Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-08 11:03pm

I wonder how Trumpolini would feel if we told him Rule 19 prohibits the 'vetters' he's planning to fill his new swamp with from saying anything bad about prospective refugee candidates.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-02-09 08:39am

More protectionism.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/08/ste ... h-economy/

The Trump administration's protectionism isn't just focused on foreign manufacturers, but competition from foreign services.

By James Crabtree
February 8, 2017
Steve Bannon is clearly no fan of Asia. Back in 2015, when he was a mere far-right media provocateur, Bannon chatted on his radio show with then-candidate Donald Trump and bemoaned the fact that as many as two-thirds of Silicon chief executives were “from South Asia or from Asia.” That statistic turned out to be wildly inaccurate — the true figure is probably more like one in eight — but it was hardly the first time Bannon, now Trump’s chief strategist, had expressed alarm over threats from the East. “I’m an economic nationalist,” he said last November. “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia.”

In the early days of Trump’s administration, Bannon’s antipathy toward globalization has mostly targeted manufacturing industries, and especially the threat American companies face from Chinese competitors. But there are already signs the administration may open up an equally damaging second front in its protectionist battle, targeting global services as well. Beginning with a crackdown on the visas used by Indian software engineers working in America, this would accelerate the reverse of globalization and mark a further attempt to unpick the supply chains upon which global companies rely, just as Peter Navarro, the head of a new White House National Trade Council, made clear that unwinding those supply chains is now an explicit objective of U.S. policy.

The initial focus of this push will be America’s H-1B visa system. This allows 65,000 highly skilled foreigners to work temporarily in the United States each year for anything from a few months to a few years at a time — a process sometimes pejoratively referred to as “body shopping.” In practice, nearly all the visas are handed to Indian IT companies that handle outsourced work from the United States, or U.S. companies like IBM and Accenture that directly employ thousands of techies in cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Outsourcing of IT services is big business in India, earning annual revenues of roughly $120 billion. But in the United States it is undeniably controversial. During his campaign, Trump attacked companies for “flying in cheaper workers from overseas,” in a jab at those using the H-1B route.

Shares in Indian IT groups like Infosys and WIPRO plunged last week after a bill from Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., proposed to more than double the minimum salary for H-1B applicants to $130,000, a level that would price out all but the most senior Indian executives. Lofgren said her approach would ensure the system helped to “create jobs here in America, not replace them.” And while her own bill is unlikely to become law, Indian software businesses appear to be resigned to the fact that Trump will bring in similar measures soon.

That prospect causes alarm in New Delhi, not least because it will sharply increase costs for India’s software houses. But as Arvind Subramanian, the government’s chief economic advisor, noted last week, the bigger worry is that these restrictions could herald a wider crackdown on outsourcing of all kinds, from back-office support to research and development and financial services. “We [India] are much more vulnerable to restrictions on services,” he said. “So one has to worry quite a bit that any reversal of globalization in this atmosphere could also mean restrictions on exports of services. And that’s bad news.”

Changes to H-1B visas are an important part of these worries. Indian outsourcing companies like Infosys use the H-1B system to bring engineers to work with clients like Apple and Walmart, which employ Indian companies to install and manage complicated IT systems. Workers using the visas are typically managers, rather than coders, who talk to clients about projects and then work with engineers in India to deliver them. Critics of this system are right to point out that Indians are paid less than their local equivalents, although not by much. Median wages for American IT workers were $81,000 in 2015, while Infosys paid its employees on H-1B visas roughly $76,000, according to Kotak, a Mumbai-based broker. But Indian IT companies handling outsourced work from the United States prefer sending foreigners rather than hiring Americans for other reasons too, such as their willingness to move around the country to work with different clients, or their ease working with teams of Indian engineers back at home.

Critics like Lofgren are also right that the H-1B system has drifted over the years, from one designed to attract entrepreneurs to something akin to an IT guest worker program. If Trump reverses this, it would hardly be a disaster. The likes of Infosys will hire more people in the United States, pushing up wages for software workers, but also hiking costs for Indian and U.S. tech businesses (and their clients). Mostly, though, Indian IT companies will respond by concentrating more of their work at home. The result would be less business and lower profits, but the basic “global delivery model” of Indian IT would remain intact.

Yet this scenario leaves unanswered the more important question of whether that will be the end of the changes, said Kawaljeet Saluja, Kotak’s head of research: “The big thing we don’t know is whether Trump’s intent is to dent the outsourcing model or to kill it.”

There are good reasons to suspect a wider assault is coming. First, for those like Bannon, who see America as engaged in a battle for global economic supremacy, a blow against Indian IT would be symbolic. It was in Bangalore, after all, that a conversation with Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani inspired Thomas Friedman to write The World Is Flat. This insight — “He said to me, ‘Tom, the playing field is being leveled’” — came to represent an enthusiasm for just the kind of tech-infused, globally interconnected company that Bannon views as so damaging to U.S. interests.

More than that, though, services matter because they make up an ever-larger component of global trade. Services exports account for about $5 trillion annually, according to the World Trade Organization, worth about a quarter of trade in goods. But that increases to “half or more” if you measure the value added at each stage of production, said Razeen Sally, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy.

Trump’s crusade to bring factory jobs back to America is not likely to succeed, to put it mildly. But to the extent that it does, it will have a knock-on effect on services in any case, given the way that manufacturing and services are closely intertwined in what trade experts dub “global value chains.” For every production facility the president badgers into returning home, much of the services upon which it relies — from transport and logistics to finance and legal services — will have to come back too, adding to production costs.

But more broadly, if you fear that Indian IT workers are undercutting wages in the United States, why not target other kinds of outsourcing too? Companies like GE and Cisco operate big research-and-development centers in India, employing thousands of engineers and scientists in jobs that could plausibly be done by more expensive American workers. Financial services is another example. Goldman Sachs, which often attracts Trump’s attention, runs its second-largest global office in Bangalore, employing more than 6,000 people. Rather than the stereotype of bored call-center workers, many of these perform sophisticated analysis or management tasks of the type that used to be done only on Wall Street.

There are many ways Trump could target these kinds of relationships. His administration could pressure companies to begin “reshoring” positions, not more basic call-center jobs, which would strike a populist tone, given the fact that many consumers dislike calling helplines abroad. The tax system could be used to target IT outsourcers too, not least the rules, known as transfer pricing, by which global companies are allowed to account for trade between internal units spread around the world. “If Trump wants to go after outsourcing, there are so many ways he could do it,” Saluja says.

Put another way, an initial skirmish over India IT visas is likely to be the thin end of a much bigger wedge. Of course, it’s possible that Bannon and Trump won’t go down that path. Joblessness is rare in U.S. white-collar sectors, meaning that pressure for action against foreigners is weaker. The costs of hiring locally would also be higher for U.S. businesses, which might provoke an even wider backlash from tech companies, many of which are opposing Trump’s wider ban on migrants from Muslim-majority countries. Meanwhile, the likely angry reaction from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi might give Trump pause — although, on current form, probably not for very long. It may depend on whether the administration can settle on a single enemy; if the crusade against China continues, India, a democratic power with its own nationalist leader, may be a critical ally.

Perhaps most critically is the fact that Trump’s economic worldview appears firmly stuck in the 1980s, when the location of factories, rather than the complexities of supply chains, was what mattered in the global economy. But Trump’s view of the world may be overshadowed by the nihilistic visions of his advisors, from Bannon to Navarro, who imagine a zero-sum world in which any victory for a foreign company is a loss for an American one — in any sector. Given the bruising record of Trump’s early weeks in power, it would be wise to take that threat both seriously and literally.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Thanas » 2017-02-09 11:08am

So Trump's likely candidate for the EU post is a known liar, embellisher and the opposite of a diplomat.
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Like attracts like I guess but I don't see how this is going to help US interests get heard in Europe.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Flagg » 2017-02-09 03:22pm

Thanas wrote:So Trump's likely candidate for the EU post is a known liar, embellisher and the opposite of a diplomat.
Linky
Like attracts like I guess but I don't see how this is going to help US interests get heard in Europe.

Yeah, but I bet it plays well in Russia.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-02-10 01:03am

I think eventually his supporters might realise there is something wrong with his flip flopping which runs counter to a decisive image.

I mean remember when China's political opponents all got excited because he said the one China policy was NOT guaranteed. Then the US might keep it in exchange for trade concessions. Now here is what the White house has now said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38927891

US President Donald Trump has agreed to honour America's "One China" policy in a phone call with Chinese president Xi Jinping, the White House said.


And going on

Mr Trump baited China throughout his campaign, accusing it of unfair trade practices and threatening to challenge its military build up in the South China Sea.
Beijing responded cautiously, expressing "serious concern" about Mr Trump's position on the One China policy and urging the US to maintain close ties with China.


Trump : We will use the One China policy as a negotiating tool for trade.
China : We have serious concern about that
Trump : Ok, I fold. :shock:


Its not that Trump isn't strong willed or pigheaded, he just doesn't have a coherent policy and is just making it up on the fly.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Flagg » 2017-02-11 12:32am

mr friendly guy wrote:I think eventually his supporters might realise there is something wrong with his flip flopping which runs counter to a decisive image.

I mean remember when China's political opponents all got excited because he said the one China policy was NOT guaranteed. Then the US might keep it in exchange for trade concessions. Now here is what the White house has now said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38927891

US President Donald Trump has agreed to honour America's "One China" policy in a phone call with Chinese president Xi Jinping, the White House said.


And going on

Mr Trump baited China throughout his campaign, accusing it of unfair trade practices and threatening to challenge its military build up in the South China Sea.
Beijing responded cautiously, expressing "serious concern" about Mr Trump's position on the One China policy and urging the US to maintain close ties with China.


Trump : We will use the One China policy as a negotiating tool for trade.
China : We have serious concern about that
Trump : Ok, I fold. :shock:


Its not that Trump isn't strong willed or pigheaded, he just doesn't have a coherent policy and is just making it up on the fly.

His base are largely ignorant of most of this shit and it doesn't get covered as opposed to a department store not selling his daughters crap anymore.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-02-11 01:26am

Oh I forgot about how American media might have different priorites to media elsewhere. And I am not talking about politically motivated things either. You guys most probably just like different things in your media.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Flagg » 2017-02-11 01:38am

mr friendly guy wrote:Oh I forgot about how American media might have different priorites to media elsewhere. And I am not talking about politically motivated things either. You guys most probably just like different things in your media.

It's all about controversy/outrage and the "simpler" (like the Warren Senate shit is big with politics people but it's too complicated to be big deal shit, while department store shit is easy for all to grasp and take a side) the better because it will generate more interest, so more ratings.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-11 04:46pm

I wish "campaign manager and press secretary both just made up terrorist attacks that never happened" would get lots of press.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Vendetta » 2017-02-11 09:41pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I wish "campaign manager and press secretary both just made up terrorist attacks that never happened" would get lots of press.


Shit son, the greatest victory of terrorists in the modern age is that they don't have to go to the effort of doing anything to terrorise your fatass population. You're scared as shit of them at all times whether they do anything or not.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Gandalf » 2017-02-12 08:42am

Flagg wrote:
mr friendly guy wrote:Trump : We will use the One China policy as a negotiating tool for trade.
China : We have serious concern about that
Trump : Ok, I fold. :shock:

Its not that Trump isn't strong willed or pigheaded, he just doesn't have a coherent policy and is just making it up on the fly.

His base are largely ignorant of most of this shit and it doesn't get covered as opposed to a department store not selling his daughters crap anymore.


I think these moves will largely be communicated as Trump working to bamboozle people in an act of masterful realpolitik, the same way that they did for George W Bush or Ronald Reagan. Nothing is dumb, it's just beyond our mere comprehension.

Once Trump has done so much that conservatives start abandoning him, then excuses will start coming out about how they were only single issue voters so they're not responsible, or that they were misled into voting for him.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Thanas » 2017-02-12 09:33am

Simon_Jester wrote:I wish "campaign manager and press secretary both just made up terrorist attacks that never happened" would get lots of press.


Three observations:

1. CNN and other news sites give it plenty of coverage, but their target audience hates Trump anyways and they are not watched/read by any on the right.

2. Being considered dumb as rocks and incompetent works in the advantage of Trump and his bimbos. Nobody looks at Kellyanne and thinks "boy she sure will win a Nobel price anytime soon", same for spicer. Thus, it is not inconceivable that she actually managed to mix thinks up - quite unlikely but not completely out of the realm of possibility. So people more ideologically aligned with Trump will give her the benefit of the doubt.

3. Americans are so "overcovered" and bombarded with news about terrorism that most probably dont even bother to care about it anymore. Seriously, you can justify anything with terrorism now. This is also not a new concept, remember when Obama locked up people indefinitely and killed US CITIZENS without trial because they were "terrorists". On the basis of no publicly available evidence whatsoever. And the american populace was just fine with it.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-12 02:22pm

Specifically in response to (3)...

When someone starts literally making up terrorist attacks, one would think that even people who are willing to do terrible things in the name of 'fighting terrorism' would be a bit resentful.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Thanas » 2017-02-13 06:43am

Simon_Jester wrote:Specifically in response to (3)...

When someone starts literally making up terrorist attacks, one would think that even people who are willing to do terrible things in the name of 'fighting terrorism' would be a bit resentful.



Why? You switch on any major network at any given day and you will see at least one TV show where the good guys regularly torture or lie or break rules to illegally convict people. It has become normal.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-13 07:31am

If I were willing to do terrible things in the name of fighting terrorism, I'd at least want the consolation of knowing that the terrorist attacks I was fighting to prevent recurrences of actually happened. As opposed to being told "AVENGE THE BOWLING GREEN MASSACRE!"

That sort of thing would inspire resentment in me, and I would expect it to in most people I know personally.

Perhaps the 'problem' is that I don't know enough thuggish morons.
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To be clear, it's not even that I'm disputing the "turn on the TV, you'll see people willing to 'break the rules to get stuff done.' "

It's that if I'm going to break rules on behalf of something or someone, I don't want the thing I'm fighting about to be a complete fiction, a total fabrication literally made up on the spot by someone trying to manipulate me, with no basis whatsoever in reality.

I mean hell, when Dubya told a lie, at least it was a lie that generally bore some vague superficial resemblance to things that had really happened. He didn't make up the 9/11 attacks, those really happened.

He made up the part where Saddam Hussein still had weapons of mass destruction, but at least those weapons of mass destruction HAD existed ten or twenty years ago; he was 'ONLY' lying about the part where they were still around. He made up the part where the 'Mission' was 'Accomplished,' but at least it kinda sorta looked 'accomplished' if you squinted and turned your head and stuck your fingers in your ears and hummed loudly enough.

"Bowling Green Massacre" and citing Atlanta as a terrorist attack caused by Muslim refugees? Those are new lows even compared to that already staggeringly low standard of fact-based government.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2017-02-13 05:14pm

Thanas wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Specifically in response to (3)...

When someone starts literally making up terrorist attacks, one would think that even people who are willing to do terrible things in the name of 'fighting terrorism' would be a bit resentful.



Why? You switch on any major network at any given day and you will see at least one TV show where the good guys regularly torture or lie or break rules to illegally convict people. It has become normal.


That is the distinction you are missing I think. It is a trope--and has been for a long time--that police and prosecutors are frustrated by "knowing someone is guilty" but who will "get off on a technicality". The one who is willing to break the rules to put a murderer behind bars in this respect is one of our darker heroic archetypes; and the really good movies or shows that use this archetype will subvert it by making the suspect innocent.

But there is one common thread in all of this: the murder/rape/whatever actually happened. It is NOT considered bad-but-secretly-something-we-all-want to lie/torture/obtain unusable evidence in order to convict someone of a non-existent crime.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Thanas » 2017-02-13 05:26pm

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
Thanas wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Specifically in response to (3)...

When someone starts literally making up terrorist attacks, one would think that even people who are willing to do terrible things in the name of 'fighting terrorism' would be a bit resentful.



Why? You switch on any major network at any given day and you will see at least one TV show where the good guys regularly torture or lie or break rules to illegally convict people. It has become normal.


That is the distinction you are missing I think. It is a trope--and has been for a long time--that police and prosecutors are frustrated by "knowing someone is guilty" but who will "get off on a technicality". The one who is willing to break the rules to put a murderer behind bars in this respect is one of our darker heroic archetypes; and the really good movies or shows that use this archetype will subvert it by making the suspect innocent.


Nope, it moved on to "torture people besides the suspects" a long time ago. Even people who just have some kind of information are considered fair game.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2017-02-13 05:34pm

Thanas wrote:
Alyrium Denryle wrote:
Thanas wrote:

Why? You switch on any major network at any given day and you will see at least one TV show where the good guys regularly torture or lie or break rules to illegally convict people. It has become normal.


That is the distinction you are missing I think. It is a trope--and has been for a long time--that police and prosecutors are frustrated by "knowing someone is guilty" but who will "get off on a technicality". The one who is willing to break the rules to put a murderer behind bars in this respect is one of our darker heroic archetypes; and the really good movies or shows that use this archetype will subvert it by making the suspect innocent.


Nope, it moved on to "torture people besides the suspects" a long time ago. Even people who just have some kind of information are considered fair game.


That is true. It has expanded. But the crime/danger that torture is being used to punish/stop is at least extant in these books/shows/movies. It is not generally a complete fabrication.

That was my larger point.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2017-02-13 05:35pm

Thanas wrote:
Alyrium Denryle wrote:
Thanas wrote:

Why? You switch on any major network at any given day and you will see at least one TV show where the good guys regularly torture or lie or break rules to illegally convict people. It has become normal.


That is the distinction you are missing I think. It is a trope--and has been for a long time--that police and prosecutors are frustrated by "knowing someone is guilty" but who will "get off on a technicality". The one who is willing to break the rules to put a murderer behind bars in this respect is one of our darker heroic archetypes; and the really good movies or shows that use this archetype will subvert it by making the suspect innocent.


Nope, it moved on to "torture people besides the suspects" a long time ago. Even people who just have some kind of information are considered fair game.



Could you give us some examples?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Thanas » 2017-02-13 05:55pm

Hawaii 5-0 for example. 24. NCIS.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby JLTucker » 2017-02-13 06:04pm

Thanas wrote:Hawaii 5-0 for example. 24. NCIS.

I've been watching Bones lately and while I've yet to come across torture, they often break rules to get the confession. So, there's another example.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Gandalf » 2017-02-13 06:08pm

Don't forget Zero Dark Thirty OR How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Torture, an acclaimed, Oscar nominated film all about how to torture one's way to Abbottabad.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Thanas » 2017-02-13 06:20pm

Gandalf wrote:Don't forget Zero Dark Thirty OR How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Torture, an acclaimed, Oscar nominated film all about how to torture one's way to Abbottabad.



Or just go and look at any of the many real life examples of innocents getting tortured and having their dicks sliced by CIA agents. Really, torture is something the USA does in real life and venerates in pop culture on a daily basis.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Gandalf » 2017-02-13 06:42pm

Thanas wrote:
Gandalf wrote:Don't forget Zero Dark Thirty OR How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Torture, an acclaimed, Oscar nominated film all about how to torture one's way to Abbottabad.


Or just go and look at any of the many real life examples of innocents getting tortured and having their dicks sliced by CIA agents. Really, torture is something the USA does in real life and venerates in pop culture on a daily basis.


Indeed. One could also widen the pop cultural focus and look at the most popular columnists and talking heads and compare their opinions on torture. I'm sure O'Reilly and Hannity have interesting and nuanced opinions. :P
"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

"People tell me, 'Bill, let it go. The Kennedy assassination was years ago. It was just the assassination of a President and the hijacking of our government by a totalitarian regime — who cares? Just let it go.' I say, 'All right then. That whole Jesus thing? Let it go! It was 2,000 years ago! Who cares?'"
- Bill Hicks

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thead I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-13 07:31pm

Again, what I've been trying to get at is, even in these pro-torture portrayals...* The ultimate objective is to prevent a terrorist attack that's actually going to happen. Or to avenge one that has already happened.

One cannot just assume that willingness to accept that translates instantly into willingness to commit brutalities and crimes in the name of a thing that has never happened. Or of a thing that was blatantly made up on the spot, along the lines of "Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia." That people are willing to jump all the way to "the purpose of torture is torture," as opposed to "the purpose of all this torture is, we keep telling ourselves, to save lives."


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*And if you think that is new in the Western world, read the George Orwell essay I just linked.


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