HAMMERNEWS- Michael Hammerschlag

Current Political Commentary by journalist Michael Hammerschlag; Thoughts on foreign policy, Republican outrages, liberal strategies, science by 8 year correspondent in Russia/Ukraine over 22 years and longtime commentator; Website: http://HAMMERNEWS.com

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Al Qaida's Summer Offensive + NASA Wimps Out + Death by Air + Aunt Emily

RADIO COMMENTARY on backpack bombs in London (+US) re. Iraq Invasion fm Jan 31, 2003

Well, it seems we are in the middle of the long delayed mass offensive by the terrorists- a second set of attacks in London, the 1am bombings in dive heaven Sharm al Sheik (at the bottom tip of Sinai)- 70 dead so far, under the collapsed floors of the hotel (with 200-300 wounded), which had a suicide truck drive into the lobby (and detonate 20 seconds later), with more explosions in a market and seaside walkway. This may relate to upcoming Egyptian elections, Al-Zawahiri has long targeted Egypt. Some victims had fled the London bombings- 2 Brits died. Another explosion in Istanbul.

More unsuccessful London attacks July 21. These new guys actually look African or Arab, so they really may be COPYCAT attacks- same pattern- same subway + bus ratio, but maybe bad explosive, since the primer went off on all the bombs. The TATP explosive the first bombers + non- soft shoe bomber Richard Reed used is spectacularly unstable and appallingly easy to make (40 Palestinians blew themselves up trying to make it). The paint thinner they used probably had too much aromatics. Also, if you remember the photos of that destroyed bus, it creates no heat- there was no blackness or burning- just looked like the bus was ripped open by a giant. One bare survivor of 7/7 claims the explosion seemed to be under the subway carriage- a hole in the floor looked like metal bowed inward.

3 were suicide attempts, the frightened bombers were chased by enraged passengers, unsuccessfully once they considered tackling a guy with nitroglycerin on his back. Too bad- these guys should have been stopped, and being stomped to death by their erstwhile victims is Biblical justice. A 5th? bomb was found in park, but probably was abandonned by the other bombers. All caught- July 30, though it scarily took 3 1/2 hour standoff in Birmingham (and one in Rome)- if these guys wanted to go out with a bang, they probably could have. Much of this sickness is fueled by the sexual repression in Islam- if these frustrated infantile imbeciles were getting some action, the prospect of 72 virgins wouldn't be so attractive. A real man doesn't want virgins. Bill Marr has a page on that in his new book-we need whores for liberty, who can alleviate young Muslim's madness.
Photo- attempted bus bomber Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27--

NYC Mayor Bloomberg is having police randomly search backpacks or bags in the subway- oh come on. Just say "NO". Who are they going to search? Suspicious people? That's half of NYC. For the 1 in a million chance they might blunder on a terrorist, they're going completely trash the 4th Amendment? On second thought NYC has a huge new anti-terrorism center better than FBI, CIA, etc., so maybe they are acting against some real threats, though the mayor says no. Still, the way security measures work is, once started... they never end, and the public is accustomed to greater and greater levels of government intrusion. One outrageous video had police ordering everyone out of a bus at gunpoint with their hands raised because the paranoid driver had reported 5 guys with backpacks (like tourists?). Of course the guys were innocent of anything, but illustrative of police inability to choose between intelligent protection and cheap bullying, they arrested the guys- instead of, say, apologizing to them. Those who give up freedom for security deserve neither.

The horrible public execution of a possible suicide bomber by 3 police who chased some chunky coat wearing suspect they had under surveillance into a subway car, shows how crazy this is making Londoners. One Anti-terrorist Scotland Yarder shot him 7 times in the head after he was tackled- within 15 ft of riders. British cops have only opened fire only 20 times in 7 years, killing seven- and very few carry guns; but the fact they didn't immediately confirm a suicide vest means it probably wasn't. Yeah- he was an innocent 27 year old Brazillian: Jean Charles de Menezes, who had lived in London for 3 years, but had overstayed visa 2 years, and alledgedly forged an extension stamp on his visa.
Mr Pereira said Mr Menezes, who was from the city of Gonzaga in Minas Gerais state, had lived in London legally for at least three years and was employed as an electrician. The BBC's correspondent in Brazil, Tom Gibb, said Mr Menezes had lived for a time in a slum district of Sao Paulo and that could explain why he had run from the police.
He said: "The murder rates in some of these slums are worse than in a lot of war zones and that could explain why, when plain clothes officers pulled a gun on him, he may have run away." -

The horror. There may have been panic among exhausted police too- At one point, the train's driver was chased by police and had a gun pointed at his head after he leapt from his cab and ran down a tunnel on hearing the commotion.- Guardian So running away from the police shooting someone might get you.... shot??? That detachment had received training in stopping suicide bombers by the Israelis- dangerous lessons from a pathologically war torn land, where chest pack explosives are common (but which had never been used in England) . Even a Muslim travel agency owner in Seattle says, "when this woman came in with a coat, I get nervous, "What are you doing? Take off your coat, take off your coat- it's summer!". UPDATE Aug 17- All were lies, from the subway video Menezes didn't have a bulky coat, he didn't run away, he didn't jump turnstile, he was hugged around chest by one cop before the another shot him, and he may have been wrong guy- cop was taking a leak when he left the suspect house.

This last attack will cause a backlash in England- yeah - a Paki guy was beaten to death on the street and there were ten attacks on mosques. In the most horrible racial attack in a decade, a 18 year old black college student was killed with an ax by racists in Liverpool July 30. Some clerics in USA have finally issued a fatwa against terrorism. Incredibly, the IRA has decided to quit, now that the Muslims are taking up the slack. Blowing up and shooting thousands of civilians over 35 years is one thing, being associated with those dirty Muslims apparently another.

Condoleeza's motorcade was doing violent defensive driving on her surprise trip to Lebanon- but a car bomb blew up on her route 2 hours later. And it turns out the grenade lobbed only 100 ft from Pres. Bush in Tblisi, Georgia in May was defective but live- the bomber killed a cop in a shootout a little later and was captured.

NASA WIMPS OUT Nasa has continued their defeatist attitude so evident in the scandalous cavalier abandonment of the Columbia astronauts in 2003 (only 2 non-EVA space suits, no notification to astronauts for 5 days, no repair kits, no inspection of shuttle by telescopes). Inexplicably, they announced the immediate grounding of the shuttle fleet, to the delight of the poor slobs up in space, because more pieces broke off. Why couldn't they wait to issue this gem till this crew landed is beyond me. See live NASA-TV coverage at SPACE.com or nasa.gov while you can. Frankly, this was to be expected- when you redesign something, you introduce more sources of problems; and the original contention that foam was light and harmless was mostly correct (see how it flutters away in video). The problem in 2003 was:

--it was reported and promptly forgot that the Columbia sat on the launch pad for some 6 weeks, 4 times longer than normal, and Florida had the wettest Dec in 50 years (I think), so by launch time the shuttle insulation was perhaps saturated with water. Once loaded with -423F degree liquid hydrogen, that would freeze, making that 2.6 lb. piece of foam that they keep talking about, over 100 lbs and moving at 750 mph. A fan of shattered debris bigger than the shuttle itself was obviously life-threatening. NASA knew that the shuttle was grievously injured and did nothing about it, because they cravenly decided there were no options (including success).----

Now it seems NASA itself (or higher powers) are angling for dumping the shuttle program, though there's nothing to replace it (unless they give Rutan $1-2 billion), and the naysayers are rejuvenated- a wimpy LATimes editorial calls for grounding the shuttle till the sun burns up and abandoning the space station. Maybe Bush needs the money for Iraq, or oil co. payoffs. The shuttle program is beset with the same blanket paranoia that infests homeland security: that there must be total safety, total protection. Since this is obviously impossible, all it does is cause reckless overreaction and complete paralysis, fueled by unhealthy neurotic fears. People will die in space- we all knew that in the beginning. Most think it's worth it, especially those who eagerly actually take the risks. Spacewalks to cut or pull out the insulation that have always oozed out from between the tiles? Why would they pull out insulation rather than glue them back? Isn't some insulation better than none?

See furious attacks to this post on the site SPACE.com. Watching a live EVA video is such a thrill, I can't believe I've never watched this stuff before (7/30 6am)- here's to you Mr. Robinson, Jesus has a place where you would know. Every 10 seconds the earth (and land) visibly rotates (5 mps) in the greatest show not on earth. Very pleased they now use tethers, as per my recommendation from 1997. They're doing alot of work on the carbon-carbon, as opposed to the Carbon-carbon, improved from the previous carbon-Carbon, but nothing like the carbon-CARBON.

Though I don't know the backstory for this attack (maybe Moqtada al Sadr's rebelion or the Fallujah battle), video and pics show an American helicopter? blasting an Iraqi street crowd of 50 people to kingdom come with a missile, after authorization by a controller. "Oh, Dude," someone exclaims as the crowd is vaporized. http://electroniciraq.net/news/1665.shtml


Emily bashed right where I spent over 2 months last year- the South Beach-ish Playa del Carmen (with a mile mall of lush bikini-clad babes), ancient Tulum, and world scuba center Cozumel- with 135 mph winds, but damage was surprisingly light- officially only one death (German tourist), but it's likely the Mexican government is suppressing losses among the many palapa dwelling workers along the coast around Tulum, since the artificial tourist megacity resort(s) was only created in the 70's + 80's, and nothing can be permitted to damage the bucksi that flows there. Tulum too had 5 world famous flimsy grass palapa hut camps just south of the ancient Mayan coast city of Tulum ("and our sand castles are magnificent")- which all must be gone now. Playa and Cozumel (pics) have grown 8 times bigger since I was there 15 years before, then just after the devastating Gilbert, with luxury resorts and ocean adventure/dolphin parks up and down the coast.

This was the earliest large hurricane ever- and fortells a nasty season. Global warming isn't just caused by CO2, but NO + NO2 from car exhausts may have an equal warming effect, and water vapor itself is a powerful greenhouse gas. So, all these hurricanes, can themselves cause... MORE HURRICANES.


  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger littlemissprincess_86 said…


    Please get your facts right. De Menezes was not an illegal immigrant, on the contrary (the BBC reports), he had lived here legally for three years. His tragic death proves the importance, in the current situation, of accuracy.

  • At 3:28 AM, Blogger Michael Hammerschlag said…

    Got that from NYT, Guardian, or NPR- also that he didn't speak English, both of which would explain why he running. Just cause he's there for 3 years and working doesn't mean he was legal- illegal immigrants live in US successfully for 20 years. But you were right and did correct it- so glad people use me as a primary source for news.

  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger Lone Ranger said…

    His brother said he spoke English quite well. The reason he was shot so many times is that the police were attempting what's called a non-reflexive shot. That's severing the medulla oblongata with a bullet to prevent the body from even flinching, much less being able to detonate a bomb. The crime is not that the police shot someone who turned out to be innocent, it's that they are such bad shots. Had he been a bomber, everyone would have been dead.

  • At 2:55 AM, Blogger Michael Hammerschlag said…

    I think, Lone, that your idea of cops cooly severing some nerve in the brain is whacked (to use scientific term). They blasted him in blind terror that he was about to blow up car- I think 7 bullets in the head would stop "flinching". But, you think they should be even faster on the draw?


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