[USA Today] There are many lessons to be learned from the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. But one is already clear: China needs to be isolated from the civilized world until its behavior improves. We are in the current situation, with deaths and economic devastation worldwide, because China handled this outbreak with its trademark mixture of dishonesty, incompetence and thuggery. Were China a more civilized nation, this outbreak would have been stopped early, and with far less harm, inside and outside of China.
As Marion Smith wrote in these pages on Sunday, China’s first response was to clamp down on reports of the then-new disease that had appeared in Wuhan. The brave doctor, Li Wenliang, who first reported the disease to fellow physicians was silenced by police. Chinese media reports of the disease were censored by the government. So were ordinary citizens reporting on social media.
According to U.S. intelligence agencies, China systematically deceived the world about the extent of the outbreak, lulling other nations into a false sense of security that delayed a response by weeks or even months.
As Smith writes: "Beijing denied until Jan. 20 that human to human transmission was occurring. Yet at the same time, Chinese officials and state-owned companies were urgently acquiring bulk medical supplies ‐ especially personal protective equipment like masks and gloves ‐ from Australia, Europe, and around the world. Put simply, Beijing hoarded the world’s life-saving resources while falsely claiming that people’s lives weren’t at risk."
Marion Smith:Blame the Chinese Communist Party for the coronavirus crisis
And this is the most charitable account, based on China failing to deal with what was, at root, a naturally occurring disease outbreak. And it may have been naturally occurring. But people are increasingly entertaining the possibility that the COVID-19 virus was accidentally released by a Chinese virology lab in Wuhan.
That notion was once dismissed as a conspiracy theory, but it has since been discussed in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and by uber-establishment Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. The talk is of an accidental release, not the deliberate deployment of a biological weapon ‐ which makes sense, since few nations would release a bioweapon in their own heartland ‐ but if it’s true it only makes the Chinese government look worse, though it perhaps explains their unwillingness to be forthcoming.
Consider the accidental release due to sloppy handling of a bio weapon under development that was exploring if you could tailor the enhanced lethality to a particular subgroup of human targets? Just wondering how much others might give creditors that hypothesis.
[Breitbart] Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) joined Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow to discuss his proposed legislation to allow the Department of Justice to investigate China for potential release of a biological weapon reaching American soil.
Entitled the "Stop COVID Act to Hold China Accountable for Coronavirus Pandemic," Gooden’s proposed bill would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act to allow the Justice Department to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation would also grant jurisdiction to U.S. courts over the matter, allowing the Justice Department to file claims against the Chinese Communist Party in America.
Gooden explained, "The bill that I filed on Friday amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, which was passed in the 1970s that said you can’t sue a foreign government [and] can’t investigate a foreign government in American courts. This says with exception to bioweapons potentially being released that we can actually investigate ‐ the DOJ can investigate the origins of this virus ‐ and if it’s China that’s responsible for getting it here, then we’ll deal with that."
Gooden continued, "If it’s an accident and China is not at fault, maybe this really just was some freak nature event ‐ unlikely, but maybe it was ‐ then China still lied to us since day one about the deaths. We were underprepared, because China didn’t communicate how serious this was, and even last week they admitted that the death counts were off."
DoJ investigaor John H. Durham should be wrapping up the FISA - Crossfire Hurricane investigation any day now. He'll be looking for something else to do. A COVID-19 origins 'deep dive' should take him through to retirement.
Could have been a simple bombing exercise navigational error. It's been a few years, nearly 70 or so, but perhaps a Foreign Sovereign Immunity investigation is needed. After all, It could have all been our fault.
It’s what we think about here at Rantburg, after all.
[American Thinker] Assuming that the explanations coming from the Chinese government have no credibility, the true origins of COVID-19 are not yet known. This has encouraged a great deal of online idle speculation, including conspiracy theories ranging in terms of Chinese deception from low to high:
(1) tainted "wet market" bat meat;
(2) tainted "wet market" bat meat originating from the Wuhan Institute of Virology;
(3) a laboratory accident,
(4) an intentionally concealed laboratory accident;
(5) a bioterror attack by a rogue individual; and
(6) intentional bioterror attack by a belligerent regime.
Not knowing whether this event is a zero-level national security threat versus a high-level national security threat is a direct function of our not having sufficient information, the blame for which can be firmly placed on the Chinese government and its failure to provide critical information at critically important times.
True, but at a deeper level we have all sorts of spies and analysts to figure out all the things the other side says that aren’t fully true or are completely false.
This lack of credibility is alarming because there is a direct inverse relationship between Chinese credibility and the conspiracy theory continuum, such that the lower the credibility of the Chinese government, the greater the likelihood that the true origin of the virus is higher on the continuum.
As tempting as it might be to join the chorus of idle speculation and conspiracies (what is the internet for, after all?), there are some things that are known about COVID-19 and potential bioterror attacks, and so far there has not been much discussion of these things, most of which have very serious national security implications. Here are two points worth considering.
even if this pandemic was not intentional, it could have been. In other words, China and a lot of other bad actors have the capability of unleashing a pandemic of this nature upon the earth, and it is a threat the USA is clearly unprepared for.
Less unprepared than we were before, whereas China stands awfully revealed... and no one will unsee any of fhat.
This is an existential threat that cannot be dealt with by increasing the number of aircraft carriers or fighter jets. As the daily pressers reveal the horrific numbers of new cases and deaths, it is very clear how unprepared government at all levels was to deal with this particular threat.
Not just the government, but pretty much the entire world.
This raises very serious questions about the national defense system up and down the line, beginning with intelligence agencies’ inability to properly assess the level of threat, to its preparedness in dealing with the threat once it became apparent it was coming to our shores.
even if the unleashing of COVID-19 was not intentional, the Chinese and other potential enemies have now seen how the U.S. government would react to a bioterror attack, and they have learned that the decision-makers will default on the side of short-term humanitarian concerns, sacrificing long-term damage to our economy and the freedoms that are the bedrock of our civilization. This means that the response will catalyze any future attack because the decision apparatus will destroy itself and wipe out the sources of its advantage as the world’s only superpower. Enemy knowledge of this response increases the likelihood that there will be an intentional bioterror attack in the future.
If the number of dead Americans from coronavirus turns out to be 200K, a number that many are skeptical of, then the percentage of Americans dead from the pandemic will be .057 percent of the total population. Will someone in the mainstream media at least consider whether closing the economy down and compromising our way of life is worth the price of .057 percent of the population?
If someone says, "if it saves one life to lose the economy, it's worth it," that person needs to be flogged. As callous as it sounds, the calculation needs to be made, not in terms of dollars, but in terms of lives. How many lives is the government willing to trade for having a professional sports industry, a restaurant industry, an airline industry, or a manufacturer of air defense weapons? The answer to that question is not zero. It never has been.
A leader who is willing to make this calculation is not a profile in callousness, as the media would suggest, but a profile in courage.
This is not to say that the U.S. government and state governments should not have taken prudent measures. But it is very clear the cost/benefit to all of this was not adequately anticipated. Government at all levels may well be cutting off the right arm when it could have gotten by with losing a few fingers.
Remember that "flattening the curve" does not mean fewer people get the virus. It means the period over which people get the virus will be stretched out to a longer period of time. Paradoxically, the flatter the curve the more damage is intentionally inflicted to the economy.
If the United States of America looks like Venezuela a year or two from now, people are not going to feel better knowing a few thousand people had access to ventilators. The cost to the USA becoming Venezuela -- including in terms of the loss of human life -- will far surpass the loss of lives from lack of ventilators.
It is apparent President Trump sees this clearly, but the political pressure is just too great. He cannot buck the medical experts because every subsequent death will be blamed on him. From a political standpoint, he is doing what he has to for political survival.
I think original intent is irelevent at this point. Things are as they are and this is where we are on the map. The only important aspect is how the Chicoms play this going forward. For all intents and purposes I think that will be as a still cold enemy in the aftermath of a partially successful bio-terror attack looking for signs of weakness.
This posting is why I come to the Burg religiously. Reasoned, aware adult thought about the way the real world of nation states behave and think. I think it was the careless release of a bio weapon under development that has been covered up and now is being treated like any large scale BDA. What it has shown about our ability to over-react and how that will be a factor in future war plans by the threat actors in the future is frightening. I think Cesare is spot on above.
I'll take (2) to (4), with a "maybe" for (1).
Once the epidemic became a Global Pandemic then the hardliners in the ChiCom government cackled with glee and started making it a "(6)" because the Imperial Dragon Must Rule™ ... and the lives of Foreign Barbarians are less than nothing to the Sons of the Han.
This episode represents an opportunistic, real-time simulation of a bioweapons attack and US response.
The ChiComs now have an extraordinarily rich set of data regarding how every US institution, political figure, and social segment will behave in the event of a bio-attack by China. Now they understand that:
1) a large number of leading Democratic US political figures and media outlets will act as apologists for China and rush to blame their American rivals -- Trump today and Cruz or Haley or whoever tomorrow;
2) American federalism and openness can be exploited easily to whip up fear, uncertainty and panic
3) there is a deep cleft that may be exploited between the US public health apparat and US corporate and financial leaders
4) US naval officers and brass are vulnerable to panic, rash actions, open backbiting and dissension
5) finally, ordinary Americans themselves, as opposed to the above leaders, are a people of tenacity, courage and good sense. They represent the greatest threat to any Chinese strategy and must be neutralized through propaganda and cultivation of elite stooges. Rev up Operation Rosemont Capital.
Re "I'm confused" response to this: "This lack of credibility is alarming because there is a direct inverse relationship between Chinese credibility and the conspiracy theory continuum, such that the lower the credibility of the Chinese government, the greater the likelihood that the true origin of the virus is higher on the continuum."
I think the author is pointing out the ironic relationship between Chinese lies and Chinese wickedness. IOW, the more deceptively the. Binese behave, the more likely it is that the origins of the virus were not deliberate.
Seems very astute: the Chinese would rather be called malevolent than stupid and incompetent. The former only enhances the Party's mystique; the latter rips it away.
One must always at least consider the worst case scenario. When the question is asked: Are the commie bastards capable of such a thing? I think the answer is yes.
If so, it would be no surprise that they did it in a typical Chinese chickenshit manner to claim plausible deniability. It was not an upfront, in your face assault that would mean all out war but an underhanded, weaselly move. Then they try to blame us.
But it doesn't matter which option you choose. We already have enough evidence against them on other fronts: the cyber attacks, the theft of intellectual property, the confrontational behavior in the South China Sea, the support for nuclear armed puppets like North Korea and Pakistan, their refusal to accept products from other countries while dumping their crap that is produced with slave labor, their violations of human rights and their disregard for the environment.
We need to start treating China like the enemy it is, like we treated the old Soviet Union.
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
04/08/2020 14:01 Comments ||
Oh. I forgot to mention fentanyl. Xi Jinping can go to hell.
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
04/08/2020 14:02 Comments ||
The Soviets were more civilized. Our relationship had clear and well-observed guiderails. We and they fought proxy wars. They never launched a probing attack on the US homeland. And we never even dreamed of outsourcing our manufacturing supply chain to the USSR.
Bizarre as it may sound, thanks to our elites' stupidity the Chinese are significantly more dangerous to us than the USSR was.
Whether countries learn from it or not. It has changed our world forever. Those that will factor in the lessons learned will emerge stabler economies and societies for sure.
The Left has been dealt an unseen blow too. The power of ill-educated mobs mistaking thuggery for democracy has been de-legitimized and exposed for the danger it can pose. I'll bet a number of 'liberals' and borderline globalists are re-evaluating their philosophies.
China will shamelessly try to press on, buoyed by some Asian and African countries, and profit-hungry people in the west, only for some time. And there will come curbs on the Democrat supporting business owners. China's credibility and worthiness will be eroded over time. Commercial entities may shift gradually, but they will shift to intermediate and finished goods manufacturers elsewhere. I suspect new standards of production and some fear of toxicity will eventually factor in automatically from the end-user bases.
But the strongest blow has been dealt to forces seeking to dissolve borders, marry diversity to justice and culture to value. The power of tropes and mass psychological effects today cannot be overstated. This whole exotic foods and commie 'Wuhan gone Raccoon City' thing; the initial unwillingness and ineptitude of liberal administrations in controlling the Chinese Plague, everything will color the choices of even the most conformist of peoples. The implicit image of modernized, yet somehow savage Asian communities callously playing scientist and bringing to the shores of their consumers death swilled in their shanties, will not be dissolved with all the Liberal PR and shiny plastic in the world.
While tightening the fence wires, locking down the barn doors, restructuring our protocols - we must take advantage of the mass mortal implications of the situation and effect an 'attitude reformation' toward the security profile of our nations.
Well said. A few lessons:
...Nations > "the international community"
...Security > wealth from trade
...Families and neighbors > distant strangers
...Basic science > venture capital investments
...Decency and courage > PC virtue-signaling
[BBC] Arous was an idyllic holiday resort in the Sudanese desert, on the shores of the Red Sea. But this glamorous destination was also a base for Israeli agents with a secret mission. The events inspired a newly released Netflix film, Red Sea Diving Resort - and the real story is in many ways more remarkable.
"Arous on the Red Sea, a wonderful world apart," the glossy brochure says, pronouncing it "the diving and desert recreation centre of Sudan".
Illustrated with pictures of putty-coloured chalets on a sun-drenched beach, a smiling couple in scuba gear, and varieties of exotic fish, the advertisement boasts of "some of the best, clearest water in the world". As night falls - "after the landscape colours have paled" - there are, it says, "breathtaking views of the heavens, aflame with millions of stars".
Arous Village, on the fringe of spectacular coral reefs and the odd shipwreck, appears to be a diving enthusiast's dream.
The pamphlets were printed in their thousands and distributed in specialist travel agents across Europe. Reservations were booked through offices in Geneva and Khartoum. And over time hundreds of guests went on holiday there.
It was a long trek. But once at the desert oasis, they enjoyed first-rate facilities, water sports, deep-sea dives and an abundance of fresh food and wine. The visitors' book was a catalogue of glowing comments.
Many elements of the transport of the Falashas remained a secret for years. As reported in Operation Moses, (Stein & Day 1985) "Israael would have to be cautious in its attempts to extricate the Falashas" trapped in the Sudan. Thus, it was not known until the last decade the role the Arous diving center played in their escape to Israel.
You forgot to mention. The purpose wasn't to spy on people but to transport people
It’s the BBC — they don’t like Jews, and particularly Jews rescued by Israel. Though they are quite happy to wax sentimental about Anne Frank and similar literarily dead ones. We’ll see if the newly elected “Zionist “head of Labour, with his wife’s Jewish relations in Israel and his second-in-command who is active in the Palestinian rights movement, will make any difference.
[Babylon Bee] When Jeffrey Walton tested positive for COVID-19, he hoped for a speedy recovery. But since he has been treated with hydroxychloroquine, the experimental treatment President Donald Trump has been touting, he now hopes he dies quickly to help prove that Trump is an idiot.
While Trump has been giving people hope that hydroxychloroquine could save lives, his political opponents have called it false hope and claimed Trump has no idea what he's talking about. Walton, a lifelong Democrat and progressive, had joined in calling Trump "irresponsible" and an "ignoramus" and now has an opportunity to prove it by simply dying. "It's such an opportunity, I don't want to pass it up," Walton said.
Doctor Glenn Logan, Walton's physician, says he's been up and down. "After we gave him the hydroxychloroquine, he got really excited about the idea of dying to prove Trump is dumb, and his good mood helped his condition, and he started to improve. Because that would only help Trump, his getting healthier made him depressed, which caused his condition to deteriorate. Which made him really happy. Which helped him recover and... Well, it's been a weird cycle."
Dr. Logan has been warning Walton that there is a chance he could fully recover. Walton is trying to prepare himself for this -- a world where everything isn't black and white and Trump can be right about some things -- but he insists he'd much rather die
[THEBAGHDADPOST] In recent weeks, Iran-backed Shiite militias have become more empowered and emboldened in attacking US personnel in Iraq and advancing Tehran’s geopolitical, strategic and ideological interests.
According to American officials, almost every day there are reports of "imminent" attacks against its diplomatic and military bases or facilities in Iraq. US President Donald Trump ...The man who was so stupid he beat fourteen professional politicians, a former tech CEO, and a brain surgeon for the Republican nomination in 2016, then beat The Smartest Woman in the World in the general election... has become alarmed, as he last week tweeted: "Upon information and belief, Iran
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred ||
04/08/2020 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
If you roll back the years, Saddam was faced with the very same challenge. I was certainly no Saddam fan, but it would appear the conflict is a long-standing neighborhood dynamic. Hindsight being what it is.
The coronavirus, combined with the public and private reactions to it, has affected every aspect of Americans’ lives, including the ways they learn. From pre-K to graduate seminars, many classes are moving online for the duration of the pandemic and perhaps beyond. That may spur pedagogical reforms that will lead to the creation of more Emersonian independent thinkers, people who can quickly find, analyze, and synthesize available data to come to reasoned conclusions on important matters‐a resource that seemed in mighty short supply when the coronavirus hit the proverbial fan in mid-March.
Many colleges and universities will evidently have to tighten their belts for some time. Counterintuitively, it would be the lack of resources rather than a surfeit of them that could spur positive change among our very costly but not very effective schools.
...Tight budgets can be a good thing because they force leaders to make difficult decisions and to focus on what is most important. A big federal bailout would forestall such a reckoning by allowing universities to continue spending recklessly on projects not closely connected to pedagogy and student learning.
Most students lack your horsepower, G. They learn better through videos, and Strang's videos are amazingly clear, with no BS effort to either dumb down the material or lame efforts to make math jokey and "fun."
There's a formula in here somewhere about how to make complex subjects clear and understandable to an audience of tens or even hundreds of thousands. Simon Schama's Art History videos have cracked this code as well.
At some point I can see half or more of the colleges in this country either slimming down to a few profs plus some technical staff or else going out of business altogether, replaced by a few hundred successors of Strang and Schama.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.