Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Um, what am I missing?

Weapon of mass destruction definition from wiki: A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans (and other life forms) and/or cause great damage to man-made structures (e.g. buildings), natural structures (e.g. mountains), or the  biosphere in general. The scope and application of the term has evolved and been disputed, often signifying more politically than technically. Coined in reference to aerial bombing with chemical explosives, it has come to distinguish large-scale weaponry of other technologies, such as chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear.

Boston bombing suspect faces death penalty over weapon of mass destruction charge.


Anonymous said...

My folks are down for ANZAC day and we were discussing this this morning. I guess the reason we went into Iraq was to stop Saddam Hussein from using dangerous cookware?

It's something I've heard talked about a little tiny bit in the last year or so; the proliferation in western countries of very broad laws which are designed to be used at the discretion of authorities against people they don't like or whom they wish to make an example of. The best American comparison I can see is Aaron Swartz, the young programmer and activist who committed suicide after being pursued as a felon under the "computer fraud and abuse act" because he breached terms in an EULA (Yes, those long legal looking things that nobody reads when they sign on to a website. Apparently it's a crime in America to breach those terms) and HSBC bank, who laundered money for drug cartels and terrorist organisations, but were let go with a relative slap-on-the-wrist because, well, you know, prosecuting them might hurt the economy or something, and they're rich and stuff, and they donate money to political campaigns.

Oh, and there was a bloke in Britain recently who was charged under their "malicious communications act" for posting a picture of a burning poppy in protest of remembrance day or whatever it's called over there.

I think it's reasonable to beware of any new laws that make reference to public decency, offensive behaviour, communications, cybercrime, terrorism, or child pornography (the last two seem to be the big guns. Support our propositions or support terrorism and child-porn! You're either with us or against us! Etc!)

suze2000 said...

I had this discussion with my husband this morning too. WTF? A PRESSURE COOKER is now a WMD? So maybe they were right after all when they invaded Iraq. What a load of BS. A WMD is capable of killing thousands at once. Not to make light of the death toll, but this did not even come close (the keyword here being "mass").

Even though I want to see this guy punished appropriately, I would love it if he hired some hotshot lawyer who had the charges thrown out because they are so ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I also do not wish to make light of the suffering of innocents or in any way make justification for what has happened; but I do wonder how many of those in The States who are angrily calling for "justice" or saying "how/why could this possibly happen?" have given any thought to the civilians killed by American drones in Pakistan in the last few years.

suze2000 said...

Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan.

I saw a thing on FB with a pic from a village in Syria that was pretty much a hole in the ground with the residents expressing sympathy to Boston while drawing attention to the incredible toll there as well. Why does it matter more to the media because they are American? I'm confused and appalled.

Melba said...

I'm appalled but not confused, Suze. It's because Americans, along with everyone else (let's say white, western peeps), identify and empathise the most with people who look like themselves and have similar cultures/'values'. And don't forget it's the American media (and ours, white, western etc) who cares. If you look at the newspapers from other countries, their news will be biased towards their regional stuff. It's how it works. Not fair, not right, but how it works.