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BS: Economic Terrorism??

akenaton 07 Jun 04 - 12:53 PM
Strick 07 Jun 04 - 12:57 PM
Amos 07 Jun 04 - 01:05 PM
CarolC 07 Jun 04 - 01:22 PM
Chief Chaos 07 Jun 04 - 01:27 PM
DougR 07 Jun 04 - 01:33 PM
Strick 07 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jun 04 - 02:58 PM
akenaton 07 Jun 04 - 03:08 PM
Strick 07 Jun 04 - 03:10 PM
CarolC 07 Jun 04 - 05:37 PM
Strick 07 Jun 04 - 06:09 PM
CarolC 07 Jun 04 - 06:26 PM
dianavan 07 Jun 04 - 08:25 PM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Jun 04 - 08:40 PM
Wolfgang 08 Jun 04 - 06:52 AM
Strick 08 Jun 04 - 09:49 AM
Chief Chaos 08 Jun 04 - 01:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jun 04 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Larry K 08 Jun 04 - 02:08 PM
Strick 08 Jun 04 - 02:21 PM
CarolC 08 Jun 04 - 08:02 PM
Amos 08 Jun 04 - 08:13 PM
dianavan 08 Jun 04 - 08:52 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Jun 04 - 08:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jun 04 - 09:34 PM
Bobert 08 Jun 04 - 09:59 PM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Jun 04 - 11:53 PM

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Subject: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: akenaton
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 12:53 PM

Afew months ago I brought up the subject of Economic Terrorism as the future for the Islamic fundamentalists. Most Mudcats were of the opinion thatI was overstating the ability of the terrorists to harm our economies,which as everyone knows are rock solid,and full of fearless Capitalists who will sacrifice their hard earned money to save our Western way of life.
Well, events in Saudi Arabia, would suggest that Al quaida are indeed concentrating on Economic Terrorism,while the West searches the skies for rogue aircraft and the streets, for suicide bombers.
I have long thought that our economies could be easily damaged,due to the complicated way in which they now operate.Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Strick
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 12:57 PM

The attack on the World Trade Center was an attack on the US economy that severely delayed the recovery and nearly destroyed the airline and travel industries. I don't see how anyone could disagree.

Anyone would naturally attack their enemy's economy. It's been a major part of modern wars and a major target of terrorism in the past.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 01:05 PM

Any terrorism attacks the economy, because it undermines confidence in future events, thus diluting credit. And any jihadist is going to be interested inn how he can undermine the economies of Western nations.

The big question in my mind is how you make a jihadist willing to be shortsighted enough to think this is a good idea. Undermining the prosperity of others does not make life easier for yourself, unless those others are actively engaged in oppressing you. I suppose that could be argued, but it seems awful far-fetched to me.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 01:22 PM

akenaton, could you please give more information about the "events in Saudi Arabia" to which you are refering, or a link to some information about it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 01:27 PM

Their impact to the economy is no worse than the bankruptcies of the megacorps like Enron or the revelation of their book juggling tactics. Its no worse than the corporations either moving their factories or jobs overseas. Would it surprise you that during this "oil crisis" that people are saying is OPECs fault that the offshore wells down south are sitting idle instead of being ramped up to full production?

We're doing worse to ourselves than they've been able to accomplish so far.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: DougR
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 01:33 PM

Seems to me that I have heard or read that the problem is lack of refineries rather than a problem of extrating the oil.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Strick
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM

Er, point of order. Enron was on the first of several frauds that took place during the 90s that weren't detected until early 2001. At that Enron was a relatively minor bankruptcy compared to several others related to corporate frauds from the same period. For example, the AICPA estimates that Worldcom's fraud was 15 times the size as Enron's ($9 billion to $600 million). For that matter Enron wasn't really an oil company, they were energy traders, a busines that grew out of their experience running pipelines. I don't remember them ever being a major player in the production end of things. Speculators are having an impact on current prices, but hey, Enron's not really part of it. Sorry for the diversion.

According to NPR (and the Economist) a couple of weeks ago, $8-10 per bbl of the current price was due to a risk premium founded on concerns about the reliability of supply, not the quantity. Economic growth in the US and China has increased demand, but not any where near what would drive prices to above $40/bbl. Saudia Arabia's announce intention to increase demand would normally have had a calming effect and driven prices down. It's clear that the attacks in Saudia Arabia were timed to upset that and keep prices high. The way the Saudis dealt with the attacks was apparently reassuring enough to cause a major decline in prices (at least going into the weekend, I haven't looked since Friday).

US refining capacity is also a part of the problem with gasoline prices. US capacity has declined 2% over the last 20 years all the while demand has grow considerably. We actually closed many older, less efficient refineries over that period; only significant improvements in production have kept us anywhere near the levels of production we had in the 80s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 02:58 PM

Sooner or later we can expect to have people who are sophisticated enough to be able to set out successfully to disrupt an economic system without actually bombing anybody.

Of coursde it may b ehappening already. Has anyone seriously looked into the possibility that the Enron affair actually was an example of "economic terrorism"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: akenaton
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 03:08 PM

Carol ...At the moment there has been a series of attacks on Western interests, with the supposed intention of disrupting the Saudi oil industry,by causing Western technicians and operatives to leave the country.
The latest has been the attack on a BBc film crew who were investigating Al Quaida involvement in Saudi.
Given the number of Al Quaida followers in this rotten regime,it seems only a matter of time before some serious damage to the infrastructure of the Saudi oil industry occurs,with subsequent damage to our economies.
The point I was making is that Al Quaida has moved on from simply killing people to cause alarm, to exploiting the Wests economic weaknesses, in order to further their own agenda...Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Strick
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 03:10 PM

Only if you consider yuppies with business degrees from Yale and Harvard terrorists, McGrath.

BTW, I've seen some interesting things on electronic warfare and concerns about it as the West becomes more and more dependent on the internet (most business-to-business commerce goes over the internet these days, for example and our banking systems are highly dependent on it). Funny thing was that someone interviewed on the PBS program "Frontline" thought that there was evidence that someone, somewhere was experimenting with just that sort of attack. He claimed that several internet outages and incidents blamed on computer viruses were really deliberate attacks on the internet by a foreign power trying to see what was and wasn't possible.

Oddly enough, I was reading about the same thing in book on electronic warfare where the author pointed out that one nation in particular had the interest and the resources to do such a thing: The People's Republic of China. Did anyone realize China have the largest number of programmers of any nation in the world? And they're damned good. We work with them and I can tell you from personal experience that they're good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 05:37 PM

Thanks, akenaton.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Strick
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 06:09 PM

Carol, The Economist thinks it's a little more complicated than that, but worries akenaton could be right.

The threat to Saudi oil supply


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 06:26 PM

Thanks, Strick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 08:25 PM

Amos - "Undermining the prosperity of others does not make life easier for yourself, unless those others are actively engaged in oppressing you."

I think that is exactly what the terrorists in the middle east are thinking. They want the U.S. to keep their hands off the resources.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 08:40 PM

The USA has been the world's leading 'economic terrorist' (in a much more subtle way) for decades.

The '"Free" Trade Agreement' between USA and AUS is a good current example - read the fine print and you see how little and how much each partner gets, and who gets more out of it - the USA.

And for the past, a word to the wise is sufficient - 'Bannanas' (South America)....

Many do see the prcess of 'selling the farm' to overseas interests (from any nation) as a subtle form of economic terrorism - terrorism attempts to control the actions of others by fear.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 06:52 AM

The flow of several other raw products could also be disrupted. Why only look at oil?

Two other fields are transport and communication. Disrupt communication effectively and the economy will break down quicker than by making oil scarce.

The German RAF (red army faction) has once tried to fight the Vietnam war in Germany. They could have made much more damage, someone once has written, if they had blown up some fairly small electricity distribution stations. These actions would have cost no human lives and would have been much easier to do without being found.

What they did was killing persons of some importance, which was difficult and needed long planning. But it was better propaganda from their point of view.

Al Qaeda too is still fixated upon killing humans and upon propaganda victories. If they had the choice between an action bringing the US economy to a standstill for a couple of weeks or killing Bush, they'd opt for killing Bush.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Strick
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:49 AM

"I think that is exactly what the terrorists in the middle east are thinking. They want the U.S. to keep their hands off the resources."

Oh, they're happy enough taking our money. What they want is for us to keep our culture and our politics to ourselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 01:12 PM

As I said we are doing worse to ourselves.

We have not put the money into the infrastructure to prevent even accidental outages. The huge powerlines accross the nation can be brought down with a model rocket and some lightweight cable. We found this out by accident in Desert Storm when some of our chaff streamers fell onto power lines and shorted them out.

We allow speculation about the supply to drive the prices instead of supply/demand.

Worst of all we haven't taken any steps to isolate ourselves from this by moving to liberate ourselves from an oil based transportation system. We'll probably continue to need jet fuels for a long while but their's certainly no reason that we can't have trains, busses, cars, trucks which run on renewable energy sources from solar farms, wind driven generators, wave generators, and hydro electric dams. We'd need to limit the impact of these items but it would get us away from needing to deal with the middle east.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 01:18 PM

"Only if you consider yuppies with business degrees from Yale and Harvard terrorists."

I wouldn't think that having a business degree from Yale or Harvard would in itself make you any more or less likely to be a terrorist. It might mean that you would be up for a more sophisticated aproach to terrorism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 02:08 PM

I don't think it is possible for terrorists to defeat us militarily, but than can defeat us economically.   By destroying our economy (as 9/11 proved) our whole system can collapse.    A collapse of the US economy would trigger a world wide depression.   (just look at the effect our stock market has on the world)    A world wide depression enalble terrorist to gain more foothold without as much opposition.   It is there only successful strategy.

The the person who quoted the word "bananas".    In the energy industry we use that word to describe our current policy.   We have gone from "Mimby"- not in my back yard to "banana" Build absolutley nothing and never again.

It is scary how fragile our power infrastructure is and how little it would take to disrupt it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Strick
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 02:21 PM

"We'll probably continue to need jet fuels for a long while but their's certainly no reason that we can't have trains, busses, cars, trucks which run on renewable energy sources from solar farms, wind driven generators, wave generators, and hydro electric dams."

I ran the numbers last year for what would be required to power a hydrogen based economy based on publicly available information. If you just wanted to replace foreign oil imports, you'd have to build over 250 large nuclear reactors. Windmills? The number of 1 megawatt windmills necessary to do that would be obscene. For reference, we've had trouble putting up only 50,000 cellphone towers over the last 20 years and a huge windmill is no less an eye sore. You'd need many, many more windmills if you could find suitable sites for them.

"I wouldn't think that having a business degree from Yale or Harvard would in itself make you any more or less likely to be a terrorist."

Tsk, tsk, McGrath. I think statistically speaking we can be fairly sure that Yankee MBAs who ran Enron would be more likely to buy their way out of an situtation than get involved in terrorism. Maybe resort to a little blackmail or price fixing, but, hey, those are whitecollar crimes, not torrorism. :D


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:02 PM

It's interesting. It would seem that the only real defense industrialized nations have against economic terrorism is to do the very thing they hate the most. Break things up into many, many small units, rather than having most of their financial, economic, and energy infrastructure held by a few, very large entities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:13 PM

Dianavan:

They may think that we are actively oppressing them, but if we are not doing so, then their actions are based on paranoiac delusions and will rebound to worsen their own living conditions.

The neighborhoods of mankind are too closely bound together to make it possible to harm one without reflecting harm on your own.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: dianavan
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:52 PM

Amos - "They may think that we are actively oppressing them..."

From a personal perspective, if I think someone is oppressing me, they usually are. At least they are in my face to such a degree that I can't see who it is that is creating my oppressive condition.

I think this may be what is happening in the Middle-east. If the U.S. would stop playing power games, maybe Iraqis could figure it out on their own. I'd say the U.S. has been very skillful at confusing the general population. First the U.S. supports this guy, then they support that guy, then they switch countries and supply arms to another. Why doesn't the U.S. just mind their own business and let people sort it out? Why do they always feel the need to be in control? Whats in it for them?

I'm really sick of the U.S. Do you really wonder where kids get the message that its OK to bully? ...that its OK to be an obnoxious, power monger? ...that its OK to lie?

Foolestroope - I agree! The U.S. is an economic terrorist. Look at so-called free trade between Canada and the U.S. - its really a sham! They have been ripping us off for resources for far too long. If they can screw Canada and Australia, they can screw anybody.

Its about time the U.S. was put in its place and stop thinking it is entitled to more than anyone else. Greedy bastards!


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:54 PM

Surely the real economic terrorism is coextensive with cultural imperialism. Ergo the shock troops of western capitalism were at ground zero. Those who attack the sources of invasion merely defend themselves. Arguably.


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:34 PM

They may think that we are actively oppressing them, but if we are not doing so, then their actions are based on paranoiac delusions and will rebound to worsen their own living conditions.

Equally though:

We may think that we are not actively oppressing them, but if we are doing so, then our actions are based on paranoiac delusions and will rebound to worsen our own living conditions.

A term such as "actively oppressing" is a very imprecise and subjectve one. Does it mean concerted and palnning a programme aimed at oppressing people? Or does it mean that one result of activities carried on is that some people are less free in certain respects than they would otherwise be?


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 09:59 PM

Well, I live just west of Loudoun Co, Va. over the Wes Ginny line do some community work in Loudoun since it is where I'm from but and...

...Loudoun County, Va., for those of you all who don't know, is home to a good portion of U.S. Governemnt workers, and consequently, loaded with money.

This morning a dump truck overturned at Clark's Gap (Rt. 7 and Rt. 9) and literally shut every road in eastern Loudoun down for well over an hour...

Think about it for a moment. If one overturned truck could do this to a county with so mnay governement workers can you imagine what aq couple dozen folks could do with a couple dozen stolen cars unconviently starnded with the doors locked in various key intersections and on a few bridges around the nation's capitol???

Too bad that the Bush administration thinks military solutions trump intellegence and police solutions since we are now far less able to get folks to talk to us about what they know...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Economic Terrorism??
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:53 PM

One form of economic terrorism is insisting on global trade in certain items produced from the 'lowest cost producer'.

This madness results in dragging things such as perishables around the world (wasting huge amounts of resource such as fuel), when they would be setter off being produced locally - for the local economy would then be better off. The only winners are the Global Mandarins who are making a profit out of this 'trade' - often deceptively - for they are bullying Govts into massive subsidies, which just end up as profit in their pockets, which the taxpayers of those Govt lose out.

I have a jeweller friend. It is a fraction of the cost (to him) to air freight back and forth stones to be cut in Sri Lanka, than have them cut in Australia. Why? Because of the massive Govt subsidies to the 'trade' over there...

Now I'm not against those people with much wealth paying premium prices for fresh imported perishables out of season, per se... just against it becoming the 'accepted economic practice'.

Robin


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