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The Chinese Death Trucks - very good example of spin

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posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 08:11 AM
This was originally intended as a reply to this thread by The Lass, whose posts I mostly admire, indeed adore. She's well-informed and wonderful, but on this occasion I have to say I disagree with her reading of the article about the Chinese Death Trucks, referenced from the OP.

As I was writing my reply I began to regret that it would be lost forever in a welter of bilge... most of the stuff on the thread does little justice to The Lass's efforts, I may say, and comes well below her standards. I also realised that, while not exactly disinfo, the article is an extremely good example of spin, so I thought I'd post my comments on it in the disinfo forum, and pose an interesting moral conundrum at the end. Enjoy.

Here's my reply to The Lass:

The Lass - I do like your posts but I have to say I'm a little disappointed.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not defending China. But I am alive to the propaganda that the country is subjected to. What I mean by that is

  • that there's a significant omission from the article,
  • that the headline is deliberately misleading, and
  • that China is demonised for doing things that other countries do as a matter of routine. I'm not saying that these things are good, but that China's being singled out where other countries (including the US) are similarly culpable.

I decided to do a little fact-checking, because the source is the Daily Mail, after all, and because of the hypocrisy of Americans who have the death penalty by lethal injection but hate the same idea being applied to China.

The first thing I found out is that the Mail pulled this 10.000 figure out of their own behind. I said there was an omission in the story, and here it is: Where are the Mail getting their 10,000 figure from? This is over a fivefold increase and no reason is given. Admittedly, the trucks are supposed to be selling well. But that's the omission I spoke of. No reason is given to expect a fivefold increase. It just makes me very suspicious.

Now, to the business of applying different standards to China.

Let's just review some figures. So: population.

China: 1,336 million
US: 330 million
Saudi Arabia: 27,600,000

According to the Mail article China executed 1,715 people.
US: 37
Saudi Arabia: 143

So China execute, at the moment, one person in 779009.
The US execute one in 8,918,919
Saudi Arabia execute one in 193,000

So you're 11.4 times more likely to be executed in China than in the US.
but you're 46 times more likely to be executed in Saudi Arabia.

(But all three of them are infinitely more dangerous than the UK, where you'll just get banged up.)

But Saudi Arabia's our mate. They greenwash the dollar without complaint, they had US bases on their sacred spots without demur until Bin Laden kicked up a ruckus (not 9/11, before that, thank you very much), and they helped pay for Gulf War I. So we can't apply the same standards there, can we?

As for the headline being misleading: the fact that doctors are there to harvest the organs is part of the official process, according to the story. It's therefore not exactly a "black market", unlike in certain parts of South and Central America.

And does anyone remember the old punk song "Looking Through Gary Gilmore's Eyes"? Mind you, he did ask.

I also can't help wondering why the trucks have such an impressive top speed? I'm sorry but it does conjure up some darkly amusing images.

As for why we trade with China, a question raised by The Lass in her original post... it's because they're cheap, as you well know. And, ultimately, that's the capitalist dream: cheap goods from anywhere in the world.

Interesting question to the posters on this thread: would you rather you got goods from a country that didn't execute people but where the workers toiled in the worst sweatshops imaginable, or from a country where the workers were fairly treated but a draconian government executed people for crimes that might be punished with imprisonment in your own?

[edit on 29-3-2009 by rich23]

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 08:48 AM
The likelihood is this thread will get ignored -or very little attention-because people prefer sensationalism over balance and facts.

Deny Logic

[edit on 13f20090amSun, 29 Mar 2009 09:50:49 -050049 by HiAliens]

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 09:37 AM
Excellent observation - and it's just the tip of the iceberg as far as China and the MSM are concerned.

Star and a flag for you..

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:02 AM
reply to post by rich23

It could well be that the 10,000 figure is based on the numbers of vans in use and the one's on order. One van with a crew can perform a given number kills per year, times that by the number of vans in service, and add in for the number of vans on order.

EXAMPLE: 100 vans @ 10 kills per month for each van = 12,000 kills per year.

So the questions are:
1. how many kills does the average van and it's crew perform in a year?
2. how many vans are in service?
3. how many vans are on order?

You brought up some good points. But the topic was to do with China. I'll save my comments for the other countries you mention when those topics come up.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:13 AM
It could well be... but we don't know. There's simply not enough information, and there's no hint, as I've said, as to why they should suddenly be executing five times more people.

And even if they did, they wouldn't surpass Saudi, per head of population.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:19 AM
I would like to see this post gain some more traction. Many people don't realize how much one takes for granted when getting their news from the entertainment media.

It's a problem that leads to increasingly difficult misrepresentations in both current events and future history - that will rely upon the content under the paradigm that 'it must be so if it was reported in the news.'

Good OP. Starred and flagged!

Edit to add: I commend you on recognizing the diminishing value of one's input as threads become more and more diluted.

[edit on 29-3-2009 by Maxmars]

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:20 AM
You have to balance the execution numbers with the facts that china uses a LOT of prison labor in there factories

Currently, the Laogai Research Foundation estimates that there are approximately 1,045 laogai facilities in China,[12] containing an estimated 6.8 million detainees,[13] although the actual number of detainees is uncertain.[12]

This free/very cheap labor would tend to cut the number of execution because it is money making for the government in china to work prisoners for a life sentence then kill them.

The exception would be high profile criminals that the government wants to use to make a point or those that refused to work,

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 02:14 PM
Thank you for your kind words.

Originally posted by Maxmars
It's a problem that leads to increasingly difficult misrepresentations in both current events and future history - that will rely upon the content under the paradigm that 'it must be so if it was reported in the news.'

And that reminds me of something I've been meaning to post, which is really, really cool and people should spend some time checking it out...

Michael Parenti - The Struggle For History

Which includes a wonderful quote from Churchill:

"Gentlemen, history will be kind to us because I plan to write it."

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 02:28 PM
First, it does not matter if it is 10000 of 427 confirmed. The technological approach of a car driving between places and surving as a mobile ange of death is wrong. It is state taking somebodie's life and it should not be that cheap. Add mobile court to this car and you get max efficiency. Maybe person who i geting killed does not care if it is done in a room of prison by lethal injection or in a car ,but as far as government is inolved, car is cheaper,easier,more efficient. This is wrong field to search for efficiency.
Second - nobody knows how many prisoners were executed in China exept few Chinese officials. So spin it is, but it can be higher too. Not just lower.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 03:46 PM
Believe it or not, I'm not passing any judgement on China's policy at all. I'm certianly not defending them.

But it is a fact that we are subject to propaganda all the time, and China is our official, unstated, enemy. They're not part of the axis of evil, because they could actually hit back effectively, unlike North Korea or Iran.

So propaganda must be mobilised against them and the purpose of this forum is to decode that propaganda, to lay it bare so that others can see.

I remember all the fuss when the Chinese captured a US high-tech spyplane around 2000/2001. The US media went into paroxysms of self-righteous rage about it. NO-ONE could perform a simple mental trick to see if they were being played like fiddles in a string sectionL turn it on its head.

Suppose a Russian spyplane had been in US airspace, maybe flying out of Cuba? And suppose a brave USAF pilot had lost his life in a mid-air collision trying to stop the dastardly Russians from spying? And then the Russians wanted their spyplane, with all its bounty of high-tech gadgetry, back? It would have been "tough luck, Boris."

Yup. death vans are horrible, and vile: but so is the death penalty. And we trade with Saudi Arabia quite happily, and they execute a far higher proportion of their people in a far nastier way.

Or would you rather we applied different values to China from everyone else? That would kind of make a mockery of those values, then. If it's ok for one person to do something but not ok for another to do the same thing, what does that say about us and the way we view the world?

I'm just trying to be clear about this.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 06:17 PM
I'm with you rich...

as i mentioned(or implied..) in lass's thread, people in glass houses shouldnt throw stones....

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 07:50 PM
I already said in that thread that the only source is from 1 person making up crap.

I don't see anyone with a needle, nor do I see any doctors on board. To tell you the truth, those people don't even look Asian.

I can stick "U.S." for every "China" in the blog and spread it around the Eastern media and even here in the U.S. and people would believe it.

Yellow journalism is what causes wars, at least it made the U.S. join WWI.

On this forum, I doubt 50-90% of the news topics simply because they do not seem plausible and only came from 1 source and is linked by other sources.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 08:03 PM
reply to post by rich23

Interesting question to the posters on this thread: would you rather you got goods from a country that didn't execute people but where the workers toiled in the worst sweatshops imaginable, or from a country where the workers were fairly treated but a draconian government executed people for crimes that might be punished with imprisonment in your own?

Why are you asking a person to chose between two evils? None of the above please, and in spades and willing to participate in a world wide movement to ensure all systems become decent and in the peoples hands, and that the leaders get charged and imprisoned instead.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 08:47 PM
How come this post is on the front page with 11 flags and the original thread by the lass at 25 flags is not?

Something stinks in Denmark, or at least ATSland.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 09:05 PM
Don't ask me... I never look at the front page, myself.

As you ask... it might be that I've looked at the article more carefully.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:15 PM
reply to post by rich23

Thank you for your kind words, Rich.

And thank you for a very well considered post & thread.

However I do disagree on a couple of points.

I'm loathe to defend the Daily Mail however in this particular instance their statistics may indeed bear some resemblance to reality.

Amnesty International, in its 2006 report into the worldwide application of the death penalty, suggested that approximately 8,000 individuals were executed in China in 2005 with the official total being witheld by the Chinese authorities as a state secret. There's no evidence to suggest that the Chinese authorities have become more tolerant during the intervening period. A ballpark figure of 10,000 executions per annum is therefore not an unreasonable estimate, especially considering that these execution trucks now scuttle around Chinese streets.

Amnesty International estimated that at least 1,770 people were executed in China during the year, although the true figures were believed to be much higher. A Chinese legal expert was quoted as stating the figure for executions is approximately 8,000 based on information from local officials and judges, but official national statistics on the application of the death penalty remained classified as a state secret.

Amnesty International - Facts And Figures On The Death Penalty

As to the comparative figures between the USA, China & Saudi Arabia etc, they're of little relevance here. The Mail's article is about death trucks in China, not on the streets of Riyadh or Miami. If you think I'm any less critical of the execution rates in middle eastern countries you're very much mistaken. Nor am I particularly impressed that the USA still retains the death penalty, but at least it's retained there by popular consent and subject to a comprehensive & accountable judicial system

Regarding the harvesting of organs, it was the Chinese Deputy Health Minister Huang Jiefu who in 2006 stated that organs are routinely harvested from executed prisoners, it's official state policy to obtain consent for organ donation from the soon to be executed ... how sick is that ? The criticism from the prisoners families is that organs are removed whether or not consent is given, hence the black market reference to which the Daily Mail refers.

China's government has admitted that an illegal traffic in human organs for transplant actually exists, but blamed it on the work of rogue surgeons. For this reason, it has called on the members of the profession to adhere to a "code of conduct". Addressing a conference of surgeons in Guangzhou yesterday, Deputy Health Minister Huang Jiefu acknowledged that most organs harvested come from executed prisoners. He insisted that informed consent must inform organ harvesting, that donation be voluntary and done with the consent of donors or their families.

Asia News - China, executions & organ trafficking

Whilst I do understand the points you make, I honestly don't see how this can be regarded as spin. Amnesty International have given their best estimate in the circumstances, presumably the Mail has picked up on that. I don't think the Chinese authorities are somehow any less culpable because they execute fewer, per capita, than our supposed friends in the middle east. In fact, the lack of human rights in the middle east ... especially in those nations in which we have an economic, trade or military interest ... demands a thread of its very own.

China is not above criticism, no matter their increasing influence, and it's incumbent on us to both highlight and condemn human rights abuses wherever they occur.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 11:54 PM
reply to post by rich23

My first question is; have you ever lived in China? It is fairly safe to say, that you have not. Thus your relying 3rd party news.

Second question; are the vans real and used for organ harvesting? Yes on both accounts. If you need a transplant come to China and place an order. The prisoners are all classed by blood type/tissue type making it easier to get a match quickly. Once a match is found and payment made, the prisoner is taken for a ride to the airport. Of course not all of the prisoner boards the plane, only the parts needed.

Organ harvesting and stem cells are highly sought after items and will fetch top dollar with no questions asked. There are things they do here that you have no idea of and would be outraged to learn about. However, the same goes for other countries as well.

To the Lass, it was great that this has been brought out but it has been going on for years. Having a 10,000 per year harvest rate can at times be excessive and at other time be conservative. All depends upon demand at the time. What some fail to address is that any group that the gov considers a threat or has been outlawed are rounded up, put in prison with no trial and are subject to execution or organ harvest outside of the declared figure.

Should the OP of this thread realize this he would quickly understand that the 10,000 victims can be very conservative. Remember the Fallon Gong? There were at one time several million but not anymore and they didn't get to leave for another country either. They were either shot or harvested depending upon the need at the time. Those that were not got locked up, the key thrown away and put into forced labor.

BTW, I have seen the trucks in mention, all the major cities have them. Welcome the the UN's model country for the world aren't you just thrilled!

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 12:04 AM
I can't understand why there is this obsession with China, when a great deal of injustice is occurring at home (refer to my submission in the original thread) and all over the world either with US being directly or indirectly involved.

Without going into a lengthy history recap, the assassination of the democratically elected president Allende by the CIA to install the Pinochet regime, where thousands of civilians and activist disappeared, including US citizens. During that period Chile was the torture capital of the world, where some of the most heinous form of torture was perfected. Saddam Hussein would look like a saint in comparison. The silence from US was deafening, when Pinochet was arrested for crimes against humanity. He went to his grave without paying for his crime. Remember Saddam was hanged?

The same story goes for Iran and the Shah of Persia. The US milked Iran's oil for all its worth, while allowing the puppet government and its secret police rein terror on its citizens. Iran today is the unfortunate result of US policies.

In the present day, US involvement in human rights abuse still exists all over the world, either openly or covertly. Foremost on the list would be its total complicity with Israel in committing the atrocities and genocide on the hopeless people in Gaza. Moreover, evidence are mounting that Gaza is being used as a testing ground for US developed weapons.

All this on a population that is 79% living in poverty, with its children scavenging in the tips for survival. All its infrastructure and services razed to the ground. You can bet the US will veto any attempt at bringing war crimes charges on Israel.

How much more worse can it get when you have the most powerful nation on earth helping one of the most well equipped army in the world raining terror and death on women, children and grandmothers armed only with rocks and stones.

To think Steven Spielberg withdrew from the Beijing Olympics as artistic director in protest over so called China's human rights abuse in Tibet amounts to commenting on a needle in somebody's eye when you have a telegraph pole stuck in yours.

So to keep harping on China or any other country about their conduct without taking a good long look at oneself and one's own human rights record is in my mind, utter hypocrisy.

PS. It is refreshing to come across rich23 comments as it is rare for people to come up with alternative views and dare to challenge the norm. Congratulations and hats off to you!

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 12:29 AM
reply to post by A Conscience

It's got nothing to do with our recent history.

It's got everything to do with some here now relegating Chinese human rights to second place behind the economic survival of the United States.

Kowtowing to dictators, that's what it is. Shame on you.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 01:31 AM
reply to post by rich23

that China is demonised for doing things that other countries do as a matter of routine. I'm not saying that these things are good, but that China's being singled out where other countries (including the US) are similarly culpable.

You're joking, right ?

Tiananmen Massacre

June 3 - The Assault Begins
As word spreads that ... thousands of troops are approaching from all four corners of the city, Beijingers flood the streets to block them, as they had done two weeks earlier. People set up barricades at every major interstion. At about 10:30 p.m., near the Muxidi apartment buildings -- home to high-level Party officials and their families -- the citizens become aggressive as the army tries to break through their barricades. They yell at the soldiers and some throw rocks; someone sets a bus on fire. The soldiers start firing on the unarmed civilians with AK-47s loaded with battlefield ammunition.

The wounded are taken to nearby hospitals on bicycles and pull-carts, but the hospital staff are unequipped to deal with the severe wounds. Muxidi sees the highest casualties of the night; an untold number of people are killed.

June 4 - The Massacre Continues
Later that morning, some people -- believed to be the parents of the student protestors -- try to re-enter Tiananmen Square via Chang'an Boulevard. The soldiers order them to leave, and when they don't, open fire, taking down dozens of people at a time. According to eyewitness accounts, the citizens seem not to believe the army is firing on them with real ammunition.

"[A]fter a little while, like 40 minutes, people would gather up their nerve again and would crawl back to the corner and start screaming at the soldiers, and then the commander would eventually give another signal … and they'd shoot more in the backs," remembers journalist Jan Wong, who watched it all from her hotel room above the boulevard. "And this went on more than half a dozen times in the day." When rescue workers try to approach the street to remove the wounded, they, too, are shot.

No one knows for certain how many people died over the two days. The Chinese Red Cross initially reported 2,600, then quickly retracted that figure under intense pressure from the government. The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded.

Source : PBS

Estimates have run has high as 20,000 killed during the two-day period. We'll knever know how many died, because after the shooting was over, then heavy battle tanks repeatedly ran over the masses of bodies, pulverizing them. After the tanks were finished then whatever remained was burned in situ.

Ok, so maybe you're serious - but, in that case you've gotta be less than 30-years old ...

Have good one.

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