Monday, February 28, 2011

Tripoli is The Key

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:
Tripoli, the capital city of Libya, remains the stronghold of Ghadaffi forces.
Libya is filled with history. In Arabic Tripoli is actually called Tarablus - there is no pronunciation for the letter "P" in Arabic, all "P"s sound like our "B"s.
In Latin Tripoli means three cities, the three unified cities of Oea, Sabrata and Leptis Magna. This is where the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius' great triumphant arch is erected. Marcus Aurelius ruled from 161 -169.
For ancient Rome Libya was both as important and as difficult to control as it is for the West today. The ports of Libya are perfect for ships and export trade.
The only way the Romans could conquer the area of Libya was by defeating the local tribes. And so it goes today. If Libya's local tribes can bring themselves to unite, they can bring down Ghadaffi.
If they cannot bridge their own differences Ghadaffi has a better chance of remaining in position. Local unity or disunity is what will determine the future of Libya.
The history of Libya is still being written. There is still much to happen.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Alternative Gov in Libya

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Protesters in Libya have begun taking steps towards reorganization and control.
Bengahzi, the second largest city in Libya with about 650,000 people, has been in the hands of the protesters for several days now. Ghadaffi loyalists have been ousted and in their place an interim city government has been appointed.
Bengahzi protesters have appointed former justice minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil as interim governor and charged him with creating a transitional power team until Ghadaffi can be removed and new leadership put in place. This was reported by the Daily Mail.
Jalil is the minister who resigned from the Ghadaffi government over the oppressive techniques used by the dictator against the protester.
Jalil is the minister who announced to the world that Ghadafffi was personally responsible for the Lockerbie terrorist attack.
The situation in Libya could easily slip into a full scale civil war between the well armed Ghadaffi loyalists and the protesters. The best chance for the protesters is good organization. Building an infrastructure of leadership so that the people of Libya can see and feel that some semblance of normalcy can emerge from the alternative to Ghadaffi is a crucial first step in the right direction.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Diplomats Abandon Ghadaffi

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
The international diplomatic community has been busy condemning Ghadaffi and Libya.
In New York, the United Nations Human Rights Council heard from Libyan diplomats who, in a moving and powerful display of unity, renounced Ghadaffi and took the side of the protesters.
In Geneva, at UN headquarters, there was unanimous condemnation of Ghadaffi even from countries that traditionally defend the Libyan thug and even from countries that regularly stomp on human rights.
Pakastani Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference which is composed of 57 Muslim nations from around the world, said "Muslims will no longer tolerate inequalities and injustice."
He said: "A new dawn has come."
He said: "The rules of the game have changed. Those who do not embrace it will be swept away." The Pakastani ambassador was referring to freedom.
This is a revolutionary shift in international diplomacy. The question now is what will follow after the revolution - the rise of new dictators or real freedom.
History suggests that dictators are on the horizon.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Friday, February 25, 2011

PA Comes Out Against the US

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Ever since last Friday the official PA media machine has been extremely critical of the US. Palestinian Authority newspapers, radio and TV have conducted a full blown frontal public relations assault on the United States.
The Palestinians are livid because, on Friday, the US vetoed their resolution to condemn Israeli settlements at the UN Security Council.
Interestingly, it did not seem to matter that immediately after the vote both United States Ambassador to the UN Dr. Susan Rice and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contradicted themselves. Each in her own words commented on how awful, destructive and illegal Israeli settlements are to the region.
Palestinians are deeply wounded and they are lashing out at the US. Almost every leader of the PA has gone public to announce that $460 million/year does not mean that they must follow US dictates and that the US has cast aside human rights for exclusive, parochial, domestic parameters.
Prepare for serious diplomatic repercussions.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Momentum is Shifting in Libya

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Yesterday was a crucial day in Libya. Momentum began to significantly shift from Ghadaffi and to the protesters.
Right now, the Eastern parts of Libya are more or less in the hands of the protesters while Tripoli is still controlled by Ghadaffi loyalists.
Triploi is blockaded. Ghadaffi loyalists are keeping all the protesters out of the city. Only 6.5 million people live in Libya and of that number, 2 million of them live in Tripoli.
Protesters need to sustain their crowd in the streets and to stand up against the security forces and their weapons. Without that momentum, the masses will buckle under the threat and fear factor of the notorious Libya leader, a fear that causes every resident to quake.
This change in momentum is a huge shot in the arm for Libya's protesters.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Libya is an Important Asset

By Micah D. Halpern
I’ve Been Thinking:

Libya is an important strategic country.

While Libya never was a friend of the West, in the end you could always count on Libya to answer either the call of duty or the call of money.

As a leader, Ghadaffi could be persuaded through the proper economic incentives and yet, he was constantly leading the Arabic charge against the West. In his own eyes Muammar Ghadaffi was the Desert King of the Arab World.

Libya is a formidable military force to contend with. They have a very serious conventional stockpile of weapons. They traded-in their weapons of mass destruction for respectability and a seat at the international table.

Libya is also an economic force. They are the 11th largest exporter of oil in the world and the 18th largest producer. That makes Libya a player in the world market trailing just behind Venezuela. Libyan port cities are perfect natural ports for the oil tankers that take their product around the world.

What happens in Libya reverberates around the world.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ghadaffi is Not In Total Control

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The stakes are rising as high as the tensions in Libya right now.

Yesterday the air force bombed targets. The protesters say that the targets the air force bombed were protesters. The air force says that they bombed ammo caches.
And there's more. Two Libyan pilots defected and landed their planes in Malta.
Rumors abound as to where Ghadaffi is holing up.

Oil companies are closing their operations.

Non essential personnel are escaping the crisis.
International pressure is mounting. The Libyans at the UN have asked Ghadaffi to resign. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has urged him to keep the calm. A major Sheik of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf Qaradawi, announced on Al Jazeera that whoever can kill Ghadaffi should take the opportunity.
There is no way this can end well.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Libya Unrest Escalating

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:
Now it is Libya's turn - it's the protesters versus the army/police.

Hundreds, probably even more than hundreds, have already been killed in Libya. And it's not stopping, abating or improving - it's escalating.
The leader of the tribal community in eastern Libya announced that if the army does not stop oppressing protesters he will shut down the oil export cities. That act would grind Libya's economy to a halt. It would increase the stakes and that is something Muammar Ghadaffi will not permit - not without a huge fight.
Ghadaffi has been walking a thin line. The Libyan leader has not yet begun a massive massacre, but as the situation heats up he will intensify his own attacks against protesters and their supporters.

Libya is in the middle of a tug-of-war.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ghadaffi Is Not Mubarak

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Libya is in the throes of conflict and unrest.
Libya's dictator, the man who has ruled his country for the past four decades, has not been able to squelch the uprising. Libya's protests are part of the wave of unrest rampaging across the Middle East.

In Libya, Ghadaffi rules with an iron fist. His patience is being tested - so is his judgment.
Press reports suggest that hundreds have been killed by sniper fire, not by riot police, in Benghazi the second largest city in Libya.
The hospital there confirms the reports but only through an anonymous source for fear that they will bear the brunt of retaliation by the military and the government.
In the city of Bayda, 1000 miles east of Tripoli, there are unconfirmed reports that the protesters took over the city and hung two police officers in public. All communication from that part of Libya is out and there is no possible way to verify the reports.
Ghadaffi will not follow in the path of Mubarak, that should be made clear. Ghadaffi has learned from what happened in Egypt. He is still a ruthless and powerful dictator, a true thug who will not have his hands tied or his voice silenced by the United States or by any other Western influences.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

US Vetoed UN Vote

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:
The US vetoed the Security Council vote sponsored by the PA against settlements.
Let me explain the logic of why the US is so upset with the PA over the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
Logically, it would seem that the US would sponsor such a vote and certainly not veto it. Here's the back story:
United States Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, spent hours trying to talk the Palestinian Authority out of the decision. Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama invested hours talking to the PA. But why?
Most importantly, the White House is against the "UN-ification" of the issue. Israeli/Palestinian disputes should be resolved either face to face or with a third party, certainly not by way of the Security Council. That's diplomatically politic.
Then it gets diplomatically personal. Taking the settlement issue to the Security Council is meant to embarrass the US and force her hand. It is an ugly ploy by the Palestinians to try to publically humiliate and weaken the US in the context of world politics.
The PA plan will not work, in fact, it will backfire. Obama has already told the Palestinians that US/PA relations will suffer because of this ploy.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Libya & Bahrain Learned From Egypt

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and all the other thugacracies of the world looked on as events unfolded in Egypt. They took notes. They learned important lessons. They learned a lot from Egypt and Tunisia.
In order to survive they need to find a brutality balance.
The cost/price of freedom has gone up significantly.
Libya and Bahrain saw how the police and army were relatively calm in Egypt. Libya and Bahrain will walk a better balance and they will not be afraid to kill more protesters than did Egypt - not so many as to pull more people to the protests yet not too few so as to stimulate more protesters.
Libya, Bahrain and then all the other thugocracies will try to find the middle ground - that means just enough killing and brutality to put down the protests.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2 Iranian Warships Pass Israel

By Micah Halpern
I'm Predicting:
Two Iranian warships are going thru the Suez Canal on their way to Syria.
Once thru the canal the warships pass right by Israel as they sail on to Syria.
I have no doubt that these ships are equipped with sophisticated technology for scanning and listening. The Iranians have never been this close to Israel with such high tech machinery.

Israel is wary and sees this pass by two Iranian warships as an act provocation.
I expect that Iran will attempt to brush up against Israel's territorial border in order to provoke Israel into creating an international incident. Hopefully, Israel will not be goaded into a response.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Obliterating Mubarak's Name

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
The Mubarak Children's Hospital in Gaza was built in 1990 by Egyptian businessmen. Today Hamas changed the hospital's name to Tahrir Hospital.
Tahrir translates to mean liberation or independence. Tahrir Square is the place in Cairo in which the protesters gathered to protest.

This is just the first of many renamings that will be taking place.

Hamas is the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and it was the Muslim Brotherhood that assassinated Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak's predecessor and mentor.
Hamas hated Mubarak and now they are jumping at the opportunity to expunge him from their midst.
In the meantime it is rumored that Mubarak is not taking his medicine and is likely to die in his palace at Sharm al Sheikh.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fleeing Tunisia

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:
Since the overthrow in Tunisia and the ousting of their ruthless dictator, Ben Ali, the country of Tunisia has been in disarray.

The people of Tunisia are fleeing for their lives. The situation after the coup is very bad. There is lawlessness and economic crisis.
Now people are doing everything they can to leave. All those who can leave legally have already done so. Now thousands are fleeing illegally.
Italy says that 5000 dead Tunisians washed up on their southern islands.  They flee any way they can.  Sometimes the results are tragic.

Regime changes often result in disorder, crisis and mass hysteria.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Palestinians Replace Cabinet

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The events in Egypt have had their impact across the Middle East. Palestinian leadership is feeling the pressure as much as any other totalitarian regime.
The Palestinians postponed their own elections and then forgot about them.
Last week they announced new elections for July 9 and now the date has been pushed off until September.

And then yesterday Palestinian leadership announced that their cabinet will be replaced. President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayad will appoint a new cabinet with a few leftovers.
The problem here is that Abbas and Fayad are also the object of the people's aggressions. And neither Abbas nor Fayad are not stepping down.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jordan is in Trouble

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Jordan's King Abdullah faces a big problem. Abdullah is doing his best to quell potential public moves to overthrow his rule.
First Tunisia, then Egypt and now the King has received a petition from tribal leaders in Jordan.
The leaders want Queen Rania to remove herself from all politics.
The petition says that Rania is Palestinian and she is drawing attention to and speaking about the Palestinian cause and detracting from the Jordanian cause. The petition actually asserts that it is a misuse of state money and time and detracts from Jordan's interests.
These tribal leaders have been Abdullah's historical, political, natural power base. This petition means something.
One of the reasons for the marriage between Abdullah and Rania was to cement the relationship between Jordanians and Palestinians. The marriage was not meant to increase tension between the Palestinians and the Hashemites, it was meant to subdue and mollify tensions.
Now, everything has changed. Now, everything is different.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt is Again Under the Army

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Hosni Mubarak - after much jockeying for position and a series of false starts and stops has stepped down from office.

Mubarak transferred all control to the Superior Council for the Military which is headed by General Tantawi. And not surprisingly Omar Suleiman also sits on the council. Egypt is now under military rule.

But this is not really very different than yesterday... when it was also a military dictatorship.

Just like Mubarak and Sadaat before him Suleiman has been a military leaders his entire adult life. Historically, Egypt has been controlled by the military and now again the military is in total control.

In Egypt the leader leads the army ann contrary to media reports, the Egyptian army can be extremely oppressive and brutal.
The saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for." The people of Egypt have gotten what they wish for. Now let's see if they like it.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak Did Not Resign

By Micah Halpern
I'm Predicting:
Mubarak did not step down from office last night.
Instead, while he remains in place he will begin the process of making transitions and instituting changes.
Mubarak believes that the military is behind him. There was a real question as to whether the army really was behind him, but from last night's speech it appears clear that he has their backing - and he knows it.

There will be riots and food shortages and fuel shortages and many, many, deaths. The army will come in and clamp down.
The military will have to take charge. Omar Suleiman is an army person - as is Mubarak.
Expect mayhem.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Cairo Effect

By Micah Halpern I've Been Thinking:

Call it the Cairo Effect.

The unrest that rocked Cairo has had a huge impact in other parts of the world.

Because of the Cairo Effect leaders are turning cartwheels to placate their masses. And because of the Cairo Effect there is now a $1.50 increase in the average price of gasoline in the tank.

And tourists who had scheduled trips to Egypt are now going elsewhere. Tourists used to go to Cairo and Sinai before going on Bethlehem and Jericho. Now they are dropping Sinai and going to Bethlehem and Jericho and East Jerusalem. In fact, tour operators are rerouting groups to Bethlehem and Jericho even if they were not intended to vacation there.

15 million tourists used to enter Egypt every year. Now, the tourism industry has hit rock bottom in Egypt. It looks like the beneficiaries are Israel and the Palestinians.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Risks to Israel

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Israel's outgoing chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi made a very important observation. Ashkenazi announced that the changing landscape of the Middle East places Israel in great jeopardy.
Ashkenazi asserted that Israel will potentially be defending itself in multiple arenas. That not only means several fronts but also by land, sea and air even from countries that do not share a border with Israel.
This is important insight. The nature of the changes in the Middle East, the role of Iran and the rise of Islamic extremism and their increased control will be a serious threat to Israel.
If the protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen are any indication Ashkenazi is correct. The rhetoric across the Middle East during these rallies is plain and simple a wave of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slogans, signs and jeers.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PA Calls for Elections in July

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:
The Palestinian Authority has announced that they will have elections on July 9th. The last elections the PA held were in 2006.
The Palestinian parliament that now sits was supposed to dissolve in January 2010 - over a year ago.
The Palestinian president was elected in 2005 - and his term was up 2009. There were supposed to have been elections for that position also.
The Palestinian prime minister was not elected, he was appointed by Palestinian President Abbas.
The parliament, the president and the prime minister serve outside the constitution.
Hamas has declared that the PA has no right to announce new elections. They say it must be a joint decision.
Hamas wants to boycott the elections.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How to Change Egypt

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
President Barak Obama went on the record last night before the Super Bowl telling Fox's Bill O'Reilly "... here's what we know, is that Egypt is not going to go back to what it was. the Egyptian people want freedom, they want free and fair elections, they want a representative government, they want a responsive government."
The new reality in Egypt is that Egypt is different. But the nature of change in the Middle East is normally through violent overthrow. And a violent overthrow normally ousts an oppressive regime and ushers in new oppressive regimes.
The only way to prevent that from happening is to stimulate Egypt to work for serious reforms, change the laws of governance and build institutions of democracy that embrace equality.
The US should not urge Egypt towards free elections but towards building responsible schools and courts. They should be rewarded for their successes with millions of dollars of grants and with civilian aid.
The more they move toward democracy the more aid they get.

There is no way the Egyptians can move significantly toward democracy in the 8 months that remain until their next scheduled elections. No way.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Protests Peter

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Two telling events took place simultaneously in Egypt today. Protesters met with Egypt's new vice president and a few thousand protesters gathered in Tahrir Square.
The meeting/summit/negotiation/bone to placate the masses with the vice president was a resounding success. The protest was, at best, weak and a sure sign that the momentum of the protesters has diminished almost to the point of disappearing. There were more soldiers in the square than there were protesters.
Transitions and reform will continue in Egypt, but at a slow place. We, the West, must take our cues from the people who know Egypt best -It's a hard pill for the West to swallow.
Egypt cannot make huge changes. Mubarak and Suleiman have heard the message. The timetable they are setting is for the fall. Mubarak said he will not run in September.
The earliest we can expect Mubarak to step down is summertime and it might be as late as after the September elections. The next leader will be a more moderate - type leader. The Parliament will change some elements of the ruling parameters permitting themselves, and by extension the people, more power. And that is how the slow process of reform in Egypt will get underway.

To rush reforms would be tantamount to creating a powder keg situation and a terribly unstable country. The opposite of what we want and Egypt needs.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Egypt Lost $310 Mil/Day

By Micah Halpern I've Been Thinking:
The unrest in Egypt is costing $310 million per day in revenue. That does not take into account the cost of destruction or the cost of the police or the military.
$3.1 billion of revenue has been lost since the rioting began.
A conservative estimate puts that $3.1 billion at 5% of Egypt's GDP. The number will no doubt increase - it could easily hit 20%.
The industry most horribly hit is tourism and tourism is one of Egypt's biggest industries. Not only have tourists fled the country during the events of the past 10 days, but future trips have been cancelled. It will take months and years to rebuild the tourism industry.
No matter who ultimately holds the reins of power, it will be very difficult convincing foreigners that Egypt is a safe place to visit and vacation.
No matter who holds the reins of power, rebuilding Egypt will be a long and arduous task.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blame Israel for Egypt

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:
I was astonished when I read the observation of Salam Fayyad the Prime Minster of the Palestinian Authority on the reasons for the unrest in Egypt.
In a press conference with the French PM, Fayyad said that part of the reason for the unrest in Egypt is to be blamed on the inability of the Israelis and the Palestinians to come to an agreement.
To what does this non-sequitur connect? It clearly connects to the desire of Palestinian leadership to link all problems in the Middle East to Israel. Israel is the primary or secondary cause of everything. If the region were to rid itself of Israel, the problems would all fade away.
Fayyad is no fool. He has a Ph.D. from U of T in Austin and was a major player in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He probably does not believe a word of what he said, but he knows that others will be persuaded by what he said. Comments like the one Fayyad just made unite the Arab masses against a common enemy. Fayyad carried out a classic practice in populism and in motivating the masses.
If anything, the events in Egypt show that Israel and the Palestinians are a minor issue in the Middle East. The events in Egypt clearly illustrate that Palestinians in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority live much better lives than their average Arab neighbors.

For Palestinian leadership, it̢۪s all about spin.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't Rush to Elections in Egypt

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:
The United States is hoping for quick elections in Egypt.

P.J. Crowley, the State Department spokesman, said yesterday that the US wants to see free, fair and credible elections. "The sooner that can happen, the better."
This is a big mistake. Rushing to elections will almost certainly guarantee the rise of extremists.
All non-democratic forces should be forbidden from participating systems. Non-democratic parties must not be permitted to stand for election.
Many of the parties in Egypt, but most notably the Muslim Brotherhood which is the best organized opposition party, is blatantly anti-democratic.
Many countries in the world forbid anti-democratic parties because extremism threatens the democratic backbone of a society and, if successful, eliminates democracy. That is what happened in the PA with Hamas and it is what happened with Hitler's rise to power.

Hitler was elected to power democratically and then dismantled the democracy that put him in power,
Fledgling democracies must protect themselves from anti-democratic forces.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reforms in Jordan

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
In Jordan, riots and protests have become regular events over the past few weeks. Jordan's riots began when the riots in Tunisia began and have intensified as the unrest in Egypt intensifies.
Jordan's King Abdullah has sacked his entire government.
Abdullah is trying to stave off what happened in Egypt. To that end he is adding subsidies for food and staples.
The new government, he says, will "institute real political reforms." They are also expected to implement economic reforms. According to the King's statement the new government will be charged with the "immediate revision" of laws governing politics and public freedom.
It sounds like King Abdullah of Jordan is reworking his entire country. But that, of course, will never happen. It doesn't make a difference - in the Middle East, gestures are important. In the Middle East, gestures are sometimes more important than actions.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meltdown in Possible in Iran

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
A new round of intel is spreading thru the halls and flying over the screens of intelligence analysts.
The intel says that there is real danger that the Iranian nuclear facility at Busher, the facility that was built by the Russians, is in danger of a meltdown. A meltdown similar to the meltdown in Chernobyl.
The cause of the meltdown is the Stuxnet worm that infiltrated the Iranian nuclear plant.
Given the nature of the Stuxnet worm, the only way to know if Busher will really meltdown is when the plant develops its nuclear potential.
That is when we will know if Stuxnet really infiltrated the plant. That is when we will know if Stuxnet is as powerful as we believe it to be.
Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.