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[P]
Rattling Sabers

By spaceghoti in News
Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:26:11 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

The United States is currently protesting China's refusal to return or even discuss the EP-3 "Aries" spy plane that collided with a Chinese jet and was forced to land on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. China is blaming the United States for the entire incident, but is otherwise not talking about the plane. USATODAY.com, CNN.com and ABCNews.com don't have many differences in their news offerings, so I'll link to ABCNews' article.


Is the US going to try to label China the new "Evil Empire?" In spite of the US granting "Favored Nation" status to China for trade purposes, relations between China and the US have been getting increasingly tense since the fall of the Soviet Republic. This state of affairs is not new; American General MacArthur was adamant about the need to bomb China during the Korean War back in the early 50's. The US has routinely criticized China over human rights issues (Tianaman Square, anybody?) and China has routinely criticized the US for meddling where they shouldn't, among other things.

There are lots of reasons for these tensions. The US supports the "government in exile" state of Taiwan, while China considers them merely a renegade province still under the jursidiction of Beijing. The US still has a general opposition to Communism, while China stands firm as one of the few Communist nations left in the world. China is dedicated to controlling information, particularly through the Internet, while the US offers safe haven for political dissenters and criminalized organizations like the Falon Gong. According to the news articles, Chinese websites and chatrooms are calling for the "American devils" to get their noses bloodied. It's one of those situations I would recommend everybody "agree to disagree," but it's obviously not going to happen.

Will China and the US go to war over a spy plane and 24 US servicemen? I think probably not. The technology in the spy plane is extremely sensitive, as the plane is still considered "classified" by the US. They are just as eager to recover the plane as the servicemen because of its sensitive nature. The US has faith in their technological lead over other nations, at least as far as its military goes. However, I don't think even stealing the plane itself would warrant a full-scale war, or even a "military incident." It's one thing for the US to bomb Iraq when you know Iraq can't mount a feasible military defense. It's quite another thing to take on a country that holds nuclear status, a seat on the UN Security Council and has the resources to possibly bring the fight to a standstill. So for the time being, I think everybody will rattle sabers and spout all sorts of nationalist propaganda, and tensions will continue to rise.

Coming from the viewpoint of a US citizen, were a Chinese spyplane to crash or be forced down on US soil, I would fully expect and require the US government to acknowledge and return the Chinese plane. Is there a K5 member from China, or who holds Chinese sympathies? What's your take on this?

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Poll
China vs US
o China's in the wrong. Return the plane untouched. 30%
o US is in the wrong. Suffer. 6%
o Everybody's wrong. Play nice. 39%
o Missile launch! 23%

Votes: 91
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o USATODAY.c om
o CNN.com
o ABCNews.co m
o article
o Also by spaceghoti


Display: Sort:
Rattling Sabers | 130 comments (130 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
k5 in china? are you high? (4.00 / 3) (#1)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 03:47:55 PM EST

Despite the wonderful record of humanitarian service by China and their strong regard for the independance and freedom of their citizens, I wouldn't be surprised if K5 is filtered out of the country. ;)

My problem with the US treatment of China is that it's inconsistant to attack them and show disdain for some of their more attrocious things, yet turn around and grant them favored nation status. We either need to ignore the horrible side of their government (hey, so they attack students and flood propaganda throughout the country to make freedom fighters look like thugs, right?) and embrace them or tell them to get their act straight and stick to our guns. Waffling around between love/hate doesn't serve any use and only serves to make situations like this all that more akward and unstable.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

Waffling (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:12:16 PM EST

While I agree that China needs a swift kick in the pants on issues like human rights and freedom of expression (I would never even consider moving to a country where expressing my opinion could get me jailed or shot), the issue isn't as simple as imposing sanctions or trying to ignore them. China is a world power, even if it was never recognized as a "super power." You still don't want to piss off the Chinese. Their standing in the United Nations as well as their resource base make them a force to be reckoned with. The fact that the philosophies of these two nations are diametrically opposed to each other just adds some spice to the mix.

Do I think China should have been granted "Favored Nation" status? Not personally, but I can see why it was done. Someone has to take the first step to improving relations and opening communications. In doing so, numerous economic and tourist opportunities have opened up in China allowing for a cultural exchange that Beijing will probably end up trying to stop. Lots of luck to them; once an idea takes hold, no amount of oppression or propaganda will bring it down again. The only way they're going to stop that avalanche is to cut off relations with the Western world, and that would be akin to cutting off their own hands.

In the past seventy years, the US has been remarkably unsuccessful at making a chink in China's armor. Diplomatic relations continually break down, propaganda gets cut off and sanctions have failed. But where politics have failed, culture might succeed. Let the Chinese population compare their experiences with Western businesses and Western tourists against what the government in Beijing has been telling them. Give it some time to ferment. Then watch the pot boil over.

It isn't our place to go in and tell China how to handle their affairs. There's nothing that says we shouldn't show them how the other half lives. That leaves the burden of choice squarely in their hands, and that's the way I like it.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
maybe not. (4.50 / 2) (#34)
by delmoi on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:55:30 PM EST

Beijing will probably end up trying to stop. Lots of luck to them; once an idea takes hold, no amount of oppression or propaganda will bring it down again.

That isn't nessisaraly true. Read this That's what your average chinaman on the streat thinks of the US, and that isn't what they want for themselves. Assuming that everyone in the world is going to want to live like us/US is the height of arrogance. And the simple fact is, propaganda does work, and the Vast majority of the people in china are happy with their government (and very unhappy with ours)
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Food for thought. (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:20:03 PM EST

That document does certainly bring up valid points, and I'll willingly back down on my assumption that exposure to Western will topple any opposing society. That's pure hubris and certainly one of my failings.

However, the document in question is most certainly a government propaganda tool. Taken purely on its own merits, I would not willingly assume it speaks for all Chinese citizens, just as I can promise you that George W. Bush does not speak for all US citizens.

The point of my statement is that people denounce what they don't understand. To quote a friend of mine, "if you act like a tree long enough, you start to think like one." The US and USSR spent decades building each other up as these horrible totalitarian regimes guilty of all of the crimes against humanity that THEY were trying to stop. I admit I bought into this during the 80's while I was growing up; my parents certainly believed it and the media pushed it in news and entertainment.

Knowledge is a funny thing. A little knowledge can be easily twisted or misunderstood. More knowledge can challenge your beliefs. The more we learn about China, the more we can come to respect their people and culture (personally, they fascinate me). Who is to say that if Chinese were to get more of a taste of Western society and ideals, they might not question some of the things they've been taught? Beijing might wish the world would forget Tianaman Square, but they haven't. How many of those witnesses are left, and how many people are listening to them? It's a spark the Chinese government has tried to quench, and exposure to the West might give it new life.

As I said before, it's up to the Chinese people to choose, and I prefer it that way. They can choose to reject Western ideals, and that's up to them. I don't believe we should force it on them.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
culture vs freedom from a terrorist government (3.66 / 3) (#52)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:31:33 PM EST

Sorry, but there's a big difference between imposing a culture on another nation and helping the people of another nation achieve some degree of freedom. I'm pretty sure the students that were murdered at Tieneman Square weren't so thrilled with there government. I'm sure those who watched their own government mow them down like cattle for slaughter and then distribute propaganda throughout the country to convince its own citizens (through deception) to turn the remaining students who managed to escape, into the government wouldn't agree either.

I have less fear in a nation that has murders and violence directed from other citizens (and a nation in which I have equal right to obtain and use the same firearms and other methods that those who would harm me use) than a nation in which I have to fear death from my own government simply for assembling for protest or openly debating about politics, religion or other aspects.

As for the document you linked to -- great, has some interesting info. It's still propaganda. Do you think a fascist nation like China (the Great Firewall, Tieneman Square, etc.) leaves enough stones unturned for its own people to think anything of it other than has a savior nation? Isn't that the entire point of such a political state?

Their politics is their own business. The right of their citizens to be treated like humans is the business of every other Nation -- hence things like UNICEF, the UN and other organizations dedicated to the basic existance and fundamental human liberties of people in the world. Just because they happened to have been born into the system doesn't give the system the right to treat them with the same mindset that a farmer would treat another calve born into the herd.

A little more info can be found here. You might find some interesting things, such as an electrician who gave an interview to some Americans about his attempts to form a labor union in his country and was, within 24 hours after that interview, commited (by the government) to a psychiatric hospital. Or how about a man who simply tried to display a banner commemorating the horrible attrocity that was Tiananmen Square? He was committed to a psychiatric hospital for seven years (1992 to 1999) and his wife was told that he suffered from "political monomania". They eventually released him. For three whole months. When they found out he planned to give a press conference, he was locked right back up.

Are those the examples of culture that you think other countries should ignore and avoid overturning? Do those people not count, because the "average man on the street" follows the political hooks, lines and sinkers that are thrown out to them by their government?

Seriously, I'd expect better from K5'ers. This isn't at all similar to, say, America storming England and forcing them to use our stupid measurement system.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Culture (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:51:27 PM EST

While I agree with the intent of your statements, delmoi correctly points out that your average Chinese citizen may not necessarily agree with you. It took a long time for the concept of individual rights to really catch on and become accepted in Western society. Oriental culture took a drastically different turn and as I understand it, doesn't entirely support individuality. That's why I say it's a cultural thing, and it's up to the Chinese to decide whether or not they want to support this change in their philosophy.

Of course, I admit it would help if the Chinese government weren't trying to suppress opposing viewpoints. They're trying to protect themselves, and they obviously feel that many Western ideals are "corrupting" influences they must filter out. I think that says something important about their system, but they don't appreciate having it pointed out to them.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
agreed, but... (3.33 / 3) (#58)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 07:39:10 PM EST

I agree with what you're saying. However, we have to distinguish who it is that doesn't appreciate having it pointed out to them. The citizens are somewhat a null point. The extent of their information is that which their government allows to them. Their government is not at all like an American government, where it and its people are (theoretically) the same people. If I stick a child in a room and lock the door and tell everyone "he's just fine, he wants to be locked in there" -- that statement is mine and not the child's. Let's say that child grows up and is now a young adult. I've instilled in that child (without letting them outside of the room) that everything outside of the room is corrupt, evil and not to be trusted. Logically, the child (now an adult) would believe as I had taught them and what they believe would be largely invalid because they have no context with which to make their judgement. They are content to be in a room and content to believe that it is the only good and right place to be, as it is the only context I've allowed them to live in and I have given them no other choice.

What it is reduced to is largely that people of such a government are property. Cattle. Pieces on a gameboard. Granted, the brittish are "royal subjects" and Americans are actually the property of "the government", but they are given voices with which to share ideas, ideals and contexts. If these people are tortured and mistreated for sharing these things, then they will never be fully aware of the choices they have and the "choices they've made" as the "average citizen" are negligable.

This is the obvious fear of those in power there, as evidenced by their behavior and, most recently, their frightened view of the internet. The most horrible thing that could happen to their people is for them to be free to share and explore ideas. Ideas and thoughts and discussions don't destroy a culture.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Thought Control (4.00 / 1) (#59)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 07:50:38 PM EST

It's a big issue for all societies, be they nations, communities, families or religions. Someone in authority gets to lead the rest in deciding what is Right and what is Wrong. People are taught not to question this, to justify it with the reasoning they've been given. It takes away their freedom from the start, because they're taught to discount opposing concepts or ideologies. Any freedoms granted under this system are largely illusory.

We can speak out against this, encourage people to question the lives they live and the system they live under. We can point out alternatives, but we can't force them into it. And we can't simply step in and remove the constraints they live under, because many people come to depend on and appreciate those constraints. The child that grows up in the dark closet would be deeply traumatized by going out into the light, and won't want to go.

Adults aren't very good at change. This has been demonstrated to me in countless ways. Groups are also very bad at change; the larger the group, the harder it is to overcome the social inertia they represent. Change happens anyway, but it's a very slow, almost glacial process. Look at the chaos Russia currently suffers after such dramatic social and political upheaval. I'll lay you odds that Russia returns to something approximating the old Soviet Union before long; it may have been oppressive, but at least it was organized and familiar.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
from the inside (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:12:58 PM EST

The thing is though -- we're not just talking about outside influences seeking change and freedom. We're talking about Chinese people seeking these things. They want to embrace ideals that they have come to value and their government silences them. If a people is seeking their own freedom, is it not a reasonable position for us to step in and help them -- especially if they're being tortured as a result?
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Influences (none / 0) (#76)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 09:49:58 PM EST

How do you know? There are people in America who support all sorts of censorship and restrictions on our freedoms. Does that make them representative of us as a people? There are people who are willing to kill doctors and women who participate in abortions. Are they representative?

I don't deny that another Cultural Revolution is probably brewing in China right now. But it's up to them to make it happen, or not. We can encourage them and we can support them. We cannot force them. It would make us guilty of as much hypocrisy as those we disagree with in the Chinese government.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
support (none / 0) (#81)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 10:35:55 PM EST

Right, we can support them. But comparing people simply speaking to people killing doctors is incongruous. I think anyone would be hard pressed for a good reason not to help people who are being abused as a result of simply speaking their mind. It seems very irresponsible to support a people in their quest for simple freedoms and then turn your head when they're severely and inhumanely punished for it.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Nobody said it was easy. (none / 0) (#83)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 11:01:20 PM EST

It's hard to watch people struggle for basic freedoms and independence, especially when you know you could reach out and help them. But that help comes at a price; would we hold our freedoms so dear if people hadn't bled and died for them? Do we, who have never known anything but freedom, hold it dear when we haven't struggled for them? In a sense, we haven't earned the freedom we enjoy; our predecessors did. It makes it easy to take the whole thing for granted.

I hate to make the comparison, but it's sort of like watching children grow up. You can support, nurture and encourage them as much as possible, but you can't do their growing for them. The Chinese are in a rough spot right now; if they decide they want freedom, they've got to stand up and take it. They've got to convince themselves as a nation that it's what they want. We can encourage them and support them, show them a goal to reach for and the hope that it is possible. But we cannot give it to them. They haven't convinced their people as a whole that they want it. And unless they earn it, they won't appreciate it.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
bah (none / 0) (#90)
by Arkady on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:01:45 AM EST

You talk as though State slavery were the natural condition of the human, who must then "earn" their freedom.

By what right does any State impose itself on its captive costituancy? By the alleged "right" of force, naturally.

Just because I was born on ground claimed by the United States government doesn't mean that they in any way have a legitimate claim to my loyalty, my service or myself. Any State intervention in my life, without my free & informed consent, is of the same quality as any other form of State oppression (though, naturally, the weight of this imposition is generally significaly lighter in the U.S. than elsewhere).

There are no free States on this planet, there are only those which impose themselves by force to greater or lesser degrees.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Not at all. (none / 0) (#99)
by spaceghoti on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 02:12:18 AM EST

You talk as though State slavery were the natural condition of the human, who must then "earn" their freedom.

Not at all. Slavery is a purely artificial condition imposed on humans by other humans. But as humans, we're highly adaptable. Once we get used to a particular condition, such as slavery or oppression, we consider it normal and natural for ourselves because we've been taught to think that way. Once we enter that mindset, it requires some incredible social engineering to break out of it.

That's what I mean when I say the Chinese will need to "earn" their freedom. Chinese culture has been feudalist since before Europe know what that meant. Even after their Cultural Revolution, a strong caste influence dominates their lives where leaders command and the populus obeys. That's Just The Way It Is. Some have learned there are other ways to live and different ways to govern and be governed. They aren't necessarily in the majority, and until they are there's little we can do for them.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
"earn" is still inappropriate (none / 0) (#102)
by Arkady on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 02:31:28 AM EST

You're right, of course, that humans tend to stay adapted once they do become used to a situation (kinda odd, that, for such an adaptable species). I'm sorry I misunderstood the intent of your statement.

I still think you shouldn't be saying "earn" though. It's a bit to Calvinist for my taste. Since "unearned" is quite synonymous with "undeserved", you are saying that they don't deserve "freedom" though your explanation certainly suggests that that's not what you really mean (or at least, not at that extreme).

I also disagree with your statement that "there's little we can do for them". There's a lot we could be doing, from refusing to trade with their oppressors to building a "Radio Free Asia" network (similar to the old Radio Free Europe) to hundreds of other things short of instigating an armed rebellion or invasion. The two examples I gave are even consistent with your stance that they must "do it for themselves" (to borrow a phrase from the feminists).

And we should be doing these things _for_ them, rather than merely as an expression of opposition from America's boss class to China's boss class. The stupidity and venality of this conflict of bosses was well expressed by, of all people, an American president:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
   -- Dwight Eisenhower, 1953

(I've been quite impressed with the quality of some of Eisenhower's thought. He was extremely progressive despite being a general and a president.)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
earning freedom (none / 0) (#108)
by Seumas on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 06:48:41 AM EST

The first point I have to pick on is that we intervene when a child is abused by his parents. We don't stand back and let a child "earn" his freedom from abuse.

It is inherently wrong for a man to be posessed and claimed by either another human being or a government. One should not need to "earn" their freedom from either one as it should be granted by birth -- not bloodline.

While I completely comprehend the point that it is another government's business and not necessarily another nation's job to step in and help the citizens of that government avoid undeserved punishment and restrictions, I don't completely agree with it. The difficulty I have with it mostly is that one cannot help where they were born into the world. Just because you happened to be born into a fascist country doesn't mean you automatically should be subject to live yoru live as a posession of a government to censor and abuse at whim.

But another point against my own suggestion is that it's somewhat difficult to justify protecting the life of people who are attempting to liberate themselves while we (America) execute people. A very obvious difference exists between executing a convicted murderer and torturing, incarcerating or killing someone who simply speaks or writes dissenting things. Nonetheless, it illustrates that there is no necessary global standard for what human rights should be automatically assumed by every man and woman, regardless of nationality. If there were such a standard, it would be the duty of nations adhering to those standards to assist in the effort of helping those who do not currently live under them.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Property? (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by MrSpey on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:41:19 PM EST

... and Americans are actually the property of "the government" ...

I'm assuming that you mean this in a metaphorical way. I'm positive that my government doesn't own me. If nothing else the 13th amendment makes sure that I am sole owner of myself.

Mr. Spey
Cover your butt. Bernard is watching.

[ Parent ]
Bollocks (none / 0) (#107)
by spiralx on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 05:41:06 AM EST

Granted, the brittish are "royal subjects"...

No we're not. The term Royal subjects has no legal basis in British Law and is merely a holdover from a time when the monarchy really ruled. As from the first piece of legislation dealing with the issue, we are British citizens.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

give up (3.20 / 5) (#23)
by alprazolam on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:35:45 PM EST

Give up your bullshit idealism. China has the potential to provide a lot of money to the US provided we properly exploit them. The hate part is just politics to shut up hippie peaceniks. The only part of the whole US China relationship that matters is money.

[ Parent ]
Well, (4.42 / 7) (#2)
by trhurler on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 03:48:17 PM EST

This (silly) incident aside, the Chinese are going to do more and more pushing of the limits to see just what the US will and won't put up with; that's what an aspiring superpower has to do to maintain the pride that drives it upward. However, no war is likely to result.

Why? Simple. We can't win a war on their turf, and they can't win one on ours. Forget nukes; both sides would talk big, but the US wouldn't use one unless China did, and China knows it can't win a nuclear war with the US. Our navy would stomp theirs, so they can't mount an invasion, but neither can we successfully take the Chinese mainland. Both sides know this, of course. The problems here are not technological in nature, and they aren't going to be much altered by any technology that doesn't radically alter the way wars are fought - and by that, I mean a technology that impacts war as much as the machine gun, the tank, or the jet airplane did, and maybe even more.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

nobody takes the US seriously (3.50 / 8) (#6)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:00:25 PM EST

Thanks to the administration of the last eight years, the world has come to see America as a country that can be pushed around. We'll either drop all complaints about you in the hopes of "getting along" or we'll threaten you and fail to back the threats up. Or, if all else fails, we'll just take a nice political donation from you and let everything slide.

The new administration is pushing for the more strict and consistant stances we held a decade ago where you didn't really want to tick us off too much or we just might send some people in to kick your ass -- or at least harm your economy as best we could through our own restrictions and lobbying of other nations to do the same. Unfortunately, I think the new administration's failure to explain this to their own population leaves a lot of uninformed people with short memories thinking "why are we doing this? what did China ever do to anyone?" and believing that we're just big meanies looking to pick on everyone.

If we were still in the grasp of the previous administration, I would say there is absolutely no chance we'd do anything more than call the Chinese government a few choice names and send Jesse Jackson in to speak for us. With the new administration, I'm unsure. I'd like to think that my own government would protect its citizens to the point of issuing comments like "harm one of our citizens and we'll blow the fuck out of your entire country", but the reality is (and probably will continue to be) that unless one of our celebrities is captured and killed by another government or the Chinese are involved in killing ten thousand American's, our government will probably do absolutely nothing but talk. I'm an American and my government is a big pussy.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

ROTFLMAO! (4.66 / 3) (#12)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:17:51 PM EST

You raise some good points. But then. . .
The new administration is pushing for the more strict and consistant stances we held a decade ago
Would that like the consistent stances we took in the Persian Gulf? Giving the head of the country a green light to move their border with their neighbor over by a few hundred miles or so and then forming a coalition to bomb them back to the stone age when they do doesn't seem to be incredibly consistent to me.

I don't know if any large foreign countries have ever realy taken the US seriously. At least not until engaged in a full-fledged war. . .

[ Parent ]

cold war (3.50 / 2) (#20)
by alprazolam on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:32:10 PM EST

you don't think the USSR took the US seriously during the cold war? Nuclear weapons are no fucking joke regardless of what average people know or don't know about them.

[ Parent ]
not the same thing (4.50 / 2) (#54)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:42:30 PM EST

The gulf war was about two things. They were holding oil hostage and, to a smaller degree, there was some little country or something that we wanted to liberate or some such. Kuwait, I believe -- but like any other American, I forgot about it once the sacred oil situation had been salvaged by beating back Hussein.

I'm obviously not suggesting that we go in and blow a bunch of people up, but in the last decade, it has been noticed that standard practice is usually to suggest that the other nation might want to comply. Then to urge them to comply. Then to demand that they comply. Use the terms "or else", but don't back them up. Then, eventually, beg and plead them to comply.

I'd like my government to, at the least, have a little bit of a spine. You can't walk the walk if you can't talk the talk -- and our side can barely talk the talk. We let Iraq walk all over us. Haitian thugs. North Koreans. Now, to some degree, the Chinese. What's next, we're going to roll over and play dead while the Canadian's scratch our tummies and infest our currency with those blasted all-too-similar coins of theirs that our fscking vending machines won't take?

I've seen a dramatic change, globally, during my short lifetime. There was a time when many people in other nations still held some degree of the view that America didn't dick around. If we got into something, we'd see it through. And if you were getting fucked, we'd try to help out. Now, I don't even think most of our politicians would interfere with the rape of their own mothers if they walked in on it. One of these days, there's going to be another multi-national force sent to one hot-spot or another, only this time we're going to back out at the last moment, snicker, point at the Brits and Canucks and say "hah! just kidding!".
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

I problably shouldn't respond like this (4.50 / 2) (#82)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 10:52:02 PM EST

There was a time when many people in other nations still held some degree of the view that America didn't dick around. If we got into something, we'd see it through. And if you were getting fucked, we'd try to help out.
Like, uhm, Vietnam? Funding the Contras with illegal arms sales to Iran? The Batista regime in Cuba? I'm not quite sure that we need to see this type of seeing things through.

If the US really wanted to help out the countries that were getting the shaft, I think we'd have been on the other side of a tremendous number of regional conflicts.

This really boils down to two things. If someone wants to be president, they ought to be barred from office. No sane person that understands what that job is really like would want the position. Secondly, if someone has the kind of moral fiber I trust, I don't want them to be president. The last president with any kind of consistent morality was Jimmy Carter. God bless the man and I have all the respect for him in the world, but he sure did make a lousy president.

I'm not all that sure we had a good president this century. Perhaps Teddy Roosevelt. Typically the people that moan about the politics of the current administration turn a blind eye to just how bad previous administrations were.

I'd like to see this conundrum solved by randomly nominating people to run for all political offices. Take four names at random from the pool of registered voters and make them run against each other whether they like it or not. Put the service back into the civil service.

[ Parent ]

Usenet, Slashdot, FOX: pick one. (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by roystgnr on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 02:12:04 AM EST

I'm sure you're joking, but I couldn't let this go by uncommented.

I'd like to see this conundrum solved by randomly nominating people to run for all political offices.

Choose any suitably unsequestered forum; I've given some suggestions above, but if you're more of a hands-on kind of guy I'd suggest talking to the principal of a local public high school and asking permission to walk around and listen to lunchtime conversation.

Choose 4 truly random people. Say, Slashdot comments 101-104, or the first 4 high schoolers that you see after 12:30:00. If you're lucky, you'll find someone you'd be happy voting into the mayor's office. Whether you're lucky or not, do go through the motions and ask yourself which one of these people you want to give the nuclear launch codes...

Damn spoiled kuro5hin folk. We just had our first penis bird troll here last week! Even KTB has been playing nice most of the time...

[ Parent ]

Not joking (3.00 / 1) (#111)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 08:37:59 AM EST

Certainly some government officials stand out (Tony Hall and John McCain come to mind, but then again McCain was part of the whole Keating S&L debacle).

But can it really be any worse?

Anyway, the population of /., high schools, and even k5 are largely irrelevant. I did specify the the candidates should be drawn from the pool of registered voters. I don't know about you, but I didn't have very many of those in my high school class.

If nothing else, this would give a large incentive to improve the public school systems. . .

[ Parent ]

What is an appropriate response? (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by Osama Bin Laden on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:20:37 PM EST

I'd like to think that my own government would protect its citizens to the point of issuing comments like "harm one of our citizens and we'll blow the fuck out of your entire country"

Really?! For the sake of argument, let's say the Chinese throw the 24 servicemen in jail for a few months. Are you serious that you would you really like the US government to "blow the fuck" out of the China in response? Consider that any serious non-nuclear war between the US and China will easily kill thousands, potentially millions (of both Chinese and Americans). A nuclear engagement would probably be more costly. It takes a strange sense of priorities to conclude that a potential war with thousands/millians of casualties is somehow preferable to some of the alternatives. I'm not saying the US should just crawl away mumbling Xie Xie, but there is such a thing as an appropriate response.

BTW, you underestimate the Clinton regime: the previous US administration inflicted as much or more mindless violence as any other administration in recent history.

ObL

[ Parent ]

Re: What is an appropriate response? (3.66 / 3) (#24)
by eLuddite on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:35:56 PM EST

The apropriate response is to shoot first and plead ignorance later. For example, when the US blew up the Chinese embassy in Yogoslavia, the CIA claimed they didnt know it was the Chinese embassy. Right. Why have a CIA, then, if it cant track the embassy of your worst national enemy in the fucking telephone book?

I'd like to think that my own government would protect its citizens to the point of issuing comments like "harm one of our citizens and we'll blow the fuck out of your entire country"

Thankfully the Chinese didn't cop a similiar attitude.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Oh, come on.... (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:48:00 PM EST

Do you seriously think they knew about the embassy? The msitake was obviously an innocent result of poor resource distribution. They were busy working with the NSA to develop Echelon and Carnivore. What with all of their resources focused on spying on our own people, the last thing they had time for was pesky concerns like "hey, what's at the location we're dropping the bomb today?".
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
The number of Americans (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by ZanThrax on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:02:34 PM EST

who seem to feel that Pax Americana is both reasonable and justified and can't see why the rest of the world would never agree is somewhat disturbing. Many, many Americans seem to feel that they truly are the center of the world and inherantly more important than anyone else.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

I don't think that's quite right... (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by trhurler on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:21:43 PM EST

Reagan and Bush talked big, but lots of countries harmed our citizens and never got seriously screwed for doing it under them. The political reality today is that unless you're willing to go to war over one person, costing possibly tens or hundreds of thousands dead, there are limits to what you can do to help that one person, and such wars are not feasible; soon you'd be fighting the whole world continuously.

There's another issue here, though: we really can't hurt the Chinese all that much without resorting to unacceptable methods such as nukes. They can't do much to us either, but that's beside the point. The motive we have for getting along with each other is that we have to do so; neither of us is going anywhere. Unfortunately, that allows for a certain amount of abuse of trust by both sides at any time they deem it convenient.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
What I take seriously... (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by minusp on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:26:10 PM EST

Is WAL*MART.

Any trouble with China, and the Borg of Bentonville will be in a world of hurt, meaning ain't no way it's happening.

If they need to, I'll bet that they could /remove/ the current administration in a weekend.
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
they already think alike (3.00 / 1) (#55)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:44:36 PM EST

After all the albums covers, book covers and movie covers that Walmart has censored or completely altered and the things they've refused to sell out of some fascist duty, it makes me wonder if they're still owned and based in the states.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Of course they are (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by ZanThrax on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 07:56:44 PM EST

Wal-Mart is the epitomy of the American ideal (think nice white family of four having a barbeque in the back yard of their picket fenced surburban home) And since they don't have to contend with things like the constitution, they can get on with all the censorship and goodthinking that many governmental types would like to (and occasionaly do) try to get away with.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

walmart (none / 0) (#65)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:15:06 PM EST

You know, I think we have a Walmart in Portland. It's only been around for a couple years as best I know. I've never gone there and I don't know anyone who does regularly shop there. They actually took over an entire mall and converted it into one of their stores. I'm not sure what it is they're supposed to have that our other stores (like Fred Meyers) already have, but oh well . . .

It would be a great place to initiate a terrorist act though.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

nah, you need to kill important people (none / 0) (#68)
by ZanThrax on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:32:02 PM EST

in a terrorist action. If you just blow it up, few people will care, and if you take hostages, the SWAT guys'll just do it GSG-9 style, and wipe you out, and consider the dozen or two poor people you manage to tag to be 'acceptable losses"

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

use it as a base (none / 0) (#69)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:34:19 PM EST

Then the wise thing to do would be to visit during peak time, secure everyone inside as hostages (50 to 100 or more hostages would be harder to explain as necessary losses) and then use it as a headquarters for further actions in the region. After all, as I understand it a walmart is like a mini Costco and probably has more resources in a single store than most nations that the terrorists probably originate from!
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
That's a good point (none / 0) (#72)
by ZanThrax on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 09:00:13 PM EST

The only thing missing is ammo (although I seem to remember hearing somebody complaining about them selling firearms in a store that refuses to sell violent music... Do US WalMarts sell weaponry?) Might be rather difficult to defend though, since they're just one big room with lots of merchandise to provide concealment...

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

not sure about the weapons (none / 0) (#74)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 09:09:06 PM EST

Not sure about the weapons, but I'm sure they'd have big knives, matches, lighter fluid, propane and aerosol cans. And if they have a pharmacy and household/kitchen section, you could probably fashion all types of things.

As for defendability -- that's what the hostages are for. :)
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

ammo? (none / 0) (#89)
by Arkady on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:47:01 AM EST

When did they stop selling bullets? When I was in high school (and here I reveal my rather rural past) I used to buy bullets at the local Wal-Mart. Not that I'm into guns anymore, but back then it was normal recreation to line a row of things up and just shoot them (here I'm talking about things like pop cans, so get that image out of your head).

It does seem pretty weird that a store that sells guns wouldn't sell bullets.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Like I said, (none / 0) (#91)
by ZanThrax on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:14:03 AM EST

or at least implied, they don't sell ammo or guns here, but I once heard something that implied that they do in the states. Judging from your response, I guess they do. (or at least did)

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

you would be in Canada, then? (none / 0) (#92)
by Arkady on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:18:43 AM EST

I don't know if they still do, but they certainly did back in the late 80s.

(I misread your statement and inferred that you were saying they sold guns, but not ammunition. Weird as it is to sell guns, but not raucus music, it definitely would be weirder to sell guns but not bullets.)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Yeah I'm Canadian (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by ZanThrax on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:22:38 AM EST

and now that I read my earlier comment, that does seem to be what I said. Sounds like Dogberts solution to gun problems though ("I figure you should have all the guns you want. But only I get to have bullets.")

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Now that I think about it, (none / 0) (#93)
by ZanThrax on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:20:29 AM EST

it wouldn't really work as a base to strike from, since SWAT (or ATF and/or National Guard in smaller centers) would keep the place under seige...

Instead, I think that it would be better to do a midnight raid on a small town Wal Mart with several cube trucks and get the materials back to the militia compound (make sure to use pavement though, or you'll be too easy to track)

Wonder if some nsa flunky is checking the echelon flags from this thread yet?

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

just to be sure (none / 0) (#119)
by Seumas on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 11:12:02 AM EST

Just to be sure, we would probably have to make some comments referring to Hitler, the jihad, bombs, the whitehouse, the president, Catcher in the Rye, John Hinkley, and militias.

Oh oops, I guess I just did. ;)
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Catcher in the Rye? (none / 0) (#120)
by ZanThrax on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 11:59:30 AM EST

This is something that would get flagged?

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Catcher in the Rye (none / 0) (#123)
by Seumas on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:20:16 PM EST

Chapman (killed John Lennon) had a copy of Catcher in the Rye that he carried with him. After killing Lennon, he was found reading a copy of it while he waited for the police to arrest him.

Hinkley (shot Ronald Reagan) was also a huge Catcher in the Rye fan.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Must be the same people who think that Doom (none / 0) (#124)
by ZanThrax on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 03:30:33 PM EST

is the cause of all of America's current problems that decided that Catcher in the Rye is dangerous because those two yahoos read it. I bet they both read lots of things that the other had read. Maybe even parts of the bible... Oh well, this sillyness doesn't really affect me, I've never read it...

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

well... sort of... (none / 0) (#125)
by Seumas on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 04:34:28 PM EST

I don't think anyone sees the book as dangerous -- otherwise it wouldn't be used as reading material in highschools.

However, it wasn't just that the book was something these guys read, it was something they were heavily into and even carried on them. I'm sure they read Cosmopolitan Magazine, too -- but they probably weren't fanatical about it and they certainly weren't carrying it around with them.

The "mystery" about Catcher in the Rye is furthered by popular media. It's used in X-Files, Se7en, Taxi (I believe?), Cospiracy Theory and a lot of other similar movies/books/shows. When you consider the content of Salinger's book, you can see how it would be revered by the conspiracy and anti-government crowds -- not that there's anything wrong with that or it should be an indication of troubled people -- but it is nonetheless an interesting tidbit.

It is also rumored that Catcher in the Rye is indeed one of those books that is flagged (although I find that unlikely since every child in the public school system would suddenly be chunked into the list with Hinkly and Chapman).

I'm not a fan of popular "classics", but Catcher in the Rye is actually a powerful and intriguing book as is the author. And how many people write books that become a bit of history and urban legend or conspiracies?
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Yes, WAL-MART sells weapons (3.00 / 1) (#122)
by error 404 on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:16:12 PM EST

The sporting goods section is near the paint at the one I go to. The paintball stuff is right between, which gives a nice logical progression.

Yes, I did live in my mother-in-law's tornado magnet for a while. And canned cream of mushroom soup is a main ingredient in most of my recipes. But there are no vehicles parked on my lawn, and the hound dog stays on top of the porch even when it's hot.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

obligatory comment (none / 0) (#70)
by Seumas on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:35:04 PM EST

Aw, shit. I forgot the obligatory ALL YOUR WALMART ARE BELONG TO US comment. ;)
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
The problem is not taking the US serously (3.00 / 1) (#106)
by nobbystyles on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 05:38:29 AM EST

Is that due to the nature of your sacred constitution, the President can huff and puff how much he likes but most of his actions can be overuled in Congress. And the lack of bipartisanship and narrow majorities means that you can't predict with certainty what those guys will do...

So foreign countries know that if you sign a treaty (ie: Kyoto) with him, it means jack shit...

So nasty governments such as Iraq, North Korea hope that the divided government can't get their act together to oppose them.

But the European Union is even worse...

[ Parent ]
Treaties... (3.00 / 1) (#118)
by trhurler on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 10:46:09 AM EST

Well, actually, the reason the Kyoto thing fell apart was that Clinton knew in advance that he couldn't get it through the Senate and signed it right before he left office just to be an asshole. Most treaties are rapidly ratified or else voted down; Clinton didn't even take Kyoto to the Senate, because he knew full well it would fail. Similarly, he pardoned a bunch of people at the last second in such a manner that he might well have been investigated for doing it had he done it earlier, he signed a whole slew of executive orders right before he left office trying to make them appear to be the work of his successor, and so on. Not all of these are uncommon for presidents leaving office, but this guy did them all and then some, and then he stole the furniture. You can hardly blame the US system of government for Clinton's fuckups.

The real problem in the US is that we stick our noses in other peoples' business, but we are neither consistent nor always welcome. Both of those ought to be prerequisites for any such action, if it is a reasonable thing to do at all, but you'll never see a Republicrat president worry about little things like not fucking over half a million foriegners, because they're all scum.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
The plane is lost (4.42 / 7) (#3)
by Osama Bin Laden on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 03:48:29 PM EST

I predict China will return the US servicemen within a few days, but keep the plane longer. If the crew wasn't able to destroy whatever sensitive equipment is on-board, this is quite an intelligence coup for the Chinese. If I were Bush, I wouldn't expect the plane back any time soon. As they say, possesion is nine tenths of the law.

A more interesting question is what the US reaction would be, if the Chinese don't return the plane. I suspect Taiwan may get those Aegis destroyers sooner than later.

Worst case is that the 24 servicemen get tried in China as spies. (Quick question for the international lawyers out there: do univited foreign military personnel get diplomatic immunity?) This would be extremely bad. Wars have started for less.

ObL

diplomatic immunity (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:23:58 PM EST

I'm no expert, but those servicement are not going to be accorded diplomatic immunity, and there's no reason they should. They're military personnel, not ambassadors representing our country. Bush is calling on China to respect the plane and servicemen as US territory, the same as an embassy, but that won't hold water in any international court.

Unless the lives of those servicemen is put on the line, the I don't see US going to war over them. US soldiers have been held for trial in the past without sparking open warfare. This is not to say that I don't think everything should be done to help them; I'd support a snatch operation to get them out if it became necessary. I just don't see China going to such extremes as to execute them for espionage.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Even if they're tried (3.50 / 4) (#26)
by puzzlingevidence on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:40:56 PM EST

Well, look at it from China's POV. The crew of the plan are spies, plain and simple. They were in Chinese airspace, spying. They landed on Chinese soil.

China has every right to try them in their court, so long as they advise the US Embassy that they're doing so. They can even execute them if found guilty. And, yes, they can keep the plane. Heck, under US law, the state can seize property used in the commission of a crime. Why shouldn't China have the same rights as the US claims?

And if they do all of the above -- all of which they have the right to do -- there still won't be a war.

---
A man may build a throne of bayonets, but he can not sit on it. --Inge
[ Parent ]

Trial (4.00 / 3) (#29)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:47:32 PM EST

I agree that China believes the US violated their rights, and is doing their best to spin the situation to best advantage. I believe their claim that the US plane swerved to collide with their jet is absolute nonsense, but that's just me.

CAN China go so far as to convict and execute the US servicemen for espionage? Yes. SHOULD they? I think there's far more to the situation than anybody knows, which is SOP for military and international incidents. For China to go to such extremes would demonstrate a rather fanatic and undiplomatic attitude that would ultimately hurt their standing in their world arena. The other nations are watching both the US and China to see what happens next, and they will cast judgement on everyone's actions. Beijing would be foolish to take this beyond the "aggrieved victim" role they're playing up.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Causus Belli (3.50 / 2) (#49)
by Bad Harmony on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:16:32 PM EST

CAN China go so far as to convict and execute the US servicemen for espionage? Yes.

That would be an incredibly stupid move for China. It would destroy commercial and diplomatic relations between China and the United States and, more likely than not, start a war.

Relations have already been damaged. Chinese propaganda about how a P3 "flew into" a Chinese fighter is insulting to anyone with two functioning neurons. That's like claiming that someone viciously attacked your fist with his nose. If they hold onto the plane, I expect Taiwan will get all of the military hardware that they want.

Many Americans, and members of Congress, are not thrilled about China on a good day. This incident has the potential to get very ugly. Some of us have vivid memories of the Pueblo incident, and do not want to see it repeated.

5440' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

maybe not (3.50 / 2) (#40)
by cory on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:14:27 PM EST

"The crew of the plan are spies, plain and simple. They were in Chinese airspace, spying."

Maybe not. The US claims the plane was in international airspace when the collision took place. Of course, someone is either lying or mistaken, and there isn't enough evidence yet to say which is which or who is who.

"They landed on Chinese soil."

Well, it's not like they had anyplace else to go, unless you expected them to ditch over the water.

What I'd like to see is:
China lets US diplomats talk to the crew while they're being "processed" (read: pumped for information for a reasonable amount of time, say two or three days).
China "inspects" the plane for "health and safety violations" before handing it back. If this process takes a few months, well, that's just the way it goes. Gotta make sure there are no harmful fruit flies on board.
The US continues to help China look for their lost pilot and jet.
Both countries chalk this up to the fact that the military is a dangerous job and accidents happen, then move on to something more important.

Cory


[ Parent ]
Bullshit. (3.25 / 4) (#47)
by SvnLyrBrto on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:00:52 PM EST

>They were in Chinese airspace, spying.

The problem with your little theory, and that of the rest of the china sympathiesers here, is that the claim the P3 was in chineese airspace is complete bullshit. It was, in fact, well OUTSIDE chineese airspace when it was attacked.

Just a rough guess from looking at this map of the incident, I'd say FIFTY MILES outside chinese territory.

>They landed on Chinese soil.

Yeah, after china sent a bunch of migs up to attack, RAMMING it, and crippling it so that HAD to land at the nearest feasable spot.

Or perhaps you'd have perferred they had just drove their pland into the ocean and died. After all, they're just navy types.... "evil horrible military" people. Contemptable, and deserving of death in all respects, right?

john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Nah. (3.50 / 4) (#75)
by puzzlingevidence on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 09:39:18 PM EST

The problem with your little theory, and that of the rest of the china sympathiesers here, is that the claim the P3 was in chineese airspace is complete bullshit. It was, in fact, well OUTSIDE chineese airspace when it was attacked.

The problem with your little theory is that the US says one thing and China is saying another. The US government has a history of lying. The Chinese government has a history of being repressive, but slightly more honest.

If you believe everything you read, more power to you.

---
A man may build a throne of bayonets, but he can not sit on it. --Inge
[ Parent ]

Liar, liar (2.00 / 4) (#84)
by Osama Bin Laden on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:05:37 AM EST

The Chinese government has a history of being repressive, but slightly more honest.

Both governments have been known to tell some tall ones. It's worth mentioning that it's somewhat harder to tell when the Chinese gov't is obfuscating, for two reasons. First, compared with the US, much more of the China's government takes place behind closed doors, so much less information is publically available. And second, the internal press in China is controlled by the government, so what is publically available is often spun to Beijing's specifications.

In this case, I don't think either government is flat-out lying. The US says China hit its plane. China says the US hit its plane. Both statements are true. Of course if either government claims the collision was intentional, I'd find that hard to believe.

ObL

[ Parent ]

Dave Barry (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by Arkady on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:23:51 AM EST

I think it was Dave Barry who said that the real benefit of State controlled media is that you basically _know_ you're reading lies. In America, on the other hand, though you also know the government source is lying, the press can't be forced to report it accurately. So you _might_ be reading something that's actually true.

And that's just true enough to be funny. ;-)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Everything I read? Nope. Look at the source... (3.00 / 5) (#87)
by SvnLyrBrto on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:25:26 AM EST

.... of the map, that is.

You will, do doubt notice that the map I provided comes from CNN. Why is this relevant you ask?

Well, remember the history of the people behind CNN. Said people are notoriously anti-american americans. CNN is Ted Turner's domain. Turner is, himself, in the FAR left... quick to be critical and sceptical of king george the second and his junta in the first place. (not that *THAT* is a bad thing). But Turner is married to Jane Fonda.

Remember who Jane Fonda is? No, not just the star of numerous workout tape scams. Try asking a vietnam veteran who "Hanoi" Jane Fonda is. She's about as anti-american as you can get, without actually defecting to a socialist country. She actively provided aid and comfort to the enemy during vietnam. It's very well documented.

THESE are the people who color CNN's reports.

In short, if CNN, of all places, says that the *US government* (and a republican administration at that !!!) is telling the truth, I'm *VERY* much inclined to beleive them.

No doubt, CNN has tried to twist the facts as much as possible to reflect as badly as possible on America.... but *EVEN CNN* admits that the US plane was attacked in INTERNATIONAL airspace.

Now, if it was rupert murdock's conservative propaganda machine, aka Fox "News", parroting the bush party line, then yes, I would maintain a healthy skepticism.

But when CNN comes out in FAVOR of the US government?!?!? My guess is that washington's case is VERY strong, understated even.


john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Left? Right. (3.33 / 3) (#96)
by puzzlingevidence on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:33:59 AM EST

Well, remember the history of the people behind CNN. Said people are notoriously anti-american americans. CNN is Ted Turner's domain. Turner is, himself, in the FAR left... quick to be critical and

You think Turner's far left?

I'm Canadian. The conventional wisdom here is that he's more right-wing than, well, just about anyone in *this* country, anyway.

CNN is owned by AOL-TimeWarner. Turner's involvement in the operations of the company is limited. It's a corporate news source, and hence inherently biased.

---
A man may build a throne of bayonets, but he can not sit on it. --Inge
[ Parent ]

Biased news? (3.50 / 2) (#115)
by gaj on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 09:39:13 AM EST

"[CNN is] a corporate news source, and hence inherently biased."
All news sources are biased. Some more than others, and some are more honest about it than others, but all are. They are produced by people. People are, by nature, biased. Nothing wrong with that, it's part of who we are. What is wrong is trying to pretend to be unbiased. That is fraud.

As a side note, (or snipe, depending upon your bias ;) I hope you're not trying to imply that CNN (better known on this side of the border as the Clinton News Network, but there I go showing my conservative bias again) is more biased than the Chineese press? Or even in the same ballpark?



[ Parent ]
Are you talking about the same CNN (none / 0) (#100)
by ZanThrax on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 02:17:23 AM EST

that parroted the party line during the entire gulf war? The one that just reported whatever the military told them to? Is that really the news channel to which you are refering?

Your saying that because the one-time owner is married to a woman who (like millions of other Americans) was against the Vietnam war, that the entire network is inherently anti-american? (What the hell does that mean anyhow? The only way I've ever seen it used is the same way McCarthy used it, as a denunciation that would put an end to any arguement.)

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Honest?! Son, step away from the crack pipe ... (4.50 / 2) (#114)
by gaj on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 09:31:04 AM EST

"The Chinese government has a history of being repressive, but slightly more honest."
Um, no. But thanks for playing.

This is this is the same country who's representative denied that Tienaman happened during a Nightline interview, even as we were seeing video of the "incident" on the monitor next to him. Honest is not a term I would use to describe them. Orwellian, certainly. Evil, perhaps. Dangerous, most likely. But not honest.

I'll grant that the US government is not exactly filled with honest men, but to imply that China is "slightly more honest" than the US is simply absurd. We have a free (if imperfect and slanted) press here, they do not. We have policies in place to allow for important govt. info to be made public, even if not all is; they repress all information that could be construed as being anything but fawning in its praise of the govt of China.

I certainly do not believe everything I read, but I have far more faith that I can come to some reasonably accurate understanding of all but the most clandestine of US activities, than I do in the most basic information "released" by the Chineese.



[ Parent ]
International airspace (3.00 / 1) (#88)
by cameldrv on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:36:59 AM EST

Well, according to the international treaty on the sea or somesuch, territorial waters extend to 12 nmi. The plane was at about 70 nmi off the coast. The problem is that just about every country (including China) claims territory greater than this. China's claim goes out to 200 nmi. There is no treaty, and no generally accepted agreement which backs this up, but it is the Chinese claim. Similarly, China claims Taiwan. The issue thus becomes one of power, the U.S. having lots of it, and being reluctant to use it, and the Chinese having less but being very eager to use it at every opportunity.

[ Parent ]
Alleged (3.00 / 3) (#97)
by puzzlingevidence on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:37:59 AM EST

The plane is *alleged* to have been 70 nmi off the coast. This is, IMHO, an important distinction.

I doubt that if it was flying directly over China that the US government would admit to it. They'd say it was 70 nmi off the coast, right?

Just as a bit of trivia, Canada claims 300 nmi. Weird, neh?

---
A man may build a throne of bayonets, but he can not sit on it. --Inge
[ Parent ]

Foxbat (4.75 / 4) (#4)
by Rand Race on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 03:52:53 PM EST

"Coming from the viewpoint of a US citizen, were a Chinese spyplane to crash or be forced down on US soil, I would fully expect and require the US government to acknowledge and return the Chinese plane."

Sure we would... right after we found out all we could from it. In 1976 a Russian pilot named Viktor Belenko defected to Japan in his Mig-25 Foxbat fighter/interceptor. Yes we gave it back to the russians, but we tore it down and rebuilt it beforehand. The Chinese will do the same.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

not "Communist" (3.84 / 13) (#5)
by Arkady on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 03:56:02 PM EST

First, I want to say that I think this is an excellent piece for the News section. It's light on links, but that's reasonable for this case since most of what it's discussing is current events and speculation about their implications.

My only objection is to calling China "Communist". Certainly in the mainstream U.S. media and government's conception of the term China is Communist. In any reasonable reading of their political philosophy, however, China should most accurately be labelled Fascist.

There's a difference between State ownership and Communism, the main one being that the workers' ownership is a defining feature of Communism. State ownership, definitely in a State such as China where the worker has no meaningful input into the State's operation, has no necessary connection to worker ownership.

China's about as Communist as American Airlines, with its employee stock plan. So in theory the citizen (employee) has an interest in the State (company), but not in any meaningful way. The Chinese worker has no more say in the operations of the State than the AA employee has in the operation of that company.

But that's a minor nit to pick, and you're following common usage anyway. I just think it's important to keep an understanding of when such important terms are misused. ;-)

Cheers,
-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


"Communist" (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by ucblockhead on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:16:01 PM EST

They call themselves communist.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
actualy, no (3.50 / 2) (#19)
by delmoi on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:28:45 PM EST

China is officially 'socialist' now, and they do have a large and growing capitalist component to their economy now.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
So? (4.20 / 5) (#30)
by Arkady on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:48:09 PM EST

The "contras" called themselves "freedom fighters" while indulging in an extended orgy of rape and killing; the Christian Coalitian calls themselves "pro-life" while inciting their constituents to murder doctors and George Herbert Walker Vestibule Bush the IVth calls himself a "reformer" while starting an even bigger sellout of the country to big businesses than even his father managed.

None of these folks used the language accurately; they used it to create misleading images of themselves and their activities in an attempt to keep the rest of us from realizing what they were up to and doing something about it.

It's important to use the correct terms to keep these things in perspective. Public relations (which is what Bush calling himself a "reformer", and the media calling China "Communist" is) is not the truth.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
please (2.00 / 1) (#63)
by delmoi on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:04:28 PM EST

There is always more then one side to an issue. Maybe the contras were fighting for their freedom to rape and pillage. In any event, standard definitions apply. Just because you don't agree with someone (sa, bush) doesn't mean that you can arbitrarily deviate from standard terminology.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
standard definitions (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by Arkady on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:31:43 PM EST

I'm _using_ the standard definitions here, laddy. I even gave you a quoted dictionary definition for Fascism, though that point seems to have been skipped over.

You're the who's arguing that a dictatorial State can somehow be reconciled with worker-controlled industry (a definition which _can't_ be divorced from the term "communism" since Marx' definition must be considered definitive, or standard) and yet is somehow not Fascist (though it's central to all definitions of the term).

Come on, now. Arguing that anyone claiming to be fighting for the "freedom to rape and pillage" should be called "freedom fighters" is just as ludicrous. At the least, if you're claiming to be supporting the "standard definitions", you should be posting a definition to claim as standard, right?

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
whatever (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by delmoi on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:22:10 PM EST

But that's a minor nit to pick, and you're following common usage anyway. I just think it's important to keep an understanding of when such important terms are misused. ;-)

that is not a 'minor' issue, the difference between calling something 'communist' and 'fascist' is huge, unless you're one of those people who consider communism and fascism on equal scales of 'evilness'. Calling china communist is stating a fact (although, they seem to fancy themselves socialist now). Calling China fascist is an insult. One has a neutral denotation, the other one has a negative one (leaving the connotations, which for communism very from person to person).

Yeh, China has human rights problems, but they are probably blown a little out of proportion, and The US isn't exactly picture perfect (see Amnesty International reports widespread human rights violations in the US, or even The Chinese government's report on human rights violations)

Yeh, speech is restricted in china, and that's unfortunate. But that's a trait shared with nearly every government in history (including the US, before the bill of rights was passed). Calling China a fascist is totally unreasonable because of it. And of course, fascism usually denotes some kind of racism; of witch there is none in China.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
they're technical terms, not PR terms (4.66 / 3) (#35)
by Arkady on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:55:37 PM EST

Or, at least, they're supposed to be.

Since I haven't got the political philosophy books with me at the moment, I'll give you the dictionary.com definition of "fascism":

"A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism."

The term comes from the Roman "fasces", a bundle or reeds which was the symbol of (if I remember correctly) the tribunes. The symbolism is obvious: one reed is easily broken, a bundle is not. The Fascist position can be summed up in the slogan "unity is strength", since to the Fascist the prime good is having every person and function united in the State.

It'd be interesting to see an argument that China doesn't meet these descriptions, or that China _does_ meet any reasonably accurate definition of "Communism". ;-)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Denotations (4.00 / 3) (#53)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:35:08 PM EST

sorry, fascism doesn't have a negative denotative meaning; it has a negative *connotation*.

Fascism is a political philosophy which argues that the needs of the individual should be subordinate to the needs of the community, with a strong leader to determine the needs of the community and enforce behavior which serves those needs.

Communism is a political philosophy which says that all capital should be owned by the people in common, or by the state.

Politics as practiced in China today is much closer to the former than to the latter.

[ Parent ]

Definitely not Communist (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by imperium on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:19:59 PM EST

To my mind, the Chinese regime manages to combines the worst side of Stalinism with the worst that capitalism has to offer.

They do (sorry delmoi) have racism, claiming the Tibetans to be an inferior race needing Chinese guidance, and the situation faced by the Uighurs is little better. They have mass unemployment. They have complete lack of freedom of the press. They have the death penalty, and, like good capitalists, they'll charge your parents for the bullet.

Such a shame the Chinese didn't go for the better bits of both. If only they had full employment and freedom of expression, then it'd be progress!

x.
imperium
[ Parent ]

80% Democratic -20% Facist (none / 0) (#112)
by n8f8 on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 08:55:47 AM EST

At the local level China is predominantly Democratic. China has a very powerfult central government that is Facist.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Another classification (4.00 / 1) (#128)
by imperium on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 07:24:59 AM EST

Yesterday's Washington Post has an article putting the case for China as primarily nationalistic. Perhaps some things are too complicated for one-word definitions anyway..

x.
imperium
[ Parent ]

hmm.. (4.33 / 3) (#7)
by rebelcool on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:05:21 PM EST

i dont know why we do business with that nation, world's largest market notwithstanding. Their human rights record is as abysmal as they come, the media there is just another government agency that feeds its people more lies than you can imagine (some would argue that this happens in america, but it is *nothing* like what china has)

Such as their assertion that the american plane hit the chinese one. Bullshit. The e3's are huge, slow, prop-powered planes. Turning the thing is slow paced. Certainly not as fast as miniscule jet fighter, nor anywhere near as agile. Some damn fool chinese pilot decided to pull much too close, probably hit some turbulence and collided with the other.

Would we go to war over 24 crewmen? Wars have been started over far less, such as WWI. Rampant nationalism had a part in that too.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

War (4.33 / 3) (#21)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:32:30 PM EST

I was with you right up to that last paragraph.

There was a lot more going on just before World War I than just the death of an archduke. Colonialism had been going full-tilt for nearly a century, and various nations were elbowing each other constantly. There's been nothing even remotely similar happening between the US and China; tensions just aren't that high. While there might be a surge of nationalism for a little while, there's been nothing to provoke the two nations like what was happening in pre-war Europe.

It may just be my idealism talking, but I think we have a slightly healthier respect (fear?) of war than we did in the early 20th Century. We're now familiar with the concept of a war that can't be won. Nobody wants to get into a conflict on that scale.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
tip of the iceberg (3.00 / 2) (#38)
by rebelcool on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:08:08 PM EST

we can only hope. heh, i've read the bear and the dragon by tom clancy too much (good book about war with china..comes down pretty hard on them though)

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Rampant Nationalism (3.50 / 2) (#85)
by Arkady on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:07:34 AM EST

Nice comment.

Apropos of that, I'm listening to Black 47's first independantly produced CD (self-titled), and pretty much have been since they played in S.F. on Saturday. The last track, which just came up as I got to your comment, is "The Patriot Game" (credited to Dominic Behan, on the web site from which I copied the folowing lyrics).

I won't quote the whole thing here, but it's a powerful song. The first verse is:

Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the patriot game.

That would be the rampant nationalism problem, all right.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
not quite.. (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by rebelcool on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 10:33:13 AM EST

that would be patriotism. Theres a big difference. Nationalism is the irrational belief that your country is far better than everyone elses. Sort of like racism, only with nationalities instead of races.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

(OT) (none / 0) (#117)
by Kellnerin on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 10:36:17 AM EST

You get points just for quoting Black 47 ... we now return you to your regularly scheduled political rants.
Somebody go tell Kellnerin it's time for her to change her sig. -johnny
[ Parent ]
Returning of spy-planes (4.16 / 6) (#8)
by bithir on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:10:31 PM EST

Not to be extremly rude to Americans in any way, but I do not think US would give back a "spy-plane" the first months of it's crash on US soil. I even doubt any land would give back a "spy-plane" before dismantling it and taking whatever spying material could be found and securing it within their own lands border, including making blue-print on high-tech toys. Altough I guess stealing information from an foreign nation about their spy-planes would be considered to be spying.

As one of the articles says:

U.S. Navy planes with classified equipment on board are used to fly missions along the edge of Chinese airspace to monitor electronic activity inside China.

I do not see where chinese sympathies are asked for. Monitor electronic ativity would be considered spying for sure. There is an amazing ammount of information to be read from electronic activities.

Common sense says, if a foreign plane causes an air-accident and lands on our soil. We damn well survey it closely, not only to see what the heck it was up too. Once done, I would consider giving back the pieces, as soon as the foreign goverment had been rebutted hard for interfering.
Maybe I come from a wierd country where spying is considered illegal, but at any case, I do not feel especially supressed.

I rest my case.
Rot13 for email.

Espionage (4.50 / 2) (#25)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:39:46 PM EST

Monitoring electronic activity is one of those realities you don't like and try to stop, but learn to live with until you can figure out something better. For one thing, it's non-invasive; the signals aren't limited to Chinese soil, so the US can monitor signals without having to violate borders. The fact that the Taiwan territories are in dispute is a separate issue. The benefits of electronic monitoring can't be denied either; if China decides to make an invasion, I'd rather the US were forewarned about it than not. We can only trust that non-military transmissions get ignored or otherwise respected as irrelevant to the task at hand. Otherwise it's like raiding a house for drugs and picking up some useful stock information. Not kosher.

For China to protest US spying on electronic communications is literally the pot calling the kettle black. That doesn't make it right, but I don't respect hypocrisy from any camp, US or China.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Do you really think that (none / 0) (#66)
by ZanThrax on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:18:41 PM EST

the 'stock information' gets ignored? Even if I didn't remember the reason that Europe got pissed about Echelon, I'd be extremely doubtful if someone tried to convince me that the spies were just destroying any information that give american corps. an advantage.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Relevant information (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 09:58:09 PM EST

I didn't say they necessarily ignored non-military data, just that we have to trust that they do. It isn't like we can call them on it without somehow inciting a full congressional hearing. The military gets to preserve their secrets, good and bad, through force of law.

Whether they are or aren't, I'm going to have to trust them because I'm not willing to stay awake at night dreaming up conspiracy after conspiracy. If I can't trust them to behave honorably, how can I trust them to safeguard my security?

Come to think of it, I am leaving the country...



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Inspecting the plane (4.33 / 3) (#11)
by Delirium on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:17:21 PM EST

I think it'd be naive to expect the Chinese to give back the plane before doing a pretty good inspection of it and attempting to extract as much information about its workings and equipment as possible. This is the sort of information intelligence agencies on both sides work very hard to gather, so when it's sitting in one of your own airports it'd be foolish to miss the opportunity only to have to expend a great deal more effort in getting the same information later.

I think the US or any other country would do the same thing. Perhaps they'd try to be discreet about any intelligence-gathering, but the plane is on their soil in one of their airports, so they pretty much have ultimate control over it. As someone else noted, "possession is nine tenths of the law."

Problems with inspection (2.00 / 1) (#22)
by Shadowlion on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:34:31 PM EST

The problem with inspecting the plane is that the plane is considered the soverign territory of the United States.

Rephrased, it means that the interior of the plane is equivalent to US soil, much like the property of a foreign embassy is considered to be equivalent to the embassy being in its respective country.

It would be a serious international incident were China to board that plane.


[ Parent ]
Not a chance. (3.50 / 4) (#28)
by puzzlingevidence on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:46:13 PM EST

The plane is not sovereign US soil. It isn't sovereign, or soil of any kind. That's like claiming that if you drive your car across the border into Canada that your car is sovereign US soil.

That's like a spy claiming that his shoes are sovereign soil.

---
A man may build a throne of bayonets, but he can not sit on it. --Inge
[ Parent ]

Soverign territory? (2.50 / 2) (#31)
by Osama Bin Laden on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:48:39 PM EST

The plane is considered the soverign territory of the United States.

That's exactly the line that the Bush administration has been using, although I'm not so sure they're right. It's not like an embassy, which is protected by mutual agreement. How is a warplane on hostile soil any more sovereign than a commerical airliner in friendly territory, I wonder? Can Canada unilaterally decide to search that United Airlines jet that just landed in Toronto? I believe they can. And since I would expect a foreign military aircraft to have no more (and possibly less) sovereignty than a commercial aircraft, I won't be surprised to see China reject the sovereignty argument.

ObL

[ Parent ]

Territory (2.00 / 2) (#73)
by malikcoates on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 09:00:57 PM EST

Under normal circumstances I don't believe they can. True, The airplane has been given permission to enter Canada's airspace. True, the airplane lands in Canada's airport. But you're not technically in Canada while you still on the plane.

Now it's a whole nother ball of wax if you entered the country illegally, or under false pretenses. China is sure to make some kind of claim like this giving themselves the right to board the plane and inspect it.

[ Parent ]

No (3.50 / 2) (#77)
by puzzlingevidence on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 09:52:15 PM EST

Trust me, you're in Canada even while you're on the plane. You're in Canada long before the plane's landed.

Like I said in the other posting, thinking that the plane is foreign soil is like thinking that your car is foreign soil once you cross the border, and you're safe until you step out of the vehicle.

Thousands of American tourists who've tried to bring their handguns into Canada while on vacation have learned this lesson well. They hit the border, have their guns seized (and sometimes their vehicles seized) and usually get sent home. Those who get uppity have their car taken apart by customs agents (and it's not their responsibility to put it back together again).

Sovereign soil? The only appropriate response is "bwah-hah-hah".

---
A man may build a throne of bayonets, but he can not sit on it. --Inge
[ Parent ]

sovereignty (3.00 / 1) (#39)
by Delirium on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:14:13 PM EST

Well, that certainly is what the US is claiming. However, China's stance is that the plane made an unauthorized landing on a Chinese airfield, and is hence a trespasser. Embassies, on the other hand, are the sovereign property of their owner nations by mutual agreement of the two countries.

This also probably hinges on close reading of a lot of different treaties. For example, the US plane was in distress and making an emergency landing, and there are probably international treaties granting certain permissions to planes/ships in distress that they wouldn't otherwise have.

[ Parent ]

Huh? (4.42 / 7) (#27)
by kostya on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:44:50 PM EST

Let me get this straight: as a US citizen, you would expect the US government to return a Chinese spy plane to the Chinese government?

That's a nice thing to say, as a US citizen, when you want the spy plane back (i.e. the real one). But if the situation were really reveresed, the US would flat out refuse to return the plane.

Think about it. A plane made specifically for spying enters our airspace (or hovers very near by) and is forced to land in our airspace. This plane represents a threat to our sovereignty--it is spying on us, keeping tabs on us, perhaps skirting our airspace and violating it without permission. Why the heck would we give that plane back without at least inspecting it first? The American people would demand it! Congress would demand it!

Whatever reasons given, the US would not give back a spy plane. And the average American would tell the Chinese to go screw themselves because they should have been more careful with their spy plane.

I say this as a US citizen.

So for the Chinese to say it to me makes me just shake my head and say, "crap." The Air Force will just need to be more careful. That's the downside of spying--when you get caught, you are pretty much screwed.

I suspect that after thorough investigation and interrogation, the crewman will be returned. The plane, will not be. If it is, it will be stripped of anything of security value which will be put in a replica that will stay in China to help them figure out every last bit of that plane.

We, as Americans, would do no less. Perhaps we would be all clever or something (like we did with the real Russian sub that Tom Clancy stole that story from), but we would not just hand over possibly the greatest piece of intel to fall into our laps. And neither will the Chinese.

Different views or not, they aren't stupid and they have a right to their sovereignty. As an American, I want our servicemen returned home. But I also realize this will be touchy and difficult. That's why we have diplomats.

It's a shame we can't pull down the "Civilizations" diplomacy menu at this time and give the Chinese a gift of gold ;-)



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
A story I dimly remember (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:54:09 PM EST

I remember a story about a MiG 25 that the US captured. They took the thing apart and studied it completely. When the USSR realized we had it, they asked for it back, and we complied. By then having the actual plane was pretty much useless because we knew how everything worked.

[ Parent ]
Reality vs Philosophy (3.33 / 3) (#36)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:55:40 PM EST

Why the heck would we give that plane back without at least inspecting it first?

We wouldn't, and we haven't. It's happened before and will probably happen again. And you're right, we probably won't get the plane back.

Does that make it right? No. The whole situation is dicey at best; the US plane was flying in waters near Taiwan, a country that is recognized by the United Nations as well as the US. China does not recognize Taiwan independence even after sixty-seventy years, and therefore claims the US plane was violating their airspace.

It is, in fact, a debate best left to the diplomats. But if the roles were reversed, I personally would expect the US government to behave honorably and return the plane. That doesn't mean my desires and philosophy would be respected; nobody has seen fit to nominate or elect me into office. It's just my idea of fair play.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Taiwan (4.00 / 1) (#101)
by a clockwork llama on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 02:27:35 AM EST

> Taiwan, a country that is recognized by the
> United Nations as well as the US

Taiwan is not officially recognized by either the UN or the US. It is only a nation unofficially - or, if you prefer, in political reality. In fact, the vast majority of countries do not recognize Taiwan as an independent, sovereign nation, though they're happy enough to do business with it.

[ Parent ]
Geography (3.00 / 1) (#113)
by Vulch on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 09:10:25 AM EST

If this aircraft was flying near Taiwan, why on earth did it fly nearly 1000km before landing in Hainan? The Philippines are much closer and wouldn't have involved anything like the same fuss. It might have flown out of Taiwan, but it was a long, long way outside that airspace. Anthony

[ Parent ]
A gift of gold (3.50 / 2) (#79)
by roystgnr on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 10:03:10 PM EST

It's a shame we can't pull down the "Civilizations" diplomacy menu at this time and give the Chinese a gift of gold ;-)

I think we call it "Most Favored Nation" trading status.

[ Parent ]

Umm, yes. (4.00 / 1) (#104)
by tom0 on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 03:21:12 AM EST

If the plane was flying in international airspace until one of our fighters collided (accident or not, notwithstanding) with it, forcing it to make an emergency landing? You bet your ass!

Just think about how open US airspace is, for a minute. As a private citizen, you can go buy a Piper, get your licence, file your flight plan, and go just about anywhere you please (just avoid Skunkworks and LGA, thanks). Guess what, flying your plane in from overseas? All we ask is you swing by customs! Why do you think so many drug-runners drop the goods from planes?

Sure, pretty much any country will send some planes up to "say hello" to a foriegn recon plane. This is SOP. But there are rules to the game, and I think China's the one flouting them here. If this were any other country and the US held their crew incommunicado, they'd be called "hostages."

[ Parent ]

Intentional technology transfer (2.60 / 5) (#33)
by Jonathan Walther on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:54:38 PM EST

Watching how this whole thing is going down, I can only say either this is a deliberate technology transfer of current "good" technology, or a deliberate transfer of bogus old technology. Observing such a spy plane could reveal a LOT about the capabilities of the American military. For instance, what type of manufacturing processes were used? Were the planes custom built? What kinds of parts were in it? How easy are they to mass produce? Clone? Emulate? Given the actions Americas masters have been making America take for the last couple decades, I have to say it was probably good, and not false, technology that was in that plane.

One has to wonder, where is the self-destruct function of that airplane? Why wasn't it invoked? Why didn't the crew crash-land in the ocean and call for the assistance of nearby Navy vessels?

Military technology is the last thing a country like China should be given. Now my children are that much less safe. Thanks a lot Uncle Sam.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


NPR blurb-- sensitive equipment destoryed (4.75 / 4) (#37)
by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:06:26 PM EST

About an hour ago I heard a report on NPR saying that the crew of the plane managed to destroy most of the sensitive equipment before it landed.

[ Parent ]
Defense Spending (4.33 / 3) (#43)
by Trurl on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:23:10 PM EST

Out of curiosity I've been poking around looking for some numbers. The Chinese defense budget for 2001 is about $18 billion. The United States defense budget for 2001 is in the realm of $310 billion. Kindof an interesting perspective, IMO.

Yeah but look at what they can buy for it. (4.33 / 3) (#45)
by MrAcheson on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:39:29 PM EST

I'm willing to bet Chinas $18 billion can go pretty damn far. Sure they may not be able to field as many tanks or attack choppers or whatever, but they can train and equip huge numbers of infantry for that. After all, what does an AKM cost to manufacture these days? What is the average salary in China in US dollars? I mean the US can barely afford to pay its troops at the moment with the current defense budget.


These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
Infantry (none / 0) (#60)
by ZanThrax on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 07:51:18 PM EST

aren't much of a threat to the US unless the US invades mainland China, and they wouldn't do that until they'd bombed the fuck out of as many military instalations as they could find. Even if a signifigant portion of the (admitedly huge) Chinese infantry forces were still in fighting condition when the Americans did invade, they'd be fighting tanks and troops with better weapons, training, and serious air support.

I'm no supporter of the US military, but the only real threat that China poses to the US (militarily speaking) is nuclear weapons.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

China vs. US (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by MrAcheson on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 10:31:30 PM EST

So it would be like Russia fighting the Germans in WWII... Hmmm, wait a second, didn't the Russians win that one? My point is that China would be willing to take over 10X the losses of the Americans in order to win. The US probably wouldn't be able to kill them fast enough. Plus China would be using their inexpensive manpower to fight the US's very expensive equipment.


These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
I'd say that the difference (none / 0) (#95)
by ZanThrax on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:28:27 AM EST

is considerably larger than Russia vs. Germany was. I'll grant you that the overwhelming numbers that the Chinese would field would devastate the US ground forces, but there's only so much foot soldiers can do to main battle tanks and heavy gunships. The weather would be a much less signifigant factor than it was in Russia, plus supply lines are much simpler to maintain today, especially given a localized war, rather than the continental one, with battles on multiple fronts that the Germans had to contend with.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

$310 billion, we blew it all for you! (3.25 / 4) (#48)
by cable on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:13:57 PM EST

Ah but the Chinese can never pass us up in the art of overspending and overtaxing and wasting money on programs run by federal employees that hardly give a darn except for when their retirement and pension plans kick in. OK so maybe not all federal employees are like that, just some of the ones I knew were like that.

Say, whatever happened to that SDI program we had? Did RR & Co really blow it all on "Missile Command" video games?

We spend $310B on our military, yet we can't stop planes from hitting each other with a government that spends $18B? We keep downsizing our military bases so where is the money supposed to be going? Can someone please tell me that? The answer to the $1M "Who wants to be a Millionare" question? All your lifelines are gone, and you have the following answers:

A. Congress Payraises
B. Federal Contractors
C. Kickbacks to Federal Employees
D. Nobody alive or sane really knows!


------------------
Only you, can help prevent Neb Rage!
[ Parent ]

I am sure that corruption (3.50 / 2) (#105)
by nobbystyles on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 05:29:24 AM EST

Is a lot worse in Chinese Military. The People's Liberation Army is now a semi commercial organisation who uses its conscripts as cheap labour. It owns factories, mines and trading companies.

Plus I am sure the oversght on the Chinese military is a lot less than in the US so abuses are not uncovered.

[ Parent ]
The New Cold War (2.85 / 7) (#44)
by metrazolprophet on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:29:01 PM EST

   The illegitimate president, George W. Bush is hoping to refreeze the Cold War which his father thawed. Dubya wants to reclassify China from a "Strategic Partner" to the slightly more ominous "Strategic Competitor." I leave what that means to you.
   I sympathize with China on this issue simply because they now have to deal with the worst leader America has had (not counting RRR) this century. The Chinese will probably return the plane and undoubtedly the crewmen, but not before going over both items thoroughly. Of course, this brings up the Gary Powers incident. That one event set back US/Soviet relations a decade, not to mention producing Kruschev's great address regarding our treachery on the eve or disarmament talks. (Yes, that's the one with the shoe.)
   In closing, this is a big deal. Really big. This is a Cold War treaty breaking type of event. Let's hope our false leader doesn't do something stupid...

Points (none / 0) (#50)
by Speare on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:18:29 PM EST

Two points:

One, some history about George Herbert Walker Bush.

Bush the First was Envoy to China, doing what he could to avoid UN recognition of an official Peoples Republic of China, counter to Kissinger's willingness to deal with then-600,000 people as one unified-under-Communism sovereign country.

Bush Number One was the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. He asked Nixon to resign that fateful August, to spare the party a shred of dignity.

Bush Sr. then moved to Direct the CIA, mopping up the Watergate damage with trinkets, junkets, and some good old-fashioned spy-bustin'.

This should give you a clue as to where Bush #2 may be getting his opinions: the family looks out for Republicans First, and thinks China's leadership must be cracked.

As for my second point, a very minor one. If by "RRR" you were intending GHWB's boss in the 80s, that's RWR, Ronald Wilson Reagan. If you need something to help you remember this, his name is an anagram for "No, darlings. No ERA Law."
 


[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
[ Parent ]
(clarification) (none / 0) (#51)
by Speare on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 06:23:03 PM EST

I hope nobody took my history-research items as an endorsement of the Bush Legacy, by any means. Metaphorically, I'd say that it's a happy image to imagine Trent Lott and GWB fighting Thunderdome-Style against a few of their berazored and feathered friends down south.
[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
[ Parent ]

what i find interesting... (3.33 / 3) (#46)
by rebelcool on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 05:43:19 PM EST

is that the spy plane was unescorted. While I realize that that could be seen as overly aggressive by the chinese, it's merely safe tactics to send a fighter along with such a vulnerable, important aircraft. Particularly if in recent weeks the chinese have stepped up their "aggressive pursuit" like some general said, wouldn't it be prudent to send a fighter to warn off some foolish chinese pilot from doing this very thing? Interesting indeed.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Possibly... (none / 0) (#103)
by tom0 on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 02:59:54 AM EST

I'd say there are several things to consider, here. Realistically, a few miles off of Chinese shores, there's little chance the US has enough fighters in the area to defend such a plane if the Chinese decided they wanted to down it (it is a turboprop- pretty much a sitting duck for most airforces nowadays). In terms of assessing risk, I'm sure the US did not expect this plane to be shot down over international waters (I've not seen any reports saying it was in Chinese territory), so why send fighters up? That could easily be seen as provocative, after all. I bet Uncle Sam would be upset about Chinese fighters flying that close to his soil, and I don't see why the Chinese should feel any different.

It seems rediculous of either side to claim the other intentionally rammed them. My guess is there were a few too many daring pilots up there... but what do I know?

[ Parent ]

Unescorted recon a tradition (none / 0) (#121)
by gully42 on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 01:03:00 PM EST

Unescorted recon aircraft have been a long standing tradition between US and Soviet military forces. Their was a standing tradition of snooping aircraft near borders not carrying anything larger than a rifle, as a show of non-hostility. The US E-3, U-2s, and SR-71s don't carry weapons to show this point. And Soviet Bear and Bison recon type aircraft would not carry weapons as they shadowed US Naval forces and hung around NATO excercieses. It was always good faith that you were allowed to go out and tail a snooper, but not harm it. The problem is that China is not Russia. Both sides don't have any real rules like this, and we are confronted with the two faces of china, a strong economic partner and a strong military rival. -Nick

[ Parent ]
A slightly different take.. (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by cvou on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 07:30:30 AM EST

I was wondering about this article:

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/4/1/234033.shtml

They also have an interesting related link about a high level Beijing defector.

This whole turn of events is kinda funny since, being an Aussie, I was watching Backburner last night, and they had a skit poking fun at the US for finding their "new enemy". In the eighties, it claimed, most villains in movies were russian or east german.. last few years have seen a resurgence of of obscure middle east bad guys.. I guess now hollywood is going to script up a bunch of asian villains :)


Military's Mission (4.00 / 1) (#110)
by n8f8 on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 08:35:41 AM EST

Contrary to popular misconception, the primary role of the US Navy during peacetime is "keeping the sea lanes open". What this means is defending the world's sealanes from becoming hostage to the aggressive actions of any hostile groups or nations. The area around Hong-Kong is the busiest seaport in the world and the Unitied States and our allies have extensive economic interrests in keeping this area stable.

Though it is difficult for people born in the last 50 years to understand, there once was a time when the worlds trading was held hostage to piracy. Piracy still happens today, but thanks to support of the US Navy and our allies, the sealanes of the world are much safer.

Unfortunatly, countries like China are too unstable to deal with politically. For the past 15 years we have tried engagement. By exchanging technology and economic commerce it was hoped that a lasting bond would form. To the consternation of many though a strange thing has happened. China simply developed a "second head". This second head, that supports free-trade and peaceful cooperation co-exists with the other nationalistic, isolationist head. Typically this other head is the remmnant of the old power-elite who still rule China at the national level with a iron fist.

As the tide turns and these two heads battle each other I think it is almost inevitiable that many countries will be forced to adopt an isolationist approach toward China. As a often hostile,expansionist, unpredictable, increasingly more powerful nation there seems little choice. It's really a shame. As the box office hit "Crouching Tiger" has shown, Americans respect and are fascinated by Chinese culture and people. 99.9% of all Americans could care less for government or political confrontation. But in this deal at least, China holds all the all the cards. If the kid on the playground would rather stand in a corner and sneer, all you can do is ask him to play.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

Food for thought. (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by yertledaturtle on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 02:29:49 AM EST

Here is some food for thought and I know it may be off topic but it has been bothering me. I have heard these planes being referred to as "electronic vacuum cleaners".

My question is whether or not US citizens and citizens of other countries can trust the US Government with an electronic vacuum cleaner? I am personally having difficulty with the concept. These planes may just be used for spying on the Chinese but they can also be used to spy on everyone else. It is my belief that the very existence of this plane violates the constitution of the United States. In that the constitution is pretty clear about our rights to privacy.

When this incident first occured I came across an AP article that offered some desription of the plane. Here is some text from the story that shows how effective this plane is in gathering information:

"Nick Cook, an aviation expert with Jane's Defense Weekly in London, said the U.S. military routinely sends surveillance aircraft such as the EP-3 to monitor China's military. The EP-3 can pick up radio, radar, telephone, e-mail and fax traffic, Cook said. He said the plane is the size of a 150-seat commercial airliner, with most of its space taken up by monitoring equipment."

This thing picks up everything - e-mail, faxes, phone calls, etc. I can't believe that we as citizens of the U.S. can accept a piece of equipment like this that could be used violate our own privacy. Anyway, I might just be paranoid but there have been documented incidents in the past in which the U.S. government has used it's surveillance capabilities against it's own citizens in an unsavory manner.



Parainoid (2.33 / 3) (#127)
by dangerousdan on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 03:22:16 AM EST

I have a bit of knowledge on these aircraft and their capabilities from my professional life. Walk with me through a few questions:

1. If the aircraft is a "vacuum cleaner", it would be able to suck up all/most/some of the EM spectrum. The nature of these transmitions is that they need to be collected to determined if they are "of interest". This takes time and resources. A plane can only carry so much gear and has a finite dwell time. How is it determined what to collect?

2. The US has a finite number of these planes. The EM spectrum currently used to broadcast items that may be "of interest", while technically finite and growing, is practically infinite (with 50 x the number of planes you will not have significantly increased you percentage take of the total available). How is it determined where this finite resource is targeted in an infinite environment?

The answer to these questions may tell you how paraniod you are.

Without attempting to mention the legal framework that these aircraft operate in (IANAL and IMNAS [I am not a Septic]) - I know that the paranoid do not accept that the Government is limited by Laws - why the fuck do you think anyone, let alone Big Brother, gives a fedid piece of goat shit about your personnal communications. As good as computers may or may not be at assessing/sifting/analysing communications, at the end of the day a person must read/listen/watch/smell your communications to decide that it is important or not. How many people do you think are hypothetically employed by any government to do this.

There is good reason to be wary of governments and the powers they have over their citizens. There is good reason for people to be concerned about the missuse of military equipment. But for any nation not to maximise the information they have on hostile/potentially hostile entities is gross negligence to its citizens.

Why do the paraniod always look at something and say "that can be used against me - theoretically,therefore it will be." Get over it. You are not that interesting. Run a major world power and you may be.

The limitations on this technlogy is apparent from things like Colombine. The media made a big thing about the web site maintained by the shooters detailing their plans. If BB is using its infinite powers inwards against its citizens, why were these idiots not stopped? Repeat example ad. infinitum.

Ahhh.. that feels better now. I may just lie down.

Give a man a match and he is warm for a day. Set him alight and he is warm for the rest of his life.
[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 0) (#129)
by yertledaturtle on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 02:43:16 PM EST

Thanks for your response. I admitted that may hypothesis may be wrong and I am not so much concerned with my own pricvacy as that of people who dissent politically in this nation. It is a well known and documented fact that our governemtn has spied on people it disagrees in principle.
I also wish that could of expressed yourself without the cursing. If you said what you said in the tone that you took to my face it would not be considered very civil. Anyway thanks for responding and you have given some decent perspective, however you may want to question some of the absolute certainty that you have concerning our Government and the possibility that it spies on it's citizens.


[ Parent ]
Thanks yertledaturtle (none / 0) (#131)
by dangerousdan on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 05:30:30 AM EST

yertledaturtle, Thanks for the feedback. The tone that I was trying to get, and obviously have failed to achieve was <rant>. It was tounge in cheek. That said the info is accurate.

Looking at some of the things that I have been privy to over the last few years - I have a healthy dose of sceptisism about "government". But I would ask everyone to remember that "government" is not an entity - it is composed of people and those people are likely to be pretty much the same as you and I. I have no absolute certainty that I am not being spied on by anyone but Occams razor and a little faith in people make me comfortable with a "government" having the capability to do so (and the laws prohibiting it).

Dan

Give a man a match and he is warm for a day. Set him alight and he is warm for the rest of his life.
[ Parent ]

Was the plane some kind of bait? (none / 0) (#130)
by TuxNugget on Sun Apr 08, 2001 at 02:14:37 PM EST

or maybe an ok way to give the chinese secret listening devices?

Here's the things that bug me about this:

  1. why send up an old WW2 prop plane, converted to recon duty - when it would probably be just as easy to pull an SR-71 out of mothball or use spy satellites?
  2. why not ditch the plane in the ocean, if it is so secret? Why land it in China? Ditching the plane is less safe, but these are trained military people who know what is at stake. Had the chinese pulled them out of international waters for interrogation, things would have looked very different.

I suppose this is all rampant speculation, as we'll never know what the orders were on either side.

Rattling Sabers | 130 comments (130 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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