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May 09, 2006



Can they weaponize foot in mouth disease or are we better off with Anthrax?

The Unbeliever

Sounds like it's time to train a new generation of AA gunners. If the enemy thinks you're high tech, go lo-tech; a handful of Marines with machine guns and binoculars are probably the best defense against such attacks if radar is insufficient.

And I have to say I loved this note from the article:

On April 11, 2005 the Lebanese Shiite militia group, Hezbollah, flew a pilotless drone over Israeli territory, on what it called a "surveillance" mission. The Israeli military confirmed this and responded by flying warplanes over southern Lebanon.

An excellent response to terrorist grandstanding. (And let's not get into the disingenious use of the world "militia" when referring to Hezbollah.) At least someone on our side still understands the "show of force" strategy and how to employ it.


Unbeliever, I think you'll appreaciate this. http://americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=5100


"Sounds like it's time to train a new generation of AA gunners. If the enemy thinks you're high tech, go lo-tech; a handful of Marines with machine guns and binoculars are probably the best defense against such attacks if radar is insufficient."

You make a good point, but you forget that an entire generation of American soldiers have trained for hours a day their entire lives for remote operatred combat.

SO those of us who have limited experiebce with Pong, Atari and Mario Brothers will likely be the AA gunners.


Shotguns, as with duck.



What? You've never watched Gigantor?

Of course they're unstoppable.


Isn't this (sort of) the same thing that Colin Powell claimed the Iraqis had in Feb-2003 ?


Crazy cows, mad chickens and flying robots.

Terrific. We're living in the middle of a Fellini movie. Or a Python skit.

Well, Trotsky did say once that if one wanted a quiet life one picked the wrong century in which to be born.

Granted, that was last century but I'm not going to quibble over details.


Cecil Turner

Models with a wingspan of five metres (16 feet), capable of carrying up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds), remain undetectable by radar.

For comparison, the smallest GP bomb in common use weighs 500#. Models have negligible payload and range, which limits their effectiveness. There might be some places with peculiar geography (e.g., Israel) where they could be used effectively, but for most applications, a light aircraft piloted by a jihadist would be far better. The recent mode in military robotics is to replace humans for particularly dangerous missions (which disproportionately favors the West), a trend I'd expect to continue.

Other Tom

There is an existing weapons system deployed throughout the US Navy known as Phalanx, which was specifically designed to counter incoming subsonic cruise missiles equivalent to our Tomahawk. It can be (and under many circumstances is) directed to commence firing without human instruction, i.e. if an incoming craft is detected on radar the gun automatically trains to the target and begins firing depleted uranium projectiles at an extraordinary cylic rate of fire. Obviously it can only shoot what radar can detect. And while 110 pounds of, say, C4 will not produce a 9/11 event, it can do one hell of a lot of damage.

Other Tom

I should add that it would not be remotely feasible to deploy the Phalanx system to protect the almost infinite number of potential targets, but it certainly could protect a lot of high-value targets against large payloads.


The wonder is that the Angry Left Protest People haven't figured out that they could sabotage a major event like the Masters with a couple of remote controlled airplanes purchased from any hobby store and a bottle of Tri-ox Vegetation remover.

Crop dust the 11th green 3 days before the tournament, claim credit, and your message would be aired.

except on Fox.


Tom Maguire

Well, I saw a model airplane used to deliver a faux bomb in a Man From UNCLE episode back in the 60's. SO what else is new?


I think that article is over hyping the threat a bit.

While I'd guess the US can build a UAV with a low radar cross section I doubt many others could and your jihadi certainly isn't going to whip one out in the garage on the weekend.

Of course if we didn't know the attack was coming and weren't watching for one we'd miss it anyway. If one pops up on radar over the port of Houston this morning I doubt we'll see DEFCON 1.

Which brings us back to intelligence and the CIA...

Cecil Turner

Small aircraft of non-metal construction are by nature low observable. 100 kilos of C4 (or the preferred, B5) is not enough for a catastrophic impact, and the UAVs we're talking about have very short range (which makes finding their AO after an attack relatively easy, which makes repeated attacks more difficult). A CIWS (Phanlanx) is extremely short range, and the rounds have to land somewhere. Placing bunches of them to protect land targets probably won't happen. I think the experts are right about no particularly good countermeasures, but they also appear to be overhyping the threat.


I've said for years the next attack will be over Dallas or Houston. It will be by conventional explosive with radioactive contaminants and it will be in a light plane flown by a deep cover suicide bomber. Human morbidity and mortality will be small, but economic damage will be devastating.

Stop that.


We have a target rich environment here in Houston. I can hardly believe it hasn't happened yet. We've got everything, hundreds of miles of refineries, a nuke plant, a port.

A very very ripe target.


You don't even mention that one interpretation of OBL's pre-election video was that he meant individual states of our united ones when he threatened retaliation against his enemies. How much louder can you say TEXAS.

Unfortunately, and this is a measure of the sickness of some, there would be rejoicing in some quarters here if that were to happen.


Most people in Texas got mad when Bushgot elected. They have'nt paid for him yest and that is what everybody is worried about.

The combination of conventional expolosives with radio active contaminents is what alot of people thought 9/11 was, but seeing as how no tests were allowed and the guy who invented a machine to look for stuff got in trouble, we're still not sure.

The use of just a coventional explosion really is ridiculous when it can be combined before, during or after with bio WMD or something radio active. People will gather at the site(fire fighters, police, etc.) and this would be the goal of the second combination. In addition, there would be a large number of poeple fleeing the site and, ideally, the second combination would be spred by those into other cities. The second combinaiton would be something like a BIO WMD that has a permanent genetic affect. North America would be permanently damaged and the borders would be effectively closed with the new(bio) IDs issued before the attack. North Amercia would be permanatly damaged and sealed.

The reason we invaded Iraq was Saddams's BIO WMD program. The person who ran that program was forgiven by the Iraqi courts and is free. She did alot of research.

Cecil Turner

A very very ripe target.

Perhaps, but none of those are really suitable for a small drone attack. In any event, the multitude of terrorist targets just underscores the impracticality of playing defense. As the old military maxim goes: "You can't be strong everywhere."

The reason we invaded Iraq was Saddams's BIO WMD program.

That's probably true. However, there are many practical problems with any sort of WMD attack, no "permanent genetic effect" I'm aware of, and the 9/11 radioactive contaminants theory is dubious at best.


Micromachines may well give you long lasting contamination.

Genetic agents in agriculture can be extremely potent.


Most people in Texas got mad when Bushgot elected


"Most people in Texas got mad when Bushgot elected"

Try again. Bush carried Texas, twice. So you're sayin the folks who voted for him got mad when he won?


"Most people in Texas got mad when Bushgot elected"

No we didn't.


I've said for years the next attack will be over Dallas or Houston.

Here's hoping you are sooooo wrong...



For years, even before 9/11, they have worried about a boat coming up the channel.


Let's make the next one never, Sue.

Who'll do that, the Democrats? The UN?

richard mcenroe

Maybe the Democrats can lift some stock footage from "Sky Captain" to show how tough they'll be on national security: "Vote for us! Only we can stop the Flying Robots!"


Actually Buch has carried Texas 4 times, last time by over 60% I believe. That comment was so baffling I decided I simply didn't understand it.


So you're sayin the folks who voted for him got mad when he won?

Having watched the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros in the playoffs, it may be that Texans are uncomfortable with victory.

Not that I want to mess, or anything...

Cecil Turner

For years, even before 9/11, they have worried about a boat coming up the channel.

That's a rational fear. (A ship can carry hundreds of tons of explosives.) A model airplane really isn't.


Today's radar capabilities may be classified but certainly prior to 9/11 air traffic control radars could not track an aircraft without a functioning transponder which responds to radar interrogation by transmitting a signal to ATC. It wasn't entirely clear from "United 93" how ATC was able to continue tracking the hijacked flights...perhaps airliners have transponders that can't be turned off...I know from personal experience that they can be turned off on general aviation aircraft.

Its probably true that a motivated radio-control hobbyist could contruct a remote controlled aircraft that could attack the white house for example with a fair chance of success. The matterials are readily available and the radar cross-section of balsa wood for example is extremely low, leaving only the engine, servos, batteries, and electronics to reflect radar signals. I am unsure whether GPS modules are readily available to provide steering signals.


An ever present problem is that aggressive measures can only be taken against organized terror. Random terror acts by crazies, whether ideologically justified or not, are difficult to pre-empt. There must be some measure of static defense, too.



I was fixing to say Rangers? Playoffs? Then I remembered that one time, a long time ago, when we were humiliated by the Yankees. I must have locked that painful memory into some dark place in my mind and you Yankeed it back out.


However, if you want to talk basketball and the Mavericks...

...don't mess with Texas...because either way...you're going to get Texas...either in the form of the Mavericks or the Spurs...


The Rangers have been to the playoffs?


See...I'm not the only Texan who had trouble remembering. They did, in 1996, I believe.


1996: With AL MVP Juan Gonzalez establishing new club records in HR with 47 and RBI with 144 the Rangers grab the lead in the Western Division early.

http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/al/texas/texrangers.html>Texas Rangers


The issue of radar tracks were not well explained in United 93, but where the hijackers turned off transponders, I believe the film correctly showed the flights as disappearing from radar.

Technically, air traffic control radars do pick up aircraft without transponders but the system normally suppresses such returns and shows to the controller only the transponder returns as the radar clutter would be largely unintelligeble else.

Other Tom

Actually, the Astros won in two rounds of playoffs last year--the divisional playoffs and the National League Championship Series. They lost in the World Series.


The story is that Bill James got fired from his job as night watchman at a bean factory because he was too intent on his stats to wander from one punch station to another.


Uh, bean cannery roe v Wade Boggins once announced that What'sherface was carrying his baby after that philanderer married to the announcer's daughter had claimed to have had sex with her, when Pete Rose chimed in with "Ya wanna bet?"

That joke's better if you can remember the players. Well, he was as forgettable as his sex.

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