Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Golf1.6, Mar 8, 2014.
It wasn't 97% of the Crimean people.
Their wish to live in Russian territory is a separate matter to the sovereign ownership of the area. If people want to live in Russia, they should go to Russia, not simply buy flags and stick it in the ground next to them and believe that will overturn international law.
You're appearing very clueless right now if you think that the world works that way.
I don't think the world works that way.
What would the correct procedure be in calling a vote on the future sovereign ownership for the Crimea region? You come across as highly expert on this.
@regulus - although we often disagree I tend to think of you as one of the more intelligent and fair minded posters on this forum, so I'm I bit disappointed to see you taking a position of legitimising this vote.
Please have a read of this opinion piece: http://www.theguardian.com/commenti...dum-sham-display-democracy-ukraine?CMP=twt_gu There's plenty of evidence that this vote was neither free nor fair, and although there might not be any concrete evidence of vote rigging yet, the result is highly dubious even with the context of the referendum.
There would first have to be a vote for independence of the region ratified by the parliament of the sovereign state (explicitly not the case here), then separate votes and agreements/legislation regarding the union of the new country to which they wished to be part (which also has not occurred).
While you may not feel it is 'right', the people of a region do not own the land, the country as a whole does (legally speaking) and the government is the representative voice for that country, the local government cannot and should not make decisions for the whole state. There are questions regarding the current government, yes, but that does not mean you then get to do whatever the hell you like, it means that you need to resolve your government NOT install a regime and become part of another country that has bussed soldiers into your territory without insignia.
A good example is the vote for Scottish independence, before this could be called by the Scottish parliament, it had to be ratified by the UK parliament. Before any break-up would go ahead, agreements are being reached as to how this would be achieved.
Scotland tried to claim that it would remain part of the EU, this was shown not to be the case, the UK is an EU member, leave UK and you leave EU, Scotland would have to apply for EU membership separately.
That would be the same sort of model that the Crimea would have to follow if they were going to legally join the Russian Federation.
Countries are more than just lines on a map, you need to have a valid system of government in place. What happened in Crimea was more akin to a magazine poll, but a poll that was heavily influenced by the presence of an unsanctioned foreign military presence.
It's location to russia? would USA want to stick part of the missile shield there? would russia go nuts?
The storming of the Ukranian bases is a perfect example of why the Crimean 'referendum' was utter twaddle. I'm very much getting the feeling of 'this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper' - Russia has installed troops and annexed the land. When Hitler sent tanks into the Rhineland (against treaty stipulations) the commanders were ordered to turn back immediately if they encountered resistance, but the British media and others passed it off as Hitler 'going into his own back yard'. I do not want war or bloodshed of any kind, but Putin will not stop until made to stop, he is not a man that has ever responded to the softly softly approach.
If you looked at history you would find that the majority of people in Britain thought it correct and even when the Sudeten German question came up they agreed. As has been quoted so often 58.6% of Crimea are ethnic Russians. History also shows that when large empires break up there are peoples left behind who would rather be part of another country. You only have to look at the British Empire when India+Pakistan got independence and the largest mass migration in history took place amid killing, burnings etc when people moved to Pakistan and some moved the other way.
This is politics, the same could be said about almost every American President with justification and British PM's in times past.
My point is that a country's assets are not uniformly distributed and the breakup of a state is more complicated than breaking up peanut brittle.
Mounting tensions between Russia and NATO which has whispered its way to a military footing... what are you not worried about here? Either NATO will back down, which sets an alarming precedent or they wont and.... maybe not world ending but certainly not sunshine and lollipops.
You will also find that it was the first steps of Hitler realising that he could get away with **** because people were more afraid of war than the slow steps that eventually led there.
Also, Pakistan is a manufactured state that arose from the religious schism of Islam and Hinduism. That's a massive condensation, but a lot of the disputes that happened then and now have a significant religious component. The reapportioning of land is not the problem, it's that it's being done outside of international law and with Russian troops involved.
Entirely missing the point, some leaders are reasonable, some are not, Putin is in the latter camp and if you can't see that try watching videos of cossacks bludgeoning Pussy Riot or the widespread scapegoating of homosexuals combined with the tacit support by Putin.
Also.... Russia has 'retaliated' to the symbolic sanctions by expelling the European security watchdogs from their military bases.
This is classic escalation, but with Putin ratcheting faster than NATO. Putin is flexing his international brawn and his people are (apparently) loving him for it.
This is one of the reasons it's so alarming, Putin will not respond to symbolic political posturing, the only way for him to go now is down. As it is, he has the land he wanted and the support of his people, if he backs down at all, he will lose internal support and international 'respect', if he doesn't NATO will have broken agreements with Ukraine (curious echos of WWI when Germany thought Britain wouldn't honour the agreement with Belgium) and also have allowed the breach of international law on their doorstep, not to mention making itself look ineffectual to its member states, such as Poland who now have Russia seemingly advancing on them.
How does that relate to your assertion that 'militia' getting into a base show the referendum was "twaddle"?
On all newsfeeds, the ethnic Russians voted and some other groups like the Tartars boycotted it, thus giving a larger % approval than would be expected.
There is no great tension with NATO, there is a lot of noise for public consumption. As stated on Newsnight and other progs. the actions taken were the minimum they could have done. It is a done deal and most countries realised it very quickly.
No, Hitler always was a gambler. In his earlier career the gamble of the putsch did not come off and he was imprisoned. The Rhineland re-occupation was a very tentative gamble which came off and like all gamblers the next one was easier and inflated his ego.
So, in your view the apportioning of land in the Kashmir "is not a problem". Strange, they have went to war, twice I think over it and there are numerous exchanges of fire regularly.
These disputes along ethnic or religious lines happen all the time and it is a rare event if it is settled in 'International Law'
Or you mean like American police laying into the 'Occupy Wall Street' demonstrators. Face it, all countries do it at some time.
'Scapegoating of homosexuals" - course you would never find the British doing that. I take it you are very young and have not witnessed the events since the 70's re Gay Rights?
Not every country will agree with what the West does or allows due to ethnic, religious or other reasons and why should they. It is their country
Because by international law a local area can't just choose to secede on a whim (or a vote), it has to be ratified by the sovereign governing body first for precisely the reason that assets and governance aren't uniform in a country. The fact that the bases were stormed shows both how lacking in national agreement the vote was and precisely why one is required by international law.
I can only assume that you're either joking or naive There is a massive tension with NATO since the annexation of Crimea goes against previous agreements, even more so when you consider how it was done. Russia has annexed a section of territory at gunpoint from a country that is a NATO partner and has a treaty with them to boot. Their recent activity will also concern NATO member and former Soviet vassal state, Poland.
Wow... either you're intentionally misconstruing what I wrote or you're trying to be provocative. I wrote that 'the reapportioning', clearly meaning the one we're talking about otherwise the 'the' would not have been there. In this case, the reason why NATO and Ukraine are crying foul is because it is foul. Problems later down the line or disputes between states are a separate matter to treaty violations and breaches in international law. Two countries going to war because it is a problem to them, vis a vis Kashmir, is a different matter entirely to invasion and territory theft.
Differences are many, Bush and Obama don't gain major public support with acts of police brutality. Gay rights in Britain have not been an easy road, but the 70s were 40 years ago, while not irrelevant, we're talking about politics now. Gay rights now are defended and when bishops or UKIP MPs blame flooding on gays, they are roundly ridiculed, they are not the cause of pogroms, with gays being publicly beaten on camera while the police turn a blind eye.
Putin founded the doctrine of de-escalation, the tactical use of nuclear weapons in a conflict based on the fact that most countries value their people, country and sanity more than Putin does. That is what I mean by unreasonable, he signed a document stating that he'd rather win with a sightly singed radioactive Russia than lose. If you think that is on a par with any US president or UK PM, please cite an example.
It is not a question of cultural or religious differences. They held an illegal vote while foreign soldiers walked the streets. Crimea is part of Ukraine and Ukraine cries foul, it is THEIR country and THEY disagree with it.
They cry foul and rant about how it is against their constitution, yet when they annexed Crimea the Crimeans cried foul and that it was against their constitution and the Ukraine just laughed, turnabout is fair play
Russia always wanted an arms length control of its satellite countries to avoid the West making inroads to their sovereignty.
Ukraine/Crimea is a main supplier of gas to Europe.
West & EU offer a carrot to Ukraine, to join the EU, so that they can a) USA: set up military basis right at the doorstep of Russia, and b) EU: secures cheap gas supply
Russia is nonchallant, knowing that they've got the Ukrainian leader in their back pocket, who promptly sides with Russia, rejecting the EU.
Suddenly there is an uprising (well funded by the west it seems according to some reports) and the gov is removed forcibly. Russia finds it's plans scappered and has to act. Knee jerk reaction is to invade Crimea on some made-up argument in order to force Ukraine back at the negotiating table and extract some rewards for when it eventually releases Crimea.
Russia, in the eyes of all non-Russian people, becomes the int'l scapegoat, aggresive and hostile gov and overall bad guy, with severe repercussions in their int'l relations with the EU and the USA.
The EU finds the perfect chance and excuse to diversify their gas supply, moving away from Russia and towards the USA. Gas may be more expensive but now they can justify it to their electorate as Russia is not to be trusted, it's hostile etc...
USA finds a perfect buyer for its glut of shale gas that they don't know what to do with it.
Win-win for USA, either set up military basis next to Russia, or sell gas to Europe. All the while making Russia look like an idiot and isolating them internationally.
Russia finds itself having swallen hook,line and sinker the brilliance of the western foreign policy and EU can now justify buying their gas from USA, in exchange for other diplomatic benefits/bonuses.
Ukrainians are left hanged up and dry, noone cared for them to begin with anyway, the west just used them to create an int'l episode for their own purposes. Crimeans are happy that they rejoined with Russia, until they realise what that means (see exact similar situation with the turkish speakers of northern cyprus, left in poverty by their Turkish masters after they invaded cyprus in 1974).
Conspiracy theories are the laziest type of intellectual effort, if they can be considered effort at all.
You built your entire argument by assuming the West funded the uprising. How exactly did it do that? What funds do people even need to sit in the cold and protest for months? Look, the truth is quite simple: Ukrainians, particulary those living in western Ukraine, look at Poland which is developing nicely and growing steadily in the EU, while Ukraine continues to be a corrupt, poor, sh*thole.
They want decent jobs, decent wages and respect for the rule of the law. Every country, without exception, that joined the EU has made improvements in those areas and many others. Is that so difficult to understand?
I was with you up until this bit. There are several countries in the EU that until recent events would much rather have done business with Russia than the USA - they will hate the idea of having to be dependent on US gas, but it's the lesser of two evils now that Russia has done what it has done.
The idea of western foreign policy being anything other than incompetent and unaligned is preposterous, It's certainly nowhere near brilliant - they've been humbugged by Putin on this no doubt.
You have just highlighted the stupidity of international law. It means that any state could suppress any minority by refusing to allow them a vote on whether they wanted to be independent or join someone else. What is so great about that? The bases were taken over by 'self defence militias' according to the BBC and that is just part and parcel of what happens when a state is unstable. Notice how you did not mention about the illegal regime in Ukraine. After all by your argument, international law states that the regime has to be voted in.
There is a lot of sound from the usual suspects but it was a done deal and NATO knew it. The tabloids are the main source of the supposed 'tensions'.
The people also voted for it. They were in an alien state and wanted to change it. Poland also has never been part of Russia.
It is foul in your opinion but not the people of Crimea who voted for it. Self determination is also enshrined in the UN. As far as I can see there has been no invasion. Under treaty Russia is allowed 25000 troops in Ukraine. Last I read they had 16-17000 there. Territory theft in your opinion not in the opinion of the people who live there.
What has getting public support to do whether it happened or not. The point was did western countries react ANY differently to situations that the Russians. They did not.
So it started 40 years ago, it did not all happen 40 years ago, it is still on-going. It is politics NOW.
Your argument seems to rely on the fallacy that all countries are developing at the same rate and at the same time.
So there are no plans in the US/UK for a conflict involving nuclear weapons? Unbelievable.
It almost always is about ethnic and religious elements within larger states. China has problems with their minorities at the moment. Illegal vote in your opinion. The ethnic people in their area wanted different. Self determination.
Fine, you can remove the bit about the rebellion being funded, although I said that it coincided, not that it was caused by funding. The rest still applies - I mean it's not inconceivable that an uprising by pro-EU Ukrainians would happen once their gov sided with Putin without a referendum, exactly for the reasons you put down.
Besides, my argument is not built at all on Ukrainians being funded by the west, that is a wild extrapolation on your part and very dismissive of my other points.
Oh, and as far as the 'what funds do people need to sit in the cold':
One reader wrote: “My wife, who is of Ukrainian nationality, has weekly contact to her parents and friends in Zhytomyr [NW Ukraine]. According to them, most protesters get an average payment of 200-300 grivna, corresponding to about 15-25 euro. As I additionally heard, one of the most active agencies and ‘payment outlets’ on EU side is the German ‘Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’, being closely connected to the CDU, i.e. Mrs. Merkel’s party.”
Johannes Loew of the Internet site elynitthria.net/ writes: “I am just back from Ukraine (I live in Munich/Germany) and I was a lot at the Maidan. Most of those people get only 100 grivna. 300 is for Students.”
of course you can find plenty of other similar sources online
The way I reasoned this whole thing is based on the following two principles:
a) Noone cares about Ukraine, I don't believe the sudden interest in the wellbeing of Ukrainians by the EU, so I consider a priori that they are being a pawn in a wider political game, and,
b) Look at who is winning out of all this. To me, evidently, Russia is painted as the bad guy and their diplomatic relations will suffer a result. The only ones who have to gain are USA and their allies. Hence, work backwards to understand why/how things happened. I can't see how Putin has got an upper hand on anything in this situation.
His popularity/approval with Russian voters has gone through the roof.
He gets to keep all Russian assets in Crimea, no longer has to "rent" the ground his bases are on and get's to slap Ukraine with an $11bn gas bill as their credit/discounts are no longer valid.
He now has a good measure of how smart/capable his political opponents are
Meanwhile in Syria Assad's forces have started winning convincingly while the words eyes were distracted.
Separate names with a comma.