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US Infects Guatemalans With Syphilis During 1940s Experiments

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Old 09-15-2011, 10:35 PM   #61
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Re: US Infects Guatemalans With Syphilis During 1940s Experiments

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Originally Posted by RedskinRat View Post
Saden, what year did you graduate from Cal Berkeley?

Berkley? I am a Stanford man.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:56 PM   #62
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Re: US Infects Guatemalans With Syphilis During 1940s Experiments

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
JoeRedskins, you write a lot but I don't think you grasped anything that I wrote so let me break it down for you:
You write a lot too my friend and you digress even more. Before addressing your wonderful little list, here is what I have understood your points to be and the points I have been contesting:

(1) Americans always qualify their apologies – Gosh, we did wrong but others have been worse;

(2) Other countries have done a better job of self-improvement;

(3) China’s civil rights situation is comparable to the US;

(4) And, of course:
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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
America was born out of sin, into sin and and will die in sin. I am quite tired of people making indirect apologies for it and using deflection. America doesn't need defending nor does it deserve defending.
As to these:

(1) Maybe - I would disagree but you’re entitled to your opinion. Further, I see no proof of it in any of your arguments. I will say that, when people cite to our errors or use specific instances of wrong to assert that US government is comparable to the Nazis, I take offense and will always highlight the fundamental differences between the US and the seductive dehumanizing that fascism (and communism) promotes. If you consider this as qualifying an apology, I guess - I don’t see it that way.

(2) Again, as a matter of opinion, I disagree and see no persuasive proof in any of your supporting arguments. In the last 250 years, the US has transformed itself significantly. Further, unlike Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, the US’s transformation occurred from within rather than being imposed by a foreign power.

(3) See my response to your list. Your defense of China’s human rights situation as comparable to that of the US is either obtuse or ignorant.

(4) It was, it exists so, and will – but hopefully not for many hundreds of years. To prevent its death, it both needs and deserves defending. When people choose to highlight its wrongs and assert it is not worth defending, it is appropriate to highlight the US’s good works and ask that the “entire body of work” be fairly assessed - both good and ill. In the US’s case, in our short flawed existence, and in my opinion, that body of work shows a country that has done more to promote, provide and protect individual liberties and the rule of law than any other through history.

You appear to disagree. In my humble opinion, however, your arguments have been off point, unpersuasive and fail to refute this simple assertion.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:57 PM   #63
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Re: US Infects Guatemalans With Syphilis During 1940s Experiments

As to your list:

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
(1) Inaction in the face of punitive action is equally as bad as carrying out the punitive action itself. Negligence is not a form of defense.
Please point to me where you have argued and I have contested this general principle. As a broad principle, I simply do not contest this statement except to say that inaction may be equally as bad but is not necessarily so. [If your wife is attacked, I will not assert you have committed a wrong if you protect her rather than choose to defend your neighbor being mugged across the street at the same time].

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(2) I suppose the Prussians were brutes in their consolidation of power within their own region. I was talking about external desire for conquest but if we are going to talk about the internal rift and struggle to consolidate power and land, let's talk about it. How does the United States compare? Favorably I assume?
You “suppose the Prussians were brutes in their consolidation”?? What happened to “born in sin, die in sin”?

You’re the one who first cited cause & effect as a basis for laying blame on a country [i.e. I refer you back to your digression from the point that Germany has redeemed itself since WWII and your factually inaccurate assertion that the US, as a participant in the Versailles Treaty, was an equal contributor to the rise of Nazi Germany and that western imperialism was a cause of Imperial Japan’s expansion]. Given your reliance on that principal, let’s look at the subsequent “cause and effect” of Prussian militarism on the world and the subsequent cause and effect of the US’s consolidation of power on the North American continent. One was the direct cause of two world wars and the genocide of millions while the other resulted in the expropriation of land from and slaughter of aboriginal peoples. Neither was right but one created significantly more wrong than the other.

If your point in this digression is that “wrong is wrong – degree does not matter”, again, we will just have agree to disagree. Further, as I have consistently stated, I am not attempting to either defend or diminish the wrong done by the US either in the situation subject to this thread or its historical wrongs. Rather, when others assert our wrongs are as bad as the Nazis or the Stalinists or the Maoists or the Pol Pot’s, I have simply asserted that there are fundamental differences between those governments and our own.

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(3) If you want a report on the sate of the Unite State's Human Rights I would suggest your read the country's Amnesty International Human Rights Report.
Again, I have never asserted that no human rights violations have occurred by the US. Rather, I vehemently disagree with your assertion that, when it comes to human rights violations, the US and China are comparable:

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
China's human rights is just as laughable as that of the United States but you wouldn't know it talking to Americans.
From that same site, here is the report on the Chinese violations of civil rights (which I previously cited): China Human Rights | Amnesty International USA. I am not going to do a point by point comparison of the two here. If you compare the two lists, however, and attempt to tell me they are comparable in scope and nature, I would politely suggest you are just being obtuse.

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(4) I never said our ability to adapt is a knock, what I stated was "comparatively you can't tell me we have had a more significant change over time for the better." They might move slow but they do change for the better.
No. You originally said:
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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
Clearly the German people have redeemed themselves as much as anyone can. Russia is a far cry from Stalin's USSR. Ditto for Mao's China.
Since then you have moved timelines around to monarchical China and Prussia and the historical German peoples in order to validate your digression. I concede that the Russian, German and Chinese people have made significant strides since the proto-medieval kingdoms of Rus’/Kiev, the Holy Roman Empire and the Five Kingdoms. However, as to the last 250 years, can I assert that, comparatively, the US has “had a more significant change over time for the better”? I believe we have for all the reasons I have previously pointed out. Further, and as I have also previously pointed out, the transformation of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were a direct result of US intervention/opposition. As to China, see below.

Quote:
(5) China is still Mao's China? Wow, Mao is attributed with causing the deaths of 40 to 70 million people during his reign. I'm pretty sure that's not currently the case.

(6) I don't support the the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese under the guise of human rights abuses as much as I don't support the invasion of American forces of Iraq under the guise of liberation/freedom.

(7)China has universal suffrage which is a significant development for a country not founded on democratic ideals. You can short change them all you want but they have it and they have come quite a long way. Hopefully they will upgrade from a one party system to a two party system in the near future.
First, I have never, and do not now, assert that current the Chinese government is equivalent to the government as it existed in Maoist China. I simply disputed that (1) the transformation from Maoist China to today’s China is not so radical as you seem to believe it is [as supported by my citation to: China and Human Rights — Global Issues ]; and (2) that the status of individual human rights in China is not comparable to that in the US.

Again, my point has never been to defend specific actions by the US but, rather, to dispute or deny that, from a human rights perspective, the current government of the US is in any way comparable to that of China. As to Tibet v. Iraq you equate them as comparable – for arguments sake, I will not dispute this. In doing so, however, I assert it is tangential to the broader point I have asserted relating to the the status of human rights in the two countries as a whole. Both were wrong, but that does not make the US the moral equivalent of China.

Yay!!! China have universal suffrage as long as you vote for the person selected by the Communist Party! Horrayyy for China !

Quote:
(8) While they had internal power struggles the Japanese never ventured outside their borders before the West came into the picture. My point is and was they saw all these invading armies around them and thought to themselves they should probably united raise an army and with an army comes tyranny. I am not familiar with the Ainu people, I will have to read about them up.
You’re right. After 700 years of internal warring, the establishment of the Samuri culture, an inculcated believe that they are a divine people to the exclusion of other cultures, the Bushido religion – their entry into the world forum would have been nothing but peaceful trade but for the evil west. Excuse and rationalize it all you want, Japanese militarism and their cult of racial superiority was organic to their culture, regardless of western imperialism, and was the basis for justifying expansion into the Near East. I do not dispute that exposure to western technology and science was the catalyst to Japanese expansion, but to assert it would not have eventually occurred or that “the West” was somehow shares responsibility for purely Japan’s atrocities is to excuse those actually responsible. The devil may have told you to do it – but you actually did it.

I dispute that Army = Tyranny or that, even if true, it is any way relevant to the atrocities committed by Japan. Initially, I believe the US has an army that has not, in fact, resulted in a military tyranny. Further, as I recall, it was the Egyptian army that stood to defend protestors against the elites tyranny. It’s a nice rhetorical short cut that gets you where you want to go, but it’s is not a logical truism applicable to the rise of Japanese militarism in response to western imperialism. [i.e. all cultures who raise an army will eventually fall into tyranny. Assuming arguendo the truth of this statement it is completely devoid of any time component or any element of moral comparative – there are good tyrants and bad tyrants].

Quote:
(9) I do believe we provoked the Japanese into entering WWII. If you keep throwing spit balls at me I would certainly hurl a rock at your face.
Wow. Just wow. The economic sanctions pursued by the US government prior to Pearl Harbor (the “rock” Japan hurled at our face!) were in direct response to the popular outrage at Japan's war in China and the atrocities committed by the Japanese therein, particularly the Rape of Nanking. The sanctions were an attempt to limit or stop Japan's continued military expansion short of declaring of war. They were indeed effective. So much so, that Japan was faced with either (1) ending its war in China or (2) expanding its military conquests to include the resource rich area of Indonesia and attempting to destroy America's ability to oppose them militarily. Guess which they picked? HINT: It involved the rock you earlier alluded to.

You’re right, however, we should have sat back and let the Japanese military follow their western inspired expansion into China and colonization of Korea. Oh, wait, that would have been “Inaction in the face of punitive action”... Double

Quote:
Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
p.s. No one asked or wants you to apologize, only that you understand circumstances and that there can be unintended consequences of both action and inaction.
Of course there are. I have never disputed it and, until now, it was not among the points you have been arguing. America has done wrong both through its actions and inactions. I have never, ever disputed this nor has it been any part of the argument to this point.

What we did to the Guatamalans was wrong. Assertions that, because we took those actions, the US is just as bad as the Nazis are also wrong. As I originally argued in response to such assertions, such accusations tend to minimize the dangers posed by actual nazism and the dehumanization integral to the fascist system.
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Last edited by JoeRedskin; 09-16-2011 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:43 PM   #64
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Re: US Infects Guatemalans With Syphilis During 1940s Experiments

I think we all deserve a 10 minute break after that history lesson. Nice points JoeRedskin. One thing though. Some believe that Japan had learned of the United States involvement in training the Chinese fighters and actually flying sorties for them under assumed Chinese names and callsigns. Add to that the aid we were openly sending to China, and some believe that had these things not been so, Japan would not have been so eager to "hurl the rock at our face". I guess we will never know.........
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:05 AM   #65
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Re: US Infects Guatemalans With Syphilis During 1940s Experiments

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Originally Posted by Mechanix544 View Post
I think we all deserve a 10 minute break after that history lesson. Nice points JoeRedskin. One thing though. Some believe that Japan had learned of the United States involvement in training the Chinese fighters and actually flying sorties for them under assumed Chinese names and callsigns. Add to that the aid we were openly sending to China, and some believe that had these things not been so, Japan would not have been so eager to "hurl the rock at our face". I guess we will never know.........
Even assuming the truth of those statements, the purpose was to oppose Japanese militarism - Japan knew we didn't like them invading other countries and killing innocents and, further, that we would aid those who opposed their imperialism. That's a bad thing how??? Stop the invasion of China and then we wouldn't have to aid China. Don't invade Indochina and we won't cut off your oil.

It's like saying that the good samaritan - who goes to the aid of someone being bullied and then gets hit by the bully - should have just let the bully beat up the victim.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:51 AM   #66
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Re: US Infects Guatemalans With Syphilis During 1940s Experiments

Sorry for the zombie thread revival, but just wasn't sure where to put this and this thread seemed as good as any:

Fury over Japanese politician's Nanjing Massacre denial - CNN.com

The Rape of Nanking was one of the major sparks for FDR and the US populations' imposition of sanctions on Japan prior to Pearl Harbor. It is a well documented and horrific event. The level of barbarism was unimaginable to most of us civilized folk (Two officers competed to see who could behead the most chinese - didn't matter if they were soldiers or civilians, people being used for "live" bayonet practice, 8 & 9 year olds raped and tortured, etc. etc.). Nagoya is a city of 2.6M roughly the equivalent of Chicago. It's mayor recently said:

"It is true that a considerable number of people died in the course of battle. However such a thing as so-called Nanjing Massacre is unlikely to have taken place[.]"

It was just shocking to me to see someone in such a position make such a statement. Could you imagine the firestorm in this country if the Mayor of Chicago denied the internment of Japanese (a wrong, but less barbaric act and equally well documented)? Or denied the Jewish holocaust? Or the atrocities of the Middle Passage? I recognize its not an official position of either the national govt. or even the city govt. - just surprised that this guy could get elected to office as Nagoya's dog catcher, much less it's mayor.
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