Bill Gertz’s Journamalism

No other journalist has done more to bang the drum for the “China threat” meme than Bill Gertz of the Moonie Times. Today he’s outdone himself in a story that would make any serious journalist blush. China, he states matter-of-factly, is arming the world’s terrorists and the US knows it but doesn’t say a word because China is good for big business. Of course, no one will go on the record about it, and he doesn’t seem to have asked anyone in the administration whether it’s true or not.

New intelligence reveals China is covertly supplying large quantities of small arms and weapons to insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban militia in Afghanistan, through Iran.

U.S. government appeals to China to check some of the arms shipments in advance were met with stonewalling by Beijing, which insisted it knew nothing about the shipments and asked for additional intelligence on the transfers. The ploy has been used in the past by China to hide its arms-proliferation activities from the United States, according to U.S. officials with access to the intelligence reports.

Some arms were sent by aircraft directly from Chinese factories to Afghanistan and included large-caliber sniper rifles, millions of rounds of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and components for roadside bombs, as well as other small arms.

The Washington Times reported June 5 that Chinese-made HN-5 anti-aircraft missiles were being used by the Taliban.

According to the officials, the Iranians, in buying the arms, asked Chinese state-run suppliers to expedite the transfers and to remove serial numbers to prevent tracing their origin. China, for its part, offered to transport the weapons in order to prevent the weapons from being interdicted.

The Bush administration has been trying to hide or downplay the intelligence reports to protect its pro-business policies toward China, and to continue to claim that China is helping the United States in the war on terrorism. U.S. officials have openly criticized Iran for the arms transfers but so far there has been no mention that China is a main supplier.

Just look at the first sentence. He doesn’t say that unnamed sources are alleging there’s new intelligence proving China’s ties to the terrorists. No, he simply states that it’s a fact that new intelligence proves it is so. That settles that.

Is it true? I s China arming the Taliban and the Iraqi insurgents? It may be true, but nowhere does Gertz seriously explore the question the way a real journalist would. It’s written from a thoroughly ideological standpoint and, as usual, its goal is clearly to rally the neocon nutcases. Gertz was clearly successful, as the story was promptly picked up by Free Republic and other wingnut blogs.

Gertz does quote an ex-State Department official now at the Heritage Foundation, John Tkacik, but if you look carefully, nowhere does Tkacik say that China is arming terrorists. No one from the government is asked whether there is any truth to the allegation. It’s pure innuendo and speculation.

In the most vile example of journamalistic abuse, Gertz boldly states the following:

Iran is adding Chinese-made small boats armed with anti-ship cruise missiles to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy that can be used in attacks on shipping in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, according to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).

Reading this, you are led to believe the ONI spokesperson had made some reference to China. Only he never did. Here’s the actual words:

“Iran still states that the [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy] will employ swarming tactics in a conflict,” ONI analyst Robert Althage said in an e-mail, noting that the paramilitary organization “continues to add boats armed with anti-ship cruise missiles, such as the FL-10, to its inventory.”

Gertz then says the FL-10’s are made and supplied by China. So you see, it’s Gertz who is referencing China, not Althage. He has misled readers into believing ONI singled out China when it never happened. Gertz is using a cheap journamalistic trick to make it seem that way. This is gutter journalism and proves all my worst fears about Gertz.

It amazes me that Gertz can get away with this. Whenever you hear him cited as a source, be very suspicious Every word he says must be taken with a huge grain of sea salt.

The Discussion: 32 Comments

For a man who has no time to monitor his own blog, young Anakin, you sure seem to have enough time for Right-wing hatred to consume you at times… ๐Ÿ˜‰

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader

Oh, BTW, Wiki is unblocked as of this hour. Go figure…

June 16, 2007 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

So, how could we actually find out where the FL-10’s are coming from? I guess that would provide a judgement for the ultimate legitimacy of the story.

June 16, 2007 @ 11:40 pm | Comment

Well, in defense of his assertion (not in defense of Gertz), some of the weapons being used against our troops in Afghanistan were Chinese made and the missile attack against the US in Kuwait a few years ago was a Chinese-made silkworm (according to what I remember reading).

June 17, 2007 @ 12:44 am | Comment

I’ve also heard that the PLA is covertly training Mexican immigrants in illegal border crossing tactics. Someone call Lou Dobbs.

June 17, 2007 @ 1:57 am | Comment

Sam, Gertz could have said the F10s came from China. But he made it sound like someone else said it and he was reporting it. And that totally sucks. It is the epitome of sleazy journalism.

June 17, 2007 @ 3:12 am | Comment

canrun, only on weekends can I take the time to scan the neocon propaganda sites…. And yes, I learned wikipedia was unblocked a couple of days ago – enjoy it while you can!

June 17, 2007 @ 3:15 am | Comment

Some in the US gov’t are so ready to attack Iran over arming the Iraqi insurgency that I’ll bet someone in Iranian intel rolled over on China.

It has been known for a while that China has been arming the Taliban in Pakistan through local tribes who then carry out raids against NATO and Afgan forces and blocked a UN resolution to declare the largest tribe and supporter of the Taliban a terrorist organization.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Jamat-ud-Dawa+and+China&btnG=Search“” target=”_blank”>link

And it isn’t just with guns, US and NATO aircraft have been getting shot at with PLA shoulder fired missiles.

So how’s that flag waving going now Rick?
Could you give us your rendition of “Big China”?

June 17, 2007 @ 6:07 am | Comment

Gertz then says the FL-10’s are made and supplied by China. So you see, it’s Gertz who is referencing China, not Althage. He has misled readers into believing ONI singled out China when it never happened. Gertz is using a cheap journamalistic trick to make it seem that way. This is gutter journalism and proves all my worst fears about Gertz.

Richard, the FL-10s ARE supplied by China. They were exported in 1990s and upgraded at the end of that decade. Iran makes them, with technical assistance supplied in the 1990s by China. I guess you could take Geertz to task for saying they were “made” in China, but since they are copies of Chinese missiles, the use of the word is legit….

scroll down deal to upgrade them with China

FL-10 is copy of Chinese Fl-2, according to FAS’ extensive list of China-Iran missile cooperation.

Bates Gill says it is copy of FL-2 or FL-7.

Michael

June 17, 2007 @ 9:10 am | Comment

Right, but then, following Michael’s empirical logic, you could fault the United States for supplying Iran with F-14 parts via Oliver North. Neither the U.S. nor China has excessive military cooperation with Iran, and Bill Gertz’s claim does little to establish otherwise.

June 17, 2007 @ 9:52 am | Comment

Don’t attack Iran and screw around in the Middle East if you don’t like it.

June 17, 2007 @ 9:54 am | Comment

Michael, bad logic, I’m afraid. I will say it again. Gertz leave the impression an official specifically called out China for selling arms to terrorists. He did not. The official said not a word about China. t-co’s point is valid. The person quoted said Iran was using arms including FL-10s. What about the other arms – are they from China? We don’t know. The sentence is spun to intentionally mislead readers: ”
Iran is adding Chinese-made small boats armed with anti-ship cruise missiles to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy that can be used in attacks on shipping in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, according to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).” ” This makes you think an official said something about China. You can parse it and justify it and say it’s technically correct because theboats were made in CHina. But it’s still shitty journalism. But look at the article as a whole. It’s entirely built on constructs like this, misleading language and a dearth of facts. Go back to my example of the first sentence. This is how Gertz operates. Forget about the FL-10s if you think the way he reported it was fair and upfront (which it is not). Look at the whole ting, and the impression it leaves in the minds of ignorant readers (and again, looking at the many right-wing blogs that have picked it up since I wrote my post, you can see that Gertz’ formula works like a charm).

June 17, 2007 @ 11:50 am | Comment

Right, but then, following Michael’s empirical logic, you could fault the United States for supplying Iran with F-14 parts via Oliver North. Neither the U.S. nor China has excessive military cooperation with Iran, and Bill Gertz’s claim does little to establish otherwise.

t-co, I DO fault the US for doing that, and it has nothing to do with Richard’s claim or Geertz’s. No matter how duplicious the US is, it has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of specific claims about Chinese behavior.

The word “excessive” is a non-word in this context. Does China supply weapons technology to Iran? Yes. How much is excessive depends on the judgment of the reader.

I think you’re overreachting, Richard. The entire passage is here:

First Geertz lays out his case:

Iran is adding Chinese-made small boats armed with anti-ship cruise missiles to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy that can be used in attacks on shipping in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, according to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). “Iran still states that the [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy] will employ swarming tactics in a conflict,” ONI analyst Robert Althage said in an e-mail, noting that the paramilitary organization “continues to add boats armed with anti-ship cruise missiles, such as the FL-10, to its inventory.”

It’s clear what ONI says, Geertz cites the source in the next paragraph, so you know what was said. The rest follows as a conclusion to the information provided by ONI.

China began supplying Iran over the past several years with small, high-speed C-14 catamarans armed with the optically guided FL-10 anti-ship cruise missiles.

Is this true? Well, in 2002, China demonstrated these craft and Iran was the first customer, according to a 2002 Janes’ Report. source. So Geertz’s account is accurate.

We already have established that the FL-10 is a copy of a Chinese missile, and if you read further, you will soon find that Chinese technicians are in Iran helping them to install and operate these craft.

Geertz then supplies more than he has to — don’t be too concerned, he adds, the exercise are just publicity.

Mr. Althage said in response to questions posed by Bloomberg News that recent exercises by the Iranians did not show any new capabilities and that the maneuvers appeared designed “for publicity.”

The rest of it consists of a list of stuff Iran owns, nothing controversial.

Currently, Iran operates three Russian-made Kilo submarines but has not yet mined waterways, the ONI analyst stated.

A 2004 ONI report said the Iranian IRGC navy has more than 1,000 small boats ranging in length from 17 to 60 feet, and many are concentrated near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, where a large majority of the world’s oil passes.
The boats can be used in attacks against shipping and include infantry weapons, unguided barrage rockets, recoilless guns, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

So, let’s look at a few questions. Does China have excessive military cooperation with Iran? A non-question. Does China supply Iran with missile and other weapons technology? Yes. Is China’s missile technology crucial to Iran’s missile development? Yes. Is China supplying weapons to organizations in the Middle East? Yes. Are any of Geertz’s claims false? No. Does Geertz slant his case? Of course. He’s a right-wing nut. But even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then.

You’ve way overreacted, Richard. And this creates problems for those of us on the Left who are not exactly enamored of China. The Left has a massive blind spot when it comes to China. Absolutely massive. It’s difficult to even discuss with them, because the usual comeback is a total non sequitor like the one t-co trundled out that says the US sucks too. Hey no shit, but that hardly helps us think about what we should be doing about China. So all my allies on the China and Taiwan issue are people I have to take a shower after dealing with.

So it might be better to ask what it means for world peace that China claims all or part of most of its neighboring states, is arming authoritarian states and pouring even more weapons into the already destabilized middle east (yes, I know, destabilized due to Israeli and US policy). That’s the question Geertz’s piece ought to confront you with, however poorly it is written.

Michael

June 17, 2007 @ 12:49 pm | Comment

PREVIOUS PIECE WAS A MESS SO I HAVE REPOSTED

Right, but then, following Michael’s empirical logic, you could fault the United States for supplying Iran with F-14 parts via Oliver North. Neither the U.S. nor China has excessive military cooperation with Iran, and Bill Gertz’s claim does little to establish otherwise.

t-co, I DO fault the US for doing that, and it has nothing to do with Richard’s claim or Geertz’s. No matter how duplicious the US is, it has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of specific claims about Chinese behavior.

The word “excessive” is a non-word in this context. Does China supply weapons technology to Iran? Yes. How much is excessive depends on the judgment of the reader.

I think you’re overreacting, Richard. The entire passage is here:

First Geertz lays out his case:

Iran is adding Chinese-made small boats armed with anti-ship cruise missiles to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy that can be used in attacks on shipping in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, according to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).

Note that Geertz claims the boats are chinese made, that they can be used in attacks on shipping, and that ONI is cited as the source.

What did ONI say? Geertz states it:

“Iran still states that the [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps navy] will employ swarming tactics in a conflict,” ONI analyst Robert Althage said in an e-mail, noting that the paramilitary organization “continues to add boats armed with anti-ship cruise missiles, such as the FL-10, to its inventory.”

It’s clear what ONI says, Geertz cites the source in the next paragraph, so you know what was said. The rest follows as a conclusion to the information provided by ONI.

China began supplying Iran over the past several years with small, high-speed C-14 catamarans armed with the optically guided FL-10 anti-ship cruise missiles.

Is this true? Well, in 2002, China demonstrated these craft and Iran was the first customer, according to a 2002 Janes’ Report. source. So Geertz’s account is accurate.

We already have established that the FL-10 is a copy of a Chinese missile, and if you read further, you will soon find that Chinese technicians are in Iran helping them to install and operate these craft.

Geertz then supplies more than he has to — don’t be too concerned, he adds, the exercise are just publicity.

Mr. Althage said in response to questions posed by Bloomberg News that recent exercises by the Iranians did not show any new capabilities and that the maneuvers appeared designed “for publicity.”

The rest of it consists of a list of stuff Iran owns, nothing controversial.

Currently, Iran operates three Russian-made Kilo submarines but has not yet mined waterways, the ONI analyst stated.

A 2004 ONI report said the Iranian IRGC navy has more than 1,000 small boats ranging in length from 17 to 60 feet, and many are concentrated near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, where a large majority of the world’s oil passes.
The boats can be used in attacks against shipping and include infantry weapons, unguided barrage rockets, recoilless guns, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

So, let’s look at a few questions. Does China have excessive military cooperation with Iran? A non-question. Does China supply Iran with missile and other weapons technology? Yes. Is China’s missile technology crucial to Iran’s missile development? Yes. Is China supplying weapons to organizations in the Middle East? Yes. Are any of Geertz’s claims false? No. Does Geertz slant his case? Of course. He’s a right-wing nut. But even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then.

You’ve way overreacted, Richard. And this creates problems for those of us on the Left who are not exactly enamored of China. The Left has a massive blind spot when it comes to China. Absolutely massive. It’s difficult to even discuss with them, because the usual comeback is a total non sequitor like the one t-co trundled out that says the US sucks too. Hey no shit, but that hardly helps us think about what we should be doing about China. So all my allies on the China and Taiwan issue are people I have to take a shower after dealing with. That sucks for me.

So it might be better to ask what it means for world peace that China claims all or part of most of its neighboring states, is arming authoritarian states and pouring even more weapons into the already destabilized middle east (yes, I know, destabilized due to Israeli and US policy). That’s the question Geertz’s piece ought to confront you with, however poorly it is written. If you think similar US behavior sucks, then Chinese behavior ought to concern you. Even more.

June 17, 2007 @ 12:53 pm | Comment

Excellent commentary, Michael.

June 17, 2007 @ 1:07 pm | Comment

Michael, you really are missing a simple point. Everything Gertz is alleging may be true. Where he is being a bad journalist is with the phrase: “according to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).”

He is making us think the ONI official made a statement about China. It is Gertz who is putting the word China in his mouth. Even if the FL-10s are China made, the ONI official made no such reference, but by Gertz’s facile use of words you would think he did exactly that. All I am talking about is journalistic practices. Not about whether China is bad or good or arming terrorists. Gertz has totally stacked the deck to make readers believe it is a fact that new intelligence proves China is arming terrorists and that the claim was backed up by an ONI official. There is no blind spot. But as I said in my earlier comment, forget this point about the FL-10s, where you, I believe, have a blind spot. Look at the whole. It is a story built on sand and is not supported by standard journalistic processes – asking the official quoted about China -asking ANYONE whether this story about the intelligence on China can be verified or how it was obtained. This is truly shit journalism, and if such a story were to be written making claims about Chen Shui Bian without evidence and with carefully worded sentences designed to leave the reader with a specific impression about Chen’s dishonesty or corruption, you’d be furious. Again, it’s not a question of whether Gertz’s contention is true or false, but how he presents it, in a devious and intentionally misleading manner. Can you defend the opening sentence, without the word “alleged” anywhere in it? If so, then we can stop the argument here because you are letting your prejudices get in the way. And as you know, I have my own prejudices about China, and in my attempt to be fair I am always trying to keep them in check. Because a part of me would love to believe every word of Gertz’s story. But knowing this, I go out of my way to make sure I’m being fair. This is not due to any blind spot. I call the CCP on their BS every day. But if we do it this way, the sleazy way Gertz does it, we will lose all our credibility.

June 17, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

“You’ve way overreacted, Richard. And this creates problems for those of us on the Left who are not exactly enamored of China. The Left has a massive blind spot when it comes to China. Absolutely massive.”

From what I’ve seen it’s generally pretty fickle, but it’s forming more in populist/human rights perspectives.

They are a little out of date and very misinformed, though.

June 17, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

“This is not due to any blind spot. I call the CCP on their BS every day. But if we do it this way, the sleazy way Gertz does it, we will lose all our credibility.”

Richard:

I know where Bill Gertz gets some of his intel and it is all real and reliable. For example, before Gulf War I, china sold Iraq germ weapon warheads made out of concrete, concrete protects the bacterial spores from the heat of re-entry. Saddam shot off a couple blank warheads at the US just outside of Baghdad and Bush I got the message.

Richard, you may not like what you hear about your chinese gods, but they aren’t very friendly people and you need to be aware of that. These are the same people that have been unconditionally supporting the Kim family for 50 years.

June 17, 2007 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

Gertz knows what he is talking about. Be scared, be very very scared. True, it’s a Moonie rag, but Gertz is no Moonie. Now, in related news, I heard this speech in a dream last night:

It was titled

”China, tear down this gate!”

and it went like this:

Longtime observers of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have said,
“The China question is open as long as the CCP rules China.” And as
long as the gate of freedom in China remains closed, as long as this
scar of a gate is permitted to stand, it is not the China question
alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all
humankind. Yet, today there is a message of hope inside China, a
message of triumph, where slowly people are trying to take matters
into their own hands and set up a democratic movement inside the
country that can finally replace the CCP. It can happen and it will
happen.

Leaders of democratic countries around the world understood the
practical importance of liberty — that just as truth can flourish
only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can
come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic
freedom. China will learn that soon enough.

In fact, even now, in a limited way, the current leaders of China may
be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from
Beijing about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political
prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts and
Internet sites are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises
have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state
control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the CCP? Or are they
token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to
strengthen the Chinese system without changing it? We welcome change
and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together,
that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of
world peace. There is one sign the Chinese communists can make that
would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of
freedom and peace.

President Hu Jintao, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for
China and Hong Kong and Macao and Taiwan, if you seek liberalization:
Come here to this gate of tyranny, and replace it with a gate of
freedom! Mr. Hu, replace this gate! Mr. Hu, let freedom ring!

I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict the
leaders of China today — and I know that my country will use all its
efforts to help overcome these burdens. When freedom finally comes to
the Chinese people, they and their leaders will be surprised how
wonderful it feels.

Today represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to
cooperate with China to promote true openness, to break down barriers
that separate people, to create a safe, freer world.
The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such
violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to
enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love
and of worship an affront.

As one looks at China today, from across the sea, one can perhaps
catch a glimpse of some words crudely spray-painted upon the gate,
perhaps by a young Bejinger: “This gate will fall. Beliefs become
reality.” Yes, across China, this gate will fall. For it cannot
withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The gate cannot withstand
freedom.

(with a tip of the old hat to Ronald Reagan, of course….)

June 17, 2007 @ 3:33 pm | Comment

Well, nanhe, if you tell us Gertz is right because you know his secret sources, then you’ve won me over and I take everything back Because no one is as free of blind spots or prejudices about China than you.

Richard, you may not like what you hear about your chinese gods,

Are you totally nuts? Just because I don’t hurl insults repetitively about China the way you do doesn’t mean I see the Chinese leaders as gods. Did you see the post today about the poisonous Chinese exports, and the many others I’ve put up on the same issue. On SARS? On human rights? On slave labor? On a hundred other things? Please cut the crap, right now. As I said, the CCP is guilty of many sins, but if we use Gertz’s techniques to disclose them, we’ll have no legs to stand on because he’s a propagandist, not a journalist.

June 17, 2007 @ 3:40 pm | Comment

Again, Danny, Gertz may be 100 percent correct. This story, however, makes him look like an alarmist and a manipulator of facts and quotes. Period.

Sometime arguing with ideologues is really like banging your head against a wall. Simple claim: bad journalism. Shitty follow-up and facile use of quotes to create a misleading perception. Period. Shall I repeat it once more? Gertz may be right on all counts. This article only makes him look like a BSer.

June 17, 2007 @ 3:44 pm | Comment

And it’s very interesting to watch those who come to Gertz’s defense. I could have told you in advance who they would be, the way I could have told you how Hong Xing and Math would react to the Shanxi slavery story.

June 17, 2007 @ 3:47 pm | Comment

Michael, you really are missing a simple point. Everything Gertz is alleging may be true. Where he is being a bad journalist is with the phrase: “according to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).”

He is making us think the ONI official made a statement about China.

He does not. In the very next paragraph he supplies the exact quote he got from the official, so anyone reading can compare. Not only that, but this comment:

Can you defend the opening sentence, without the word “alleged” anywhere in it? If so, then we can stop the argument here because you are letting your prejudices get in the way.

There doesn’t need to be “alleged” Richard, because this is four year old intel, at least. These ships were sold, as I have already pointed out, five years ago. The missiles were sold, almost 15 years ago. This is what we call common knowledge, found openly on Global Security, FAS, Defense News, Janes, etc. Stop accusing me of being prejudiced.

Geertz just revives this claim as if it were new, a common yellow journalism tactic. You’ve correctly identified that Geertz is a shit, you’ve just not discovered why. From my perspective, it is important that the Baby of Chinese proliferation not be lost with the Bath Water of Geertz being a shit. The level of noise you’re making suggests that in fact the reality of Chinese behavior is going to be lost, and everyone is instead going to gather round the Old Duck and engage in mutual high-fiving about didn’t we sink Geertz that rat bastard? again.

But I think this gets to a deeper problem, Richard. The progressive China “policy” consists largely of saying how the NeoCons suck. They have no positive policy of their own. And you know, when one side has a proactive policy, and the other doesn’t even have the issue on its radar, we know who is going to win that clash. As long as you focus on how the other side presents its message, you will have no message of your own. And at the moment, you don’t.

I just want to thank you, because I finally figured out the frame for a post on this issue at DKos, which I’ve been struggling with for three weeks. Thanks, man.

So here’s the question and let’s move forward:

What is the Progressive China Policy? And what should it be?

Michael

June 17, 2007 @ 5:44 pm | Comment

Michael, I am really loving this argument. Here is the first sentence, where I said he had to say “allegedly” or give a source or something to level with his readers:

New intelligence reveals China is covertly supplying large quantities of small arms and weapons to insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban militia in Afghanistan, through Iran.

And here is how you, Michael, justify Gertz’s perversion of journalism:

There doesn’t need to be “alleged” Richard, because this is four year old intel, at least.

Hmmm, Gertz says “new intelligence.” This is a story about breaking news. Incredibly, you justify Gertz’s opening sentence, though in the same breath you say the intelligence is four years old. Breathtaking. Anyway, Michael, you’re right, it’s great reporting and it’s clear this was old intelligence, even though he said it was new. I give up.

June 17, 2007 @ 6:39 pm | Comment

I find it’s very funny if you still believe US “intelligence” 100% after all they did to convince you to go for Iraq war (remember all those WMD, blablabla). Not to mention all they did in the 20th century in many countries (assasinations, topple down various governments, etc).

IMHO, this seems like US just wants to find a scapegoat, someone who they can blame for the failure in Iraq. China (and many other countries) does not support US war in Iraq, if those Americans were killed in Iraq, how can you blame China? You guys are the ones who want to go there and ready to get killed.

If Iran bought the weapons from China, whose those weapons are used against is not China’s responsibility. Let’s say I sell you a hammer, you kill a person (let’s call him A) using that hammer, do you think A’s family should blame me?

Beside that, it’s not like Iran and China is enemy, so if China wants to sell the weapons to Iran, that is not US business. And what? US keeps selling weapons to Taiwan, ask Japan to change their pacifist constitution, form a military engagement (US, Japan, Australia, India) to contain China, and many other unseen methods to break China apart (through Dalai Lama, Rebiya, etc).

June 18, 2007 @ 9:09 am | Comment

“If Iran bought the weapons from China, whose those weapons are used against is not China’s responsibility. Let’s say I sell you a hammer, you kill a person (let’s call him A) using that hammer, do you think A’s family should blame me?”

If you know that I am going to kill A with the hammer you are selling me, yes, you are guilty of being an accessory.

June 18, 2007 @ 11:46 am | Comment

@nanheyangrouchuan

“If you know that I am going to kill A with the hammer you are selling me, yes, you are guilty of being an accessory.”

Yes, that is if I know, what if I don’t know? What if I am just a “tools store” owner, how can I check every buyers what will they do with the hammer?

In this case, let’s say Iran is a friend of China, if Iran tells China that it needs to buy weapons for self-defence in case USA wants to invade Iran after they invaded Iraq, how can China refuse? Beside that, everyone has been speculating that USA is going to invade Iran.

June 18, 2007 @ 2:27 pm | Comment

heres something

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/contentions/index.php/chang/549

Chinaโ€™s Arms Trail
Gordon G. Chang – 6.18.2007 – 3:58PM

China is secretly supplying large quantities of small arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan (and to insurgents in Iraq), according to a report in Fridayโ€™s Washington Times. Iran is paying for the shipments of these sniper rifles, bullets, rocket-propelled grenades, and components for roadside bombs. The article claims that China, at its own suggestion, even transported some of the materiel to avoid interdiction. The arms in question are of recent design and may have been delivered as recently as three months ago.

This is by no means the first report of links between China and the Taliban. On or soon after September 11, 2001, Beijing signed an economic and technical assistance agreement with the Taliban, and in the weeks following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, China built a communications system for Kabul. Allied forces found Chinese munitions in Afghanistan following the Talibanโ€™s defeat, and there have been scattered reports of such dealings over the past decade. (The Chinese embassy declined comment on the Washington Times report.)

The article also states that Beijing has rebuffed American attempts to stop the recent arms shipments by denying any knowledge and then asking for intelligence on the transfers. This is Chinaโ€™s standard tactic when confronted with claims of its duplicitous conduct. If Beijing can track down three Falun Gong practitioners in a remote upland village in Gansu province, how can it not know about a decade of arms sales to the Taliban by its state-owned factories?

Chinese weapons are killing American soldiers. The Bush administration, incredibly, is letting Beijing get away with it. This year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has cited repeatedly Iranโ€™s supplying arms to Iraqi insurgents and to the Taliban, but he has not said one public word about Chinaโ€™s involvement. If the Chinese believe they can commit hostile acts against the U.S. with impunity, it is largely because of Washingtonโ€™s lack of response to their belligerent conduct.

Last Tuesday, President Bush dedicated a memorial in Washington to the victims of global Communism with a stirring speech. Yet it is wrong for him to deliver inspirational words about the casualties of that murderous ideology and not to say anything about Chinaโ€™s creating more of themโ€”especially when the new ones are American men and women in uniform.

June 19, 2007 @ 10:52 am | Comment

“The Bush administration, incredibly, is letting Beijing get away with it. This year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has cited repeatedly Iranโ€™s supplying arms to Iraqi insurgents and to the Taliban, but he has not said one public word about Chinaโ€™s involvement. If the Chinese believe they can commit hostile acts against the U.S. with impunity, it is largely because of Washingtonโ€™s lack of response to their belligerent conduct.”

We ought to be asking this question to the panda-huggers in the state department and our good buddies at Amscam.

June 19, 2007 @ 2:35 pm | Comment

I think some people need to realize that, USA (and allies) is the invader here. Remember Soviet Union in Afghanistan?

June 19, 2007 @ 3:56 pm | Comment

“We ought to be asking this question to the panda-huggers in the state department and our good buddies at Amscam.”

You might want to just get the fuck out of the Middle East. Until then, business is business and perhaps you can pout and cross your arms and bleed us a river of frownyface sadpants mangina blood.

June 20, 2007 @ 2:47 pm | Comment

Really amusing that people still bother arguing with nan and Micheal alikes.

June 22, 2007 @ 6:54 am | Comment

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