Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2010:January:04 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2010/1/4-19 [Politics/Domestic/911] UID:53611 Activity:moderate
1/4     Why the fascination with blowing up airplanes? Airports have tight
        security. It doesn't seem worth it. It's far easier to derail a
        train or set off explosives in a crowded place like a theater or
        sporting event. As many or more people will be killed and it will
        still make the news. I don't get why all of our security, and
        apprently much of the terrorist's resources, is focused on airplanes.
        \_ how about ... a really really tall building??!?!?!?
           Or Disneyland? Or luxury cruise ships?
           \_ Like maybe a federal building or the World Trade Center.
        \_ Someone on NPR claimed that it was due to two things:
           1) Al Qaeda hates globalization and airplanes are a very visible
              symbol of globalization
           2) They like to be on the evening news. An airplane blowing up,
              especially over a crowded city, is a spectacular event.
           They have also attacked the London subway and blown up trains in
           India and Spain, so mass transit gets attacked, too.
           \_ Understood, but the screening process is very tight at airports.
              I can much more easily plant explosives elsewhere and there's not
              even any need to be suicidal about it. It will make just as
              big of a splash as blowing up a plane. This moron on his way
              to Detroit could have used those explosives in a much more
              effective manner, IMO. Why bother trying to smuggle them
              onto a plane?
              \_ again, news coverage.  Thats why its 'terrorism' and not just
                 'mass murder'
                 \_ 1. I don't think blowing up a plane will get more news
                       coverage than blowing up anything else that kills
                       250 people.
                       \_ it's easier to kill 250 people on a plane than
                          on a train.
                          \_ I dispute that.
                             \_ OK, could you provide one example of 250
                                people dying in a train explosion?
                                       \- there have been several +250 death
                                          train accidents in countries with
                                          heavy use of crowded trains [like
                                          india]. usually not killed in a
                                          flash as in an explosion, but
                                          after a crash of some kind. i'm
                                          sure a significant contributer to
                                          the eventual casualty count in
                                          a number of these cases was the
                                          accident was in a hard to access
                                          area and the quality of medicine
                                          was so-so ... i.e. no helicopter
                                          evac to truama center but people
                                          dying of shock after hours of
                                          lying on the ground. i dunno if
                                          a train accident since say ww2
                                          has killed as many in one shot as
                                          the 747 vs 747 in Tenerife. anyway,
                                          location of a disaster has a
                                          significant bearing on eventual
                                          casualties ... whether it is
                                          train, ferry, weather, earthquake
                                          etc. e.g. compare the numbers
                                          killed in diff countries in level
                                          crossing accidents:
                                \_ 9 rail disasters since 1980 to kill 200+
                                   people. One of the worst was in Russia
                                   when a natural gas explosion killed
                                   575 in 1989. Look up "Ufa train disaster".
                                   It is far easier to derail a train than it
                                   is to smuggle explosives through airport
                                   security and onto a plane at this point.
                                   \_ 200 is not 250, for one thing.  And
                                      most of the ones with significant
                                      loss of life required multiple bombs
                                      on different cars or entirely
                                      different trains.  And surely the Ufa
                                      disaster, which was an accident,
                                      involved two trains, and had an
                                      explosion equivalent to 10 kilotons of
                                      TNT, is not a reasonable analogy for
                                      typical terrorist activity.
                                      I don't believe there's been a single
                                      terrorist event which has claimed
                                      250 lives on a train.  -tom
                                      \_ Not because trains are safer or
                                         harder to attack as much as no
                                         one has really tried. Hence my
                                         question: what's the fascination
                                         with planes? Seems like a difficult
                                         way to go in these times. BTW, I
                                         wouldn't make the argument that
                                         blowing up a train is necessarily the
                                         best alternative. Someone else
                                         brought that up.
                    2. Terrorism is pretty much mass murder 'for a cause'.
              \_ maybe one point of suicidal attack is to leave no loose ends.
                 otoh, wrapping one's testicle with explosive is truly weird
                 he would have difficulty to enjoy 72 raisins.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2010:January:04 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>