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Making a Case For Cyberwar Against Syria 203

Posted by timothy
from the too-bad-so-few-picked-the-anti-war-candidate dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Jason Healey writes at Defense One that if the Obama administration conducts military strikes against Syria, as now seems likely, it should use military cyber weapons at the earliest possible moment to show 'that cyber operations are not evil witchcraft but can be humanitarian.' Cyber capabilities could first disrupt Syrian air defenses directly or confuse military command and control, allowing air strikes to proceed unchallenged. A cyber strike might also disable dual-use Syrian critical infrastructure (such as electrical power) that aids the regime's military but with no long-term destruction as would be caused by traditional bombs. Last, it is possible the U.S. military has cyber capabilities to directly disrupt the operations of Syria's chemical troops. Healy writes that one cyberweapon that should not be used is covert cyber operations against Bashar Assad's finances. 'Both of his immediate predecessors declined such attacks and the world economy and financial sector are already in a perilous state.' Before the American-led strikes against Libya in 2011, the Obama administration debated whether to conduct a cyberoffensive to disrupt the Qaddafi government's air-defense system, but balked, fearing that it might set a precedent for other nations, in particular Russia or China, to carry out such offensives of their own. This time should be different in Healey's view. 'By sparing the lives of Syrian troops and nearby civilians, an opening cyber operation against Syria could demonstrate exactly how such capabilities can be compliant with international humanitarian law,' writes Healey. 'America should take this chance to demystify these weapons to show the world they, and the U.S. military in general, can be used on the battlefield in line with humanitarian principles.'"
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Making a Case For Cyberwar Against Syria

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  • No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lightknight (213164) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @05:34PM (#44770037) Homepage

    Those who live in glass houses, should not throw stones...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Those who live in glass houses, should not throw stones...

      Especially not at people who live in much less glassy houses and still have plenty of stones... Seriously, unless the world of SCADA systems, consumer operating systems, and assorted web infrastructure, and such is far less of a clusterfuck than is routinely reported at security conferences, do we really want to encourage any more hackery than already goes on?

      (Attempting to use the 'humanitarian' bullshit is doubly foolish: 'humanitarian' is always an object of politicized cynisism, and wouldn't it argua

      • Re:No (Score:4, Interesting)

        by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @06:41PM (#44770449)

        No kidding! This "justification" for "war" is sounding like a broken record.

        Wasting money to kill others (who disagree with you) is spiritually retarded.

        When are people going to demand that violence is NOT the solution -- it is precisely part of the problem in the first place!

        I'm reminded of MLK Jr's speech who said it a little more eloquently:

        A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

        * Full transcript & audio of the brilliant speech:
        http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm [americanrhetoric.com]

        • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

          by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @06:46PM (#44770479) Journal
          It doesn't much help that people are proposing violence as a solution to a war where there aren't even any factions we actually want winning...
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Also, bear in mind that the majority of the rebels are made up of Al-Qaida operatives\stooges... people who have been our declared enemy since 9-11. That means aiding them is an act of treason....yet no one is paying any attention to that "little" facet of the equation.

        • Nothing to do with "kill others who disagree with you". Everything to do with world conquest, then total control. Trillionaires want to stay trillionaires.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Stan92057 (737634)
          What would you do to stop this tyrant who kills his own men ,women, children, by chemical weapons? Say please stop? Speechs are feel good things that dont do shit. What is your solution.Speechs are not solutions.
          • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

            by FishOuttaWater (1163787) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @08:28PM (#44771029)
            You seem to be starting from the assumption that we have to be the ones to stop him. Do you think you can stop every bad person from doing every bad thing? If you just want to save lives, you'd have a lot more impact per dollar going after mosquitoes. If it's not about the lives, then what is it about?
          • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

            by 0111 1110 (518466) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:02PM (#44771365)

            We were kind of hoping that you, Stan, would solve this problem for us. Why is this our problem? We have nothing to do with Syria. Why not let a local country deal with the problem? There are nearly 200 sovereign countries in the world at least half of which could probably kick the Syrian government's ass. Why do we always have to be the world's sole policeman? Sorry, but that is just bullshit. You want to go to war with Syria for fucking humanitarian reasons (haha!) then you go do that. I don't want my own country getting involved at this point and the last time I checked the majority of Americans agreed with me.

            I'll tell you what, when the Syrians overthrow our government for us and release us from our own chains then we can return the favor. We don't owe the world or any particular country in it a damn thing. And the vast majority of them don't want our help anyway. Let's get a poll of the Syrians who want us to bomb them in order to save them. You really think the majority will be in favor of it?

            Even if we succeed with our plan for regime change and manage to install a puppet leader and puppet government how long before that government gets overthrown by the people? And it's not like our govenment is really all that much better anymore even from the POV of someone who wants more freedom, which most Syrians probably don't anyway.

            Maybe the best thing to do is something along the lines of what Sweden is doing. Let the few Syrians who are pro-liberty and would support a US puppet government just come here instead. And let the rest fend for themselves. They don't want to be rescued. They don't want our "help".

            • I'll tell you what, when the Syrians overthrow our government for us and release us from our own chains then we can return the favor. We don't owe the world or any particular country in it a damn thing.

              You were doing well towards here.

              You clearly dont have any idea whats going on in Syria, or you wouldnt compare their situation to ours. When you fear to send your child to work because of government snipers who target children, then we can talk.

              • So instead of fearing snipers, it is better to fear the rockets from fighter jets miles up in the sky?

                Or, is it better to fear various curable diseases from killing your child instead of the snipers? I don't see the US spending trillions of dollars on these causes. Given the track record in Afghan and Iraq, it's pretty obvious that spending a few trillion on curing diseases like malaria, HIV, etc, even if unsuccessful, is probably better than spending trillions to make bad political situations worse.

          • by jimshatt (1002452)
            You're completely right. Obviously we should beat up the bickering children so that, at least, they'll have a common enemy. Having something in common is always nice.
        • Not commenting on Syria specifically, but MLK isnt "automatically right" because hes MLK, and I think in this case he is dead wrong. There are times war is necessary for any person of conscience. I might mention, for example, the holocaust-- even though we got into the war for a number of reasons (very few of them morally based), it was a war that I think can easily be justified.

          I never studies MLK in depth, but from what I know of him he was rather an idealist and may have had trouble grasping that peopl

        • No kidding! This "justification" for "war" is sounding like a broken record. Wasting money to kill others (who disagree with you) is spiritually retarded. When are people going to demand that violence is NOT the solution -- it is precisely part of the problem in the first place!

          The trouble with that sort of thinking is that it fails to account for the fact that peace requires participation by everyone, whereas war can be started unilaterally. Hitler, for example, actively wanted war, and was frustrated

        • Wasting money to kill others (who disagree with you) is spiritually retarded.

          war is about spending money to kill others you are preventing you from making more money. it's never anything more or less than that. violence is most certainly the solution to keeping the 0.1% on top.

          even if syria isn't strategically important, it will serve nicely as a justification for military spending and a training exercise.

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

        and assorted web infrastructure, and such is far less of a clusterfuck than is routinely reported at security conferences, do we really want to encourage any more hackery than already goes on?

        Would this be known as Asshackery?

    • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @05:52PM (#44770149) Homepage

      Forget about the houses... America has a glass neighborhood.

      Let's assume for just a moment that the government has magically secured its own systems against any particular attack. The next target of convenience for any retaliation is everybody else. Remember the headaches when Anonymous lashed out at Mastercard? Now add in a military's knowledge and resources, and it won't just be credit cards that won't work. Everybody from health care to restaurants becomes a target, and the usual rules of engagement don't really apply.

      The government will survive. It might take a few hits, but I suspect the American military's networks are disparate enough that no single attack will completely cripple their ability to function. The civilians, though, are far less protected and far less resilient. One bad week can mean the end for many small businesses, leading to widespread fear, and another economic crisis.

      A war over the Internet is the current nuclear option. We don't want it, and we can't survive it, but it is one heck of a powerful weapon.

      • A war over the Internet is the current nuclear option. We don't want it, and we can't survive it, but it is one heck of a powerful weapon.

        One problem with cyberwarfare is that the US is heavily dependent on the internet, whereas the dictatorships we're facing off against aren't. North Korea is a good example of this. The North Korean regime is supposed to have invested heavily in offensive cyberwarfare as a deterrent weapon. If hostilities were to break out with the U.S., North Korea could try to disrupt our civilian infrastructure and economy, but they'd be almost invulnerable to counterattack, since the country doesn't depend on the interne

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Those who live in glass houses, should not throw stones...

      Shouldn't dance naked. On another note, is a warmongering Nobel peace prize recipient an oxymoron?

  • by s.petry (762400) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @05:42PM (#44770089)

    How many times do we have to tell the Government that they must obey the law? Only Congress can declare war! If the CIA is found to be engaging in acts of war with foreign nations, they need to be held accountable. If politicians, such as Obama, defy the constitution they need to be held accountable. If corporations are found to be engaging in acts of war, they need to be held accountable. This is obviously a request for you, the people, to demand that the law be enforced.

    If you start with the agents and put them on trial for treason, evidence will grow for higher ups. There is no immunity in this simply because someone was following orders. We, the people, need to stop accepting law breakers sitting in public offices.

    We have let things slide for over 40 years, and if you keep ignoring the severity of the situation we won't have a USA or a world worth living in.

    • by lgw (121541)

      The president can order an attack without congressional approval (a cold war concession made long ago - if the Reds nuke us, we can nuke em back right away), but requires approval within 90 days IIRC. So the executive could initiate a cyber-attack, just as the president could order an airstrike.

      • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @06:20PM (#44770331)

        What you're referring to is the War Powers Act [wikipedia.org]. This does allow the president the ability to engage in conflict on short notice and without a declaration of war, but the act was designed to check the president's warmaking powers, restricting it to specific conditions. According to the act, the president can only act by statutory authorization or "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." Presidents (R and D alike) have tended to focus on the details like the 60 to 90 days they have discretion, while ignoring the conditions under which such discretion is allowed. Unless we are in a national emergency (i.e. a nuking or a Pearl Harbor like event), Presidents act against the letter of the War Powers Act if they exercise such powers.

        I point all this out because its so often misrepresented in the media, which rarely questions a President's authority to go to war (again, R or D president).

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        The president can order an attack without congressional approval (a cold war concession made long ago - if the Reds nuke us, we can nuke em back right away), but requires approval within 90 days IIRC.

        Only if the U.S. is attacked first. Did Kennedy have the authority to "resolve" the Cuban Missile Crisis by ordering a massive nuclear strike on both Cuba and the Soviet fleet without a declaration of war? How about if Obama decides to weaken Assad's support by first bombing Iran, bombing any arms shipments

      • by s.petry (762400)
        I never stated that the President could not order military action, I stated that he can not declare war. As others have pointed out already, the spirit of the War Powers Act is to ensure that we can respond to a first strike. There is a massive difference between the President ordering protection of the homeland and starting a foreign war. It is an impeachable offense in fact, which is why both Bush's went to Congress. There was no eminent threat to US territory in either Gulf 1 or Gulf 2.
        • by lgw (121541)

          I doubt it's an impeachable offense - the commander in chief can order the military around at his whimsy, and who's the last president who didn't order an airstrike against someone who pissed him off - Carter? But these days the only impeachable offense is to be a president of the opposite party of both the House and Senate.

          People get upset when you put their children's life at risk, so putting troops on the ground is a heavily political action, and so I'd be amazed if any president didn't seek political c

          • by s.petry (762400)
            I am finding that people are getting smarter than you imply. Bombing costs money, and we have a Government that has ensured that the next 22 generations of Americans are paying back current debt. In other words, this is not just a matter of your kid going and getting shot. It's about your children not being able to afford to eat.
            • by lgw (121541)

              I wish I shared your optimism about people getting smarter. But still it's a good point: eventually, people may gey annoyed if we launch 100 $10 million cruise missiles at someone on a whim, or lose 100 expensive drones.

              • by s.petry (762400)

                Most of my optimism comes from teaching people and seeing results. I also see groups gaining membership, such as the "Young Libertarians". In the last month, I have had the pleasure of convincing 3 people to start reading Plato's "The Republic" and start to have dialogue with me. In that same month, I have convinced 9 to start reading Gary Allen's "None Dare Call it Conspiracy" and again begin dialogue. Other people I previously worked on have begun to open doors of their own.

                At times, it's frustrating

    • Acts of war are not necessary for the President to direct the troops to engage in combat. A declaration of war DOES, as I recall, grant several new powers to the President, which is why Congress tends not to issue them. Even for Iraq / Afghanistan, Congress simply granted AUMFs. Of course, Congress controls the budget, so without them on board things can get a little difficult.

      Obama is seeking an AUMF for Syria, so its sort of moot anyways. I dont think anyone is concerned with whether Obama can legally

      • by s.petry (762400)

        Actually there is a legal question since Obama claimed he did not need the approval of Congress to attack Syria. It is that statement that now has 14 members of congress demanding that he follow the law or face impeachment in addition to several members of the Senate expressing similar statements and voicing concerns.

        The War Powers Act of 1973 limits the President's ability declarations to responding to an attack against the USA (sovereign territory, attack on the military, and a few other cases). It can

    • we won't have a USA or a world worth living in

      It's hardly worth living in now. I couldn't be bothered paying attention to these idiots and what they do with their military industrial complex, borrowed money and world terror campaign. The USA is done, gone, finished .. no longer the place in which you were born.

      I hear Ecuador is a fine democracy, move there.

      If you want a world worth living in, stop supporting the people destroying it. Get out of the USA .. quit making their computer systems, quit paying for the destruction being done in your nam

  • Are we at war with Syria?

    Well then, I guess no war, "cyber" or otherwise.
    • Re:Nope, no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gmuslera (3436) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @07:43PM (#44770809) Homepage Journal

      US is actually in war with everyone, specially in the cyber realm. They have (or think their have) the upper hand and then is happily going against all the world, not just spying, but infiltrating, planting backdoors, sabotaging, and other activities that in their own opinion deserves decades in jail if is done by civilians. They aren't doing this for preserving the peace, protecting their citizens or attack terrorists, they are doing it because they want war, they profit from it, and they think they can win it, no matter the cost in lives.

      They are trying to legalize the war in Syria (that probably they or their associates are instingating [mintpressnews.com]) , so they can define hacking as something similar to weapon of mass destruction, and justify intervention in even more countries.

  • by ubrgeek (679399) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @05:45PM (#44770115)
    Also with their air defense systems. [theregister.co.uk]
  • Something fishy when the uber-parent claims that war "seems likely," when the House will almost vote war down, and the Senate is about to experience a filibuster.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SnarfQuest (469614)

      the funny thing about this "war", is that the "facts" come from the same people that the Democrats discredited during the Iraq war. Now that Obama wants a war to distract everyone from his other disastrous wars (like Egypt, Benghazi, ...), the press is willing to forget their claims against these sources. Anything for Obama, and the Democrats.

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        the press is willing to forget their claims against these sources. Anything for Obama, and the Democrats.

        Hardly. The media is as pro war in 2013 as they were in 2003, or 1963. Or did we all forget that the "liberal" MSNBC canned their highest rated show when the host, Phil Donahue, questioned the invasion of Iraq?

        The only difference now is the chunk of the Democratic party that would be having a hissy fit if it were Romney providing the same crap intelligence and claiming he could go to war without approv

      • the funny thing about this "war", is that the "facts" come from the same people that the Democrats discredited during the Iraq war. Now that Obama wants a war to distract everyone from his other disastrous wars (like Egypt, Benghazi, ...), the press is willing to forget their claims against these sources. Anything for Obama, and the Democrats.

        It's night and day. You can go on Youtube and see the victims of the chemical weapons yourself- children suffering seizures, row after row of men, women and children laid out on concrete floors without any signs of physical injury. Medecins sans Frontiers came out and said that the doctors treating the wounded described symptoms consistent with nerve gas. Some of the people treating the victims got enough exposure that they fell ill and some of them died. Tissue samples taken by doctors have tested positive

        • by rts008 (812749)

          That was a very nice summary of the situation.

          Thanks.

        • by tinkerton (199273)

          It probably was a sarin attack. But it was also very likely a rebel attack. Your claim that the rebels don't have rockets is based on hearsay. What's more it ignores how easy it is to make basic rockets in Gaza. There was another attack 19 march : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khan_al-Assal_chemical_attack [wikipedia.org] . The russians filed a very detailed report on that in july but it was ignored. So they returned to the issue a few days back since nobody else wants to do it. So this is not the first attempt. There have

    • The sad thing is that the President has already declared it his right to initiate the war unilaterally and he has plenty of cheerleaders [cnn.com], including in the supposed opposition party [weeklystandard.com], who will support action even without Congressional approval.
  • So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @05:52PM (#44770153) Journal
    Apparently we should use 'cyber' weapons; but not against the finances of the guy we accuse of killing ~100k people; because the poor, poor, banks might get weepy or something. What kind of bullshit is this? Sure, target the Syrian electrical grid (it's "dual use"!) but don't touch the financial markets, they have feelings too(and apparently financial markets aren't "dual use" much to the confusion of money launderers, mercenaries, and plundering kleptocrats worldwide?)
    • by Dr Max (1696200)
      Ummmm how about we don't give the US the right to screw with peoples bank accounts just because the US has accused them of something. Considering the US track record of getting accusations right and all.
      • I'm not saying that doing that is a good idea; rather mocking the (honestly rather repulsive) worldview of somebody who casually suggests that attacking Syrian infrastructure would be a demonstration of how 'humane' "cyber" war can be; but warns against the terribly dangerous path of going after financial assets. You have to be kind of a ragingly bad person to suggest that zapping every SCADA system that looks vulnerable in an entire country is a good opportunity to prove that cyberwarfare is a fine, upsta
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      I think the US is hoping that Syria kept its US/UK/French/German hardware network connected like in Serbia, Libya, Argentina (vs UK), Iran, Iraq...
      The other view is to call the top staff in Syria and offer them a way out.
      Have problems at a critical time and a new life 'anywhere' is offered when the freedom fighters surround your city.
      Spin up the Russian tech and the fog of war gets very messy - no deal, no papers, no new life, no banking.
      Just swarms of foreign 'freedom fighters' and their drone linked h
    • Apparently we should use 'cyber' weapons; but not against the finances of the guy we accuse of killing ~100k people; because the poor, poor, banks might get weepy or something. What kind of bullshit is this? Sure, target the Syrian electrical grid (it's "dual use"!) but don't touch the financial markets, they have feelings too(and apparently financial markets aren't "dual use" much to the confusion of money launderers, mercenaries, and plundering kleptocrats worldwide?)

      As tempting as it would be to attack the finances of the Assad regime, it would be a really, really bad idea. Let's say we hack into his bank accounts and where it says "$37 billion" we change a few decimal places and all of a sudden, it's 37 cents, or maybe we write a $37 billion dollar check to that charity that buys cows for people in Africa. Then the regime collapses because he can't pay for supplies or buy the loyalty of his cronies. This might be effective, but it creates a nasty precedent. During the

  • by MrL0G1C (867445) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @06:02PM (#44770209) Journal

    There appears to be much evidence that it was in fact the rebels that used the chemical weapons which were supplied by the Saudis,

    1) Video evidence of Chemical weapons being launched.
    2) Photographic evidence of the weapons being Saudi.
    3) Testimony from Syrian rebels from the faction that had the weapons and admitted they didn't know what they were doing with them.

    http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/video-shows-rebels-launching-gas-attack-in-syria/ [wnd.com]

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-30/dont-show-obama-report-about-who-really-behind-syrian-chemical-attacks [zerohedge.com]

    http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/08/rebels-admit-responsibility-for-chemical-weapons-attack-chemical-weapons-supplied-by-saudi-arabia-not-syria-forwarded-by-erasmus-of-america-august-31-2013-905-am-2751942.html [beforeitsnews.com]

    And anyway, what is American Military going to do, team up with Al Qaeda and Hezbollah to attack Syria and kill hundreds of thousands more people in the middle east?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are you seriously taking WND seriously? Lol, they make up 10 times more "facts" than Fox News and CNN put together.

    • by seyyah (986027) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @06:54PM (#44770539)

      And anyway, what is American Military going to do, team up with Al Qaeda and Hezbollah to attack Syria and kill hundreds of thousands more people in the middle east?

      Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah are not on the same side.

    • There appears to be much evidence that it was in fact the rebels that used the chemical weapons which were supplied by the Saudis

      Your "source" is a bunch of TV broadcasts by Syrian TV, which is controlled by the Syrian government. That's not actually a news outlet, it's just the propaganda wing of the Assad regime. They're going to say whatever they need to say to keep Assad in power.

      The thing to keep in mind here is the scale of these attacks. You could see the rebels launching an attack on a small scale, maybe. But the attacks were actually launched against three different areas near Damascus, and used rockets and chemical weapons,

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)

        "and killed something like 1400 people"

        Pot Kettle black eh, who are you quoting - the guy who is trying to make more money for his countries war machine industry.

        "He'd killed 100,000 people."

        Really showing your bias here, that figure is the number of people thought to be dead from the conflict, killed by both rebels and gov't troops.

        Both sides are bad, joining with one side would not be helping the civilians, quite the opposite - 10,000s more civilians would die.

        You choose to believe your gov't versions of

    • Yeah, Your "sources" take all their facts from either the Russians or the Syrian regime. I'm a bit inclined to not believe them.

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)

        And what do the US govt have? Just an insistance that chemical weapons were used, but no evidence of who used them. And given the USAs recent actions I think Russia is on an equal footing with regards to trustworthiness.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @06:20PM (#44770325) Homepage Journal

    The US should stay the hell out of Syria's civil war. Both sides are vicious, dictatorship-prone fanatics. There is no "good" side to support. It's either the existing brutal dictatorship or an Al-Queda inspired bunch of Sharia nutbars.

    I feel sorry for the people of Syria caught in the middle of it, but bombing the shit out of the country isn't going to make a decent democracy emerge.

    • bombing the shit out of the country isn't going to make a decent democracy emerge.

      Quite, and certainly not in Syria.

      What is most perplexing is why the US is so bent on arming the Syrian rebels. In the past the US has been absolutely terrified of political Islam.

      It now seems willing to embrace and fund it, even if one or more of the parties of rebels are linked to terrorist groups. Deposed dictators like Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran and so on have been used in the past to stop the forming of an Islamic government.

      Perhaps it's because they'll get a better deal out of the new r

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Its seems to be that some regions are fine if they just export oil and buy US tanks/jets/buildings/bases - be good with the petrodollar use and ongoing US banking.
        Once the real universities start, woman get educated, trade deals are looked at and internal nation building understands the reality of the petrodollar - classic freedom fighter/new colour time.
        The same brand/database of "freedom fighters" seems to pop up at the perfect time, with new weapons, papers and funding. Some years as 'good' some years
      • by rts008 (812749)

        It struck me as rather odd that we seem to be quite willing to get mixed up in Syria Circus.

        It's starting to sound like some crazy plot in a second or third rate book/movie.

        "The shady gov't. in country X has developed a plan to recover it's ailing economy by way of contractors/mercenaries and the lucrative arms industry by ass-raping their citizens with taxes and regulatory fees, in order to plunge into yet another war. Can they keep running down the cliff-face and still survive the bottom? Thrills! Chill

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @06:39PM (#44770437)
    They should make a Syrian language version of Final Fantasy Online and release it for free in the country. Productivity will drop to zero, the GDP will go down the toilet, and their entire economy will collapse. That would work better than a more obvious cyber attack.
  • "Last, it is possible the U.S. military has cyber capabilities to directly disrupt the operations of Syria's chemical troops." How are they going to stop assads chemical troops with cyber warfare? Even if he had any (which to be honest dosn't make any sence; he was winning why would he piss off the internation community) i really doubt they would have them hooked up to the internet.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      assads troops might very well use the chems just to fuck with the rebels.

      remember, if all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail and the chem troops have just chems. also, assad hasn't been winning that well... and they didn't know what kind of effect the chems would even have.

      it never really was a secret that assad has the chems. that much is agreed by everyone, by every neighbor - why he was allowed to keep making them and stockpiling them nobody seems to know. from that point of view it's ridi

      • by Dr Max (1696200)
        I don't know, maybe he does, it's hard to tell the propaganda from the news these days. Still if i was an evil dictator with chemical weapons they wouldn't be hooked up to the interwebz, i don't care how good amazons cloud computing is.
  • "'By sparing the lives of Syrian troops and nearby civilians, an opening cyber operation against Syria could demonstrate exactly how such capabilities can be compliant with international humanitarian law,' writes Healey."

    Yes, indeed. Let us demonstrate our moral rightness by launching an illegal war, to enforce international law. Oh, wait, they know that is nonsense so they are saying 'international norm' instead.

    Even if it were an actual violation of international law, responding with an assault that itsel

  • From what I have heard you can't destroy chemical weapons with cruise missile strikes or LOL "cyber attacks". To even try would be dangerous and counterproductive.

    As for this insane talk about weakening capacity what kind of degredation is needed to prevent someone from walking over to a chemical weapons supply room and walking out with chemicals? I am unable to comphrend the bredth of stupidity and insanity embedded in TFAs or the US administrations line of thought.

  • How does this square with the ACM's Code of Ethics, Section 1.2 - "Avoid Harm to Others"?
  • And never open it again.

  • Christ I am one American who has had it with war.

    Post 9/11 Afghanistan was one thing. Took 10 years but we got the fucker. Time to go home. Why haven't we?
    Iraq... I won't comment about that goatfuck except to say thank god it is over (for us at least... the place seems to be in shambles).

    Why are we the world police? Nobody else on Earth wants us in that role. So let's acknowledge that and take a break from that. I am an advocate for a strong *defense.* The offense part... well to hell with that.

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet

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