China is greatest threat to freedom - US intelligence chief

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Napp
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I mean they're not wrong but its a touch hard to take such accusations seriously from a government that sponsors terrorists, supports dictators the world over and itself has a rocky relationship with democracy and freedom..


The top US intelligence official says China is the "greatest threat to democracy and freedom" since World War Two.
Writing in the Wall St Journal, John Ratcliffe said China was growing its power by stealing US secrets and then replacing US firms in the market.
The Trump administration has taken a hard line on China, imposing tariffs on Chinese goods and accusing Beijing of intellectual property theft.
China has not yet responded.
However, it has responded forcefully to US moves such as the imposition of tariffs and efforts to keep the telecoms giant Huawei out of the American market.
Beijing was preparing for confrontation with the US and intended to dominate the world "economically, militarily and technologically", Mr Ratcliffe warned.
Some of Mr Ratcliffe's comments echo previous interventions by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and FBI chief Christopher Wray.
However, they also come at a time when China has stepped up pressure on US ally Australia, publishing a list of ways it wants Canberra to change its behaviour, slapping tariffs on imports of Australian wine and provoking the Australian government over its rights record in Afghanistan.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying had earlier on Wednesday accused the US of "launching various political oppressive campaigns against China", adding that this came "out of strong ideological bias and a strategy to contain China".
"There is a Chinese saying... 'the eye sees what the mind believes'," she said in her daily press conference. "We hope the US will... stop regarding everyone as spies."
What did Ratcliffe say?








The Director of National Intelligence said China had replaced Russia and counter-terrorism as the main focus of US intelligence activities.
China was engaged in a form of economic espionage that he described as "rob, replicate and replace" - giving the example of a Chinese wind turbine firm that was found guilty in the US of stealing from a US competitor before going on to sell worldwide while the US firm lost shareholder value and fired staff.
US intellectual property worth $500bn (£370bn) was being stolen every year, he said. FBI arrests of Chinese nationals for stealing research had become frequent and China had also been paying the head of Harvard University's chemistry department $50,000 a month until his arrest earlier this year.

Mr Ratcliffe also accused Chinese intelligence services of introducing vulnerabilities into technology offered by top Chinese tech firms such as Huawei and said allies using Chinese technology would not have US intelligence shared with them.
He said US intelligence showed that China had carried out "human testing" on troops with the aim of developing soldiers with "biologically enhanced capabilities".
And he said China had engaged in a "massive influence campaign" targeting US members of Congress and their staff by encouraging unions at big firms to tell local politicians to take a softer line on China or face losing union members' votes.
Beijing was targeting members of Congress with "six times the frequency of Russia and 12 times the frequency of Iran", Mr Ratcliffe said.

Other countries faced the same challenge from China as the US, he said. "China believes that a global order without it at the top is a historical aberration," he said. "It aims to change that and reverse the spread of liberty around the world."
How has the Trump White House handled China?







Under President Trump, the US has ramped up confrontation with China in a number of areas.
The two countries have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of one another's goods and imposed export controls on products in sensitive areas.
On Thursday the White House said it had added four more Chinese firms - chipmaker SMIC, national oil firm CNOOC, China Construction Technology Co and China International Engineering Consulting Corp - to a blacklist of firms deemed to be linked to the Chinese military.
Earlier this year the US ordered a Chinese consulate in Houston to close over economic espionage concerns - Beijing responded by ordering the US to close its consulate in the city of Chengdu. The two countries have also expelled each others' journalists.


Relations between the two superpowers have also soured over the coronavirus pandemic - which Mr Trump has repeatedly referred to as the "Chinese virus" - and China's moves in Hong Kong.
Mr Trump signed an order ending preferential US treatment for Hong Kong after Beijing imposed a controversial new security law there, which the US said ended Hong Kong's autonomy.

The US has also accused China of "horrific and systematic" human rights abuses in its treatment of its Muslim Uighur minority in the Xinjiang region and has sanctioned some Chinese politicians.
China is accused of mass detentions, religious persecution and forced sterilisation of Uighurs and others, but Beijing denies any mistreatment.
Will Biden take a different approach?






President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office in January, is expected to continue President Trump's policy of countering China, but jointly with allies, as opposed to Mr Trump's preference for unilateral trade deals.
There is rare cross-party agreement on getting tough with China over trade and other issues, the BBC's White House correspondent Tara McKelvey says.

The Trump administration has been successful in winning global support for a boycott of Chinese communications technology.
However, Mr Biden is likely to be more active in seeking areas of co-operation with a rising China, particularly in areas such as climate change.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55177975
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imlikeahermit
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Whether this is true remains to be seen however the way that the Chinese are portrayed in US media is appalling. It has almost a kind of Jewish people in Germany in the 20's and 30's look to it. Coming over here, taking our businesses, infiltrating our stock markets, setting us up to fail. It's bizarre in modern times.
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They are both as bad as each other, just in different ways.
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Napp
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(Original post by imlikeahermit)
Whether this is true remains to be seen however the way that the Chinese are portrayed in US media is appalling. It has almost a kind of Jewish people in Germany in the 20's and 30's look to it. Coming over here, taking our businesses, infiltrating our stock markets, setting us up to fail. It's bizarre in modern times.
Ah there's not even a need for a comparison to the Germans to be honest. The yanks have the most appalling history in their own right when it comes to the 'yellow peril' making specific laws to ban them from the country, forcibly deporting them, burning their quarters down. Nevermind the accusation that they had less legal rights than blacks during the 19th century.. given American history with that is quite an impressive feat :lol: Just reading some of the old bile from Randolph Hurst and his odious papers i cant help but see an alarming correlation, if with slightly less express racism.
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Tempest II
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
They are both as bad as each other, just in different ways.
I'm not sure that statement stands up to scrutiny.
I doubt every single person killed by the US since its creation would add up to anywhere close to the number that the PRC has managed since its Mao took control after the Second World War.

There's no doubt that the US, as well as most nations, has an blemished past but putting on the same level as the PRC is rather ridiculous. The only particularly positive aspect of the PRC is its atheism, although I'm sure even Richard Dawkins doesn't support how the PRC treats its religious minorities.

Racism: It's still rather prevalent in the US but good luck being Black or another minority in the PRC.

Poverty: Far worse in the PRC despite America's inequalities.

Democracy: Non-existent in the PRC. The US is in its own crisis, but despite President Trump's best efforts, elections in the US are legitimate.

Militarism: Both have fought / invaded Vietnam for somewhat dubious reasons. The US' biggest recently folly has been the 2003 Iraq war. The PRC annexed Tibet and is developing the military capability to invade Taiwan. The US is probably the only nation with the power to stop that happening. At least the US will protect democratic allies. I can't think of an occasion when the PRC has.
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Napp
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(Original post by Tempest II)
I'm not sure that statement stands up to scrutiny.
I doubt every single person killed by the US since its creation would add up to anywhere close to the number that the PRC has managed since its Mao took control after the Second World War.
Proportionality i'm not so sure.
There's no doubt that the US, as well as most nations, has an blemished past but putting on the same level as the PRC is rather ridiculous. The only particularly positive aspect of the PRC is its atheism, although I'm sure even Richard Dawkins doesn't support how the PRC treats its religious minorities.
In some regards yes but when the US complains about the US bullying other nations, supporting despots, spying on people and disrespecting human rights one cant help but laugh at them being able to assert this with a straight face.
Democracy: Non-existent in the PRC. The US is in its own crisis, but despite President Trump's best efforts, elections in the US are legitimate.
With a majority of republicans believing theyre not, this statement seems questionable.
Militarism: Both have fought / invaded Vietnam for somewhat dubious reasons. The US' biggest recently folly has been the 2003 Iraq war. The PRC annexed Tibet and is developing the military capability to invade Taiwan. The US is probably the only nation with the power to stop that happening. At least the US will protect democratic allies. I can't think of an occasion when the PRC has.
As far as drawing an equivalence on Vietnam goes it seems somewhat dishonest to compare the two. At least China had a vaguely legitimate gripe and didnt burn the entire region with it.
Fair play on Taiwan, although the question does remain whether the americans would really trade San Fran or LA for Taipei at the end of the day.
In fairness the PRC has no allies bar DPRK and it did come to their aid.
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Tempest II
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(Original post by Napp)
Proportionality i'm not so sure.

In some regards yes but when the US complains about the US bullying other nations, supporting despots, spying on people and disrespecting human rights one cant help but laugh at them being able to assert this with a straight face.

With a majority of republicans believing theyre not, this statement seems questionable.

As far as drawing an equivalence on Vietnam goes it seems somewhat dishonest to compare the two. At least China had a vaguely legitimate gripe and didnt burn the entire region with it.
Fair play on Taiwan, although the question does remain whether the americans would really trade San Fran or LA for Taipei at the end of the day.
In fairness the PRC has no allies bar DPRK and it did come to their aid.
Again, the US' Human Rights abuses, while certainly a cause for investigation, are nothing compared to the PRC's. America's are just more open for the world to see, especially as it's acted as global policeman since the demise of the British Empire.

As embarrassing as certain US "Black Sites" are, they're not exactly comparable to how the PRC treats its own citizens in concentration camps. There's no doubt that free speech in the US isn't perfect but even in the "freer" parts of the PRC (Hong Kong... Oh wait) the restrictions on its citizens and the powers of government surveillance make equivalent American issues seem almost trivial in comparison. While the NSA and similar American government institutions have powers that certainly infringe civil liberties, in reality the PRC's infringements are far worse and far greater in number.



While President Trump has a hardcore section of the GOP that agree with his ridiculous claims, many Republicans have turned on him. Joe Biden will be President come January due to democracy. America's political system is certainly not flawless but I know which political system I'd rather live under.

From what I gather, the PRC invaded Vietnam as Vietnam was trying to remove the Khmer Rouge (an ally of China) from power in Cambodia. Vietnam were doing the world a favour getting rid of those extremists. The PRC also supports the most oppressive regime in the world at the moment - the DPRK.

If the PRC attempt to use nuclear weapons against the US should they get into a conflict over Taiwan then, based on the current amount of those weapons in their arsenals, the PRC is at a severe disadvantage. Their best hope would be that Russia would protect them with their nuclear umbrella.
The PRC would be better off keeping the war conventional, but they will need to use non-nuclear long range missiles to close USAF Pacific airbases and to keep USN CVN's at bay.
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Napp
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(Original post by Tempest II)
Again, the US' Human Rights abuses, while certainly a cause for investigation, are nothing compared to the PRC's. America's are just more open for the world to see, especially as it's acted as global policeman since the demise of the British Empire.
Indeed they arent. The point was more that there is still an eye popping amount of hypocrisy in many of their claims.
As embarrassing as certain US "Black Sites" are, they're not exactly comparable to how the PRC treats its own citizens in concentration camps. There's no doubt that free speech in the US isn't perfect but even in the "freer" parts of the PRC (Hong Kong... Oh wait) the restrictions on its citizens and the powers of government surveillance make equivalent American issues seem almost trivial in comparison. While the NSA and similar American government institutions have powers that certainly infringe civil liberties, in reality the PRC's infringements are far worse and far greater in number.
Again one wasnt saying that America is comparable to China's abuses - although it is worse in some regars such as Iraq/Afghanistan.


While President Trump has a hardcore section of the GOP that agree with his ridiculous claims, many Republicans have turned on him. Joe Biden will be President come January due to democracy. America's political system is certainly not flawless but I know which political system I'd rather live under.
Not nearly enough to be honest. Of course this is ignoring the flagrant jerrymandering, voter supression etc. etc.
From what I gather, the PRC invaded Vietnam as Vietnam was trying to remove the Khmer Rouge (an ally of China) from power in Cambodia. Vietnam were doing the world a favour getting rid of those extremists. The PRC also supports the most oppressive regime in the world at the moment - the DPRK.
Indeed, and props to Vietnam for that. But to equate Chinas hideously embarassing loss to Vietnam to what the yanks got up to is like comparing the neighbourhood kid who graffitied a willy on a fence to the one who broke into someones house raped the wife and pistol whipped the husband...
True on DPRK. Although given US support for right wing death squads and all sorts of other unsavoury regimes the world over (not to mention its support for terrorism) puts them ahead by far. DPRK may well be a moral stain on the world but it is a singular example compared to the global span of the former.
If the PRC attempt to use nuclear weapons against the US should they get into a conflict over Taiwan then, based on the current amount of those weapons in their arsenals, the PRC is at a severe disadvantage. Their best hope would be that Russia would protect them with their nuclear umbrella.
The PRC would be better off keeping the war conventional, but they will need to use non-nuclear long range missiles to close USAF Pacific airbases and to keep USN CVN's at bay.
Indeed. I would be curious to see if Russia would do that though. On the one hand they don't want the Americans dropping nukes on their neighbour but on the other China is very very far from an ally of Moscow.
True. Although to be honest i am more than slightly skeptical of Beijings ability to invade and occupy Taiwan. They simply don't have the capabilities at the moment (not including pounding their infrastructure into rubble that is). Although Taiwans efforts to have a robust defence are truly shocking these days.
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Lucifer323
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(Original post by Tempest II)
I'm not sure that statement stands up to scrutiny.
I doubt every single person killed by the US since its creation would add up to anywhere close to the number that the PRC has managed since its Mao took control after the Second World War.

There's no doubt that the US, as well as most nations, has an blemished past but putting on the same level as the PRC is rather ridiculous. The only particularly positive aspect of the PRC is its atheism, although I'm sure even Richard Dawkins doesn't support how the PRC treats its religious minorities.

Racism: It's still rather prevalent in the US but good luck being Black or another minority in the PRC.

Poverty: Far worse in the PRC despite America's inequalities.

Democracy: Non-existent in the PRC. The US is in its own crisis, but despite President Trump's best efforts, elections in the US are legitimate.

Militarism: Both have fought / invaded Vietnam for somewhat dubious reasons. The US' biggest recently folly has been the 2003 Iraq war. The PRC annexed Tibet and is developing the military capability to invade Taiwan. The US is probably the only nation with the power to stop that happening. At least the US will protect democratic allies. I can't think of an occasion when the PRC has.
China is indeed the greatest threat to the free world.

The greatest and most dangerous dictatorship the world has ever seen.

It's about time the rest of the world take China seriously in terms of the threat it poses, both military AND financially.

Not to mention the number of executions in China per year for the purpose of selling organs to anyone who is interested, and the dissappeared dissidents who suddenly and inexplicably vanish from the face of this planet. The constant terror of ordinary citizens by the security forces and the massive investment in the military which is often employed to crash anyone who has a different opinion from the government.

The greatest victims of this regime are the people of China.
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Napp
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(Original post by Lucifer323)
China is indeed the greatest threat to the free world.
How so? Specifically why do you think China is "the greatest threat" to a country like Britain? Do you think they can invade and occupy us? wipe us out with stand off weaponry? Assemble an international coalition to blockade us into doing their will? Hardly.
A threat, yes. 'The greatest' not by a long shot.
The greatest and most dangerous dictatorship the world has ever seen.
So worse than Nazi Germany, the mongols, USSR, KSA etc.?
It's about time the rest of the world take China seriously in terms of the threat it poses, both military AND financially.
Whilst its military capabilities have improved they're not even close to being threatening on a global level. 1) It's military posture is still defensive, bullying their neighbours fishing vessels notwithstanding and b) merely look at their expenditure the vast majority of it is on internal security not force projection.
How would you say theyre financially a threat though? The extent of their 'offensive' use of economics as warfare is not trading with someone. The only country who can actually use finance is a weapon is America - as they do frequently.

[/quote]
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Pythian
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Hello Napp,

I think I would agree with that headline. Here are my thoughts.

China's enormous investment in its military while Obama pared down US defence investment is concentrating minds - and China have global ambitions.

Whatever you want to say about Trump; his misdeeds pale into insignificance besides those of, say, the Chinese Leadership in Xinjiang, and more broadly in China. The camps for Uyghur minority Muslims and others is as terrifying as the general quiet on the subject. From the cracking down on democracy in Hong Kong, to clamping down on pro-independence movements in Tibet & Taiwan and to bring about "re-unification" to leverage spurious sovereignty claims over Islands in the South China Sea in dispute with Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.

There is a tendency - across most of the West - to simply ignore Beijing's widespread & flagrant violation of human rights. We may invoke economic repercussions and engage in whattaboutery (often citing America) - but the ultimate reality is that we're dealing an ethno-nationalist old-school dictatorship which has no concept of individual human rights, not a scintilla of respect for international law and harbours designs on being the next superpower. Its belligerent behaviour towards almost all its regional neighbours are well-known - but also includes us in the West. China is also permanent veto wielding member of the UN Security Council which means that there's absolutely nothing the precious UN can do to stop the horror in Xinjiang - or anything else, for that matter. Steve Tsang wrote an interesting article on "whether the threats of reprisals over help for Hongkongers and refusing 5G". He is the director of the China Institute at SOAS University of London (not the CIA/Mossad); and said this:

The reality remains that upholding our values will result in the UK being punished by China, whose foreign policy aims to make the world safe for authoritarianism – a world in which the Communist party’s hold on power in China cannot be challenged. To face this reality, we must work with our democratic allies to form a united front. Chinese threats to inflict economic pain on an individual democracy become hollow if we all hold the same line and do not allow Beijing to divide and rule.

Covid has shown the strength and power of China’s centralised Communist Party, and the very interesting (and extremely revealing) fact that they delayed informing the world. At least with the US, our constitutions share a common heritage/language/culture; whereas China's Communist Party is an ethno-nationalist authoritarian dictatorship and a huge threat to democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, and all these values we've taken for granted since the collapse of the Soviet Union. We ought to be v. serious and concerned about China.

If you read online, in all recent Pentagon war games of various possible conflicts - esp. invasion of Taiwan - China wins. Scary!
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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by Lucifer323)
The greatest victims of this regime are the people of China.
:eek:

profound - really...

You should really go there and let them know - I'm sure they will be grateful and agree with you.
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DR.DOOM
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China, America and Iran are the drama centres of the world who create problems for everyone else
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
:eek:

profound - really...

You should really go there and let them know - I'm sure they will be grateful and agree with you.
I have been to China by the way...

It doesn't change the fact that the regime is the most dangerous around.
Last edited by Lucifer323; 2 months ago
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Lucifer323
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
:eek:

profound - really...

You should really go there and let them know - I'm sure they will be grateful and agree with you.
There is some talk lately if China must compensate the rest of the World and contribute towards expenses in relation to COVID19

I have raised this issue long time ago but there were some sarcastic comments around.

I am sure that the situation is vet much different now and there is a different perspective in many parts of the world.

My position is that the West must pressure China enormously in this matter and others. Cutting ties with this regime and the country in principle, wouldn't bother me.
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(Original post by Lucifer323)
There is some talk lately if China must compensate the rest of the World and contribute towards expenses in relation to COVID19

I have raised this issue long time ago but there were some sarcastic comments around.

I am sure that the situation is vet much different now and there is a different perspective in many parts of the world.

My position is that the West must pressure China enormously in this matter and others. Cutting ties with this regime and the country in principle, wouldn't bother me.
The problem is that China knows it has all the power - unless there is unanimous + coordinated efforts from all the other nations. Sure if they all acted as one, they could pressure China, but as long as they aren't unified, China has all the power and leverage. It can pick off and punish any industry or nation that causes them problems, and have shown complete willingness to do so, and do so effectively.

If all the other nations banded together, sure they could manage it - but the result would at best be turning the most populated nuclear power in the world into a North Korea Pariah state, and at worst be war. The people here on mass have no wish to backdown, and the ruling regime could never maintain power if they conceded and gave into demands like reparations for covid or the like - so backed into a corner, it would either be: shut off from the world, or fight the world.

Neither is really a great outcome.

Its all good talking about this hypothetically, but there is really very little individual western nations can do, and collective action escalates things to a whole new level that I don't think anyone in the west has the appetite for.

I'm sure there are many influential people who, knowing how things have developed, wished that the west had forged a different relationship with China over the past 30 years rather than selling industries and influence down the river for cheap goods and a bit of economic growth, but at this point it is what it is, and we are so entangled and reliant on each other, that even if collective action were possible, the damage to the world as a whole would be huge.
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IbeIC123
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(Original post by Napp)
Indeed, and props to Vietnam for that. But to equate Chinas hideously embarassing loss to Vietnam to what the yanks got up to is like comparing the neighbourhood kid who graffitied a willy on a fence to the one who broke into someones house raped the wife and pistol whipped the husband...
True on DPRK. Although given US support for right wing death squads and all sorts of other unsavoury regimes the world over (not to mention its support for terrorism) puts them ahead by far. DPRK may well be a moral stain on the world but it is a singular example compared to the global span of the former.
The Khmer Rouge was a brutal regime and launched a genocide against specific ethnic groups in Cambodia including many Vietnamese and those who who didn’t side with their Maoist agenda, in around 4 years they killed around 1.7 million people around a quarter of the the native Cambodian population with 60,000 ethnic Vietnamese making up that number. That’s why Vietnam invaded Cambodia as they saw their neighbour as a real threat that wished to exterminate the Vietnamese population. The PRC naturally backed the Cambodian regime as they were Maoist compared to the Vietnamese who shared most of their ideologies with the USSR, the PRC retaliated with their failed invasion. The animosity between Vietnam and the PRC continues till this day mainly because of their bloody past and the South China Sea meaning that Vietnam actually has decent relations with the US. I understand that what the US invasion had more of a disastrous effect on the native Vietnamese population than both the Khmer Rouge and PRC however what if the PRC successfully invaded Vietnam and reinstated the Khmer Rouge. With the government controlled Cambodian radio stations calling on Cambodians to "exterminate the 50 million Vietnamese” it’s easy to guess what would’ve ultimately happened.
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Napp
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(Original post by IbeIC123)
The Khmer Rouge was a brutal regime and launched a genocide against specific ethnic groups in Cambodia including many Vietnamese and those who who didn’t side with their Maoist agenda, in around 4 years they killed around 1.7 million people around a quarter of the the native Cambodian population with 60,000 ethnic Vietnamese making up that number. That’s why Vietnam invaded Cambodia as they saw their neighbour as a real threat that wished to exterminate the Vietnamese population. The PRC naturally backed the Cambodian regime as they were Maoist compared to the Vietnamese who shared most of their ideologies with the USSR, the PRC retaliated with their failed invasion. The animosity between Vietnam and the PRC continues till this day mainly because of their bloody past and the South China Sea meaning that Vietnam actually has decent relations with the US. I understand that what the US invasion had more of a disastrous effect on the native Vietnamese population than both the Khmer Rouge and PRC however what if the PRC successfully invaded Vietnam and reinstated the Khmer Rouge. With the government controlled Cambodian radio stations calling on Cambodians to "exterminate the 50 million Vietnamese” it’s easy to guess what would’ve ultimately happened.
I'm aware of what contributed to the Vietnamese invasion and subsequent Chinese invasion. What point are you making sorry?
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Napp
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(Original post by DR.DOOM)
China, America and Iran are the drama centres of the world who create problems for everyone else
One would argue Iran doesnt really do much at all. A middling regional power who the Saudis and Israelis have a hard on over. And one America has a desire going back to the hostage crisis to 'teach a lesson to' other than that, meh.
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Pythian
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(Original post by DR.DOOM)
China, America and Iran are the drama centres of the world who create problems for everyone else
Out of interest, what problems do you think America creates?

I don't think it's fair to compare America to those pariah states. I appreciate you may have a different point of view, but adopting a measured perspective - and taking the good with the bad - I would argue that America is a force for good in the world. It's neither perfect, nor free from folly and waywardness - but, on the whole, it has fought the one-party manifestations of Nazism, Communism and Islamism and upheld the democratic, liberal and secular credentials. Where America has caused grief - it's because it has deviated from its values. In contrast, the consequences of a seriously empowered China & Iran are genuinely terrifying.
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