Who is the enemy?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by GS3, Dec 1, 2007.

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  1. GS3

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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    I find the explanation given for the closing of this thread, frankly, ridiculous.
    To think people who need training in detonating explosives would come here in search of information is just silly. To me this is just a sign of the ridiculous extremes we have come to where we live in fear and tend to see terrorists everywhere. (I even think I may have seen one in my soup yesterday.)

    Even supposing for the sake of argument that someone really was looking for a way to activate an explosive at a distance, all they have to do is ask for a way to activate anything else, say a bell, at a distance and then replace the load.

    In any case, any and all knowledge can be used for good and for bad and it is not the responsibility of this site to censor such general knowledge.

    Having said that, I do not know who you mean by "the enemy". Who is "the enemy"? Like that is an absolute category. The enemy of whom?

    The way I see it the enemy of mankind are those peoples and countries who, contrary to international law and civilised behaviour, have attacked and invaded Iraq causing hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths, millions of wounded, millions of refugees and untold misery for millions and millions. Those are "the enemy" of people with any moral standards. Those who kidnap and torture and who have no respect for human rights. And, to a lesser degree, those peoples, countries and governments who have aided or who have just looked the other way. Those who have sold their morality in exchange for a few dollars. To one degree or another we are all guilty of a huge crime: some as perpetrators, others as aides and others for plain just not caring.

    Those Iraqis who attack the invaders of their country are doing what any patriot would do if his country was invaded. They are legitimately defending their country and when all this mess is over they will be the heroes. They are most certainly not my enemies. I have no quarrel with the Iraqi people. The invaders are the villains and they don't need to come here to ask how to sow death among the innocent. They already do it very effectively. Supported by our taxes and our disinterest.
     
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    From my perspective, I wish to keep the politics of the Iraq war and other associated conflicts out of this discussion, there are other threads where such matters can be discussed. Therefore I would like to keep this discussion on the subject of such threads as the one in the OP.

    Firstly, this is a public forum therefore is not just information to those participating in the thread, or those registered as members here, but to anyone who navigates to this site through a search engine or other.

    Secondly, whilst there is an argument to say "it is not the responsibility of this site to censor such general knowledge" we do have responsibilities and liabilities as to what is discussed in the open on the forums. If we look at it selfishly, if some asks "help me make a bomb" and we help, where do you think we would stand if that person made that bomb and did something with it?

    The problem is, as I have discussed with others on this forum, where do we draw a line? It is difficult. Actually, because of the Internet, it is impossible so we need to set out what we will and won't accept as appropriate discussion. As you say someone could just replace the load with a bell and then ask, but then are they likely to be here asking such questions given they will have a degree of knowledge in the first place to make the switch. Again thinking about this selfishly, if some asks "help me make a bell-ringer" and we help, if that person ultimately makes a bomb, where do you think we would stand now?

    There is no right and wrong and we need to make a judgement call. If we didn't take the stance that we would censor certain, potentially dangerous content, then we would IMO be doing this site a disservice. We would love to know the intent of everyone to ensure what is being asked is justified, but we can't, and hence we need to make calls to the best of our intuition.

    I am happy to discuss this matter further.

    Dave
     
  3. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Leaving all questions of morality and who is more to blame for world conflicts - bombs and /or explosives are extremely indiscriminate in their actions. This forum does not need to promote information that can be used to harm others.

    We can't catch every instance of ways to trigger explosives, but I look for anything with that stated intent.
     
  4. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
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    I don't see locking out these threads as censorship, the information is already on the web. Why make a more convient place to find bomb making components. I don't think the terrorist are searching the web for simple devices, they've been doing this a long time. I'm more concerned with the high school kids. There has been a lot of serious problems in schools since Columbine, severval close ones in the past few months. These kids are getting caught with guns, ammunition, and high explosives. Most kids are lazy when it comes to research. Discussing a topic in forum, that might be useful in some unfortunate action, would just make the search simpler.
    Everything posted in these forums can show up on Google. I've seen mine show up many times. I don't just post a question and wait for the answer. I keep looking. A school kid might search a few times, not find something they could use right off, and give up (or post it in a forum :) ).

    There numerous products on store shelves, that you could change the output on. Disposiable cellphones for under $10, which should be banned for so many reasons. Recently was shopping for a start capacitor for my pressure washer, was a little tempted by a $7.98 remote control for your outdoor christmas lights (didn't state the range, so passed). The hardware is easy to find, why make the modifications simple to find as well.

    I post on one other forum, and their policy is about the same as here.
     
  5. adn07

    Member

    Sep 25, 2007
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    if someone is dreaming of killing people ...i think he well invent any dam bomb without
    need to any information outside.......
     
  6. Gadget

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 10, 2006
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    Tis a sad state of Paranoia.
     
  7. GS3

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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    With regard to the closing of the thread I have nothing more to say. It is not my board and it is not my call to make. I have to respect the decisions of the mods here even when I think they may be silly. They do a thankless job and I respect that. This thread was more about calling Iraqis "the enemy", which just rubbed me the wrong way. That is why I put this in off topic. The Iraqis are certainly not my enemy. They are the enemies of the invaders of their country and it is the invaders who chose to create that enmity.

    That is my point exactly. We now live in a state of fear and are ready to renounce our morality and our principles in exchange for a perception that we are buying some safety --which we really aren't. By doing this we are losing any right we had because we are becoming as bad as those who we say we are fighting. And, furthermore, we are playing right into their game. Terrorists, contrary to popular perception and government propaganda, do not want to kill a lot of people; they want to terrorise a lot of people, and in this they are succeding beyond their wildest dreams. The American people are really and truly terrorised and their government promotes and uses that for their own ends. It is the oldest trick in the book for tyrants to find an external enemy in order to justify their excesses.

    This war in Iraq cannot be won by America because the Iraqis have nowhere to go and will fight for their homeland while the Americans can go home when they decide they've had enough. Then the true will of the Iraqi people will become apparent. When they install a regime so anti-western and so brutal that Saddam Hussein will look good in comparison. We have made them our enemies and they will be our enemies for generations to come. To quote napoleon:
    And while Anmerica debilitates itself in this damn fool war Iran, China, Russia and other competing powers are rubbing their hands. Every day that passes America is doing to itself damage that those powers could not dream of inflicting. The longer it lasts the better for them. And when, in a few years time, one of them decides to make a threatening move, there will be no resolve left in the American people for any outside adventures.

    In the meanwhile, the American people will not turn back just because they lasck the courage to admit they did something really stupid. They *know* they have done something really stupid, they just do not want to admit it. And in order to avoid the inevitable admission they are willing to continue dying and killing while cowering behind their president who says has magical powers to protect them. In the meanwhile the rest of the "civilised" world pretends that nothing is happening.

    It is a sad state of affairs indeed.
     
  8. GS3

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    408
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    As I said, it's your call, not mine, but what harm can one do with a toy helicopter and small fireworks? Unless you have a neighbor who is an old lady prone to heart attacks... You know, this reminds me of Michael Palin trying to get rid of the old lady in A Fish Called Wanda.

    It seems to me the main thrust of the thread, i.e. how to add and activate something on a flying toy helicopter, was perfectly valid. It could be a camera, a sensor or fireworks. It seems to me that if there is any objection it is to the lighting the fuse of fireworks and it would have been enough to leave the thread open and just warn against posting specific information about lighting fuses. Allow the posting of how to add a remote control channel to the helicopter to govern a relay or switch.

    As I said, it is not my call and I am not complaining but it seems a sad state of affairs to me when we are so paranoid that we see danger everywhere. To me, it seems that while someone is wasting time playing with toy helicopters he is less likely to be sharpening a kitchen knife to stab someone with. Now, the sharpening of kitchen knives, there is technology we do not want disseminated. ;)
     
  9. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
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    Thanks for the comments GS3, it is interesting to read the thoughts of others on this matter and as always a debate is open as long as it appropriate.

    It is worth noting that the Mods and Admin have discussed this and 100% agree with the action taken - thinking about this selfishly, we must act in the best interests of our liability.

    As I said in my previous post, it is up to us to make calls on where to draw the line, and what is considered suitable - I cannot stress this point enough, but this is no easy endeavour and we must use our intuition/discretion about what is, or is not, acceptable in the widest interests of all the members here (this includes the Mods and Admin).

    If you have an issue is with who is "the enemy", well that is dependant on who you speak to and like I said previously I (personally) do not wish to get into a debate on this point.

    Comments welcome as always.

    Dave
     
  10. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
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    I have always thought that trying to set up a democracy in a region where the strongest have always ruled, and the weak have served. When the troop pull out, the civil war begins. It has too much to do with religious beliefs, nobody can change that. I don't think our presence in the region is such a bad thing. Iraq is pretty much the middle of the area, the surrounding countries aren't overly freindly with their neighbors. I'm not sure if Iran actually intends to build nuclear bombs, or just stating they could if needed. Don't think it would take more then a day or two remove that threat, with the resources already in place.
    I feel safer, there have only been a few large scale terrorist attacks since 9-11, and believe the trend will continue for a few years afte the democrats get into office and pull the troops...
     
  11. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    I believe there is a saying among Arabs: "Kiss the hand you cannot cut off".
     
  12. GS3

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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    You don't think something which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of maimed and displaced is a "bad thing". I guess in your book if they're not Americans they have no right to live. Not to mention the morality of it all. America has no moral right to be there and has proven that it pays lip service to human rights and any moral considerations.
    Iran has the same right to build nuclear weapons as any other country and now America has proven that the only way to be safe from them is to have nuclear weapons. It is now not only the right but the obligation of the Iranian government towards their people to try to acquire nuclear weapons as soon as they can. It is the only way they can be safe from that crazy America who thinks they are entitled to rule the world.

    How many countries has Iran attacked in the last century? How many countries has America attacked? Who is the agressor? America (and the UK before it) has a long history of meddling in that region. We are reaping what we sowed.

    This is ridiculous. Iran, like Pakistan, will have nuclear weapons and there is nothing America can do about it but maybe delay it a bit and even then at great cost if done by force. You better get used to it.

    The fearmongering by the US government is obviously working. The American people continue to cower behind their leaders while they are surrendering everything America is supposed to stand for: rule of law, due process, human rights, peaceful coesxistance with other nations, etc. America, like the proverbial village, has to be destroyed in order to be saved...

    The American government has done more to subvert the American system than any terrorist ever could. And the American people, as a people, are cowards who will surrender their morality and ideals in exchange for a mild illusion of safety.

    And when it all fails and comes crumbling down, the hawks, like they did after Vietnam, will again resort to the Stab-in-the-back legend saying "we could have won if only we had persevered and not been defeated by the defeatists at home".

    Not to mention the immorality of the whole thing. It stinks. America deserves to lose in Iraq and it looks like, in the end, justice will be done. But the cost the Iraqi people will have paid is so enormous that this will mean we have made them our enemies for generations. We have taken the most secular country in the region and made it into a bed of religious fanaticism. We have made Iraq a wasteland. And we have done that while renouncing every moral stand we had.
     
  13. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
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    Well, sorry beenthere, but your explanation is, quite frankly, ridiculous. The enemy (using your works) has knowledge on how to do worse things. We all seen that on the news. And who is "the enemy"? I'm just asking because your enemy is not my enemy, taking into account that you used the words "the enemy", which would mean the Germans if we were living the World War II. It would be preferable to say it is dangerous, or something else.

    No country has the right to build nuclear weapons. Not even US, even if it is under the pretext of "Freedom", which is never the pretext by the way. No reason is enough to justify mass murder.

    Iraq is more poor than ever. It offends me that when the U.S. army got there, one the first things they have done was to assault the money reserves, therefore shoveling tons of bills into the streets and consequently making the money value drop like a stone. They didn't even protected the Museum of Baghdad. The only building they protected was the Oil Ministry. I wonder why.
     
  14. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    It's all relative. When somebody offers to harm fellow countrymen, he's the enemy.

    Re Osamma's latest - Can't see his taking sole credit for the Twin Towers incident of 9/11 as anything but an attempt to divide the non-Islamic countries. It is a vast failure in the part of Western intelligence agencies that Osamma is still running around loose.
     
  15. Salgat

    Active Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    215
    1
    We shouldn't censor ourselves from knowledge, especially when it's freely available in more concentrated forms all over the internet.
     
  16. chesart1

    Senior Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    269
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    I agree with gadget. I think the Bush administration deliberately arouses the people's fears and insecurity to gain support for war. They did it before the Iraq war and now they are repeating it to gain support for attacking Iran.

    Suspicion and paranoia is the Bush Administration's justificaton for war.

    The US advocates of war should ponder the following points. If we used suspicion and fear as justification for war during the 1960's, a nuclear war would have resulted and I doubt we'd be alive to have this conversation today. If an attack on Iran triggers a world war, then after that war is over and tens of millions of people have died, there will still be terrorists in the world and the threat of a terrorist using a dirty bomb will still be just as real as it is today. We will have achieved nothing.

    President Bush brought terror into the lives of the Iraqi people with his words "Bring it on!" He challenged the terrorists to fight us in Iraq and left the Iraqi borders wide open to let them in.

    Alexis Tocqueville wrote [in his book Democracy In America published in 1831] that despotism was the real threat to democracy. Apparently, the Iraq war advocates have practiced despotism by calling opponents of the Iraq war unpatriotic.

    John
     
  17. chesart1

    Senior Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    269
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    I think we all have to be careful about the kind of projects we help people build.

    It is a judgement call. A person wanting to build a remote trigger for an explosive may ask innocent questions in a forum like this. Our problem is we don't know the person. We only know what that person wants us to know. We don't really know that person's age.

    And that person doesn't have to be a member of a terrorist organization. That person may just be planning a prank or a serious crime or may want to do something he/she has never done before.

    So I think the rule of thumb should be: If a member would not allow a family relative to build the circuit and use it, then don't help some unknown person on the internet do it.
     
  18. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
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    Many places have strict rules about fireworks. "Small fireworks" may well become "class C areal fireworks" when launched from a toy helicopter. These "small" fireworks certainly were never designed for such a purpose. They may be safe when used as designed, but who here has the expertise to say - without specifically knowing which fireworks are being used - that they would be safe when so modified?

    I realize the above was not the cited reason for closure of the thread in question, but I nonetheless support the closure.

    There are topics which none of us would appreciate a stranger to bring up in our living room. We have the right to ask said stranger to acquiesce to our wishes about conversation in our living room. This forum is a virtual living room for JRap, Dcrunkilton, Dave, and those whom they've "adopted." To announce that we don't discuss techniques for launching fireworks from toy helicopters here is no different from a family deciding they don't discuss sex acts at the dinner table.

    I can further assure everyone that neither Dave nor JRap voted for Bush!! (Nor for anyone else running in that election!)

    And I will remind all that conflict in the Mid East is "off topic" for this discussion about what threads should and should not be locked.
     
  19. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
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    Wish I could respond to GS3's comments, but won't go off topic here. Will start a new thread.

    Remote control gadgets are great, and I've played around with a few ideas involving fireworks (great for scaring off the neighbor's cats). I also have an R/C helicopter (Blade CP), but not a good enough pilot to even think about launching bottle rockets from it. I can see the appeal though. Anybody with a little knowledge in electronics shouldn't have much trouble finding and re-purposing something, and will mostly do so with some sense of resposiability. I still believe posting details, step-by-step instructions would just open the door to anybody and everybody doing it, with little or no understanding of precautions or limitations.

    Banning these sorts of projects here won't stop people from doing it, but hopefully the ones that would use them badly won't have the desire to do much research.
     
  20. Distort10n

    Active Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    429
    1
    This may be slighty off topic, but here is a similar perspective.

    I worked in a semiconductor tech support role not too long ago and was an engineer on the front lines when customer's would call/email in asking about op-amps, data converters, logic, DSP's...anything that Joe Blow could buy from a distributor.

    It was their internal policy that a front end agent or engineer MUST ask for the customer's contact information: name, phone, address before any answer was given no matter how ridiculously simple it was.

    Want an example? "What is the maximum supply voltage for this op-amp?" If a customer refused to give his or her contact information, then we could not give that customer an answer. Keep in mind...the datasheet is on the web...public information. Still, it was seen as "due diligence" to keep information away from nefarious people.

    So the question was, if it really was a terrorist wishing to build a bomb the information is already there on the web: datasheets, application notes etc.

    It is like saying: "Here is the step by step instructions to build a bomb, but do not ask me questions on these instructions unless you tell me your name, phone, and address."

    Of course they could lie.

    So the best advice I could offer is not answr questions that you know are illegal. We do get questions about cell phone jammers from time to time (there is a Master's thesis out there people about this!).

    A remote control switch for fireworks? I could see using one's own judgement and not posting an answer to be cautious, but I do not think it should have been locked outright.
     
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