Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    27 Dec '16 14:051 edit
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    I'm amazed at how many Republicans have come to embrace appeasement since the election.
    I don't see the annexation of the Crimea as a human rights violation. The people of the Crimea seem to be in favor of it and the people don't seem to be oppressed by the Russians. As such, I don't see it as any of our business. I certainly don't see it as appeasement.

    Let's put it this way, I don't see Russia's occupation of the Crimea as being our business any more than our occupation of Puerto Rico is theirs.
  2. Zugzwang
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    27 Dec '16 20:361 edit
    Originally posted by sh76 to Kunsoo
    I don't see the annexation of the Crimea as a human rights violation. The people of the Crimea seem to be in favor of it and the people don't seem to be oppressed by the Russians. As such, I don't see it as any of our business. I certainly don't see it as appeasement.

    Let's put it this way, I don't see Russia's occupation of the Crimea as being our business any more than our occupation of Puerto Rico is theirs.
    Within the USSR, Crimea belonged to Russia, not Ukraine, until 1954, when Khruschchev changed its status.
    So Russian nationalists regard Crimea (with its ethnic Russian majority) as returning to the motherland.

    Both Russians and Ukrainians have looked down upon Crimea's Tatar minority (persecuted by Stalin).
    I noted that both Russian and Ukrainian nationalist politicians began making self-serving
    claims or promises about how much they respected or would care about the Crimean
    Tatars if only they would support Russian or Ukrainian nationalist claims respectively.
  3. Standard membersh76
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    28 Dec '16 01:30
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Within the USSR, Crimea belonged to Russia, not Ukraine, until 1954, when Khruschchev changed its status.
    So Russian nationalists regard Crimea (with its ethnic Russian majority) as returning to the motherland.
    Interesting fact. I didn't realize that. Thanks.

    That about settles it for me. If the Crimea was historically Russian and not necessarily Ukrainian and a majority of Crimeans wanted to go back to Russia, then this is clearly not a cut-and-dried issue; certainly not cut and dried enough to warrant our intervention.
  4. Zugzwang
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    28 Dec '16 01:58
    Originally posted by sh76
    Interesting fact. I didn't realize that. Thanks.

    That about settles it for me. If the Crimea was historically Russian and not necessarily Ukrainian and a majority of Crimeans wanted to go back to Russia, then this is clearly not a cut-and-dried issue; certainly not cut and dried enough to warrant our intervention.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1954_transfer_of_Crimea

    In 1954, Crimea's people were not asked about whether they wished to belong to Russia or Ukraine.
    It's unclear exactly why the Soviet government approved of this change of status.

    Now when will India allow Kashmir's people to vote if they want to belong to India, Pakistan, or become independent?
  5. Joined
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    28 Dec '16 12:333 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    Interesting fact. I didn't realize that. Thanks.

    That about settles it for me. If the Crimea was historically Russian and not necessarily Ukrainian and a majority of Crimeans wanted to go back to Russia, then this is clearly not a cut-and-dried issue; certainly not cut and dried enough to warrant our intervention.
    Historically (until the late eighteenth century) the Crimea was a Muslim Khanate owing fealty to Istanbul; only in 1783 was it conquered by the Russians. Crimean Muslims (so-called Tatars) were a majority of the peninsula's population until the mid-nineteenth century, and remained a plurality as late as 1897.

    I visited the Crimea in September, 2013, very shortly before the troubles started. I stayed for a couple of nights in Bakhchisaray, the historic capital of the Khanate, in a small pension owned and run by a woman of Crimean Muslim heritage. She, however, had been born in Uzbekistan (then the Uzbek SSR) in the late 1940s, her parents and elder sister having been deported from Crimea in 1944 along with almost the entire Crimean Tatar population, who were suspected of having had Nazi sympathies during the German occupation of the peninsula.

    "They could take nothing but their Qu'rans and their children," our hostess told us. She had lived in Central Asia until she was 40. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Crimeans, including our hostess, were able to resettled in the Crimea, now part of independent Ukraine, although they were not able legally to reclaim land they had owned before their deportation and were obliged to settle there as squatters. Even so, their numbers quickly rose to around 12% of the Crimean population.

    "They call us Tatars," our hostess complained. "But we're not Tatars. We're Crimeans. This is our home. We belong here."

    I've since wondered often about our hostess's situation and safety. Since the annexation of the peninsula, over 50,000 Crimean Muslims have fled to mainland Ukraine. In April, this year, their representative body, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, was banned as a supposed extremist organisation by the Russian-appointed Crimean supreme court, a ban upheld by Russia's supreme court in October.
  6. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    28 Dec '16 20:08
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1954_transfer_of_Crimea

    In 1954, Crimea's people were not asked about whether they wished to belong to Russia or Ukraine.
    It's unclear exactly why the Soviet government approved of this change of status.

    Now when will India allow Kashmir's people to vote if they want to belong to India, Pakistan, or become independent?
    I'm waiting for the Tibetan referendum.
  7. Zugzwang
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    28 Dec '16 20:22
    Originally posted by Teinosuke to Sh76
    Historically (until the late eighteenth century) the Crimea was a Muslim Khanate owing fealty to Istanbul; only in 1783 was it conquered by the Russians. Crimean Muslims (so-called Tatars) were a majority of the peninsula's population until the mid-nineteenth century, and remained a plurality as late as 1897.

    I visited the Crimea in September, 2 ...[text shortened]... the Russian-appointed Crimean supreme court, a ban upheld by Russia's supreme court in October.
    I would add that Stalin's mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars resulted in many deaths,
    which even some Western historians have described as genocide.

    For further reading:
    The Crimean Tatars: From Soviet Genocide to Putin's Conquest
    by Brian Glyn Williams (2015 Oxford University Press)

    Sultan Amet-Khan (whose mother was a Crimean Tatar) was one of the top fighter pilots
    in the VVS during the Great Patriotic War. In 1942 he proved his courage (and loyalty
    to the USSR) by executing a taran attack against a Luftwaffe bomber. He rammed his
    aircraft into the enemy and managed to survive (most taran attackers were killed).
    Sultan Amet-Khan individually shot down 30 aircraft and shared in shooting down 19 more aircraft.
    But he could not prevent the deportation (and deaths) of many members of his family.

    The 2013 film 'Haytarma' celebrates the life of Sultan Amet-Khan (Hero of the Soviet Union).
  8. Zugzwang
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    28 Dec '16 21:171 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I'm waiting for the Tibetan referendum.
    There's ample Western hypocrisy about Tibet and Kashmir.

    First of all, ignorant Westerners like to act as though the Communists were the first Chinese
    to claim sovereignty over Tibet. In fact, Chiang Kai-shek claimed China's sovereignty
    over Tibet, and the USA accepted it. (Indeed, the Republic of China on Taiwan still
    claims sovereignty over all China, including Tibetan. There was a Chinese appointed
    to represent Tibet's interests in Taiwan's parliament.) No one recognized Tibet as an
    independent country. It's true that the fact that China was fighting two major wars, a
    civil war and a war against Japan's invasion, made it impossible for China's government
    to enforce its rule over Tibet. But the USA ,for instance, would refuse to admit that it
    had lost sovereignty over any part of its territory simply because it had been unable to
    enforce it during the US Civil War. During the Second War, the Tibetan nationalists
    collaborated with Japan. (The young Dalai Lama then believed that the Axis were the
    morally right side in the war.) Given Japan's genocidal actions in China, the de facto
    Tibetan nationalist support of Japan did not endear the Tibetans to most Chinese.

    In my view, neither China's government nor Tibetan nationalists should be trusted to be
    accurate or objective about the facts. But Western journalists almost always uncritically
    accept every claim (often lies) of Tibetan nationalists. Patrick French, a British writer
    who had been passionately pro-Tibetan since childhood, once attempted to find evidence
    to support a popular Tibetan nationalist claim that China has committed genocide in Tibet
    by killing 1.2 million (or 2 million in some versions) Tibetans. This claim has been swallowed
    by Westerners on account of its uncritical repetition in the Western media. Eventually,
    a senior Tibetan leader admitted to Patrick French that the magical 1.2 million figure
    had essentially been fabricated because Western journalists typically never asked for
    any evidence. Western journalists typically were happy to take the highest figures thrown
    out by Tibetan nationalists and run with them, so the higher, the better--it's all for the cause.
    As far as Patrick French could tell, the Tibetan nationalists had taken the highest rumored
    numbers of deaths (from all causes) in many areas (some overlapping), added them
    together, and rounded up very generously. This kind of methodology would not be
    accepted in most other conflicts, but Western journalists typically lack basic standards
    of fact-checking or objectivity when it comes to Tibet (or demonizing China).

    In fact, Tibetan nationalist resistance to China has been far from always pacifistic.
    For many years, the USA and India armed, trained, and financed Tibetan fighters against China.
    (Tibetans were trained in the USA's Rocky Mountains to fight China.) The USA and
    India sent military and intelligence advisors to help Tibetans fight a guerrilla war.
    In the 1960s. Buddhist monks burned themselves to death to protest oppression in
    the USA's client state of South Vietnam. But the Dalai Lama (who was receiving money
    from the USA and CIA advisors) kept silent about the South Vietnamese Buddhist monks.
    Some of China's harshness toward Tibet could be excused on the grounds that it was
    fighting a war against Tibetans being armed and supported by major foreign powers.

    There's some awareness among well-educated Chinese that government propaganda
    about Tibet may not be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But about all Chinese
    regard Western condemnations as ignorant, hypocritical, dishonest, or even racist.
    The Chinese note the contrast between Western outpouring of sympathy for Tibetans
    and Western general lack of sympathy for China's worse sufferings at the hands of Japan.
    The Chinese note that the Western media may prefer not to report that China has
    brought modern infrastructure (roads, schools, hospitals, etc.) to Tibet. Chinese
    public health programs have helped decrease infant mortality and raise life expectancy
    among Tibetans. (If a Western colonial power had done the same, Westerners would
    be heaping praise upon it.) So if the Chinese were intent on the genocide of Tibetans,
    they must be extremely incompetent about achieving it (sarcasm intended).

    Many ignorant Westerners seem to subscribe to the fantasy that life in Tibet was a
    Shangri-La (a work of fiction) utopian dream. In fact, when Tibet was a Buddhist
    theocracy, it was rife with the typical ills of backward superstitious societies, including
    intolerance of its minorities. (Some Muslims have preferred rule by the secular Chinese
    to a Buddhist theocracy.) Were Buddhist monasteries in Tibet attacked during the
    Cultural Revolution? Yes, but so were Buddhist monasteries in other parts of China.
    it's not as though the Red Guards were singling out Tibetan Buddhists for attack while
    sparing Chinese Buddhists. The Cultural Revolution attacked all traditional culture.

    I would add that when the first Tibetan earned a PhD from a Chinese university, it was
    an accomplishment celebrated in the Chinese media. There are some Tibetans who
    believe that their future should be with China, which can offer many more opportunities
    than the dream of a poor landlocked Buddhist theocracy. In general, I would say that
    the Tibetans who wish to integrate into broader Chinese society are encouraged, with
    the Chinese authorities hoping to see more Tibetans with advanced educations.

    To sum up, the historical and present reality in Tibet is much more complex and nuanced
    than conventional Western narratives presenting everything Buddhist Tibetan nationalist
    as wonderful and everything Chinese (particularly Communist) as evil.
  9. Joined
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    28 Dec '16 21:22
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    I'm amazed at how many Republicans have come to embrace appeasement since the election.
    It's not really appeasement. It's just rightly admitting that the US isn't the world's policeman.
  10. Zugzwang
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    28 Dec '16 21:281 edit
    In 1947, Kashmir (which had an overwhelming Muslim majority) was ruled by a Hindu maharajah (dependent on the British).
    This Hindu ruler was a fanatical anti-Muslim bigot, ordering his troops to massacre Muslims.
    Against the wishes of most of his people, he decided that Kashmir should join India rather than Pakistan.
    This has led to a conflict that continues to plague Kashmir and divide India and Pakistan.
    For decades, Kashmir has been under Indian military occupation, and the Indian military
    reportedly has committed many human rights abuses in the name of fighting 'terrorism'.

    So India's claim to Kashmir is a narrow legalistic one, holding that a Hindu maharajah
    in 1947 had the absolute right to decide the eternal fate of his people. Pakistan's claim
    to Kashmir is based upon the self-determination of its people.. As I recall, in theory
    India promised a plebiscite to Kashmir's people, but it never has been held because
    India's government expects that most people in Kashmir would vote to leave India.

    Apart from those blinded by anti-Muslim bigotry, Western analysts believe that a better
    resolution of the Kashmir crisis would have been for Kashmir to join Pakistan in the first place.
    It seems absurdly anachronistic for Western democracies to support India's position that
    one man's decision in 1947 must be eternally binding upon all the people of Kashmir.
  11. Joined
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    28 Dec '16 22:48
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I would add that Stalin's mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars resulted in many deaths,
    which even some Western historians have described as genocide.

    For further reading:
    The Crimean Tatars: From Soviet Genocide to Putin's Conquest
    by Brian Glyn Williams (2015 Oxford University Press)

    Sultan Amet-Khan (whose mother was a Crimean Tatar) was one ...[text shortened]...

    The 2013 film 'Haytarma' celebrates the life of Sultan Amet-Khan (Hero of the Soviet Union).
    Interesting - thanks for the information about Sultan Amet-Khan. I see the film is even subtitled in English on YouTube!
  12. Zugzwang
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    28 Dec '16 23:49
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Interesting - thanks for the information about Sultan Amet-Khan. I see the film is even subtitled in English on YouTube!
    It's easy to pick out Sultan Amet-Khan in a wartime group photo of Soviet airmen--he
    clearly has the darkest complexion.

    Did bigotry hinder his career in the VVS? Among Soviet airmen who achieved his very
    high level of wartime decorations, Sultan Amet-Khan seems to have been promoted
    the least after the war, rising from major (at war's end) only to lieutenant colonel..
    But his post-war career was spent as a test pilot, giving him fewer opportunities for promotion.
    In 1971 (at age 50--amazingly old for a test pilot), he was killed during a test flight.

    I know of a Buryat who was regarded as an exceptional pilot (he had encountered Israeli
    pilots in Egyptian airspace) and a leader and who commanded a Soviet fighter regiment.
    Unfortunately, that was his 'glass ceiling'; he could be promoted no higher.
    Some Russian friends used to tell him, "You know, if you were a Russian, then you
    already should be a general by now", to which he could only shrug and say, 'I know"
  13. Joined
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    30 Dec '16 20:48
    Originally posted by Ashiitaka
    It's not really appeasement. It's just rightly admitting that the US isn't the world's policeman.
    I wish that was the point. It's not. They want to join Russia in policing the middle east on behalf of, among other despots, the Assad regime.
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