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I'd agree with your view that Iraq becoming a nuclear power is not something
to be welcomed, but there has been a kind of patriarchal attitude from
existing nuclear powers- "we're all right to have them- but you can't".
What that fails to acknowledge is that this position of exclusive access to
the only military technology that ensures a degree of genuine sovereignty
for a state, worries many nations, and not surprisingly the more aggressive
of these have persued, and still persue achieving this regardless of what
others may want.
Actually, I wanted to ask a couple of quick questions, one related, one not
so related. First, you've posted a few times about the attack on the towers
and the forces involved leading to the massive extent of destruction. One
discussion I've heard (amongst students I teach) is about whether the
hijackers intended to cause the towers to collapse, or whether they intended
only to kill themselves and those on the plane, with crashing into the
towers being more of a symbolic act. Do you think they would have worked
out how much damage they'd need to do to bring the towers down and cause the
most destruction, or where they more opportunists?
The reason this question comes up probably comes from UK experience of
terrorism, where warnings are given, or bombs are detonated late at night or
at weekends, such that the death toll is minimal. The terrorists in Norther
Ireland have a sense of public opinion- hence the 'mistake' at Omagh, where
20+ people died because the warnings were too late, and incorrect about the
bomb's location. That assumes of course that the US attackers were
similarly minded as the likes of the IRA, but the scale of this event
The other question, completely unrelated, is a quickie about this new theory
of the universe's origin, I've been reading about in New Scientist, the
ekpyrotic theory I believe it's called. Since you're the only physicist I
know, what's your view on this?
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