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 What's wrong with this nightmare scenario?
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2008 :  07:29:46  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As part of the endless raving Rovian campaign to scare the living bejeezus out of everybody (if you want to stay alive, vote Republican!); Dick Morris's right-wing rag Newsmax offers this scenario:


Iran sends a cargo ship to some international waters location close to the US east coast. They launch a nuclear warhead from the deck of the ship on a trajectory designed to reach apogee about mid-USA, and then detonate it at apogee.

The resulting nuclear explosion at something between 40 and 400 kilometers altitude creates an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) which effectively destroys "military and civilian communications, power, transportation, water, food, and other infrastructure" and effectively puts the United States back in the Middle Ages.

Unsaid, but obvious; the only precaution that we can take against this hideous threat is to elect John McCain, whose first act as president will be to preemptively vaporize Iran and a good deal of surrounding Arab real estate - putting those raghead fuckers (if any survive) back in Paleozoic times awaiting the Permian extinction (where they god damn well belong anyway) - and saving American industry and commerce from having a really bad bottom line on their current fiscal year P&L statements.

Rethuglican political propaganda aside, what do all you engineer and astrophysicist types out there think of the possibility of giant nuclear-generated EMPs in or above the high stratosphere causing a significant disruption to the satellite, internet, communication, power, water and food distribution, and other essential infrastructures of the United States?

Are such catastrophic results of high altitude nuclear explosions even possible? I really don't know, this is not an area in which I pretend any expertise at all!

Obviously, Newsmax's doomsday scenario is vastly overwrought in yet another "be afraid, be very afraid" neocon political ploy. But is there any validity at all to the concept of any enemy inflicting serious harm on the US by generating high altitude nuclear electromagnetic pulses?

Educated and informed opinions earnestly solicited!

I'm so old, and I am getting so afraid, so very afraid......!

pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2008 :  07:39:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wiki says:





A high-altitude nuclear detonation produces an immediate flux of gamma rays from the nuclear reactions within the device. These photons in turn produce high energy free electrons by Compton scattering at altitudes between (roughly) 20 and 40 km. These electrons are then trapped in the Earth's magnetic field, giving rise to an oscillating electric current. This current is asymmetric in general and gives rise to a rapidly rising radiated electromagnetic field called an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Because the electrons are trapped essentially simultaneously, a very large electromagnetic source radiates coherently.

The pulse can easily span continent-sized areas, and this radiation can affect systems on land, sea, and air. The first recorded EMP incident accompanied a high-altitude nuclear test over the South Pacific and resulted in power system failures as far away as Hawaii. A large device detonated at 400500 km (250 to 312 miles) over Kansas would affect all of the continental U.S. The signal from such an event extends to the visual horizon as seen from the burst point.


A common scenario is detonation of a device over the middle of the U.S. using long-range missiles available only to major military powers. An offshore detonation at high altitude, by contrast, would present less technical difficulty and would disrupt both an entire coast and regions hundreds of miles inland (e.g. 120 mile altitude, 1000 mile EMP radius). Moreover, a high altitude burst could be positioned over international waters by means of a missile of low accuracy, launched from a ship[5], also in international waters. North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan (for example) have Scud-derived missiles of more than adequate capability.



by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 07/31/2008 07:44:12
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  03:59:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is physically possible.


Now, from a political point of view... why Iran particularly?
I'd say it requires some relatively long range missile capabilities, that Iran probably have along with many nations and a fully functionable nuke. Not just a small bang, a real explosion.
I don't think North Korea is there yet and Iran is even further apart (and there is litle proof that it is even actively moving in this direction).


The threat is possible but Iran is an unlikely source for such a threat and will remain so for many years still. That bit is just random political propaganda.

Although, electing one more right winger that will 'put pressure on Iran' will certainly motivate them to make efforts in that sense. After all, Bush proved to everybody that just being innocent is no protection against a retaliatory strike. The logical conclusion is that arming oneself was the only protection if the US disliked you (North Korea do have the bomb and is still safe, after all) and, for this reason, many countries are probably looking at getting nuclear weapons that where not interested in it before. As such, this administration did more to help nuclear proliferation in unstable countries and to get nuclear weapons closer to terrorost's hands than any before...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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4jesus
BANNED

Ivory Coast
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:25:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send 4jesus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
the lord is good all the time
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4jesus
BANNED

Ivory Coast
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:26:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send 4jesus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
the things of the lord is for theose who know Him
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4jesus
BANNED

Ivory Coast
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:27:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send 4jesus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
when we are in the lord all we need we must get
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4jesus
BANNED

Ivory Coast
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:30:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send 4jesus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i want to use this site to tell my brothers and sisters about the good things
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4jesus
BANNED

Ivory Coast
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:32:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send 4jesus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i want to use this site to tell my brothers and sisters about the good things
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4jesus
BANNED

Ivory Coast
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:33:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send 4jesus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
the lord is good all the time
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4jesus
BANNED

Ivory Coast
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:37:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send 4jesus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i want to use this site to tell my brothers and sisters about the good things
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:51:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Let us know when you find your Brothers and Sisters, cause we aint them.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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4jesus
BANNED

Ivory Coast
8 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:52:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send 4jesus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i want to use this site to tell my brothers and sisters about the good things
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  05:56:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1. An EMP weapon is a very very sophisticated device. Iran doesn't even have a basic nuke. So the whole concept is a dumbfuck idea from the getgo. As if Iran is going to attack the US anyway... retards.

2. 4jebus- If you expect your time here to be anything other than short, stop spamming threads with gibberish. Make a contribution to the topic (whatever that might be).


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  06:50:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm. It appears that 4Jesus is from the Ivory Coast, current home to many of the, whaddya call 'em, 419 scams? Say it ain't so, 4J!.

This is not a good site to evanglize at. We eat evangelicals like fatback at a southern breakfast here. However, if you have anything of substance, or even just a good joke to pass on, we're happy to include you in the discussion.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  07:03:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
4jesus was clearly trying to get over the minimum posting limit for using our member-to-member email to spam, but seems to have gotten tired of trying.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2008 :  07:05:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

4jesus was clearly trying to get over the minimum posting limit for using our member-to-member email to spam, but seems to have gotten tired of trying.


Yay the system works!

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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