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Other => Off Topic => Topic started by: JGS1980 on March 25, 2020, 09:37:45 AM

Title: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on March 25, 2020, 09:37:45 AM
Just thinking off the top of my head here, but:

Assuming we can prove that the current Coronavirus global pandemic started in China, which led to a global economic meltdown, what recourse is there internationally to pursue economic reparations from China?

Anyone know the history of reparations from WWII, WWI? Any long term benefit or harms?

Just as an FYI, China owns about 1.1 Trillion dollars in US debt as of January 2020.

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: maizeman on March 25, 2020, 09:49:39 AM
The reparations from World War I played a big role in creating the situation that lead to World War II. So very little in the way of economic reparations after world war II. If anything the victors spent a lot of money rebuilding the economies of the vanquished as the Marshall Plan applied to both allied and axis powers.

China definitely buried their head in the ground for a month or so as the coronavirus started spreading, but after that their containment efforts were faster and more effective than the majority of the countries* to which the virus has spread.

*South Korea has definitely been at least as effective, as have many of China's other immediate neighbors (Japan, Taiwan, etc) who learned the lessons from SARS about how to be prepared and react.

So I foresee three big barriers:
1) There is not positive modern precedents for reparations between nations even after wars.
2) China can point to the fact that they and their neighbors acted to effectively contain the virus so the human and economic cost to Europe and America is because we did not take effective action.
3) How exactly would any reparations be extracted from China? (Short of war between nuclear armed belligerents.)
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: bacchi on March 25, 2020, 10:12:05 AM
There's as much chance as there was of Mexico paying for the wall.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: former player on March 25, 2020, 10:13:01 AM
I could foresee countries that have China debt wanting to re-negotiate that debt on more favourable terms.

I would also be interested in seeing whether any international action can be taken to reduce the chances of the next deadly animal cross-over virus coming out of the Chinese wet markets.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: PDXTabs on March 25, 2020, 10:16:14 AM
I could foresee countries that have China debt wanting to re-negotiate that debt on more favourable terms.

I have no idea what Chinese contract law looks like, but in the west we already have force majeure (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_majeure) for that. No need for Chinese "reparations" which are never going to happen short of proving that China grew SAR-CoV-2 in a lab.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on March 25, 2020, 10:32:35 AM

Assuming we can prove that the current Coronavirus global pandemic started in China, which led to a global economic meltdown, what recourse is there internationally to pursue economic reparations from China?


I think trying for reparations would set a horrible precedent and is about the least likely thing imaginable. 

Thinking strictly about this virus, the United States would also share a ludicrously large amount of liability for allowing it to spread throughout and outside our country.

This is a terribly idea.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on March 25, 2020, 11:52:03 AM
I could foresee countries that have China debt wanting to re-negotiate that debt on more favorable terms.

I would also be interested in seeing whether any international action can be taken to reduce the chances of the next deadly animal cross-over virus coming out of the Chinese wet markets.

Renegotiation of debt seems like a possibility. Even a 1% drop in servicing that 1.1 Trillion Dollars in debt would make a dent in our yearly deficit.

C'mon people, I didn't say this was likely or even possible. This is a thought exercise.

In response to Maizeman's 3 big barriers:
1) There is not positive modern precedents for reparations between nations even after wars.

--> all of this is unprecedented, we will need a new playbook for global epidemics from now on...and appropriate penalties to avoid "moral hazard".

--> on the other hand, some would say they have been punished enough already. China will already have to deal with a global economic slowdown that they caused, and will also have to handle lots of countries deciding to manufacture "essential" supplies at home from now on.
 
2) China can point to the fact that they and their neighbors acted to effectively contain the virus so the human and economic cost to Europe and America is because we did not take effective action.

--> that is true, but effective action would not have been necessary to begin with if China had effectively squashed this concern at week 2 or 3 of the outbreak.

3) How exactly would any reparations be extracted from China? (Short of war between nuclear armed belligerents.)

--> see above renegotiation/cancelling of debt. This has been multiple times in the last 100 years during times of economic upheaval.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on March 25, 2020, 11:58:24 AM

C'mon people, I didn't say this was likely or even possible. This is a thought exercise.


I get that.  And as I (and others) have said, not only is it highly improbable,but it's a really bad idea, from a US perspective.  With the largest global footprint, the US would stand to be the defendant on a nearly endless string of reparation demands
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on March 25, 2020, 12:49:55 PM

C'mon people, I didn't say this was likely or even possible. This is a thought exercise.


I get that.  And as I (and others) have said, not only is it highly improbable,but it's a really bad idea, from a US perspective.  With the largest global footprint, the US would stand to be the defendant on a nearly endless string of reparation demands

See answer to Maizeman's second question above.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: Kris on March 25, 2020, 12:53:40 PM
Terrible idea, for the reasons stated above. And also because going forward, we are going to have more pandemics, not fewer. Anything that causes countries to take an adversarial stance toward one another instead of a cooperative one is a terrible thing.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on March 25, 2020, 01:14:34 PM

C'mon people, I didn't say this was likely or even possible. This is a thought exercise.


I get that.  And as I (and others) have said, not only is it highly improbable,but it's a really bad idea, from a US perspective.  With the largest global footprint, the US would stand to be the defendant on a nearly endless string of reparation demands

See answer to Maizeman's second question above.
I don’t see how that answers anything I’ve brought up. Care to rephrase?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 25, 2020, 01:27:26 PM
Unless it was proven that the Chinese engineered this virus, I don't see why reparations would even be desirable.  Diseases exist.  They're out there, all over the world.  They don't know borders or nationality, and they can infect anyone.

The point of reparations in WWI was to punish the losers of the war for belligerent actions.  (It totally didn't work at all, but that's another story).  What belligerent actions are we supposed to be punishing China for?  And before you bitch about China sticking their head in the sand . . . look at the US response and then think hard about whether or not you want the rest of the world to be judging you.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: maizeman on March 25, 2020, 01:49:21 PM
C'mon people, I didn't say this was likely or even possible. This is a thought exercise.

I completely agree, but part of a thought exercise is pointing out the problems isn't it?

Quote
In response to Maizeman's 3 big barriers:
1) There is not positive modern precedents for reparations between nations even after wars.

--> all of this is unprecedented, we will need a new playbook for global epidemics from now on...and appropriate penalties to avoid "moral hazard".

But reparations are not unprecedented, it's just a lack of positive precedents. Like the example from WWI.

What moral hazard do you think needs to be addressed? Usually that phrase is used in the context of a person or organization taking on excess risk because they're confident that if bad things happen someone else will come along to save them from the consequences of their actions.

Quote
3) How exactly would any reparations be extracted from China? (Short of war between nuclear armed belligerents.)

--> see above renegotiation/cancelling of debt. This has been multiple times in the last 100 years during times of economic upheaval.

Renegotiation/cancelling of debt as reparations? I cannot actually thing of any examples of this, could you talk about the specific ones you have in mind?

Certainly there have been cases of debt being renegotiated or cancelled, but these have been to stave off default. If the USA ends up looking like Greece after the global financial crisis or Argentina in 2001 where we are unable to service our debt it is within the realm of possibility that countries might renegotiate the terms of our debt as a better alternative to complete default on the debt.

However:
1) that would mean the economy would need to be in orders of magnitude worse shape than it is now.
2) wouldn't be about reparations but about out nations trying to get some money out of the USA rather than none.
3) the key difference between the USA and Greece/Argentina is that our debt is in a currency we control, so a debt crisis in our country is much more likely to result in inflation as the Fed repurchases US government debt with newly created dollars than it is to result in a risk of sovereign default.

Even if that happened, in the current interest rate environment it wouldn't save us all that much money.

Even a 1% drop in servicing that 1.1 Trillion Dollars in debt would make a dent in our yearly deficit.

In 2019, before the coronavirus crisis in the USA, our annual deficit was $984B/year. The current yield on the 30 year US treasury is 1.33%. I'm guessing a lot of the debt China owns are actually 10 year ones which have a lower interest rate, but if all are 30 year bonds, that means China's 1.1 trillion dollars of US government debt is currently paying $15 billion dollars a year in interest. A one percent reduction in the cost of servicing that debt would be $0.15 billion dollars a year, which would amount to less than 1/5,000th of our annual deficit.

So yes, it would make a dent, but it would be a rather small one.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: YttriumNitrate on March 26, 2020, 07:07:08 AM
I don't foresee China paying reparations, but in order to save face I would expect them to come down extremely hard on anyone who violates their new law against eating wildlife.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/05/asia/china-coronavirus-wildlife-consumption-ban-intl-hnk/index.html (https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/05/asia/china-coronavirus-wildlife-consumption-ban-intl-hnk/index.html)
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: Bloop Bloop on March 26, 2020, 11:53:55 PM
I think America still owes its slave descendants significant reparations. Perhaps attend to that and then start shaking the can in front of other countries.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: deborah on March 27, 2020, 12:21:59 AM
In no particular order:

Most of the Australian cases came from the US. Do you think the US would give us reparations?

China is currently ramping up its manufacturing of medical supplies, and giving many of them away to other nations - I think this is about as much, and the best reparation that could be had.

We might all be lucky if China doesn't end up buying a lot of bankrupt businesses all over the world, and effectively gaining world domination. This would be a friendly gesture that might enable many more businesses to survive than would otherwise happen.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: dragoncar on March 27, 2020, 01:00:00 AM
About as good as getting reparations from trump
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on March 27, 2020, 01:26:43 AM
I rarely laugh out loud when reading a thread title.....thanks for the chuckle.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: dragoncar on March 27, 2020, 01:43:57 AM
I rarely laugh out loud when reading a thread title.....thanks for the chuckle.

Maybe the bats can chip in for their part in this mess ?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: PKFFW on March 27, 2020, 04:27:10 AM
I assume the OP wants the USA to make reparations to the rest of the world for the GFC then?

I mean if China should make reparations for inadvertently enabling an animal virus to jump to humans then surely the USA should make reparations for knowingly, illegally and fraudulently exporting the worst financial disaster since the great depression to the rest of the world?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on March 27, 2020, 05:36:20 AM
How about China starts asking for reparations for the opium wars? With interest?

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on March 27, 2020, 06:38:53 AM
Thanks everyone for your considered responses. I've been fairly busy lately, so I apologize for not directly responding to the objections above.

As improbable as this seems, I think we will hear more and more about this reparation issue once all the dust settles.

Why? Because when millions of peoples die, politicians will naturally want to blame someone else to keep from being blamed themselves. This thought process will naturally follow.

I guess I'll look back at this thread in 12 months and see how things go.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: ender on March 27, 2020, 06:56:30 AM

As improbable as this seems, I think we will hear more and more about this reparation issue once all the dust settles.

Why? Because when millions of peoples die, politicians will naturally want to blame someone else to keep from being blamed themselves. This thought process will naturally follow.

I guess I'll look back at this thread in 12 months and see how things go.

The United States attempting to extract any amount of reparations from China over this is going to start an economic war that the they cannot win vs China. This situation has made everyone much more aware of how economically tied together China and the United States are.

Even if this kills 1M Americans, I suspect the impact from the USA trying to force China into paying reparations would be considerably more catastrophic for the American way of life long term.

This being said, I think you might be onto something that Trump might get the idea that he should do this. He's already hyping it as the "China virus" and while I think the idea is economic suicide, it seems like something he still might try as a way to bribe people into voting for him in 2020.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: maizeman on March 27, 2020, 07:20:23 AM
This being said, I think you might be onto something that Trump might get the idea that he should do this. He's already hyping it as the "China virus" and while I think the idea is economic suicide, it seems like something he still might try as a way to bribe people into voting for him in 2020.

I agree. Definitely expect politicians who were already in power in 2020 try to put more of the blame for the virus on China as both the deaths and the economic disruption continues to grow.

Just don't think it will be in the forms of discussions about reparations because there's no way to get those and that'll make the same politicians look weak/impotent. Probably just more stuff along the current vein of trying to call it the Chinese Virus/Wuhan Flu and that sort of thing.

China is currently ramping up its manufacturing of medical supplies, and giving many of them away to other nations - I think this is about as much, and the best reparation that could be had.

And this isn't only happening at the government to government level. Individual people in China are mailing PPE to people they know in the USA (I can speak from personal experience, but here's another example (https://twitter.com/chembioBryan/status/1243335626130407432).)

Contrast that with what's happening with the US government, which is saying they'd be willing to buy face masks and other medical PPE from China but only if those deliveries aren't used to improve China's image. (Source (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/business/coronavirus-china-masks.html))
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 27, 2020, 07:29:28 AM

As improbable as this seems, I think we will hear more and more about this reparation issue once all the dust settles.

Why? Because when millions of peoples die, politicians will naturally want to blame someone else to keep from being blamed themselves. This thought process will naturally follow.

I guess I'll look back at this thread in 12 months and see how things go.

The United States attempting to extract any amount of reparations from China over this is going to start an economic war that the they cannot win vs China. This situation has made everyone much more aware of how economically tied together China and the United States are.

Even if this kills 1M Americans, I suspect the impact from the USA trying to force China into paying reparations would be considerably more catastrophic for the American way of life long term.

This being said, I think you might be onto something that Trump might get the idea that he should do this. He's already hyping it as the "China virus" and while I think the idea is economic suicide, it seems like something he still might try as a way to bribe people into voting for him in 2020.



Important to note that Trump is a tremendously stupid man.  He also had a plan to make Mexico pay for a wall to keep all those Mexican rapists out of the United States.  I'd expect 'reparations' from China to go the same way.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: runbikerun on March 27, 2020, 07:48:45 AM
If there's a moral case for when people from another country export a novel illness and kill your compatriots, then the native American population would like a word with any white American who can't prove their ancestors arrived post-1700 or so.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: FIRE Artist on March 27, 2020, 08:47:25 AM
How about China starts asking for reparations for the opium wars? With interest?

This was my first thought too.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 27, 2020, 09:02:34 AM
Unless it was proven that the Chinese engineered this virus, I don't see why reparations would even be desirable.  Diseases exist.  They're out there, all over the world.  They don't know borders or nationality, and they can infect anyone.

The point of reparations in WWI was to punish the losers of the war for belligerent actions.  (It totally didn't work at all, but that's another story).  What belligerent actions are we supposed to be punishing China for?  And before you bitch about China sticking their head in the sand . . . look at the US response and then think hard about whether or not you want the rest of the world to be judging you.

The idea that the US is anywhere near as liable as China for COVID19 is intellectually vapid false equivalence.

Trump tried to downplay it, ostensibly because he wanted the economy to keep moving up and to the right so he could cruise into a second term. I concede he showed again that he will put his own interests before the United States' interests.

He regularly contradicts the medical experts, but, and this is important, he doesn't silence them, force them to sign letters of apology swearing they will not do it again, and threaten to prosecute them.

China's default stance of hostility towards free speech is the crime that rippled throughout the world and deserves some type of justice. I don't believe in blaming China for allowing Covid19 to originate or blaming China for insufficient efforts to contain Covid19 - but they should be discouraged from maintaining their institutional stance which has the knee jerk reaction to gaslight and punish credible whistleblowers as opposed to investigating their claims and acting responsibly.

Perhaps formal reparations would be a bad idea, but I think this episode is VERY illustrative of the unintended consequences of globalism when it involves nations who do not share your principles, and perhaps it will cause nations to adopt a more cautious approach to relations with China (Unless China is proactive about communicating their remorse and reforms in the wake of this, which it seems to be starting and realizing is in its best interest).

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: runbikerun on March 27, 2020, 09:07:15 AM
If we're talking reparations, how much does the US owe Iraq at this point?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on March 27, 2020, 09:25:45 AM
If we're talking reparations, how much does the US owe Iraq at this point?
Roughly a million lives @ $9 million (US rate) or $200 (Afghanistan) dollar each.

Plus Infrastructure etc. of course. And extracted oil given voluntarily to US companies.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 27, 2020, 09:47:15 AM
Unless it was proven that the Chinese engineered this virus, I don't see why reparations would even be desirable.  Diseases exist.  They're out there, all over the world.  They don't know borders or nationality, and they can infect anyone.

The point of reparations in WWI was to punish the losers of the war for belligerent actions.  (It totally didn't work at all, but that's another story).  What belligerent actions are we supposed to be punishing China for?  And before you bitch about China sticking their head in the sand . . . look at the US response and then think hard about whether or not you want the rest of the world to be judging you.

The idea that the US is anywhere near as liable as China for COVID19 is intellectually vapid false equivalence.

I disagree.  I'd say that based on all available evidence so far China and the US are equally to blame for covid19.  At least insofar as neither should shoulder any real blame.  Diseases happen, and when they're highly communicable it's very hard to control them.  Could China have done things better?  Yep.  Could the US?  Yep.



Trump tried to downplay it, ostensibly because he wanted the economy to keep moving up and to the right so he could cruise into a second term. I concede he showed again that he will put his own interests before the United States' interests.

He regularly contradicts the medical experts, but, and this is important, he doesn't silence them, force them to sign letters of apology swearing they will not do it again, and threaten to prosecute them.

Trump's lies and misinformation in a time of crisis have created confusion and helped the US to achieve it's status as the most infected country on the planet.  His dismantling of infectious disease response units in the US also helped.  But this has all been well documented, and I don't think there's much need to rehash it.

Trump does not currently force his medical experts to be silenced - agreed.  But he absolutely was working to silence them early on (https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-response-coronavirus-mimics-authoritarian-regimes-2020-2 (https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-response-coronavirus-mimics-authoritarian-regimes-2020-2)).  Don't get me wrong - the silencing that China initially did was wrong, and worse than what Trump has been able to do.  No argument from me on that.


China's default stance of hostility towards free speech is the crime that rippled throughout the world and deserves some type of justice. I don't believe in blaming China for allowing Covid19 to originate or blaming China for insufficient efforts to contain Covid19 - but they should be discouraged from maintaining their institutional stance which has the knee jerk reaction to gaslight and punish credible whistleblowers as opposed to investigating their claims and acting responsibly.

I agree with you that a knee-jerk reaction to gas-light and punish credible whistle-blowers as opposed to investigating their claims and acting responsibly is bad.  But American outrage at this practice would hold a lot more weight if not for the case of Edward Snowden.  Y'know . . . where a credible whistle-blower was gas-lighted and punished for bringing wrongdoing to the public - rather than investigating his claims and acting responsibly.

:P


Perhaps formal reparations would be a bad idea, but I think this episode is VERY illustrative of the unintended consequences of globalism when it involves nations who do not share your principles, and perhaps it will cause nations to adopt a more cautious approach to relations with China (Unless China is proactive about communicating their remorse and reforms in the wake of this, which it seems to be starting and realizing is in its best interest).

No two nations share exactly the same principles.  This pandemic wasn't caused by a difference of principals or trade.  It was caused by a new disease and lots of international travel between countries.  I don't think a more cautious approach to relations with China would have had significant impact on the spread of this virus.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 27, 2020, 01:24:16 PM
Unless it was proven that the Chinese engineered this virus, I don't see why reparations would even be desirable.  Diseases exist.  They're out there, all over the world.  They don't know borders or nationality, and they can infect anyone.

The point of reparations in WWI was to punish the losers of the war for belligerent actions.  (It totally didn't work at all, but that's another story).  What belligerent actions are we supposed to be punishing China for?  And before you bitch about China sticking their head in the sand . . . look at the US response and then think hard about whether or not you want the rest of the world to be judging you.

The idea that the US is anywhere near as liable as China for COVID19 is intellectually vapid false equivalence.

I disagree.  I'd say that based on all available evidence so far China and the US are equally to blame for covid19.  At least insofar as neither should shoulder any real blame.  Diseases happen, and when they're highly communicable it's very hard to control them.  Could China have done things better?  Yep.  Could the US?  Yep.



Trump tried to downplay it, ostensibly because he wanted the economy to keep moving up and to the right so he could cruise into a second term. I concede he showed again that he will put his own interests before the United States' interests.

He regularly contradicts the medical experts, but, and this is important, he doesn't silence them, force them to sign letters of apology swearing they will not do it again, and threaten to prosecute them.

Trump's lies and misinformation in a time of crisis have created confusion and helped the US to achieve it's status as the most infected country on the planet.  His dismantling of infectious disease response units in the US also helped.  But this has all been well documented, and I don't think there's much need to rehash it.

Trump does not currently force his medical experts to be silenced - agreed.  But he absolutely was working to silence them early on (https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-response-coronavirus-mimics-authoritarian-regimes-2020-2 (https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-response-coronavirus-mimics-authoritarian-regimes-2020-2)).  Don't get me wrong - the silencing that China initially did was wrong, and worse than what Trump has been able to do.  No argument from me on that.


China's default stance of hostility towards free speech is the crime that rippled throughout the world and deserves some type of justice. I don't believe in blaming China for allowing Covid19 to originate or blaming China for insufficient efforts to contain Covid19 - but they should be discouraged from maintaining their institutional stance which has the knee jerk reaction to gaslight and punish credible whistleblowers as opposed to investigating their claims and acting responsibly.

I agree with you that a knee-jerk reaction to gas-light and punish credible whistle-blowers as opposed to investigating their claims and acting responsibly is bad.  But American outrage at this practice would hold a lot more weight if not for the case of Edward Snowden.  Y'know . . . where a credible whistle-blower was gas-lighted and punished for bringing wrongdoing to the public - rather than investigating his claims and acting responsibly.

:P


Perhaps formal reparations would be a bad idea, but I think this episode is VERY illustrative of the unintended consequences of globalism when it involves nations who do not share your principles, and perhaps it will cause nations to adopt a more cautious approach to relations with China (Unless China is proactive about communicating their remorse and reforms in the wake of this, which it seems to be starting and realizing is in its best interest).

No two nations share exactly the same principles.  This pandemic wasn't caused by a difference of principals or trade.  It was caused by a new disease and lots of international travel between countries.  I don't think a more cautious approach to relations with China would have had significant impact on the spread of this virus.

At first you say it seems the US and China are equally at fault because they both could have handled it better.

But then you agree with me that what China did was worse than what Trump has done.

It seems obvious that China had a greater opportunity to contain Covid19 and blew it due to their aggressive stance towards free speech.

I like Snowden, but I don't think he's a good analogy. The difference there is that our (the US "Intelligence Community") intent in violating human rights was to keep us and the world safe from terrorism. We strayed quite far from that intent, but that was our undeniably our original intent. China meanwhile did not have an intent like that. It appears their intent was to avoid looking bad on the world stage.

Also, our heroic whistleblower broke the rules to share classified information and does not contest this. As far as I know, Dr. Li Wenliang was not breaking any type of protocol in sharing his initial findings.


And yes, if nations had the same relationship with, say, North Korea, as they have with China, then we probably wouldn't even know about this disease. I'm not saying China is equivalent to NK, but I'm saying our free global trade (which involves plenty of businesspeople who travel) with China is predicated upon many basic assumptions, one being that their country is safe to travel in and any contagious diseases that break out will receive full priority. If China develops a reputation for missing key windows of opportunity to contain outbreaks because they want to save face, then it will no longer be as attractive of a country to do business with.

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 27, 2020, 02:19:12 PM
At first you say it seems the US and China are equally at fault because they both could have handled it better.

That wasn't my intent, if it came across that way.  My intent was to say that they're equally not at fault . . . because neither of them created the virus or purposely spread the virus.




But then you agree with me that what China did was worse than what Trump has done.

It seems obvious that China had a greater opportunity to contain Covid19 and blew it due to their aggressive stance towards free speech.

Directly punishing the doctors who are reporting the first stages of a pandemic is worse than standing up and publicly lying about the impacts of a pandemic to your population while your experts then say the exact opposite.  But we're talking degrees of bad here.  Both are stupid, and both made things much worse than they had to be.

While what they did was more wrong . . . China didn't 'blow it' because of their stance towards free speech though, at least not any more than the US 'blew it' because the countries protections for free speech shelter an incompetent man in power and allow him to use his position to publicly lie about the situation without repercussion.




I like Snowden, but I don't think he's a good analogy. The difference there is that our (the US "Intelligence Community") intent in violating human rights was to keep us and the world safe from terrorism. We strayed quite far from that intent, but that was our undeniably our original intent. China meanwhile did not have an intent like that. It appears their intent was to avoid looking bad on the world stage.

Also, our heroic whistleblower broke the rules to share classified information and does not contest this. As far as I know, Dr. Li Wenliang was not breaking any type of protocol in sharing his initial findings.

I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything.  Mountains of historical evidence certainly doesn't seem to agree with that claim.  Even if they did, it didn't make anyone in the world safer to persecute Snowden after the fact for revealing that these agencies were routinely violating the rights of Americans and that they were lying to the politicians who were supposed to be in charge about it.




And yes, if nations had the same relationship with, say, North Korea, as they have with China, then we probably wouldn't even know about this disease. I'm not saying China is equivalent to NK, but I'm saying our free global trade (which involves plenty of businesspeople who travel) with China is predicated upon many basic assumptions, one being that their country is safe to travel in and any contagious diseases that break out will receive full priority. If China develops a reputation for missing key windows of opportunity to contain outbreaks because they want to save face, then it will no longer be as attractive of a country to do business with.

People will generally do business with whoever is most likely to make them money, even if it puts their own life at risk.  China is the biggest trading partner of the United States.  This has nothing at all to do with China's great record regarding health and safety or human rights.

China has always had a reputation for playing loose and fast with health/safety/environmental rules.  It has not made them less attractive a country to do business.  Quite the opposite . . . it's a benefit that leads to lower costs.  Business rewards those who take risks.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: marty998 on March 27, 2020, 02:24:45 PM
If we're talking reparations, how much does the US owe Iraq at this point?
Roughly a million lives @ $9 million (US rate) or $200 (Afghanistan) dollar each.

Plus Infrastructure etc. of course. And extracted oil given voluntarily to US companies.

Should I mention the 300 thousand tonnes of napalm dropped on Vietnam?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: Apple_Tango on March 27, 2020, 05:20:34 PM
With the way we raise and slaughter animals, a zoonotic virus like this coronavirus might easily start in the US and be the next pandemic in 20-30 years. It’s a worldwide burden, so no, China should not pay reparations.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on March 28, 2020, 01:49:00 AM
Quote
The difference there is that our (the US "Intelligence Community") intent in violating human rights was to keep us and the world safe from terrorism. We strayed quite far from that intent, but that was our undeniably our original intent. China meanwhile did not have an intent like that.

Are you really that naive??

A terrorist is always and only someone who does something that you don't agree with and who you can't stop with normal means.
(For the other side it's a freedom fighter fighting against oppression.)

So for China: They just tried to prevent that terrorist from damaging the Chinese people.


If we're talking reparations, how much does the US owe Iraq at this point?
Roughly a million lives @ $9 million (US rate) or $200 (Afghanistan) dollar each.

Plus Infrastructure etc. of course. And extracted oil given voluntarily to US companies.

Should I mention the 300 thousand tonnes of napalm dropped on Vietnam?

Certainly not in the context of Iraq O.o

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on March 28, 2020, 05:12:47 AM
I thought you would know better @GuitarStv - Canada is the United States largest trading partner, not China. It’s true that the US imports more from China, but the amount we sell to Canada far outstrips the difference, making Canada our largest trading partner. FWIW Mexico is #2 in exports, and China recently bumped the UK (barely) to take the #3 spot
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 28, 2020, 07:17:28 AM
I thought you would know better @GuitarStv - Canada is the United States largest trading partner, not China. It’s true that the US imports more from China, but the amount we sell to Canada far outstrips the difference, making Canada our largest trading partner. FWIW Mexico is #2 in exports, and China recently bumped the UK (barely) to take the #3 spot

Fair enough.  I stand corrected, thank you.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on March 28, 2020, 09:08:58 AM
I thought you would know better @GuitarStv - Canada is the United States largest trading partner, not China. It’s true that the US imports more from China, but the amount we sell to Canada far outstrips the difference, making Canada our largest trading partner. FWIW Mexico is #2 in exports, and China recently bumped the UK (barely) to take the #3 spot

Fair enough.  I stand corrected, thank you.
Didn’t mean that to come out as pithy as it did. Blame it on posting pure-coffee with a toddler screaming. It was meant to be light hearted but I think it didn’t come out that way.

It just fascinates me how many people don’t realize how connected the US and Canada are, economically.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on March 28, 2020, 11:50:51 AM
I thought you would know better @GuitarStv - Canada is the United States largest trading partner, not China. It’s true that the US imports more from China, but the amount we sell to Canada far outstrips the difference, making Canada our largest trading partner. FWIW Mexico is #2 in exports, and China recently bumped the UK (barely) to take the #3 spot

Fair enough.  I stand corrected, thank you.
Didn’t mean that to come out as pithy as it did. Blame it on posting pure-coffee with a toddler screaming. It was meant to be light hearted but I think it didn’t come out that way.

It just fascinates me how many people don’t realize how connected the US and Canada are, economically.

Brexit *cough cough*
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: RetiredAt63 on March 28, 2020, 11:59:20 AM
I thought you would know better @GuitarStv - Canada is the United States largest trading partner, not China. It’s true that the US imports more from China, but the amount we sell to Canada far outstrips the difference, making Canada our largest trading partner. FWIW Mexico is #2 in exports, and China recently bumped the UK (barely) to take the #3 spot

Fair enough.  I stand corrected, thank you.

It would be nice if President Trump realized that.  I would bet he would put Canada at #3 at best.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 08:36:18 AM
Quote
The difference there is that our (the US "Intelligence Community") intent in violating human rights was to keep us and the world safe from terrorism. We strayed quite far from that intent, but that was our undeniably our original intent. China meanwhile did not have an intent like that.

Are you really that naive??

A terrorist is always and only someone who does something that you don't agree with and who you can't stop with normal means.
(For the other side it's a freedom fighter fighting against oppression.)

So for China: They just tried to prevent that terrorist from damaging the Chinese people.

Are you really that intent on making up your own definitions?

A terrorist is "always and only" a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

It doesn't matter what "the other side" considers them, if they do the above, they are by definition a terrorist.

I'm curious to know why you're trying to redefine this word though. Is it your position that the US did not and does not have a genuine interest in preventing terrorist attacks at home and abroad?








Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: former player on March 30, 2020, 08:43:53 AM
Quote
The difference there is that our (the US "Intelligence Community") intent in violating human rights was to keep us and the world safe from terrorism. We strayed quite far from that intent, but that was our undeniably our original intent. China meanwhile did not have an intent like that.

Are you really that naive??

A terrorist is always and only someone who does something that you don't agree with and who you can't stop with normal means.
(For the other side it's a freedom fighter fighting against oppression.)

So for China: They just tried to prevent that terrorist from damaging the Chinese people.

Are you really that intent on making up your own definitions?

A terrorist is "always and only" a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

It doesn't matter what "the other side" considers them, if they do the above, they are by definition a terrorist.

I'm curious to know why you're trying to redefine this word though. Is it your position that the US did not and does not have a genuine interest in preventing terrorist attacks at home and abroad?
Was Nelson Mandela a terrorist?

Hint: it's not enough to consider the person acting, you also have to consider what they are acting against.  If someone is not living in a democracy with rule of law and human rights, is it still terrorism?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 30, 2020, 08:46:50 AM
Quote
The difference there is that our (the US "Intelligence Community") intent in violating human rights was to keep us and the world safe from terrorism. We strayed quite far from that intent, but that was our undeniably our original intent. China meanwhile did not have an intent like that.

Are you really that naive??

A terrorist is always and only someone who does something that you don't agree with and who you can't stop with normal means.
(For the other side it's a freedom fighter fighting against oppression.)

So for China: They just tried to prevent that terrorist from damaging the Chinese people.

Are you really that intent on making up your own definitions?

A terrorist is "always and only" a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

It doesn't matter what "the other side" considers them, if they do the above, they are by definition a terrorist.

I'm curious to know why you're trying to redefine this word though. Is it your position that the US did not and does not have a genuine interest in preventing terrorist attacks at home and abroad?

Unlawful violence and intimidation?  Check.  Against civilians?  Check.  In the pursuit of political aims?  Check.

The United States was founded by terrorists according to that definition.  :P
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 09:10:15 AM

I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything.  Mountains of historical evidence certainly doesn't seem to agree with that claim.


It is fairly clear that the FBI and CIA have partnered with allies to help prevent terrorist attacks. If you prefer to be selective with CIA/FBI history so you can hold in your mind a mustache twirling cartoon villain version of the US, so be it. But you should know that this same willful ignorance of inconvenient facts makes you no different than your ideological opponents who ignore their own set of inconvenient facts.


Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 09:24:12 AM

Was Nelson Mandela a terrorist?

Hint: it's not enough to consider the person acting, you also have to consider what they are acting against.  If someone is not living in a democracy with rule of law and human rights, is it still terrorism?

Did he target and kill innocent civilians as the chief strategy to advance his goals? If so, then yes. But he intentionally limited his attacks to critical infrastructure so as to avoid killing and injuring. The group he founded (MK) DID later deviate from this position into terrorism, but Mandela himself was not a terrorist.

Yes, it's enough to consider the person acting. Mandela would have been a terrorist if he would have targeted innocent people to advance his cause, no matter the direness of the situation.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 09:50:23 AM

And yes, if nations had the same relationship with, say, North Korea, as they have with China, then we probably wouldn't even know about this disease. I'm not saying China is equivalent to NK, but I'm saying our free global trade (which involves plenty of businesspeople who travel) with China is predicated upon many basic assumptions, one being that their country is safe to travel in and any contagious diseases that break out will receive full priority. If China develops a reputation for missing key windows of opportunity to contain outbreaks because they want to save face, then it will no longer be as attractive of a country to do business with.

People will generally do business with whoever is most likely to make them money, even if it puts their own life at risk.  China is the biggest trading partner of the United States.  This has nothing at all to do with China's great record regarding health and safety or human rights.

China has always had a reputation for playing loose and fast with health/safety/environmental rules.  It has not made them less attractive a country to do business.  Quite the opposite . . . it's a benefit that leads to lower costs.  Business rewards those who take risks.

In some ways, you're right about lower costs. But you are ignoring the fact that large corporations are the major players in global trade. Have you worked for a large corporation? Risk mitigation is huge for large corporations. They don't want lawsuits. They don't want supply chain disruptions. They don't want to show up in the news because their suppliers had to install suicide prevention netting around their dormitories. But you're right that so far many companies have been plenty willing to put up with these things (and stolen IP) for low costs and unrivaled manufacturing output. My point is that a line DOES exist that China could cross that would cause global corporations to look elsewhere.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 30, 2020, 09:57:30 AM

I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything.  Mountains of historical evidence certainly doesn't seem to agree with that claim.


It is fairly clear that the FBI and CIA have partnered with allies to help prevent terrorist attacks. If you prefer to be selective with CIA/FBI history so you can hold in your mind a mustache twirling cartoon villain version of the US, so be it. But you should know that this same willful ignorance of inconvenient facts makes you no different than your ideological opponents who ignore their own set of inconvenient facts.


Which terror attacks in particular are you referring to that have been prevented?  Can you list them?  I'm quite willing to

Certainly, I don't think the US is an evil country on the whole . . . but the actions of the CIA in the world have been evil for a very long time - with an extensive history and pattern of overthrowing peaceful and/or democratic governments to institute brutal dictators who have committed atrocities.  Like not once or twice, or a dozen times.  It's a constant and regular pattern in  US history.  The US military currently commits acts of terrorism with impunity in northern Pakistan, regularly murdering civilians via drone strike in their attempt to "get terrorists".  The CIA was extensively involved in kidnapping innocent civlians from around the world and then arbitrarily detaining/torturing/raping/murdering them (a job currently taken over and run by the US military).

The reason I asked you to list the prevented terrorist acts is that nothing I've seen or read indicates they have come close to outweighing the damage caused.  But I'm certainly open to new facts or information if you've got some you would like to bring up.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 30, 2020, 10:02:26 AM

And yes, if nations had the same relationship with, say, North Korea, as they have with China, then we probably wouldn't even know about this disease. I'm not saying China is equivalent to NK, but I'm saying our free global trade (which involves plenty of businesspeople who travel) with China is predicated upon many basic assumptions, one being that their country is safe to travel in and any contagious diseases that break out will receive full priority. If China develops a reputation for missing key windows of opportunity to contain outbreaks because they want to save face, then it will no longer be as attractive of a country to do business with.

People will generally do business with whoever is most likely to make them money, even if it puts their own life at risk.  China is the biggest trading partner of the United States.  This has nothing at all to do with China's great record regarding health and safety or human rights.

China has always had a reputation for playing loose and fast with health/safety/environmental rules.  It has not made them less attractive a country to do business.  Quite the opposite . . . it's a benefit that leads to lower costs.  Business rewards those who take risks.

In some ways, you're right about lower costs. But you are ignoring the fact that large corporations are the major players in global trade. Have you worked for a large corporation? Risk mitigation is huge for large corporations. They don't want lawsuits. They don't want supply chain disruptions. They don't want to show up in the news because their suppliers had to install suicide prevention netting around their dormitories. But you're right that so far many companies have been plenty willing to put up with these things (and stolen IP) for low costs and unrivaled manufacturing output. My point is that a line DOES exist that China could cross that would cause global corporations to look elsewhere.

Agreed.  A line exists.  That line is profits.  When it's no longer profitable to do business with China, then corporations will stop.

The 'beauty' of outsourcing the manufacturing for an entire country is that nobody who is purchasing stuff really has to look at/think about environmental or human damage of their choices.  That largely removes the consumer from being a factor in penalizing these companies.  So yeah, you might get the occasional news story about iPhone workers killing themselves and having suicide nets set up . . . but it's not going to have an appreciable impact on sales in North America.

The occasional pandemic is costly too . . . but I bet you that immediately after this sickness is over and squashed business will resume with China largely the same as before.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 10:29:52 AM

I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything.  Mountains of historical evidence certainly doesn't seem to agree with that claim.


It is fairly clear that the FBI and CIA have partnered with allies to help prevent terrorist attacks. If you prefer to be selective with CIA/FBI history so you can hold in your mind a mustache twirling cartoon villain version of the US, so be it. But you should know that this same willful ignorance of inconvenient facts makes you no different than your ideological opponents who ignore their own set of inconvenient facts.


Which terror attacks in particular are you referring to that have been prevented?  Can you list them?  I'm quite willing to

Certainly, I don't think the US is an evil country on the whole . . . but the actions of the CIA in the world have been evil for a very long time - with an extensive history and pattern of overthrowing peaceful and/or democratic governments to institute brutal dictators who have committed atrocities.  Like not once or twice, or a dozen times.  It's a constant and regular pattern in  US history.  The US military currently commits acts of terrorism with impunity in northern Pakistan, regularly murdering civilians via drone strike in their attempt to "get terrorists".  The CIA was extensively involved in kidnapping innocent civlians from around the world and then arbitrarily detaining/torturing/raping/murdering them (a job currently taken over and run by the US military).

The reason I asked you to list the prevented terrorist acts is that nothing I've seen or read indicates they have come close to outweighing the damage caused.  But I'm certainly open to new facts or information if you've got some you would like to bring up.

Well, if you'd like a very specific example where the US received direct credit, here.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/04/21/politics/us-soldier-saves-denmark-school/index.html


But in general the way it works is that, similar to regular defense,  US intelligence plays an outsized role in global counterterrorism intelligence compared to its allies (our annual intelligence budget is about 60 billion compared to, say, Germany at just under 1 billion).

And since we track the movements of the terrorists we surveil, and we share pertinent information with our allied counterparts, it can be reasonably assumed there was significant contribution from US intelligence in many of these foiled plots.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_thwarted_Islamist_terrorist_attacks#cite_note-63


And what we do in Pakistan et all is NOT terrorism. Misuse of the word is getting tiring. You can make the point that the US kills innocent civilians as collateral damage when we target those we suspect to be terrorists. But the crucial distinction is that we ACCEPT some civilian casualties as opposed to intentionally targeting civilians, which is what would make it terrorism.

This isn't that difficult of a distinction to make. Perhaps it is not so much that the distinction is difficult to understand, but that the word is so negatively perceived that people have a motive to classify non-terrorist things they don't like as terrorism (such as US drone strikes) while rejecting the definition when it is accurately used to describe terrorism committed by a group they are sympathetic to such as the ANC/MK.

As Abe Lincoln said, how many legs does a dog have if you call its tail a leg? 4, because calling it a leg doesn't make it a leg.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 30, 2020, 11:27:59 AM

I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything.  Mountains of historical evidence certainly doesn't seem to agree with that claim.


It is fairly clear that the FBI and CIA have partnered with allies to help prevent terrorist attacks. If you prefer to be selective with CIA/FBI history so you can hold in your mind a mustache twirling cartoon villain version of the US, so be it. But you should know that this same willful ignorance of inconvenient facts makes you no different than your ideological opponents who ignore their own set of inconvenient facts.


Which terror attacks in particular are you referring to that have been prevented?  Can you list them?  I'm quite willing to

Certainly, I don't think the US is an evil country on the whole . . . but the actions of the CIA in the world have been evil for a very long time - with an extensive history and pattern of overthrowing peaceful and/or democratic governments to institute brutal dictators who have committed atrocities.  Like not once or twice, or a dozen times.  It's a constant and regular pattern in  US history.  The US military currently commits acts of terrorism with impunity in northern Pakistan, regularly murdering civilians via drone strike in their attempt to "get terrorists".  The CIA was extensively involved in kidnapping innocent civlians from around the world and then arbitrarily detaining/torturing/raping/murdering them (a job currently taken over and run by the US military).

The reason I asked you to list the prevented terrorist acts is that nothing I've seen or read indicates they have come close to outweighing the damage caused.  But I'm certainly open to new facts or information if you've got some you would like to bring up.

Well, if you'd like a very specific example where the US received direct credit, here.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/04/21/politics/us-soldier-saves-denmark-school/index.html

OK.  So, how many people were in the school?  A hundred?  Does that outweigh . . . oh . . . I dunno . . . how about the time the US overthrew the democratically elected government in Chile and put Pinochet in power?  Not only put him in power, but made sure he stayed there with Operation Condor:

"a United States-backed campaign of political repression and state terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents"  - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor)

I can provide dozens of similar examples.  My argument wasn't that the US never does anything good . . . just that on the balance, I don't believe the CIA's actions have been an international force for good in the world.



But in general the way it works is that, similar to regular defense,  US intelligence plays an outsized role in global counterterrorism intelligence compared to its allies (our annual intelligence budget is about 60 billion compared to, say, Germany at just under 1 billion).

And since we track the movements of the terrorists we surveil, and we share pertinent information with our allied counterparts, it can be reasonably assumed there was significant contribution from US intelligence in many of these foiled plots.

The US definitely spends more money on any branch of it's military than any other country in the world - agreed.

A large chunk of this "anti-terrorism" money was at one point (or still is) spent running illegal torture facilities like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, kidnapping innocent people, etc.  You'll have to explain to me how that benefited anyone (other than those recruiting terrorist - it has certainly been a big boon to them.  Basically a whole bunch of free advertising and recruitment).



And what we do in Pakistan et all is NOT terrorism. Misuse of the word is getting tiring. You can make the point that the US kills innocent civilians as collateral damage when we target those we suspect to be terrorists. But the crucial distinction is that we ACCEPT some civilian casualties as opposed to intentionally targeting civilians, which is what would make it terrorism.

This isn't that difficult of a distinction to make. Perhaps it is not so much that the distinction is difficult to understand, but that the word is so negatively perceived that people have a motive to classify non-terrorist things they don't like as terrorism (such as US drone strikes) while rejecting the definition when it is accurately used to describe terrorism committed by a group they are sympathetic to such as the ANC/MK.

As Abe Lincoln said, how many legs does a dog have if you call its tail a leg? 4, because calling it a leg doesn't make it a leg.

I'm not sure if I've got your definitions correct.  You're arguing that the 9/11 attack on the pentagon was not an act of terrorism then?  It was after all, a military target.  People on the plane were collateral damage.

Personally, I'd have called it terrorism but I don't want to misuse the word.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 01:18:48 PM
I'm not sure if I've got your definitions correct.  You're arguing that the 9/11 attack on the pentagon was not an act of terrorism then?  It was after all, a military target.  People on the plane were collateral damage.

Personally, I'd have called it terrorism but I don't want to misuse the word.

The Pentagon is a great example where you could make an good argument either way.

On one hand, the Pentagon is an administrative building full of administrative workers. Terrorism.

On the other hand, it's a very valuable target to aim for from a military perspective. Tactical warfare.

However given that it was part of a broader terrorist attack it becomes harder to argue that it wasn't terrorism.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on March 30, 2020, 01:28:38 PM
I'm not sure if I've got your definitions correct.  You're arguing that the 9/11 attack on the pentagon was not an act of terrorism then?  It was after all, a military target.  People on the plane were collateral damage.

Personally, I'd have called it terrorism but I don't want to misuse the word.

The Pentagon is a great example where you could make an good argument either way.

On one hand, the Pentagon is an administrative building full of administrative workers. Terrorism.

On the other hand, it's a very valuable target to aim for from a military perspective. Tactical warfare.

However given that it was part of a broader terrorist attack it becomes harder to argue that it wasn't terrorism.

The pentagon wasn’t an original target. Seems three hijackers just decided to “put it down there” (per the cockpit recorder) to kill a bunch of people symbolically.

By a fortunate circumstance the wedge they hit was almost entirely abandoned as it was completing renovations. Had they actually targeted an actively occupied section the casualties on the ground would have been several times higher.

To;dr - intent matters too.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 01:31:38 PM
My argument wasn't that the US never does anything good . . . just that on the balance, I don't believe the CIA's actions have been an international force for good in the world.

..And I'd agree with that more or less.

But your statement was:

"I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything"

And you reference the misguided meddling and torturing we've done. We agree they have committed evil acts, but maybe at the heart of our disagreement is that I view humans in a more complex way. I think the vast majority of the CIA and FBI are acting with the intention of keeping the world safe from violent Islamists, violent Marxists, etc.

Or maybe there's something I'm missing. What do you think their intentions are?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 01:33:50 PM
I'm not sure if I've got your definitions correct.  You're arguing that the 9/11 attack on the pentagon was not an act of terrorism then?  It was after all, a military target.  People on the plane were collateral damage.

Personally, I'd have called it terrorism but I don't want to misuse the word.

The Pentagon is a great example where you could make an good argument either way.

On one hand, the Pentagon is an administrative building full of administrative workers. Terrorism.

On the other hand, it's a very valuable target to aim for from a military perspective. Tactical warfare.

However given that it was part of a broader terrorist attack it becomes harder to argue that it wasn't terrorism.

The pentagon wasn’t an original target. Seems three hijackers just decided to “put it down there” (per the cockpit recorder) to kill a bunch of people symbolically.

By a fortunate circumstance the wedge they hit was almost entirely abandoned as it was completing renovations. Had they actually targeted an actively occupied section the casualties on the ground would have been several times higher.

To;dr - intent matters too.

You must think we have short attention spans to TLDR a couple sentences :)

But yes, it was a symbolic target and yes, intention is a key part of the definition of terrorism.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 30, 2020, 02:16:18 PM
My argument wasn't that the US never does anything good . . . just that on the balance, I don't believe the CIA's actions have been an international force for good in the world.

..And I'd agree with that more or less.

But your statement was:

"I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything"

Fair enough.  That statement was hyperbole.  I could have chosen my words better there.


And you reference the misguided meddling and torturing we've done. We agree they have committed evil acts, but maybe at the heart of our disagreement is that I view humans in a more complex way. I think the vast majority of the CIA and FBI are acting with the intention of keeping the world safe from violent Islamists, violent Marxists, etc.

Or maybe there's something I'm missing. What do you think their intentions are?

Once you start doing evil things, intentions don't matter.  I don't think you can ever justify atrocity based on 'good intentions' . . . so don't really care what the intentions of the person committing the atrocity are.

Not to Godwin the thread here, but Hitler's Nazis had 'good intentions'.  They wanted to better their country and race.  When the US put Pinochet in power and then helped to assassinate and terrorize his political opponents to keep him in power they did it for 'good intentions', just as I'm sure the people who OK'd the raping and torturing of the civilians that America kidnapped and imprisoned in the middle east had 'good intentions' of stopping terrorism (somehow?) but those intentions don't change the fundamental wrongness of what was done.

Ends do not justify means . . . and certainly intentions don't.  You can call that simplistic if you want.  I'd argue it's a pretty defensible moral stance.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: runbikerun on March 30, 2020, 02:18:08 PM
My argument wasn't that the US never does anything good . . . just that on the balance, I don't believe the CIA's actions have been an international force for good in the world.

..And I'd agree with that more or less.

But your statement was:

"I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything"

And you reference the misguided meddling and torturing we've done. We agree they have committed evil acts, but maybe at the heart of our disagreement is that I view humans in a more complex way. I think the vast majority of the CIA and FBI are acting with the intention of keeping the world safe from violent Islamists, violent Marxists, etc.

Or maybe there's something I'm missing. What do you think their intentions are?

I don't think the CIA give a flying fuck about keeping the world safe. They care deeply about keeping America safe, but would let the rest of the world burn if they thought it marginally increased American safety. They have a long and vicious history of actively supporting whatever murderous bastard they thought would keep out the communists, and following 9/11 they changed policies to actively supporting whatever murderous bastard they thought would keep Islamists out.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 03:05:52 PM
My argument wasn't that the US never does anything good . . . just that on the balance, I don't believe the CIA's actions have been an international force for good in the world.

..And I'd agree with that more or less.

But your statement was:

"I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything"

Fair enough.  That statement was hyperbole.  I could have chosen my words better there.


And you reference the misguided meddling and torturing we've done. We agree they have committed evil acts, but maybe at the heart of our disagreement is that I view humans in a more complex way. I think the vast majority of the CIA and FBI are acting with the intention of keeping the world safe from violent Islamists, violent Marxists, etc.

Or maybe there's something I'm missing. What do you think their intentions are?

Once you start doing evil things, intentions don't matter.  I don't think you can ever justify atrocity based on 'good intentions' . . . so don't really care what the intentions of the person committing the atrocity are.

Not to Godwin the thread here, but Hitler's Nazis had 'good intentions'.  They wanted to better their country and race.  When the US put Pinochet in power and then helped to assassinate and terrorize his political opponents to keep him in power they did it for 'good intentions', just as I'm sure the people who OK'd the raping and torturing of the civilians that America kidnapped and imprisoned in the middle east had 'good intentions' of stopping terrorism (somehow?) but those intentions don't change the fundamental wrongness of what was done.

Ends do not justify means . . . and certainly intentions don't.  You can call that simplistic if you want.  I'd argue it's a pretty defensible moral stance.

Well, we're on the same page then. I am a firm believer that ends do not justify means as well.

You misunderstand me as believing that good intentions can justify evil actions.

To the contrary, I believe in taking a good close look at those who have done evil and refusing to write them off as inhuman monsters or cartoon villains. Rather, we can try to understand their intentions, imagine we are in their shoes, and try to identify any impulses and justifications that we are quick to make for ourselves that we would readily see as evil if they were to do it.



Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 03:20:57 PM
My argument wasn't that the US never does anything good . . . just that on the balance, I don't believe the CIA's actions have been an international force for good in the world.

..And I'd agree with that more or less.

But your statement was:

"I don't believe the US intelligence community has ever had an intent to keep the world safe from anything"

And you reference the misguided meddling and torturing we've done. We agree they have committed evil acts, but maybe at the heart of our disagreement is that I view humans in a more complex way. I think the vast majority of the CIA and FBI are acting with the intention of keeping the world safe from violent Islamists, violent Marxists, etc.

Or maybe there's something I'm missing. What do you think their intentions are?

I don't think the CIA give a flying fuck about keeping the world safe. They care deeply about keeping America safe, but would let the rest of the world burn if they thought it marginally increased American safety. They have a long and vicious history of actively supporting whatever murderous bastard they thought would keep out the communists, and following 9/11 they changed policies to actively supporting whatever murderous bastard they thought would keep Islamists out.

I'd like to challenge your assumption.

I agree the CIA and FBI prioritize the safety of the US (as they should), but the idea that they're fine with the rest of the world (which includes our allies) burning is a completely unsupported claim. Your recollection of their history is not false, but it does not support the thesis that US foreign policy is purely self serving. In fact, it kind of invalidates it. It could much easier be argued that the US has tried so hard to fend off communism and islamism BECAUSE it regards these worldviews as detrimental to the wellbeing of people all over the world. Granted, things are better for the US if more nations practice democratic capitalism, but definitely not better to the tune of the hundreds of billions the US military has dedicated towards regime change and counterterrorism.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: runbikerun on March 30, 2020, 03:49:50 PM
That would be a reasonable argument in defence of a country which had accidentally supported one or two bastards over an otherwise unblemished record of positive foreign policy. It does not work as a defence of a country which has supported dozens of the worst leaders in modern history.

You think the US government really believed that the Argentine junta butchering fifty thousand of its political opponents was the ethical option? Or that it really believed the Shah of Iran would be better than Mohammed Mossadegh? Or that Salvador Allende was so awful that Pinochet was a more moral leader? Manuel Noriega? Baby Doc Duvalier? Batista in Cuba? The Contras? Castillo Armas in Guatemala? US diplomats providing a list of five thousand communists to Suharto in Indonesia for them to be killed?

You think the US pushed for the World Food Program to feed thousands of Khmer Rouge soldiers for a full decade after they'd murdered a quarter of the population of Cambodia because they want to keep everyone safe?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 30, 2020, 04:20:34 PM
If you find body counts to be a compelling factor, than perhaps the US can be somewhat vindicated in its overzealousness of opposing marxism.

The puppets the US has propped up truly pale in comparison to the death machines of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: runbikerun on March 30, 2020, 04:38:20 PM
If you find body counts to be a compelling factor, than perhaps the US can be somewhat vindicated in its overzealousness of opposing marxism.

The puppets the US has propped up truly pale in comparison to the death machines of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

The US fed Pol Pot's army for over a decade after they'd butchered two million Cambodians. They even made sure that Cambodia's seat at the UN was taken by the Khmer Rouge after they'd been pushed out of Cambodia, and did everything they could to prevent food aid getting to Cambodian civilians.

The United States government actively supported, fed and financed one of the worst regimes in history well after their crimes were public knowledge purely because the Cambodian people had the effrontery to be rescued by the Vietnamese.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: PKFFW on March 30, 2020, 05:59:42 PM
To the contrary, I believe in taking a good close look at those who have done evil and refusing to write them off as inhuman monsters or cartoon villains. Rather, we can try to understand their intentions, imagine we are in their shoes, and try to identify any impulses and justifications that we are quick to make for ourselves that we would readily see as evil if they were to do it.
Firstly, let me say, I am actually an USA citizen.  I believe the USA has done a remarkable amount of good in the world.  I also believe taking a "good close look at those who have done evil" and honestly admitting when one's own has done so, does not in any way absolve others who have also done evil.  It is not an either/or proposition.  The fact Islamists/Marxists/Stalinists/Communists/whoever, have done evil should not be used as an excuse to not acknowledge the evil done by the USA/UK/Catholics/Democrats/whoever.  Further, it is not a comparative contest either.  That is to say, that the USA may arguably have done less evil than Islamists et al, does not make the evil the USA has done any more justifiable or excusable.

I'm sorry but your comments clearly indicate that you have not taken "a good close look at those who have done evil....".

Whether you intend to or not, you are essentially giving a free pass to the USA because you believe their intentions are good.  The USA has a very long history of intentionally targeting civilians to further political aims.  South America is rife with examples of intentionally targeting political and civilian targets.

If that isn't enough, Hiroshima was specifically chosen as a target to drop a frigging atomic bomb on because it had not been previously targeted and therefore was still densely populated both structurally and with people.  The target selection committee minutes clearly indicate the two primary reasons were "to scare the Japanese population into surrendering and to show the world the power of the atomic bomb".  That goes far beyond "accepting civilian losses as collateral damage but having good intentions".  The USA deliberately targeted a densely populated civilian target specifically to instil terror, not only in the Japanese, but in the rest of the world.

I suggest you actually read a bit of history if you truly want to "take a good close look at those who have done evil.....".
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 30, 2020, 06:52:20 PM
I was wondering if anyone would bring up Hiroshima.  That was arguably the biggest act of terror ever intentionally inflicted on a civilian population.  Very rarely mentioned when we talk about terrorists though.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: ender on March 30, 2020, 08:10:22 PM
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

I'm curious what you all would define "terrorism" as because I'm pretty sure this whole discussion involves disagreement on that term.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: PKFFW on March 30, 2020, 08:26:15 PM
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

I'm curious what you all would define "terrorism" as because I'm pretty sure this whole discussion involves disagreement on that term.
I think the disagreement involves the changing definition to suit the circumstances and not that there is disagreement as to what terrorism is.

Eg:  Not terrorism if the intent isn't to directly target civilians.  When shown that the USA has intentionally targeted civilians, for example in many South American countries while overthrowing democratically elected governments and installing USA friendly dictators, the definition is changed to whether the intent is to keep the USA safe and whether more or less people were killed compared to some bogey man.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on March 31, 2020, 05:05:10 AM
And what we do in Pakistan et all is NOT terrorism. Misuse of the word is getting tiring. You can make the point that the US kills innocent civilians as collateral damage when we target those we suspect to be terrorists. But the crucial distinction is that we ACCEPT some civilian casualties as opposed to intentionally targeting civilians, which is what would make it terrorism.
Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't it that there are no collaterals of drone strikes anymore since last year, as anyone killed by a drone strike is automatically a combatant?

And if you "ACCEPT some civilian casualties" how does it came that the vast majority killed by those attacks are civilians?
Why do you think it helps fighting terrorism to bomb weddings and funerals (yes, plural)?
And even if you believe that - in the world trade center 3000 people died. About 100 times more civilians have been killed by the US reaction, even more if you count ISIS in it (which came into power thanks to the US fighting Taliban, who were armed, trained and financed by the CIA btw).

Does that mean you think it is okay to kill 100 times more innocent people than your opponent as long as you are on the "right" side?

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 31, 2020, 08:31:15 AM
To the contrary, I believe in taking a good close look at those who have done evil and refusing to write them off as inhuman monsters or cartoon villains. Rather, we can try to understand their intentions, imagine we are in their shoes, and try to identify any impulses and justifications that we are quick to make for ourselves that we would readily see as evil if they were to do it.
Firstly, let me say, I am actually an USA citizen.  I believe the USA has done a remarkable amount of good in the world.  I also believe taking a "good close look at those who have done evil" and honestly admitting when one's own has done so, does not in any way absolve others who have also done evil.  It is not an either/or proposition.  The fact Islamists/Marxists/Stalinists/Communists/whoever, have done evil should not be used as an excuse to not acknowledge the evil done by the USA/UK/Catholics/Democrats/whoever.  Further, it is not a comparative contest either.  That is to say, that the USA may arguably have done less evil than Islamists et al, does not make the evil the USA has done any more justifiable or excusable.

I'm sorry but your comments clearly indicate that you have not taken "a good close look at those who have done evil....".

Whether you intend to or not, you are essentially giving a free pass to the USA because you believe their intentions are good.  The USA has a very long history of intentionally targeting civilians to further political aims.  South America is rife with examples of intentionally targeting political and civilian targets.

If that isn't enough, Hiroshima was specifically chosen as a target to drop a frigging atomic bomb on because it had not been previously targeted and therefore was still densely populated both structurally and with people.  The target selection committee minutes clearly indicate the two primary reasons were "to scare the Japanese population into surrendering and to show the world the power of the atomic bomb".  That goes far beyond "accepting civilian losses as collateral damage but having good intentions".  The USA deliberately targeted a densely populated civilian target specifically to instil terror, not only in the Japanese, but in the rest of the world.

I suggest you actually read a bit of history if you truly want to "take a good close look at those who have done evil.....".

I suggest you actually read what I've written here.

I have NOT communicated that the US deserves a free pass because their intentions were good. From the beginning I have simply rejected the illogical 2 dimensional view that the US intelligence community somehow would not regard itself to be a force for worldwide good.

I agree with most here saying the US has done loads of evil and it is not justifiable by good intentions.

My point is that we should try to UNDERSTAND the intentions of those who commit evil, and if they state them, not to dismiss them as lies without much thought.  I present this same argument when I debate neoconservatives who dismiss or never bothered to read Bin Laden's stated intentions for 9/11.

One reason for extending this understanding is to learn from the ethical and moral shortcomings of our predecessors, rather than simply repeat them in different circumstances. This understanding allows us to see that regular humans like us can wind up choosing evil if we don't think deeply about what we're doing.

I suspect the reason I might be coming off as blind to the atrocities the US has committed is tied in with my insistence on correct, dictionary based use of the word terrorism. My point isn't that the US has never committed terrorism. It's simply a rejection of the goalpost-moving that goes on between sides who like to use the word as a proxy to mean "the bad guys" and a very reasonable request that we use words according to their definition.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 31, 2020, 08:46:08 AM
And what we do in Pakistan et all is NOT terrorism. Misuse of the word is getting tiring. You can make the point that the US kills innocent civilians as collateral damage when we target those we suspect to be terrorists. But the crucial distinction is that we ACCEPT some civilian casualties as opposed to intentionally targeting civilians, which is what would make it terrorism.
Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't it that there are no collaterals of drone strikes anymore since last year, as anyone killed by a drone strike is automatically a combatant?

And if you "ACCEPT some civilian casualties" how does it came that the vast majority killed by those attacks are civilians?
Why do you think it helps fighting terrorism to bomb weddings and funerals (yes, plural)?
And even if you believe that - in the world trade center 3000 people died. About 100 times more civilians have been killed by the US reaction, even more if you count ISIS in it (which came into power thanks to the US fighting Taliban, who were armed, trained and financed by the CIA btw).

Does that mean you think it is okay to kill 100 times more innocent people than your opponent as long as you are on the "right" side?

No, I'm not talking about okay vs not okay. I'm not talking about right side or wrong side. I'm not talking about the failures of US foreign policy and trying to gloss over them.

I'm talking about the dictionary and how it has a definition for a word. If the US intentionally kills civilians as part of a strategy to frighten and intimidate political enemies, then it is committing terrorism. If it creates a database of targets known to use violence or support those using violence against the US, and kills the civilians who happen to be nearby when the drone strikes the target, then it's not terrorism. I'm not making a moral judgment, I'm just attempting to describe things according to the dictionary.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 31, 2020, 08:51:48 AM
I'm talking about the dictionary and how it has a definition for a word. If the US intentionally kills civilians as part of a strategy to frighten and intimidate political enemies, then it is committing terrorism. If it creates a database of targets known to use violence or support those using violence against the US, and kills the civilians who happen to be nearby when the drone strikes the target, then it's not terrorism. I'm not making a moral judgment, I'm just attempting to describe things according to the dictionary.


Given your insistence on correct, dictionary based use of the word terrorism . . . do you refer to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States as a terrorist act?  It was a targeted attack against civilians with the goal of achieving political aims (the surrender of Japan).

Or the US capture and illegal incarceration (without due process or evidence) of civilians (including children) from around the world?  That's a targeted attack against civilians, and all the actions taken by the US captors (religious/sexual degradation, rape, torture, murder) would seem to indicate that terror rather than information or military advantage was the goal.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: former player on March 31, 2020, 09:24:50 AM
I'm talking about the dictionary and how it has a definition for a word. If the US intentionally kills civilians as part of a strategy to frighten and intimidate political enemies, then it is committing terrorism. If it creates a database of targets known to use violence or support those using violence against the US, and kills the civilians who happen to be nearby when the drone strikes the target, then it's not terrorism. I'm not making a moral judgment, I'm just attempting to describe things according to the dictionary.


Given your insistence on correct, dictionary based use of the word terrorism . . . do you refer to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States as a terrorist act?  It was a targeted attack against civilians with the goal of achieving political aims (the surrender of Japan).

Or the US capture and illegal incarceration (without due process or evidence) of civilians (including children) from around the world?  That's a targeted attack against civilians, and all the actions taken by the US captors (religious/sexual degradation, rape, torture, murder) would seem to indicate that terror rather than information or military advantage was the goal.
There was a formal, legal war between two states, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were actions by one State against another State it was at war with.  In legal terms that makes them a potential war crime rather than terrorism.

My father was a conscript in the Royal Navy and under orders to join the war against Japan in July/August 1945.  I am grateful he did not have to go.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 31, 2020, 09:37:04 AM
I'm talking about the dictionary and how it has a definition for a word. If the US intentionally kills civilians as part of a strategy to frighten and intimidate political enemies, then it is committing terrorism. If it creates a database of targets known to use violence or support those using violence against the US, and kills the civilians who happen to be nearby when the drone strikes the target, then it's not terrorism. I'm not making a moral judgment, I'm just attempting to describe things according to the dictionary.


Given your insistence on correct, dictionary based use of the word terrorism . . . do you refer to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States as a terrorist act?  It was a targeted attack against civilians with the goal of achieving political aims (the surrender of Japan).

Or the US capture and illegal incarceration (without due process or evidence) of civilians (including children) from around the world?  That's a targeted attack against civilians, and all the actions taken by the US captors (religious/sexual degradation, rape, torture, murder) would seem to indicate that terror rather than information or military advantage was the goal.

Yes, probably, to the first, no, probably not, to the second. I don't think you can make a very compelling argument that extraordinary renditions are typically conducted to terrorize. Your claim seems to be that CIA/FBI officials' stated reason for "enhanced interrogation" techniques is not actually gaining intel, but rather terrorize.

You might be right about the effect, as no solid evidence has emerged that torture leads to good intel (and indeed, if there is no intel to gain, then you will certainly get bad intel from those wishing to make the torture stop). But given that the CIA/FBI have little to gain OTHER than intel using these renderings, there isn't much to support a theory that they are using extraordinary rendition to terrorize.

The difference might be that the US renders and tortures suspects, ie people they believe are likely to be violent insurgents who would have intel, whereas terrorism involves random civilians.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 31, 2020, 10:08:47 AM
I'm talking about the dictionary and how it has a definition for a word. If the US intentionally kills civilians as part of a strategy to frighten and intimidate political enemies, then it is committing terrorism. If it creates a database of targets known to use violence or support those using violence against the US, and kills the civilians who happen to be nearby when the drone strikes the target, then it's not terrorism. I'm not making a moral judgment, I'm just attempting to describe things according to the dictionary.


Given your insistence on correct, dictionary based use of the word terrorism . . . do you refer to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States as a terrorist act?  It was a targeted attack against civilians with the goal of achieving political aims (the surrender of Japan).

Or the US capture and illegal incarceration (without due process or evidence) of civilians (including children) from around the world?  That's a targeted attack against civilians, and all the actions taken by the US captors (religious/sexual degradation, rape, torture, murder) would seem to indicate that terror rather than information or military advantage was the goal.

Yes, probably, to the first, no, probably not, to the second. I don't think you can make a very compelling argument that extraordinary renditions are typically conducted to terrorize. Your claim seems to be that CIA/FBI officials' stated reason for "enhanced interrogation" techniques is not actually gaining intel, but rather terrorize.

You might be right about the effect, as no solid evidence has emerged that torture leads to good intel (and indeed, if there is no intel to gain, then you will certainly get bad intel from those wishing to make the torture stop). But given that the CIA/FBI have little to gain OTHER than intel using these renderings, there isn't much to support a theory that they are using extraordinary rendition to terrorize.

The difference might be that the US renders and tortures suspects, ie people they believe are likely to be violent insurgents who would have intel, whereas terrorism involves random civilians.

For the majority of the 50,000 inmates at Abu Grahib, credible evidence was never provided of any connection to terrorism.

Of the 775 put into Guantanamo Bay, 86% were not captured by American troops in any kind of battle . . . they were purchased by a bounty that the US offered.  Anyone in a poor country who wanted to make a few thousand US dollars could turn in someone they didn't like.  No questions asked.  Of all the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, only 8 have been convicted of anything (by illegitimate tribunals).  Of these 8, 3 were reversed.

The overwhelming majority of people in both cases were innocent civilians.


If the intent was not to terrorize, what exactly would the point of this be:
(https://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/images/2008/03/19/lynndie_england.jpg)(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/AG-8.jpg)

(https://ca-times.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/6cdeadd/2147483647/strip/true/crop/1280x848+0+0/resize/840x557!/quality/90/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcalifornia-times-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fba%2Ff2%2Ff965c11a90a7ce5c1bd8e7c757ec%2Fla-apphoto-mideast-the-debate-in-islam-jpg-20150316)

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Sabrina-Harman.jpg)(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/AbuGhraib13.jpg)

 . . . and a whole bunch of very explicit sexual torture and rape.  As you mentioned, there has been no report of actionable intelligence received by doing this.  It has been known for a long time that torture doesn't work to get intelligence anyway.  So why then was this done?

I don't believe it was an accident.  I don't believe the common/widespread taking and release of images was an accident.  That would imply a shocking level of stupidity/incompetence on the part of the entire US military.  I think the intent was pretty clear - it was to terrorize civilians with the aim of cowing the world into a fear of the US.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on March 31, 2020, 10:21:12 AM
Quote
From the beginning I have simply rejected the illogical 2 dimensional view that the US intelligence community somehow would not regard itself to be a force for worldwide good.

Instead you are suggesting that the many CIA employees all suffer under an immense cognitive dissonance while believing, contrary to blatantly visible facts, they do good?

Quote
and kills the civilians who happen to be nearby when the drone strikes the target, then it's not terrorism.

You are right. That is called a war crime. (Which may be the reason why the US is totally opposed to any international war crime or human rights legal institutions. Ever heard of the "Hague Invasion Law" (nickname) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Service-Members%27_Protection_Act
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: runbikerun on March 31, 2020, 01:04:10 PM
On the seventeenth of April, 1975, the Khmer Rouge marched into Phnom Penh, and declared at one o'clock that the city of two million inhabitants be abandoned. The sick and the infirm were forced from hospital beds at gunpoint; surgeons were forced to abandon patients mid-operation; orphaned babies were left abandoned in the Phnom Penh paediatric centre. This was the first day of Year Zero in what was renamed Democratic Kampuchea.

Over the course of the following four years, approximately a fifth of the population of Cambodia died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, led by Brother Number One, Pol Pot. People who lived in cities were executed as "economic saboteurs"; people with educations, people with more than one language were executed as "bourgeoisie"; people who wore glasses were assumed to be literate and therefore deserving of execution. What happened in Cambodia in those four years is almost without parallel in recorded history; survivors recall people being executed for smiling at each other. In Tuol Sleng prison, where seventeen thousand people were incarcerated over the duration of the Khmer Rouge's regime, twelve people are known to have survived. It wasn't a prison in any meaningful sense; it was a death factory. The entire population was forced into agricultural labour camps, where hundreds of thousands of people starved; anyone caught picking wild fruit was guilty of private enterprise and executed.

By 1978, as a result of waves of refugees fleeing into Vietnam, relations between the two countries collapsed, and Pol Pot ordered a preemptive invasion. Unsurprisingly, given that the Vietnamese had spent the previous decade or so fighting the United States military, they were battle-hardened and well equipped; it took them about a month to force the Khmer Rouge into the mountains near the Thai border.

This is where the United States comes in.

The new Vietnamese-installed government never took its seat at the United Nations; instead, the Khmer Rouge were officially classed as the legitimate government of Kampuchea by most Western governments, led by the USA and the UK. This continued until 1993; incredibly, when Vietnam proposed a full withdrawal in return for the exclusion of the Khmer Rouge from any government, the offer was rejected. Thanks to this decision, aid from the World Food Programme was handed over to the Khmer Rouge, to sustain their troops while their victims starved to death. Meanwhile, American government agencies disseminated stories to the effect that the famine killing people in Cambodia was the fault of the Vietnamese occupiers. All this was because the Cambodians had the misfortune to be rescued from the Khmer Rouge by the wrong people.

Fifteen years. Fifteen fucking years of feeding an army that committed one of the worst genocides in history while starving their surviving victims. It would have been a moral failure of historic proportions to side with the Khmer Rouge for a single day, and the American government did it for a decade and a half. Go and stand in the killing fields outside Phnom Penh, see the bone fragments coming up through the soil of unmarked mass graves, see the tree where the Khmer Rouge smashed in the heads of newborns, and then remember that the people who did this were fed at the orders of American government officials for fifteen years. Then see how comfortable you feel claiming that US foreign policy is driven by altruism.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 31, 2020, 01:49:31 PM
. . . and a whole bunch of very explicit sexual torture and rape.  As you mentioned, there has been no report of actionable intelligence received by doing this.  It has been known for a long time that torture doesn't work to get intelligence anyway.  So why then was this done?

I don't believe it was an accident.  I don't believe the common/widespread taking and release of images was an accident.  That would imply a shocking level of stupidity/incompetence on the part of the entire US military.  I think the intent was pretty clear - it was to terrorize civilians with the aim of cowing the world into a fear of the US.

I think the excesses of these prisoner camps have a lot more to do with the damaging effect that a confusing and never ending war can have on the psyche of a soldier who is given official terms of engagement on one hand but tacitly encouraged to be a ruthless and relentless devil dog on the other hand. I think the official top brass doesn't look the other way because they think these atrocities are helpful to US interests; I think they look the other way because they know deep down inside the US has pulled a bait and switch on its soldiers. The recruiting methods are totally suspect: pre-game pageantry and video game violence.

So I disagree not only that the Abu Ghraib intent is intimidating the world, but that there was much intent there in the first place. I think the soldiers who committed those atrocities did so due to quite senselessly because their mental health had been completely depleted. The spread of the images occurred because these mentally ill soldiers regarded them as trophies, not because the top brass wanted to strike fear into the hearts of everyone in the Middle East.

I'd recommend reading any of the books of Andrew Bacevich.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 31, 2020, 01:52:36 PM
Quote
From the beginning I have simply rejected the illogical 2 dimensional view that the US intelligence community somehow would not regard itself to be a force for worldwide good.

Instead you are suggesting that the many CIA employees all suffer under an immense cognitive dissonance while believing, contrary to blatantly visible facts, they do good?

Most people are under the impression they are having a positive impact. Even dictators. It usually requires something of a bogeyman to believe this.

You must not understand human psychology very well to believe that these 50,000 employees think their work is evil.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 31, 2020, 02:25:17 PM
. . . and a whole bunch of very explicit sexual torture and rape.  As you mentioned, there has been no report of actionable intelligence received by doing this.  It has been known for a long time that torture doesn't work to get intelligence anyway.  So why then was this done?

I don't believe it was an accident.  I don't believe the common/widespread taking and release of images was an accident.  That would imply a shocking level of stupidity/incompetence on the part of the entire US military.  I think the intent was pretty clear - it was to terrorize civilians with the aim of cowing the world into a fear of the US.

I think the excesses of these prisoner camps have a lot more to do with the damaging effect that a confusing and never ending war can have on the psyche of a soldier who is given official terms of engagement on one hand but tacitly encouraged to be a ruthless and relentless devil dog on the other hand. I think the official top brass doesn't look the other way because they think these atrocities are helpful to US interests; I think they look the other way because they know deep down inside the US has pulled a bait and switch on its soldiers. The recruiting methods are totally suspect: pre-game pageantry and video game violence.

So I disagree not only that the Abu Ghraib intent is intimidating the world, but that there was much intent there in the first place. I think the soldiers who committed those atrocities did so due to quite senselessly because their mental health had been completely depleted. The spread of the images occurred because these mentally ill soldiers regarded them as trophies, not because the top brass wanted to strike fear into the hearts of everyone in the Middle East.

I'd recommend reading any of the books of Andrew Bacevich.

I just can't buy into your theory - that the US military is incapable of discipline, the orders/will of military command are not followed in a wartime setting, and the military is incapable of controlling the large number of mentally ill sadists/sexual deviants in their ranks.

If this happened because of damaged psyches of common soldiers . . . why didn't the top brass put an end to it quickly?Instead, they explicitly authorized torture (that they knew wouldn't work for intelligence gathering), and were fully aware (if not actively condoning) of all the actions going on.  These actions went on for years at Abu Grahib and are still going on at Guantanamo Bay. Now, I may be crazy . . .  but that doesn't sound like something someone with the intent "to keep us and the world safe from terrorism" at all would do to me.

It does however sound a lot like what someone who wants to make Arabic people too afraid to consider attacking the US again would do.  That would explain why getting the right guy didn't ever matter, why there was no attempt to find justice for the people abducted, why the conditions and treatment of the prisoners didn't matter (indeed, the worse the better!), why the actions were so well documented, and why only a very few of the soldiers involved ever received any kind of punishment (and most of the top brass involved were rewarded in the end).
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on March 31, 2020, 03:21:26 PM
Well, perhaps my life experiences have caused me to find Hanlon's razor more convincing than the alternative.


Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: deborah on March 31, 2020, 05:19:08 PM
It appears to me that everyone is both off topic AND has reduced the topic to totally beyond the pale. Whatever our views on various countries, WE ARE ALL SUFFERING THROUGH A MAJOR WORLD EVENT, and should be pleasantly chastising one another if we deem it necessary.

The pictures in this post contravene my country’s workplace harassment rules, so I suspect they also contravene the forum rules as well.

Apart from this, those of us from other countries are probably all aghast at the amount of suffering there must be in the USA currently, and it appears to me to be unfair to be bullying its citizens at this time.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: runbikerun on April 01, 2020, 01:40:16 AM
Accurately describing American foreign policy is not bullying.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on April 01, 2020, 04:17:30 AM
Quote
From the beginning I have simply rejected the illogical 2 dimensional view that the US intelligence community somehow would not regard itself to be a force for worldwide good.

Instead you are suggesting that the many CIA employees all suffer under an immense cognitive dissonance while believing, contrary to blatantly visible facts, they do good?

Most people are under the impression they are having a positive impact. Even dictators. It usually requires something of a bogeyman to believe this.

You must not understand human psychology very well to believe that these 50,000 employees think their work is evil.

This is not about what I think, it was about the "the CIA & Co do good".

Back to the question: Do you believe the CIA does good? Do you believe the CIA people think they do good despite all the oppopsite evidence?

Quote
Accurately describing American foreign policy is not bullying.

In fact, since the current US president and many of his followers say that China is responsible, we are right back at the core of the thread. Those accusations are foreign politics and I would not be surprised to hear The Trump saying somethign about reparations.
In this case, pointing out the hilariousness of it in view of the average US foreign policy might (a big might) prevent a second "and the Mexicans pay for the wall".




Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: PKFFW on April 01, 2020, 04:36:34 AM
I suggest you actually read what I've written here.

I have NOT communicated that the US deserves a free pass because their intentions were good. From the beginning I have simply rejected the illogical 2 dimensional view that the US intelligence community somehow would not regard itself to be a force for worldwide good.

I agree with most here saying the US has done loads of evil and it is not justifiable by good intentions.

My point is that we should try to UNDERSTAND the intentions of those who commit evil, and if they state them, not to dismiss them as lies without much thought.  I present this same argument when I debate neoconservatives who dismiss or never bothered to read Bin Laden's stated intentions for 9/11.

One reason for extending this understanding is to learn from the ethical and moral shortcomings of our predecessors, rather than simply repeat them in different circumstances. This understanding allows us to see that regular humans like us can wind up choosing evil if we don't think deeply about what we're doing.

I suspect the reason I might be coming off as blind to the atrocities the US has committed is tied in with my insistence on correct, dictionary based use of the word terrorism. My point isn't that the US has never committed terrorism. It's simply a rejection of the goalpost-moving that goes on between sides who like to use the word as a proxy to mean "the bad guys" and a very reasonable request that we use words according to their definition.
I have read what you've posted.

In a nutshell you are saying that the CIA/FBI/USA Military collectively has not engaged in terrorism because they claim their intention is to keep the USA and the world safe from whatever bogey man they are currently fighting against.  Any evidence to the contrary is dismissed because the claimed intent of the actions is not simply to kill civilians in order to instil fear and that makes all the difference apparently.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy that rose-coloured view of the actions of the USA.  I think the USA does do a lot of things with the intention of keeping the USA safe and honestly regret any "collateral" damage and fear instilled.  However, I also think the USA does a whole shite load of stuff they claim is to keep the USA safe but in reality are doing for nothing more than economic and political power, and they don't give a damn about the collateral damage and in fact believe the more fear instilled the better.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on April 01, 2020, 09:08:48 AM

This is not about what I think, it was about the "the CIA & Co do good".

Back to the question: Do you believe the CIA does good? Do you believe the CIA people think they do good despite all the oppopsite evidence?

No, it isn't. From the beginning it's been about whether or not they THINK they are doing good.

If you are going to claim that an organization has ill intent/intentions other than their stated intentions, the burden is on you to offer some evidence that would suggest the FBI and CIA are willfully acting against their mission statements.

I've yet to hear a compelling argument this is the case.

Instead I've received many a straw man argument from posters who keep reading this:

"Though they are trying to keep the US and the world safe, the CIA and FBI have committed many atrocities. Drone strikes that kill innocent victims do not meet the definition of terrorism, because the human targets are suspected enemies as opposed to random civilians."

and arguing against this:

"The CIA and FBI are not as bad as terrorists. Drone strikes are morally justifiable. The US has a clear conscience because our intentions are good."

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on April 01, 2020, 09:22:12 AM
I suggest you actually read what I've written here.

I have NOT communicated that the US deserves a free pass because their intentions were good. From the beginning I have simply rejected the illogical 2 dimensional view that the US intelligence community somehow would not regard itself to be a force for worldwide good.

I agree with most here saying the US has done loads of evil and it is not justifiable by good intentions.

My point is that we should try to UNDERSTAND the intentions of those who commit evil, and if they state them, not to dismiss them as lies without much thought.  I present this same argument when I debate neoconservatives who dismiss or never bothered to read Bin Laden's stated intentions for 9/11.

One reason for extending this understanding is to learn from the ethical and moral shortcomings of our predecessors, rather than simply repeat them in different circumstances. This understanding allows us to see that regular humans like us can wind up choosing evil if we don't think deeply about what we're doing.

I suspect the reason I might be coming off as blind to the atrocities the US has committed is tied in with my insistence on correct, dictionary based use of the word terrorism. My point isn't that the US has never committed terrorism. It's simply a rejection of the goalpost-moving that goes on between sides who like to use the word as a proxy to mean "the bad guys" and a very reasonable request that we use words according to their definition.
I have read what you've posted.

In a nutshell you are saying that the CIA/FBI/USA Military collectively has not engaged in terrorism because they claim their intention is to keep the USA and the world safe from whatever bogey man they are currently fighting against.  Any evidence to the contrary is dismissed because the claimed intent of the actions is not simply to kill civilians in order to instil fear and that makes all the difference apparently.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy that rose-coloured view of the actions of the USA.  I think the USA does do a lot of things with the intention of keeping the USA safe and honestly regret any "collateral" damage and fear instilled.  However, I also think the USA does a whole shite load of stuff they claim is to keep the USA safe but in reality are doing for nothing more than economic and political power, and they don't give a damn about the collateral damage and in fact believe the more fear instilled the better.

When did I say we haven't engaged in terrorism? No doubt in our long checkered history we've done plenty of things that meet the criteria.

I did say what we do in Pakistan is not terrorism, per the dictionary. Your "evidence" to the contrary was rightfully dismissed for the reason you mentioned. I didn't make the definition, and I'm not here applying a moral hierarchy to violence with terrorism on the very bottom. The US has done shit tons of torturing, and I don't regard torturing as any more justifiable than terrorism. These evils are simply the means by which unscrupulous actors seek their ends.

Perhaps you could say I have a rose coloured view of the enemies of the US as well. My view is that no one committing evil regards their evil as unjustifiable. I think they all believe themselves to be fighting the good fight, whether it be due to religious delusions or ideologic/patriotic ones.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: Kris on April 01, 2020, 09:38:16 AM
I suggest you actually read what I've written here.

I have NOT communicated that the US deserves a free pass because their intentions were good. From the beginning I have simply rejected the illogical 2 dimensional view that the US intelligence community somehow would not regard itself to be a force for worldwide good.

I agree with most here saying the US has done loads of evil and it is not justifiable by good intentions.

My point is that we should try to UNDERSTAND the intentions of those who commit evil, and if they state them, not to dismiss them as lies without much thought.  I present this same argument when I debate neoconservatives who dismiss or never bothered to read Bin Laden's stated intentions for 9/11.

One reason for extending this understanding is to learn from the ethical and moral shortcomings of our predecessors, rather than simply repeat them in different circumstances. This understanding allows us to see that regular humans like us can wind up choosing evil if we don't think deeply about what we're doing.

I suspect the reason I might be coming off as blind to the atrocities the US has committed is tied in with my insistence on correct, dictionary based use of the word terrorism. My point isn't that the US has never committed terrorism. It's simply a rejection of the goalpost-moving that goes on between sides who like to use the word as a proxy to mean "the bad guys" and a very reasonable request that we use words according to their definition.
I have read what you've posted.

In a nutshell you are saying that the CIA/FBI/USA Military collectively has not engaged in terrorism because they claim their intention is to keep the USA and the world safe from whatever bogey man they are currently fighting against.  Any evidence to the contrary is dismissed because the claimed intent of the actions is not simply to kill civilians in order to instil fear and that makes all the difference apparently.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy that rose-coloured view of the actions of the USA.  I think the USA does do a lot of things with the intention of keeping the USA safe and honestly regret any "collateral" damage and fear instilled.  However, I also think the USA does a whole shite load of stuff they claim is to keep the USA safe but in reality are doing for nothing more than economic and political power, and they don't give a damn about the collateral damage and in fact believe the more fear instilled the better.

When did I say we haven't engaged in terrorism? No doubt in our long checkered history we've done plenty of things that meet the criteria.

I did say what we do in Pakistan is not terrorism, per the dictionary. Your "evidence" to the contrary was rightfully dismissed for the reason you mentioned. I didn't make the definition, and I'm not here applying a moral hierarchy to violence with terrorism on the very bottom. The US has done shit tons of torturing, and I don't regard torturing as any more justifiable than terrorism. These evils are simply the means by which unscrupulous actors seek their ends.

Perhaps you could say I have a rose coloured view of the enemies of the US as well. My view is that no one committing evil regards their evil as unjustifiable. I think they all believe themselves to be fighting the good fight, whether it be due to religious delusions or ideologic/patriotic ones.

Everyone is the hero of their own story. Pol Pot, ISIS, Al-Qaeda... they all thought they were doing something good/right.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on April 01, 2020, 09:47:19 AM
Perhaps you could say I have a rose coloured view of the enemies of the US as well. My view is that no one committing evil regards their evil as unjustifiable. I think they all believe themselves to be fighting the good fight, whether it be due to religious delusions or ideologic/patriotic ones.

You believe that the US military personnel in Abu Grahib who beat and abused the prisoners under their care to coerce them to unwillingly fellate one another (then took pictures of it to laugh about) thought they were fighting the good fight?  And you believe that the top brass who knowingly allowed this behaviour to run rampant thought they were fighting the good fight?

If so, then there's obviously a tremendous problem with all levels of the US military that must be immediately ended.  How would you propose that they do this?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: J Boogie on April 01, 2020, 10:32:52 AM
Perhaps you could say I have a rose coloured view of the enemies of the US as well. My view is that no one committing evil regards their evil as unjustifiable. I think they all believe themselves to be fighting the good fight, whether it be due to religious delusions or ideologic/patriotic ones.

You believe that the US military personnel in Abu Grahib who beat and abused the prisoners under their care to coerce them to unwillingly fellate one another (then took pictures of it to laugh about) thought they were fighting the good fight?  And you believe that the top brass who knowingly allowed this behaviour to run rampant thought they were fighting the good fight?

If so, then there's obviously a tremendous problem with all levels of the US military that must be immediately ended.  How would you propose that they do this?

Well, as I previously commented I believe the tortures were mentally ill.

My opinion is that their supervisors (the ones regarding themselves as fighting the good fight) had been turning a blind eye to indications that type of thing was going on as they figured blowing the whistle could end their overall mission there.

As Tyler Cowen points out in a great TED talk about how he doesn't trust stories, we all convince ourselves that what we do matters and is important. Otherwise we might stay in bed all day instead of waking up and going to work. The problem with this story we tell ourselves is that we deceive ourselves beyond this point of utility and begin to regard our work as being so vital as to deserve priority over other things. In the case of the top brass, they probably had to do a fair amount of deceiving themselves to consider our presence in the Middle East to be of vital importance.  They took the deception so far that they viewed their mission as being important enough to justify trying to sweep the horrors of Abu Ghraib under the rug.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: runbikerun on April 01, 2020, 12:40:58 PM
From the beginning it's been about whether or not they THINK they are doing good.

If you are going to claim that an organization has ill intent/intentions other than their stated intentions, the burden is on you to offer some evidence that would suggest the FBI and CIA are willfully acting against their mission statements.

I've yet to hear a compelling argument this is the case.

Feeding people who committed genocide while simultaneously starving their surviving victims for fifteen years should be the point at which even the most blinkered of individuals realises they're not the good guys.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: PKFFW on April 01, 2020, 03:23:14 PM
When did I say we haven't engaged in terrorism? No doubt in our long checkered history we've done plenty of things that meet the criteria.

I did say what we do in Pakistan is not terrorism, per the dictionary. Your "evidence" to the contrary was rightfully dismissed for the reason you mentioned. I didn't make the definition, and I'm not here applying a moral hierarchy to violence with terrorism on the very bottom. The US has done shit tons of torturing, and I don't regard torturing as any more justifiable than terrorism. These evils are simply the means by which unscrupulous actors seek their ends.

Perhaps you could say I have a rose coloured view of the enemies of the US as well. My view is that no one committing evil regards their evil as unjustifiable. I think they all believe themselves to be fighting the good fight, whether it be due to religious delusions or ideologic/patriotic ones.
Your entire premise still seems to be that because the USA claims their intent is to do good then it isn't terrorism.

Sure the primary target of a drone strike that kills hundreds of civilians attending a wedding was a suspected terrorist but if you honestly don't think the resultant terror inflicted upon the populace from knowing they could be bombed at any moment from a drone miles away isn't also an intentional outcome of the attack then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on April 02, 2020, 04:37:50 AM
I have a bridge here too. It's made for Emperors, only they can see it ;)

Do you believe the CIA people think they do good despite all the oppopsite evidence?

No, it isn't. From the beginning it's been about whether or not they THINK they are doing good.


Erm.... maybe I have a knot in my head. You are saying "No, this is not A, because it is A"!?


Quote
Well, as I previously commented I believe the tortures were mentally ill.

My opinion is that their supervisors (the ones regarding themselves as fighting the good fight) had been turning a blind eye to indications that type of thing was going on as they figured blowing the whistle could end their overall mission there.
In other words, they decided willingly to not be the good guys.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on April 02, 2020, 07:44:00 AM
Perhaps you could say I have a rose coloured view of the enemies of the US as well. My view is that no one committing evil regards their evil as unjustifiable. I think they all believe themselves to be fighting the good fight, whether it be due to religious delusions or ideologic/patriotic ones.

You believe that the US military personnel in Abu Grahib who beat and abused the prisoners under their care to coerce them to unwillingly fellate one another (then took pictures of it to laugh about) thought they were fighting the good fight?  And you believe that the top brass who knowingly allowed this behaviour to run rampant thought they were fighting the good fight?

If so, then there's obviously a tremendous problem with all levels of the US military that must be immediately ended.  How would you propose that they do this?

Well, as I previously commented I believe the tortures were mentally ill.

What exactly are you making that diagnosis on though?

The servicemen and women were following orders that authorized the torture of these innocent civilians.  Many people were tortured to death by the CIA in the prison, with the full knowledge of the agency and the president.  There were no direct, written orders for the rape and sexual torture that was commonly performed, but certainly there were also no objections from leadership in the military or the white house.



My opinion is that their supervisors (the ones regarding themselves as fighting the good fight) had been turning a blind eye to indications that type of thing was going on as they figured blowing the whistle could end their overall mission there.

The people who authorized torture were in charge of deployment.  Ending torture could not have been a risk to deployment.

The deputy assistant attorney general under President Bush (John Yoo) drafted memos explicitly advocating torture of prisoners, and the head of the office of legal justice for the United States (Jay S. Bybee) signed off on them.  After the news of America's role torturing civilians became common knowledge, Jack Goldsmith (then head of the Office of Legal Council in the US) told people in the military not to follow the torture memo any more.  For his actions, he was forced to resign from his office . . . and then Attorney General Ashcroft re-authorized the torture.  This went along with multiple internal memos written by Steven Bradbury and signed by Donald Rumsfeld authorizing torture.

Jay Bybee was rewarded for his torture memos by later being appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by George Bush.
 Michael Chertoff, who advised the CIA the level of torture they could legally perform, was selected by President Bush for Secretary of Homeland Security (a cabinet level position in government).  As mentioned, Jack Goldsmith who objected to the memos was forced to resign from his position.

In light of this, saying that the Americans soldiers who were torturing civilians under order were mentally ill seems odd.  (Unless you're going to argue that torturing soldiers is OK, but sexual torture is somehow different?)  Is your argument that all of the people who were in legal positions under George Bush also mentally ill?  If so, why were these mentally ill people promoted for the atrocities that their mental illness drove them to, rather than remanded into some kind of psychiatric care?  Why was the guy who tried to stop the torture punished?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: former player on April 02, 2020, 08:09:49 AM
Turning back to something closer to the original theme of this thread, I wonder whether a more positive and proactive response might be to put in place a new International Convention on the Prevention and mitigation of Pandemics, under the auspices of the World Health Organisation.  There's probably a lot of stuff already in international conventions from the World Health Organisation (I haven't gone through their list of treaties) but parts which have been conspicuously absent in relation to coronavirus seem to be -

1.  An early warning system for outbreaks of potentially novel diseases.

2.  Information sharing on resources for dealing with pandemics, including sources of medical equipment.

3.  Development of agreed standards for managing potential sources of pandemic diseases, in particular the public health issues surrounding the potential transfer of viruses from farmed and wild animals to humans.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on April 02, 2020, 08:23:22 AM
3.  Development of agreed standards for managing potential sources of pandemic diseases, in particular the public health issues surrounding the potential transfer of viruses from farmed and wild animals to humans.

I feel like this one is likely to be a sticking point.

There are some countries in Africa for example where killing and eating whatever wild game you can is pretty common.  This type of 'bushmeat' is already illegal, but the government doesn't have an effective way of preventing hungry people from feeding themselves by whatever means necessary.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: former player on April 02, 2020, 10:28:45 AM
3.  Development of agreed standards for managing potential sources of pandemic diseases, in particular the public health issues surrounding the potential transfer of viruses from farmed and wild animals to humans.

I feel like this one is likely to be a sticking point.

There are some countries in Africa for example where killing and eating whatever wild game you can is pretty common.  This type of 'bushmeat' is already illegal, but the government doesn't have an effective way of preventing hungry people from feeding themselves by whatever means necessary.
It's the same in China.  Making it illegal doesn't work, it needs to be regulated until supplies of farmed meat or meat alternatives become equally available and attractive.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on April 22, 2020, 09:21:09 AM
Thanks everyone for your considered responses. I've been fairly busy lately, so I apologize for not directly responding to the objections above.

As improbable as this seems, I think we will hear more and more about this reparation issue once all the dust settles.

Why? Because when millions of peoples die, politicians will naturally want to blame someone else to keep from being blamed themselves. This thought process will naturally follow.

I guess I'll look back at this thread in 12 months and see how things go.

Took a lot less than 12 months

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/22/us/missouri-lawsuit-china-coronavirus/index.html

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: John Galt incarnate! on April 22, 2020, 10:31:27 AM


As improbable as this seems, I think we will hear more and more about this reparation issue once all the dust settles.



Missouri becomes first state to sue China over COVID-19

usatoday

15 hours ago


 Missouri filed suit against China, seeking damages for “the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil” from COVID-19.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on April 22, 2020, 10:38:55 AM
Filing a lawsuit and winning one are two very different things.

Winning a lawsuit against another sovereign country is even more difficult, and a US State (not the federal USA) is even more unlikely.

in other words: it's all posturing and symbolic.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on April 22, 2020, 10:42:23 AM
Filing a lawsuit and winning one are two very different things.

Winning a lawsuit against another sovereign country is even more difficult, and a US State (not the federal USA) is even more unlikely.

in other words: it's all posturing and symbolic.

Agree Nereo, mostly symbolic.

However, remember Lockerbie Pan Am 103?

There were only 270 victims for that plane disaster...

https://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/10/31/libya.payment/index.html
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: bacchi on April 22, 2020, 10:42:53 AM


As improbable as this seems, I think we will hear more and more about this reparation issue once all the dust settles.



Missouri becomes first state to sue China over COVID-19

usatoday

15 hours ago


 Missouri filed suit against China, seeking damages for “the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil” from COVID-19.

The Chinese think the virus originated from the US military.

Will Wuhan countersue?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on April 22, 2020, 10:57:56 AM
Filing a lawsuit and winning one are two very different things.

Winning a lawsuit against another sovereign country is even more difficult, and a US State (not the federal USA) is even more unlikely.

in other words: it's all posturing and symbolic.

Agree Nereo, mostly symbolic.

However, remember Lockerbie Pan Am 103?

There were only 270 victims for that plane disaster...

https://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/10/31/libya.payment/index.html

It's not without president, to be sure - but intent is clearly a key factor.  Pan Am 103 was intentionally destroyed with support from the Liberian government under Gaddafi.

Not doing enough to contain the virus/lying about it is a far cry from actively trying to infect other countries. 
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: maizeman on April 22, 2020, 11:19:47 AM
Consider also the relative balance of power (economic, military, and international-political-capital) between the USA and Libya in 1988.

Then consider the relative balance of those same factors between the USA and China in 2020.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on April 22, 2020, 11:43:25 AM


As improbable as this seems, I think we will hear more and more about this reparation issue once all the dust settles.

Missouri becomes first state to sue China over COVID-19

usatoday

15 hours ago


 Missouri filed suit against China, seeking damages for “the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil” from COVID-19.

The Chinese think the virus originated from the US military.

Will Wuhan countersue?

Globalization led to the amazing surge in the Chinese economy over the last 30 years because rich nation industries slowly but surely determined they could sustainably make more money by shipping those jobs to China.

The whole sustainably argument is proven bunk right now. China may decide to cut their losses and accept a settlement when all the madness is controlled.  I saw a bloomberg article yesterday about Europe souring on Chinese posturing during this pandemic. US companies are talking about diversifying their logistics chains as well.

China may well end up being the biggest loser of this whole debacle even if they control the viral spread within their own borders.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on April 22, 2020, 11:50:50 AM
From where I sit the US seems poised to be a big loser as well.  We've (again) pissed off the G7, had the most cases of any country to date (far more than China per capita), exported sick immigrants, refused to fund teh WHO during a pandemic -- all while pushing trade wars few wanted.

Three months our fragmented healthcare system is far behind most other developed countries in terms of testing, and with a general lack of top-down leadership the populace in many areas has had about as much as they care (or are financially able) to stand, opening the door for another wave of infections in the coming weeks.

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on April 22, 2020, 12:07:10 PM
From where I sit the US seems poised to be a big loser as well.  We've (again) pissed off the G7, had the most cases of any country to date (far more than China per capita), exported sick immigrants, refused to fund teh WHO during a pandemic -- all while pushing trade wars few wanted.

Three months our fragmented healthcare system is far behind most other developed countries in terms of testing, and with a general lack of top-down leadership the populace in many areas has had about as much as they care (or are financially able) to stand, opening the door for another wave of infections in the coming weeks.

I agree wholeheartedly with you nereo. That might be a good thread to start as well. "The Biggest Loser -Coronavirus Edition". My first vote goes to Italy, but USA is coming on fast. Honorable mention to "Rugged Individuality"
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: JGS1980 on April 30, 2020, 05:46:02 PM
I could foresee countries that have China debt wanting to re-negotiate that debt on more favorable terms.

I would also be interested in seeing whether any international action can be taken to reduce the chances of the next deadly animal cross-over virus coming out of the Chinese wet markets.

Renegotiation of debt seems like a possibility. Even a 1% drop in servicing that 1.1 Trillion Dollars in debt would make a dent in our yearly deficit.

C'mon people, I didn't say this was likely or even possible. This is a thought exercise.

In response to Maizeman's 3 big barriers:
1) There is not positive modern precedents for reparations between nations even after wars.

--> all of this is unprecedented, we will need a new playbook for global epidemics from now on...and appropriate penalties to avoid "moral hazard".

--> on the other hand, some would say they have been punished enough already. China will already have to deal with a global economic slowdown that they caused, and will also have to handle lots of countries deciding to manufacture "essential" supplies at home from now on.
 
2) China can point to the fact that they and their neighbors acted to effectively contain the virus so the human and economic cost to Europe and America is because we did not take effective action.

--> that is true, but effective action would not have been necessary to begin with if China had effectively squashed this concern at week 2 or 3 of the outbreak.

3) How exactly would any reparations be extracted from China? (Short of war between nuclear armed belligerents.)

--> see above renegotiation/cancelling of debt. This has been multiple times in the last 100 years during times of economic upheaval.

Called It!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/30/trump-china-coronavirus-retaliation/
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on April 30, 2020, 05:56:14 PM
Given all the random stuff Trump says, I wouldn’t be so quick to declare victory.

We’re still waiting for Mexico to pay for wall.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: scottish on May 01, 2020, 03:47:09 PM
Here's the view from the rest of the world.   Or at least from China.  :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgOxRM8GKJ0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgOxRM8GKJ0)

The video is pretty funny.   More importantly it shows that China is learning how to use mass communications.   Instead of angry denunciations, they have escalated to humorous videos to make their point.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: caffeine on May 02, 2020, 10:41:20 AM
Pretty damning if true:

Coronavirus NSW: Dossier lays out case against China bat virus program
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/coronavirus/bombshell-dossier-lays-out-case-against-chinese-bat-virus-program/news-story/55add857058731c9c71c0e96ad17da60 (https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/coronavirus/bombshell-dossier-lays-out-case-against-chinese-bat-virus-program/news-story/55add857058731c9c71c0e96ad17da60)

China lied about origin of coronavirus, leaked intelligence report says
https://nypost.com/2020/05/02/intelligence-report-says-china-lied-about-origin-of-coronavirus/ (https://nypost.com/2020/05/02/intelligence-report-says-china-lied-about-origin-of-coronavirus/)
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on May 02, 2020, 11:23:18 AM
Are those the same intelligence sources as about Iraqs Weapon of Mass Destruction?

I don't say it does not make sense. But I don't trust anything that comes out from intelligence service, because of too much lies.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: maizeman on May 02, 2020, 11:25:23 AM
Pretty damning if true:

Coronavirus NSW: Dossier lays out case against China bat virus program
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/coronavirus/bombshell-dossier-lays-out-case-against-chinese-bat-virus-program/news-story/55add857058731c9c71c0e96ad17da60 (https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/coronavirus/bombshell-dossier-lays-out-case-against-chinese-bat-virus-program/news-story/55add857058731c9c71c0e96ad17da60)

From this link it sounds like both Australia and the US agree the virus didn't come from a research lab.

Quote
The Australian government’s position is that the virus most likely originated in the Wuhan wet market but that there is a remote possibility — a 5 per cent chance — it accidentally leaked from a laboratory.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence [USA] acting director Richard Grenell said the virus was not created in a laboratory.

“The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified.”
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: caffeine on May 02, 2020, 12:08:25 PM
From this link it sounds like both Australia and the US agree the virus didn't come from a research lab.

As I interpreted the article, Australia's official position isn't necessarily in agreement with the leaked dossier conclusions (leaked hours ago).

Also, Richard Grenell's statement is a distinction between deliberate man-made virus leak versus an accidental viral leak.

However, I'm suspicious of the NYPost, and unfamiliar with the Daily Telegraph.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: maizeman on May 02, 2020, 12:33:33 PM
From reading elsewhere the leaked dossier itself doesn't appear to have any statements in favor of the virus being created in a lab but just about China trying to avoid acknowledging the virus existed and then downplaying its severity for weeks after it finally became public.

Which obviously isn't what we would have liked them to do when a new virus was spreading through the population, but is quite different from a virus escaping from a research lab.

I know Trump has now been saying that he think's China created the virus in a lab, but so far, despite investigating it on orders from him, it sounds like US intelligence agencies haven't been able to find evidence to support his view.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: former player on May 02, 2020, 01:08:44 PM
As far as I can gather from the Daily Telegraph (caffeine: the DT is a respected UK broadsheet with a conservative bias) -

1. There is scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manufactured or genetically modified.

2. It is similar to known horseshoe bat viruses but its origins have not been determined.

3. It is unknown whether the virus came from the wild via a Wuhan wetmarket or (thought to be very much less likely) from the wild via a laboratory in the Wuhan Institute of Virology which is known to collect and study horseshoe bat viruses.

4.  Chinese authorities are acting suspiciously in that they are refusing to provide live samples of the virus from early infections, have destroyed evidence from the laboratory, have silenced and disappeared those who try to speak out and are unable to provide a convincing explanation of the whereabouts of a lab worker/researcher who is rumoured to be Patient Zero.

5. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is carrying out highly dangerous research into coronaviruses, including genetically modifying them in ways that make them highly contagious and untreatable in humans, and is doing so without the necessary safety precautions.

Thanks, China.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: scottish on May 02, 2020, 06:28:06 PM
Given the authoritarian nature of Chinese society, they actually did reasonably well in disclosing information about the virus.    I also think that the disclosure was not nearly as good as it could have been.

Conspiracy theories are always going to be a hard sell.  "Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence."

On our end, we took our time recognizing the severity of the situation.   As late as mid-March we were telling people to get out and enjoy spring break.   Nothing to worry about.   I remember looking at clips from Wuhan in February wondering "what the fsck is going on over there?"    In hindsight it should have been obvious.

I think the notion of asking for economic reparations from China is a waste of time.    It would be pretty hard for the USA to sue China for not doing enough to contain the virus when the US is the global epicenter because...     the US government didn't do much to control the virus.

Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on May 02, 2020, 07:53:59 PM
Unless it was proven that the Chinese engineered this virus, I don't see why reparations would even be desirable.  Diseases exist.  They're out there, all over the world.  They don't know borders or nationality, and they can infect anyone.

The point of reparations in WWI was to punish the losers of the war for belligerent actions.  (It totally didn't work at all, but that's another story).  What belligerent actions are we supposed to be punishing China for?  And before you bitch about China sticking their head in the sand . . . look at the US response and then think hard about whether or not you want the rest of the world to be judging you.

The idea that the US is anywhere near as liable as China for COVID19 is intellectually vapid false equivalence.

Trump tried to downplay it, ostensibly because he wanted the economy to keep moving up and to the right so he could cruise into a second term. I concede he showed again that he will put his own interests before the United States' interests.

He regularly contradicts the medical experts, but, and this is important, he doesn't silence them, force them to sign letters of apology swearing they will not do it again, and threaten to prosecute them.

China's default stance of hostility towards free speech is the crime that rippled throughout the world and deserves some type of justice. I don't believe in blaming China for allowing Covid19 to originate or blaming China for insufficient efforts to contain Covid19 - but they should be discouraged from maintaining their institutional stance which has the knee jerk reaction to gaslight and punish credible whistleblowers as opposed to investigating their claims and acting responsibly.

Perhaps formal reparations would be a bad idea, but I think this episode is VERY illustrative of the unintended consequences of globalism when it involves nations who do not share your principles, and perhaps it will cause nations to adopt a more cautious approach to relations with China (Unless China is proactive about communicating their remorse and reforms in the wake of this, which it seems to be starting and realizing is in its best interest).

In recent news, Donald Trump's White House has silenced Fauci by banning him from testifying in the Democratic held house:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/politics/anthony-fauci-white-house-blocks-house-testimony/index.html (https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/politics/anthony-fauci-white-house-blocks-house-testimony/index.html)
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: ender on May 02, 2020, 08:49:07 PM
In recent news, Donald Trump's White House has silenced Fauci by banning him from testifying in the Democratic held house:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/politics/anthony-fauci-white-house-blocks-house-testimony/index.html (https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/politics/anthony-fauci-white-house-blocks-house-testimony/index.html)

That's certainly one interpretation of what happened.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: LennStar on May 02, 2020, 11:55:23 PM
In recent news, Donald Trump's White House has silenced Fauci by banning him from testifying in the Democratic held house:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/politics/anthony-fauci-white-house-blocks-house-testimony/index.html (https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/politics/anthony-fauci-white-house-blocks-house-testimony/index.html)

That's certainly one interpretation of what happened.

What is a different interpretation of this speakers quote?
You mean the WH excuse that he can't even do a video conference because he might get sick?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on May 03, 2020, 11:51:23 AM
In recent news, Donald Trump's White House has silenced Fauci by banning him from testifying in the Democratic held house:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/politics/anthony-fauci-white-house-blocks-house-testimony/index.html (https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/politics/anthony-fauci-white-house-blocks-house-testimony/index.html)

That's certainly one interpretation of what happened.

What is a different interpretation of this speakers quote?
You mean the WH excuse that he can't even do a video conference because he might get sick?

That the WH is trying to control its messaging.

One can view this negatively (“they are trying to silence the scientists!”) or more as a pragmatic/political decision (i.e. “the initial response was marred by conflicting messages coming from multiple people - now they are trying to rectify that”).

FWIW I take the more cynical view.  However.... almost every large corporation and government agency on the planet tries to control the flow of information precisely so they don’t wind up undercutting their own messaging.  This can be done both for good and for nefarious purposes.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on May 03, 2020, 12:10:27 PM
So, was China managing the message too then?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: nereo on May 03, 2020, 12:45:18 PM
So, was China managing the message too then?
Seems pretty clear thats what they were trying to do.

Again - done one way it can be benificial.  Done another it can be suppressing the truth.  I’m guessing we are both of the same opinion which the WH is doing here.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: Gremlin on May 03, 2020, 04:00:32 PM
So, was China managing the message too then?
Seems pretty clear thats what they were trying to do.

Again - done one way it can be benificial.  Done another it can be suppressing the truth.  I’m guessing we are both of the same opinion which the WH is doing here.
On many occasions "suppressing the truth" = "beneficial".  At least to those in key leadership roles.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: GuitarStv on May 03, 2020, 05:03:15 PM
So, was China managing the message too then?
Seems pretty clear thats what they were trying to do.

Again - done one way it can be benificial.  Done another it can be suppressing the truth.  I’m guessing we are both of the same opinion which the WH is doing here.

OK.  But I was responding to a post telling me that it was intellectually vapid to compare the US's mishandling of the situation to China's . . . because the US doesn't suppress the truth  manage the message like China did.  It really seems like the mismanagement argument can be leveled pretty equally between both countries at this point.  I mean, at least China's leaders didn't tell the world to use bleach in their bodies, or recommend unproven drugs . . .
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: scottish on May 04, 2020, 06:30:02 PM
So, was China managing the message too then?
Seems pretty clear thats what they were trying to do.

Again - done one way it can be benificial.  Done another it can be suppressing the truth.  I’m guessing we are both of the same opinion which the WH is doing here.

OK.  But I was responding to a post telling me that it was intellectually vapid to compare the US's mishandling of the situation to China's . . . because the US doesn't suppress the truth  manage the message like China did.  It really seems like the mismanagement argument can be leveled pretty equally between both countries at this point.  I mean, at least China's leaders didn't tell the world to use bleach in their bodies, or recommend unproven drugs . . .

That was only one American leader, not both of them.    And the other one even admitted he made a mistake when he didn't wear a mask inside America's premier medical institute.
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: marty998 on May 04, 2020, 09:13:17 PM
As far as I can gather from the Daily Telegraph (caffeine: the DT is a respected UK broadsheet with a conservative bias) -

1. There is scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manufactured or genetically modified.

2. It is similar to known horseshoe bat viruses but its origins have not been determined.

3. It is unknown whether the virus came from the wild via a Wuhan wetmarket or (thought to be very much less likely) from the wild via a laboratory in the Wuhan Institute of Virology which is known to collect and study horseshoe bat viruses.

4.  Chinese authorities are acting suspiciously in that they are refusing to provide live samples of the virus from early infections, have destroyed evidence from the laboratory, have silenced and disappeared those who try to speak out and are unable to provide a convincing explanation of the whereabouts of a lab worker/researcher who is rumoured to be Patient Zero.

5. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is carrying out highly dangerous research into coronaviruses, including genetically modifying them in ways that make them highly contagious and untreatable in humans, and is doing so without the necessary safety precautions.

Thanks, China.

The link is to the Australian Daily Telegraph. The paper will usually scream an outrageous headline, and write tons of nonsense to scare everyone, and then at the bottom of the article when everyone is suitably riled up write something small and factual like "the Australian Government's position and the scientific community generally think all of the above is garbage", which not many people will care to notice.

The Australian DT does have a conservative bias and is owned by the News Corp / Murdoch Press.

This article can be safely filed on the shelf under the heading of "this is an unhelpful contribution to scientific discourse".
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: former player on May 05, 2020, 02:25:03 AM
As far as I can gather from the Daily Telegraph (caffeine: the DT is a respected UK broadsheet with a conservative bias) -

1. There is scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manufactured or genetically modified.

2. It is similar to known horseshoe bat viruses but its origins have not been determined.

3. It is unknown whether the virus came from the wild via a Wuhan wetmarket or (thought to be very much less likely) from the wild via a laboratory in the Wuhan Institute of Virology which is known to collect and study horseshoe bat viruses.

4.  Chinese authorities are acting suspiciously in that they are refusing to provide live samples of the virus from early infections, have destroyed evidence from the laboratory, have silenced and disappeared those who try to speak out and are unable to provide a convincing explanation of the whereabouts of a lab worker/researcher who is rumoured to be Patient Zero.

5. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is carrying out highly dangerous research into coronaviruses, including genetically modifying them in ways that make them highly contagious and untreatable in humans, and is doing so without the necessary safety precautions.

Thanks, China.

The link is to the Australian Daily Telegraph. The paper will usually scream an outrageous headline, and write tons of nonsense to scare everyone, and then at the bottom of the article when everyone is suitably riled up write something small and factual like "the Australian Government's position and the scientific community generally think all of the above is garbage", which not many people will care to notice.

The Australian DT does have a conservative bias and is owned by the News Corp / Murdoch Press.

This article can be safely filed on the shelf under the heading of "this is an unhelpful contribution to scientific discourse".
My mistake about the identity of the newspaper.

Is there anything wrong with what I got from it?
Title: Re: Economic Reparations from China?
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on May 05, 2020, 04:07:10 AM
Don't be so ridiculous. No one has control over where a virus starts or how impactful it will be. They've actually started on all continents in the past. Besides which, what you'll actually do with a policy like demanding reparation is make any country having an outbreak in the future very unlikely to tell anyone about it!