Royally Kranked

Friday, October 07, 2005

Numbers like this kind of put things in a very sobering perspective, and it appears that Iraq may have been one of the few places in the Middle East that DIDN'T have WsMD

More than 360 private companies, university departments and government organisations in eight countries, including the Pakistan high commission in London, are identified as having procured goods or technology for use in weapons programmes.

The length of the list, compiled by MI5, suggests that the arms trade supermarket is bigger than has so far been publicly realised. MI5 warns against exports to organisations in Iran, Pakistan, India, Israel, Syria and Egypt and to beware of front companies in the United Arab Emirates, which appears to be a hub for the trade.

It's like finding out when you're in the middle of the ocean that your ship has numerous, slow leaks, some letting in more water than others

To treat them all with the same urgency would be counterproductive, so the leaks letting in the most volume are dispatched first

But here's the catch

You may staunch the bigger leaks, but more than likely, can't stop them all

So, you play the odds, because they usually work out when going after the major leaks first

But if one of those unfixed leaks suddenly gets much bigger, then playing the odds didn't work

And with numbers in the hundreds as cited in the first quoted paragraph, I don't think the days of never getting hit with either a nuclear blast, or devastated by an attack utilizing WsMD, will continue their perfect streak forever

Because, the counterterrorists have to be right all the time

The terrorists have to get it right only once to inflict cataclysmic destruction

The 17-page document identifies 95 Pakistani organisations and government bodies, including the Pakistan high commission in London, as having assisted in the country's nuclear programme. The list was compiled two years ago, shortly after the security service mounted a surveillance operation at the high commission which is the only diplomatic institution on the list. Abdul Basit, the deputy high commissioner, said: "It is absolute rubbish for Pakistan to be included. We take exception to these links."

Some 114 Iranian organisations, including chemical and pharmaceutical companies and university medical schools, are identified as having acquired nuclear, chemical, biological or missile technology. The document also attempts to shed some light on the nuclear ambitions of Egypt and Syria: a private chemical company in Egypt is identified as having procured technology for use in a nuclear weapons programme, while the Syrian atomic energy commission faces a similar charge. Eleven Israeli organisations appear on the list, along with 73 Indian bodies, which are said to have been involved in WMD programmes.

The document also highlights concerns that companies in Malta and Cyprus could have been used as fronts for WMD programmes. The United Arab Emirates is named as "the most important" of the countries where front companies may have been used, and 24 private firms there are identified as having acquired WMD technology for Iran, Pakistan and India.

Oddly enough, the image going through my head isn't a mushroom cloud, it's of people waiting for any level of Government response after Katrina, and of the worsening conditions exacerbated thanks to being left on their own

Katrina showed the whole world that NO city in this country is prepared to deal with a large-scale terrorist attack of any kind over 4 years after September 11

Combine that unreadiness with the numbers mentioned earlier, then factor in just how absolutely porous our Ports of Entry are due to cuts in both staffing and budgets, and a VERY unsettling picture emerges

And lets not forget this last reality

The whole world saw how massively unprepared the US is to respond to a large scale terrorist attack or natural disaster

And that undoubtedly includes those who wish the US much ill will


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