditions, blows up.

Doesn't somebody have a consolidated list of ALL such facilities in the U.S., with a rating of vulnerabilities?

Shouldn't some Presidential candidate propose one?

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 21, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just noting a dissonance between your argument that it is hard, and the other argument that it is not.
Posted by: Red State Mike

Fair enough. But I think it's important to note how such dissonance can come about. Some of the explosives are more sophisticated than others, and the original IEDs were very crude. I think it is demonstrably true that the insurgents are learning, but the ones most likely to be blowing up our guys are the least likely to be getting help from Iran. It is inaccurate to take the tactics of one group of insurgents and use that to draw conclusions about another group.

I think that Iranian elements are probably mucking about in Iraq, but let's not forget that General Pace was himself skeptical about the assertions that the leaders of Iran's government were aware. And that cuts to the quick about the adminstration's case for a war against Iran.

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

So do you agree with Cyntax that "you really are a dimwit, if you think detonators, timers, and shaped charges are just simple to make and require no expertise or training" or do you agree with Drum that "all that is required is one of those disks, some high-powered explosive (which is easy to procure in Iraq) and a container, such as a piece of pipe."?

Sheesh, Mike, the Kool-Aid is really rotting your brain.

There's a difference between an simple IED -- which, as the article Kevin cited notes, can be upgraded to an EFP relatively easily -- and a sophisticated time- or remote-control bomb, just as there's a difference between an "iron bomb" and a laser-guided bomb, you poor dope.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky: You must not have much experience with processing plant security.

The Sunoco facility in Philly was previously owned by Gulf Oil--known as Girard Point. In 1975, Girard Point experienced an accidental fire that only involved a small part of the refinery. It would up killing 10 firefighters and actually deformed a highway bridge about 600 yards away. It was an 11 alarm fire.

It certainly wouldn't take much to cause a much worse disaster.

Posted by: jadegold on February 21, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I forgot --

I do agree with cyntax that you really are a dimwit, RSM.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo,

While I get a chuckle from your analogy, what's missing for the terrorists is the random terror.

Irresponsible, reprehensible and negligent capitalists are merely criminals, not terrorists.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on February 21, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Short version of the story so far . . .

George Bush and the GOP are arming, training, and enhancing the recruiting of terrorists, in return for campaign donations from terrorist supporters, in order to undermine the rule of law both here at home and abroad and set up a de facto aristocracy of self-proclaimed elitists.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

RedStateMike:

You neglected acquainting yourself with the specifics of recent helicopter attacks in favor of trying to catch Washington Monthly fans in some contradiction.

Did the insurgents really get "new weapons"? In two of the crashes, as far as I recall, they used machine guns. In other words, new tactics and/or intelligence have yielded more success in shooting down helicopters.

If I have time I'll investigate this more and come back to you. Maybe you or "cyntax" could do my legwork for me.

Posted by: brendan on February 21, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

mhr on February 21, 2007 at 2:51 PM:

You mean terrorists in Iraq are...blah, blah, blah...

*hands mhr a paper bag*

Breathe into this - you're hyperventilating. It happens when you rapidly repeat too many right-wing talking points.

..Long, slow breaths, mhr...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 21, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

mhr You stated you(read the liberal media)does that liberal media have a name?

Posted by: john john on February 21, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

I recently (December) left a mil unit whose mission was to investigate the cause of shoot downs. Up until then I studied all of them.
Posted by: Red State Mike

Partisan differences aside, thanks for the service RSM.

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Not a new threat, really...

http://www.adl.org/learn/news/bombers_Sentenced.asp

"Former San Joaquin County Militia members Kevin Ray Patterson and Charles Dennis Kiles were sentenced this month in California to over 20 years in federal prison for planning to blow up a liquid propane storage complex in Sacramento County in 1999.

On September 9, Patterson, 44, received a sentence of 24 years and five months, while Kiles, 52, was sentenced to 22 years. Both were convicted in May of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction to blow up two 12 million-gallon tanks at the Suburban Propane plant in Elk Grove. Setting off a massive explosion around the time of the Y2K computer bug, the two hoped, would cause the government to respond by declaring martial law. This in turn would motivate citizens to rebel against the government. Officials believe that the blast could have killed thousands."

Posted by: A Hermit on February 21, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

mhr: I read the liberal media and I had no idea.

Clearly, you are lying when you say you have read the liberal media.

Or you simply can't read.

mhr: Ever since . . . Dick Durbin compared the US military to . . . Nazis . . .

Yet another clear and unambiguous lie by mhr.

RSM: One example, from a Drum front page post in February...

One example does not prove or even provide evidence of "repeatedly".

RSM: OK, I googled, and the military sez that most of the recent spate have been brought down by heavy machine guns.

This would be the same military that lied about the reasons for lack of body and vehicle armor, lied about Pat Tilley, lied about Jessica Lynch, lied about making progress in Iraq, lied about virtually every aspect of this war at one time or another?

Riiiiiight.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

It's also not OK to write any regulations for the gun industry.

Posted by: Ted on February 21, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

> Cranky: You must not have much experience
> with processing plant security.

jadegold,
In North America, the standard phrase is "process plant". Any manufacturing facility would be a "processing plant", but there are certain attributes that make specific facilities "process plants".

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 21, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum writes: "how is it that the Republican Party has gotten away with ignoring the whole thing merely because they have an ideological aversion to regulating industry?"

Because industrialists really don't give a fsck about the threat of terrorist attacks? Not their families or personal fortunes at risk.

(This has been another edition of simple answers to stupid questions.)

Posted by: s9 on February 21, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

brendan
You neglected acquainting yourself with the specifics of recent helicopter attacks in favor of trying to catch Washington Monthly fans in some contradiction.

I did catch a dissonance between them.

Did the insurgents really get "new weapons"? In two of the crashes, as far as I recall, they used machine guns. In other words, new tactics and/or intelligence have yielded more success in shooting down helicopters.

The articles I read said they did not use new tactics.

Google_This wrote:
RSM: OK, I googled, and the military sez that most of the recent spate have been brought down by heavy machine guns.

This would be the same military that lied about the reasons for lack of body and vehicle armor, lied about Pat Tilley, lied about Jessica Lynch, lied about making progress in Iraq, lied about virtually every aspect of this war at one time or another?

OK, WashingtonMonthly fan, it must have been new-fangled missiles. Take it up with Brendan.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

"I think a lot of this stems from people in key positions (esp, but not only, journalists) who slept through science class, have never worked in a production facility, and who see a chemical plant and think "Ooooh! Scary! Must be daaaaangerous".

Cranky"

Easy for you to say. Like atrios, I live 2.5 miles for a sunoco plant that has been repeatedly cited for dangerous releases, including hydrogen fluoride.

"When accidentally released, HF forms a dense, ground-hugging cloud of lethal gas that can travel for 5 miles before dissipating. Currently, Sunoco uses and stores 355,000 pounds of HF at its Southwest Philly refinery, according to a Risk Management Plan the company filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August.

The plan cites a gas release of HF as Sunoco's "worst-case scenario" involving toxics at the Philadelphia refinery. About 4.4 million people live within a 25-mile radius of the plant, the document notes.

Inhalation of the chemical can be lethal. Nonfatal effects of HF exposure include severe pain and slow-healing burns. The substance may cause skin and eye damage, and even heart failure. It can turn bones to jelly and eat away at lungs.

The Sunoco plant-which sits on 1,000 acres on the east bank of the Schuylkill River-has more people living in its "vulnerability zone" than any other single facility using HF in the nation, according to an October 2003 report published by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Of the 153 petroleum refineries currently operating in the United States, just 51 continue to use HF-down from about 100 refineries using the substance less than a decade ago. "

Cranky, I can see that plant from my backyard. Literally: I live directly across the river. I pass by the plant on my way to work every day.

It's not a matter of sleeping through science class, it's common sense.

Posted by: bskwire on February 21, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: So do you agree with Cyntax that "you really are a dimwit, if you think detonators, timers, and shaped charges are just simple to make and require no expertise or training" or do you agree with Drum that "all that is required is one of those disks, some high-powered explosive (which is easy to procure in Iraq) and a container, such as a piece of pipe."?

You are confusing the production of individual weapons components, which may require a high level of manufacturing capability, with weapons assembled from such components, which does not require the same level of manufacturing capability, and you are confusing the need of technical expertise or training with "Iran".

One can believe both statements above; they are not inconsistent as you suggest.

Nor is belief in either statement or both statements inconsistent with a belief that the Iranian government is not the source.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This
and you are confusing the need of technical expertise or training with "Iran".

Actually I EXPLICITLY stated in this thread I am not making that claim. You're just desperately wishing I am.

Oh, and Gregory you're still a moron.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

This failure reminds me of Neville Chamberlin's response to the suggestion that Britain bomb German barge traffic on the Rhine -- "But those are privately owned barges!" Well, OK then.

Posted by: Robert the Red on February 21, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: Actually I EXPLICITLY stated in this thread I am not making that claim. You're just desperately wishing I am.

You are EXPLICITLY making the claim that the two statements are inconsistent, which they are not.

You are EXPLICITLY making the claim that the blog author and/or commenter have repeatedly made a claim that they have not in fact made.

Now, is that clearer for you?

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: OK, I googled, and the military sez that most of the recent spate have been brought down by heavy machine guns.

    This would be the same military that lied about the reasons for lack of body and vehicle armor, lied about Pat Tilley, lied about Jessica Lynch, lied about making progress in Iraq, lied about virtually every aspect of this war at one time or another?
    Posted by: Google_This

It may not have been clear what RSM meant, but heavy machine guns (like the Amry's M2) are not new to Iraq. So I actually read this as a correction on his part to the claim that the insurgents had new weapons.

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

There are a number of mega-huge propane tanks (read: super-catastrophic sitting bombs) in residential neighborhoods throughout the United States. I began thinking like a terrorist after 9/11 and when I saw the local and state and federal governments pointing fingers at Saddam instead of protecting citizens AT HOME, I decided it wasn't such a good idea to purchase property in any of those neighborhoods. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Leo Drongo on February 21, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I think it is demonstrably true that the insurgents are learning,
Proving yet again that Darwin was right. The dumb or slow insurgents are already pushing up daisies.

Posted by: chasmrich on February 21, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Any moron, like Red State Mike, can make an EFP mine in a lowly auto mechanic's garage. The years of training and experience we are providing these people ensure they know how to set up and pull off the ambush like clockwork.

You really are the moron here, Mike.

Posted by: LWM on February 21, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Irresponsible, reprehensible and negligent capitalists are merely criminals, not terrorists.

I think the results of negligent capitalists and terrorists are the same. The victims at Bhopal and Texas City know this. The differences are captialists are not held responsible and suspected terrorists are tortured.

Posted by: Brojo on February 21, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax: It may not have been clear what RSM meant, but heavy machine guns (like the Amry's M2) are not new to Iraq. So I actually read this as a correction on his part to the claim that the insurgents had new weapons.

I'm not impressed by citations to non-credible sources, even if their information is likely accurate in a specific instance.

RSM has often cited military sources as if they were the last word on the subject.

They are not; in fact, they are quite often engaged in deliberate acts of disinformation and misinformation directed at the American public for the purpose of protecting politicians they favor or to protect their own careers, both at the expense of America's soldiers and non-military citizens.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK
Did the insurgents really get "new weapons"?

According to the Pentagon, the most recent shoot down was made with a "sophisticated piece of weaponry". Since that's not how they've described previous shootdowns, once they've acknowledged that's what they were, I would say that yes, it seems quite likely that the insurgents really have gotten new weapons.

Or maybe they've had a stockpile of "sophisticated" weapons that they hadn't bothered to break out until recently. I'm not sure, in practical terms, that there is a substantial difference between the two cases.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense Systems)

The military doesn't seem too anxious to admit if they are being used there or not. I suspect they are. They've been there for some time, and now they are getting some knock-offs from other countries. I think they are saving the good ones they got from us for the big targets.


Missing Antiaircraft Missiles Alarm Aides

By Dana Priest and Bradley Graham
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 7, 2004; Page A24

Several thousand shoulder-fired missiles -- the kind that could be used to shoot down aircraft -- are missing in Iraq, and their disappearance has prompted U.S. military and intelligence analysts to increase sharply their estimate of the number of such weapons that may be at large, administration officials said yesterday.

Some U.S. analysts figure that as many as 4,000 surface-to-air missiles once under the control of Saddam Hussein's government remain unaccounted for. That would raise the number of such missiles outside government hands worldwide to about 6,000...

And another one just went down.

Posted by: LWM on February 21, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, there are some real nuts here. First we have SecularAnimist claiming the entire Iraq war is a plot to steal the middle east's oil for Dick Cheney's pals in the oil industry. And not one of you ever contradict this claim he has made numerous times, so I must conclude you agree with it.

Then we have CMDicely claiming that is it is in the interests of the Republican party to make Americans more susceptible to terrorist attacks so that there is more support for Republicans authoritarian policies.

You people are seriously, seriously deranged if you believe such nonsense. And you guys claim to be the "reality-based community". That would just too fucking funny if only there were just a handful of you. But I am worried that that you nuts are getting to be more numerous. I hope that it is just the case that the web is giving voice to the intellectual dregs of society that had previously existed, but were not visible, rather than an actual increase in numbers.

Posted by: Lucifer on February 21, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Wow, there are some real nuts here."

Nuttier than Intelligent Design, creationism and voting Republican again this century? Hardly.

Posted by: LWM on February 21, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK
Then we have CMDicely claiming that is it is in the interests of the Republican party to make Americans more susceptible to terrorist attacks so that there is more support for Republicans authoritarian policies.

Actually, no. I said certain factions within the Republican Party, including the present administration, had that interest.

There are plenty of Republicans, including many office holders, who aren't that kind of cynical, manipulative authoritarian. But those aren't the only kinds of Republicans in office.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect many Germans still do not believe the Reichstag fire was deliberately set.

Posted by: Brojo on February 21, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Lucifer: You people are seriously, seriously deranged if you believe such nonsense.

Certainly not as deranged as those who believe that we are not in Iraq because of Dick Cheney's oil pals and the desire of the GOP to undermine freedom in America.

Posted by: Gabriel on February 21, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Lucifer wrote: "First we have SecularAnimist claiming the entire Iraq war is a plot to steal the middle east's oil for Dick Cheney's pals in the oil industry."

OK, Mr. Lucifer. Please provide a description of the provisions of the Iraq Oil Law, which was drafted by the US government and the US-based oil companies, and which is soon to be presented to the Iraqi legislature for approval. In particular, describe the role in Iraq's oil industry that this proposed law gives to US oil companies.

Also, please discuss Dick Cheney's meetings with US oil company executives as part of his secretive "Energy Task Force", at which meetings Cheney reviewed with these executives maps of Iraq's oil fields, in early 2001, months before the 9/11 attacks and two years before the invasion of Iraq.

Also, please discuss Dick Cheney's role in the Project For A New American Century (PNAC), and his involvement in writing a letter to then President Clinton in the 1990s, urging Clinton to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein, in order to "secure" Iraq's oil.

I'm waiting for you to demonstrate your detailed knowledge of these matters, upon which your derision of my comments is founded.

I'm waiting.

"By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies."

-- Dick Cheney, 1999.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

CMDicely,

If you are talking about the present administration, then you are deranged. It is one thing to criticize incompetence (and believe me, I wouldly gladly join in such criticism), but to insinuate such a sinister motivation is not only a libel, but lunacy itself.

Gabriel,

You fit in well here.

Posted by: Lucifer on February 21, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Then enlighten me. Link me to authoritative sources for what you claim. And please, no links to other conspiracy theory sites that parrot your brand of nonsense.

Posted by: Lucifer on February 21, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This
You are EXPLICITLY making the claim that the two statements are inconsistent, which they are not.

Which two statements? That it takes skilled artisans to set up the bombs versus any boob can make them for $30? Those two statements contradict each other. Again, you are dragging IRAN into the argument.

You are EXPLICITLY making the claim that the blog author and/or commenter have repeatedly made a claim that they have not in fact made.

I cited the opening post in the thread. Read the entire thread for a pile of "atta boys" to get your repeated claims.

Now, is that clearer for you?

It's clear you didn't read what I wrote, or are too lazy to check things for yourself.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Lucifer: You fit in well here.

Lucifer, you would fit in well in the Bush administration.

BTW, the Bush administration would not consider such motives to be sinister, they would consider those motives to be patriotic, since they equate patriotism with empowering themselves.

Any administration and party that considers torture, false imprisonment, and other illegal activities to be patriotic, including the implementation of laws not passed by Congress, can very easily be accused of such motives without any sense of defamation at all.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

The military doesn't seem too anxious to admit if they are being used there or not. I suspect they are. They've been there for some time, and now they are getting some knock-offs from other countries. I think they are saving the good ones they got from us for the big targets.

The opposite. The ones we made we can defeat. They could be used on an airliner though. It's the "knockoffs" which are actually next gen MANPADs that get people worried.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This
They are not; in fact, they are quite often engaged in deliberate acts of disinformation and misinformation directed at the American public for the purpose of protecting politicians they favor or to protect their own careers, both at the expense of America's soldiers and non-military citizens.

My cite supported Cyntax's argument mostly. If the cite is wrong, Cyntax is wrong.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Lucifer: "Then enlighten me. Link me to authoritative sources for what you claim."

"Lucifer" asking to be "enlightened". How ironic.

If you are that ignorant, then your assertions that my comments are absurd are nothing but the spewings of an ignorant dumbass, and are thus so profoundly uninteresting and unimportant to me that I'm not going to waste any more time on you.

You really ought to be willing to take the time to educate yourself before you go calling other, better informed people "conspiracy nuts". If you are too lazy to do that, that's your problem.

Your attacks on me and cmdicely originate from your own lazy ignorance, and nothing more.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

No, I am not that ignorant. I am just asking you to actually demonstrate that Iraq's oil is being given over to Dick Cheney's pals. That you refuse to do so indicates that you cannot.

So, lets see your support for the accusation you continuously make.

Posted by: Lucifer on February 21, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: Which two statements? That it takes skilled artisans to set up the bombs versus any boob can make them for $30? Those two statements contradict each other. Again, you are dragging IRAN into the argument.

Now you are changing what people wrote in order to justify your conclusion.

There is a difference between the technical resources and knowledge necessary to make a detonator and the other various components of an explosive device and that necessary to assemble such components, just like I can assemble a bicycle, but can't manufacture the parts.

The claim was that making detonators and timers (and shaped charges) was difficult; Kevin's claim was that assembling these components was not.

There is nothing inconsistent between the claim about detonators and timers and Kevin's claim about assembling such devices.

And I did not again drag Iran into the argument, since I did not mention Iran in the post you are now referring to.

RSM: It's clear you didn't read what I wrote . . .

It's clear you didn't read what you wrote.

RSM: I cited the opening post in the thread. Read the entire thread for a pile of "atta boys" to get your repeated claims.

Since no one at all has claimed that it is easy to make detonators and timers, as opposed to easy to assemble EFPs, much less Kevin, there are no "repeated" claims of this as you state.

You can try to transform claims of the ease of assembling EFPs from components into the ease of manufacturing those components themselves all you want, but the transformation just won't fly for anyone with half a brain who is not suffering from Bush Infatuation Syndrome.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

There is a good reason why other commenters do not question SecularAnimist's assertions, he does his research.

Posted by: Brojo on February 21, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

He or she strikes me as one who probably does research professionally.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on February 21, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

LWM:

You really got to the point here.

The training received in Iraq by people who could then make terrorist attacks against targets adn people outside Iraq is not a problem because they become more sophisticated in their technological complexity. It is a problem because they become more efficient and effective for any technology they work with.

Yes, the recipes for nasty bombs may be on the internet, but that is a long way from developing the skill to assemble and transport dangerous materials and objects on schedule and with enough reliability to risk investment of money and (limited) skill terrorist man power in the type of chemical industry operation we've been discussing.

Posted by: mirror on February 21, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps if US foreign policy supported social justice in the ME and Central Asia instead of kings and dictators (unless such authorities are 'enlightened'), changed direction in its policy of maintaining military bases all over the area to guard oil resources, quit invading sovereign countries on trumped-up charges, and most of all, engaged in a serious and intelligent effort, along with other nations, to help solve the Israeli/Palestinian crisis, the raison d'etre for terrorism would be removed at its root. Until US foreign policy reflects the values that most Americans share rather than those of a minority of capitalist elites, we will be threatened with terrorism. I would personally prefer to see foreign policy change rather than see the US become an armed camp.

Posted by: nepeta on February 21, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax: It may not have been clear what RSM meant, but heavy machine guns (like the Amry's M2) are not new to Iraq. So I actually read this as a correction on his part to the claim that the insurgents had new weapons.

    I'm not impressed by citations to non-credible sources, even if their information is likely accurate in a specific instance.
    RSM has often cited military sources as if they were the last word on the subject.
    They are not; in fact, they are quite often engaged in deliberate acts of disinformation and misinformation directed at the American public for the purpose of protecting politicians they favor or to protect their own careers, both at the expense of America's soldiers and non-military citizens.
    Posted by: Google_This

Well, whether the military can always be trusted is certainly debateable, and neither I nor RSM were making the point that they should always be trusted.

RSM and I were debating whether the spike in downed helicopters was due, in fact to new weapons. When RSM came back saying that heavy machineguns had been used, that meant that new weapons were not in fact being used-- he was correcting himself and should be credited for that.

A heavy machinegun is a very common piece of ordinance (the .50 cals on our humvees are an example) so RSM's reportage was supporting my earlier assertion that new weapons weren't being used (outside of the missle that could've come from a bunch of places).

Posted by: cyntax on February 21, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus! Every time you open your mouth, Red State Mike, you prove what a moron you are. Perhaps you are just a half-witted contrarian. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Posted by: LWM on February 21, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

There is a difference between the technical resources and knowledge necessary to make a detonator and the other various components of an explosive device and that necessary to assemble such components, just like I can assemble a bicycle, but can't manufacture the parts.

That's a strawman. All the nonexplosive parts are readily available in nonmilitary forms, e.g., cell phones, timers, switches, etc. Detonators and basic explosives are sitting around in Iraq like candy. No one has to make the components in the first place. They're there. They have to assemble them. So the question is, is it hard or easy to assemble them into a bomb?

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: My cite supported Cyntax's argument mostly. If the cite is wrong, Cyntax is wrong.

Nope.

Since you can't read, I will make it simple for you: the issue isn't whether the source you cite is wrong or right (btw, a cite is not 'wrong', it is the source cited to that is right or wrong), but whether the source you cite is credible or not.

A non-credible source can be right on occasion, either by accident or design, just as a credible source can be wrong on occasion, usually by accident.

Your source in this instance is not credible; but they could be right, irrespective of their credibility, and therefore so could cyntax.

Do I need to use smaller words or will the preceding suffice?


Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Lucifer wrote: "So, lets see your support for the accusation you continuously make."

No. You are ignorant and lazy, and your denuciations of me arise from your ignorance and laziness. I am not your research assistant. I specifically referenced the Iraq Oil Law. You refuse to even look it up, because you are lazy and ignorant and you want to remain that way. Nothing I write, cite or link to will change that: no matter what source I cite, you'll simply ignore it and denounce it as "conspiracy theorizing".

You are ignorant and you want to remain ignorant, and you want to attack anyone who disturbs the blissful comfort of your lazy ignorance, and you refuse to make even the slightest effort to look at any information that might call into question your lazy, ignorant assumptions. So be it. I don't really care.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Look, slick. Next to actual combat, training for it is a deadly dangerous business, OK? Live fire exercises with live munitions are no joke and unless you are some kind of expert in special ops, sabotage, terrorism or insugency, you should shut your yap before you make a bigger idiot out of yourself.

Posted by: LWM on February 21, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Lucifer,

Are you helpless? Ever heard of Google? Here's a link that will inform you:

Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity/Independent

Everyone else: This piece was just published today. I haven't given it 'a read' yet but it looks interesting.

Posted by: nepeta on February 21, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

RSM is also apparently forgetting that the US Navy invests massive amounts of time and money training SEALs to be experts in demolitions -- that is, ensuring that an explosive goes off precisely when and where they're supposed to -- as would be needed in a sophisticated attack -- whereas it's simultaneously possible to make relatively crude bombs from common components, yet lacking sufficient precision that, say, some jihadi yo-yo has to carry the bomb and detonate it personally.

Oh, and Gregory you're still a moron.

As always, Mike ol' pal, I'm happy to let my comments and yours stand up to the scrutiny of the readers.

But then again, you evidently still support Bush, so QED.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Next to actual combat, training for it is a deadly dangerous business, OK?

Yep. Just ask Petraeus. He got a hole blown in his torso at Ft. Campbell that should have killed him. I believe that Bill freakin' Frist was the surgeon who saved him.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on February 21, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

oops. html foul.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on February 21, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

So the question is, is it hard or easy to assemble them into a bomb?

That's your strawman. It's easier for you to assemble a straw man and beat it to death than it is for anyone to make a bomb and blow themselves up with it.

Now please go self-destruct in private where the mess won't bother us.

Posted by: LWM on February 21, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK
It is one thing to criticize incompetence

Many of the people involved in this administration's actions have demonstrated, in many cases, competence (though less frequently also good will) in similar subject areas in the past; so incompetence seems unlikely to explain the actions which are, in any case, less consistent with incompetence than with competent, though malevolent, pursuit of goals they have openly embraced (such as the policies embraced in PNAC documents to which several administration members were signatories before they joined the administration, Cheney's own claims that restoring executive power that was curtailed after Watergate and Vietnam was a driving factor in administration actions, etc.)


but to insinuate such a sinister motivation is not only a libel, but lunacy itself.

It is not libel, because its true. Its not lunacy, because its the only rational conclusion from the facts, including the express statements of the actors involved.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: So the question is, is it hard or easy to assemble them into a bomb?

That may be the question, but that is not the statement you criticized.

For reference:

Listen, you really are a dimwit, if you think detonators, timers, and shaped charges are just simple to make and require no expertise or training.

The only portion of that post you might have any argument on is the "shaped charges," but the statement EXPLICITLY refers to the difficulty of making detonators and timers, not the difficulty of assembling EFPs, whereas Kevin's post EXPLICITLY referred to the ease of making (assembling) EFPs, not their component parts.

You've tried to equate one claim (detonators and timers are not simple to make) with another claim(EFPs are simple to make), but the two do not equate and both can be true.

I guess my prior words just weren't simple enough.

Better luck this time?


Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Yanno, even by the relatively low standards of a thread in which Dice is prominent, this one is remarkably pointless.

Just WHY, after 9-11, would anybody argue that America's vulnerable spots are sufficiently protected?

Hell, the guys who blew up Oklahoma City weren't exactly A students, and THEY walked away from it.

And they did the damned deed with fertilizer.

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 21, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

There have been a few TV episodes already of someone jacking gasoline delivery vehicles and using them for bombs. They would make bigbattabam Badaboom! If anyone can't figure that, they can get a job in the Bush Administration.

...there haven't been attacks in the U.S. Think of all the political hay they could make out of it. rnc at 1:40 PM...

You seem to forget that it was George W. Bush and his administration that make all the "political hay" out of his failure to protect Americans before 9-11, that is, as soon as he stopped running like a scared wabbit.
The government should ensure they protect it, not do it for them. Red State Mike at 1:56 PM

I would have thought you would be calling for tax credits or breaks of some sort so that corporate profits are not impacted negatively by those safeguards. No? Well suggest it to your congressperson. Bush'll love it.
...to argue against proof that Iran is supplying support to jihadists.Red State Mike at 2:01 PM

Ya got any real proof? Like pictures of stuff with Farsi instead of American on it, because I note that there have been a couple of suspicious explosions in Iran lately, explosions perhaps done by the new Cheney ally, MEK and some ammunition marked Make in USA has been exhibited.
...When will we see the legislation??? buffpilot at 2:05 PM

Look for it as soon as Bush's followers in the Senate change their vote on cloture.
...I'm just noting a dissonance between your argument... Red State Mike at 2:46 PM

No, you said: argue against proof. I've seen no such proof and since when did people here start speaking as one? The VC learned how to shoot down choppers also. They stood their ground and shot them with their standard weapons.
you mean terrorists in Iraq... mh rat 2:51 PM

Did you figure out the difference between 711ad and 1492ad yet, genius?
...intellectual dregs of society that had previously existed... Lucifer at 4:30 PM

Keep drinking the Bush kool aid chum, and spend more time at your LGF, Malkin, Redstate and Powerline. Do you seriously believe that if the major export of Iraq was potatoes, Bush would have invaded? Did you every wonder why the Cheney energy task force had maps of the Iraqi oil fields.?

Posted by: Mike on February 21, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Lucifer, here are three articles among many that you will find if you look:

Future of Iraq: The Spoils of War
By Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim Webb
The Independent
January 7, 2007

(This article is also reprinted at truthout.org, which may be a faster download than the link to The Independent's website above.)

Excerpt:

Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from? ... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said.

Blood and Oil: How the West Will Profit From Iraq's Most Precious Commodity
The Independent
January 7, 2007

(This article is also reprinted at truthout.org, which may be a faster download than the link to The Independent's website above.)

Excerpt:

... unnoticed by most amid the furore over civil war in Iraq and the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the new oil law has quietly been going through several drafts, and is now on the point of being presented to the cabinet and then the parliament in Baghdad. Its provisions are a radical departure from the norm for developing countries: under a system known as "production-sharing agreements", or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in Britain, and Exxon and Chevron in the US, would be able to sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq's oil.

PSAs allow a country to retain legal ownership of its oil, but give a share of profits to the international companies that invest in infrastructure and operation of the wells, pipelines and refineries. Their introduction would be a first for a major Middle Eastern oil producer. Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's number one and two oil exporters, both tightly control their industries through state-owned companies with no appreciable foreign collaboration, as do most members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Opec.

Critics fear that given Iraq's weak bargaining position, it could get locked in now to deals on bad terms for decades to come. "Iraq would end up with the worst possible outcome," said Greg Muttitt of Platform, a human rights and environmental group that monitors the oil industry. He said the new legislation was drafted with the assistance of BearingPoint, an American consultancy firm hired by the US government, which had a representative working in the American embassy in Baghdad for several months.

"Three outside groups have had far more opportunity to scrutinise this legislation than most Iraqis," said Mr Muttitt. "The draft went to the US government and major oil companies in July, and to the International Monetary Fund in September. Last month I met a group of 20 Iraqi MPs in Jordan, and I asked them how many had seen the legislation. Only one had."


From Afghanistan to Iraq: Connecting the Dots with Oil
By Richard W. Behan
AlterNet
February 5, 2007

Excerpt:

In the Caspian Basin and beneath the deserts of Iraq, as many as 783 billion barrels of oil are waiting to be pumped. Anyone controlling that much oil stands a good chance of breaking OPEC's stranglehold overnight, and any nation seeking to dominate the world would have to go after it.

The long-held suspicions about George Bush's wars are well-placed. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not prompted by the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. They were not waged to spread democracy in the Middle East or enhance security at home. They were conceived and planned in secret long before September 11, 2001 and they were undertaken to control petroleum resources.

The "global war on terror" began as a fraud and a smokescreen and remains so today, a product of the Bush Administration's deliberate and successful distortion of public perception. The fragmented accounts in the mainstream media reflect this warping of reality, but another more accurate version of recent history is available in contemporary books and the vast information pool of the Internet. When told start to finish, the story becomes clear, the dots easier to connect.

Both appalling and masterful, the lies that led us into war and keep us there today show the people of the Bush Administration to be devious, dangerous and far from stupid.

The following is an in-depth look at the oil wars, the events leading up to them, and the players who made them possible [...]

I tend to doubt that you will actually read any of these articles.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

I did not know about those Iraqi maps.

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Brojo on February 21, 2007 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

"but to insinuate such a sinister motivation is not only a libel, but lunacy itself."

It's not libel in any American court, Sparky. Speaking of lunacy, you are just barking at the moon.

Posted by: LWM on February 21, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget that after the non-regulated private industry is destroyed, along with 100,000 of its neighbors, it will be public money that cleans up the mess. And of course gives them the funds to continue in business.

Yup, private good, public bad. Keep repeating it until you believe it.

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

In general, rich people dont live near such plants, so why would Bushco be concerned? Such an attack in the US would give them an excuse to declare martial law, the only kind of law they respect. I dont buy the assertion that they are not making the plants secure for idealogical reasons; even they aren't that dumb.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on February 21, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

But then again, you evidently still support Bush, so QED.
Posted by: Gregory

What's the evidence? Voices in your hollow head?

Google_This
RSM quoting cyntax: Listen, you really are a dimwit, if you think detonators, timers, and shaped charges are just simple to make and require no expertise or training.

The only portion of that post you might have any argument on is the "shaped charges," but the statement EXPLICITLY refers to the difficulty of making detonators and timers, not the difficulty of assembling EFPs, whereas Kevin's post EXPLICITLY referred to the ease of making (assembling) EFPs, not their component parts.

The sentence IMPLICITLY suggests you need to make detonators and timers. Those are a dime a dozen and don't need to be made. Which leaves us with shaped charges, and putting the pieces together.

So do EFPs require expertise to make or not? Are someone a dimwit for thinking anyone can do it, or can anyone do it for $30 in stuff and some simple labor?

Gregory
RSM is also apparently forgetting that the US Navy invests massive amounts of time and money training SEALs to be experts in demolitions

OK, so is it hard to assemble a bomb from components and skillfully employ it (they aren't manufacturing their detonators) or is it more like assembling a bicycle, to quote Google_This? Which is it? You guys are trying to have your cake and eat it too. that, coupled with Irrational Bush Hatred transferred on to me makes you stupid(er).

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: The sentence IMPLICITLY suggests you need to make detonators and timers.

Exactly.

So, it has no relevance to Kevin's post which was about assembling EFPs, not making detonators and timers.

So, they are not mutually exclusive statements and one does not have to believe one or the other as you IMPLICITLY claimed by trying to force the commenter to choose between the two.

If you want to take exception to the commenter's belief that detonators and timers need to be made then do so, but don't pretend that their comment is directly opposed to and inconsistent with Kevin's post about putting together EFPs and that therefore they, and everybody who agrees with Kevin's opinion on the ease of assembling EFPs, must choose whether it is easy or not.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Google-This,
Cyntax said Listen, you really are a dimwit, if you think detonators, timers, AND shaped charges are just simple to make and require no expertise or training.
Note the word AND. that implies he believes shaped charges are not easy to make. That flies in the face of posts by Kevin and supported by the WashMon minions in the thread that they are easy to make. But maybe agrees with Gregory who I think believes they are hard to make, but he is probably just saying that because he thinks I think they are easy to make and disagrees with me as a matter of principle, facts be damned. As for you? You see the words "Red State" and apply your instant prejudices that would make a KKK member proud.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: You see the words "Red State" and apply your instant prejudices that would make a KKK member proud.

I'm quite familiar with your posts here for a long, long time.

I don't need to look to your name or any portion of it to know where you are coming from or to understand your MO.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: You see the words "Red State" and apply your instant prejudices that would make a KKK member proud.

I'm sorry ... did someone MAKE you call arabs "ragheads" in previous posts here?

Posted by: Nads on February 21, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Readers may be surprised to learn that an oil refinery can pose such a huge threat; terrorists, rest assured, are not.

Isn't it curious that there have been so few attacks on the major infrastructure in Iraq? All those guys toting mortars around the nation, and they have left the oil refineries, sewage systems, water treatment facilities, schools, gas stations, power plants and transformers mostly or completely alone. With the number of bombs that they have used on mosques and markets, and the number of mortars that they have dropped on homes and stores, they could have eliminated instead nearly the entire electrical distribution system.

It's almost as though they want to preserve the productive capacity of the country, and kill their enemies instead.

Posted by: spider on February 21, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, claims of prejudice, especially tied to race, are standard SOP for conservatives these days, ever since Clarence Thomas used false and clearly rehearsed claims of prejudice in his confirmation hearings.

Anyone disagrees with you, immediately you claim "prejudice!"

Whether it be bias against religion, race, political philosophy, or anything else.

You play the race/prejudice card liberally, but you don't play it well IMHO.

It is a diversionary tactic, designed to move attention away from the discussion at hand, create false sympathy for the claimant, and create equally false negative feelings about the person against whom the utterly unsupported charge is lodged.

Posted by: Google_This on February 21, 2007 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax: Now obviously the procurement pipeline for a new tank, humvee, or helicopter takes a bit longer, so we can't just replace all our Abrams tanks once the enemy has perfected the right multi-detonating shaped charge. But tactics can be adjusted.

Slightly rearranged like that, it is a little more respectful of the soldiers.

Posted by: spider on February 21, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect many Germans still do not believe the Reichstag fire was deliberately set.
Posted by: Brojo on February 21, 2007 at 4:40 PM

Aw hell, Brojo. There are still Americans who think that Spanish saboteurs blew up the USS Maine in Havana.

OK, so is it hard to assemble a bomb from components and skillfully employ it (they aren't manufacturing their detonators) or is it more like assembling a bicycle, to quote Google_This? Which is it?
Posted by: Red State Mike on February 21, 2007 at 8:03 PM

False dichotomy, dude. That's usually the case of any argument that presents only 2 possibilities and demands that the other pick one.

I've honestly lost track of who is arguing what in this silly flame war.

To back up whatever point he was trying to make, RSM cited Drum here:

One example, from a Drum front page post in February...

The truth is that EFPs are simple to make for anyone who knows how to do it. Far from a sophisticated assembly operation that might require state supervision, all that is required is one of those disks, some high-powered explosive (which is easy to procure in Iraq) and a container, such as a piece of pipe.

And now he's asking people to agree with either:
1. (paraphrasing) Producing EFP weapons is as easy as crapping in your pants. Or:
2. (paraphrasing again) Producing EFP weapons requires extremely sophisticated technical knowledge not available to Iraqi insurgents.

Consider a third possibility: Producing EFP weapons requires a certain amount of technical skill, simple machine tools, and a small amount of money to acquire the parts and materials. All of these are present in Iraq.

Let me refer you to that Drum quote again, with my own emphasis:
The truth is that EFPs are simple to make for anyone who knows how to do it.

Replacing a cylinder head gasket on an engine is a ridiculously simple task- IF you have the parts in hand and the proper tools (all of which are simple to acquire), AND you know what you're doing.

But if you don't know what you're doing, you can screw up that engine for good, hurt yourself, or just end up with a pile of parts strewn around your garage and a red spot on your forehead from banging it against the wall in frustration.

The point I'm trying to make is that the technical knowledge is key here. That knowledge may not exactly be common to everybody, but it is hardly the exclusive province of governments. Terrorists have been using such weapons, without any gov't help, for decades.

Also, knowledge is contagious for it can be taught. Maybe 3 years ago nobody in Iraq had it. They've got it now, and they are probably spreading it. Where did they get it? Who knows? But since it is a technical skill that has been used by groups like the IRA and the Red Army, it is certainly not logical to assume it could only have come from the Iranian government.

I knew nothing of EFPs before last week, but from what I've read it looks like building them takes at least as much balls as brains. You gotta be really, really dedicated to put explosive materials on a freakin' lathe no matter how skilled you are with it.

Posted by: RobW on February 21, 2007 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it curious that there have been so few attacks on the major infrastructure in Iraq?

Well, it might be interesting if it were even remotely true.

There have been multiple attacks on schools (which aren't infrastructure), schoolchildren abducted, and hundreds of teachers assassinated. Hospitals have been attacked and even taken over by insurgents, and doctors and patients killed.

There have been literally hundreds of attacks on the electrical infrastructure and hundreds of attacks on oil pipelines -- which is the main reason electrical production and oil refining are at still at such low capacity.

There have also been attacks on refineries. In fact, there've been attacks on every single aspect of "infrastructure" that you mentioned and more, with the exception of water and sewer...which are already broken and in shambles.

I'm assuming on your planet things are going a little different in the Iraq on your planet, or you wouldn't have posted something so uninformed and detached from reality.

I mean, it must be a different planet, right, or you wouldn't have made such a wildly off-base observation. Right?

Posted by: trex on February 21, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

A few more quick links:

Bombing at a gas station:

Mortar attack on a hospital

Attack on a power station

Posted by: trex on February 21, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK
So do EFPs require expertise to make or not? … Red State Mike at 8:03 PM
It's unfortunate that discussion to people like you is nothing but silly name called and inane braggadocio. Instructions for shaped charges are readily available. Even Saddam's army had them. If you were frothing at the mouth that Iraqis could make nukes and ship them to the US via drone aircraft that have 2 stroke engines, it should not be too difficult to realize that Iraq engineers would figure out a way to turn these out in machine shops. Why don't you just grow up? Posted by: Mike on February 21, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops, I was wrong about one thing. Turns out the insurgents have been attacking the water supply:

The capital's water supply has also come under mounting attack. On Thursday, insurgents bombed a key main, leaving half the city without water at the height of summer in the third such attack in as many weeks.

A US commander said the renewed assault on vital infrastructure suggested a new shift of focus by the insurgents.

"This enemy is now starting to attack infrastructure," the commander said, asking not be identified.

Sunday, Jul 10, 2005

Posted by: trex on February 21, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

The Air Force Times reported today the rough draft of the battle plans for a war against Iran.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 21, 2007 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Instructions for shaped charges are readily available.

Complete with a link to wikipedia explaining to any would-be terrorists how to do it! As if we needed any proof that liberals want the terrorists to win, or that wikipedia is merely a front for liberal extremists, like the New York Times and the Washington Post and Howard Dean.

Posted by: American Hock on February 21, 2007 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

pay attention, please.

EXPLOSIVE, TOXIC PETROCHEMICALS

petrochemical plants, refineries. i have written about them previously. in fact, i have always considered the fact that these facilities were not struck on 11/09/01 as proof positive that the events of that day were not the acts of any real terrorists - that the events of that day were agents provocateur ops.

never forget, for a few minutes more of flying time, a much easier target would have been the exxon refinery/petrochemical complex. the loss of that facility would have killed scores of thousands, and effectively shut down the east coast of the united states for years.

similarly, why strike at the pentagon, especially the area of the pentagon that was impacted? when, once again, for a few more minutes of flying time, there were the petrochemical complexes of wilmington, delaware.

no, when these targets that would have really injured the great satan were avoided, you can bank on the fact that no "terrorists" had anything to do with the planning of the events of that day.

it is even worse than that, of course. forget about the manufacturing facilities and their vulnerabilities[then and now]. contemplate the chemical car freight trains that run throughout urban amerika.

all of these cars can be perforated with rounds from commonly available automatic weapons. study on the chemical freights that travel out of amerika's petrochemical complexes.

today in houston, for example, as i made a certain freeway/tollroad drive, i watched a chemical train being assembled. in the middle of a major amerikan city. let's consider the contents of those chemical cars....

unodorized lpg
glacial acrylic acid
hydrochloric acid
ammonia
gasoline

and those were the cars that had their contents identified on the outside of the car.

this freight was more than a mile long. 500 - 1,000 cars of very toxic, flammable chemicals. parked within yards of 4+million residents. alongside a roadway.

this situation exists throughout the conus.

that none of these freights has ever been assaulted, other than by graffiti artists[and that is a bit of fascination - graffiti artists accessing the roadbed and having the time to paint these cars containing hazardous substances], should inform you that there never has been any real terrorist threat within the usa. that there never was any terrorist action perpetrated within the usa.

i could say so much more. the amerikan populace is so frigging ignorant it is stupefying.

Posted by: albertchampion on February 21, 2007 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Albert Champion: My husband is retired from intel and i'm a biochemist. In our circles the lack of security at chemical plants and refineries has been a topic of conversation in our circles long before they coined the term "GWOT". In fact, after the attacks of Sept. 11, I recall a conversation where the topic was the destruction that would have resulted from nineteen hijacked tankers in disparate areas around the country.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 22, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry for the clunky grammar. I wasn't raised by wolves, I swear I wasn't.

I really should use preview...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 22, 2007 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, BGRS. Interesting AFT article.

Now what was the name of the retired General who beat the pants off the blue forces in a Persian Gulf assymetric war simulation, so mauch so that they rejigged the whole exercise rules, and finally picked up their deflated ball and went home sulking, declaring they'd won anyway, no matter what actually happened.

Hope these guys have gamed the effects of attacking Iran and making the whole Middle East a war zone.

Probably not.

Posted by: notthere on February 22, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

BGRS - curious, what destruction was assumed and what data to support the estimates? Everything I've ever seen - attacks on the very enclosed Tokyo subway, Iran-Iraq War, WWI etc. - points to chemicals as remarkably inefficient inducers of causalties especially death given dependency on atmosphere, wind, dispersion rate of particular chemical, etc, etc. The effect is more psychological than anything else. So plant infrastructure and employees aside, what else were you assuming?

Posted by: scouser on February 22, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

my employees work in the petrochemical industry.

since 2001, the managements of most hydrocarbon facilities[petrochemical plants, natural gas plants, refineries, natural gas booster compressor stations] have been rigorously destroying them, eradicating their margins of safety.

which causes me to ask, who are the terrorists? al-fresco? or contemporary amerikan management?

i think you know who i think the terrorists are. they wear suits and ties and dine with merchant bankers.

if you go into the history channel archives, i think you can find a documentary on british petroleum and the killer explosion[s] at its texas city refinery. you tell me how you view the findings of the causes of that catastrophe. as i view it, chairman browne is a terrorist, and deserves extraordinary rendition.

Posted by: albertchampion on February 22, 2007 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

"...The point I'm trying to make is that the technical knowledge is key here. That knowledge may not exactly be common to everybody, but it is hardly the exclusive province of governments. Terrorists have been using such weapons, without any gov't help, for decades.

Also, knowledge is contagious for it can be taught. Maybe 3 years ago nobody in Iraq had it. They've got it now, and they are probably spreading it. Where did they get it? Who knows? But since it is a technical skill that has been used by groups like the IRA and the Red Army, it is certainly not logical to assume it could only have come from the Iranian government..."
Posted by: RobW on February 21, 2007 at 10:44 PM

Thank you.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 22, 2007 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Now what was the name of the retired General who beat the pants off the blue forces in a Persian Gulf assymetric war simulation, so mauch so that they rejigged the whole exercise rules, and finally picked up their deflated ball and went home sulking, declaring they'd won anyway, no matter what actually happened.
Posted by: notthere

Ah, good question. It was Marine General Paul Van Riper.

Here are a few of his thoughts on war; his critique of technologists seems very applicable to BushCo:

    My experience has been that those who focus on the technology, the science, tend towards sloganeering. There's very little intellectual content to what they say, and they use slogans in place of this intellectual content. It does a great disservice to the American military, the American defense establishment. "Information dominance," "network-centric warfare," "focused logistics"—you could fill a book with all of these slogans. If you lead with the technology, I think you’re bound to make mistakes. What I see are slogans masquerading as ideas. In a sense, they make war more antiseptic. They make it more like a machine. They don't understand it's a terrible, uncertain, chaotic, bloody business. So they can lead us the wrong way. They can cause people not to understand this terrible, terrible phenomenon.

Posted by: cyntax on February 22, 2007 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

I knew nothing of EFPs before last week, but from what I've read it looks like building them takes at least as much balls as brains. You gotta be really, really dedicated to put explosive materials on a freakin' lathe no matter how skilled you are with it.

Posted by: RobW

Only the conical metal (usually copper) liner that becomes the slug needs to be lathed, Rob. Plastic explosive is... plastic. It's confusing, but that's what they rely on to keep us, the public, confused.

For optimum penetration, a high explosive with high detonation velocity and pressure is normally chosen. The most common explosive used in high performance anti-armour warheads is HMX (octogen), though it is never used on its own, as it would be too sensitive. It is normally found mixed with a few percent of some type of plastic binder, such as in the plastic bonded explosive (PBX) LX-14, or with another less-sensitive explosive, such as TNT to form Octol.

Posted by: LWM on February 22, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

They did it again:


Iraqi insurgents use second ‘dirty’ bomb.“Insurgents blew up a truck filled with chlorine-gas canisters today, the second such attack in two days and the third in a month. In Baghdad, at least five people died and more than 55 were treated at hospitals for breathing problems and burning eyes, the Associated Press says.”

Posted by: LWM on February 22, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

Scouser: A lot depends on the chemicals, of course. How do they behave? Is the release gas or liquid? If gas, is it heavier than air and what is the cohesive affinity?

But a release of strong solvents could impact for years, possibly rendering an area uninhabitable. Once in the ground, groundwater contamination is virtually inevitable.

If the purpose of terrorism the tactic is to plant fear in a population, simultaneous attacks on plants like that might not have realized the same death toll, but they would have inspired a lot more fear.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 22, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

the usa has been training terrorists for decades.

i have posted this in the past, but of course, many posts are overlooked, ignored.

my earliest exposure to special ops occurred in the 1970's. there was this freight forwarding company on greens road, adjacent to IAH. it was the EGYPTIAN AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE COMPANY[EATSCO].

my air freight forwarder was its neighbor. one day, while delivering an emergency shipment, after hours, to my forwarder, the subject of EASTCO came up. SPOOKS is what i was told.

since i was, am, and will always be a student of spooks, i paid some attention to EATSCO. my observations informed me that lots of usn personnel were in and out of EATSCO...that EATSCO was probably a cover operation.

it has been at least 20 years. it was a thursday or a friday. i was flying into AMS. from milan, i think. my seatmate was ranting about terrorists. i let his rant unwind. then i told him that it was my country, and nato, that were running the terrorists. i thought that he would have a stroke.

after his attack on me ended, we were on final approach to AMS. before we disembarked, i advised him to pay attention, that he would soon learn the truth that i had imparted. he spluttered as i exited the aircraft.

the next morning, sitting down to breakfast, i opened my iht and found the sy hersh sty revealing the ed wilson/frank terpil ONI ops of which EATSCO was a part.

the oil industry is a great cover for intell ops.

what did EATSCO do? well it sent C-4 to libya. in 55 gallon drums labelled as drilling fluid. via lufthansa via frankfurt.

and what happened to this c-4 explosive when it reached libya? well the ONI,via its operatives, trained terrorists in how to use it.

who did the ONI train in the libyan desert? IRA. THE RED BRIGADES. THE TAMIL TIGERS. ET ALIA.

so, the usa has been running international terrorism for a long time.

as i said previously, the oil industry is a great cover for covert operations.

my next intersection with the usa's training of terrorists occurred in london, shortly after ronnie raygun's F-111 attack on libya.

i was stayin in the flat of an old friend in london. i was certain that my friend was a spook, but this episode confirmed it. one evening, my friend told me that i was going to have to move to the couch in the living room, that someone else, a superior, was traveling through london and was going to be using my bedroom. since i was a guest, i could only acquiesce.

since my old friend worked for marathon oil, i assumed that the visitor was going to be a higher ranking marathon employee.

imagine my surprise when i opened the door to a seal captain. i suppose that because i was ex-usmc , a guest of a retired[sic] lt commander, i was vetted.

we went out to dinner. an italian joint in st john's wood. the captain drank too much. i learned that he was traveling from algeciras, spain, to stornoway, isle of lewis.

marathon was operating offshore fab sites at both of these locations. but, as i listened to the conversation, those sites were covers for seal terrorist training operations.

and i shall never forget this seal captain. he was a murderer. and he spoke lovingly of his craft at that dinner. my friend was embarrased by his talking. i was astonished at such a breach of secrecy.

never forget this, when you ponder on terrorism, never forget, we created most of 'em, run most of 'em.

Posted by: albertchampion on February 22, 2007 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK
never forget this, when you ponder on terrorism, never forget, we created most of 'em, run most of 'em.

True or not, you haven't provided any compelling evidence albertchampion. And you certainly aren't suggesting anything that an average reader of this blog would consider unthinkable.

Your posts here are routinely ignored, as you say, because you have a track record as a complete lunatic.

Posted by: obscure on February 22, 2007 at 7:44 AM | PERMALINK

Also, to my friend SA, imo this- Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 6:00 PM

was a big improvement upon this- Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 5:23 PM

Posted by: obscure on February 22, 2007 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

RobW
I've honestly lost track of who is arguing what in this silly flame war.

The funny thing is, I'm just presenting one WashMonthly poster's opinion to another, with minimal editorializing on my part, and everyone think's that I'm either nuts for thinking they are simple and easy to make or I'm crazy for suggesting they are complicated, or they are going into rationalizational contortions to hold both points of view true.

Heh

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 22, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

"Iraq is proving to be an excellent training ground for jihadists eager to hone their skills."

Either we're fighting terrorists in Iraq or not. If we are, then please get behind the war effort and stop pleading for the US to pull out. If not, then stop talking about how Iraq has become a training ground for terrorists.

Posted by: c on February 22, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

RSM: The funny thing is, I'm just presenting one WashMonthly poster's opinion to another, with minimal editorializing on my part, and everyone think's that I'm either nuts for thinking they are simple and easy to make or I'm crazy for suggesting they are complicated, or they are going into rationalizational contortions to hold both points of view true.

The only one going into rationalizational [sic] contortions is you in trying to equate two statements that are not referring to the same things and making the commenter and other readers choose between two items that are not mutually exclusive and not the only two choices available.

As someone above pointed out, you set up a false dichotomy strawman that is built on misrepresentation to boot and then sulk when people refuse to play your strawman game.

Posted by: Google_This on February 22, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, RSM, there is a continuum of complexity in the types of shaped charges available, from sophisticated complex warheads on manufactured anti-tank weapons to homemade EFPs.

Clearly the former are beyond the manufacturing resources and technical skills of guerilla terrorist organizations, while the latter are not and it seems likely, because it was coupled with "detonators" and "timers", both of which also require some technical sophistication to manufacture (although not to use in assembly), that the author of the quote you seek to set opposed to Kevin's quote was referring to the warhead type, perhaps through ignorance or simply from lack of precision in writing.

Even if it isn't clear to what level of shaped charges the author of the quote was referring to, you deliberately chose to focus on this one term in the string of terms and give it a very narrow meaning of being equated to "homemade EFP" in order to set up the alleged conflict.

So, the point is, the conflict is only there if you ignore "detonator" and "timer" and give "shaped charge" a specific meaning equivalent to the "EFP" that Kevin was referring to, even though you have no evidence whatsoever supporting giving the term that meaning other than your desire that it be so.

In other words, you deliberately interpreted the meaning of the author's words in a way that was most useful to your need to demonstrate contradiction in those with whom you disagree on the war and with regard to political philosophy.

Then you fume and pout because someone does the same to you.

Life's tough and if you can't stand the heat, then get out of Kevin's kitchen.

Posted by: Google_This on February 22, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

obscure wrote: "Also, to my friend SA, imo this- Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 6:00 PM was a big improvement upon this- Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 21, 2007 at 5:23 PM"

And of course, after denouncing me as a conspiracy nut and the "intellectual dregs of society", the commenter posting as "Lucifer" did not comment on the articles I linked to and excerpted -- which, by the way, I had previously linked to and excerpted in a comment posted here last week -- and I doubt very much that he read my comment or will read the articles. He is lazy and ignorant and wants to remain that way, and will be back soon on another thread screaming that I am a "conspiracy nut" and demanding that I present "evidence" of my "claims". So I will post the same information again, and he will ignore it again.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 22, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Either we're fighting terrorists in Iraq or not. If we are, then please get behind the war effort and stop pleading for the US to pull out. If not, then stop talking about how Iraq has become a training ground for terrorists.

-c

C you moron!! How does creating more terrorists in Iraq help our war effort in any fashion. The only way the war in Iraq will help us is if we end it.

You don't remove terrorism by killing terrorists. You do this by denying them the conditions that spawn their growth. But dumf**ks like you will never get it.

Posted by: horatio on February 22, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Google_This
Then you fume and pout...

Laughing is a better description. :)

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 22, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

RSM,

Give it a rest. I stand by my statement that making detonators (whether from cell phones, mercury rocker switches, or whatnot), timers, and shaped charges requires some training and expertise.

You are being disingenous by half if you suggest that it doesn't. Even the assembly of these items into a crude IED takes some training. None of this is training anyone would need to get from Iran, and know what I'm talking about because I was trained to use det cord, blasting caps, detonators and C-4 in the Army. We learned it for emergency equipment disposal.

You are conflating arguments made by others, namely that an IED isn't complicated enough to need another government to provide the training for its construction, with my arguments about how the insurgents are learning from their combat experience.

Now I don't know what branch you served in or what sort of combat you've seen, and I've given you the benefit of the doubt on that till now, but you are arguing in bad faith or ignorance if you don't appreciate that battle field experience is allowing the Iraqis to imporve their techniques. I say this as someone who served with a front line unit in combat.

Posted by: cyntax on February 22, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax
RSM,
Give it a rest.

I have a couple of times, but someone always needs to provide some comment to my last comment, which I am then compelled to comment upon. Iterate until the thread drops off the bottom into the archive.

I stand by my statement that making detonators (whether from cell phones, mercury rocker switches, or whatnot), timers, and shaped charges requires some training and expertise.

Not arguing with you.

You are conflating arguments made by others, namely that an IED isn't complicated enough to need another government to provide the training for its construction, with my arguments about how the insurgents are learning from their combat experience.

They are making arguments that they are not complicated, period. Forget Iran. From Drum's post that got 'huzza-ed' by the locals...The truth is that EFPs are simple to make for anyone who knows how to do it. Far from a sophisticated assembly operation that might require state supervision, all that is required is one of those disks, some high-powered explosive (which is easy to procure in Iraq) and a container, such as a piece of pipe.

Now some focus on the "knows how to do it" line, but that's just a matter of downloading instructions off the web. It is not "simple to make for someone for which whom it is simple."

You are in disagreement with people here. They give you a pass and vice versa because...I give up...why do you give each other a pass? Because you don't have "Red State" in your name? People here don't argue with each other, just the evil repubs. Fine. It makes for a target rich environment for pointing out inconsistencies.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 22, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

RSM,

It seems you're missing the point of Drum's post which was that making an EFP is not complicated enough to require training from a foreign state government. Remember that the focus of his argument was that the sophistication of EFP's is not sufficient for proof of Iranian involvement. At first glance that strikes me as a reasonable conclusion. Obviuously the Iraqi Army had a lot of guys (combat engineers) that were trained in EOD, right? And some of them are in the insurgency. Now these guys have had 3+ years to take what they know about taking bombs apart and turn it into knowledge about how to put them together for effective use against our people and armored equipment. To say nothing of Iraqi commandos who were trained in sabotage. This makes the sophistication of Iraqi bomb-making a direct result of our disbanding of their army and the length of our engagement there. Occam's Razor says we don't need to bring Iran into that picture.

And in all fairness I don't give everyone who doesn't have a "red state" in their handle a pass. On this thread alone I did stood up for what I thought were unfair accusations against you, re: new weapons/heavy machine guns. I also said you should get credit for correcting yourself.

Further, I've gotten in dust-ups with Hostile and Brojo when I felt they went over the top in their anti-military screeds. Now I don't bother to correct every little thing I disagree with on these boards, but that holds true with people on both sides of the debate.

I'm not saying you should always listen to me because I'm always right, but if I'm arguing with you in good faith (and I believe I was), then I expect the same treatment.

Posted by: cyntax on February 22, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

It seems you're missing the point of Drum's post which was that making an EFP is not complicated enough to require training from a foreign state government...At first glance that strikes me as a reasonable conclusion...Now these guys have had 3+ years to take what they know about taking bombs apart and turn it into knowledge about how to put them together for effective use against our people and armored equipment...Occam's Razor says we don't need to bring Iran into that picture.

You've been fair and balanced in arguing with me, and I've admitted my mistakes. So we're cool.

So why do you think it took them 3+ years to figure out the EFP thing? I'd think they would have been trained from day one in EFPs. EFPs are far from a secret. Every time a building is brought down it's by EFP charges. The thousands of RPGs mostly have EFG warheads. I don't think Occam's razor supports your conclusion that they figured it out on their own, unless they are very slow figurers. But I don't have enough insight to suggest an alternative with a high degree of confidence.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 22, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

You've been fair and balanced in arguing with me, and I've admitted my mistakes. So we're cool.

Fair enough.

So why do you think it took them 3+ years to figure out the EFP thing? I'd think they would have been trained from day one in EFPs. EFPs are far from a secret. Every time a building is brought down it's by EFP charges. The thousands of RPGs mostly have EFG warheads. I don't think Occam's razor supports your conclusion that they figured it out on their own, unless they are very slow figurers. But I don't have enough insight to suggest an alternative with a high degree of confidence.

Well, did it really take them 3+ years to figure it out? We're hearing about it now but that doesn't mean it started now. I think we can safely say the EFPs are in wide use now, but does that mean that some individuals didn't start tinkering with them 2 years ago? No way to know.

Also are we talking about simply a shaped charge or lined shaped charge? The latter would require at least a rudimentary machine shop. So that would help contribute to the lag time for implementation.

I don't think the idea of a lined shaped charge took them three years to think of, but it may have taken a while to get the production up and running, particularly in as chaotic and war-torn a country as Iraq.

Posted by: cyntax on February 22, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: You see the words "Red State" and apply your instant prejudices that would make a KKK member proud.

Sure, that's "laughing".

Now, you've made me laugh!

:-)

RSM: It makes for a target rich environment for pointing out inconsistencies.

Inconsistencies you create out of misrepresentation, exaggeration, and self-serving implication just so you can find a reason to criticize those with whom you disagree on basic foreign policy.

Posted by: Google_This on February 22, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

So I will post the same information again, and he will ignore it again.

You may be right. But still, the future is unknown.

Posted by: obscure on February 22, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Collateral damage to population and property unrelated to the companies that own the plants is a classic case of an externality. A good capitalist should ignore externalities, and maximize profits. That's their job. They should only evaluate the risk to their company and profits.

So the market won't handle this threat. Not even in theory.

In practice, you also have to deal with inertia. People, even chemical company CEO's, expect things to continue as they were, and don't usually cope well with change.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on February 23, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly