Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I have been unhappy about our role in Afghanistan for several years. This goes back to at least 2009. Then there was this.

Watching the last two weeks or so in the White House, gives me the sense that the decision is going to be the wrong one. There are three possible choices that Obama has; one is to take his hand-picked general’s advice and send 40,000 more troops. It will stress our military and the logistical challenges are serious. Afghanistan is land-locked and the neighbors are not friendly. Russia will try to create problems, as they already have in Kyrgyzstan. They do not want us to succeed yet they may fear total failure. In the meantime, they are making serious trouble.

And then, this development.

it’s an open secret the Taliban are headquartered across the border in the city of Quetta, Pakistan, where they operate openly under the aegis of Pakistani intelligence — and the financial sponsorship of the Saudis.

Sending more troops to Afghanistan is a necessary, albeit unfortunate, rear-guard action against marauding Taliban fighters armed, trained, supplied and deployed from Quetta — and funded from Riyadh.

NATO and U.S. military command know this. They’ve complained about it over and over in military action reports. So have Treasury officials regarding Saudi funding of the Taliban.

“Saudi Arabia today remains the location where more money is going to terrorism — to Sunni terror groups and the Taliban — than any other place in the world,” testified Stuart Levey, Treasury undersecretary.

This is Viet Nam all over again. The enemy has a sanctuary and our allies are siding secretly with our enemies.

Well, today, there is another bit of information

Here is an informed explanation by a retired Foreign Service officer.

He was stationed there and knows the country.

Throughout the “war on terror” the Pakistanis have played at best an ambivalent game, and usually a duplicitous one. Pakistan’s government is a badly splintered one; when I served there, one was never sure with whom one was speaking and making a deal–and it has gotten worse. So, yes, Pakistan is an “enemy” to the extent that their heart is not in the WOT, but it is an enemy with grave divisions and factions that want certain other factions killed or otherwise neutralized. The Pakistani military, for example, as a rule, still relatively jihadi free, does not, despite public statements to the contrary, really object to our drone attacks on militants in the tribal areas. There are wheels within wheels within Matryoska dolls within Matryoska dolls. So, again, for example, one can never be sure what side the powerful ISI (Pakistan’s intel service) is on any given day.

By invading Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, we did the right thing. Taking out the Taliban and the AQ had a powerful impact upon jihadis around the world. They never expected that the US would dare launch an invasion of Afghanistan, that it would be mounted so quickly, and carried out so efficiently. It was a stunner.

The usually reliable Spengler (David Goldman) has some thoughts on where we are going.

To speak of an “exceptional culture” would be a pleonasm; national cultures are unique by construction. Nonetheless some cultures may be radically exceptional. Unlike all the other nations of the world, America’s Exceptionalism rests on a political culture informed by the biblical idea of covenant – not on common language, race, borders, or history. That is why the US emerged as the survivor out of the 20th century while the ethnocentric cultures of Europe plunged into mutual destruction.

Can we pull out of the decline we seem to be experiencing ? We must establish some priorities. First we must fix our economy.

Transfer payments as a percentage of national income.

Doing something about this would be a start.

I am reading Any Chua’s new book, The Triple Package, about why some children excel, especially the children of immigrants. They emphasize culture. We are in a downward spiral and the Islamic threat is not the only one. For one example, they point out that an outstanding immigrant group is Nigerians. Many years ago, when I was a resident on surgery, we had a medical student name Manny Mba. He was a member of the Ibo tribe of Nigeria and the Biafra civil war occurred around that time. Her book stirs some memories. But first we have to get out of Afghanistan.

44 thoughts on “Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

  1. It’s at least a two front war:

    * Capitalism v Marxism/Socialism.

    * The American Melting Pot v Multiculturalism (AKA Divide and Conquer).

    I support both of the former. We’re losing on both fronts. The government schools have become indoctrination centers for the Left and the media is decidedly Leftist. It’s gonna be a long tough fight.

  2. After we leave Afghanistan, we should do the world a favor and blow up all the expensive and deadly toys that we gave the Pakistani military.

  3. We are in a downward spiral and the Islamic threat is not the only one.

    Indeed, if we weren’t already in our own downward spiral, the Islamic threat could be dealt with w/o breaking into a sweat. (Personally I recommend Charles James Napier’s attitude.)

  4. “I have been unhappy about our role in Afghanistan for several years.” I’ve been unhappy with it ever since it morphed from a punitive expedition into a War of Occupation. It was probably naive to think that it would ever be restricted to a punitive expedition. Ah well.

  5. This report came out recently about the young diplomat who was killed in Afghanistan last year

    — The State Department shared too much information with Afghan officials, and the group may have been targeted because specifics on the event’s exact time and who would attend “had leaked out.”

    It’s one thing when our supposed “allies” are ambivalent and duplicitous, but, when our own people are so stupid and incompetent to go along with them, it’s a terrible catastrophe.

  6. “It’s one thing when our supposed “allies” are ambivalent and duplicitous, but, when our own people are so stupid and incompetent to go along with them, it’s a terrible catastrophe.”

    The movie “Oh Dark Thirty, ” which was ignored by the Academy Awards, made a nice point about the CIA meeting where a number of officers were blown up by a double agent.

    “I’ve been unhappy with it ever since it morphed from a punitive expedition into a War of Occupation.”

    I agree. The book, “Jawbreaker” by Gary Berntsen the CIA field commander, talks about the changes when the “Big Army” arrived and took over from the CIA and Special Forces who were winning. The Pashtun, who replaced the Northern Alliance, were the Taliban and were not our allies.

  7. Pakistan isn’t playing straight with us? Really? I’m shocked shocked I tell you.

    It’s hilarious in a terrible sort of way that after radical islamists attacked us on 9/11 the US government took no real notice and essentially went on with business as usual.

    Instead of turning Afghanistan into a collection of glass-bottomed craters or even killing the supporters of the taliban until they gave up the government just kept on squandering American wealth in a giant foreign aid project falsely marketed to the American people as a war. Before 9/11 we were Afghanistan’s largest supplier of foreign aid. We were after 9/11, too.

    It never was a punitive expedition.

    I note that when the United States was attacked on Dec 7, 1941 we used every weapon we had against Japan and invented new ones. We destroyed cities, killed civilians of all descriptions, and ended Imperial Japan.

    In Afghanistan- and Iraq- we did none of that. I used to see comments from various people with personal knowledge of the rules of engagement for US troops, and they were shocking. I recall one story that claimed a helicopter downed by enemy action- killing 30+ special forces operators- crashed because the enemy had a second shot, after the troops on board were not allowed to shoot after the first failed attempt to kill them.

    I find this sort of story vile and loathsome, and if the US had a functioning government as on Dec 7, 1941 it never would happen.

    But we don’t. No wonder we are losing.

  8. “I used to see comments from various people with personal knowledge of the rules of engagement for US troops, and they were shocking.”

    Read Dakota Meyer’s book, Into the Fire about Afghanistan. He was disciplined for shooting back at Taliban that were firing mortars into the American compound. His offense ? The Taliban were not “wearing uniforms.”

  9. Read Dakota Meyer’s book, Into the Fire about Afghanistan. He was disciplined for shooting back at Taliban that were firing mortars into the American compound. His offense ? The Taliban were not “wearing uniforms.”

    It sounds like the people making decisions for the United States have the Geneva conventions exactly backwards.

    I’m shocked shocked I tell you.

    Again, if the US had a functioning government this never would have happened.

    But it’s worse, because if the US even had a functioning opposition to bring it this to public attention and condemn the government for its vile incompetence I don’t think these ROAs would have survived very long. Or a functioning media with the goal of telling the public about events in the world, instead of covering for the left.

    Instead, all the outrage from the left was about the bad things American troops were doing to the friends of the people who attacked us, never about what they had done to us or the endless violations of the Geneva conventions committed by them. And George Bush was utterly unable to deal with this, and Mitt Romney never mentioned it at all as far as I know. Barry, of course, remains utterly oblivious.

    I dislike being a conspiracy nut, but I don’t see how all this can be matched up with an American political class that puts the interests of the actual United States anywhere near the top of priorities.

    They came after us, killed thousands, almost killed hundreds of thousands- and the political class wasn’t even that upset about it.

    So, back to the business of doing nice things for foreigners, because that’s what the political class really cares about doing.

    Anyway, about Dakota Meyer- I won’t read the book because I’m too afraid I’d end up punching a wall or throwing the book through it out of anger.

    The people who imposed those rules of engagement deserve to hang.

  10. Pakistan is considered a strategic asset by many in DC. Plus they are a Commonwealth country and our super ally the UK consider the country vital. Saudis front for them too. Our political clas did nothing and will do nothing. It is bipartisan so it slips thru our dumb right/left political conversation. The Atlanticist, the “get russia” !nd the “get iran” crowds plus our arms sellers do not care. Most Americans never pay attention to this shellgame. Everyone knew.

  11. You all go on pretending to believe 9/11 was anything but a gov-sponsored event to achieve exactly the political responses we have seen : a big increase in the power and budget of the ‘deep state’, all the bad guys on our side.

    No rational individual who looks at 9/11 and understands physics can believe the story our gov has spun. The 1993 WTC bombing was an FBI bombing, look at the NYTimes Oct 28 1993, article by Ralph Blumenthal. Front page documenting how closely the FBI monitored their ‘informer’, actually agent provacateur. They knew everything, the bomb went off producing the intended new laws and budget for the FBI, and everyone has forgotten that small fact. The FBI continues to do this, it is the source of nearly all of the ‘terrorist event’s in the US.

    The OKC bombing was not as well documented because the German military intelligence major who was the agent provacateur wasn’t as sophisticated as Emad Salem. But nobody believes that story who ready any of the ‘alternative media’, e.g. J.D. Cash of the McCurtain County Gazette. The FBI had 6 informants in the White Aryan Resistance, the ATF at least one, who testified under oath that she had informed her controller of the fact that McVeigh and Strassmeier were scouting federal buildings with the intention of building the bomb. The FBI’s informants included the head of the group. The bomb went off, lots of people died, and the FBI, CIA, … got yet more power and budget. Afterward, lots of people said ‘that bomb didn’t do that damage’, including the head of the AF’s ordinance development. The building was torn down quickly, no forensic analysis was done, the debris was put in a private landfill, covered with a clay cap, surrounded by a big fence, with a permanent security guard. But nobody had anything to hide, of course.

    Building 7 collapsed in what was clearly a controlled demolition. With all of these as a context, how can you believe anything in the gov’s story of 9/11?

    Our gov has gone completely rogue. Time to end that.

  12. Uh, Lew — when the nurse brings your next batch of meds around, please don’t eat the cup. The plastic has some chemicals that mess with your mind.

  13. Does Jimmy Carter understand the mess he started? A strong and functioning Iran – (on its way to freedom and democracy) – could have brought stability to the entire area. Don’t worry about the Soviet or moderate religious protesters as they are now all dead. Thanks for the gift Jimmy. We are a better people for it.(sarc)

  14. Sorry Lew.

    I remember the collapse of building 7 on the day it happened, as announced live.

    The NYFD had stayed away, viewers were told, because the building had been heavily damaged by the collapse of those other two buildings, plus it had a large fire burning because of the diesel tank inside. I’m sure my memory has faded but the bottom line is that no one was surprised when building 7 collapsed on the day it happened. I’ve always wondered why anyone would bother with building 7 after demolishing the much more famous larger buildings- but I digress.

    About the OKC bombing- well, remember Clinton wanted to pin it on those evil white rethuglicans. I remember the extra leg that was never accounted for, and I recall a book that claimed that there was a local muslim immigrant who may have been the third man involved who supposedly didn’t exist.

    The thing is, I have a suspicion that those sort of stories would be cleared up if the government wanted them cleared up.

    But that won’t happen, I suspect, because it might threaten the the evil white rethuglican narrative.

    Which is bad in and of itself. So a fellow conspiracy nut I suggest you turn your attention there- how the US government has continually covered up for the left and illegally targeted Tea Party groups, with the warm indifference of the people supposedly tasked with stopping such abuses.

    I also you ponder why we always hear so much about comparative advantage whenever another so-called free-trade agreement is vomited forth by the political class, but never hear about Triffin’s Dilemma. Or perhaps you could investigate the NAFTA board that supposedly make so many decisions that Constitutionally should be made by the US government, or perhaps the Obama trade deal with a wonderful sounding name that I forget that would made it illegal to show “made in USA” on any product.

    Bluntly, the globalist traitors ruling the United States are selling us down the river, and you’re wasting your time with the idiotic 9/11 conspiracy nonsense.

  15. The 1993 WTC bombing was entirely an FBI false-flag operation : October 28, 1993. Front page of the NYTimes. Article by Ralph Blumenthal :

    So Emad Salem was a very well-trained conspirator == agent provacateur who recorded his conversations with his FBI handlers, Kunstler found about those, got them into the trial record. Now sealed, I think, as there are no books on the subject. The FBI knew everything, bomb went off, laws passed giving it more power and budget.

    There were a few more investigative reports, NYTimes, Boston Globe, Denver Post, then the whole thing disappeared from our memory.

    OKC : same story, but the agent provacateur was merely a German, didn’t provide as much documentation. OTOH, he got back to Germany, has never been been interviewed by any law enforcement agency. FBI had 5 or 6 informants in the White Aryan ??nation??, including the head of the group. ATF had at least one, Carol Howe, who testified under oath that she had told her handlers that Andy Strassmeier and McVeigh were scouting federal buildings in order to decide which one to bomb.

    Lots of evidence that the whole fed gov new the bomb was going to go off, it did go off. Laws passed, etc. Building hurriedly torn down with no forensics done, buried in a private landfill, clay cap, big fence, security guard. Nothing to hide, of course, although a lot of professionals said ‘that bomb didn’t do that damage’, and there were indeed people working on something in the basement parking lot ?memory there? that AM. The usual investigation that somehow manages to avoid all that, 3 or 4 lawsuits of relatives of victims in state court that were ignored, no media attention of JD Cash’s great investigations reported in the McCurtain County Gazette (he found that the head of the White Aryan group was an FBI informant), …

    Then 9/11. Not nearly as much evidence beyond the impossibility of Building 7 and the 9/11 commission that obviously didn’t want to investigate anything, rubble hurriedly shipped off to the orient, no forensic testing, etc. But clearly a false flag operation unless the laws of the universe were changed in NYC that day.

    And for all of them, despite all of the evidence, if you question it you are a ‘conspiracy theorist’, a complete nut-case, unworthy of attention.

    9/11 is best see as how much control our gov has of the media, how confident they can be in generating consent, how completely dirty our gov is.

  16. There are, all over the internet, pictures of buildings that have collapsed.

    When you find one that has fallen in on itself, all debris within the perimeter of the building, you will find that it was a controlled demolition. All other buildings collapse by slumping to one side, partial pancakes of a few floors, etc.

    For Building 7 to have collapsed as it did, 83 columns would have to be severed at ground level within milliseconds of each other.

    No steel-framed high rise has ever collapsed from a fire, and fires from fuel oil and office furnishings do not get hot enough to soften steel. The fire in Bldg 7 was on the 5th and 6th floor, progressed through those floors over the space of hours.

    People, there is real evidence here. If you are not dealing with that evidence, not evaluating it instead of the MSM commentary about it, how do you expect to understand anything?

    How can you represent your own interests if you don’t go and study and remember? Sheep.

  17. Lew, you are polluting the site.

    “I recall a book that claimed that there was a local muslim immigrant who may have been the third man involved who supposedly didn’t exist.”

    I have to admit I have always wondered about the third man. The 9/11 event was clearly a Muslim plot but McVeigh went to his grave keeping a secret, I suspect. We can talk about the Kennedy assassination and Oswald. Here I recommend Edward Epstein’s two ebooks as very interesting but the 9/11 conspiracy theories don’t stand up to even modest scrutiny. Read Heart of a Soldier about two guys who predicted the second WTC bombing.

  18. A search for ‘JD McCurtain County Gazette’, or ‘Emad Salem’ or ‘9/11 explosions’ or the serious videos made by ‘Scientists for 9/11 Truth’ will provide a ton of real evidence, analysis by real experts, available for anyone to understand and evaluate.

    Instead of responding to any of that, posts like those above get guys telling us to be sure to take our meds, or ‘I remember a few things that allow me to avoid dealing with actual evidence’.


    Or search for ‘boiling frog 9-11’. Interesting facts and perspectives from intelligence professionals.

    There are many critiques by serious people of the 9-11’s non-investigation, including a lot from the families :

    ‘Polluting the site’? With facts and logic? Serious people’s very serious questions based on real evidence that has not been even dealt with, much less having the implications refuted? About the most important question in our national life ‘do our intelligence services control our government and media’?

    The 1993 WTC bombing was an FBI operation. No question about that, front page of our newspaper of record, the NYTimes. Follow the evidence from there, always asking ‘who benefits?’.

    ‘Conspiracy theorist’, ‘please take your meds’ and “I can’t imagine that, so it can’t have happened” are not refutations, btw.

  20. A couple reasons why you’re not getting serious engagement:

    1. the cause of the 9-11 attacks is considered a settled matter. It was an attack by Arab terrorists under the command of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. They crashed hijacked airplanes into the towers which caused them to fall. We know this because it was the most documented and studied disaster in history.
    Considering otherwise is a waste of time.

    2. Engaging in a debate elevates otherwise outrageous and incorrect and malformed “theories” to a level that provides them legitimacy and consideration they don’t deserve. Anyone who advocates these theories and spends any effort researching such nonsense is best served finding other pursuits. Any name calling is done in your best interests.

  21. What Grurray said.

    If you make silly arguments like “fires from fuel oil and office furnishings do not get hot enough to soften steel”, or you suggest vast conspiracies of govt employees whose motives are obscure and for which there is no direct evidence even years later, people aren’t readily going to accept whatever other assertions you put forth as “facts”. Conspiracy arguments are like intricate structures made of stacked toothpicks that will collapse if slightly disturbed. They require belief in the validity not merely of improbable events but of chains of improbable events. Most reasonable people realize that the world doesn’t work that way. And of course there are simple and obvious explanations for the 9/11 attacks that have stood the test of time and contradict your elaborate fantasies.

  22. Fires from fuel oil and office furnishings do not get hot enough to soften steel. A fact, undisputed by people who know about fires and steel, which obviously you don’t.

    Also, Youtube has videos from news stations as Building 7 begins its collapse. Firefighters, etc. all reacting to the explosions, clearly heard on the videos. Undisputed fact.

    And many firefighters and police in the twin towers commenting on the many explosions that happened there in the minutes before the collapse. Someone compiled all that testimony, shouldn’t be hard to find. Undisputed fact.

    So the conspiracy theory is all you people trying so hard to ignore all the undisputed facts.

    But you guys have to stop arguing, as your arguments will allow me to dredge yet more such undisputed facts and links to such from my memory and a bit of research. You don’t want that, I think, because neither of us is arguing to convince the other, rather for the lurkers here who are more willing to deal with reality than you are. So you will now write me off as a complete crazy, find a good reason to stop discussing any of it with me, etc.

    As you say, engaging in a debate elevates otherwise outrageous, etc. I am willing to continue that debate as long as you wish, why are you not so willing? Which of us has undisputed facts at their disposal in this argument?

    Deal with the facts, not with MSM’s interpretation of the facts. Begin from the 1993 WTC bombing, and the FACT that it was an FBI operation, a false flag that produced great benefit for the FBI. Undisputed fact.

    And we can continue through Sibel Edmond’s book on her experience as a translator for the FBI, how corrupt the FBI is, how her translations relate to 9-11 and how the 9-11 commission didn’t want to hear from many witnesses, ignored their offers to testify. And how members of the 9-11 commission now say it was a very flawed investigation, and that the FBI and CIA and NSA lied to them about many things, … And the families of 9-11 victims have claimed it was a coverup from early days, based on their own experiences and research.

    Want to continue? I do, being a crazy conspiracy theorist willing to elevate the dispute to public consciousness. Just like all the scientists and engineers who provide undisputed facts about the physics, chemistry of the 9-11 events, and completely shred our gov’s theories and models of what happened and how.

    Oh, yes, nearly forgot. Those videos have interviews with pilots who have 10s of 1000s of hours in the planes used in the attack and training in fighter jets. All say ‘I could not have done those maneuvers, no way poorly trained pilots could have done that’. Undisputed fact.

    And meanwhile you guys don’t have any undisputed facts on your side, do you? One can see why you are so anxious to label us as ‘conspiracy theorists’, as otherwise you have no way to deal with any of this.

  23. You can bend steel in a wood fire. All you need is a source of forced air. That’s what blacksmiths used to do. So your assertion is invalid. The rest of your “undisputed” assertions are appeals to authority or are indeed disputed. (Someone found a professional pilot who thinks no nonprofessional could have maneuvered those planes into the bldgs. Really? What about all the other pilots who disagree?) You make categorical claims that collapse under mild scrutiny, and it’s our responsibility to disprove your claims one by one? I don’t think so. Make better arguments if you want them to be taken seriously.

  24. ” Undisputed fact.”

    You are chasing phantoms when there is a lot known about that day. For example, no one has explained the four Arab looking men who disappeared after a Detroit flight was grounded in the early aftermath of 9/11. They were in first class and disappeared. Was that another hijack team that never got into the air ? We don’t know.

    I know a United pilot who learned that holes had been drilled from the toilet through the bulkhead into the cockpit on some planes. Why ?

    There are lots of interesting questions but you choose to obsess on things that are already disproven. You are a kook.

  25. No, you can’t bend steel in a wood fire. It takes charcoal and forced air. Plastics and wood burn at much lower temperatures.

    It is undisputed that fuel oil doesn’t get hot enough to bend steel, there is an NIST test done of that, 24 hours of fuel oil fire on the beams like WTC was built with, under load. It did not bend. That used to be on Youtube, maybe still is.

    It is an undisputed fact that no steel-framed high-rise has ever fallen from fire. Including fires that consumed nearly everything, many stories simultaneously.

    You guys are very reluctant to actually engage here. You pick some minor point, assert the contrary, and move on. I can back up everything I have claimed. I am quite sure you cannot, as this whole debate has gone on for a long time now, and serious people have engaged on both sides. Or rather, tried to engage, in the case of MSM and the world’s authorities.

    So I want to see links to those other pilot’s testimony you claim exist, especially in the case of the plane that hit the Pentagon. I want to see the claims I have made that collapse under mild scrutiny. All your attempts at refutation are mere assertions or arguments from authority or claims that my conclusions, based on real evidence, are evidence of insanity.

    Meanwhile, for the rest of you, go find the BBC interview with the Danish physicist-construction expert on Youtube. Look at their ‘documentary’ on this debate vs how hard they had to push a scientist, untrained in dealing with the media, to get even a sliver of doubt they could blow up into ‘it is all conspiracy theory’. You don’t need much more evidence than that to tell which side is trying to deal with reality in this matter.

    But there are several Youtube videos done by the Scientists for 9-11 Truth, Engineers, etc. that deal with every supposed myth and doubt. They do all this much better than I have. Anyone who thinks this issue is settled, a waste of time, has great confidence that our gov would never do a false flag op, or an NSA that would lie to Congress and the American people about spying on us, intercepting all our emails and phone calls, … go look at the actual evidence.

    As for ‘everyone believes’ arguments : Judith Miller, NYTimes. Quite an interesting case, showing that the gov and our ‘newspaper of record’ indeed conspire against us mere citizens.

    News media in this country are still publishing stories based entirely on anonymous sources. That is a large part of ‘everyone belives’, simple propaganda.

    Engage with all this. Evidence, undisputed facts, links to such. Your case is non-existent in all of the above. And whenever the facts escape, the gov is proven to have lied, MSM is proven to have assisted. You may know of a guy named Snowdon?

  26. MikeK : I am so refuted. How will my poor, crazy psyche ever cope?

    I repeat : You guys are very reluctant to actually engage here. Facts, I require undisputed facts to base my reasoned conclusions upon, as does any sane person in a world of ‘everyone believes’, ‘it is beyond dispute’, emperors with no clothes.

  27. No, you can’t bend steel in a wood fire. It takes charcoal and forced air. Plastics and wood burn at much lower temperatures.

    This took a few seconds to find on youtube:

    I brought up the issue of wood fires and steel because your assertion on that topic seemed to be wrong, tangential to the main issues, and easy to check. It’s not a minor point as it is a good example of how you argue. You are asserting that A is incompatible with B, and that since A happened B could not have happened. The buildings could not have fallen in such a fire on their own; some expert pilots said that non-experts could not have maneuvered the planes into the buildings, therefore some other process must have brought down the buildings. And so forth. This, the classic conspiracy style of argument, is inherently weak and that is why most reasonable people ignore it.

    People in the govt lie, we know that. The NSA story, Snowden, Wikileaks revelations make sense because they fit our understanding of self-interest-driven politics and of human nature. 9/11 as a false-flag op does not, and there is no direct evidence for it. That’s why we don’t want to engage with you about it.

  28. “How will my poor, crazy psyche ever cope?”

    Good question. There are sites that love to flail around in these conspiracy theories. How did we deserve your attention ? This tries to be a serious discussion site. You don’t fit.

    I know from medical quackery sites and enthusiasts that nobody every argued these people out of the delusions that occupy their waking moments. You are not going to get anyone to “engage” with you here because you bring no serious matters to our attention.

    Even PenGun is more interesting.

  29. Jonathan :

    Excellent, very good evidence indeed. So if you have firebricks arranged just right with enough forced air, you can indeed reach temperatures to soften mild steel using wood. The first evidence anyone has brought into this conversation.

    The problem is consilience — explanations have to fit with the total system, all of the physics and dynamics and chemistry.

    Your wood-softens-metal example is not consistent with the NIST study that showed that jet fuel (not kerosene as I stated, jet fuel burns hotter) did not soften a loaded beam of the type used in the Trade Centers in 24 hours of trying, but it is indeed actual evidence. I like actual evidence.

    Not a minor item at all, as it is the basis of why Building 7 fell down. NIST claims it was due to softening of beams, and one particular beam caused the entire collapse. Other evidence I have read said that the beam was tied into the structure, when NIST’s claim rests on the opposite, but I don’t have a link for that. And the fact that no high-rise steel-framed building has EVER fallen from a fire? There are youtube videos of 20 stories burning of buildings that were not constructed to nearly the standards of the WTCs.

    And, how does a fire of office furnishings on the 5th and 6th floors cause a controlled-demolition-equivalent collapse of the building? That requires 83 columns to be severed at ground level within milliseconds of each other. Your evidence is not an explanation for that small fact.

    As for Popular Mechanics, I think my experts, some of whom I have talked to myself, are way better than yours:

    This is pretty good, just watched a bit of it again.

    And this shows you the Madrid fire, a high rise that didn’t collapse after 20 hours of fire:

    And, as I said, real physicists, construction engineers, experts with no conflicts of interest are pretty uniform in their judgments : youtube, search for ‘9/11 documentary’.

    Pilots for 9/11 Truth have interesting info:

    There is a new documentary that goes after all of the explanations, including the Popular Mechanics analysis. Note that much more prominent, specialist, publications take the opposite side. Note that there have not been significant changes in building design standards as a result of 9/11.

    Sorry guys, you are real wrong about all that.

    There are indeed nutty people taking the same side, sorting them out isn’t easy.

    And, how do you account for the fact that so many of the 9-11 terrorists are still alive and well?

    So the 1993 False Flag op of the FBI is not direct evidence? Nor OKC? Nor the ACLU report of last year showing that 19/21 ‘terrorist events’ were all FBI operations via recruits, most mentally challenged? How about all the evidence, some on news tape available from Youtube this very moment, of the explosions that accompanied Building 7’s fall?

    MikeK :

    I don’t recall mentioning any medical quackery, will be happy to discuss the FDA and CDC with you if you would like. We could begin with Vioxx. You know, the drug that killed half a million older men, whose deaths were somehow missed by the CDC, that great monitoring organization that notices every 20 extra flu deaths in Duluth and issues a press release about it? The CDC that didn’t notice a step-function 2% increase in US death rates, the largest increase in generations, and didn’t mention the 2% fall when Vioxx was taken off the market? Vioxx, the drug that the FDA finally removed from the market just before their own researchers published those facts in the New England Journal of Medicine? The journal that takes a year to get a paper published, during which 50K older men died. That kind of quackery?

    Have to do work. Go look at real evidence and stop believing what our Status Quo tells you to believe. Thanks for the firebricks + woodchips, that may be useful for me.

  30. “I think my experts, some of whom I have talked to myself, are way better than yours:”

    No doubt. Every well organized paranoid is able to explain his delusion at great length and detail. We once had a patient who was so well organized that the family had to put a letter in the chart explaining the real facts. My medical students were amazed at the story and how real it sounded. Then they read the letter.

    “The journal that takes a year to get a paper published, during which 50K older men died. That kind of quackery?”

    Another quackery fan. I knew it.

  31. MikeK : love the way you deal with evidence. The force of your arguments is just awesome.

  32. MikeK :

    Didn’t realize the implications of your ‘organized paranoid’ in that last reply, given your profession of Psychiatrist.

    Does your profession’s code of ethics allow diagnoses via internet discussion threads? Even if so, is that not a violation of MIPSA? Serious penalties for doing that intentionally, I believe.

    So given that you would know to avoid such penalties, your ‘organized paranoia’ was not a professional diagnosis? Rather, an attempt to borrow your own prestige in an attempt to bolster your arguments in a context where the knowledge your profession provides is of little use?

    Haven’t discussed anything with a psychiatrist since I taught medical school some time ago : we had those in our MD-PhD program in Neuroscience. So let me take this chance to ask some questions about how Psychiatry has progressed :

    0) Has Psychiatry learned to tell normal patients from those with organic illnesses? The last paper I read were Rosenhan’s “On Being Sane in Insane Places” and some followups.

    1) Why the many changes in the DSM with every edition? It is hard to keep up as a layman, must be so even for a professional. One year we are up to our ears in Autism Spectrum Disorders with high functioning Asperger’s syndrome making up a big part of it, next year Asperger isn’t even part of the lexicon. Was this over-diagnosis by psychiatry? How to explain the big increase in ADHD types? Doesn’t this make it hard on insurance companies? Do they pay by the diagnosis like for other MDs? No wonder insurance companies never wanted to cover psychiatry, I believe I remember that it took a lot of lobbying to make that mandatory.

    2) Have there been any studies showing that ‘talking cures’ of whatever fadish flavor are any better than a placebo such as having a patient talk into a tape recorder with the promise that the tapes will be reviewed by a famous psychiatrist? There were none, last I looked. How about correlations between psychiatrists diagnosing the same patient? Those weren’t so good either.

    3) How has the replication of older studies gone in the field of Psychiatry? Physiology and medicine are finding that as many as 30% of their textbook examples of research cannot be replicated, as predicted by Ioannidis’s models. Some of that, of course, is that the method’s sections are not complete enough and so some of those studies will turn out to be true, but it is quite up in the air which ones are which. Psychiatry could easily have those problems, given the differences between therapists, even if of the same school/ideology/belief system. Of course, the problem for science in general is due to .05 statistical significance and the 19 papers that couldn’t find an effect and therefore were not published. Psychiatry avoids that one, when I knew the business everything got published somewhere. The various fads were always looking for support.

    I look forward to enlightenment.

    I may think of other questions, please prompt me as above.

  33. Yep, I really feel the need to engage in lengthy discussions with someone calling themselves Anonymous, who goes off on tangents, makes snide references on the qualifications/experience of other commenters, and abruptly changes the subject when pressed.


  34. Jonathan :

    Free medical advice from you also. Are you a psychiatrist?

    Tangent? Digression? I didn’t self-diagnose as an ‘organized paranoid’. MikeK diagnosed me in the same email as he identified himself as a Psychiatrist, so I took the opportunity to ask some questions I always wondered about. I thought of a few more having to do with the epistemologial basis of Psychiatry, am sorry to see you all desert the thread.

    No apology to me I guess?

    But I can call myself something besides ‘anonymous’ if you would like. ‘MikeT’, ‘Sgt. Mom’ and ‘Jonathan’ do make me feel I know you all. Would ‘Fred’ make me worth your attention?

    I understand so little, you all are probably right, I don’t fit in to your intensely intellectual debates, this erudite thread.

  35. Sgt. Mom :

    Just noticed the ‘when pressed’. Yeah, I really felt pressed, am impressed you noticed.

  36. Structural steel loses half it’s strength at 648C. Jet fuel burns at 825C. Add in the fact that a lot of load bearing members were wiped out in the initial crash by the fully fueled airliner, an hour or so of the fires would cause failure. No building is designed with a 50% margin. It would be way too expensive to build if it were.

    Your experts are not engineers. They may claim to be, but making statements like that proves thir ignorance.

  37. MikeK, so glad to see you are still trying to have the last word, pitiful though your attempts are.

    No answers to my questions? Want some more?

    Joe Wooten:

    Forget the fully-fueled airliner. I can make a better story than yours : the aluminum of the plane burned. That is way hotter than jet fuel. But NIST didn’t make that argument, and didn’t make the argument because it weakens their story about Building 7, the building you all want to distract attention from.

    Building 7. Normal fire of fuel oil and office furnishings on the 5th and 6th floors, I believe. Which supposedly caused the building to fall in a manner identical to a controlled demolition, complete with explosions. Building 7 had 83 structural steel columns. The videos have interviews with specialists in building demolitions, who show that all of those columns would have to be cut within milliseconds of each other, and at ground level, for the building to fall like that. And there are pictures of some of the columns as they were being removed showing the diagonal cuts which building demolition experts say is how they take down buildings, with no alternative explanations about how those could have happened if events were as claimed by NIST.

    And again, NIST’s test showed no deformation of loaded beams, which had no covering protecting them from fire as the buildings did, despite 24 hours of exposure to burning jet fuel.

    And you are wrong about the design of the buildings : they were, according to the architects to did that design, far over-designed, could not have fallen in that way. If you are a structural engineer who disagrees with that, please tell us why, in detail. We can understand math, physics, strength of materials, etc.

    Otherwise, I have to accept the verdict of serious physicists, structural engineers : couldn’t have happened that way unless the laws of the universe were suspended.

    You all make assertions and think they are arguments : the serious documentary videos discuss the various claims of NIST and others point by point, and refute them completely to the satisfaction of people who understand physics, structural engineering, strength of materials, aerodynamics, etc.

    I have had these arguments recently on several different threads, notice that only people who know very little argue with me. One could conclude that more and more people doubt the gov’s story, smartest first. I think there are polls supporting that.

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