Jump to content
The Education Forum

Could the U.S. be brought to its knees overnight?


Douglas Caddy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Could the U.S. be brought to its knees overnight?

Well, maybe not overnight but perhaps in a matter of weeks?

I have never considered myself attracted to a “survival” mode of living, that is preparing for a disaster by stockpiling food and supplies and whatever it takes to survive a local or national calamity.....until now.

However, for the first time in memory I sense an unease among the American population that an international event of disastrous proportions for the whole planet may be just around the corner.

While the possibility of such an event has been building up steam for the past 50 years, it has drastically accelerated under the present administration of President George W. Bush whose reckless foreign policy and war initiatives have kept the world living on the edge for the past six years.

His invasion of Iraq, sold by a cascade of lies, has opened up a Pandora’s Box that may not be closed within the lifetimes of those living today. One military historian has said that Bush’s Iraq initiative was the greatest strategic mistake in 2000 years.

An attack in the near future upon Iran by the U.S., carried out with the Israelis and the Saudis acting in unison, may be the final spark that ignites a worldwide conflagration, one threatening the very survival of Western Civilization.

Two recent events have brought home the fragility of society and how easily it might be for life in the United States to be ground to a halt within a short time span with the possibility of utter chaos ensuing.

The first event was a major earthquake in the U.S. state of Hawaii, which resulted in a shutdown of electrical current for hours. Nothing that functioned by electricity worked. Many citizens found that they only had a few dollars in their pocket with no access to a working ATM. The lack of electricity brought modern society in Hawaii to a virtual standstill. Had the shutdown lasted much longer panic might have ensued.

The second event was the Chinese military’s shooting down of a Chinese satellite high above the earth by means of a single missile. This is being interpreted as showing that all American satellites are equally vulnerable to such an attack. The destruction of even a small number of American satellites that perform crucial functions could cripple the U.S. economy overnight.

There can be no doubt but that “sleeper” terrorist cells exist within the continental U.S., which will become activated if America and its allies in the Mid East overreach themselves by expanding the war beyond Iraq. These cells have well-thought out plans that might bring the U.S. to its knees within a short time span by sabotaging electrical facilities and major modes of transportation. Even travel by car would become impossible as there would be no way to obtain fuel as the pumps of gas stations themselves operate using electricity.

So I have decided to take my own steps toward preparing for personal survival for at least a six-weeks period in the event catastrophe occurs. The Internet has a number of web sites that offer practical advice about doing so. My own plans do not include relocation but merely stockpiling of essentials.

Does anyone else in the forum share the same feeling of a possible impending calamity as do I?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Mark Valenti

Read the book "Metzger's Dog" for a clear, albeit comic, approach to shutting down a major city like Los Angeles. It also features clandestine plots about destabilizing foreign governments and the black market drug trade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner
Could the U.S. be brought to its knees overnight?

Well, maybe not overnight but perhaps in a matter of weeks?

I have never considered myself attracted to a “survival” mode of living, that is preparing for a disaster by stockpiling food and supplies and whatever it takes to survive a local or national calamity.....until now.

However, for the first time in memory I sense an unease among the American population that an international event of disastrous proportions for the whole planet may be just around the corner.

While the possibility of such an event has been building up steam for the past 50 years, it has drastically accelerated under the present administration of President George W. Bush whose reckless foreign policy and war initiatives have kept the world living on the edge for the past six years.

His invasion of Iraq, sold by a cascade of lies, has opened up a Pandora’s Box that may not be closed within the lifetimes of those living today. One military historian has said that Bush’s Iraq initiative was the greatest strategic mistake in 2000 years.

An attack in the near future upon Iran by the U.S., carried out with the Israelis and the Saudis acting in unison, may be the final spark that ignites a worldwide conflagration, one threatening the very survival of Western Civilization.

Two recent events have brought home the fragility of society and how easily it might be for life in the United States to be ground to a halt within a short time span with the possibility of utter chaos ensuing.

The first event was a major earthquake in the U.S. state of Hawaii, which resulted in a shutdown of electrical current for hours. Nothing that functioned by electricity worked. Many citizens found that they only had a few dollars in their pocket with no access to a working ATM. The lack of electricity brought modern society in Hawaii to a virtual standstill. Had the shutdown lasted much longer panic might have ensued.

The second event was the Chinese military’s shooting down of a Chinese satellite high above the earth by means of a single missile. This is being interpreted as showing that all American satellites are equally vulnerable to such an attack. The destruction of even a small number of American satellites that perform crucial functions could cripple the U.S. economy overnight.

There can be no doubt but that “sleeper” terrorist cells exist within the continental U.S., which will become activated if America and its allies in the Mid East overreach themselves by expanding the war beyond Iraq. These cells have well-thought out plans that might bring the U.S. to its knees within a short time span by sabotaging electrical facilities and major modes of transportation. Even travel by car would become impossible as there would be no way to obtain fuel as the pumps of gas stations themselves operate using electricity.

So I have decided to take my own steps toward preparing for personal survival for at least a six-weeks period in the event catastrophe occurs. The Internet has a number of web sites that offer practical advice about doing so. My own plans do not include relocation but merely stockpiling of essentials.

Does anyone else in the forum share the same feeling of a possible impending calamity as do I?

Douglas, I, Like you, can remember the horror of living through the cold war, the never ending drill of ducking under ones desk at school, in case the evil Soviets blinked first. the peace didvidend, they assured us, would include an end for ever to this day-to day nightmare. Well, as usual, "they" lied, the need to locate another Bogyman proved too strong, and as the Bible has it, "As ye reap, so shall ye sow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My country is neutral and has never invaded another nation so I have no need to take such measures.

John

neutral shmootral, when there is a nuclear exchange and/or general warfare even if conventional and oil prices go to $200/ba and food and all things made from oil or transported get expensive and scarce there will be no neutrals....

Doug, I think a horror scenario like you posit and worse are all too possible. Iran has enough firepower and pride to sink many of our aircraftcarriers, down many of our jets, bomb the hell out of Isreal and American installations in Iraq, bomb and disable many oil installations Middle East-wide...

...and all hell could break out in the entire Middle East and spread to most other places in full or limited ways.....no one would be immune after some weeks.

I would trust few to act wisely at this perilous time and there would be no time for cooling off perhaps......

....well they wanted the end times and perhaps they will learn the meaning of what that really means...no rapture...only death, destruction and MUCH suffering worldwide.

Report: US plans strike against Iran

Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST

Jan. 31, 2007

The US was drawing up plans to attack sites where Iran is believed to be enriching uranium before President George W. Bush's candidacy comes to an end, the UK-based Times reported on Wednesday.

According to the Times, the Bush government has been inviting defense consultants and Middle East experts to the White House and Pentagon for tactical advice.

The Pentagon was reported to be considering ways for the US to destroy nuclear facilities such as Iran's main centrifuge plant at Natanz, despite the fact that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney hoped that diplomatic efforts to restrain Iran would succeed.

Senior Pentagon planners recently advised the White House, however, that they did not yet have accurate intelligence as to the whereabouts of all Iran's nuclear enrichment sites.

Iran's nuclear program has been generating world-wide tension in recent months, despite claims by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the research is for peaceful means. The UN has threatened to put sanctions on Iran if they do not abandon the program.

According to analyst Shmuel Bar of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center in Israel, an American strike would only trigger the Iranian regime's primordial survival impulse. This would almost certainly result in a full-scale Iranian assault on Kuwaiti and Saudi oil fields, in an attempt to exact a price that would dissuade the West from carrying its assault to the point of regime change, he told The Jerusalem Post.

In addition, there is a 'real danger' that the Iranian regime could instigate labor strikes among the Shi'ites of southern Iraq, said Dr. Ian Bremer, president of the risk consultancy firm, Eurasia Group. This could drop oil production from over a million barrels per day, 'even to zero for short periods of time,' he warned.

Furthermore, as several analysts pointed out, any strike that was not dramatic enough to bring down the regime and discredit Ahmadinejad outright would trigger a surge of popular support for Ahmadinejad's faction in the regime, giving him a decisive advantage in the complex power struggles that characterize Iranian politics.

According to the Times report, despite speculations and divided opinions, the favored US scenario is to attack the Iranian nuclear plant with a small number of ground attack aircraft flying out of the British dependency of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

The British would however have to approve the use of the American base there for an attack and would be asked to play a supporting role by providing air-to-air re-fuelling or sending out surveillance aircraft, ships and submarines.

The British Foreign Office has insisted that a diplomatic solution is still possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The answer is yes--and there'll be hell to pay.

I sympathise with your feelings, Douglas. I often remember that JFK speech in which he said the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouths.

I've never thought seriously about it, but if the social order broke down and essential services were not supplied for a lengthy period, I wouldn't like to be caught in a big city. A coastal temperate location would be my destination. Of course, who knows what a temperate climate is these days?

Just to add to the cheerful conversation, did you know that the polar ice caps are now melting so fast that scientists are unable to factor it into their computer modelling? So they really have no idea how quickly they will melt. But inciting a war which could have global economic and environmental consequences is a more pressing matter for the owners of the fearless western media.

However, there's a silver lining to every cloud. Exxon Mobil just reported a $39.5 billion profit--the highest in corporate history. I plan to invest everything I own in oil stocks. Doesn't matter which ones. If I ever do a runner out to the bush, I might as well be driving a luxury car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My country is neutral and has never invaded another nation so I have no need to take such measures.

John

neutral shmootral, when there is a nuclear exchange and/or general warfare even if conventional and oil prices go to $200/ba and food and all things made from oil or transported get expensive and scarce there will be no neutrals....

Doug, I think a horror scenario like you posit and worse are all too possible. Iran has enough firepower and pride to sink many of our aircraftcarriers, down many of our jets, bomb the hell out of Isreal and American installations in Iraq, bomb and disable many oil installations Middle East-wide...

...and all hell could break out in the entire Middle East and spread to most other places in full or limited ways.....no one would be immune after some weeks.

I would trust few to act wisely at this perilous time and there would be no time for cooling off perhaps......

....well they wanted the end times and perhaps they will learn the meaning of what that really means...no rapture...only death, destruction and MUCH suffering worldwide.

China’s Mystery Satellites

U.S. Gauges Beijing’s ASAT Strategy

By VAGO MURADIAN

Defense News.Com

February 2, 2007

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2526188&C=asia

As worldwide attention focuses on China’s first successful anti-satellite missile test, U.S. officials are questioning why some Chinese spacecraft are in orbits that bring them close to key U.S. satellites, according to military sources.

The big question is the scale and progress of the Chinese anti-satellite (ASAT) program, including whether the Chinese spacecraft are benign or time bombs that can someday be used to threaten the space assets on which the U.S. military and economy depend for everything from reconnaissance and dropping bombs to logistics, communications and navigation.

The Chinese spacecraft don’t appear to be conducting any particular mission. Rather, “there is a menu of missions that could be performed that we are not yet clear about,” said one source. “These things aren’t being sent up there to be space rocks.”

A 50-page report submitted Jan. 19 to Congress cites evidence that China is considering a covert anti-satellite network that could debilitate the United States in wartime.

For more than a decade, U.S. officials have warily eyed China’s growth as a space power, particularly its interest in developing anti-satellite systems to counter an overwhelming American superiority in space.

Interest peaked after a ground-based missile destroyed an obsolete Chinese weather satellite on Jan. 11. At least one previous test ended in failure, and perhaps two, sources said. Chinese officials issued assurances that the test should not be seen as threatening.

The White House publicly confirmed the test as part of a coordinated effort with close allies — Australia, Britain, Canada and Japan among them — to drive home to Beijing that its anti-satellite activities have global repercussions.

China’s direct-ascent anti-satellite missile is the latest test to prove counter-space capabilities. Last year, senior U.S. officials said China had attempted to use lasers to blind American satellites.

By international convention, a physical attack on a nation’s satellites is considered an act of war.

Tracking Spacecraft

The United States uses a vast array of orbiting and ground-based systems to track spacecraft and determine their purpose. But two programs are seen as key for the future military space force; the XSS-11 and its complementary effort dubbed Angels, both by Lockheed Martin.

Both aim to develop a range of capabilities that the Air Force sees as critical, including highly maneuverable spacecraft that can closely scrutinize what’s in space. XSS-11 flew in 2005 and its public mission was to demonstrate the ability to maneuver on orbit and autonomously rendezvous with orbiting satellites.

Critics say that such a maneuverable spacecraft could be used to ram enemy spacecraft or attack them with weapons.

The XSS-11 flight, however, brought back information that prompted top U.S. military commanders in January 2006 said they needed a better understanding of what’s in space that could jeopardize U.S. defense and economic interests. They also said they needed a more “operationally responsive” space system and the ability to quickly launch military satellites into space to replace those destroyed in an attack.

Assessing China’s Strategy

The Jan. 19 report, authored by Pentagon China consultant Michael Pillsbury for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, is based on the writings of more than 20 Chinese military strategists, particularly three colonels at Beijing’s National Defense University between 2001 and 2005.

The commission is a congressionally chartered bipartisan panel that advises lawmakers on the strategic U.S.-China security and business relationship.

Pillsbury declined to discuss whether China has already launched into orbit elements of a covert space fleet, but stressed that Beijing’s military strategists appear focused on designing a broad set of anti-satellite capabilities.

"We have three books and several dozen articles from China that go back 10 years, all of which advocate all types of anti-satellite weapons and they have a consistent theme — they have to be deployed covertly so that in a crisis with America, China can shoot down some satellites as a deterrent message,” Pillsbury said.

“These documents advocate multiple approaches to preemptive strikes on satellites from plasma clouds, pellets, directed-energy weapons, orbiting spacecraft and attacking ground stations with special forces,” he said.

China, Pillsbury said, is convinced the United States is weaponizing space and Beijing has concluded it must develop a like capability, while simultaneously pressing for an international space weapon ban.

“What’s interesting is that no matter how hard you try, you don’t find anything in Chinese writings that argues the opposite, that if you attack U.S. military satellites you will have World War III on your hands, which is why it’s better to initiate a space weapons dialogue and never have a crisis in the first place,” Pillsbury said.

A Chinese military official said he could not comment on the matter.

But Theresa Hitchens, director of the Center for Defense Information in Washington, said it is difficult to determine whether the authors quoted by Pillsbury represent fringe or mainstream military thought.

“The hard part of dissecting China is that we know so little of who’s who and we can’t necessarily tell as outside analysts which are credible sources,” she said.

“It would be dangerous to either underestimate or overestimate Chinese capabilities, but you have to be more aware of overestimation because you don’t want to be in a situation where you panic.”

Weapons in Space

China in 2002 called on the United States to send a delegation to Geneva to negotiate a space weapons ban. But Washington refused because Beijing rejected verification measures and defined space weapons as including missile defense components.

The Outer Space Treaty, which the United States signed in 1967, prohibited nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction in space. But American officials say that while they are committed to the peaceful use of space, they will not be party to an agreement that could hamstring their ability to defend space assets.

The U.S. Congress barred the Air Force from building anti-satellite missiles in 1986, after an Air Force F-15 fighter launched a missile that destroyed an orbiting U.S. satellite. The Soviet Union also flexed its anti-satellite capabilities in the 1980s. And now China has joined the club.

Asked about the new Chinese anti-satellite threat, Lt. Col. Michael Pierson, a spokesman for the U.S. Air Force Space Command, declined comment. “As a matter of principle, we do not discuss specific vulnerabilities, threats, responses or steps to mitigate,” he said.

“In broad terms, the U.S. has an inherent right of self defense and we take all threats to our sovereign space systems seriously. We monitor activities that threaten our right to use space peacefully and take appropriate steps to defend our systems against current and future threats.”

Part of the problem, Pierson said, is the sheer number of operational and long-defunct spacecraft orbiting Earth. “In 1957, there was one man-made object in space. Today, we are tracking more than 14,000 man-made objects in space. So, the environment has changed,” Pierson said.

And better awareness of what’s exactly in space and why has become a major initiative for the Air Force since the release of a 2000 report by the blue ribbon Space Commission panel that declared that America was vulnerable to a “space Pearl Harbor.”

The panel was chaired by Donald Rumsfeld, who would become defense secretary months later and spearhead changes to the military space organization, including subsuming the U.S. Space Command into the U.S. Strategic Command to ensure a single management point for strategic space.

Operationally Responsive Space

To focus attention on the issue, however, Rumsfeld asked Art Cebrowski to head the Pentagon’s new Office of Force Transformation, which made operationally responsive space a priority. Cebrowski tirelessly argued that the current space infrastructure needed to be re-engineered.

First, he argued, it takes too long to build military satellites and the rockets needed to place them into orbit. To ensure a failsafe space network critical to a new brand of networked warfare, he said, the United States must be able to loft satellites quickly into orbit to replace those that could be destroyed by an enemy.

Publicly, Cebrowski never named China as a potential foe, but Beijing’s interest in anti-satellite systems was a key factor in his strategic thinking. To that end, Cebrowski’s office launched a series of programs, chief among them the development of small “tactical satellites” or Tac-Sats.

The first of a series of such small, innovative and relatively inexpensive spacecraft by the Naval Research Laboratory, TACSAT-1 was to have been launched last year, but has been delayed because teething problems with the all-new, low-cost booster by SpaceX. The satellite and rocket together were planned to cost about $15 million.

The Air Force plans to spend about $300 million over the coming five years on a host of programs to face space threats, most of which would be directed to stockpiling launchers like the Minotaur rocket by Orbital Sciences which launched TACSAT-2 in December from Wallops Island, Va.

“Pearl Harbor was said for effect and may have been overstated, but we need to get serious about protecting the assets in space, not just the spacecraft, but the nodes and ground stations that contribute to that,” said Lance Lord, a retired Air Force general who until 2006 headed the service’s space command. “To underscore the importance of space situational awareness we reordered our priorities to space surveillance, defensive counter space and last, offensive counter space.”

Defense in Depth

“Defensive counterspace is key. You have to have defense in depth so that if you lose one spacecraft or a space-borne capability, you can reroute in a self-healing system to avoid single-point vulnerabilities. In terms of the overall system, it’s relatively robust, but not as good as it needs to be.”

Space, like the sea, is open to all nations for peaceful and select military applications like reconnaissance, surveillance, communications and weather forecasting, and with that openness comes challenges, Lord said.

“You have an inherent right of self defense in the commons of space and if someone is using space against you, you can take a variety of actions to defend yourself,” he said. “That is even more important now that the Chinese have proven that they are technically capable of large projects and want to be a full player in the environment and we have to appreciate how that plays into their doctrine.”

Knocking out the U.S. space network, or even big pieces of it, however, would be difficult. For example, the U.S. satellites that monitor the globe for missile launches — the Defense Support Program spacecraft — are in geosynchronous orbit some 24,000 miles high, while the GPS constellation orbits the Earth at a medium altitude of some 12,000 miles. Both are too high and redundant to easily incapacitate, analysts said.

More vulnerable are the series of giant Keyhole optical and Lacrosse radar reconnaissance satellites that are in low earth orbit several hundred miles high.

“These are big satellites and there aren’t many of them up there are and they aren’t immediately replaceable if lost,” said Barry Watts, the former head of the Pentagon’s Program Analysis & Evaluation office who is now with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington. “We’re very focused on Iraq and things like armored Humvees, and they’re important, but you have to keep you eye on the space ball because almost everything we do depends on it.” •

E-mail: vmuradian@defensenews.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My post was intended to show the fact that Ireland has not, itself, brought on the need for its citizens to resort to such measures. My comment was more a statement on the fact that a neutral country, such as Ireland does not antagonise others and so does not fear attack from abroad. For the best account of American military and intelligence intervention in other nations, see William Blum's 'Killing Hope'.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My country is neutral and has never invaded another nation so I have no need to take such measures.

John

neutral shmootral, when there is a nuclear exchange and/or general warfare even if conventional and oil prices go to $200/ba and food and all things made from oil or transported get expensive and scarce there will be no neutrals....

Doug, I think a horror scenario like you posit and worse are all too possible. Iran has enough firepower and pride to sink many of our aircraftcarriers, down many of our jets, bomb the hell out of Isreal and American installations in Iraq, bomb and disable many oil installations Middle East-wide...

...and all hell could break out in the entire Middle East and spread to most other places in full or limited ways.....no one would be immune after some weeks.

I would trust few to act wisely at this perilous time and there would be no time for cooling off perhaps......

....well they wanted the end times and perhaps they will learn the meaning of what that really means...no rapture...only death, destruction and MUCH suffering worldwide.

China’s Dire Prediction

By Arnaud de Borchgrave

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Published February 4, 2007

China is making geopolitical hay while the sun isn't shining for America.

Chinese leaders have seen President Bush's approval ratings continue a downward slide all over the world, according to the BBC's latest universal survey. More important, previous public opinion polls showed China with a better image than America in friendly European countries -- with the notable exception of Poland. The rest of the world has watched the defection of some of Mr. Bush's congressional supporters. China's topsiders have heard from their close ally Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf -- "a major non-NATO ally" -- that he doesn't think the U.S. can avoid what the world will perceive as a defeat in Iraq. And perception trumps reality the world over.

The global newspaper Financial Times wrote, "As authority drains from Mr. Bush, so Washington is losing its capacity to determine outcomes elsewhere. Iran is the principal beneficiary."

A defector from Mr. Musharraf's camp has informed U.S. authorities the Pakistani leader's "agonizing reappraisal" about Afghanistan's future stems from his perception the U.S. cannot pull a victory rabbit out of the Iraqi hat. Hence, his perception that neither the U.S. nor NATO can muster what it takes to complete their mission in Afghanistan. Hence, in turn, Mr. Musharraf's decision to authorize his all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency to assist the bid of Taliban "moderates" to retake power in Kabul. ISI greatly assisted the original victory of Taliban in 1996.

Assessing the American scene as conveyed by CNN, FOX, BBC and Al Jazeera, Chinese leaders can be forgiven if they have concluded the American Century -- the 20th -- may not be renewed in the 21st. While the American body politic has been almost totally immersed in and absorbed by Iraq and Afghanistan, China's Hu Jintao's current trip to Africa is the third to the continent by a top Chinese leader in a year.

Last November, China demonstrated its growing global clout by inviting 48 African heads of state and government to a summit in Beijing where they were wined and dined in a style unmatched by their former French, British and Portuguese colonial masters. China has been buying up their production of raw materials years in advance. Pledges have been made to double aid to Africa to $5 billion, train 15,000 professionals and grant 4,000 scholarships.

Vertiginous double-digit yearly growth for the fourth consecutive year has put China on track to leapfrog Germany as the world's third-largest economy. Its foreign currency reserves are accumulating at the rate of $30 million per hour and recently topped the $1 trillion mark -- about 70 percent of that in U.S. paper. It is outspending Japan on technology R&D. China is preening with self-confidence.

As Ford posts a record $12.7 billion loss, China's "Chery" (which started with machines and engine technology purchased from Ford Europe for $25 million), in alliance with China's "Visionary Vehicles," is getting ready to invade the U.S. market with five different models in 2008, all designed by Pininfarina (known for Ferrari and Lamborghini designs). The Las Vegas Sands Casino, with 800 gaming tables, is now the world's largest -- not in Nevada but in Macau, China.

To offset America's enormous strategic military superiority, the Chinese military concluded in the 1990s that information warfare -- or cyberwarfare -- could give China an "asymmetric" advantage over the United States. In 1998, the PLA newspaper Jiefangjun Bao said priority should be given "to learning how to launch an electronic attack on an enemy... to ensure electromagnetic control in an area and at a time favorable to us."

How to take down the computer-driven sinews of a modern industrialized state quickly became a top priority for the major powers and Israel. Since then the U.S. has more than matched China's arsenal of cyberweapons -- from ultra-sophisticated logic bombs, to Trojan horses, worms, viruses and denial-of-service decoys.

The 1990-91 Desert Shield and Desert Storm and the 2003 invasion of Iraq (when 50 military-specific satellites and numerous commercial birds were used) showed the Chinese how utterly dependent the U.S. had become on "satcoms." In 1998, the failure of a single satellite disabled 80 percent of the pagers in the U.S.

Unmanned aircraft like the Predator achieve pinpoint bombing accuracy over the Pak-Afghan border while flown by a pilot/bombardier in a simulated cockpit thousands of miles away in Washington. Signals from Global Positioning System's satellites guide precision weapons to their targets in the same role as a rifle gunsight.

Modern battlespace's eyes and ears are in orbit and vulnerable. The space equivalents of bullets and shells -- kinetic energy weapons -- to destroy or damage a target in space is the next phase of modern warfare. The 2001 Congress-mandated Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management said the U.S. "is an attractive candidate for a space Pearl Harbor -- or a surprise attack on U.S. space assets aimed at crippling U.S. war-fighting and other capabilities."

Chinese strategists view U.S. dependence on space as an asymmetric vulnerability while Chinese scientists are known to be working on ASAT (anti-satellite weapons, such as kinetic kill vehicles). On Jan. 11, China decided it was time to demonstrate the fragility of the U.S. military dependence on communications satellites.

Without warning, China fired a missile aimed at one of its own aging communications satellites. With pinpoint accuracy, the missile pulverized the Feng Yun 1-C 500 miles above Earth, scattering thousands of tiny fragments that could easily puncture the metal skin of other satellites in orbit. The former Soviet Union did it first in 1971, followed by the U.S. in 1985, before Congress banned further tests lest they imperiled one of the several hundred satellites, many from other nations.

Space as a sanctuary free from armed conflict will most probably end over the next 20 years. Speaking in flawless English at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, one-star Gen. Yao Yunzhu, who directs China's Asia-Pacific Office at the Academy of Military Science in Beijing, predicted: "Outer space is going to be weaponized in our lifetime." She is 52. If there's going to be "a space superpower," she said, "it will have company" -- China. And Beijing said China was now ready to talk turkey about an international treaty to curb the weaponization of space. But the U.S. wasn't. In fact, the administration suspended plans agreed to at a summit meeting last April to develop plans for the joint exploration of the moon.

Following disengagement from Iraq, U.S. defense priorities are likely to remain focused on combating terrorism while Europe's defense agenda becomes increasingly unsupportive of U.S. policies. China is eyeing an emerging geopolitical vacuum with interest. And it has no intention to play the game of nations by U.S. rules.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the U.S. be brought to its knees overnight?

Well, maybe not overnight but perhaps in a matter of weeks?

I have never considered myself attracted to a “survival” mode of living, that is preparing for a disaster by stockpiling food and supplies and whatever it takes to survive a local or national calamity.....until now.

However, for the first time in memory I sense an unease among the American population that an international event of disastrous proportions for the whole planet may be just around the corner.

While the possibility of such an event has been building up steam for the past 50 years, it has drastically accelerated under the present administration of President George W. Bush whose reckless foreign policy and war initiatives have kept the world living on the edge for the past six years.

His invasion of Iraq, sold by a cascade of lies, has opened up a Pandora’s Box that may not be closed within the lifetimes of those living today. One military historian has said that Bush’s Iraq initiative was the greatest strategic mistake in 2000 years.

An attack in the near future upon Iran by the U.S., carried out with the Israelis and the Saudis acting in unison, may be the final spark that ignites a worldwide conflagration, one threatening the very survival of Western Civilization.

Two recent events have brought home the fragility of society and how easily it might be for life in the United States to be ground to a halt within a short time span with the possibility of utter chaos ensuing.

The first event was a major earthquake in the U.S. state of Hawaii, which resulted in a shutdown of electrical current for hours. Nothing that functioned by electricity worked. Many citizens found that they only had a few dollars in their pocket with no access to a working ATM. The lack of electricity brought modern society in Hawaii to a virtual standstill. Had the shutdown lasted much longer panic might have ensued.

The second event was the Chinese military’s shooting down of a Chinese satellite high above the earth by means of a single missile. This is being interpreted as showing that all American satellites are equally vulnerable to such an attack. The destruction of even a small number of American satellites that perform crucial functions could cripple the U.S. economy overnight.

There can be no doubt but that “sleeper” terrorist cells exist within the continental U.S., which will become activated if America and its allies in the Mid East overreach themselves by expanding the war beyond Iraq. These cells have well-thought out plans that might bring the U.S. to its knees within a short time span by sabotaging electrical facilities and major modes of transportation. Even travel by car would become impossible as there would be no way to obtain fuel as the pumps of gas stations themselves operate using electricity.

So I have decided to take my own steps toward preparing for personal survival for at least a six-weeks period in the event catastrophe occurs. The Internet has a number of web sites that offer practical advice about doing so. My own plans do not include relocation but merely stockpiling of essentials.

Does anyone else in the forum share the same feeling of a possible impending calamity as do I?

I share your concern.

If anyone doubts the social consequences of societal breakdown, they need only consider what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when bands of armed thugs roamed, pillaged and looted New Orleans.

That was certainly not a pretty sight, but it illustrates the advisability of being sufficiently armed to protect one's family and, if necessary, to hunt.

I recommend the following as a good primer for disaster preparedness: http://www.theothersideofkim.com/index.php/lists/10115/

You will have to do a copy and paste to access the sight, because I don't know how to post a link.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[/b]

I share your concern.

If anyone doubts the social consequences of societal breakdown, they need only consider what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when bands of armed thugs roamed, pillaged and looted New Orleans.

That was certainly not a pretty sight, but it illustrates the advisability of being sufficiently armed to protect one's family and, if necessary, to hunt.

I recommend the following as a good primer for disaster preparedness: http://www.theothersideofkim.com/index.php/lists/10115/

You will have to do a copy and paste to access the sight, because I don't know how to post a link.

Christopher: I clicked on the link that you posted and the primer came right up. It is excellent. I have printed it out for handy reference.

Below is a timely article that highlights the imminent danger that the world faces:

The US and Israel

The Real Failed States

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

www.counterpunch.org

Feb. 5, 2007

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts02052007.html

Growing references by the US and Israel to the Muslim Middle East as a collection of failed states are part of the propaganda campaign to strip legitimacy from Muslim states and set them up for attack. These accusations spring from the hubris of many Israelis, who see themselves as "God's Chosen People," a guarantee of immunity instead of a call to responsibility, and many Americans, who regard their country as "a city upon a hill" that is "the light of the world." But do the US and Israel fit the profile of successful states, or are they failed states themselves?

A compelling case can be made that the US and Israel are failed states. Israel allegedly is a democracy, but it is controlled by a minority of Zionist zealots who commit atrocities against Palestinians in order to provoke terrorist acts that are then used to perpetuate the right-wing's hold on political power. Israel has perfected blowback as a tool of political control. The Israeli state relies entirely on coercion and has no diplomacy. It stands isolated in the world except for the US, which sustains Israel's existence with money, military weapons, and the US veto in the United Nations.

Israel survives on life support from the US. A state that cannot exist without outside support is a failed state.

What about the United States? The US is an even greater failure. Its existence is not dependent on life support from outside. The US has failed in another way. Not only has the state failed, but the society as well.

The past six years have seen the rise of dictatorial power in the executive and the collapse of the separation of powers mandated by the US Constitution. The president has declared himself to be "The Decider." The power to decide includes the meaning and intent of laws passed by Congress and whether the laws apply to the executive. President Bush has openly acknowledged that he disobeyed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and unlawfully spied on Americans without warrants. Bush and his Attorney General could not make it more clear that their position is that Bush is above the law.

It is also Bush's position that he is above the Constitution. Bush and his Attorney General maintain that as commander-in-chief in "the war on terror," the executive has the power to decide the applicability of civil liberties guaranteed in the Constitution. The US Department of Justice (sic) has taken the position that this decision is an executive decision alone beyond the authority of the judiciary and the legislature.

An enfeebled and eviscerated Congress has acquiesced in the growth of executive power, even legislating unconstitutional executive powers into law. The Decider has grabbed the power to arrest people on accusation alone and to detain them indefinitely without charges or evidence. He has obtained the right to torture those whom he arrests. The Geneva Conventions do not apply to the US president, declares the Regime. Bush has obtained the right to commit people to death in military tribunals on the basis of hearsay and secret evidence alone. The Bush Regime has succeeded in moving the American state off the basis on which the Founding Fathers set it.

The Bush Regime led the American people to war in Iraq based entirely on lies and deception. This is a known and undisputed fact. Congress has done nothing whatsoever about this monstrous crime and impeachable offense.

Under the Nuremberg standard, unprovoked aggression is a war crime. The US established this standard. Bush has violated it with impunity.

Bush and his Attorney General assert Bush's power to attack Iran independently of a Congressional declaration of war or any form of congressional approval. Bush claims that his power to attack Iran is merely an extension of his present power to conduct war in Iraq, a power seized on the basis of lies and deception. Congress has taken no action to disabuse Bush of his presumption.

Bush's preparations for attacking Iran are highly visible. The entire world can see the preparations and expects the attack. Congress is mute in the face of a catastrophic widening of a war to which a large majority of the American people are now opposed.

In national elections three months ago the American people used democracy in an unsuccessful attempt to restrain the Bush Regime from its warmongering ways by defeating the Republican Party and giving control of both houses of Congress to Democrats.

Instead of acting, the Democrats have postured.

Indeed, some have joined Bush in his warmongering. Hillary Clinton, regarded as the frontrunner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, recently declared at an affair hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a leading instigator of war with Iran, that Iran is a danger to the US and a great threat to Israel.

Hillary's claims are preposterous. Israel has large numbers of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Iran has none. Iran has no ability to harm the US and would have no motive except for the Bush Regime's gratuitous provocations. A state in which a leading contender for the presidential nomination can make utterly absurd claims and suffer no consequence is a failed state.

The United States is a failed state, because in the US it is not possible for leadership to emerge. Politics is controlled by powerful interest groups, such as AIPAC, the military-industrial complex, transnational corporations, and "security" agencies that are accumulating vast amounts of unaccountable power. The American people spoke in November and it means nothing whatsoever.

The people are enfeebled because the media no longer has independence. The US media serves as propagandist for the state. It cannot be otherwise in a highly concentrated media run not by journalists but by advertising executives protecting stock values that derive from federal broadcast licenses granted by the state.

Like the three monkeys, Congress sees no evil, the media speaks no evil, and the people hear no evil. In the US "news" consists of the government's propaganda. "News" in America is exactly like the "news" in George Orwell's 1984.

The US is a failed state, because it is not true to any of the principles upon which it was established. All over the world today, America is seen as a rogue state, a hegemonic evil, and as the greatest threat to peace and stability. In its new identify, America is the total opposite of the Founding Fathers intention. There is no greater failure than that.

Academics differentiate between failed states and rogue states. The US and Israel meet both criteria. The US and Israel lead the world in aggressive military actions and in killings of civilian populations. Both countries meet the main indicators of failed states as published in Foreign Policy's 2005 Failed States Index.

The leading indicators of failed states are inequality (not merely poverty), "criminalization or delegitimization of the state, which occurs when state institutions are regarded as corrupt, illegal, or ineffective," and "demographic factors, especially population pressures stemming from refugees" and "internally displaced populations."

All economic indicators show that income and wealth inequality is rapidly increasing in the US. The growth in inequality is the result of the state's policy that favors shareholders and corporate executives at the expense of American workers.

The income differences between Israelis and ghettoized Palestinians are huge.

Trials and investigations of leading political figures in the US and Israel are an ongoing occurrence. Currently, the former chief-of-staff of the vice president of the US is on trial for lying to the FBI in an attempt to obstruct an investigation into the Bush Regime's illegal disclosure of an undercover CIA operative. The accused claims he is the fall guy for higher ups.

In Israel the president of the country is accused of rape and faces indictment.

Both the US and Israel routinely ignore international law and are accused of committing war crimes by human rights organizations. The US Congress stands revealed as totally ineffective and unwilling to constrain the executive. The American people have learned that they cannot change the government's policies through elections. By fomenting the demise of the civil liberties that they are sworn to uphold, President Bush and Attorney General Gonzales have delegitimized the American state, turning it into an instrument of oppression.

Israel's policies in the West Bank have displaced a million Palestinians, forcing them to be refugees from their own land. Jordan is filled with Palestinian refugees, and Palestinian existence in the West Bank is being increasingly confined to ghettos cut off from farm land, schools, medical care and from other Palestinians. President Jimmy Carter has described Israeli-occupied Palestine as "apartheid."

For decades in the face of public opposition the US government has encouraged massive legal and illegal immigration of diverse peoples whose failure to assimilate is balkanizing the US population. Economic refugees from Mexico are changing the culture and allegiance of entire sections of the American southwest, and racial animosities are on the rise.

In a recent interview, Noam Chomsky defined one characteristic of a failed state as a "democratic deficit, that is, a substantial gap between public policy and public opinion." We see this gap in Bush's decision to escalate the war in Iraq despite the opposition of 70% of the American public. What does democracy mean if elected leaders ignore public opinion?

Another characteristic of failed states is the failure to protect their own citizens. Israel's aggressive policies against Palestinians provoke terror attacks on Israeli citizens. These attacks are then used to justify more oppression of Palestinians, which leads to more terror. Bush's military aggression in the MIddle East is the main cause of any terror threats that Americans now face.

Another characteristic of a failed state is the departure of citizens. Many Israelis, seeing no future for Israel in the government's hostility to Arabs, are leaving Israel. Among Israelis themselves, the legitimacy of the Israeli state is so endangered that the Knesset has just passed a law to revoke the citizenship of "unpatriotic" Israelis.

In the US a large percentage of the population has lost confidence in the government's veracity. Polls show that 40% of Americans do not believe the government's story that the 9/11 attacks were the work of Arab terrorists. Many believe the attack was a "false flag" operation carried out by elements in the Bush Regime in order to create public acceptance for its planned invasions in the Middle East.

A state that cannot tolerate moral conscience in its soldiers is a failed state. The failure of the American state can be seen it its prosecution of Lt. Ehren Watada. Watada comes from a family with a military heritage. His response to the 9/11 attack was to join the military. Diagnosed with asthma, he failed his physical, but persevered and ended up with an officer's commission.

Watada's problem is that he can recognize a war crime even when it is committed by a might-makes-right state. The Abu Ghraib prison tortures and the evidence that Bush deceived Americans about weapons of mass destruction caused Watada to realize that he was on the wrong side of the Nuremberg Principles, the UN Charter, and the US military code, which says American soldiers have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders. He signed up to serve his country, not to kill people for illegal and immoral reasons.

Watada refused to deploy to Iraq. He is being tried for refusing deployment and for suggesting that President Bush deceived Americans.

By now every attentive American knows that Bush deceived them, and our greatest patriots have said so. Watada is on trial for suggesting what everyone knows to be true. He is not being tried for veracity. He is being tried for speaking the truth.

Failure to deploy is a more understandable charge. There is no army if soldiers do not follow orders. However, as the US established at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, following orders is not an excuse for participating in war crimes. At the Nazi war crimes trials, it was the US that insisted that soldiers were responsible for using judgment about the legality of their orders.

That is what Lt. Watada did. His trial will not broach the subject of whether his judgment was correct. The evidence against him will merely be that he did not deploy.

By trying Lt. Watada the US government is insisting that American troops are not responsible for judging the legality of their orders, only for following them. The standard applied to WW II Germans is too high to be applied to Americans.

In a draft army Watada's refusal to accept illegal orders could be used by conscripted cannon fodder to derail the state's intended aggression. However, in a voluntary army in which soldiers seek to serve, permitting Lt. Watada to have his conscience does not imperil the command structure. Others less thoughtful and less aware will carry forth the state's enterprise.

The case against Israel and the US does not preclude some Muslim states from also meeting the criteria for failure. However, Iraq, an artificial creation of Western colonial powers, was driven into failure and civil war by American aggression. Iran, a nation with a 5,000 year history, is certainly not a failed state. The main failed states in the Middle East are those that are US puppets. They represent American hegemony, not the interests of their people.

What the US and Israel are attempting to do is to turn the entire Muslim Middle East into failed states, that is, into puppet regimes. By extending their hegemony in the Middle East, the US and Israel hope to prolong their own failed existence.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...