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16 April 2020

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Fred

TTG,

"9 political rallies and 4 gold outings in January and February."

On March 8th, two days before the Michigan presidential primary Bernie and AOC held a rally at UM. The Corona virus didn't stop that and didn't get mentioned at any Democratic debate until March 15th. You are saying Trump should have banned the Bernie&AOC (and others) rally, he should have banned the Chinese New Year event Pelosi went to in Febraury and he should have banned all those social gatherings in NYC de Blasio was telling people to go to? Just what legal rationale was he going to use to do that with zero cases and zero deaths in the US? It is easy in hindsight, with information unknown at the time - like China lied to us, the WHO and yes Dr. St. Fauci, and say what should have been done. He would have been removed from office during the Senate impeachment vote and President Pence would be getting railroaded by the house while the country faced an even worse mess right now. The only thing that would be worse would be if Hilary were in office, then we'd be tied up in Syria, Ukraine and Libya right now on top of this.

Jack
ECONOMIST Danielle DiMartino Booth has claimed China committed an “act of war” by failing to report coronavirus while simultaneously adding a pandemic clause to their recent $200 billion U.S. trade deal.

The CEO says China announced the first coronavirus case “within days” of signing the Phase One agreement on January 15.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/worldnews/11414045/china-pandemic-out-clause-coronavirus/

As Col. Lang has noted more will come out in the coming days and months. It very likely will point to CCP culpability in the growth of Wuhan virus around the world.

Ingolf Eide

Eric,

The fatality risk may be acceptable from China's point of view, although I doubt anyone could have been certain about that in the early stages. The sort of risk I more had in mind is economic and reputational.

There's no doubt the US (and most of the rest of the world) have suffered severe economic damage and, arguably, further loss of civil liberties. Laying this at China's door is however another matter.

Yeah, Right

I'm curious that in all this commentary nobody has mentioned the statement by General Mark Milley to a question regarding the origin of this virus

Milley: "It should be no surprise to you that we’ve taken a keen interest in that, and we’ve had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that. At this point it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural, but we don’t know for certain."

I take that to mean that the USIC can find no conclusive evidence at all, and even using the yardstick of a "preponderance of evidence" no accusations can be levelled at the Chinese government.

Maybe he is wrong, of course. But he is paid to know these things, and he is experienced enough to choose his words carefully.

turcopolier

Yeah, right

No. It means the process is ongoing.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

"You are saying Trump should have banned the Bernie&AOC (and others) rally, he should have banned the Chinese New Year event Pelosi went to in February and he should have banned all those social gatherings in NYC de Blasio was telling people to go to?"

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Social distancing guidance and crowd size limitations should have been implemented long before that, by the middle of February when WHO made the same recommendations. I was getting emails from my alumni association about those measures being put in effect on RPI campuses by that time.

Instead Trump and DeBlasio were tooting the same horn. Don't worry. Be Happy. Keep rubbing up against each other. Neither of them pulled their heads out of their asses until a month later. A wasted month. If Trump acted quicker, we'd most likely be in the same shape as Taiwan, South Korea and even Hong Kong.

Eric Newhill

Ingolf Eide,
How does your reputation get damaged if you have worked for years to get most people to be sympathetic to your BS - and cause those who accuse you be considered evil or untrusted?

The only stores open where I live are those that sell cheap Chinese junk (e.g Walmart).

The Chinese are very clever, but even clever people can mis-estimate. Maybe Chicoms mis-estimated, maybe they didn't. How many American businesses are going to cut contracts with the Chinese? How many politicians are going to stop working with them on deals/kickbacks? How people are willing to entertain the "racist" thought that the Chinese did this on purpose, even for a minute?

PRC90

"I was destroyed in government for not 'Drinking the Koolaid'"
Colonel, I would suggest that the example you set was not ignored by your colleagues, and that the gag reflexes of a decent man prevented your self destruction.

Ingolf Eide

Eric,

Well, to the extent China has succeeded in establishing a more favourable reputation over the years, whether by BS or not, the potential cost of risking those gains is commensurately higher.

Of course clever people can make mistakes, they do it all the time. My doubts about the hypothesis that China deliberately created and/or released the virus have nothing to do with racist considerations but stem from my perception that ex ante it just wouldn't make sense. Any upside would be highly uncertain while a realistic appraisal would throw up a multitude of potential downsides.

TonyL

Phil Giraldi's take on this subject.

"In the U.S., Republican politicians and pundits, as well as the president, have exploited the uncertainty by persisting in calling the coronavirus the “Wuhan virus” or the “China virus.” There has also been considerable chatter about how Beijing is “to blame” for it, which, of course, intentionally shifts the narrative away from the actions or lack thereof by the American president."

"Additional theories being promoted by Rush Limbaugh and others promote the belief that the Chinese communists deliberately created and unleashed the virus to destroy western capitalism."

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/04/16/the-russians-get-blamed-again-but-who-is-really-subverting-american-democracy/

Fred

TTG,

Trump = De Blasio? That's a new one. Hindsight is great. What would the impeachment vote have been in the Senate had he done what you propose?

Eric Newhill

Ingolf Eide,
Did the Chinese initially aggressively suppress discussion and release of info about the virus? Did they permit international travel from Wuhan after they knew about the virus?

Yes they did.

How is that good for their image? Did they care?

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

Yes, they were the true odd couple for a while. If Trump implemented social distancing measures and forced manufacturers to make PPE and ventilators before the impeachment vote, the Republicans would have praised him for his bold and decisive leadership. The Democrats would have screamed unconstitutional and imperial overreach. The vote would have been the same.

Fred

TTG,

"the Republicans would have praised him for his bold and decisive leadership."

Thanks, I needed a good laugh today. I look forward to the "not fast enough" impeachment we'll be having once Nancy and company come back to D.C..

b

I operate on the basis of a preponderance of evidence.

You have no evidence for your claims, Pat. And you are now rejecting even well founded scientific arguments of 'plankowners' of this blog.

'Drinking the Cool Aid' was a masterpiece. Now you have fallen into the very trap that it described.

Did you not notice that all of the sane grown ups have left this place? Where are FB Ali, Habbakuck and others?

A sad ending of a platform that for nearly two decades was worth a daily visit.

May you die in peace.

turcopolier

b

"Die in peace?" What a sad thing to say or write. Let us see who responds to your ill will.

TonyL

Colonel Lang and b,

It is very sad to see two of the most respected ananlysts having this bitter exchange:

Colonel Lang: "I hope to piss on your grave"
b: "May you die in peace"

I hope you both would calm down. Flame war is juvenile and not worthy of your statures.

Fred

b.,

"rejecting even well founded scientific arguments of 'plankowners' of this blog."
The 'plank owner' is the host, not guest authors. Scientfic arguments are those publicly available - see the latest Robert Williams just posted commentary about.

It's a shame your correspondents over at your own website can't recognize that just because US employees at the WHO in Geneva (nice gig) were getting information from China meant that China was giving them accurate information. oh, wait, that you! I do commend you on quoting a Lebanese American 'journalist' no one had heard of until Ilhan Omar got elected. Apparently she hasn't caught on that it was her poliitcal party's people pushing the economy destroying response to this virus and almost nobody in the US outside of a tiny minority of college professors and students gives much thought to Palestinians. It's going to be even fewer for years to come thanks to her democratic friends.

Barbara Ann

b

Walrus was right, a Dr Schadenfreude you are. With a blog of your own you still felt the need to make a special visit here to deliver such an unwelcome and disrespectful sentiment. Pitiful.

MoA carries good analysis from time to time, but no amount of blog content can make up for deficiencies of character in the blogger. SST remains peerless on that account and will always attract those who recognize this.

turcopolier

TonyL

When I want your advice I will ask for it.

Ingolf Eide

Eric,

“Aggressively suppress”? That may be too strong but it certainly seems the local authorities engaged in a cover-up to begin with. Here’s how a CNN report on January 27 described it:

“As more and more becomes known about the initial spread of the virus and the dangers posed by it, suspicion has grown over how authorities in Wuhan handled the first weeks of the outbreak.

While there is always some uncertainty at first with regard to new pathogens, that officials in Wuhan held a major provincial Communist Party meeting, an attempt at a world record for the largest potluck lunch involving 40,000 families, and had police go after people spreading "rumors" about the virus online, does not cast them in the most positive light.”

It went on to say:

“There is also the almost staggering contrast in how the crisis has been handled since the central government got involved. Xi himself last week ordered "all-out efforts" to contain the virus' spread and treat those affected, about a month after the virus was first detected.

Beijing-based commentator Wang Xiangwei described that as a "watershed moment."

However, he added that the slow response from local officials was likely the result of "deeply entrenched issues," ones that may have actually been exacerbated by Xi's much vaunted anti-corruption campaign.”

I think this highlights something which the allegations being debated here on SST don’t take sufficient account of, namely governance snafus within China. The NYT on January 27 had a long piece devoted to exactly this problem.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/25/world/asia/coronavirus-crisis-china-response.html

Your working assumption seems to be that the CCP is both omniscient and omnipotent. To my mind that viewpoint doesn’t help in trying to figure out what really happened.

FB Ali

b,

Re your comment. With reference to my not commenting on SST recently, that is mainly age-related. I find it burdensome to draft a comment which I would like to post here.

However, I still visit SST almost every day (as I do your blog). This testifies to my continuing respect and admiration for Col Lang.

That said, on this particular issue I do not think that the coronavirus was deliberately engineered by the Chinese to be used as a weapon against the USA. I believe it escaped from the lab, and did its damage in Wuhan before it moved abroad. If the Chinese were lax in recognizing its potential for damage, this is probably restricted to the local authorities; I think the national government informed the WHO etc as soon as it became aware of the real danger.

I find it a matter of regret that various authorities in the West believe in a Chinese conspiracy to use this virus against the West. I see no evidence of that, nor do I believe that the Chinese national government wants to wage 'war' against the USA or the West. In fact, I think that China wishes to have cordial relations with the West, especially in order to enhance its exports to it.

walrus

Dr. Schadenfreude is getting his timelines, among other things, mixed. The Straits Times is reporting sequencing work in China began around 24 - 26 December and the commercial virologists believed that “it looked like SARS” other commercial labs were also testing and came to the conclusion it was a new coronavirus according to the article. The results were reported to the Government which issued a ban on further work on 1 Jan.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/how-early-signs-of-the-coronavirus-were-spotted-spread-and-throttled-in-china

On 1 Jan China informed the WHO and, according to the briefing I reported in my 6 March post, China may have claimed it knew nothing about the nature of the virus. The WHO then called in the International specialist labs, and an Australian one confirmed coronavirus around 4 Jan and the Dutch then confirmed it was new around 6 Jan. China then announced it to the world on 7 Jan.

The case can be made then that the emergence (if you call it that) was no surprise to the CCP. They knew it was a coronavirus and must have suspected SARS - like behaviour, including efficient human to human transmission, in late December but played dumb to the WHO while it spread internationally.

blue peacock

b

Your anti-Americanism knows no bounds. Why are you so obsessed with America? Don't you have anything to write about Germany or Europe?

You are the epitome of the armchair Marxist. Living a comfortable life in western Germany while extolling the virtues of the communist party in China and the Bolivarian Chavez. Why aren't you living in those proletarian utopias? Yeah, we know. Being a keyboard marxist is a lot easier.

Your dream of American demise will not happen in your lifetime. Your angst about America will remain as your communist utopias crumble.

At least here in America we can bitch and moan about our politics and the personalities that get to the top. In your communist utopia anyone attempting the same get the midnight knock quickly. The totalitarian communist party of China that you love so much will be destroyed in your lifetime. That house of cards will come crashing down, unfortunately with much bloodshed for many hard-working Chinese looking for a day without the jackboot of oppression.

walrus

Regarding “b” I am sorry to say I have noticed this same uncultured behavior - contrasting superior German efficiency in all things with “decadent” American or Australian practices during the last two or three years with a few German guests and acquaintances overseas.. They usually succumb to the temptationwhen drunk in bars in Croatia or Italy. I hope that is his excuse.

The last time this attitude was widespread in Germany things did not end well.

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