IRAN HAS CARRIED OUT missile tests for what could be a plan for a nuclear strike on the United States, the head of a national security panel has warned.
In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee and in remarks to a private conference on missile defense over the weekend hosted by the Claremont Institute, Dr. William Graham warned that the U.S. intelligence community “doesn’t have a story” to explain the recent Iranian tests.
One group of tests that troubled Graham, the former White House science adviser under President Ronald Reagan, were successful efforts to launch a Scud missile from a platform in the Caspian Sea.
“They’ve got [test] ranges in Iran which are more than long enough to handle Scud launches and even Shahab-3 launches,” Dr. Graham said. “Why would they be launching from the surface of the Caspian Sea? They obviously have not explained that to us.”
Another troubling group of tests involved Shahab-3 launches where the Iranians "detonated the warhead near apogee, not over the target area where the thing would eventually land, but at altitude,” Graham said. “Why would they do that?”
Graham chairs the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, a blue-ribbon panel established by Congress in 2001.
The commission examined the Iranian tests “and without too much effort connected the dots,” even though the U.S. intelligence community previously had failed to do so, Graham said.
“The only plausible explanation we can find is that the Iranians are figuring out how to launch a missile from a ship and get it up to altitude and then detonate it,” he said. “And that’s exactly what you would do if you had a nuclear weapon on a Scud or a Shahab-3 or other missile, and you wanted to explode it over the United States.”
The commission warned in a report issued in April that the United States was at risk of a sneak nuclear attack by a rogue nation or a terrorist group designed to take out our nation’s critical infrastructure.
"If even a crude nuclear weapon were detonated anywhere between 40 kilometers to 400 kilometers above the earth, in a split-second it would generate an electro-magnetic pulse [EMP] that would cripple military and civilian communications, power, transportation, water, food, and other infrastructure," the report warned.
While not causing immediate civilian casualties, the near-term impact on U.S. society would dwarf the damage of a direct nuclear strike on a U.S. city.
As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram, Afghanistan for about an hour on his visit to 'The War Zone'. I wanted to share with you what happened. He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram.
As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to soldiers to thank them for their service. So really he was just here to make a showing for the Americans back home that he is their candidate for President. I think that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you.
I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheer leaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to be the President of the United States . I just don't understand how anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country.
If this is blunt and to the point I am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber of person he really is. What you see in the news is all fake.
CPT Jeffrey S. Porter Battle Captain TF Wasatch American Soldier
BARACK OBAMA MAY BE ON A WORLD APOLOGY TOUR (forgive him for he knows not what he does) surrounded by a fawning media, but Sunday an expert in electronic document forensics released a detailed report on the purported birth certificateactually a "Certification of Live Birth" or COLBclaimed as genuine by his campaign. The expert concludes with 100% certainty that it is a crudely forged fake: "a horrible forgery," according to the analysis published on the popular right-wing Atlas Shrugs blog.
The purported birth certificate was published by the left wing Daily Kos blog on June 12 in response to unconfirmed reports that Obama was not in fact born in the United States (Canada and Kenya were suggested as the possible locations of his actual birth). Since he would in that case not be a natural born US citizen (his mother was not present in the US sufficiently long as an adult to pass American citizenship on to him automatically), he would not be eligible to be president. Israel Insider has followed the story in five previous articles (the previous one here) and uncovered evidence, most recently, of admitted forgery among Daily Kos bloggers, tolerance of electronic forgeries on the blog site, as well as efforts by a blog administrator to conceal the admission of forgery.
The latest examinaton of the purported documents is by far the most detailed and technically sophisticated to date.
Atlas Shrugs publisher Pamela Geller reports that the expert analyst, who goes by the screen name "Techdude", is "an active member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, American College of Forensic Examiners, The International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners, International Information Systems Forensics Associationthe list goes on. He also a board certified as a forensic computer examiner, a certificated legal investigator, and a licensed private investigator. He has been performing computer-based forensic investigations since 1993 (although back then it did not even have a formal name yet) and he has performed countless investigations since then."
Perhaps the outspoken Israeli press corps will be able to do what their fawning American counterparts have failed to do so far. Obama's visit this week to Israel will be an opportunity to begin asking the tough questionshowever unpolitically correctabout his apparently forged birth certificate and what that means for his citizenship status and Constitutional fitness to be the next leader of the free world.
The pseudonym was apparently inadequate to prevent Techdude's identity from being exposed. He reports that last week one or more persons "decided to track me down and vandalize my car and hang a dead mutilated rabbit from my front door in a lame attempt to intimidate me from proceeding with releasing any details of my analysis. They did succeed in delaying the report by a few days but instead of deterring me they just really pissed me off. To their credit, if I had not taken a few days off from the analysis I would have missed the most damning piece of evidencethe remnants of the previous security border."
THE MISNAMED WAR ON TERROR takes more casualties. The smiling day is overcast. The incessant caterwauling continues. Lest we forget who we are fighting in the name of freedom and liberty, regardless of the soil, the oil, the misery, the toil, let's turn an eye to the flags of our enemies, before the Marxist Left and the Unrepairable George Bush completely miss the point.
Note that the flag of Islam in the era of its warlord prophet was solid black. Someone over there in the Camp of Islam should notice that the would-be renewed caliphate has lost its path, forsaken the mores of Mohammed, and abandon the green flag with white crescent facing right with a five pointed star (shown above) to return to its all-black all the time flag. Makes sense, at least as far as following the often incomprehensible halal and haram strictures of the flag waving thuggery.
In fact, I have seen pictures of Middle Eastern Muslims toting the solid black flag. Those hardliners must be the Al-Qaeda reps in the crowd. Hey, there's a clue for the Crusaders. Grab it, destroy it, ban it from ever flying again, much like the West has done to the Nazi flag.
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MODERATE ISLAM? Does it really exist? If so, then where is it? Is it rooted in true Islam or just the wishful thinking of idiot swooners, or is it a sophisticated well-entrenched lie which defies reality? For those just now arriving at the question of what Islam means perhaps we should ask ourselves if those who have inspired you, whether it be a friend, a relative, a co-worker, perhaps even a stranger you have just met are practicing what they preach or are they conducting themselves in a far more sinister manner.
"Islam is a Religion of Peace" "Muhammad is a man of Peace" "The Qur'an is a book of Peace"
How can we know if these statements are true? We frequently hear from politicians in the public sphere and individual Muslims and Islamic organisations, that Islam is "a religion of peace", that it is "tolerant of other faiths and beliefs" and that it is "in favour of democracy, equal rights and freedom of speech." The media reports the connection between certain Islamic groups and violence, terrorism, and inequality for women. But it also claims that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving, law-abiding and that there is nothing in Islam that is against the values of British society.
In public debate and media language, the distinction has emerged between "radical' and "moderate' Islam. Adherents of the former are called "fundamentalist' and "Islamist', while the latter, the moderates, are said to represent mainstream, true Islam. How can we begin to understand these distinctions and how do we know how many British Muslims are represented in each of them? A 2001 survey revealed how Muslims in Britain viewed themselves:
15% said they were radical in that they followed a literal understanding of the Qur'an and the example of Muhammad. 70% described themselves as nominalthat is, they followed Islamic traditions and their cultural adaptations. 15% saw themselves as liberalthey were happy to follow the West and assimilate fully into British culture. But seven years can be a long time in warfare notation, so what is the situation today? The Sunday Telegraph on 19 February 2006 carried a "YouGov" survey report that revealed: Forty percent of British Muslims identified with Islamic radicalism.
Nhis was post 7/7, and, for whatever reason, shows that radicalism is on the increase in Britain. It may be that new immigrants are swelling the numbers of radical Islam, but it is certainly true that many British Muslims are being won over to a more Islamist position. It is reasonable to conclude that between 2001 and 2006 converts to the "radical cause' came from the group previously identified as nominal. Liberal Muslims are perhaps less inclined towards radicalism, as they have, for all intents and purposes, broken with all traditional forms of Islam. If this is the case, then it shows that today, as in the past, moderate Muslims find it hard to withstand pressure from those who are intent on a more literal approach to Islam.
To grapple with these issues it is necessary to understand the Qur'an's teaching and the practice of Muhammad in relation to a number of issues of concern to those who wish to uphold Western British society: jihad, democracy, freedom of religion and speech, the equality of women, and sharia.
The assertion that Islam is a "religion of peace' draws us, in particular, to the teaching of Islam on violent jihad. It is said by many Muslim apologists that the word "Islam' itself means "peace'. However, it is widely accepted that this is misreading of the Arabic word, and that "Islam' means "surrender'. If there is any connection with "peace' here, it is that "peace' which comes from total surrender and slave-like servitude to an absolute deity as expressed in the Qur'an and Islamic traditions. The peace of Islam, therefore, is the peace and protection afforded to those who convert to Islam or in the case of Jews and Christians, those who accept a humiliating, second-class status in an Islamic society known as Dhimmitude.
According to former professor of Islamic History at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Mark Gabriel, "There are at least 114 verses in the Qur'an that speak of love, peace and forgiveness, especially in the Surah titled "The Heifer'"(Surah 2:62, 109).' But Gabriel goes on to explain that in the light of the later verse found in Surah 9:5 (the "sword verse'), these former "tolerant' verses have been abrogated or annulled. This is according to the Islamic teaching of naskh in which the later revelations of the Qur'an cancelled out the former verses wherever there is a contradiction. (Islam and Terrorism by Mark Gabriel)
It is commonly understood that the earlier Meccan Surahs are more tolerant, corresponding to the earlier phase of Muhammad's life when his teaching focussed mainly on purely religious issues such as belief in one God and the rejection of pagan idolatry. He hoped to persuade Jews to accept him as the prophet of monotheism in line with the Hebrew prophets of the Old Testament, and for the Christians to accept him as the apostle of God, somewhat analogous to the apostles of the New Testament.
However, there was resistance from both groups who clearly saw that Muhammad's teaching was at odds in major respects with the Scriptures as they knew and understood themnot least, the final and absolute authority Muhammad claimed for himself. The Medinan Surahs become more and more strident, imposing social, political and military imperatives on the Muslim community, until finally, the Qur'an became replete with teaching of hate, destruction, death and servitude to all who resisted Islam, either on the battlefield or in their personal faith. A well-respected authority on Islam, himself a radical, Sheikh Muhammad Ezzat Darwazei, counts between 500 and 700 jihad verses in the Qur'an. It is important to remember that these "sword verses' abrogate earlier verses apparently advocating peace and tolerance. The nature of this violent teaching can be seen by the following sample:
The Medinan sword verse:
Surah 9:5 " But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay those who join other gods with Allah wherever you find them; besiege them, seize them, lay in wait for them with every kind of ambush..."
Sword verse against Christians and Jews:
Surah 9:29 "...Make war upon such of those to whom the scriptures have been given as believe not in Allah, or in the last day, and who forbid not what Allah and his apostle have forbidden ... until they pay tribute..."
Methodology of sword verses:
Surah 47:4 " When you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them..."
"Unbelievers ... And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail Justice and faith in Allah."
Recompense for those who die in Jihad:
Surah 4:74 "Let those who fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the hereafter To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah, whether he is slain or gets victory, Soon shall we give him a reward of great value."
Surah 47:4-6 "...But those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost... and admit them to Paradise."
The life of Muhammad is sacred to Muslims who are expected to follow his example in all things. An examination of Muhammad himself shows that not only did he believe in violence but personally practiced it. During his life Muhammad sanctioned 29 actual battles and planned 39 others. He also sanctioned deaths of Jews, Christians and those who criticised or opposed him.
When one reads such Quranic advocacy of violence and death to pagans, Christians and Jews, and the offer of spiritual reward to those who carry such things out, one understands the strength of the radicals who only need to appeal to such texts, as well as the example of Muhammad himself, to pursue and impose "true Islam'.
No compulsion in religion?
What are we to make of the violent teaching found in the Qur'an in the light of the oft-quoted Surah 2:256, "There is no compulsion in religion'?< As has been mentioned, we must ask whether this verse is considered mansukh (abrogated). But, even if that is denied by some Muslim apologists, the context of the verse shows that it does not promise freedom to non-Muslims, but only a measure of tolerance for a time. The following verse reads, "Allah is the Protector of those who have faith" and begs the question concerning how to treat those who reject Allah. Since they don't have Allah's protection, it is argued that these unbelievers do not deserve protection from Islam.
Does moderate Islam exist?
This question does not address the individual Muslim, as it is patently clear that many Muslims do not wish to acknowledge openly or to follow these "sword texts' and that many Muslims in Britain, and across the world, are peaceful and law-abiding. But the issue is: does a correct understanding of the Qur'an and the example of Muhammad as we know it ultimately require that all Muslims believe and support such teaching?
Responses to "sword' passages
When individual Muslims are questioned about the "violence' in the teaching of the Qur'an and in the example of Muhammad himself they usually respond in one of the following ways: Affirmation: As we have seen, we could expect 40% of British Muslims to affirm all or some Quranic teaching on violence. Denial: Some out of ignorance, wishful thinking, or deceit, deny that these verses are actually in the Qur'an.
Interpretation: Some teach that these verses were historical, situational and geographical, only applying to 7th century Arabia and proximate nations.
The key question is: What is the basis for a moderate interpretation of these verses advocating and commanding violence against non-Muslims?
Some deny that the "sword verses' ever had any place in historic, mainstream Islam, and that centuries of Islamic tradition and authoritative teaching proves that this is the case. They claim that Western ignorance and prejudice perpetuates misinterpretation of these texts. But, these same people do not seem to be able to provide any convincing evidence of this "vast body of Muslim opinion' within mainstream and historic Islamic tradition.
Some seek to reform Islam from within, trying to find a more acceptable and modern approach to it in keeping with Western ideals of freedom and tolerance. But the difficulty here is one of authority. Who has the authority to reject Quranic texts or reinterpret them? Surely to do so would be to deny the very basis of Islam and thus be a denial of Islam itself.
Moderate Islam and Sufism
Sufism is often cited as an example of moderate Islam. Sufism is characterised by "inner piety' and, as "a religion of the heart', is said not to advocate violence or political extremism. However, while it is true that Sufis draw their beliefs and inspiration from Mohammad himself, Sufi mysticism, with its quest for union with the divine, is regarded by its critics either as fundamentally un-Islamic or a sectarian departure from the purity of Islam. This is borne out by the fact that Sufis only officially comprise 3-4% of modern day Islam, although it is claimed that their influence is considerable both among Sunnis and Shi'ites.
Ruth Kelly recently gave support to the moderation of Sufism when she rejected the hitherto welcome role of the Muslim Council of Britain as the official voice of Islam in Britain. She was the main speaker at the launch of the Sufi Muslim Council in the House of Commons on 19th July 2006. But the problem is that Sufis do not and cannot speak for Islam in general. It is more influential as a religious tendency within Islam than it is as an official representative of Islam itself.
The Sufi Muslim Council claims that 80% of British Muslims are from a Sufi tradition. That claim is hard to reconcile with the YouGov findings that 40% of British Muslims are sympathetic to Islamist ideals. The contradiction can be resolved in one of two ways. First, Sufism is not, in the final analysis, capable of asserting its "moderation' on the rest of Islam. Or, second, Sufism is not essentially moderate after all. The history of Sufi groups, such as of Naqshbandi, Qadiri and Sanusyia, reveals clear signs of a lack of moderation.
The future of "moderate Islam'
The problem with finding and promoting moderation within Islam is that the most "natural' reading of Islamic texts, as well as much influential historical interpretation of these, provides fuel for the radicals. Considerable fear is generated by the radicals who threaten many would-be moderates with the charge of apostasy and its harsh consequences which, very often, means death. Muslim solidarity, a strong force in its own right, is exploited by radicals who point to social injustice, the plight of the Palestinians, racism and the cultural estrangement of Muslims, in a bid to radicalise their fellow Muslims. This is how British Muslim youth are being successfully recruited to Islamism in colleges and universities, as a former radical, Ed Husain shows in his autobiography The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left.
Perhaps the real issue in all this is not discussion about "moderate' or "radical' Muslims, but the nature of Islam itself. Until this is explored and addressed, it seems the situation is not set to improve. That there are many moderate Muslims, there can be no doubt, but as to the existence of historical, mainstream moderate Islamwhere's the evidence?
Sam SolomonThe Mosque ExposedPilcrow Press is specialized in literature that will educate and inform you of the issues we are facing in this day and age regarding Islamic threats to our nations.
Sam Solomon, a former Muslim and professor of Sharia Law, in particular the study related to the confrontation between Islamic and Western cultures, and the theological convictions at the root of this conflict. Sam Solomon is Director of Fellowship of Faith for Muslims and author of the Charter of Muslim Understanding and The Mosque Exposed.
Solomon is a unique man. He was raised as a Muslim, trained in Sharia law for 15 years, and after reading the New Testament became a Christian. He was imprisoned, questioned, and was to be put to death when the decision instead came to exile him on pain of death. One of the leading experts on Islam and Sharia law in the western world now, Mr. Solomon has testified before congress and is a consultant to the British parliament for matters regarding Islam.
NOW HE IS PRAISING CHINA. Patrick Buchanan the long-time isolationist. Big mistake. Is this the same China who just happened to perpetrate the tainted dog food, the lead painted toys, and other pseudo-corporate scandals against us? Oh, "It was a mistake." I don't believe that any more than I believe that donkeys have wings and fly. When American companies purchase items from abroad each give their suppliers detailed specifications. Surely it is only too convenient and absolutely false to suggest that a Chinese overseer "forgot" that U.S. doesn't allow lead paint or that we would embrace poisoned dog food to be shipped and sold in our country.
It doesn't take a Merlin to connect the dots on this deliberate act by the government to hit the U.S. citizens, raise the bar on subterfuge. As for Taiwan and China? That threat is far from gone. All it takes is one nuclear bomb to wipe Taiwan from the map. It is immoral to lull the Taiwanese into a feeling of security before they are attacked. China is a brutal and rigid country and cannot be trusted. I was extremely upset when the United States gave it most favored nation status, exiling Taiwan to isolation without proper allies. That never should have happened.
What's more, China should never have been awarded the Olympics. I, for one, will not watch one minute of them, and will miss the swimming competition with great sorrow. Yes, I feel sorry for all the athletes, but boycotting the games for their host nation's human rights abuses is the only way to make a personal impact. All this talk of changing brutal regimes into milquetoast if only we are nice to them has never and will never work on the historical stage. Let's see some backbone, America.
THE DUST IS SETTLING on the conflict in Afghanistan and not one major figure from the Taliban or Al-Qaida has been found. Bin Laden remains elusive and, according to some reports, he may have moved to the Pashtun-dominated area of Pakistan weeks ago.
In that sense, Operation Enduring Freedom is so far a failure. And that leaves one vital question still open. Does Bin Laden still own the fabled nuclear suitcase bomb?
We can safely assume that nothing of that nature was found in the Tora Bora complex. One does not abandon equipment that cost millions of dollars, especially if a heavy American attack on Afghanistan was worked into Bin Laden’s war game tactics prior to September 11th.
The answer, in my opinion, is somewhere between probably and not likely. But, whatever one’s view is, the major question is concerned with what these devices are capable of. The answer to that depends on a number of different factors which I shall explore below. A likely scenario of bomb parameters will be used and we shall arrive at a set of numbers, which will show only too clearly what an undesirable visitor such a device would be to an American city.
Furthermore, a city with a flat topology may be favoured above more contoured cities since hills will deflect and absorb the blast waves as was the case in Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks. Hiroshima was a flatter city than Nagasaki and paid for this with a greater death toll and destruction per square mile.
The first parameter to establish is the explosive yield of the device. Based on the various media reports and articles I have examined, the alleged nuclear "backpacks" or "suitcases" would appear to be in the one to ten kiloton range. As a benchmark, the uranium fission bomb dropped on Hiroshima was just over ten kilotons. However, the majority of the articles tend towards the lowest figure of one kiloton and that is the number I will assume.
The mode of detonation is very influential as to the range of the effects of the nuclear explosion and is partly dependent on the intentions of the terrorists. High altitude airbursts are normally intended for Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) effectsi.e. to knock out electronic command and control equipment. But this is not useful to terrorists and is useless anyway for such a low-yield device.
A ground burst minimises blast and thermal damage due to the shielding of successive buildings and hills but maximises the production of fallout particles. These particles are vacuumed up into the initial fireball, which vaporises and then irradiates them before they condense back into solids and float down to earth within hours.
Finally, a low altitude airburst would balance blast, heat, and fallout damage into one infernal combination and has the dubious but added "bonus" of the Mach Effect, which is a reinforced blast wave, created when a fireball blast wave meets the initial blast wave reflected from the ground in the manner of constructive interference.
Which method would a terrorist choose? I suggest the low altitude airburst since it is emotive pictures of decimated sectors of cities and high numbers of immediate casualties that they want the world to witness. For sure, fallout from a ground burst could kill many more over the following months and years, but that does not generate the razor-sharp publicity that a terrorist hungers for.
But could a terrorist pull off a low altitude airburst? The only conceivable way to do this is to carry the weapon over ground zero in a light aircraft. Getting the aircraft would probably be quite easy as would be the loading of the device. Flying the aircraft over the city is more difficult, but once again the nefarious deed could be executed before the military were alerted, scrambled a fighter jet, and engaged the enemy. The likelihood of a USAF fighter catching such a plane is also diminished if a lower-priority city is chosen. In that respect, I will assume a low-altitude airburst. If they can kidnap and fly three out of four Boeing jets into their intended targets in one day, they can do this as well.
A ground detonation is still entirely possible from inside a hidden building or a ship coming into port (though half the energy of the blast could be directed towards the ocean) and these would be easier operations. But this is primarily a question of what the terrorists believe is desirable and achievable rather than what is easiest.
Target and Environment...
Which is the unlucky American city? Certainly, it will be a city and it will be American as far as an Islamic fanatic with an extremely rare and potent weapon is concerned. New York? Los Angeles? San Francisco? New York has had a hard time of it with the two WTC attacks and the downing of flight 587 (yes, I believe it was a terrorist attack), so we may be forgiven for thinking the next attack will happen elsewhere.
However, the Eastern seaboard is the favoured route for bringing in smuggled items and terrorists will not want to spend critical time in long, hazardous journeys westwards. We know that some of the WTC terrorists were based and trained in Florida and that the alleged terrorist on trial just now was caught in the mid-southern state of Oklahoma (ominously he had undertaken Cessna flight training). I suggest that coastal cities further south or even into the Gulf of Mexico may be at greater risk.
Furthermore, a city with a flat topology may be favoured above more contoured cities since hills will deflect and absorb the blast waves as was the case in Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks. Hiroshima was a flatter city than Nagasaki and paid for this with a greater death toll and destruction per square mile.
Seeking to get the last iota of destructive power out of their devilish device, the terrorists would also favour southern cities because of the hotter conditions and better atmospheric conditions. In other words, clear, sunny skies are better "tinderbox" conditions as would that time of day since Bin Laden would want clear conditions for the infamous mushroom cloud to be recorded by the world’s media.
Ultimately, I have no topological maps of southern US cities to make such judgements, but the reader can draw their own conclusions. So far, all this is deductive common sense, but I now move onto the actual effects based on a warm sunny morning in such an American city. The range given in feet and miles will be for the actual distance from ground zero and assumes the fireball centre to be 200 feet above it.
People located about three-quarters of a mile or more from ground zero will have survived with mainly minor injuries, their immediate task is to play their part in helping friends and relatives to evacuate and beyond that lies the task of rebuilding and repairing homes as well as shattered lives.
On that fateful morning, the citizens close to ground zero will note the unremarkable drone of a light aircraft flying above their buildings. It is the last thing they ever hear. Whether the blinding, split second flash of a hundred suns registers with them is unlikely because the intense heat that kills them also travels at the speed of light. As the fireball expands rapidly to its maximum diameter of 460 feet, its centre rages at a temperature of 10,000,000° C for its brief lifetime. Note that temperatures in the WTC attacks were unlikely to have exceeded 5,000° C.
Metallic objects up to 450 feet from ground zero of the initial flash will vaporise. Metallic objects up to 670 feet away will melt. It is needless to guess what happens to people caught out in the open at these rangesthey cease to exist in any meaningful sense of the word and join the raw material for the later fallout.
At 1400 feet from ground zero, rubbers and plastics will ignite and melt whilst wood will char and burn. For victims out in the open, 3rd degree burns are inflicted up to 0.4 miles away, 2nd degree burns up to half a mile away and 1st degree burns at up to nearly a mile away. It is at the extremity of this range that we have the "open oven door effect" which needs no further explanation.
The bomb will expend about 35% of its energy as this radiated heat; a further 50% is absorbed by the atmosphere and becomes a juggernaut blast wave roaring across the city centre at speeds of up to the limit of sound.
Coastal cities used to visiting hurricanes will not have witnessed the boiling winds we describe here. As a comparison, a hefty hurricane-like wind velocity of 116 miles per hour will hit residents at just under half a mile from the blast, whilst those experiencing less damaging winds of 70 mph at under 0.6 miles will feel fortunate.
Meanwhile, those buildings which survived the melting effects of the heat radiation will be finished off by the high winds further into the city centre as winds approaching 670 mph will level or badly damage even steel concrete structures within 740 feet of the blast. No one inside this perimeter can hope to survive unless they are in good underground shelters.
Where the wind speed drops to 380 mph at about 1050 feet, tall multi-storey buildings will be lucky to be left standing and survivors of the heat pulse will suffer potentially fatal lung injuries. As the speed drops to 225 mph at about 1650 feet, most dwelling houses will be wrecked and the streets blocked by debris. Flying fragments become the killer rather than sheer air pressure at these distances.
What the initial radiation pulse did not ignite, the blast does by igniting new fires due to damaged power lines, gas mains and oil tanks. Asphyxiation can also occur at these ranges as much of the air is devoted to fuelling uncontrollable firestorms, which have no mercy on wooden housing.
As I said, this factor will not be so important to devastation-minded terrorists, but the statistics bear witness to further death and misery. The main figure here is the LD-50 dose level which will kill at least 50% of humans exposed to it for an hour or longer. This value is 400 Rads for humans and the victim can die within 30 days. Assuming a weather wind velocity of 15 mph which gives a simple ellipse pattern of fallout, then this lethal dosage can extend downwind for up to several miles but will be confined to a maximum width of only several hundred feet on average.
Out of 77 major American cities, they may feel the odds are closer to 1 in 77 rather than 1 in 7250. This is all about psychology and a feeling of security and these terrorists know that only too well. The protection of Heaven may yet prevent such devices being used, but one suspects that it is more a case of "In the CIA we trust" rather than "In God we trust!"
It is to be noted that an instant gamma ray burst of 400 Rads from the fireball burst will also have this effect up to about 700 feet from ground zero, but the victim would surely be dead from heat and blast effects already.
As the winds drop to gale force at just under a mile, and the glow of the fireball abates, the grim spectacle is over within minutes. We are confronted with a scene of complete devastation within hundreds of feet of ground zero. As the four mile high mushroom cloud silently presides over its work, rescue services will find this a radiation-infested no-go area for months and will concentrate on helping those who have survived further away from ground zero.
Those who are capable of moving will be directed to get out of the immediate area to escape the fallout which is beginning to rain down like snow along the wind patterns of the day. The wreckage on roads as well as every possible vehicle taking to the road at the same time will hamper evacuation procedures as will the transportation of the wounded and infirm.
People located about three-quarters of a mile or more from ground zero will have survived with mainly minor injuries, their immediate task is to play their part in helping friends and relatives to evacuate and beyond that lies the task of rebuilding and repairing homes as well as shattered lives. Though only people in the immediate area of the fallout will be in danger, panic and ignorance will no doubt lead to widespread evacuation across the whole city.
Based on the Hiroshima bombing and scaling down for bomb yields, one could expect fatalities of up to 20,000 and a similar number of injured. If the contours of the land are favourable then these number could drop by half as in the case of Nagasaki. Other factors such as the time of day (e.g. not all people at work yet), accessibility to good medical facilities, evacuation efficiency, and weather conditions all have a large part to play in the final casualty figures.
America is at war with international terrorism and will have to prepare itself against all that its enemies can throw against it. In the larger scheme of things, terrorists can only inflict minimal damage to the American continent as a wholeforty thousand casualties out of nearly 290 million people is 1 in 7250. As a comparison, a resident of the U.S.A. dies every 13 seconds or 20,000 will die of natural and unnatural causes every 3 days. But these are not the cold-blooded statistics which interest the average citizen. Out of 77 major American cities, they may feel the odds are closer to 1 in 77 rather than 1 in 7250. This is all about psychology and a feeling of security and these terrorists know that only too well. The protection of Heaven may yet prevent such devices being used, but one suspects that it is more a case of "In the CIA we trust" rather than "In God we trust!"
January 4 , 2002
Roland Watson writes from Edinburgh, Scotland. If you are a cynic on the existence or the viability of the suitcase nuke, perhaps you might wish to read this opinion. This is indeed all so terrifying. Everywhere one turns there is paranoia and fear. From the Left, all one hears is the fear of a totalitarian fascist America, and with what has been revealed up in Montgomery County, MD, mere blocks from my own DC neighborhood, who can blame them. Fortunately, state lawmakers are planning formal hearings on Maryland State Police efforts to spy on peace activists and death penalty protesters, potentially paving the way for a thorny debate in the next General Assembly session over whether to restrict the law enforcement agency's authority.
I just happen to know, and am loose friends with several of these notorious peace activists, others not so much, and while I yearn and pray for peace, I am not naive enough to think we can simply wish away the imminent threats facing our nation. And it is very sad to me that these personally harmless peace activists do not and will not consider these threats seriously, and persist in what I consider a severely misguided rage against America, while giving a pass to our enemies and competitors.
That said, is our government really doing all it can do to protect its citizens? Hell no it's not! That's my visceral response. That's my intellectual response. Living in Washington, DC, a certain ground zero for whatever these Islamic terrorists can manage to throw at us, is indeed a frightening scenario, and no, I don't believe that the United States defense team is doing enough to protect us. Instead we pay homage to Saudi blackmailers and infiltrators, let China abuse the system we helped launch them into, and ignore our national borders and idiotic immigration patterns in a time of war and great uncertainty. America has made mistakes in the past, and in my own isolated opinion, is making tragic mistakes even today. Our enemies are no shy about telling us their gameplan. And there's not a weak-kneed pacifist among them. Meanwhile, we unconnected Americans need some sense of unity, some sense of well-being and vital purpose for a rational survival if we are to defeat these assaults we now face, and that's just on the economic and military fronts.
Fear is being sold everywhere. Pick your poison. The Left will dish out theirs, clinging to emotional facts. The Right will counter with another version, using nearly the same mortal facts. Heaven help us if only the rich and the devious survive this crisis when our leadership fails us. What a country, indeed...