Author Topic: Economic Reparations from China?  (Read 4936 times)

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #50 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

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.

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #51 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.

nereo

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #52 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.

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #53 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?

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #54 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #55 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.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 02:21:15 PM by GuitarStv »

runbikerun

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #56 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.

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #57 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.




J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #58 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.

runbikerun

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #59 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?

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #60 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.

runbikerun

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #61 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.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 06:09:18 AM by runbikerun »

PKFFW

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #62 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.....".

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #63 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.

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #64 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.

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #65 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.

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #66 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?


J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #67 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.

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #68 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #69 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.

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #70 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.

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #71 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #72 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:






 . . . 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.

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #73 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

runbikerun

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #74 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.

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #75 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.

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #76 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #77 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).

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #78 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.



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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #79 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.

runbikerun

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #80 on: April 01, 2020, 01:40:16 AM »
Accurately describing American foreign policy is not bullying.

LennStar

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #81 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".





PKFFW

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #82 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.

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #83 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."

« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 09:23:33 AM by J Boogie »

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #84 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.

Kris

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #85 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #86 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?

J Boogie

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #87 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.

runbikerun

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #88 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.

PKFFW

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #89 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.

LennStar

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #90 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #91 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?

former player

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #92 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #93 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.

former player

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #94 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.

JGS1980

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #95 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


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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #96 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.

nereo

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #97 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.

JGS1980

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #98 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

bacchi

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Re: Economic Reparations from China?
« Reply #99 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?