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October 22, 2004

Comments

Joe

Yep, and it's only gonna get worse especially if bush is in office.

swood

_might_ lose all moral imperative on the world stage?

When did America ever have that?

It's been shock-and-awe, divide-and-conquer since Red met White at Plymouth Rock, Gunboat diplomacy since Teddy Roosevelt, and (clandestine and overt) neoimperialism since 1945 -- the year America diplomactically delayed peace in the Pacific long enough to irradiate Japan and prove to the "new", Communist enemy that the American atomic weapons program worked.

Nova

Interesting comment. I think there is a difference between "terrorists" and "us" however. The difference is that regular law-abiding, peace-loving people like you and I are not in any way directly involved in attacks that are perpetrated by our military against other nations and their people. So we are definately not terrorists despite what our government or others may do in our name -- we are in a way victims of terororism because it affects our economy, our world, our families and lives directly and indirectly in so many ways. A "terrorist" is an individual person who perpertrates "acts of terror" -- which are hard to define. I think one practical way to define an "act of terror" is that it is "an unexpected surprise attack by a weaker or smaller entity against a larger or stronger entity or its constituents or interests." In other words, when a large entity like a nation attacks another large entity we call that a "military conflict" or a "battle" or "war," not an "act of terror." When a large entity attacks a smaller entity, that is also usually called a "military action" or "battle" or "war." It seems we only use the term terrorist to refer to attacks on a larger party by a smaller party. In this case however, often the smaller party will think of what they are doing as a "battle" or "war," and not as an "act of terror," but the larger party will think of it as "an act of terror." In light of this another practical definition might be that "an act of terror is a military action by entity A against entity B, such that entity B labels it 'an act of terror,' while entity A may or may not label it as such." In any case, "terror" seems to be in the eye of the beholder so to speak. We might label all military actions by state-actors as "state-sponsored terrorism" however by the above definitions that would not be accurate. State-sponsored terrorism certainly does occur however -- in fact perhaps the majority of "acts of terror" are at least somewhat related to visible or hidden states that helps the perpetrators, An direct military attack by a government on another government -- whether unprovoked or not -- is still probably not "an act of terror" in the minds of most people, although it is a "military action." I do think that there is a difference between the perpetrators of what we mean by "terrorism" and governments that engage in military action, although sometimes the effects are indistinguishable. In any case, I think the difference in intention is significant -- although the effects may be similar, the causes are different and thus the actions themselves are not necessarily equivalent.

Morgan Daly

As powerless as it feels, I agree with you and answer that no we are not any better than the terrorists if we use nuclear weapons in any form. So many things seem to make us no better than terrorists - I hate that word. Is it true that those we call terrorists are just people that our culture has basically done over. They are left with nothing, therefor nothing to live for. So they play America's war games but only more effectively. I feel we need a new word to describe these people. A word that others will understand we are talking about the people they call terrorists. These 'terrorists' do bad things to other people 'our people' and we label them terrorists or bad people. Our countries do bad things to others, but we are supposed to be the good guys. Or looking at it the other way, maybe we need to wear shirts that say something like: I too am a Terrorist - The way I live means that others have to suffer.

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Nova's Trip to Edge of Space

  • Stepsedgestratosphere
    In 1999 I flew to the edge of space with the Russian air force, with Space Adventures. I made it to an altitude of just under 100,000 feet and flew at Mach 3 in a Mig-25 piloted by one of Russia's best test-pilots. These pics were taken by Space Adventures from similar flights to mine. I didn't take digital stills -- I got the whole flight on digital video, which was featured on the Discovery Channel.

Nova & Friends, Training For Space...

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    In 1999 I was invited to Russia as a guest of the Russian Space Agency to participate in zero-gravity training on an Ilyushin-76 parabolic flight training aircraft. It was really fun!!!! Among other people on that adventure were Peter Diamandis (founder of the X-Prize and Zero-G Corporation), Bijal Trivedi (a good friend of mine, science journalist), and "Lord British" (creator of the Ultima games). Here are some pictures from that trip...

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