jp.jpg (13389 bytes)


Mail 174 October 8 - 14, 2001

read book now





BOOK Reviews

emailblimp.gif (23130 bytes)



LAST WEEK                           Current Mail                           NEXT WEEK

  The current page will always have the name currentmail.html and may be bookmarked. For previous weeks, go to the MAIL HOME PAGE.


If you are not paying for this place, click here...

IF YOU SEND MAIL it may be published; if you want it private SAY SO AT THE TOP of the mail. I try to respect confidences, but there is only me, and this is Chaos Manor. If you want a mail address other than the one from which you sent the mail to appear, PUT THAT AT THE END OF THE LETTER as a signature.

I try to answer mail, but mostly I can't get to all of it. I read it all, although not always the instant it comes in. I do have books to write too...  I am reminded of H. P. Lovecraft who slowly starved to death while answering fan mail. 

Monday -- Tuesday -- Wednesday -- Thursday -- Friday -- Saturday -- Sunday
atomz search

Search: type in string and press return.


or the freefind search

   Search this site or the web        powered by FreeFind
  Site search Web search

Boiler Plate:

If you want to PAY FOR THIS there are problems, but I keep the latest HERE. I'm trying. MY THANKS to all of you who sent money.  Some of you went to a lot of trouble to send money from overseas. Thank you! There are also some new payment methods. I am preparing a special (electronic) mailing to all those who paid: there will be a couple of these. I am also toying with the notion of a subscriber section of the page. LET ME KNOW your thoughts.

If you subscribed:

atom.gif (1053 bytes) CLICK HERE for a Special Request.

If you didn't and haven't, why not?

If this seems a lot about paying think of it as the Subscription Drive Nag. You'll see more.

Highlights this week:

Search: type in string and press return.


line6.gif (917 bytes)

This week:



Monday  October 8, 2001

From Robert Rocansky 

Sudan's Offer to Arrest Militant Fell Through After Saudis Said No

By Barton Gellman Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, October 3, 2001; Page A01

The government of Sudan, employing a back channel direct from its president to the Central Intelligence Agency, offered in the early spring of 1996 to arrest Osama bin Laden and place him in Saudi custody,

Which is an interesting story I have heard before. It seems there was a certain lack of either interest or ingenuity in the White House.

And something cheerful from Stephen St. Onge

From: Stephen M. St. Onge

Subject:News and Views

Dear Jerry:

Some science news of possible interest. The first may point to a solution for long term space travel, the second casts real doubt on global warming, the last of which goes in the "SF in real life?" file:

'GOOD VIBRATIONS' MAY PREVENT BONE LOSS State University of New York at Stony Brook researchers suggest bones that are slightly shaken may help astronauts stay healthier during long space flights, and could be used to help people suffering from bone loss on Earth, NASA reports. Scientists uncovered evidence that barely perceptible vibrations may stimulate bone growth, which would benefit astronauts on extended space missions, the elderly on the ground, and other people immobilized by paralysis or bed rest. The researchers discovered that normally active animals exposed to 10 minutes per day of low-magnitude (.25 g), high frequency (90 Hz) vibrations experienced increased bone formation when compared to the control group. In addition, when animals, prevented from regular, weight-bearing activity, were exposed to 10 minutes of vibrations per day, bone formation remained at near-normal levels. While preliminary results are encouraging, "a full clinical study must be completed to demonstrate the effectiveness." While researchers do not fully understand the physiological mechanism at work, the vibrations appear to fool the bones into thinking they are working hard.

ICELANDIC WEATHER HELPS IN ARCTIC PUZZLE Largely natural "ups and downs" in a weather system centered near Iceland have contributed to regional variations and an overall decrease in Arctic sea ice cover over the last twenty years. As this semi-permanent low-pressure system intensifies and weakens, it affects the amount of air (generally warm) being brought into the Arctic to the east of the low and the amount of air (generally cold) being swept out of the Arctic to the west. These changes in turn affect the amount of ice cover in the respective regions, adding to the effects of climate warming. The "Icelandic Low" is a key to bringing a greater or lesser amount of warm air into the Arctic depending on the intensity of the system, and is part of a larger weather pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The overall decrease in sea ice cover has generated questions about whether Arctic sea ice is being influenced by global warming. Claire L. Parkinson of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. urges caution in drawing conclusions for decreases in Arctic ice. "The trend of decreasing ice extent showed some signs of reversing in the 1990s," she writes in Polar Geography. "Whether the ice cover as a whole will continue to exhibit the decreases that it experienced over the 1979 to 1999 period might depend on the strength and phase of the NAO, as well as on long-term trends in the climate system."

SPINACH PROTEIN IMPLANT MAY HELP RESTORE SIGHT A team of scientists hopes to improve the sight of blind people by implanting proteins from spinach leaves into their eyes, New Scientist reports. When light falls on the proteins, it creates an electrical voltage, which could stimulate healthy regions of the retina and produce meaningful images, according to researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. "The idea is to insert these proteins into cells in the retina," says Elias Greenbaum of Oak Ridge National. "If we can do that, we know light can make them produce voltages high enough to stimulate the optic nerve." The spinach proteins-known as photo-reaction centers-perform a similar task to photoreceptor cells in the retina, Greenbaum says. These cells, which lie at the base of the retina, send electrical pulses to the optic nerve when illuminated. These impulses are then interpreted as images by the brain. "In two of the major diseases that cause blindness, you lose the photoreceptor cells," says Greenbaum. He plans to embed the photo-reaction centers into tiny fatty spheres called liposomes and inject these into the membranes of retinal cells, but he warns it will be some time before they try the technique in animals or humans.

And given your latest struggles with technology, some thoughts on computers:

At COMDEX, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If GM had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors should have issued a press release stating: "If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the car windows, shut it off, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Only one person at a time could use the car unless you bought "CarNT," but then you would have to buy more seats

6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive- but would only run on five percent of the roads.

7. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "General Protection Fault" warning light.

8. New seats would force everyone to have the same sized butt.

9. The airbag system would ask "are you SURE?" before deploying.

10. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally Road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Dept.

12. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

13. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

Best, Stephen


Dr. Pournelle:

Re Debka:

I'm impressed by this outfit, but a little suspicious. The impressive part is the vast amount of secret information that this web site has access to that seems to have eluded the entire intelligence force of the Free World. Who told these people--referred to as Debka's "experts on terrorism"--how many moles there were in the U.S. and what they were doing?

The suspicious part is probably just cynicism on my part, but it seems like one motivation of this site is to generate a level of fear and panic that would encourage the United States to rain thermonuclear death on all the enemies of Israel.

I still remember how Saddam Hussein's elite troops were pumped up in the media before Desert Storm. Before we actually attacked, you would have thought that battalions of Dorsai and Motie Warriors were waiting for us.

I am willing to wait and see what happens. My prediction: there will be further terrorist attacks, but they will be of the sort we have seen before. Truck bombs in front of buildings. Bombs on airplanes. That sort of thing. Bad, but not nation-wrecking.

There are people trying to frighten us, for a number of different reasons. We have to keep our heads.

Tom Brosz

I retain my suspicions as well. As you say they seem to know things that I am not sure anyone can know.

But it's a source: some of their stuff checks out. Some does not.

As to what is next, I expect some frenzy attacks from odd people: "weatherman" types, and some unaffiliated jihadists resident in the US. It isn't over. The organized attacks will taper out as it gets harder to do.

The great thing is to keep your nerve.

Then there is this sort of thing. This is a forwarded message. UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS before you read it and understand it is internally inconsistent. It's here to show what you will be seeing shortly from certain elements:



These are EXTRACTS only - follow links to complete articles and statements.



Extract: < The most massive so-called "terrorist" attacks on U.S. soil since the Oklahoma City bombings of 1995, were known, a week ahead of time, by the American CIA. Among the foreign intelligence agencies who penetrated the plots were the French CIA and Israel's The Mossad, units of both often working with one another. Foreign intelligence sources confirm the validity of this story. And they state that they informed the U.S. secret police who absolutely failed, neglected, and outright refused to take action as to known prior specifics of which the top-level of the CIA were informed in advance. > 


TWIN W.T.C. TOWERS DID NOT FALL FIRST!! Rumor Mill News Read Only Forum

Extract: < The video clip only lasted a few seconds and evidently it was only played once. Some of you saw it and I did, too. It distinctly and irrefutably showed a major explosion to the left of the twin WTC towers. A thick, dense cloud of debris billowing up into the air fifty stories high while the towers to the right are on fire, but still standing. > 



Extract: < INTERVIEWER: Is it true that our government knew what was going to happen? INTEL SOURCE: You could say that. Actually there are certain (pause) groups in our government who pretty much ran the whole show. INTERVIEWER: Are you saying that there was cooperation and collaboration between elements of our government and the perpetrators? INTEL SOURCE: NO. WHAT I'M SAYING IS THAT THESE GROUPS (WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - TV) WERE THE PERPETRATORS OF THE ACTION, RIGHT DOWN THE LINE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. > 






Extract: < Israel: But wouldn't what they did require sophistication?

 Dekkers: Yeah, they went to that school, I have heard the name, they call it a jet center for simulator training, there is no way - this is not my opinion. My opinion is I don't think it is possible. I have spoken to many captains from the airlines and they say there is no way what the planes did they could have done that. They changed altitude. They changed speed. They changed direction. They had to know about the equipment to do what they had to do and there is no way that could have been done. > 



Extract: < "We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington," said one document reportedly prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," the document says. "Casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of indignation......... We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). ... We could foster attempts on lives of Cubans in the United States, even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized," the document says. Another idea was to shoot down a CIA plane designed to replicate a passenger flight and announce that Cuban forces shot it down. > 






Extract: < “As soon as something like that happens here, I am reported about that right away and in a minute we are all up...... Generally it is impossible to carry out an act of terror on the scenario which was used in the USA yesterday.” > 



Extract: < I am writing to you now to the sound of Israel's "Defense Forces" pounding the living daylights out of my hometown Ramallah. As the whole world is too busy paying tributes to the victims of terror attacks in NYC and DC, Israel has had a field day in terror attacks of their own on us here. Since the attacks in the US, the Israelis have taken their assaults on Palestinians to new heights. > 


ATTACK ON AMERICA - BY DR LEONARD HOROWITZ Author of 'Death In The Air - Globalism, Terrorism and Toxic Warfare.

Extract: < DIAGNOSING THE MEDIA SPIN What do I mean by media spin? Did you know that our government's and media's alleged greatest nemesis, said to be responsible for most terrorist attacks against the United States - Osama bin Laden - took his direction and money from the CIA for at least eight years. (See story at This also implicates, by association, multinational corporations and the British Oligarchy's MI6. According to previous MI6 officer, Dr. John Coleman, in his precisely detailed and documented book, "Conspirators' Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300," the CIA is largely subordinate to British intelligence agencies, multi-national corporations, and even the Royal family. Through the MI6 and numerous oligarchy-controlled "think tanks," Coleman explains, America's propaganda mills --major news networks and agencies--churn out foul fabrications that few recognize as propaganda. > 



The people who make the huge and disastrous mistakes in the name of 'The United States' are only few in number and are NOT the PEOPLE of the USA, but have wheedled their conspiring way into almost all areas of American government. They wage their own war against the world, and the citizens of their own country. A few hundred years ago it was overtly Britain, Spain, Germany, Holland, etc. who set about world domination. In the 20th century the controllers of the USA, from around 1960, decided to fight their own battle for world domination, in which everyone of us is dispensable. This is, no doubt, completely backed from London.

Extract: < BIOLOGICAL WARFARE? TRY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA The United States has a long history of experimentation, on unwitting human subjects, which goes back to the beginning of this century. Both private firms and the military have used unknowing human populations to test various theories. However, the extent to which human experimentation has been a part of the U.S. Biological Weapons programs will probably never be known. The following examples are taken from information declassified in 1977, and from other private source accounts. Several involve incidents which are still of unknown origins and which cannot be fully explained. > (CUT)






Extract: < Like all Americans, on Tuesday, 9-11, I was shocked and horrified to watch the WTC Twin Towers attacked by hijacked planes and collapse, resulting in the deaths of perhaps up to 10,000 innocent people. I had not been that shocked and horrified since January 16, 1991, when then President Bush attacked Baghdad, and the rest of Iraq and began killing 200,000 people during that "war" (slaughter). This includes the infamous "highway of death" in the last days of the slaughter when U.S. pilots literally shot in the back retreating Iraqi civilians and soldiers. I continue to be horrified by the sanctions on Iraq, which have resulted in the death of over 1,000,000 Iraqis, including over 500,000 children, about whom former Secretary of State Madeline Allbright has stated, their deaths "are worth the cost". > 












There are MANY more articles and information revealing massive deception, lies and cover-up involved in the tragic and outrageous events of September 11th, 2001.


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" - Martin Luther King


I hope that was enough for you.

Dr. Pournelle:

Geez. If you were trying to gag me with all those looney web pages on your Mail page, you succeeded. I spend a lot of time surfing the Web, and have to work hard to avoid these places like a sprint runner crossing a cattle yard, and you (one of my favorite sites) drop a whole load of them on my head!

I clicked on a couple of them, but gave up almost immediately. Even reading this stuff rots your brain.

You make an excellent point that there are crackpots out there. I'm sure I could find as many pages that blame the Twin Tower attack on Venusians, too. Are these people really relevant?

The ones we have to watch out for are those that make stuff up, but CREDIBLE stuff. Debka may or may not fall into that category. It's the plausible lie that can cause trouble. The guys you listed are just plain nuts.

Tom Brosz

Enough for you, anyway...



I was looking to boil down pages and pages of manuals and handbooks to a couple of paragraphs, but Roland has managed it first:

Because if spores of the right diameter are inhaled (3-5 microns), it's just about 100% fatal unless the victim is taking antbiotics which kill the bacteria before they start breaking down tissue and generally mucking things up. By the time you start showing symptoms, it's too late.

The USSR did in fact produce a lot of weaponized anthrax spores, a bunch of which got loose in 1979 and killed about 70 or so people. No, it's not contagious, but it can be deadly even at pretty long windborne distances (10-20 miles). The basis for the cultures is also relatively easy to obtain.

And producing it doesn't require the level of sophistication/delivery systems necessary for sarin, Vx, and so forth. As to smallpox, it's a bit more difficult to get the proper ingredients.

Roland Dobbins

It is not entirely clear that the ingredients for smallpox are as hard to get as we hoped. There are rumors -- of course there always are rumors -- that some got out of the USSR during the collapse.

Anthrax is easier to come by than one might think: like tularemia and some other plagues, it is endemic in some areas, and spores can be gathered from the wild and cultivated. Inoculation for your own lab workers is also possible: in the USSR incident, apparently the lab workers were all right, but people kilometers downwind, and many animals, were infected. 

According to one military manual, once the symptoms of inhaled anthrax appear, treatment success is "highly unlikely": in other words, you're going to die if you have already developed it. Since it's easy to get, and apparently not that difficult to cultivate, it is clearly a threat. But so is tularemia and so are other agents. Anthrax, though, doesn't spread through the population as smallpox would: it is therefore a more likely threat, but the harm from it is less severe.

Short of wearing a mask at all times there isn't a lot individuals can do to protect themselves. 

Short version: The county agent was right that it was contagious from the ANIMALS to YOU, since you would be in contact with skin, fur and other animal products. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission. The fear is anthrax SPORES which are themselves the biowar weapon (see lecture)



FOR A LOT MORE, read on. Otherwise, to skip to the end, click here.

Dr. Pournelle,

You can find out a lot of information about anthrax as well as all major chemical and biological threats at 



>From the online merck manual--a great place to lookup medical information.


Anthrax Anthrax is a disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which can infect the skin, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract.

Anthrax is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. It usually spreads to people from animals, especially cows, goats, and sheep. Dormant bacteria (spores) can live in the soil and in animal products (such as wool) for decades. Although infection in people is usually through the skin, it can also occur from eating contaminated meat or inhaling spores or bacteria.


Symptoms and Diagnosis Symptoms may appear 12 hours to 5 days after exposure to the bacteria. A skin infection begins as a red-brown bump that enlarges, with considerable swelling at the edges. The bump blisters and hardens, then the center breaks open and oozes a clear fluid before forming a black scab (eschar). Lymph nodes in the affected area may swell, and the person may feel ill, sometimes experiencing muscle aches, headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Pulmonary anthrax (woolsorter's disease) results from inhaling the spores of the anthrax bacterium. The spores multiply in the lymph nodes near the lung. The lymph nodes then start to break down and bleed, spreading the infection to nearby structures in the chest. Infected fluid builds up in the lungs and in the space between the lungs and the chest wall. At first, the symptoms are vague and similar to those of influenza. However, the fever worsens, and in a few days severe breathing difficulties develop, followed by shock and coma. Infection of the brain and its meninges (meningoencephalitis) may also occur. Even with early treatment, this form of anthrax is almost always fatal.

Gastrointestinal anthrax is rare. The bacteria can grow into the wall of the intestine and release a toxin that causes extensive bleeding and tissue death. The infection can be fatal if it spreads into the bloodstream.

Knowing that a person has had contact with animals helps a doctor make the diagnosis. To diagnose a pulmonary infection, a doctor may obtain a sputum sample for culture; however, the laboratory isn't always able to identify the bacteria. Sometimes treatment is started when anthrax is suspected but laboratory confirmation isn't yet available.


Prevention and Treatment People at high risk of contracting anthrax—such as veterinarians, laboratory technicians, and employees of textile mills that process animal hair—can be vaccinated.

An anthrax skin infection is treated with penicillin injections or with oral tetracycline or erythromycin. Lung infections require intravenous penicillin. Other antibiotics also may be given. Corticosteroids may also be used to reduce lung inflammation. If treatment is delayed (usually because the diagnosis isn't made promptly), death is likely.


Dear Jerry,

I am a Captain in the US Army Reserve Chemical Corps, and am trained in NBC decon/recon, and am BIDS qualified (BIDS=Biological Integrated Detection System, the Army's only biowarfare detection method).

I believe some of the the information you seek may be found in the Textbook of Military Medicine:


 see the Anthrax chapter (ch. 22) 


the Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook (the Blue book Link) at  p. 14-18.

Regarding the anthrax vaccine, the quality control at the BioPort production plant, where the vaccine is manufactured, is horrible. The FDA has refused to license their new plant since 1998 due to these problems, which is why we currently have only a limited supply. See  which is the website of Dr. Meryl Nass, an excellent physician who has put tremendous work into helping people afflicted by the vaccine's side effects and educating Congress regarding its dangers. I have read the FDA inspection reports, which I obtained directly from the FDA via a FOIA request (and which you can view on Nass's website, about halfway down the page). In civilian life, I am a Ph.D. computational chemist working on drug design and I was originally trained as an analytical chemist. I have taught quantitative chemical analysis/good lab practices and the deficiencies listed on the first page of one of the FDA inspections would be enough to earn you an "F" in any quantitative analysis/analytical chemistry course I have ever taken or taught. I wouldn't give the current vaccine to my cat, let alone a soldier. Hopefully, they force these incompetents to manufacture the vaccine properly soon (although even a properly manufactured vaccine would likely be ineffective vs. a different strain of anthrax).

Bill Egan CPT, CM, USAR







This week:




This will probably end up as alt mail or a report.

New Theories Link Black Death to Ebola-Like Virus NYT October 2, 2001 New Theories Link Black Death to Ebola-Like Virus By MARK DERR

Between 1347 and 1352, a mysterious disease ravaged Europe, killing an estimated 25 million people 30 percent to 50 percent of the population.

At the time, people said the disease was caused by a peculiar conjunction of the planets, by a miasma stirred up by earthquakes in Central Asia or by a conspiracy of Jews to undermine Christendom.

Many called it the wrath of God and expected the end of the world.

Although the pandemic now called the Black Death lasted no more than six years, according to most medieval historians, the disease behind it erupted periodically in different parts of Europe for the next three centuries, leaving millions more dead in its wake.

Then it largely vanished from the continent, but questions over its origins remained.

In 1894, two scientists, Dr. Alexandre Yersin and Dr. Shibasaburo Kitasato, independently identified the rod-shaped bacterium responsible for an epidemic of bubonic plague sweeping out of China.

Dr. Yersin soon linked the Black Death to the bacterium, named Yersinia pestis, which is most commonly spread to humans by fleas from rats.

In the past century, many historians and scientists have strengthened the argument that bubonic plague was responsible for the horrors of the Black Death and similar outbreaks in medieval Europe and other parts of the world. But other experts have expressed doubts about that and periodically suggested that other diseases were responsible.

The debate stems largely from the difficulty of identifying a disease based on the few medieval descriptions of the Black Death that have survived.

Now two researchers from the University of Liverpool are presenting a new theory. In "Biology of Plagues: Evidence from Historic Populations," published in March, the authors argue that a hemorrhagic virus, like Ebola, probably caused the Black Death and most of the smaller epidemics that struck Europe for the next three centuries, not bubonic plague.



The arguments seem pretty compelling to me, but then I haven't seen much of a debate on the subject. Does anyone KNOW much on this?

More on Anthrax, mostly details. To skip click here.

>From  (US Defense Dept)

Information Paper

Anthrax as a Biological Warfare Agent

Anthrax is the preferred biological warfare agent because:

It is highly lethal.

100 million lethal doses per gram of anthrax material (100,000 times deadlier than the deadliest chemical warfare agent).

Silent, invisible killer.

Inhalational anthrax is virtually always fatal.

There are low barriers to production.

Low cost of producing the anthrax material.

Not high-technology. Knowledge is widely available.

Easy to produce in large quantities.

It is easy to weaponize.

It is extremely stable. It can be stored almost indefinitely as a dry powder.

It can be loaded, in a freeze-dried condition, in munitions or disseminated as an aerosol with crude sprayers.

Currently, we have a limited detection capability.

What is Anthrax?

Anthrax is a naturally occurring disease of plant eating animals (goats, sheep, cattle, wine, etc.) caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.

It is an illness which has been recognized since antiquity. Anthrax was common in essentially all areas where livestock are raised. Intensive livestock immunization programs have greatly reduced the occurrence of the disease among both animals and humans in much of the world, an most outbreaks occur in areas where immunization programs have not been implemented or have become compromised (primarily Africa and Asia; however, outbreaks occurred during the mid- I 990's in Haiti and the former Soviet Union).

Anthrax spores can remain viable for several decades under suitable environmental conditions; thus, absence of cases does not equate to absence of risk.

Humans can contract anthrax in three ways:

Through cuts or breaks in the skin resulting from contact with an infected animal (cutaneous anthrax), resulting in local and possibly systemic (bloodstream) infection.

>From breathing anthrax spores (termed "woolsorters" disease) resulting in an infection of the lungs (inhalational anthrax). >From eating infected meat, resulting in gastrointestinal infection (gastrointestinal anthrax). Gastrointestinal anthrax is generally not considered a threat to U.S. forces.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of anthrax begin after a 1 to 6 day incubation period following exposure.

For contact or cutaneous anthrax, itching will occur at the site of exposure followed by the formation of a lesion. Untreated contact anthrax has a fatality rate of 5-20 percent, but with effective antibiotic treatment, few deaths occur.

Initial symptoms for inhalational anthrax are generally non-specific: low grade fever, a dry hacking cough, and weakness. The person may briefly improve after 2 to 4 days; however within 24 hours after this brief improvement, respiratory distress occurs with shock and death following shortly thereafter.

Almost all cases of inhalational anthrax, in which treatment was begun after patients have exhibited symptoms, have resulted in death, regardless of post-exposure treatment.

What is the medical countermeasure?

Prior to exposure, prevention through vaccination, using the FDA-licensed vaccine.

Otherwise, antibiotics such as penicillin, ciprofloxacin, and doxycycline are the drugs of choice for treatment of anthrax.

Treatment with antibiotics must begin prior to the onset of symptoms and must include vaccination prior to discontinuing their use.

The use of antibiotics keep the patient alive until their body can build an immunity to anthrax via vaccination. After symptoms appear however, inhalational anthrax is almost always fatal, regardless of treatment.





>OK! I have enough. Thanks. I'll try to make sense of it all.

<ginsu> But wait! There's more! </ginsu> 

is a very nice, SHORT summary page, which contains the key line:

"Inhalational anthrax is 99% lethal in unvaccinated individuals."

The WHO page on anthrax: 

which contains this: "The spore forms are markedly resistant to biological extremes of heat, cold, pH, desiccation, chemicals (and thus to disinfection), ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ irradiation and other such adverse conditions. Therefore, the spore forms are the predominant phase in the environment and it is very largely through the uptake of spores that anthrax is contracted. Within the infected host the spores germinate to produce the vegetative forms which multiply, eventually killing the host. A proportion of the bacilli released by the dying or dead animal (see Section 5) into the environment (usually soil under the carcass) sporulate, ready to be taken up by another animal."

One of the pages you already have says:

"Disinfection of contaminated articles may be accomplished using a 0.05% hypochlorite solution (1 tbps. bleach per gallon of water). Spore destruction requires steam sterilization."

A very nice page for nurses on smallpox: 

Sorry to contribute to information overload, but I'm trying to piece it all together HERE (in which I try to think like our enemies):

I am a smart terrorist [dumb ones get killed by their own bombs before they hit the target]. I am trying to win [whatever that means]. I am actually fighting a guerrilla war, with the ultimate aim of creating a pan-Islamic empire that effectively controls the world. [Calling it terrorism is politically useful for propaganda purposes but actually confuses the military and strategic issues, I think.] I am starting in Afghanistan, where I can get lots of dedicated, hard-fighting recruits, and no one can get to me. My medium term goal is to essentially recreate the Moghul Empire by controlling Afghanistan, taking Pakistan from there, and then overruning India in turn. Then I will turn West, and using the manpower I will then have, I will take the rest of the Islamic world. I am currently fighting the US, since they are the major power in my way at this point. If I can show them up as impotent, the Islamic world will rise up, I will recieve much outside help, and I can really begin to campaign. The US will naturally not oppose me when I launch my Imperial quest, if I make it too expensive/embarrassing for them to do so. I will do a (temporary) deal with them when they are ripe for it.

I have some nasty weapons at my bases. I have smallpox. I have anthrax.

Smallpox is an airborne infection and will kill lots of Americans, but it has problems. To deliver it, I have to infect one [More!] of my men with it by injection, put them on a plane, and get them into the US. Once there, they will have to wander form airport to airport (or bus station to bus station) conspicuously breathing on people to insure many people are infection. The more people who are initially infected, the more likely the infection will become epidemic. My timing window for accomplishing this is only two weeks, the amount of time smallpox incubates before it becomes evident a person is infected. Airborne disease vectors are unpredictable, so I may take my best shot at the enemy and come up with only a few hundred thousands kills, although it is likely it will be a few million. Smallpox, after all, has (only) a kill rate of 20-50%. So, many of those infected will survive. Smallpox vaccines are easy to create for industrial countries, so my attack will only really work once. Moreover, many people HAVE been vaccinated against this disease [I was born 11/16/67, two months before Tet. I clearly remember being vaccinated against smallpox.] Although immunity degrades after ten years, I suspect that many will still maintain some kind of resistance, further cutting into my kill rate. Given that, then, strategically speaking, the best countries for me to attack would actually be India and China. They are nearby and thus important to me in the sense of local military conditions, they have relatively poor healthcare systems, and large populations contained in much smaller geographic areas compared to the United States, and of course, they are then packed very densely, facilitating infection. An attack on the US might score 140 million kills at most. An attack on India might score 500 million. [Obviously, I am leaving out attacking everybody at once.] What is truly bad, however, is that my smallpox infection attack will backlash. It is likely that the disease will spread worldwide, and thus will kill Muslims. I need to have vaccines for my people before I unleash this plague on other countries. As a matter of timing, if I was going to attack the US, it would have been best to do so BEFORE the major attacks on 9/11. Therefore, I am holding my smallpox attack in reserve, saving it for a revenge attack, or for when the timing is right, to hit lands I intend to conquer.

On the other hand, there is anthrax. It is terrible as a military weapon. Soldiers merely need to put on a gas mask and clean their clothes. But for my purposes, anthrax is very very cool. It is easily made or gather, and is easy to transport, since it is essentially a dust or a powder. [And NOW, I finally grasp why we (the US) were so upset that Iraq had anthrax, a point the Pentagon and White House could never be bothered to actually communicate. 'Anthrax bad.' 'Why?' 'Anthrax BAD!'] I could disguise a kilo of anthrax powder as a box of fertilizer - a sealed plastic bag inside a cardboard box. It would be undetectable. After all, how many anthrax-sniffing dogs are there? Once the package arrives, my teams divide it up. Each team would be 3 or 4 men, for perhaps a total of 30. Enough to do the damage, but small enough to be hard to catch. I cannot use single men, for they must keep watch on each other. The teams would carefully divide a kilo into 454 test tubes with rubber stoppers, each containing one gram of the powder. After all, each spore is only a few microns in size, and 30,000 spores will do the job for a whole crowd of people, so even a gram of powder, if delivered correctly, is overkill. I could use a crop duster to deliver the payload, which would work very well, since it is a dust, just like agricultural chemicals. But right now the enemy is very suspicious of planes. Therefore, each team of 3 men will take their 45 vials of anthrax, and hop a bus to travel to their targets. Their targets will be the 10 largest cities in America. On the day of the attack, they will spread out downtown, and each man will simply walk into a large building, perhaps dressed as maintanance. They will go to the AC rooms, where the fans that blow throughout the building reside, and very carefully, they will unstopper a vial and shake it into one of the primary fans. And then, they will quickly and quietly walk out, and go up the street to the next building. Because it is a dust, and because it is deployed in such a small amount, no one will detect that they are inhaling the spore. And there will be a few days for the spores to spread around the building, infecting everyone who visits (and going home wiht them on their clothes) before the infection is detected. My teams will visit the 20 largest buildings in the downtowns of the 10 largest cities, ensuring at least 100,000 people will inhale the spores. And every infected person is a guaranteed kill. Perhaps my men will have TWO kilos, and they will visit the _20_ largest cities. And then, my men will rent a hotel room for a week and pray to Allah for a quick and painless death from the anthrax. I will kill perhaps a million. If I do it right, I will get 10,000,000. But that million will be the important people in the big offices in the downtowns of the 10 largest cities. Better still, the anthrax will contaminate those buildings, and they will have to clean and clean and clean to get rid of it before those buildings can be used again. Better still than that, my lands will not be infected at all. Best of all, I can do it AGAIN, and they will still have no defense. I will use the anthrax. And then, perhaps, when they are weak and confused, their economies disrupted, I will hit them with the smallpox. Or the plague. Someday I will have atomics. If I had had atomics already, I would have waited until their President and their Congress returned to their capital, and then hit them. But alas, I do not. Allah willing, I soon will have atomics, and then I will really make them bleed, and suffer for their sins, like they have made us bleed and suffer for their sins! Allah akbar!

And now I will stop pretending to be (or thinking like) a terrorist.

Forget all this noise about invading Afghanistan. Of course we're going to invade Afghanistan, unless we are truly stupid. The real question is, are we going to have to conquer Pakistan as well? And follow up with Iran? (Should it get that far, Iraq and Syria will fall like rotten tomatoes.)

The country isn't prepared for it. We are in a right mess.

Oh. We're already an empire. I could make the argument that we were a nascent one beginning in 1865. And all the other empires have fallen down, except China, which is hanging on by its fingernails. Something has to occupy the vacuum.

ash ['I hope the above isn't too offensively horrible.']

"Try to say sumpin' funny, Joe." 


The British experimented with anthrax on Gruinard Island in Scotland back in WWII. Here is the URL of a recent story about it: 

Near the end it reports that the Brits have recently developed a vaccine of their own.




And one more point:

One point to keep in mind about the relative risks of anthrax, tularemia, plague, etc. v. smallpox is that the first three are bacteria while the last is a virus. Bacteria can be raised in nutrient culture, e.g. in tanks of broth. Viruses will only grow in live cells.

I can picture a relatively cheap, simple production facility for churning out anthrax. Raising any animal virus would require a lot more sophistication: before one could even get started, one would have to grow industrial quantities of animal cells and that's no trivial task. For example, most animal cells won't grow in tanks, only on plates in layers only one cell thick. Bacterial culture media can be made from food products, while tissue culture media consists of things like embryonic calf serum.

Even if one managed to grow the virus in usable quantities, there are problems in keeping it viable up to the time of release. Poxviruses are relatively durable, as viruses go, but a container that would serve both to keep a smallpox suspension active while one shipped it from Damdhirtistan and to act as a weapon dispenser once it got here, would be a fairly complicated piece of machinery. To compare this to the toughness of anthrax spores, consider the Scottish island of Gruinard. No one can go there, because the Allies used it to test anthrax artillery shells almost 60 years ago and the spores are still viable.

While I wouldn't want to underestimate our enemies (how many times were we surprised in Vietnam, by artillery placed in positions that were "impossible" to reach?) if I were a terrorist looking to make biowar agents, I'd concentrate my attentions on bacteria. This presumes, of course, that I would not have at my disposal the resources of a national state, one willing to make whatever expenditures turned out to be necessary.

I would certainly go with bacteria, but don't forget Spanish Flu



We've been using DirecPC at work for over a year now, ours is the downlink only, the uplink is through the 56k modem to the local ISP. We've experienced similar problems to yours.

Sometimes the machine that we use as the LAN gateway (using WinRoute Pro) seems to go wonky stops passing packets through. After a reboot it all works fine for a few more days (its running on a Win95 machine so that may be part of that problem).

But at other times it seems like the DirecPC proxy system gets overloaded or confused -- fetching mail will work but web browsing won't. Or web browsing will work but mail fetching won't.

And at 5pm Pacific time it always seems like the bandwidth allocation gets cut in half, everything slows down pretty consistently at 5.

But like you say, the biggest problem is just not knowing! When things start acting strange I can spend a half an hour diagnosing things with pings and traceroutes, etc. Or I can just reboot the dumb thing and 90% of the time that will cure it.

Brian Lane

-- | | |

As we used to say in the Old South, at least I ain't the onliest one...


Roland asks, Where are the Dreamer Fithp? 


Army looks to Hollywood for advice:

Sound familiar? Not sure why they're so interested in Hollywood writers, though, when there are plenty of novelists available.

[...] "Screenwriters of such anti-terrorist fare as Die Hard, MacGyver and Delta Force One teamed up last week with the U.S. Army at the University of Southern California to think up possible plots terrorists might hatch, and the ways the government could stop them, Variety reported Monday." [...],2933,36062,00.html 

Jeffrey W. Shaw <> ------------------------------------------------------- mv /bin/laden /dev/null

And now this:

Jerry, As a not unimportant matter of fact it was illegal to sell,make,import or transport whiskey during Prohibition, NOT to drink it (that's why people caught drinking in speakeasies were not arrested). Prohibitionists wanted to make it illegal to drink it but in those quaint times the idea that the government had the right to stop people from changing their own consciousness was considered unconstitutional.

I am indebted to Professor Szasz's book Our Right To Drugs for pointing out this unheralded point - it can be confirmed by reading the appropriate Constitutional amendment in any reference book.

Regards, F. Kristeller NYC

Which is true and moreover I knew it. I once put it to Newt Gingrich when he was not quite Speaker, "If it took the XVIIIth Article of Ammendment  to give the Congress the authority to criminalize alcohol, and that Article has been repealed, which Article gives Congress the right to outlaw drugs as a Federal crime? States, yes, I agree, but why the Feds?"

To which he replied "Good question, but it's all different now."

Different in that we ignore the Constitution, yes. Even professed Constitutionalists do. And now we are bombing Afghanistan with no Declaration of War. We have given the President all the Imperial power to make war: the gates of the Temple of Janus stand open forever now.

Glenn Reynolds, at  , has some interesting observations (and "positive" news) about the anthrax attacks in the U.S.

Posted 10/9/2001 11:13:16 AM by Glenn Reynolds

ANTHRAX FACTS: Reader Doug Turnbull notes the following:

The first is that the anthrax microbes in the Florida outbreak are susceptible to penicillin. The Soviet germ warfare labs developed strains that are resistant to penicillin and so are harder to treat. In contrast, Iraqi strains show no such resistance. The second, and perhaps most vital info, is that the CDC may, by using DNA sequencing, be able to trace the origin of the anthrax spores. I don't know how specific this could get, but it could provide a "smoking gun" linking Iraq (or Sudan, or wherever) to the support of these terrorists. I think these criminals didn't have any conception of just how sophisticated forensic science is, and what evidence and traces they were actually leaving behind.

I'm sure I don't need to spell out what will happen to Hussein and Iraq (or any other government) if he's linked to a WMD attack on the US. If its true, the limits of "proportionate response" just got a lot wider.

Yep. And it doesn't matter how you pronounce it.

Posted 10/8/2001 10:00:58 PM by Glenn Reynolds

THE ANTHRAX SCARE: This is actually probably good news. Let me explain. First, it appears to have been sent in the mail, an idiotic method for spreading anthrax, suggesting that they didn't have a better one. Second, it appears that it was probably sent by the now-dead 19. That suggests that Al-Qaeda doesn't have a lot of resources in the States. Combining operations like that is dangerous, and ordinarily you wouldn't do it if you didn't have to -- had anyone caught on to the anthrax ploy, which was a sideshow, the whole operation could have been blown. So there are only two reasons why you might combine these operations: (1) you're stupid; and (2) you don't have enough resources to do it any other way. I'm betting on (2), because while these guys are stupid in the larger sense -- I guarantee, the end result of this won't be anything the Ladenites like -- they aren't stupid in the tactical or operational sense.


> I presume the government is inoculating health care workers

You presumed incorrectly. I have been cruising the country back roads looking at dairy cows with cow pox. When I do find one, some farmer and I are going to make almost as much off of cattle as Hillary did.

Keep the faith,

Will Ganz

That would probably work. It was the observation that milkmaids seldom got or died from smallpox that lead to vaccinations, as in vacca as in Cow...

The President is making his plan work -- or the Emporor as case may be -- and I respect him for it.

My fear here is one of lack of vision on my part. My wife claims that there is no way to win a Jihad and I tend to agree. My fear is that we move to the next step if we are hit again. There may be no way to win a holy war but genocide is almost easy if we have the stomach for it.

Hoping that our nations leaders have a real plan -- and that we are lucky -- because if they don't and we aren't we will survive. The guilt that the country will have may be great but we can live with guilt -- the key is we will live.

The enemy could have Anthrax, Smallpox, more plains and suicide bombs. Good for them. We have chemical and biological agents. We have tactical nuclear weapons. We have traditional weapons. We have the ability to produce more weapons and counter-agents.

Tell me I'm wrong Jerry, tell me that traditional warfare will win. Tell me a 30 year war will occur and we will not have major terrorism on our front. The weapons for genocide are here, the ability is here but the will is not yet here. If we are pushed far enough the response may be one that is slow and lumbering but complete.

Chris Smith

The great thing is not to lose your nerve. The Turks sat on the Arab world for 600 years. The Arabs didn't like it then.

I could write the story of the last bounty hunter tracking down the last terrorist in a desolated world, but it won't happen that way. The great thing is not to lose your nerve.




This week:



Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Happy 10/10 ROC

Articles suggesting it was not by accident that W. started the counter-attack on the anniversary of Lepanto.

Thought you'd be interested. 

All the best, Steve Schaper --


"A generation which ignores history has no past and no future." Robert Anson Heinlein =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==

I had not realised that. Thank you.

The Last Knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall...

Two areas of question cross my mind 1) Can the U.S. Congress declare war w/out the President asking?

2) If someone had asked us to turn over the 19 hijackers before September 19th, do you think that we could have found them and turned them over? How long would it have taken to find them, if they got wind of it and went "underground"? Couldn't it be said that the U.S. is still "harboring" terrorists itself, even though it is trying not to and couldn't other countries make the same claim?

Just the 45 seconds of confused thought from me.

Peter Lawrence

I think if the Taliban had shown any signs of cooperation, we would have been confused. But they made it easy.

Our Intellectual Superiors Speak. Minds Greater Than Our Own: 

On Society 10/8/01


Learning to love terrorists

Spend a few hours on a computer search and you get some idea of how the American campus is reacting to the current crisis. It isn't pretty. The first thing you notice is that vigils and rallies tend to focus on feelings. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. We all have to get our bearings. But the concern with emotions and personal dislocation seems over the top, as if we need to look inward for therapy more than outward to come together for the fight ahead. An anthropologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill said she was pleased that her students' "thoughtful, passionate varieties of anger are openings to reflection, learning."

Worse, the words the rest of the nation is using-"attack," "terrorism," "resolve," and "defense"-don't seem to come up much on campus. Umpteen college presidents put out timid statements about coping with "the tragedy," and "the events of September 11" as if we have just suffered an earthquake or some other passing natural disaster.

The American Association of University Professors released a statement that probably would have made Neville Chamberlain throw up. It promised to "continue to fight violence with renewed dedication to the exercise of freedom of thought and the expression of that freedom in our teaching." What does that mean? That the people on campus in 1941 should have responded to Pearl Harbor by giving longer lectures? Bradford Wilson of the National Association of Scholars, a group that has been struggling to restore intellectual integrity to the campus, called the AAUP statement "fatuous nonsense," "Marxist claptrap," and "anti-American in its basic thrust."

< snip >

So. Now we know.





This week:


read book now


Thursday, October 11, 2001

I got busy with Roberta's stuff. Plenty of mail but I didn't post any.








This week:



Friday, October 12, 2001

This will serve as the opening for some important discussion.

Dr. Pournelle,

Given your views on Empire, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this Jonah Goldberg piece, should you care to comment. 

******************************************** Michael Baranowski Assistant Professor of Political Science Northern Kentucky University ********************************************

"Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft."

-- Theodore Roosevelt

I will answer this over in VIEW, and probably move all this to an appropriate place in the Black September War files.

Dr Pournelle

Due to the September 11 attack, I reread van Crevald's "Transformation of War" and then after that, your Falkenberg's Legion series. Incredibly, Prince of Sparta was missing, so I have embarked on a search of the used book stores. At any rate, I would surely like to see another Falkenberg's Legion novel. I think it may end up being more accurate than Starship Troopers.

You probably don't remember me, but we talked a few times about a computer game based on Falkenberg's Legion as a sequal to one I was working on about Dave Drake's "Hammer's Slammers". Sadly, the company went bankrupt, and there have been one or two other failed attempts to do a mercenary game based on Dave's works. I still dream about doing it, but work on the Army's next battle simulation takes precedence. Sadly.

Kind regards

Mike Robel

I am supposed to be doing new scenes for a new edition of LEGION, and I have the blocked outline of the first part of SPARTAN HEGEMONY which is a new book in that sequence.  I am dancing as fast as I can...

On Copy Protection:

Dan Bricklin has posted a thought-provoking essay on copy-protection and its likely impact on the preservation of historical information: 

Wade Scholine

Bricklin is always worth paying attention to. 

Subject: Executive Software diskalert

Dear Jerry:

I have many problems with disk alert on several machines. It causes my hard drives to trash a lot resulting in drastic slow downs on all the machines. I decided to uninstall this gem on all my machines. The trashing would probably cause my wear on my hard drives than normal operations. regards,

James E Frahm

You will note that I never endorsed the program, merely reported that I had installed it, and hoped it worked. This months column says I have removed it. My experiences with it were not good, and it is definitely not on my recommended list.








This week:




The Origins of the War in Afghanistan

The Origins of the War in Afghanistan

by Mark Twain

"... I know your race. It is made up of sheep. It is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong; but no matter, the crowd follows it. The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves. Think of it! One kind-hearted creature spies upon another, and sees to it that he loyally helps in iniquities which revolt both of them. Speaking as an expert, I know that ninety-nine out of a hundred of your race were strongly against the killing of witches when that foolishness was first agitated by a handful of pious lunatics in the long ago. And I know that even to-day, after ages of transmitted prejudice and silly teaching, only one person in twenty puts any real heart into the harrying of a witch. And yet apparently everybody hates witches and wants them killed. Some day a handful will rise up on the other side and make the most noise - perhaps even a single daring man with a big voice and a determined front will do it - and in a week all the sheep will wheel and follow him, and witch-hunting will come to a sudden end.

"Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race - the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions."

I did not like to hear our race called sheep, and said I did not think they were.

"Still, it is true, lamb," said Satan. "Look at you in war - what mutton you are, and how ridiculous!"

"In war? How?"

"There has never been a just one, never an honorable one - on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful - as usual - will shout for the war. The pulpit will - warily and cautiously - object - at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it." Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers - as earlier - but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation - pulpit and all - will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."

Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger, 1916.

But of course it's all different now. Still, worth reflection.







This week:


read book now


Sunday, October 14, 2001

This was to a conference group, and is printed here with permission.


I've heard (on BBC) and read (everywhere) many misinformations about Al Jazeera. This TV is presented as "controlled" by Al Kaida, and is denounced by Americans as an enemy. I believe it's important to correct these false beliefs. Here are some facts :

- Al Jazeera is the ONLY free TV in Muslim world : its only limitation is that it seems it can't criticize Quatar

- Their principle is to let everybody speaks, without any pre- selection

- Al Jazeera is therefore THE voice of ALL the oppositions in Muslim countries : you'll find on it pro-Americans as anti- Americans, Islamist as anti-Islamists, etc. etc. For example Al Jazeera is the voice for the secular (non-islamist) opposition to the present gov in Tunisia, ... and this has lead to a diplomatic conflict between Tunisia and Quatar

The only intelligent reaction from the west about Al Jazeera I've seen so far is the interview Tony BLAIR has accepted from this TV. The comments from Colin POWELL and American newspapers have been disastrous here in Tunisia by showing that America doesn't mean freedom, but control of information ... exactly what everybody has already in Arabic countries. This means that Americans are liars !

I hope one of you will write an article on this subject : it's really important for the credibility of the USA.

A bientôt,


-- Philippe Gouillou - Monaco, Tunisia : Presentation, Competences, CV : QI (IQ) - Intelligence - Douance : [Ethnic Wars] :

Would one gift the Giftie gie us...

The Yates/Nock essays, calling for identity with a prophet preaching to a tiny remnant, sounds suspiciously like a philosophy of consolation for the right as we commit suicide. Can this really be the best strategy available? 

Michael Juergens on 10/14/2001 at 11:48:22 AM

I would not have thought so, nor did I agree with Kissinger that the best we could do with respect to Communism was to negotiate detente.  Still, Nock is worth paying attention to, even if you don't agree. I don't think the cause of America is lost, but we have a rebellions elite: go to any campus, and it's isn't just in Wymmn's Studies that you find the enemies of Western Civlization. In one important discussion group I am in I gave up when, after quoting Burnham that Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide, a well known conservative intellectual seri0usly asked me to define "the West" as if I were writing a book rather than having a conversation; and when I pointed out that we have been talking about Western Civilization (and it was the title of courses required in all colleges not all that many years ago) he seriously argued that neither he nor I knew what we meant.

And this was a conservative.

There are, I fear, many in the West who do not know who we are; and many more who seriously promote 'multi-culturalism' and the equality of cultures as quite serious propositions, and who honest cannot see that Islam, for instance, has produced nothing but dictatorships and petty tyrannies and internal warfare everywhere it rules. The only exception is Turkey, which is kept secular by its army, which periodically comes out of the barracks and resets the game again. How long that will continue is anyone's guess.

Some "civilizations" have failed. If Aristotle is to be believed, perhaps all will, but at least the West tends to spiral in the general direction of progress, progress being defined as "real freedoms" for its inhabitants. (Real freedom: you can travel across the globe in hours to days for a few week's wages; the wealthiest on earth couldn't do that in the last century. I have teeth at my age; the wealthiest of my grandfather's generation didn't. I can buy several newspapers and compare stories: only the wealthiest in most Arab states can do that. Etc.)

Note I count freedom to dissent a real freedom. I am not arguing that the decadents who occupy many to most of our places of power commit suicide or be suppressed. I am arguing that they should practice what they preach and allow some actual intellectual discussion in their institutions, and if they don't then control of those institutions will be taken from them eventually one way or another; but that's another matter entirely.

So: what Nock is saying is that keeping the faith is worth while even if the issue is in doubt. Given the capture of most of our elite institutions by decadents with an agenda, this is worth keeping in mind. The notion that individuals count, that truth will eventually out -- as Possony was fond of saying, you either believe in the power of rational thought or you don't.

I recall many times when I would say something that on reflection turned out to be a very bad notion: Possony would say "But this must be discussed..."


"I thought we should act as their protector -- not try to get them under our heel.... But now -- why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater." --Twain regard the Philippine war I think...

google search: anti imperialist league twain

A somewhat backwards look at Twain is that his idealism was picked up by the red left and morphed into things like the Fair Play for Cuba Committee from the origins of the Anti Imperialist League--this to say sometimes describing the devil's methods gives the red devils ideas!

David Sharpness

Indeed. Of course opposing US occupation in the Philippines is a bit different from the current situation; Twain wanted to avoid all overseas commitments. I don't say I agree, but like Nock, the view is worth thinking about if only to marshal one's thoughts in disagreement.

From Roland

Polaroid hit hard by digital 

Which was only to be expected of course.

Dr. Pournelle:

Next time someone comes up and asks you to define Western Civilization, pull this out on him. Maybe not the most precise, but the best short definition I've found so far.

Tom Brosz

* * *

Western Civilization:

"From the perspective of intellectual and cultural content, Western civilization represents an understanding and acceptance of the following: the laws of logic; the concept of causality and, consequently, of a universe ruled by natural laws intelligible to man; on these foundations, the whole known corpus of the laws of mathematics and science; the individual's self-responsibility based on his free will to choose between good and evil; the value of man above all other species on the basis of his unique possession of the power of reason; the value and competence of the individual human being and his corollary possession of individual rights, among them the right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness; the need for limited government and for the individual's freedom from the state; on this entire preceding foundation, the validity of capitalism, with its unprecedented and continuing economic development in terms of division of labor, technological progress, capital accumulation and rising living standards; in addition, the importance of visual arts and literature depicting man as capable of facing the world with confidence in his power to succeed, and music featuring harmony and melody."

- Dr. George Reisman, Professor of Economics at Pepperdine University's School of Business and Management in Los Angeles.

Excerpted from an article, "Education and the Racist Road to Barbarism" in The Intellectual Activist, Volume V, No. 4, April 30, 1990.

* * *

P.S. Forgive me if I've sent this to you before, since I have e-mailed it to many people.

It's as good as any. My problem was that in that company it was depressing that any such thing was needed.

Link to full text

 Isaiah's Job by Albert Jay Nock NOTES from FEE July 1962 The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. Irvington - on - Hudson, New York ISAIAH'S JOB Albert J. Nock One evening last autumn, I sat long hours with a Europe 

Clark E Meyers


Subject: The "Western Democracies Way" -- We read it all and make our own decisions

Philippe Gouillou wrote in with an exhortation to not hate Al Jazeera. Later, you comment that the ability to affordably read multiple newspapers is one of the freedoms that we take for granted.

To my surprise, an URL was posted to a newsgroup I read that allows us to make an informed decision on Al Jazeera.

A competent Arabic translator is at 

They have a link on the translator page that takes you directly to Al Jazeera's web site. The resulting text is "babelfished" but still mostly readable. The translated "links" don't work, but that can be worked around. Even without the links, the cover page is useful.

I was reading it at 3AM PDT with good response. This afternoon the translator seems pretty backlogged. They probably don't have the resources to deal with a "flash crowd" of internet discovery. But "the truth" is sometimes worth reading in the middle of the night.

The Al Jazeera web page had a poll question asking whether I thought that they were biased towards the Taleban or biased towards the US or impartial. (I didn't vote because I hadn't read enough of the site, plus the fact that the two "submit" buttons for the poll were labelled in Arabic GIFs.

Greg Goss

Interesting. Thanks!

And Eric Pobirs says

Unleash the Gurkhas! 

A better response than nuclear weapons in my judgment.

Dear Dr Pournelle,

"Unleash the Gurkhas!" There are fearsome non-WASP outfits employed in Commonwealth forces too. Ask Afrika Korps vets or Italians about the WWII "Maori Battalion". These days they gravitate to the SAS, and I know we have some SAS troops in Afghanistan...

Regards, TC

-- Terry Cole BA/BSc/BE/BA(hons) ( System Administrator, Dept. of Maths. & Stats., Otago Uni. PO Box 56, Dunedin, NZ.

Indeed. Of course the Hindu Gurkhas consider the Afghan mountains small hills...






birdline.gif (1428 bytes)