When will they retaliate?

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It appears to me that the U.S. has just delivered one hell of a punch on Iraq. We apparently did not hurt them too much. In initiating Desert Fox, we have alianated Russia, France and China not to mention the Arab world. China is a great military power, Russia's military is still in place and just needs money to get it up to speed. The Arab countries have lots of money. It would seem to people outside of this country, that since the U.S. is the only super power left, we have become the terrorists. To the average, objective non American view point, we have bombed a soverign nation without a declaration of war. We appear to have become the school yard bully. Every one wants to see a bully get his comeupance. Now it may well become out turn to get hit.

How about a little anthax in times square this new years eve? Maybe only a small bomb which in that throng would kill hundreds if not thousands. How do we defend against such tactics in our open society? I suppose that for our own good, we would have to outlaw such gatherings. How about outlawing any gathering of more than 10 people? How about paying people to evesdrop on other's conversations? How about not letting anyone own firearms? It's all for our own good and safety isn't it? I think this time we have poked a bee hive with our big stick, and the big stick is useless against a swarm of bees. Remember what a bunch of little yellow people in black pyjamas and sandles were able to achieve not too long ago. In a fair fight they would not have lasted a week. Anyone remember, "We will bomb them back to the stone age?" That didn't work either. Doesn't anyone remember anything anymore? I am frightened for my country and for my loved ones. I don't like the feeling. I guess I will have to get used to it. This might be TEOTWAWKI. I know a world of plenty, where I can go anywhere and say anything without being interfered with.

In short, does anyone else think that the other shoe will soon fall?

Bill in South Carolina

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), December 21, 1998


I think we're going to get it, and do we ever deserve it.

The US has been pissing off the world for many years now, sticking our nose in other countries business. Acting like the Global Robocop, and flouting our own laws.

To the best of my knowledge, we haven't legally been fighting anyone since WWII. These police actions, and humanitarian police actions are plainly illegal, yet the People and Congress go right along with it, with little or no protest (Vietnam was a notable exception).

I hate to agree with Iraq, but they're RIGHT. We've attacked illegally, and both Clinton and Tony Blair ought to be tried by the World Court. :)

I could think of many ways that this country is vulnerable, and I'm a law-abiding citizen. Imagine how many more ways a pissed off and ready to act genuine terrorist can think of.

-- Bill (billclo@hotmail.com), December 21, 1998.

Bill (bilclo,etc) wrote:
>To the best of my knowledge, we haven't legally been fighting anyone >since WWII. These police actions, and humanitarian police actions >are plainly illegal, yet the People and Congress go right along with >it, with little or no protest (Vietnam was a notable exception). >>

>I hate to agree with Iraq, but they're RIGHT. We've attacked >illegally, and both Clinton and Tony Blair ought to be tried by the >World Court. :)

A quick look at the CURRENT history indicates that Desert Storm was a multinational effort, validated within the international community, to go as far as it did and no farther. (hence, we let Saddam live).

The recent actions are legal in the context of the armistice which Saddam signed, ending Desert Storm, indicating that the world community could police his weapons development efforts, and his disarmament in terms of Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is in violation of the armistice he signed, and has been for 7+ years. the only difficulty I have with the recent expenditure of non-Y2- compliant hardware is that it is about 6 years late, and done in an unusual circumstance, suggesting that BC had another agenda.

Per the UNSCOM leader, on this morning's TODAY show, all of the governments were informed somewhat in advance that his report would indicate the non-compliance of Iraq with its own statements of six weeks ago. This included Iraq, so they had suficient time to move things around and we have accomplished only a delay in the historic impeachment vote.


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 21, 1998.

Iraq had to be dealt with before 2000. On the other hand, unilateral military actions like this are bound to have consequences. The Center for Strategic and International Studies just released a new report on cyberterrorism. The CNN story on it is at:


Is our government worried about cyberterrorism, or is their real worry Y2K? Or are they extremely worried about both?

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 21, 1998.

Well, we definitely ought to prepare for the end of infrastructure, no? And these cyberterrorists better hurry up; only 375 hacking days left.

Man, I smell an impending rat-action. Does anybody else?

-- Lisa (nomail@work.com), December 21, 1998.

Anybody remember who invented the zero?

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), December 21, 1998.

I think it was the arabs, who also discovered algebra?

Why, Hardliner? What do you mean?

-- Lisa (nomail@work.com), December 21, 1998.

Chuck- Agree. And by putting off the inevitable for 6 years, Iraq has been given time to agitate, apply demagoguery, prepare revenge and anger to fester. Getting involved in other countries' politics is part of any country's real life. Voters expect govmnt. to protect trade interests (oil) and allies expect their allies to keep their agreements (Kuwait). Gvmnts are damned if they do and damned if they don't- see Yugoslavia's neighbors. Sure, ideally we would all be good people, just, unselfish, peace-loving. If we were, we would produce just, unselfish, peace-loving communities/societies. But we aren't. However, I understand Bill's main point. The US paternalistic, self-righteous attitude stinks and will undoubtedly provoke nasty consequences. The consequences will be equally miserable for those who identify with the attitude and those who don't. It wasn't any different for the citizens of Austria after HItler overran the country.

-- Mari(a) (encelia@mailexcite.com), December 21, 1998.


-- fix blockquote (.@...), December 21, 1998.


No big deal really. It was only intended as a gentle reminder that those we are likely to be adversarial with have a tradition of mathematical excellence and competence. Should it come to cyber-terrorism, the playing field would likely be tilted slightly in their favor. After all, one of the earliest computer viruses, the Jerusalem Virus, came from that direction. Islamic mathematicians are superb computer programmers and not a group I'd choose to go up against, if given such a choice. But, that's just my opinion.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), December 21, 1998.

Somebody may be retaliating for something.
Today we have an announcement of "the first legitimate incident of cyber-terrorism":

http://www.msnbc.com/news/ 225718.asp

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-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), December 21, 1998.

Hardliner, what do you think of the above article?
especially in light of your post above, and the timing ... ?

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), December 21, 1998.

Ok, if the White House addresses this today, then consider this the beginning of the end.

Then wait for some power plant (not nuke, that'd be too scary for the sheep) to have some similar thing happen.

Then a bank. At that point, a demonstrable threat to the infrastructure will have been established, and BC can fire up his grand plan.

Thanks, Leska- in the paper this weekend there was also an evacuation of a federal building because of an anthrax "attack".

Here we go.

-- Lisa (what@rubbish.com), December 21, 1998.


Your guess is as good as mine! If the guys who have all the facts about this deal don't have any idea who did it by now, it seems likely that they may never know. That's one of the problems with computer crime in general--you can't, "fish things out" of the "bit bucket". I didn't see anything in the article that gave me any ideas even, as to who might have done it, or why. If no one comes forward and claims responsibility, I'd bet on a disgruntled employee or other insider. If someone did it for political or financial (read blackmail) reasons, they'll have to come out of the woodwork in order to further the scheme. Only Time will tell, and also, Time may not.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), December 21, 1998.


When I said illegal attacks, I meant against the US Constitution, not some silly UN charter.

To the best of my knowledge, no attack against other countries has been authorized by Congress prior to the act since WWII. You know, a declaration of WAR, which the Constitution REQUIRES. BEFORE you attack, not "oh by the way, can I have permission now that I've kicked some foreign butt?" None of those presidents involved got a prior declaration of war, and so, have violated the law.

We can argue back and forth that so and such act enables the Prez to act autonomously, but the Constitional requirement has not been removed.

He broke the law, and ought to be prosecuted, but it'll never happen.

-- Bill (billclo@hotmail.com), December 21, 1998.

billclo: "None of those presidents involved got a prior declaration of war, and so, have violated the law. "

You need to go back to law school son. The prez can do just about any damn thing he pleases if national security is at stake. That's why bombed the crap out of Hitler in the 40's but were not legally at war with Germany (and truth be known, declaring war on Germany would have been very messy for American businessmen who had large investments in the Nazi war machine).

Anyhow, it's like this: We're heading for a y2k disaster, there are parts of the world that wish to see this country harmed. I don't know about you, but I'm sticking with the good old US of A. You can get your ass on the next boat to the promised land if you like.

-- a (a@a.a), December 21, 1998.

Sorry about the block quote. thought about it half way to Pittsburgh with a client


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 22, 1998.

Here's another article about that "first legitimate incident of cyber-terrorism," today from CBSNews.

This sentence caught my attention: "Computer networks are the lifeblood of every company. They're used to send orders, shipments, and communicate, among other essential tasks. The Remote Explorer virus targets this key part of worldwide corporate infrastructure."

http://www.cbs.com/navbar/n ews.html

Correspondent Tony Russomano of CBS station KPIX-San Francisco Reports
The Mother Of All Viruses

New Computer Virus Called 'Remote Explorer'
* It Can Bring Down A Network
* MCI Reportedly Is First Victim

Tuesday, December 22,1998 - 01:32 PM ET (CBS) A first of its kind computer virus that has the potential to destroy entire networks is being called "the first legitimate incident of cyber-terrorism," reports Correspondent Tony Russomanno of CBS station KPIX in San Francisco.

The giant Communications Company MCI confirms that it is the victim of an entirely new form of computer attack, one that spreads without any human intervention. Security professionals say it is "the mother of all computer viruses."

The alert is out for what's being called the Remote Explorer virus: the first virus in history that infects entire computer networks instead of individual computers.

"Viruses in the past have not been spreading by themselves," reports Peter Watkins of Network Associates. "They usually rely on users sending mail to each other, opening up documents, whatever. But in this case, the virus takes care of that and it propagates by itself."

The virus changes files at random. If an essential file is changed, the entire network could go down.

The virus only affects corporate networks running Microsoft Windows NT software. The virus can be transmitted over the Internet, and other software, such as Unix, can be a carrier.

MCI says the virus has had no impact on its operations. Infected systems have been isolated or turned off until a new program to clean the virus is installed.

Computer networks are the lifeblood of every company. They're used to send orders, shipments, and communicate, among other essential tasks. The Remote Explorer virus targets this key part of worldwide corporate infrastructure.

"Without a computer network, most companies today would have a major problem in just continuing their day to day operations," Watkins continues.

Computer security consultants say the author of the virus is not known, but it must be an extremely sophisticated programmer with advanced knowledge. As for a motive, it could be someone who just wants to show it can be done, or someone who wanted to harm the computer network.

"In either case, the individual probably should go to jail if you could ever find them, but you never can," says Watkins.

The virus was discovered Dec. 17. So far, only MCI has been infected.
The fear is that other companies may have it, and not yet know it.

Well, several realities there are Y2K apropo! If crippled networks bring down corporations, what about dead mainframes, PCs, systems, electricity, telecommunications, water, etc. I guess they're hyped about this because it's happening right now.


-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), December 22, 1998.

This guy Tony Russomanno gets my personal "Jackass of the Day" award.

As long as anyone remembers the "Gulf War", it will be remembered that "Sadly Insane" is the one who used the phrase, "Mother of All Battles". Simple use of the words, "Mother of All ______ (fill in your own term here)" will ABSOLUTELY link whatever you wish, to Iraq.

There is no evidence given that Iraq had anything whatsoever to do with the subject of the article, yet anyone who reads it will come away with that linkage in their mind.

Russomanno also says this, ". . .is being called 'the first legitimate incident of cyber-terrorism'. . .", but he neglects to tell us WHO is calling it that!

If I were running a news organization and this guy worked for me, I'd FIRE him.

If I were running an anti-Iraq propaganda organization and this guy worked for me, I'd PROMOTE him.

This is a textbook example of how public opinion is manipulated.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), December 22, 1998.

That's why bombed the crap out of Hitler in the 40's but were not legally at war with Germany. No they bombed the "crap" out of civilians mostly, Bomber Harris et al, the aim was to exterminate Germans not military targets.

Back to Iraq, Yugoslavia, solve complex issues by bombing, yes good idea, this is of course the simplistic way to appeal to the simple electorate.

The real reason they use bombing is to initiate military action but not get their hands too dirty. Just a few sorties will topple Saddam. Lets face it the war did not get rid of him, neither will a few bombing raids.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), December 23, 1998.

http://www.v ny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=53913

Virus Hits State Farm Computers

Wednesday, 23 December 1998 20:33 (GMT), (UPI Spotlight)

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Dec. 23 (UPI) - Computers connected to State Farm Insurance Co. are being hit with a computer virus that has infected the company's computers. Officials say (Wednesday) the virus has infected about 1,000 of its roughly 105,000 computers across the country, affecting regional and claims offices, as well as individual agents.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), December 23, 1998.

Since we've been talking about retaliation, here's a link to a CSIS report on compliance progress in Middle-Eastern countries:


What happens if the chips go down and Saudi Arabia can't desalinize its water?

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 23, 1998.

Ppl wanna sue when the chips blip:

http:// www.oregonlive.com/todaysnews/9812/st122302.html

Computer Errors Cut Short Fishing Season
The mistakes seriously inflated parts of the coastal small-boats' catch, leading to the fishery closure and rocking the fleet's finances and confidence
Wednesday, December 23 1998, By Hal Bernton of The Oregonian staff

CHARLESTON -- Computer errors in the system that tracks ocean commercial fishing catches cut the season short for a small-boat fleet that works off the Oregon and Washington coasts.

The mistakes overstated the fleet's rockfish catch by more than 500,000 pounds. Acting on that flawed information, harvest managers ordered dozens of fishermen to port Oct. 1 to prevent overfishing. The closure order came three months earlier than normal, aggravating the already precarious finances of the fishermen and shaking their confidence in the integrity of the regional management system.

"The money never comes easy, but I just couldn't believe this," said Andy Ousley, 31, a Charleston fisherman.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials initially dismissed the possibility of computer errors but were prodded by Charleston fishermen to review their records.

Fish and Wildlife officials now say that catch figures for most species were accurately tallied by the computer. But they acknowledge that the system seriously inflated the small-boat catch of yellowtail and widow rockfish, reporting small-boat harvest totals that were more than 50 percent higher than the true catch.

"It shut down the fishery early, and personally I feel terrible for these guys," said Jay Hensleigh, a Fish and Wildlife Department computer expert who helps compile information for the regional tracking system.

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission operates the computer system and tracks more than $70 million worth of commercial fishing harvests off Oregon, Washington and California. During the 1990s, the fisheries have become crowded and management increasingly complex as the harvest is allocated among two broad groups of fishermen.

One group, called the limited-entry fleet, consists mostly of trawl fishermen who tow large nets through the ocean. This fleet of nearly 500 vessels is allocated about 90 percent of the rockfish harvest. To work in the fleet, a fisherman must buy a permit -- costing tens of thousands of dollars -- from someone who wants to quit.

The other group, the open-access fleet, scraps for the remaining 10 percent of the rockfish harvest. That harvest is open to anyone willing to pay a few hundred dollars in licensing fees. This year, it attracted more than 800 Oregon and Washington fishermen.

Most fish with dozens of baited hooks that dangle from lines anchored to the ocean bottom. They bleed the fish on deck to help preserve their quality and deliver the catch to port by day's end.

Because of this careful handling, the fish often fetch higher prices than the trawl-caught fish, ending up in restaurants and other specialty markets.

Some of the fishermen are part-timers who also work shore-side jobs. Others, such as Ousley, are veteran skippers who failed to qualify for limited-entry permits and were forced into the open-access fishery. In a good year, Ousley might gross $30,000 to $40,000, barely enough to pay expenses and maintain his 91-year-old wooden boat.

From the beginning, the year proved tough for the small-boat fleet. Fierce storms kept them off the fishing grounds for much of the winter. Then, in October, the fleet was hit by the early closure order.

Many of the fishermen wondered how they had met the limits so early, and they suspected that the computer system might have erred.
By late November, harvest officials had confirmed the computing errors. They said the system mistakenly assigned part of the trawl-fleet harvest to the open-access vessels. The mistakes have occurred for seven years, but only this year were the figures large enough to prompt an early shutdown.

"I've been doing this for 18 years, and I would like to say that this is the worst situation I've seen," said Will Daspit, a computer program manager with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Daspit said the accounting errors resulted from a lack of computer coding information on some of the trawl-fleet harvest statistics that state officials forwarded to the commission.

State officials said their staff is stretched too thin and they need more funding to help compile harvest information.
"People who are not familiar with computer systems have the impression that everything should work out to the nearest pound," said Mark Saelens, a state fisheries manager. "But things don't always work out that way."

Saelens said that even if the computer problem had been discovered early in the year, it's uncertain whether the small-boat fishermen could have caught their full allocation of yellowtail and widow rockfish. The harvest still would have been complicated by the accidental hooking of another species -- canary rockfish -- that by October was subject to catch restrictions, they said.

Fisheries commission and state officials say the computer problems have been corrected. But the errors will continue to haunt the small-boat fishermen as they begin the new year.

In 1999, the open-access fleet faces sharply lower monthly harvest limits for rockfish. The limits were based in part on the flawed computer information that overstated the catch rates for yellowtail and widow rockfish.

A regional council that regulates the harvest will meet in March to consider whether the discovery of the computer errors warrants changes in the monthly limits. In the meantime, fishermen and some of the processors that rely on their deliveries wonder whether there are other computer errors to be uncovered.

And they are fuming about the mistakes already found.
"I've got no income right now-- not even $20 bucks to my name," fisherman Lance Porteur said last week at a meeting in Charleston with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. "I'm ready to hire a lawyer and sue anyone in a suit and tie."


-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), December 24, 1998.

Yes, I think they will retaliate. Especially since we bombed during Ramadan. They will take their time and pick their targets. It scares me more than y2k...at least you have an idea what to prepare with it...Terrorists can attack anytime, anywhere. The anthrax threats a month or so ago really put it in perspective...little children??? Thanks goodness they were false alarms..but they might not be next time. America is heading for a big fall...

-- Moore Dinty moore (not@thistime.com), December 25, 1998.

Bill, you need to brush up on your history!

What about Bush launching Desert Storm? Or Ronald Reagan attacking Panama, Grenda, Lebanon ... did I miss any? Or Eisonhower in Korea? Or Kennedy in Vietnam? Or Carter in Iran?

Face it, lots of precedent for US president's taking action for national defense. And I don't see the Supreme Court ruling their actions illegal. Are you more expert than they? Do you think every president since WW2 should have been thrown into prison for taking military action? Or just Bill Clinton? Somehow I bet you weren't demanding that Reagan get thrown into prison - am I correct? What's different this time?

As to the BC attack on Iraq - don't you get it? SH would like to see you and me dead, that's why he is trying to build these nice nukes and biological bombs. Better we take them out now don't you think? Or would you rather he build them, and then we can simply trust he won't hurt us? We learned long ago with Hitler that appeasement doesn't work. There is another historical lesson you might want to study.

-- octopus (octopus@devonian.com), December 26, 1998.


I don't know WHY the Supreme Court hasn't ruled the illegal "non-declared WARS" we've fought to be unconstitutional acts. Ask them. They certainly are political animals, and probably just don't want to upset their masters. :)

I can only go on what the Constitution says, and interpret it as best as I can. Never been to law school, but the Constitution is simple enough that even school children can understand it. Since it used to be taught in the 1800's to grade school kids, I guess it wasn't too difficult to learn. Obviously we "enlightened" people nowadays have no need of such knowledge, since our "servants" are only too happy to take care of us (sarcasm).

The Constitution says specifically in Article 1, section 8 that the CONGRESS has the authority to declare war. If the President was intended to have that authority, it would have said so, don't you think? Nor does he have the authority to make treaties without SENATE approval.

Just because a President commits an illegal act, and gets away with it, and his sucessors do also, doesn't make it LEGAL. I also lump Reagan in there also. I play no favorites where the law is concerned. It applies to all, including govt servants, or we have anarchy.

Obviously, the US has been seriously corrupted from what our founders had envisoned. I largely prefer what they intended, rather than what we've become. It's very unlikely that we'll ever be able to return to such values, but that doesn't make them stupid, or irrelevant. I'll fight to the death for your right to say whatever you want, as long as you don't break the law, or endanger others.

-- Bill (billclo@hotmail.com), December 29, 1998.


I haven't forgotten about Saddam. Unfortunately, we, the US, made him into what he is today. He used to be on the CIA rolls of friendly dictators, until he slipped off his leash.

We were shipping bio/chem equipment until 2 WEEKS before the air war started. So much for being a self-made madman. WE created him.

We could have taken him out any time we wished to. He's been a pretty effective boogieman, don't you think? The Gulf War was a pretty good way to test out our new war toys. There was never any intent to remove/kill Saddam.

It's our own stupid foolish fault he's as dangerous as he is now, and we need to face up to that.

Absolutely, he needs to be controlled, but it's a little late for that now. We now have a Jihad proclaimed against us, effectively, and we're going to pay for that stupid mistake.

-- Bill (billclo@hotmail.com), December 29, 1998.

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