to video describing the B-52 'stick' bombing of Taleban front
lines and excerpts from an article describing the amazing long-lived
aircraft in use since the year I was born (and the year in which
James Dean and Albert Einstein passed away) ...
video report on B-52 'stick' bombing,
today, yesterday, and in times past
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in 1955, the B-52 of Dr Strangelove fame was designed as the
mainstay of the USA's long-range nuclear bomber force, but has
been used in anger to drop conventional weapons.
the Gulf War, B-52s dropped 40% of all coalition bombs. Carrying
air-launched cruise missiles, they opened the attack on Yugoslav
forces in the Kosovo campaign.
There are six crew places on two decks but on the current version
there are only five crew, since the job of rear gunner was dropped:
Commander, co-pilot and electronic warfare officer, navigator
and radar navigator, who delivers the weapons.
its internal, twenty-eight ft-long weapons bay and on pylons
beneath the wings the current H version can carry a wide mix
of bombs and missiles, such as fifty-one 500 lb (227 kg) bombs,
thirty cluster bombs, or twenty cruise missiles.
United States has forty-four B-52s in constant readiness for
combat use and the aircraft is expected to continue in service
for another forty years.
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Don't Expect 'Instant Victory' In Anti-Terror War
from today's press conference with Donald Rumsfeld and Air Force
General Richard B. Myers ...
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Good afternoon. I've reflected on some of the questions that
were posed at the last briefing about the speed of progress
and questions about the patience of the American people if something
didn't happen immediately. And I personally have a sense that
the public understands the following facts:
September 11th, the terrorists attacked New York and Washington,
murdering thousands of people, Americans as well as people from
dozens of other countries of all races and religions.
October 7th, less than a month later, we had positioned coalition
forces in the region, we began military operations against Taliban
and al Qaeda targets throughout Afghanistan.
that time, roughly three weeks, coalition forces have flown
over 2,000 sorties; broadcast 300-plus hours of radio transmissions;
delivered an amazing 1 million-30 thousand humanitarian rations
to starving Afghan people.
is November 1st. And if you think about it, the smoke at this
very moment is still rising out of the World Trade Center, or
the ruins of the World Trade Center, I should say.
with those ruins still smoldering and the smoke not yet cleared,
it seems to me that Americans understand well that despite the
urgency in the questions that were posed at the last briefing,
we're still in the very, very early stages of this conflict.
ruins are still smoking. That is, I think, important to reflect
some historical perspectives:
December 7th, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, it took four months
before the United States responded to that attack with the
Doolittle Raid in April of '42.
took eight months after Pearl Harbor before the U.S. began
a land campaign against the Japanese, with the invasion of
Guadalcanal in August of 1942.
The U.S. bombed Japan for three and a half years, until August
1945, before they accomplished their objectives.
the European front, the allies bombed Germany continually
for five years, from September 1940 until May of '45.
11 months to start the land campaign against the Germans with
the invasion of North Africa.
it took the United States two years and six months after Hitler
declared war before we landed in France in June of 1944.
now fighting a new kind of war. It's unlike any that America
has ever fought before. Many things about this war are different
from others. But as I have said, one of those differences is
not the possibility of instant victory or instant success.
my briefing, when I announced the start of the air war on October
7th [ transcript
], I stated that our initial goals were the following:
make clear to the Taliban that harboring terrorists carries
acquire intelligence that would facilitate future operations
against al Qaeda and Taliban forces;
develop useful relationships with groups of Afghanistan people
that oppose the Taliban and the al Qaeda;
to make it increasingly difficult for the terrorists to use
Afghanistan freely as a base of operation;
alter the military balance over time by denying the Taliban
the offensive systems that hamper the progress of the various
to provide humanitarian relief to Afghans suffering oppressive
living conditions under the Taliban regime.
those were the goals I put out on October 7th. That was 24 days
ago -- three weeks and three days; not three months; not three
years, but three weeks and three days. And we have made measurable
progress against each one of those stated goals from October
attacks of September 11th were not days or weeks, but years
in the making. The terrorists were painstaking and deliberate,
and it appears that they may have spent one or even two years
planning their activities.
no doubt in my mind but that the American people know that it's
going to take more than 24 days to deal with this very difficult
also stated that our task is much broader than simply defeating
Taliban or al Qaeda. It's to root out the global terrorist networks
-- not just in Afghanistan but wherever they are -- and to ensure
that they cannot threaten the American people or our way of
is a task that's going to take time. Victory will require that
every element of American influence and power be engaged. Americans
have seen tougher adversaries than this before, and they have
had the staying power to defeat them. I think underestimating
the American people is a big mistake.
the end, war is not about statistics, deadlines, short attention
spans or 24-hour news cycles. It's about will, the projection
of will, the clear, unambiguous determination of the president
of the United States -- and let there be no doubt about that
-- and the American people to see this through to certain victory.
Navy F/A-18 Hornets
receive fuel from a British Royal
Air Force VC-10 tanker, 10/31/01
other American wars, enemy commanders have come to doubt the
wisdom of taking on the strength and power of this nation and
the resolve of her people.
expect that somewhere in a cave in Afghanistan there's a terrorist
leader who is at this moment considering precisely the same
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
turn to day 25 of combat operations, where our efforts focused
on destroying command and control elements, whether in bunkers,
tunnels or caves, as well as continuing our support to operation
forces by degrading Taliban military forces.
General Myers, I had a question on the impact the B-52 raids
may be having on the Northern Alliance's chances to break through
at Mazar-e Sharif. They're saying that the raids have been --
have helped them position for a potential breakout offensive
in that region and possibly moving toward Kabul. Was that kind
of the macro- strategy underlying the B-52 raids and increasing
those in the last few days?
The strategy by using any weapons system is to have the maximum
effect you can on the targets you're going after. In this case,
we're trying to destroy Taliban forces that are arrayed against
the opposing forces.
thing to think about in the B-52 raids, for some of us, we go
back to Vietnam and we -- and that's where the term "carpet
bombing" came up, because it was perhaps less accurate
then than it is today. The B-52 has been modified extensively,
and so I think the term carpet bomb is not right.
we've done is if there are targets that are suitable for general-purpose
bombs, i.e. non-precision bombs, where you have to drop, say,
40 or 50 or more at a time, and we find those targets -- as
you can guess, they probably aren't going to be close to areas
where we'd worry about damage to civilian structures, but some
of them are ideally suited, some of those -- that techniques
is suited for the kind of troops in the field that we find.
yes, we think they're having some effect.
What about the -- [inaudible] for the public who -- you know,
beyond the criticism from human rights organizations for using
the cluster bombs, they're calling for a halt -- could you explain
the tactical rationale for using them?
Yeah. This is very simple. On September 11th, we lost over
5,000 innocents to an intentional act. We are prosecuting now
a global war on terrorism. We are trying to be very careful
in the way we plan this particular conflict.
only the U.S. and its allies could do it in such a way that
we minimize civilian casualties. If we match up a specific weapon
to a specific target and we make the judgment that it's in accordance
with the law of armed conflict, and we've worked this very,
very carefully, then we'll use that weapon.
some cases, that means cluster bombs. And we understand the
impact of those. I would take you back to September 11th. We
also understand the impact of that.
They are being used on front-line all Qaeda and Taliban
troops to try to kill them, is why we're using them, to be perfectly
Well, one of the continuing issues, the pictures of civilian
casualties, which is difficult for the U.S. to explain -- and
you have addressed this issue.
week we asked three different times on this one village, called
Chukar Karezz, which has been addressed again and again in questions,
and today there are American reporters on the ground in this
village looking at the destruction with no apparent military
targets around it.
the U.S. strike this village? The Taliban said more than a hundred
people were killed. If we did, why? And is there an explanation?
Or was it Taliban propaganda on the other side?
I cannot deal with that particular village. I suppose I could
try and find out for you, and will.
can deal with the question of the Taliban's comments. We know
of certain knowledge they're putting anti-aircraft batteries
on top of buildings in residential areas for the purpose of
attracting bombs so that, in fact, they can then show the press
that civilians have been killed. And I can tell you that the
Afghan civilians don't like it.
know also that they have been seizing and beating non- governmental
organization workers. And
when I asked, on one occasion -- my, it's interesting that when
I hear a non-governmental worker, they seem to say that the
bombing is inhibiting their ability to distribute food from
time to time, or something like that, and I see that reported
in the press.
And I asked this World Food person, who is knowledgeable about
it, why don't we hear non-governmental organizations talking
about the fact that their warehouses are broken into, the materials
are taken, their workers are beaten?
the answer is, it's very simple -- the Taliban will shoot their
people if they do, so they keep their mouths closed.
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Insulin Capsule May Replace Jabs Some Day
describing an experimental insulin dispensing / glucose sensing
capsule that may some day replace daily insulin injections (or
insulin pumps worn by some) required for persons with type 1
diabetes and some persons with type 2 diabetes. ...
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could be saved from the regime of daily insulin injections by
a tiny capsule implanted in the body. An American researcher
has developed the silicon-covered
capsule, which is the size of a microchip.
works by taking nutrients from the body to stimulate insulin-producing
cells within the capsule. The silicon means the body will not
reject the tiny pump.
(click for further details)
The device is being developed by Tejal Desai of the University
of Illinois at Chicago, though she admits it will need a lot
more testing before diabetic patients can use it.
Desai, who presented her findings to a meeting of the American
Vacuum Society in San Francisco on Wednesday, said: "The
capsule essentially acts as a bioreactor - it contains insulin-secreting
borrow nutrients from the body to keep producing insulin
long as the body produces glucose, the cells will respond
Benson, of the charity Diabetes UK said the initial findings
of the US research were promising.
she added: "The research is still at an extremely early
stage of development, and we'd look forward to seeing future
study results, in particular, whether islet (insulin-
producing) cells can be used in the implant for people with
both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
long term prevention of any rejection of the implant will be
a key factor in the safety and suitability of this device for
people with diabetes."
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of B52s Hit Taleban's Hilltop Line
article describing the use of B52s in northern Afghanistan ...
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sun had not yet risen and the Taleban troops were still slumbering
in their strongholds atop the Kalakata ridge when the war against
terrorism arrived yesterday, swiftly and without warning.
At 5.45am, as the first farm labourers were moving on to the
fields below, tethering their oxen to wooden ploughs, the faint
drone of aircraft engines could be heard from the south. Moments
later the first enormous explosions ripped along the length
of the ridge, a key Taleban position in their fight against
the Northern Alliance.
a significant shift in tactics, the Americans were using B52s
to bomb the Taleban front line intensively, and for the next
five hours waves of aircraft hit Kalakata after flying from
Diego Garcia, 3,050 miles away.
dawn broke, mushrooms of earth, debris and thick black smoke
could be seen rising 800ft into the sky as each bomb struck.
“I have never seen anything like this,” Ahmad Masood,
23, a tank driver with the Northern Alliance forces, said. “It
is horrible, and wonderful. Perhaps the Americans have heard
our appeals for help, and perhaps we can soon move forward.”
raids coincided with the first rain for months, with low cloud
concealing the bombers as they approached.
forces have dominated the open plains beneath the ridge for
months, ever since they dug Soviet-era T55 and T72 tanks into
fixed positions to use as artillery. The Northern Alliance believes
that another day or two of such raids would enable it to take
Kalakata ridge, just a few miles south of the border with Tajikistan,
which safeguards the main supply route from Kabul to Mazar-i
Sharif, the city it has tried to recapture from the Taleban
the four raids on the ridge yesterday, three appeared to have
been made by B52s, while one apparently involved planes carrying
1,000lb bombs. Similar B52 raids were reported around the northern
city of Taloqan and Mazar itself.
radio messages suggested that the attacks on Kalakata had inflicted
high casualties, with 18 men reported killed in one trench alone.
Hoon, the Defence Secretary, told the Commons yesterday that
dropping long “sticks” of bombs over Taleban positions
was not the same as “carpet-bombing”. “This inaccurate
and outmoded term gives the impression that the coalition is
engaged in indiscriminate attacks. Nothing could be further
from the truth,” he said.
is associated with the Vietnam War when B52s attacked Vietcong
positions in waves, dropping hundreds of free-fall bombs. The
technique was also deployed against Iraqi troops in the 1991
crews targeting Taleban lines from 30,000ft use a computerised
“intervalometer” device under which a set amount of
1,000lb bombs is dropped at intervals of a few seconds. Duncan
Lennox, co-editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, said
bombing with the intervalometer device could never be described
as precision-guided bombing. “It may not be carpet-bombing
on the scale of Vietnam, but it’s still a lot different
from dropping single laser-guided bombs.”
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- The Times
of Terror / Ways to Reduce the Risks
from article detailing possible terrorist targets and actions
which can be taken to minimize the risks ...
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nuclear power plants, even sports stadiums - we must be aware
that the very strength and assets of our civilisation can be
used by terrorists to wreak destruction, but the risks can easily
As no commission report could ever do, the terrorist acts of
September 11, have galvanised the United States.
over a commercial aircraft to use it as a piloted cruise missile
evidently exploited a terrible vulnerability of modern society.
commercial pilot could be induced by threats to do this, but
the imagination of public officials did not encompass those
willing and even wishing to die to kill hundreds or thousands
purpose here is to discuss threats and not primarily solutions,
although the two are interlinked. If hijacking a passenger aircraft
will no longer work, motivated terrorists will doubtless choose
even if we have seen the end of hijacked passenger jets as cruise
missiles, that is not the end of their equivalent — the
use of rented or stolen cargo jets as piloted cruise missiles.
Opportunities range from large fleets, such as those of UPS
or Federal Express, to the hundreds of 707s and even 747s available
for lease at airports in the US and elsewhere.
skill but less violence would be involved in stealing such an
aircraft. It might be used against buildings or operating nuclear
reactors, which are not designed to withstand the impact of
a jumbo jet at high speed.
Terrorists have other means of turning the strength and assets
of American society against itself. These include targeted attacks
on chemical plants, but even more important, on shipments of
industrial chemicals such as chlorine, which are transported
in tank cars or trucks.
terrorist driver might apply for a job with the intent of fitting
the tank truck with detonators and exploding it in a community;
or such a truck might be ambushed and the material dispersed
by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Some failures to protect particular vulnerable points would
cause tremendous damage and inconvenience to modern society
— at the major bridges and tunnels, for instance. Not only
destruction but radiological contamination of tunnels could
be very disturbing, even if it killed few people.
Detonating thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate loaded on
a ship in a harbour would have the impact of a small nuclear
acts are possible that would be less significant in damage but
highly significant in causing terror and weakening perceptions
of US strength. Attacks on spectators in a sports stadium seem
a particular hazard, especially in the case of events shown
In the case of nuclear and biological terrorism, the largest
amount of damage would be caused either by a nuclear explosion
in a city or by a biological warfare attack. ...
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- The Times
Men Become Extinct?
from article detailing social changes which have had adverse
impacts on men, technological changes that may one day make
men optional as regards procreation, and the ways in which men
are dealing with these pressures ...
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leading expert on men's health predicts that his sex risk becoming
extinct unless their basic approach to health issues changes.
Siegfried Meryn, from the University of Vienna in Austria, believes
that over the past 25 years men's role in society, in the home
and at work has dramatically changed.
women have become the more dominant members of society.
will be the implications of the redefinition of men's roles
within the family, work and society on their health?,"
wrote Professor Siegfried.
there come a time when they may not be needed at all?"
the advent of sperm banks, in-vitro fertilisation, sex sorting
techniques, sperm independent fertilisation of eggs with somatic
cells, human cloning and same sex marriages it is a distinct
possibility, he argues.
editorial in the British Medical Journal coincides with the
first World Congress on Men's Health in Vienna, where experts
are examining the impact men's altered role in society is having
on their health.
Siegfried, president of the congress, said: "Women now
have a higher emotional intelligence and better social competence
then men and are much more in control of their own lives than
they used to be.
are not necessarily at the top of the hierarchy in their work-place
and their role in the family has completely changed.
he says men are trying to hang on to the past and cannot accept
the increasing threats to their masculinity.
Siegfried stresses that unless there is a fundamental change
to their approach to fit in with today's society, problems will
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