Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 24 Jun '17 20:41 / 4 edits
    Otto Warmbier was a 22 year old white American student who recently died
    after returning home (in a coma) to the USA from the DPRK (North Korea).
    In 2016 he was convicted of stealing a propaganda poster from a hotel
    in Pyongyang and sentenced to fifteen years in prison in the DPRK.
    (His supporters may claim that a North Korean security camera video of
    someone apparently stealing the poster was not taken of Otto Warmbier
    but rather of a North Korean actor posing as him in order to frame him.)

    In an earlier thread, as I recall, I wrote that I doubted that Otto Warmbier
    would serve his full sentence. I expected him (a 'bargaining chip' ) to be
    released after the DPRK and the USA had worked out a deal.

    I note that the DPRK's still detaining three other US citizens, who all are of
    Korean heritage, and accordingly their cases don't resonate nearly as much
    as of that of an affluent white American with the US media and public.
    Most white Americans find it much easier to identify with Otto Warmbier than with Korean-Americans.

    How did Otto Warmbier end up in coma? No one outside the DPRK knows.
    After doing many tests, American doctors doubt the DPRK"s initial story of botulism.
    American doctors also found no evidence to support accusations (which
    his family seems eager to believe) that Otto Warmbier was tortured.
    (His family refused permission to have an autopsy performed upon him,
    which might have provided more information about his cause of death.)
    US government officials (including President Trump) have apparently
    smugly insinuated that the DPRK must have tortured Otto Warmiber into a coma.

    As a rare white American detained in the DPRK, Otto Warmbier held
    more value as a 'bargaining chip' when he was alive and in good health.
    It would have been against the DPRK's interests to beat him into a coma.
    Another white American who was detained in the DPRK has said that he
    was well-fed (better than ordinary North Korean prisoners) and never beaten.

    Otto Warmbier's father has complained that it was inhumane or criminal to deny
    him 'top notch' medical care in the DPRK. It's easy for Americans to demonize
    the DPRK, but there's no known evidence about the quality of his care in the DPRK.
    (I note that some foreigners detained in the USA have fallen into comas or suddenly died.)
    The DPRK's much poorer than the USA, and ordinary North Koreans don't expect
    the same lavish medical care that the affluent Warmbier family could afford in the USA.
    The privileged Warmbier family seems to have a sense of entitlement,
    expecting that Otto Warmbier should receive much better treatment than
    an ordinary North Korean in the same circumstances. It's possible that
    North Korean doctors and nurses did their best to help Otto Warmbier.
    At least they took enough care of him not to allow him to die away from home.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/21/how-did-otto-warmbier-die

    "How did Otto Warmbier die?"

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/23/otto-warmbier-north-korea-tour-company-215299

    "Who Killed Otto Warmbier?
    Visiting North Korea can be safe. But the tour company that lost an American student
    made key mistakes, people on the trip say."
    --Isaac Stone Fish

    Otto Warmbier visited the DPRK in the custody of Young Pioneer Tours,
    which is based in China, but founded and run by a British expat, Gareth Johnson.
    His tour guide was Charlotte Guttridge (apparently another British expat),
    whom some other tour participants have criticized for her lack of concern about him.

    "Young Pioneer Tours promotes a riskier vibe: “budget travel to
    destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from.”
    These are “binge drinking tours,” says Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor of
    Korean Studies at Tufts University. “That’s part of the lure of going to a
    place like North Korea: You can just go nuts. You can’t do drugs, or go
    to a brothel, so you get smashed.”"

    "Two people I spoke with described a culture of recklessness and intoxication
    throughout the trip. “It seems partying was a bigger part of the job description
    than taking care of us,” said one participant, who asked to speak anonymously.
    Throughout the day, there would be “a fair degree of sobriety and propriety,”
    but during the evenings, the Western tour guides would be drinking heavily,
    a second participant told me. “That is another piece of the whole story,
    that these tour guides bear some responsibility and carried on in a less
    than 100 percent cautious and duly diligent manner.”"

    "Tens of thousands of foreigners visit North Korea each year. Many are Chinese.
    The exact number of Americans is unknown, but it’s likely around 1,000 annually.
    Although the State Department strongly warns against it, and Congress
    is considering legislation to ban American tourism to North Korea, most
    of the dozens of Americans tourists I have spoken to who have visited
    Pyongyang over the last decade consider it to be a safe and worthwhile experience."

    "That’s not to say entering North Korea is risk-free: Fifteen Americans are
    known to have been detained in the country since 2009, with the majority of
    those held after the current leader Kim Jong Un came to power in December 2011.
    The reasons the 15 were likely detained varied: some snuck into the country,
    while some proselytized—violating the cruel norms of North Korea.
    But Warmbier was the only one to die as a result of his experience."

    "Despite Warmbier’s death, I believe North Korea remains a safe place for
    adventurous, but cautious American travelers."
    --Isaac Stone Fish

    Otto Warmbier apparently was adventurous but not cautious enough.

    "“When I first met [Warmbier], I remember sitting next to him and talking, and the way
    he described Beijing made me think he was pretty overwhelmed,” the first participant
    told me sadly. “And my first thought was, ‘he’s in way over his head.’”

    It's a sad yet familiar story. A naïve young person from a safe privileged background
    embraces adventure abroad, takes risks, drinks too much, and pays a tragic price for it.
  2. 24 Jun '17 23:49
    https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9350

    "Prof says Otto Warmbier 'got exactly what he deserved'"

    "A University of Delaware professor claimed Wednesday that Otto Warmbier was typical of
    “rich, white, clueless males” and “got exactly what he deserved” at the hands of the North Koreans.

    Katherine Dettwyler, an anthropology professor at UDel, expressed her feelings on the
    death of Warmbier in the comments section of an article published by National Review,
    as well as on her personal Facebook page.

    Prof asks: "Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved?"
    Dettwyler argues that while in North Korea, Warmbier had acted like a “spoiled, naive, arrogant
    U.S. college student who never had to face the consequences of his actions,” later describing
    him as having the “typical mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males” she teaches."
  3. Subscriber mchill
    cryptogram
    25 Jun '17 00:31 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Otto Warmbier was a 22 year old white American student who recently died
    after returning home (in a coma) to the USA from the DPRK (North Korea).
    In 2016 he was convicted of stealing a propaganda poster from a hotel
    in Pyongyang and sentenced to fifteen years in prison in the DPRK.
    (His supporters may claim that a North Korean security camera video of ...[text shortened]... ground
    embraces adventure abroad, takes risks, drinks too much, and pays a tragic price for it.
    As a rare white American detained in the DPRK, Otto Warmbier held
    more value as a 'bargaining chip' when he was alive and in good health.
    It would have been against the DPRK's interests to beat him into a coma.
    Another white American who was detained in the DPRK has said that he
    was well-fed (better than ordinary North Korean prisoners) and never beaten.




    Yes Duchess, we all know that Otto Warmbier and other white men are the cause of all the world's problems, but do we have to hear about it week after week after week after week?


    Let me save you the trouble Duchess: THE RACIST, SEXIST TROLL MCHILL WHO'S PERSONAL ATTACKS AGAINST ME ARE AN AFFRONT TO MYSELF AND ALL OPPRESSED MINORITIES, CANNOT READ AT THE LEVEL OF A CHILD, AND FEELS THE WHITE MAN IS SUPERIOR IS CLEARLY UNDESERVING OF ANYTHING...YADA... YADA...YADA...YADA...
  4. 25 Jun '17 20:19
    Originally posted by mchill
    As a rare white American detained in the DPRK, Otto Warmbier held
    more value as a 'bargaining chip' when he was alive and in good health.
    It would have been against the DPRK's interests to beat him into a coma.
    Another white American who was detained in the DPRK has said that he
    was well-fed (better than ordinary North Korean prisoners) and never beat ...[text shortened]... E MAN IS SUPERIOR IS CLEARLY UNDESERVING OF ANYTHING...YADA... YADA...YADA...YADA...
    Mchill, who has claimed that white men are the most oppressed group in the USA,
    keeps showing that he's a lying racist troll obsessed with hatred.
  5. 25 Jun '17 20:47
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9350

    "Prof says Otto Warmbier 'got exactly what he deserved'"

    "A University of Delaware professor claimed Wednesday that Otto Warmbier was typical of
    “rich, white, clueless males” and “got exactly what he deserved” at the hands of the North Koreans.

    Katherine Dettwyler, an anthropology professor at UDel, expresse ...[text shortened]... as having the “typical mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males” she teaches."
    Knowing how lying trolls here love to put words into my mouth and misrepresent me,
    I would like to make it clear that I believe that Kathy Dettwyler's rhetorical question,
    "Is it wrong of me of think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved?" was insensitive.

    His family's understandably upset at his shocking fate, and they seem to draw comfort from
    believing that the DPRK must have intentionally tortured their 'innocent' son into a coma.
    American doctors have found no forensic evidence, however, to support that accusation.
    And no one has been able to explain why the 'evil' North Koreans allegedly would have chosen,
    among all the US citizens who have detained in the DPRK, to torture only Otto Warmbier.

    It's ludicrous for white Americans to condemn Kathy Dettwyler (a white American herself)
    for allegedly hating or wishing to incite hatred against all white Americans. And it's also
    ludicrous for them to act as though she must be ignorant of how white Americans behave.

    "I've spent my life teaching folks just like Otto [Warmbier] ... and Otto is typical of the mindset
    of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my [anthropology] classes.
    These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they don't think they'd really
    have to read and study the material to get a good grade. They simply deserve a good grade
    for being who they are. Or instead of crying, they bluster and threaten their female professors.
    His parents, ultimately, are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted.
    Maybe in the US, where young, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women."
    --Kathy Dettwyler (a 63 year old professor of anthropology)

    There's much truth in her statements. In the USA, rich white men tend to grow up being
    extremely arrogant with narcissistic feelings of entitlement. Many of them apparently expect
    that the best grades, best jobs, and hottest women should be theirs instantly for the asking,
    simply because they are privileged white men in a society where wealth and racism are rewarded.
  6. Subscriber mchill
    cryptogram
    26 Jun '17 12:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Knowing how lying trolls here love to put words into my mouth and misrepresent me,
    I would like to make it clear that I believe that Kathy Dettwyler's rhetorical question,
    "Is it wrong of me of think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved?" was insensitive.

    His family's understandably upset at his shocking fate, and they seem to draw comfort ...[text shortened]...
    simply because they are privileged white men in a society where wealth and racism are rewarded.
    "I've spent my life teaching folks just like Otto [Warmbier] ... and Otto is typical of the mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my [anthropology] classes. These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they don't think they'd really have to read and study the material to get a good grade. They simply deserve a good grade


    The solution to all of this is clear Duchess: Let's dig up Otto, rehabilitate him, and KILL HIM AGAIN! Would that make you feel better?? That's all clueless white males deserve anyway. Yup, everyone here is wrong except the all knowing Duchess.

    Let me save you the trouble Duchess: THE RACIST, SEXIST TROLL MCHILL WHO'S PERSONAL ATTACKS AGAINST ME ARE AN AFFRONT TO MYSELF AND ALL OPPRESSED MINORITIES, CANNOT READ AT THE LEVEL OF A CHILD, AND FEELS THE WHITE MAN IS SUPERIOR IS CLEARLY UNDESERVING OF ANYTHING...YADA... YADA...YADA...YADA
  7. 27 Jun '17 02:35
    http://udreview.com/anthropology-professor-under-scrutiny-for-saying-otto-warmbier-got-what-he-deserved/

    "UPDATED: Anthropology professor fired after saying “Otto Warmbier got what he deserved”"

    "UPDATE: As of Sunday, June 25 at approximately 5 p.m., the university has announced
    that Kathy Dettwyler will not be rehired to teach classes at the school in upcoming semesters.
    Dettwyler was an adjunct faculty member in the school’s department of anthropology.
    Her firing comes after widespread national coverage on regarding her Wednesday
    morning Facebook post in which she said that “Otto Warmbier got what he deserved."

    As an adjunct faculty member, Kathy Dettwyler was not as protected as tenured faculty members.
    In my view, she should be assessed upon her teaching of anthropology rather than her non-academic remarks.
    Some of her critics may like to insinuate, however, that she's inclined to be unfair toward
    her privileged rich white male students.

    "“We treat our animals better than how Otto [Warmbier] was treated in prison"
    --Chuck Boyce (2018 Republican candidate for the Senate

    Again, American doctors found no evidence that Otto Warmbier was tortured in the DPRK.
    Some other US citizens detained in the DPRK have said that they never were tortured.
    But no evidence whatsoever is needed for many Americans to convict the 'evil' North Koreans of anything.
  8. 27 Jun '17 14:52
    She made an ad hominem argument, about a person she did not know who has recently died. "Insensitive" covers it, barely.
    She's a mature woman chronologically, I learn from you, who hasn't learned much about the value of generalizations. A bit "immature", especially for a college level instructor, covers it barely.
    One might say that she got what she deserved. I don't say that but I understand the truth in it
    She got what she certainly should have expected.
    Apparently, she does't anticipate that she's going to be terminated without any question.
    We are approaching 'brain-dead."
    We are approaching the 'impulse-control' expertise of a Donald.
    Inexplicable.
  9. 27 Jun '17 18:51 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by stevemcc
    She made an ad hominem argument, about a person she did not know who has recently died. "Insensitive" covers it, barely.
    She's a mature woman chronologically, I learn from you, who hasn't learned much about the value of generalizations. A bit "immature", especially for a college level instructor, covers it barely.
    One might say that she got what she des ...[text shortened]... g 'brain-dead."
    We are approaching the 'impulse-control' expertise of a Donald.
    Inexplicable.
    "She [Kathy Dettwyler] made an ad hominem argument, about a person she did not know who has recently died."
    --Stevemcc

    Although Kathy Dettwyler did not personally know Otto Warmbier, she knew enough
    about his actions that are a matter of public record in order to form a judgment of them.
    People routinely make judgments about other people convicted of crimes whom they don't know personally.
    I note that many Americans have been quick to condemn North Koreans whom they don't know personally.

    Stevemcc also shows his misunderstanding of what's meant by 'ad hominem argument'.
    Kathy Dettwyler had knowledge of Otto Warmbier's actions and his family background
    and made plausible inferences about his likely character and state of mind accordingly.
    Now I understand why his family would be upset when Kathy Dettwyler apparently associated
    Otto Warmbier with rich white men who can get away with raping women at American
    colleges, even though she never accused him of doing that.

    If I had known Otto Warmbier personally, I might have liked him, though that would not
    have prevented me from criticizing him when I believed that it was justified or helpful to him.
    Otto Warmbier's actions are not above critical scrutiny. How long after his death should that scrutiny be postponed?

    Other Americans who were detained in the DPRK have said that they were treated much
    better than ordinary North Korean prisoners because the DPRK regarded their lives as
    much more valuable than those of ordinary North Korean prisoners. After he fell into a
    coma, the DPRK took enough care of Otto Warmbier to keep him alive for many months.
    If he had been an ordinary North Korean, the regime presumably would have let him die.

    I don't accept the popular American narrative that Otto Warmbier must have been a completely
    innocent American who was framed for theft and then intentionally tortured into a coma.
    Thousands of Americans have visited the DPRK, and this is the only incident like this.
    I doubt that the hotel security camera video of someone apparently stealing a poster was
    taken of a North Korean actor impersonating Otto Warmbier. I note that many Americans
    like to argue that the brevity (reportedly, one hour) of the trial shows that it must have been unfair.
    But what if the police had found the propaganda poster among Otto Warmbier's possessions?
    If so, it clearly was stolen; he had no authorization to take it. In that event, the case would have
    been far from complicated and not require many hours of argument over disputed evidence.

    In their grief, his family seems to take comfort in believing that Otto Warmbier must have been
    intentionally tortured into a coma, and US government officials seem quick to endorse that conjecture.
    But American doctors found no forensic evidence to support the accusation that he was tortured.
    How would Americans feel if the circumstances were reversed and the family of a dead North Korean
    and the DPRK"s government accused the USA of torturing a detained North Korean into a coma?

    If an academic makes an unpopular remark (even one of which I may disapprove) that's
    unrelated to her work, how could that make her a worse teacher in her field than before?
    I support the right of honest dissent.
  10. 28 Jun '17 01:51
    This is not dissent. This is ad hominem. Look it up.
  11. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    29 Jun '17 10:16
    Originally posted by mchill
    "I've spent my life teaching folks just like Otto [Warmbier] ... and Otto is typical of the mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my [anthropology] classes. These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they don't think they'd really have to read and study the material to get a good grade. They simply deserve ...[text shortened]... E WHITE MAN IS SUPERIOR IS CLEARLY UNDESERVING OF ANYTHING...YADA... YADA...YADA...YADA
    We got it the first time.
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    29 Jun '17 19:08
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "She [Kathy Dettwyler] made an ad hominem argument, about a person she did not know who has recently died."
    --Stevemcc

    Although Kathy Dettwyler did not personally know Otto Warmbier, she knew enough
    about his actions that are a matter of public record in order to form a judgment of them.
    People routinely make judgments about other people convicted ...[text shortened]... that make her a worse teacher in her field than before?
    I support the right of honest dissent.
    The only thing I would contest was the severity of the punishment.
  13. 29 Jun '17 20:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The only thing I would contest was the severity of the punishment.
    I understand why Americans believe that Otto Warmbier's sentence was too harsh.
    Many families of foreigners who have been convicted and sentenced in the USA believe
    that their punishments were excessive, harsher than what they would have received at home.

    My question is, "Was his sentence harsher than would have been given to an ordinary North Korean?"
    I don't know. It seems to me that, after being sentenced, Otto Warmbier would have been
    treated better than ordinary North Korean prisoners because the DPRK regarded his life
    as more valuable. If an ordinary North Korean prisoner had fallen into a coma, he or she
    presumably would have been allowed to die quickly rather than be kept alive for many months.

    Many privileged affluent white Americans like to act as though they must deserve much
    better treatment than most natives in the poor non-Western societies that they visit.
    His father, for instance, condemned the DPRK for allegedly not giving Otto Warmbier
    'top notch' medical care. I don't know if his medical care in the DPRK was good as the
    best care that would have been available for the wealthy in the USA. But I disagree
    with the presumption that an affluent white American deserves better medical care in
    the DPRK than what an ordinary North Korean would have received.

    Here's what I suspect probably happened.
    1) North Koreans noticed that a propaganda poster is missing from a Pyongyang hotel
    floor, which foreign guests are forbidden to visit.
    2) They reviewed security camera video in attempting to identify a suspect (a tall Westerner).
    3) They may have searched Otto Warmbier's room and found the poster there.
    4) The local North Korean authorities may not have arrested Otto Warmbier immediately
    because they knew that it would create an 'international incident'. So they asked for orders
    from the top. It took time for this to filter up to a high decision-making level. But Otto
    Warmbier was scheduled to leave the DPRK soon. So the decision was made to arrest him.

    Assuming the poster was found among his possessions, it's hard to deny Otto Warmbier's guilt.
    Regarding his sentence of fifteen years, I don't recall any US citizen who has spent that
    much time in DPRK prisons. What likely would have happened is that the DPRK and USA
    would have reached a deal (probably in a few years at most) resulting in Otto Warmbier's release.

    The other US citizens now detained in the DPRK are of Korean heritage, if not Korean immigrants.
    I suspect that Otto Warmbier found it harder to adjust from his privileged American lifestyle
    to the harsh realities of life in the DPRK. The shock might have been too much for him to bear.
    He might have had a heart attack, resulting in blood not flowing properly to his brain.

    For whatever it's worth, during the Korean War, the Communists held their UN prisoners
    under similar conditions. They did not single out the Americans for harsher treatment.
    But the Americans had the highest death rate of all nationalities of POWs in the DPRK.
    The British death rate was significantly lower. The South Korean death rate was even lower.
    And the Turkish death rate was the lowest. Reportedly, not even one Turkish POW died.

    In _This Kind of War_, the right-wing (fiercely anti-Communist) American historian T.R. Fehrenbach
    wrote that 'chemistry and culture' was responsible for the high death rate of American POWs.
    The Americans received the same rations as the Turks (who tended to be tough peasants).
    But many 'spoiled' Americans refused to eat the less palatable food given in the POW camps.
    T.R. Fehrenbach's conclusion was that many American POWs died because they had
    become 'too soft', not determined enough to survive and to help one another survive.
    He noted that American POWs had a dominant culture of 'every man for himself', with
    stronger Americans often refusing to do anything to help weaker Americans, even stealing
    their food. In contrast, the Turks maintained perfect discipline. Whenever a Turk fell ill,
    other Turks were assigned to take care of him. Whenever a Turk seemed too weakened,
    he would be given extra food from other Turks. If any Turk dared to disobey orders or to
    break his group's solidarity, he would be severely beaten.

    American POWs: A culture of 'every man for himself', where selfishness dominated.
    Turkish POWs: A culture of every man must be responsible for everyone else's survival.
    The Americans had the highest death rate; the Turks had a perfect record of survival.