June 02, 2006

ThreatWatch - the war on our own fears

Several articles on scary, ooo, so scary cyberwar scenarios. We will see a steady stream of this nonsense as the terrorist-watchers, china-watchers and every-other-bogeyman-watchers all combine in a war on our own fears.

A hyperventilating special from the US DHS:

According to cyber-security experts, the terror attacks of 11 September and 7 July could be seen as mere staging posts compared to the havoc and devastation that might be unleashed if terrorists turn their focus from the physical to the digital world.

Scott Borg, the director and chief economist of the US Cyber Consequences Unit (CCU), a Department of Homeland Security advisory group, believes that attacks on computer networks are poised to escalate to full-scale disasters that could bring down companies and kill people. He warns that intelligence "chatter" increasingly points to possible criminal or terrorist plans to destroy physical infrastructure, such as power grids. Al-Qa'ida, he stresses, is becoming capable of carrying out such attacks.

Summarised over on risks, the US DOD also partakes liberally of the oxygen tank:

From the nation that enjoys U.S. Most Favored Nation trade status, and a permanent member of the WTO...

China is stepping up its information warfare and computer network attack capabilities, according to a Department of Defense (DoD) report released last week. The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is developing information warfare reserve and militia units and has begun incorporating them into broader exercises and training. Also, China is developing the ability to launch preemptive attacks against enemy computer networks in a crisis, according to the document, ...

The tendency for public officials to try and scare the public into more funding is never-ending. The positive feedback loop is stunningly safe for them - if there is a cyber attack, they are proved right. If there isn't a cyber attack, it's just about to happen and they'll be proven right. And every one of our enemies is ... Huff, puff, huff!

Is D.C. ready for terrorist attack? Two unrelated traffic accidents within an hour of each other yesterday in Northeast shut down two major highways during the busy morning commute, causing massive gridlock and seemingly endless delays -- but also providing an ominous warning: What if it had been a terrorist attack?

About the best we can do is patiently point out that what they are talking about doesn't happen because in most cases it is evidently uneconomic. When the economic attack develops, we'll deal with it. Londoners walked home, that one day, and those that were a bit late that morning like me stayed home. The next day everyone went back to work, the same way as before. The next week, nobody noticed. It's not a particularly economic attack.

Some things you deal with by preparation. But other things you just have to let happen, because the attack goes around your preparations. By definition. Can anybody guess what would have happened if instead of a couple of traffic accidents, it was a couple of bombs? All of the greater Washington area would probably enter gridlock, because the authorities would hand it to the terrorists.

Posted by iang at June 2, 2006 05:27 PM | TrackBack

OK so fear is being fostered for political gain rather than addressed the fears in a rational manner. This is nothing new and it works, in the short term. The Y2K issues where over expanded to become the proof positive that IT projects must wait, until this scary issue was addressed. All the resources placed on hold where then exported to cheaper market places leaving in their wake the unemployed domestic staff. An Act of Congress mandated that Y2K must be addressed and fortunes where made by a few. Now we have the physical security issue, but little or no regard for data security. Exporting critical functions to places with cheaper labor has made some in banking and elsewhere small fortunes, while their loyal staffs back home are retrenched and left to fend for a gig. At the same time, blatant disregard for our sovereign border has depressed the job market. All in all a terrorist even the imagined kind is easier to phantom than the back stabbing taken from our own democratically elected Representatives. I like the terrorist from a classic villain standpoint they are unknown, and lurk in the darkness. The fantasy that Washington DC has of its own importance is only reinforced by the strength of the military that is hated by the elites that rule it, for reasons of class hatred. We are a nation of capitalistic socialist; everybody wants a designer government that benefits themselves first. So stuck with the insanity of a highly charged class structure that is poorly educated, everybody reacts to their own immediate need. The future is viewed with the same jaundice eye. Can three hundred million people defend our border, insure domestic tranquility, and provide for the common defense? The answer is yes if they are not all operating on separate agendas fueled by greed. There are those, which sacrifice daily for this nation and the idea of a free world. Those brave heroes from many nations give freely and receive nothing absolutely nothing in return for the lives. It’s the farmers that win the wars they risk little and squirrel their wealth away for the next war. The Samurai those that know only war risk, life and limb for the goal of securing the peace and receive nothing from it. The peace which will be feasted upon by farmers after it is won. This society has feasted upon the peace won in foreign lands and hopes to continue to do so but the toll must be paid. The politicians cannot continue to take with both hands all they have now is all they are going get. They will have to consider how they shall spend it for the next war. Open the borders place no restrictions and the massive migration with continue. Export everything to serve the greater God of free-maket capitalism so as long as it does not hurt those that lobby the Congress. Take and take feed the greed and wonder why in the middle of the night you hear bombs no longer in the distance, but know it was your own actions that failed to protect you. Make the rules of engagement so difficult, to serve some abstract political agenda and no solider will show up in your efforts. Have it your way baby! It’s all about having it your way, kill and still go on Oprah claiming victim status. The state of the nation sucks because the people suck. There is no culture, language, or border so unrealized fears that make panic attacks an all but certain event are bound to happen. Everyone knows we are at war but they apply the same political agenda to it as if it where a nuclear plant “NOT IN MY BACKYARD”. You cannot be New York, Washington, London, or any other major center and avoid being a target, wishing does not help. Exporting a war to the Middle East does not help. Closing or opening the borders does not help. Restricting the civil liberties of anyone does not help. Creating vast bureaucratic responses does not help. We must take it for now and hope that one day we figure out how to snuff it out without killing people in acts of genocide. We cannot become or more closer to the evils of communism or national socialism. We are selfish focusing on our own comforts and suffer because we cherish our own individual freedoms. We cannot have it our way today. We have lost ground and struggle not only against an enemy but ourselves. Y2K distracted us from improving ourselves as people and terrorism is an excuse to continue to do so. In the end if all you want is all you get then your horizon is limited to a singular modus operandi and boring. I pray that all good Islamic people get what they want after I get what I want. Deep within the recesses of Christianity is the proud tradition of martyrdom on which the basis is of the faith is built. The creation of martyrs was done by the same civilization that we now have. The same civilization that created acts of genocide in modern times and looks to a similar future should be viewed as dangerous. If Islamic nations feel they want to shake the box of this critter let them have at it. If Mexico rather than address its own corruption exports their workers then it should be no surprise that a Civil War will break out and our border concerns will really increase. So are we able to address terror and economic issues? Not at this time we require our backyards to be covered in feces before someone realizes a dog is loose. It’s is going to get worse before it gets better, these things have a life of their own and we are to blame. We are capable of destroying entire nations from the face of the earth and taking all the land of our neighbors but choose not to do so for selfish reasons. Once oil goes to $200 per barrel and the dollar is below the Chinese currency we might decide not to be so selfish. In the end who knows maybe we will be destroyed and vanquished from the face of the earth. My hero said
“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood...War is hell.”
"I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers."
"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."
"...we are not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Thousands who had been deceived by their lying newspapers to believe that we were being whipped all the time now realize the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition of the same experience...
Many and many a person in Georgia asked me why we did not go to South Carolina; and, when I answered that we were en route for that State, the invariable reply was, "Well, if you will make those people feel the utmost severities of war, we will pardon you for your desolation of Georgia."
General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Posted by: Know Nothing at June 3, 2006 09:00 AM
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