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Friday, June 11, 2010

What More Motivation Do You Need?

Those of us who take preparedness seriously often just shake our heads at the reasoning people give for not getting prepared.  Most of the time, the excuse is along the lines of, "Well, the government will take care of things."

Uhm, not so much.  Some agencies are apparently more concerned with matters other than terrorism.  As you'll see below, some of them seem more focused on publicizing job openings than offering information on what people can do in the case of a terrorist attack.

Prepare shake your head so violently that you hurt your neck!

A recently release report from the Justice Department Inspector General says they aren't ready for diddly-squat.  Not even close -
I speak of the report from the Inspector General of the Justice Department, issued in late May, saying the department is not prepared to ensure public safety in the days or weeks after a terrorist attack in which nuclear, biological or chemical weapons are used. The Department of Homeland Security is designated as first federal responder, in a way, in the event of a WMD attack, but every agency in government has a formal, assigned role, and the crucial job of Justice is to manage and coordinate law enforcement and step in if state and local authorities are overwhelmed.
So, no law-and-order if things get a bit dicey.  Nice.
The paper also quoted Randall Larsen, the former executive director of the commission that gave the government low marks in January: "They just don't see the WMD scenario as most likely," he said.

They don't? They must be idiots. They must not be reading all the government reports of the past eight years, declaring terrorist attacks on U.S. soil not only likely but virtually certain. There are many reasons for this, and just one has to do with something Ronald Reagan mused about in his office 25 years ago. "Man has never had a weapon he didn't use," he said, to a handful of aides. If you develop the atom bomb, it will be used, as it was. If man, in his darkness, can develop and deploy nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, they will be used, too.
Al Qaeda, Hamas and any of the thousands of groups that want us dead, are smart enough to know that they can't attack us mano-a-mano.  We'd crush them if we fought a traditional war.

They employ the tactics of Asymmetrical Warfare.  They understand that they have to fight "dirty".  They find someone willing to strap on a chest full of dynamite - knowing full well he will lose his life - towards the goal of killing a couple dozen enemy soldiers.  A one-for-ten or one-for-thirty ratio is pretty damned good.

WMDs are considerably more difficult to build and deploy, but these terrorists have had nearly 9 years to work out the bugs.  We know that the first step - getting into our country undetected - is a piece of cake.  They've had plenty of time to work out the details of how to strike again.

Like 9/11 - a WMD attack that cost 20-odd terrorist lives in exchange for 3000+ US lives - a number of coordinated, targeted attacks on key infrastructure could be devastating.  Water delivery, communications, food distribution - pick a target.

I used to wonder about why they wouldn't use airplanes again.  I used to be an Oakland Raiders season ticket holder (I dropped the idiots this year.... who's been the idiot?!).  The Oakland Coliseum is within a stone's-throw of Oakland International Airport.  We'd have planes buzzing over the stadium all the time, pulling advertising banners behind them.

Imagine the panic and terror that would be caused by someone who hired a private pilot for the day, cut the pilot's throat or shot him in the head, and "aimed" the plane into a stadium full of fans?

The cost?  One dead terrorist, one dead pilot, one crashed rented plane and hundreds if not thousands of dead fans.

But the terror impact would be the big bonus.  Seeing planes acting like lawn darts as the slammed into the stadiums would be horrific.  Airports across the country would be shut down.  Football would likely cancel the season, or at least a part of it.

If the wing-nut in North Korea or Iran decides to get ugly, a nuke could be sent our way.  What then?
No one wants to think about it. I don't want to think about it. But you have to make plans. You have to imagine, you have to think about the worst case, and then you have to plan for it—literally. We've had enough time, nine years since our unforgettable reminder that history is, among other things, and some of them quite wonderful, a charnel house.


You can see a certain air of complacency even in government websites. On the front page of the House Committee on Homeland Security site there's a picture of Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, then, below, an area devoted to something called "Business Opportunities Model" and an area for "DHS Business Opportunities." On the Homeland Security Department's website, the priorities seem equally clear: "Find Career Opportunities," "Use the Job Finder." There's little sense of urgency; it's government as employment agency, not crisis leader.

Honestly, I don't know what the Justice Department could really do.  If some SHTF event occurs, we're all going to be on our own - at least for a good period of time.

I noted in one of my last posts that when the Rodney King verdict was announced in LA, there was rioting for 6 days.  What I didn't mention was that it took 3 days for the California National Guard to get on site.  Three days to secure one area of America's second largest city.  And this was while no other disaster was in play.  What kind of response could be expected if it were some sort of wide-spread attack?

If something big and bad happens, and you're out in the boondocks, I hate to break it to you, but they ain't comin'.  You're on your own.

Accept The Challenge

Before you proceed, go read this post ("Twelve Disaster Impacts") to help you get a handle on what you need to plan for.

A post like today's should open your eyes about what personal security issues you need to address.  If something major were to hit us, YOU, and you alone will be responsible for your safety.  The cavalry will not be riding in to save your bacon, so to speak.

There are so many events that could occur that would put you in this position.  A devastating hurricane like Katrina.  Civil unrest like the Rodney King verdict caused.  Another coordinated terrorist attack like 9/11.  An earthquake like the ones in Haiti or Chile.  In both of those instances, the looting and rioting started almost as soon as the ground stopped shaking.

If you haven't heard it, listen to this interview of Gerald Celente of Trends Research on how he survived the Chilean earthquake, and about how quickly the lawlessness started.

"What's normal isn't normal any more."  Indeed.

In the best of cases, government is slow to react.  With Katrina, we knew days in advance that it was coming, the Feds declared a Federal Emergency before it even hit, yet we all saw how that turned out.

What could you possibly be waiting for?

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MikeH. said...


I find the absolute worse case scenario in the pages of William Forstchen's book "One Second After."

Cause a massive failure of the electrical grid here in the CONUS and we would be totally screwed. Even if that failure left only half of the country without power.

It is the one common denominator capable of shutting down water delivery, food production / distribution, communications and, to some degree, transportation.

And the electrical grid infrastructure is loaded with antiquated equipment that would otherwise prevent chained failures of whole grids.

For this reason, my "prepping" attitude assumes that, regardless of the initial event, (natural or man caused) a long term loss of electricity is the worst of all cases to prepare for.

Save for that, everything else is pretty much a cake-walk.


Chief Instructor said...

Mike, I could not agree more. Either an EMP or CME type event would render us almost helpless. One Second After really got me thinking about life-saving drugs (because of the daughter in the book). In my family, we have someone who is daily dependent on a certain drug. I'm working on natural herbal substitutes. What I've found, so far, is not a complete replacement, but at least a partial substitute.

Still lookin'...

Anonymous said...

Prior to the Iraq War Saddam had WMD's. For political reasons the popular media and an entire political party needed to prove/convince everyone that Saddam had nothing. He moved a lot of it to Syria overland but some critically important items were flown to Russia. Basically this was common knowledge but a corrupt news media had a vested interest in disproving it. If you asked the average person (or even above average person) today if Saddam had WMD's they would say no and laugh at you for believing it. But he had them and now someone else has them. Now after all these years a lot of it is probably not fully effective but there was truckloads and truckloads of this stuff. Does anyone really believe terrorists couldn't bring it into this country and use it against us?

Chief Instructor said...

Anon, I could not disagree more strongly. Before the first Iraq war, he had (and used) WMDs. When we were done with him, he was left with 1/3 of his former military might.

Prior to Iraq War II, there was no credible evidence he had WMD. None. We paraded the poor girl in front of Congress, telling us her tale of woe. It turned out she was the daughter of some Iraqi dissident. "Next stooge witness, please!"

It is not our job to free the world. If it was so bad in Iraq, then the Iraqis should have turned on Saddam. He posed NO THREAT to the US. None at all.

We controlled most of his air space with the "No Fly Zones" - he couldn't have hurt us if he wanted to. And he was vehemently against Al Qaeda. In their eyes, we were the Great Satan, and he was the Small Satan (or something like that).

Afghanistan should have lasted 6 months. Bomb them until their soil glowed red, then come home. Teach them and the world that if you provide support to those that harm us, we'll destroy you.

Instead, look what we've got. America's longest war.

Anonymous said...

In the months that China, Russia and France bought Iraq before we went to war Irag had a constant flow of trucks going to Syria loaded with WMDs and the equipment used to make them. As the beginning of the war approached Russia flew numerous flights out of Iraq with plane loads of WMDs, residue and equipment. The popular media were committed to hide this because to admit it would mean Bush would be reelected in 2004 (which happened anyway). It was 100% politics that caused the big coverup. Now it is so ingrained in our national memory that we don't take the WMD threat serious. But they are there in the Bekaa Valley and who knows where else they were spirited off to. Just as important would be that everyone had the common knowledge that Russia and China were selling mega-tons of WMD precursors to Iraq (and who knows who else) and that France and Germany were as well. Our "free press" has let us down. Lets hope these WMDs don't resurface in San Diego or Phoenix some day. If you think my comments were about supporting the Iraq war or the current war you are mistaken. My problem is that our free press is not doing their job anymore and they are as responsible as anyone for our present condition.

Chief Instructor said...

Anon, Nope, I still don't buy it. If the US had evidence of this, why didn't they give it to their friends in the media? Rush, Sean, etc. They would have been very willing to talk about this or show it on their TV shows.

Saddam was a Paper Tiger to anyone willing to resist him. All sizzle, no steak.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you why I think most conservatives in a position of power (like Rush and Hannity) won't discuss it. First of all there is nothing new, at least nothing that is in the public domain. Second it was fought so strongly with such derision that to bring it up would only get them labeled as tin hat kooks. And lastly there are so many current issues that need attention. That is if nothing were happening maybe WMD's would get more attention. The reason I still believe WMDs were moved to Syria is because the Jewish intelligence agencies believe it (I will try to find some links). Having said all that, most WMD's are time sensitive and it's likely that unless they have been taken care of and rebuilt they are now nothing but dangerous waste material. But that doesn't mean the material is harmless. Time will tell.

Chief Instructor said...

I was asking why they didn't release the proof that Sadaam had WMD back when we first invaded. The Bush administration was roundly criticized for the invasion, and look like dopes when they couldn't come up with any evidence.

Nope, there's been no evidence - only supposition - that Sadaam had WMD prior to Iraq War II.

Anonymous said...

I could just as easily ask why they didn't release the information about who actually killed JFK (forgive me it is the only conspiracy theory I actually believe). I think most people know that someone else was shooting at JFK and the bullet that hit his head was fired from the front. Yet they went out of their way, even contradicting irrefutable evidence (the magic bullet) to do it. Why?

But to get back to the WMDs I think the reason Bush didn't release any info was: 1)Russia was up to their eyes in Saddam's WMD's and Bush wanted something from Russia and traded his silence for it. 2)France was selling percursors, equipment and expertise but France was one of our allies and we needed them on our side. 3)Ditto for Germany. 4)China was one of the worst offenders aiding Saddam with precursors and equipment. For some reason our leaders are afraid to upset China and choose not to confront them on this.

Anonymous said...

Here are some links to comments made by Israel agents and leaders about Saddam's WMDs:

On December 23, 2002, Ariel Sharon stated on Israeli television, “Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria.” About three weeks later, Israel’s foreign minister repeated the accusation. The U.S., British, and Australian governments issued similar statements.

The Israeli officer, Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, asserted that Saddam spirited his chemical weapons out of the country on the eve of the war. "He transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria," General Yaalon told The New York Sun.

Chief Instructor said...

Re: Why wasn't JFK info (if it exists) released? Because it wasn't being used as the precursor to invading a country. Bush and company needed as much public and world support as they could get. They used these lies and innuendo to frighten the American public and congress to get his authorization.

It was brilliantly conceived: Use past, verified uses of WMD and imply he still had them and would use them. No matter that he had no way of using them against America, even if he did have them.

The government didn't have to show where they were built or from where they were purchased. They just needed to show Sadaam had them. They couldn't do that since they didn't exist.

The Israeli, British and Australian assertions carry no more weight than the American assertions. How come no one - not a single one - of these assertions have ever been backed up with any actual tangible evidence?

A: Because it doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

Two points: 1)Every Democrat was saying the same things about Saddams WMDs prior to 9/11. I have four pages of direct quotes from every important Democrat on WMDs To say that somehow it was all a lie implies all the Democrats lied as well. The simple fact is everyone believed the WMDs were real prior to the war. 2)I actually do accept your arguement that if they had proof they would have produced it. However I also believe that the Israeli intelligence believes that prior to the war Saddam had chemical and biological WMDs and also had nuclear material and a program to build a nuclear bomb. And they believe most of this was moved to Syria before the war. The Mossad is not stupid and I doubt they are mistaken. I suppose they could be misrepresenting informtaion for their own reasons. Who knows.

Chief Instructor said...

What point number one tells me is that the Dems are just as gullible as the Repubs. It would have been heresy right after 9/11 to go into the camp of "Saddam might not have WMD". You're right, everyone believed it. No one asked for proof. You don't commit lives and treasure on a gut feeling. Well, you shouldn't.

Everyone had their own agenda for wanting to croak Saddam. Israel because you don't want a nut living next door. Iran, same thing.

Bush/Cheney for a gazillion reasons, not the least of which was Saddam's "contract' on Bush Sr. life. Cheney and Wolfowitz because it fit PERFECTLY with the PNAC agenda.

Nine days after 9/11, PNAC published an open letter to Bush:

They barely mention Afghanistan, and give Iraq an entire section. Convenient how they left out the fact that bin Laden/Al Qaeda only hated Saddam slightly less than they hated us.