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#704985 - 09/20/01 03:46 PM Objectives and plans
Dan Offline


Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
PLEASE NOTE: What I'm attempting to do below is analyze why these attacks took place, what the terrorists objectives may have been, and what they may do next. I'm not trying to scare anyone or get anyone to behave in any particular manner. In fact, it is my belief that we should all resume our activities without any undue concern over what the terrorists want us to think or do.

FRANK: Take a look at this please. If you feel it is not appropriate please remove it. I trust your judgement and will not question your decision.

-------------------

What were the objectives of the initial attack on the US? In my opinion, the attacks were aimed at high profile American institutions (namely the economy and the military, and probably an unsuccessful attempt on the government itself), and the effect on the populace was a secondary consideration. The goal of the attack (IMO) was reducing America's worldwide influence.

I believe the strike against the military was totally unsuccessful. If we were to assume the terrorists are smart SOB's it may be that one “goal” of attacks was to prompt the US Government and Military into a rash and unreasoned response. (Even if they're stupid bastards, we should still *assume* they're smart and act accordingly.) In addition to wanting a rash response, the terrorists would probably also want the US to strike back at someone who was *not* directly responsible. Consider for a minute the possibility that someone *other* than bin Laden was the mastermind? Say someone or some nation took advantage of bin Laden's terrorist network and coordinated the attack. The obvious response would be for the US to go after bin Laden and bomb or in some other way attack Afghanistan. We could have done this as early as Tuesday afternoon. If we had done so, there would have been a large outcry against the US from certain areas of the world regardless of the ultimate proof of bin Laden's guilt or lack of involvement. If the facts had later demonstrated that bin Laden was *not* directly involved, additional parts of the world would have taken up the outcry. But we didn't attack rashly. Instead, we've gotten world opinion behind us and supporting us while were gathering the evidence as to who's responsible. Hell, even Iran has sent condolences and stated their support (granted its limited support) for actions against terrorism. So this part of their operation was a failure.

It appears however that the strike against the economy was partially successful, at least in the short term. The equity markets downward trend has accelerated dramatically since the attack. It was also a surprise to me just how much the airline industries operational health was dependent on the daily cash receipts of a heavy schedule. (This may have also surprised the terrorists, or it could be that I was simply out of touch with the reality of the airline industry.) In the longer view however, what the attack on the economy may have done is shorten the amount of time needed for the economy to bottom out and begin a sustained recovery. Only time will answer this one.

The next question is obvious. In the past 100 years, *no one* has been able to make war on American soil. So if this is war, where does the enemy strike next?

Do they attempt another strike at the military? No in my opinion because the first attempt was really the *only* time they could get a “rash and unreasoned” response.

Do they attempt to further cripple the economy? Again, I'd say no. The first attempt appears to be working so there are likely more inviting targets.

If they stick to attacking symbols of American institutions then the most obvious would be some form of an attack on the government. Attacks on “industry” or other infrastructure would be difficult because there isn't really a single target you could pick due to their decentralized nature.

If they switch modes and begin attacking the populace, then sporting events are a likely target in my opinion because of the high concentration of people in a relatively small space. Or they could opt for multiple smaller acts (individual suicide bombers for example) to try to terrorize the American people.

Any thoughts or comments?

Regards,
Dan

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#704986 - 09/20/01 08:20 PM Re: Objectives and plans
Piano World Online   blank



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5567
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Dan,

I am concerned that the events of September 11th will not be the end of it.
This was not the act of a few wacknuts.
It was obviously planned over a long period, well coordinated and heavily financed.

The "success" (if you can call it that) of their mission may embolden them to try to inflict more damage.
We cannot rule out their trying something involving planes again although I'm hoping we are making that very difficult now.
In my other job I travel quite a bit and I will not let this stop me, although I will admit I will be particularly happy when the plane touches down safely.

I would agree that if other attacks are planned they could well involve other means.
This bothers me more than anything because now I am concerened about the safety of my family. I will not let these acts prevent us from going about our lives but I can assure you we will be thinking in the back of our minds "I wonder what's next?".

From the CNN Web site tonight...
U.S. officials said Thursday there are increasing indications additional terrorism against American targets is planned. "There are numerous credible threats of varying specificity," said an official on condition he not be identified.


If others would like to respond to this thread, please feel free. Just don't digress into another thread like the one I had to close!

Frank B.
Piano World

[ September 20, 2001: Message edited by: PianoWorld ]
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#704987 - 09/20/01 09:30 PM Re: Objectives and plans
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Dan,

I think their objective was to instill fear in us. I don't think they were so naive to think they could affect our influence in the world (except as laid out in your paragraph #2), or that they could take down our economy, floundering as it might be. I also don't think they were (are) necessarily after a huge body count (albeit, they got one): they want us to be afraid. So afraid that we will dismantle our freedoms and see democracy fail. They want us to be terrorized.

I agree with your entire 2nd paragraph.

I know what you mean about the airlines. I was astounded to find out they have such a cash flow problem. It's like in and out in the same day. Amazing.

"Where does the enemy strike next?" If they've "succeeded" in any way, it is in the fear that that question raises. So one of the best ways for us ordinary people to fight this war is to face that fear and not let it tear us down or apart.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#704988 - 09/20/01 11:22 PM Re: Objectives and plans
Dan Offline


Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
Yes Frank, I travel a good bit myself. In fact I'm flying down to Phoenix tomorrow.

The "what's next" concern is certainly on my mind as well. While I don't characterize myself as a sports nut, I do love my Broncos and have season tickets. In fact, I'll be at the game Sunday night in Phoenix to see them wup on the Cardinals.

I don't think there's a very high likelyhood that a terrorist could hijack a plane and then fly that plane into a target again. BUT, they probably could hijack a plane and crash it. I guess I'm playing the odds along with many others when it comes to flying and attending football games or other sporting events. I sure don't want to be the victim of any attacks. Nevertheless, I refuse to let these low-lifes dictate to me how I live my life.

Bernard, if you're right in that the aim of these SOB's was to terrorize the American people, then I'd think that "what's next" could well be a series of smaller terrorist
attacks. They certainly got our attention with what they did in NY, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. Now even a small attack would get a tremendous amount of news coverage.

I pray that there will never be another attack of this kind anywhere. That the world will find a way to stop this insanity before more innocent lives are lost. I can't go into hiding though. Life goes on, and I'm determined to live mine as "normally" as possible.

Regards,
Dan

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#704989 - 09/21/01 08:22 AM Re: Objectives and plans
Samejame Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 808
Loc: NL, Canada
I guess my concern, from the outside of America, looking in, is who else these terrorists are going to take down with them if(when)America and the countries that ally to it go to war. Now that NATO, former east bloc commumist countries, south and latin america, Asia etc. and indeed little ol' Canada are all on side, the world is becoming the terrorist's oyster. (as if it was not already)

I think the free world, and not just the US, is at risk, and the minute America strikes, there will be retribution, but I fear not where America thinks, or is expecting.

I think within your country, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah are at risk, and some if this fall's major college bowls, and Super Bowl, for example. Such major concentrations of people, and idyllic American and the free world icons must be a major concern for your security people, as well as that of the rest of the world.

Outside of this, major cities, in Europe, Asia, etc. all sport towers, monuments, defence headquarters, etc. which could be targeted. The world's largest sporting event is actually not the Olympics, but soccer's world cup, scheduled for Japan/Korea in 2002. Unfortunately, the possibilities are endless. And these terrorists are sly/crafty/devious/crazy enough to find their way around any safety net that is thrown up. It should be obvious by now that security that depends on threat of bodily harm as its defensive force majure means absolutely nothing to people willing to take their own lives, and those around them for a cause, however twisted it may seem to us. Welcome to the brave new world!

BTW, a powerful message from your president last night during the joint address to the American Congress. Inspiring.

Jamie
_________________________
"A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" Oscar Wilde.

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#704990 - 09/21/01 10:13 AM Re: Objectives and plans
Penny Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2943
Loc: San Juan Capistrano, CA
While certainly using a plane as a weapon has lost the element of surprise, we are probably still vulnerable for a while, as we address security concerns, like using technology that keeps the **** pit door shut at all times. I was talking to a pilot friend the other day, and he would like to be armed. I believe many of the pilots have military background, so it might be an additional safety net.

So, what's next might be something completely new. The suicide bombers in Israel don't kill the number of innocents compared to the planes-as-bombs method. Still, it might be effective at certain venues. The extremists hate American freedoms that have allowed certain immoralities (their opinion) to flourish in this country. They also hate Hollywood entertainment that perpetuate these immoralities. While a sporting event may kill a lot of people, I'm not sure the message would be as "strong" as if the terrorists targeted Hollywood, e.i. Disneyland or Universal Studios, either Florida or California. What is more a symbol of America, I ask, than Mickey Mouse. I only pray the security is tightened at these icons where many, MANY people gather everyday.

penny


oops! didn't realize certain airplane parts were equated with certain body parts!! blush, blush

[ September 21, 2001: Message edited by: Penny ]

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#704991 - 09/21/01 12:55 PM Re: Objectives and plans
wghornsby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 201
Loc: KY
lol... anyone else think it ironic that the board's auto-censoring software induces a pornographic interpretation of a completely innocent statement?
_________________________
wgh

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#704992 - 09/21/01 01:20 PM Re: Objectives and plans
DT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 1478
Loc: Illinois
Penny said: "I was talking to a pilot friend the other day, and he would like to be armed. "

I read last week that federal law does allow pilots to be armed. I think this applies to flight attendants, also. See
http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel091401.shtml


"It is already legal for pilots and stewards to carry firearms on a plane, if they have the consent of the airline, and they have “successfully completed a course of training in the use of firearms acceptable to the Administrator” of the Federal Aviation Administration. (14 Code of Federal Regulations section 108.11.)"
_________________________
Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell...

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#704993 - 09/21/01 03:44 PM Re: Objectives and plans
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
it's natural for everyone to feel fearful after last week's events. even out here in rural montana, where there are presumably no targets that could interest any terrorist, people are afraid for themselves and their children.

i think we're going to feel fearful for quite a while, whether there is future cause for it or not. it is amazing how threatening the sound of an airplane sounds today. the best we can do is try to get on with our lives and trust the future and ourselves.

as to what the terrorists intended, there was a very provocative editorial written by a native of afghanistan who has lived in the US for 35 years. his thesis is that the terrorists are hoping to instigate a world war between Islam and the West. if that is correct, i am even more heartened by the more moderate tone adopted by president bush in his address to congress last night, which clearly recognized the complexity of the situation.

even if the west could "win" such a war, which it probably can, the costs in human life and suffering would be just staggering. especially when you factor in nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. i hope the afghani's thesis is wrong, but if it is right, then it is even more imperative that we don't give the Islamic world cause to unite against us. the tone bush struck on that point was just the right balance, i thought.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#704994 - 09/21/01 05:19 PM Re: Objectives and plans
Penny Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2943
Loc: San Juan Capistrano, CA
My pilot friend works for United. Apparently, at least up until now, he hasn't been allowed to arm himself. And as many news sources have already noted, he said the policy up until Sept. 11, was to open the "blank" ;\) pit door to hijackers and cooperate with them. I'm sure THAT has changed.

penny


oh, and about this obsenity-blocking software, I guess we won't be soon debating the merits of rooster-fighting!

[ September 21, 2001: Message edited by: Penny ]

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#704995 - 09/21/01 10:27 PM Re: Objectives and plans
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Or cats..........

\:D
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#704996 - 09/22/01 12:12 AM Re: Objectives and plans
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Here is the sad thing about all of this - the backlash against Muslims, Arab-Americans and South Asians. My friend told me about how her friend wasn't able to fly back here because the other passengers refused to fly on the plane if he was allowed to stay on. The poor fellow just wanted to get back in time to start a new quarter, and he was the only South Asian on the plane (he was from India). Poor fellow had to stay in London, the airline couldn't do anything for him. Another friend put it this way: it's not a good time to be brown. I am neither Muslim nor Arab nor South Asian, although I have been mistaken for all three. (I'm Filipino by the way.) And it disheartens me that it seems we have Manzanar all over again. Instead of the victims being Japanese-Americans, this time they're South Asians and/or Middle Eastern. I understand that people are fearful, but at least understand that the @#$%^ who did these things are only a small segment of society who use Islam as an excuse to do their evil deeds. For me, it makes me feel sad because I have a lot of Muslim friends, plus I have felt this backlash, which hurts me even more since I am neither Muslim nor Middle Eastern.

I do not want the terrorists to win, but as the days pass by and as the backlash gets worse and worse, it feels like they already have. And that really makes me sad. I just hope that all of it passes.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#704997 - 09/22/01 02:26 AM Re: Objectives and plans
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1757
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by ChemicalGrl:
Here is the sad thing about all of this - the backlash against Muslims, Arab-Americans and South Asians.[/b]


How far has human culture come? Not very far since it is really tied to the average of human intelligence plus reliable information. Most people are simple minded, which even in the best of times isn't as bad as it is frustrating. Hopefully official statements can reassure most people that the problem we face now isn't just skin deep.

 Quote:
Originally posted by ChemicalGrl:
My friend told me about how her friend wasn't able to fly back here because the other passengers refused to fly on the plane if he was allowed to stay on. The poor fellow just wanted to get back in time to start a new quarter, and he was the only South Asian on the plane (he was from India). Poor fellow had to stay in London, the airline couldn't do anything for him. [/b]


That's pretty outrageous if true. How can he get back? What must a person do if they won't ride with him, allow himself to be strip searched?

 Quote:
Originally posted by ChemicalGrl:
Another friend put it this way: it's not a good time to be brown. I am neither Muslim nor Arab nor South Asian, although I have been mistaken for all three. (I'm Filipino by the way.) And it disheartens me that it seems we have Manzanar all over again. Instead of the victims being Japanese-Americans, this time they're South Asians and/or Middle Eastern. I understand that people are fearful, but at least understand that the @#$%^ who did these things are only a small segment of society who use Islam as an excuse to do their evil deeds. For me, it makes me feel sad because I have a lot of Muslim friends, plus I have felt this backlash, which hurts me even more since I am neither Muslim nor Middle Eastern. [/b]


I think this is exactly what the terrorists want to accomplish. Someone asked me the other day whether I believed that Bin Laden and his supporters wanted to take over the world, like Hitler? Yes and no.

 Quote:
Originally posted by ChemicalGrl:
I do not want the terrorists to win, but as the days pass by and as the backlash gets worse and worse, it feels like they already have. And that really makes me sad. I just hope that all of it passes.[/b]


There may be ways each one of us in the coming days can make it pass. What we should do is keep a few things in mind:

President Bush said that the terrorists were attempting to hijack Islam. This was brilliant, cutting the issue cleanly between those who practice Islam and those who would use it as a cover for terrorist (CRIMINAL) activities.

Most people are not criminals.

Some criminals THINK they are good Moslems who can expect the rest of the Moslem world to come to their aid if they are attacked by the US or a Western alliance. I would include Moslem CLERICS who impose a strict rule O THEIR OWN MAKING on a subservient population, especially of women, to starve them or deny them healthcare. Is this a war between a culture (ours) that allows, even advocates, real equality between the sexes and one that adamantly does not?

We must convince the Moslem world otherwise which wont be that easy. There are segments within the Moslem world, almost every country, that feel the bitter inadequacy of not being part of the Western world, the obvious and most successful technical civilization yet known to us.

Some have asked why they attacked us, what the purpose was? They used our technology against us. They hate our technology because it isn't theirs. They feel inferior. So did Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the whole lot of them, PERSONALLY and RACIALLY inadequate. It's a lethal combination; an inferiority complex plus a really evil idea that can be turned into a social movement, then LOOK OUT!

Bin Laden wanted to prove that they could GET TO US. OK, so he did. Now what? Might he just attack our population centers to kill vast numbers of us? I THINK THIS IS NEXT. Do we wait to have him kill vast numbers of us before taking our retribution out on them? Of course we must wait or we're no better than he is, although who can say what measures will follow another attack that kills thousands of us? How well can we make Bin Laden, and others, look bad in the Moslem world? This as I say is difficult because the Moslem world is not an easy world and its interfaces with the non-Moslem world have not been the best; Sudan, Indonesia, Philippines, elsewhere. The world has unfortunately seen the cruel face of Islam all too often. But are these violent radical insurgents true Moslems or common garden variety Commies or simple out and out criminal thugs?

Some ask who is behind Bin Laden and I suggest that it may in fact be the Chinese Commie Party in Beijing where I bet Bin Laden is hiding or conferring at this moment.

I noticed with a wry grin, that President Bush, who looked worried but confident last night, didn't mention Communism or Socialism along with Fascism, Nazism and Totalitarianism. That was deliberate. He didn't want to offend that segment of world public opinion that still clings to these ideas (evil nonetheless).

I also noticed, and aside from the British Prime Minister being there, an interesting turn of events to say the least, that President Bush singled out Great Britain as our special friend. The wee smidgen of real Irish blood in me rose a few degrees. Was it not the British crown from whom we fought for our national independence? Was it not the British who conspired to break our standing as the world's single superpower after World War II by deliberately passing secrets to the Soviet Union? No, I know, our mega-bankers funded both Hitler and Stalin, I know, I know. But still. What of George Washington's warning not to get ourselves involved with foreign affairs? Shall we never learn? It may be the best strategy to say, "time's up, all foreigners who can't or won't swear allegiance to our flag and our country can just go home." We can go it alone, albeit at a much slower pace, if we were to close our doors to the rest of the world. But of course we wont, and I'm not sure that I even support such a policy. It's just an option some are voicing these days.

But unless we take some action to avert it, there will be more terrorism in the future.
_________________________
David Burton's Blog
http://dpbmss041010.blogspot.com/

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