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Legosi (Tani Coyote)

The Ukraine Thread

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Here's the problem: Currently, Crimea is far from a homogenous place, so giving the region to Russia will NOT bring peace. Many Russians constantly make a big deal about them being a majority there, yet 58% is only a very slight majority. In fact, the percentage of Russians has been steadily falling since 1979. The remaining 42%? They'll never agree to join Russia. The number of Ukrainians has remained on around 24.5% while the number of Crimean Tatars, the indigenous people of Crimea, has been sharply rising. In fact, the Crimean Tatars are pretty much the only ethnic group that is growing. Being finally allowed to return to their homeland after decades of exile,  they are heavily organized, even more than the Ukrainians, and aren't planning to give up at all.

I know all this, actually.

Russians are the majority though, and majorities determine democracy. Democracy ideally has minority rights, but I'm not inclined to think that's really going to go over well in the area. It'd really be best if there was a population exchange.

Unfortunately those tend to come with their own abuses. It's a thorny issue.

 

Another thing, as someone who lives in the souther parts of a country with a significant Hungarian minority, I deeply resent the notion that multinational democracies are doomed to fail.

It's a statistic, not an absolute. When it's said that children from single mothers have poorer grades or higher crime rates, that's not saying ALL of them will.

There are several multinational democracies that do fairly well. Normally they're fairly prosperous, which makes sense - a well-to-do populace generally isn't as inclined to embrace radicalism. When a person's children are close to starving, however, or job prospects are poor, other groups of people make convenient scapegoats.

However, as a general rule, democracy tends to not function well in ethnically-divided nations. The issue is usually exacerbated by Presidential systems, since the President will generally be of only one nationality and that gives one group an enormous amount of power. Lower levels of economic development, similarly, tend to worsen problems. Multilculturalism and tolerance, as ideas, are for the most part a privilege only the wealthier countries can afford.

Though the other obstacle is the prevalence of nationhood. If everyone in a country identifies with that nationality, that'll help keep the peace. But that's not what's happening in Ukraine - many of these Russians do not see themselves as Russian Ukrainians, but just Russians. As you live in what was once part of the Austrian Empire, I'm sure you know all too well how destructive nationalist sentiments can be to a united territory.

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Some say it's a stunt to quit on air.

I say it's a way to illustrate just how strongly people feel about the issue. It may get her press but it says a lot that she was willing to get rid of her job (and possibly hurt future job prospects) because of this issue.

If she had quit quietly... who would have hurt about it? Probably a lot less people.

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>Crimea

 

Well obviously they need to ally with Begnion, they have the strongest army on Tellius and are allied

 

So, I'm not very well verse in current affairs and world relations and all that stuff. Is this another shitty territorial dispute like my father tells me?

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>Crimea

 

Well obviously they need to ally with Begnion, they have the strongest army on Tellius and are allied

 

So, I'm not very well verse in current affairs and world relations and all that stuff. Is this another shitty territorial dispute like my father tells me?

To oversimplify the matter, yes.

Basically the last President killed some protestors and was soon usurped by the country's parliament. He vanished, a new temporary leader took power, and then Putin sent forces into Crimea because of supposed instability and because there's a large amount of Russians in the region.

It's quickly become a territorial dispute, however, with Crimea looking likely to secede from Ukraine and soon join Russia afterward. Given the narrow Russian majority in Crimea and a sizable Ukrainian minority, it's not likely to end well.

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I know all this, actually.

Russians are the majority though, and majorities determine democracy. Democracy ideally has minority rights, but I'm not inclined to think that's really going to go over well in the area. It'd really be best if there was a population exchange.

Unfortunately those tend to come with their own abuses. It's a thorny issue.

 

It's a statistic, not an absolute. When it's said that children from single mothers have poorer grades or higher crime rates, that's not saying ALL of them will.

There are several multinational democracies that do fairly well. Normally they're fairly prosperous, which makes sense - a well-to-do populace generally isn't as inclined to embrace radicalism. When a person's children are close to starving, however, or job prospects are poor, other groups of people make convenient scapegoats.

However, as a general rule, democracy tends to not function well in ethnically-divided nations. The issue is usually exacerbated by Presidential systems, since the President will generally be of only one nationality and that gives one group an enormous amount of power. Lower levels of economic development, similarly, tend to worsen problems. Multilculturalism and tolerance, as ideas, are for the most part a privilege only the wealthier countries can afford.

Though the other obstacle is the prevalence of nationhood. If everyone in a country identifies with that nationality, that'll help keep the peace. But that's not what's happening in Ukraine - many of these Russians do not see themselves as Russian Ukrainians, but just Russians. As you live in what was once part of the Austrian Empire, I'm sure you know all too well how destructive nationalist sentiments can be to a united territory.

 

Um, no. 58% isn't a "majority", nor are all those Russians supporting the occupation. Which is why it's widely believed that this referendum will be manipulated by the Russian troops.

 

A "population exchanges" (also know as ethnic cleansing) has no chance of happening in the 21st century. And it's certainly not the "best" choice how to solve the issue at hand. In fact, I would say it's the worst possible. If you really "knew all this" you wouldn't be proposing this as a solution at all. Where are the Tatars supposed to go?

 

Austria-Hungary imploded because it was an absolutist monarchy. And the countries that were created from it were far from homogenic, nor are they today.

 

I find it strange that an American, of all people, would say that multi-ethnic countries with a Presidential system don't work. And no, the southernmost USA is anything but wealthy.

 

Ukrainians don't want to divide their country. The west versus east conflict is being artificially created by Putin, who sends provocaters into Ukraine to stir up trouble. Lviv, in western Ukraine, even went an entire day speaking Russian in both public and the media, in a show of solidarity with eastern Ukraine. And in the east, there were Russians demonstrating for a united Ukraine.

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Um, no. 58% isn't a "majority",

I'm fairly certain it is.

 

nor are all those Russians supporting the occupation.

Which is why it's widely believed that this referendum will be manipulated by the Russian troops

Quite possibly.

 

A "population exchanges" (also know as ethnic cleansing) has no chance of happening in the 21st century. And it's certainly not the "best" choice how to solve the issue at hand. In fact, I would say it's the worst possible. If you really "knew all this" you wouldn't be proposing this as a solution at all.

I did say that population transfers look better on paper than in practice.

 

Where are the Tatars supposed to go?

Since this is all in the realm of ideal outcomes that will most likely never happen, they'd get their own nation-state, however small.

 

Austria-Hungary imploded because it was an absolutist monarchy.

No, it ceased to exist because of its ethnic diversity. It was a recurring problem for them in the 1800s, to a point they eventually agreed to split the country with the Hungarians so they could have another ethnic group help them lord over the others. Had Austria-Hungary been ethnically homogenous, it probably wouldn't have been dismantled. See Germany as an example; despite the desire to punish them, they weren't completely wiped off the map, so as to be consistent with the ideal of self-determination.

 

and the countries that were created from it were far from homogenic, nor are they today.

It is somewhat impossible to make perfectly homogenous societies. You can draw the borders more or less along the lines of the dominant ethnic group in an area, however. Which was part of the reasoning behind the partitions, that and spoils of war for the Allies.

 

I find it strange that an American, of all people, would say that multi-ethnic countries with a Presidential system don't work.

We're not really multi-ethnic in the same way that these other countries are. We come from diverse backgrounds but a lot of us have embraced a common language and culture. A lot of other ethnically-divided countries, by contrast, are entirely different groups whose sole link is the fact another country ruled the area at some point.

Also the Presidential system working for us is the exception, not the rule. The only reason we didn't go down the road of dictatorship like most Presidential governments have is most likely due to the fact George Washington stuck to his principles and refused to seek more than two terms, and fellow Presidents did not want to violate that same rule. He did legitimately shock the world with how willing he was to turn over power despite his popularity and military credentials, after all. Unfortunately not many revolutionary leaders were quite as altruistic as he was.

 

And no, the southernmost USA is anything but wealthy.

It's all relative. The poorest state in median income is Mississippi, at 36,646 USD a year. Ukraine, by comparison, is 6,755 USD. Going outside Europe results in even more abysmal numbers.

The south is "poor" by Western standards only. By global standards it's pretty filthy rich, with trillions of dollars being the regional GDP.

Anyway, the point is, we may be multi-ethnic, but it's certainly not on the same level as a lot of other countries because pretty much everyone here is identifying as American despite our many differences. That core nationality doesn't exist in a lot of places given half the nationalities have no organic basis.

 

Ukrainians don't want to divide their country. The west versus east conflict is being artificially created by Putin, who sends provocaters into Ukraine to stir up trouble. Lviv, in western Ukraine, even went an entire day speaking Russian in both public and the media, in a show of solidarity with eastern Ukraine. And in the east, there were Russians demonstrating for a united Ukraine.

Ukrainians don't, but it sounds like there's a fair minority of Russians who do. How do we really decide this?

The way I say it, it should be up to each locality who they go with. Every people should decide their own political destiny.

Which is the main reason why I oppose the military incursion.

Looking at the linguistic maps, political maps, etc... I'm not so sure if the divide really is artificial, though. I think there's a legitimate clash of ideologies going on in the country, and while they may not want the country to be split, I won't be surprised if it eventually gets the German treatment.

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I'm fairly certain it is.

 

Quite possibly.

 

I did say that population transfers look better on paper than in practice.

 

Since this is all in the realm of ideal outcomes that will most likely never happen, they'd get their own nation-state, however small.

 

No, it ceased to exist because of its ethnic diversity. It was a recurring problem for them in the 1800s, to a point they eventually agreed to split the country with the Hungarians so they could have another ethnic group help them lord over the others. Had Austria-Hungary been ethnically homogenous, it probably wouldn't have been dismantled. See Germany as an example; despite the desire to punish them, they weren't completely wiped off the map, so as to be consistent with the ideal of self-determination.

 

It is somewhat impossible to make perfectly homogenous societies. You can draw the borders more or less along the lines of the dominant ethnic group in an area, however. Which was part of the reasoning behind the partitions, that and spoils of war for the Allies.

 

We're not really multi-ethnic in the same way that these other countries are. We come from diverse backgrounds but a lot of us have embraced a common language and culture. A lot of other ethnically-divided countries, by contrast, are entirely different groups whose sole link is the fact another country ruled the area at some point.

Also the Presidential system working for us is the exception, not the rule. The only reason we didn't go down the road of dictatorship like most Presidential governments have is most likely due to the fact George Washington stuck to his principles and refused to seek more than two terms, and fellow Presidents did not want to violate that same rule. He did legitimately shock the world with how willing he was to turn over power despite his popularity and military credentials, after all. Unfortunately not many revolutionary leaders were quite as altruistic as he was.

 

It's all relative. The poorest state in median income is Mississippi, at 36,646 USD a year. Ukraine, by comparison, is 6,755 USD. Going outside Europe results in even more abysmal numbers.

The south is "poor" by Western standards only. By global standards it's pretty filthy rich, with trillions of dollars being the regional GDP.

Anyway, the point is, we may be multi-ethnic, but it's certainly not on the same level as a lot of other countries because pretty much everyone here is identifying as American despite our many differences. That core nationality doesn't exist in a lot of places given half the nationalities have no organic basis.

 

Ukrainians don't, but it sounds like there's a fair minority of Russians who do. How do we really decide this?

The way I say it, it should be up to each locality who they go with. Every people should decide their own political destiny.

Which is the main reason why I oppose the military incursion.

Looking at the linguistic maps, political maps, etc... I'm not so sure if the divide really is artificial, though. I think there's a legitimate clash of ideologies going on in the country, and while they may not want the country to be split, I won't be surprised if it eventually gets the German treatment.

 

Please don't cut up my post until it makes no sense. 58% is not a majority. It's merely a half of the population. This is simple statistics.

 

Regarding ethnic cleansing (or "population exchange" if we go by the newspeak term), no they absolutely don't look good even on paper. The world doesn't engage it this anymore and it would be considered a crime against humanity if it were to happen again.

 

Saying that Tatars would "get their own nation state" makes me believe that you don't even understand how this works. Reminds me of the former Iranian president calling to move Jews into Alaska or somewhere even more remote. The Tatars are in their homeland in the Crimea, that you even imply the possibility to repeat what Stalin did is terrifying. They will never agree to be chased away from their homes to exile in some unspecified "nation state".

 

Regarding Austria-Hungary, I already said to you that the nations that split from it aren't homogenic at all. There's a sizeable Slovak minority in northern Serbia. Many Hungarians live in Slovakia and Romania. And there's a large amount of Austrians in eastern Hungary. Those Austrians even voted in a referendum to remain part of Hungary.

 

There are still large ethnic groups in the US that didn't lost their culture. The Irish, the native Americans, hell even the Japanese were still considered too different by others, to the point of being herded in concentration camps during WWII. And today, many right-wing WASP americans tend to get angry when they hear that there are increasingly more people living in the US who don't know English.

 

Saying that the Presidental system only works in the US smacks of "American Exceptionalism". In fact, you even used the word "exception".

 

I would love to see you meet a impoverished Hispanic family near the Mexican border and tell them that they are "rich" by western standard. Is it just like FOX News says that 98% of poor Americans have a refrigerator, so they are actually "not poor"?

 

The divide in Ukraine is artificial. There's been a flood of comments and emails on the BBC, explaining that you can speak Russian and yet still consider yourself Ukrainian, kinda like you can speak Spanish and still be an American.

 

Irina in Nikolayev, Ukraine

emails: I am a Russian speaking Ukrainian and I am deeply concerned about recent events in my country. I never felt any pressure. In our city nobody makes us speak Ukrainian though I personally think that it is disrespectful to live in the country, to be the citizen of Ukraine and to have no respect for Ukraine and Ukrainian language. We love our country, feel free and independent and need NO PROTECTION from Russia. Ukraine needs to stay united. We need no protection from Russians.

Liliya, Kharkov, Ukraine

emails: I like my country. I like Russia, too. Many of my relatives and friends live in Russia. I love them. I have been speaking Russian from childhood to this day. My eldest son is in a Russian-language school. But I'm totally against joining Russia and especially against the invasion. I like Russia but I do not like Putin. Today the fate of Ukraine and Ukrainians and the whole world is in the hands of the international community. Impunity will generate more and more offence.

Elena, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

emails: In our country there is no any harassment of Russian-speaking citizens. I and my friends talk in Russian, but we love our country and Ukrainian language. My father communicates in Ukrainian. We don't support the activity of the Russian government. In our country we have foreign soldiers and wrong coverage of events in Russia. We are frightened that Russia, no matter what, will begin a war to take away Crimea from Ukraine.

Andrey in Donetsk, Ukraine

emails: I live in Donetsk and I am Russian-speaking Ukrainian. From Friday Donetsk is overcrowded with outsiders whose job is to pretend to be us (locals). On Saturday they staged the protest meeting with Russian flags, and even announced a people's governor, right on the square - a person who no one had heard about before. I do not know what is happened in other eastern Ukrainian cities, but it looks like the same scenario as in Donetsk.

Gladenko Alexander in Odessa

emails: I live in Odessa, a beautiful city on the Black Sea coast. In our city there is near 130 different nationalities. And we live in peace and order till Putin decides that we need his military help. There is no problem with Russian people and their freedoms and rights. I speak Russian as usual, there is no problem with "Nazis" or "fascists" in our city and in our country. Putin, let us decide our future by ourselves! Thank you people of Great Britain for your support of our Ukraine!

Jack, American living in Kharkiv, Ukraine

emails: Wife was born in Kharkiv, son was born in Kharkiv. Of course they speak Russian. We resent this notion that all Russian-speaking people need to be "protected" by Mr Putin. Price of oil, and London controlled financial assets freeze are the only pressure that will get his attention.

Anna Kostenko, Crimea

emails: I'm a Russian-speaking citizen of Ukraine, but the presence of the Russian Federation troops on our peaceful Crimean soil is a problem. They say that they are here to protect us - from who?!!! None threatened us until they came, it's an intervention and occupation.

Rustem Turna, Kharkov

emails: I am Crimean Tatar by nationality and a citizen of Ukraine. I speak Russian, but also have a lot of Ukrainian speaking friends. My parents, sister and girlfriend live in Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. And all of us no matter where we live, no matter of our religion, no matter what language we speak are UKRAINIANS. So my reaction to Russian troop deployment in Crimea is "go Home please, we are not in need of help".

Marina, Kharkiv

emails: I was born in Sevastopol and my parents still live here. We are all speak Russian and never feel any difficulty with this in our country. We are all want to live in Ukraine and love it so much, but we are really afraid of Russian occupation and the Russian military with weapons. We don't want to live in Russia, we don't want a war.... Help us to defend our independence in Ukraine and to defend our families from a war and Russian occupation!!!

Paul Haigh, Zhytomyr, Ukraine

emails: Having been to the Maiden on Sunday, seen the behaviour of the people there, visited the places in which the protesters where killed, then checked the list of those killed, their names and ages it is quite incredible that anybody could believe that it was young radicals, extremists and right-wing nationalists. You can see the mix of protesters. Putin, with the media's help, has turned this into east-versus-west, Ukraine against Russian-speakers; it never was, it is about ordinary people trying to make their life better by peaceful demonstrations against an extremely corrupt leadership.

Olga, Moscow, Russia

emails: I am Russian, was born in Russia and have lived in Moscow all my life. I am deeply ashamed of our government's decisions and actions concerning Ukraine. The military invasion will destroy the relations with Ukraine, with Europe and with all civilised countries, but also it will not safe or protect anybody in Crimea. All people will suffer, including Russia supporters.

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A majority is more than half, according to Merriam Webster. Half is 50%. The majority of Crimeans are Russian. What you are looking for is a supermajority.

 

What I mean is that if people are compensated for their loss of property (which is a standard part of governance) and relocated, it's not that bad. In practice however, population transfer tends to be at bayonet point and if you can't bring belongings with you not much will be done. The kneejerk reaction to population transfer is to ring the human rights bell, but the principle of eminent domain isn't that abusive if the government compensates you for it. It's the practice that's the issue, which I already pointed out.

 

I don't see a problem with the Tatars getting their own nation-state in Crimea, you know. I did not say they'd be relocated to some other part of the world, merely that they should have their own nation-state if it is what they desire.

 

And I acknowledged your point about non-homogenous nations. Perfect homogeneity is pretty much unattainable. The idea behind the borders was to instead more or less get a general idea of majorities, as well as be compliant with Allied visions for the post-war order. Not composing countries purely of their nationalities, however, was a leading reason for the rise of fascism, as practically every one of the new nations had minorities abroad that it desired to annex.

 

I never implied ethnic groups need to lose their culture. Just that they need to adopt some aspects of the governing culture. There's plenty of room for variety in a country, but there's a limit. If there's too much variety you may as well be different countries. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask immigrants to speak the local language, either. It's a fairly simple request all things considered. Would you go into a Christian home and then bash Jesus? There's a certain courtesy that those from outside a group are expected to give.
 

It's not really exceptionalist to say the Presidential system has worked in America and failed in a lot of other places. That's just a historical fact. Can a Presidential system work in other countries? Of course it can. It just normally doesn't. The Presidential system tends to run into problems especially if the country is based on proportional representation and has a very divided legislature. We don't have this issue - we only have two parties that matter.

 

That impoverished Mexican family is not the norm. The average American resident has got it pretty good all things considered, in terms of absolute poverty.  Despite our large wealth disparity, our people are overall taken care of (in ABSOLUTE terms) and so political militancy is not much of a problem. I'm arguing political stability with regards to wealth, not that America's socioeconomic system is perfect.

 

ANYWAY, back to Ukraine since this is all detracting from my original points.

 

It looks like there are only two big linguistic groups in Ukraine. That would explain their ability to remain united. There comes a point where multilingualism tends not to work as well, but Ukraine is not at that point.

 

The decision is up to the various Russian Ukrainians. Some think integrating with Russia would be fantastic, some do not. I say let the people decide.

 

I retract my original idea that Crimea become part of Russia because it doesn't look like the divide is as serious as it first appeared. Were this a region more actively interested in secession by a majority, I would support such, but it doesn't look like that's the case.

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A majority is more than half, according to Merriam Webster. Half is 50%. The majority of Crimeans are Russian. What you are looking for is a supermajority.

What I mean is that if people are compensated for their loss of property (which is a standard part of governance) and relocated, it's not that bad. In practice however, population transfer tends to be at bayonet point and if you can't bring belongings with you not much will be done. The kneejerk reaction to population transfer is to ring the human rights bell, but the principle of eminent domain isn't that abusive if the government compensates you for it. It's the practice that's the issue, which I already pointed out.

I don't see a problem with the Tatars getting their own nation-state in Crimea, you know. I did not say they'd be relocated to some other part of the world, merely that they should have their own nation-state if it is what they desire.

And I acknowledged your point about non-homogenous nations. Perfect homogeneity is pretty much unattainable. The idea behind the borders was to instead more or less get a general idea of majorities, as well as be compliant with Allied visions for the post-war order. Not composing countries purely of their nationalities, however, was a leading reason for the rise of fascism, as practically every one of the new nations had minorities abroad that it desired to annex.

I never implied ethnic groups need to lose their culture. Just that they need to adopt some aspects of the governing culture. There's plenty of room for variety in a country, but there's a limit. If there's too much variety you may as well be different countries. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask immigrants to speak the local language, either. It's a fairly simple request all things considered. Would you go into a Christian home and then bash Jesus? There's a certain courtesy that those from outside a group are expected to give.

It's not really exceptionalist to say the Presidential system has worked in America and failed in a lot of other places. That's just a historical fact. Can a Presidential system work in other countries? Of course it can. It just normally doesn't. The Presidential system tends to run into problems especially if the country is based on proportional representation and has a very divided legislature. We don't have this issue - we only have two parties that matter.

That impoverished Mexican family is not the norm. The average American resident has got it pretty good all things considered, in terms of absolute poverty. Despite our large wealth disparity, our people are overall taken care of (in ABSOLUTE terms) and so political militancy is not much of a problem. I'm arguing political stability with regards to wealth, not that America's socioeconomic system is perfect.

ANYWAY, back to Ukraine since this is all detracting from my original points.

It looks like there are only two big linguistic groups in Ukraine. That would explain their ability to remain united. There comes a point where multilingualism tends not to work as well, but Ukraine is not at that point.

The decision is up to the various Russian Ukrainians. Some think integrating with Russia would be fantastic, some do not. I say let the people decide.

I retract my original idea that Crimea become part of Russia because it doesn't look like the divide is as serious as it first appeared. Were this a region more actively interested in secession by a majority, I would support such, but it doesn't look like that's the case.

The problem here is that statistics are never perfect which is why there exists the concept of a "margin of error". 58% is a very very slight "majority". In Ukraine, language and ethnicity aren't necessarily the same. Many people who only speak Russian still identify as Ukrainian and vice versa. I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage of self-declared Russians in Crimea changed dramatically right now, many Russian speakers who remain loyal to Kiev would now list themselves as Ukrainian. Journalists on the besieged Ukrainian bases reported the irony that many of those "Ukrainian" soldiers are Russians too. In western Ukraine, the so-called "Ukrainian nationalist" also can speak Russian.. The Party of Regions, of which Yanukovich was a member had Ukrainians in it too and the Party as a whole is against splitting Ukraine. In the current Ukrainian government, there are many Russian speakers too, in fact the only reason why the President was ousted is because members from his part defected to the opposition.

You can't "compensate" someone who lost his home. This is an extremely traumatic experience. I doubt you would call it "not that bad" if you were on the receiving end of a relocation even if you were "compensated". "Knee jerk reaction"? "ringing the human rights bell"? Nonsense. The world has enough historical experience to be against this.

The current Russian occupation isn't interested in giving the Tatars any space to live. The illegitimate government is overwhelmingly Russian and is led by a guy who only won around 3% of votes in the previous election.

"Would you go into a Christian home and then bash Jesus?" I'd imagine that many "english-only" WASP would do that (the joke is that 'Jesus' is a popular name among Spanish speakers). Sorry, but English is not the official language in the US. The limit that you mention doesn't exist. The are already many places in the US where English is the minority language.

 

In addition to Spanish-speaking Hispanic populations, younger generations of non-Hispanics in the United States seem to be learning Spanish in larger numbers due to the growing Hispanic population and increasing popularity of Latin American movies and music performed in the Spanish language. A 2009 American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau, showed that Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by over 35 million people aged 5 or older,[13] making the United States the world's fifth-largest Spanish-speaking community, outnumbered only by Mexico, Spain, Colombia, and Argentina.[31][32]

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has stated that "English Only" laws are inconsistent with both the First Amendment right to communicate with or petition the government, as well as free speech, and the right to equality because they bar government employees from providing non-English language assistance and services.[20] Many academics seem to agree.[21] On August 11, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency." The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them.[22]

Also, I think it's a bit funny to say that the Presidential system in the USA is working, especially in recent times with increasing political polarization. Both Obama and Bush are/were widely hated and considered illegitimate by half the population. And it's only getting worse. There was nothing exceptional about the US system and the previous presidents were also not entirely democratic. Many were voted in in times when only a small part of the population was eligible to vote, and let's not forget the long fight led by African-Americans to gain voting rights, a fight that continues to this day what with Republicans passing Voter ID laws in an effort to disenfranchise as many people as possible. Almost the entire South America has presidential systems. They also have ethnically diverse populations, just like the USA (where the moto is/was: United in Diversity (and in latin, so much for "english only"))

And regarding your belief that "the average American resident has it pretty good":

http://www.epi.org/publication/ib339-us-poverty-higher-safety-net-weaker/

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The poverty line you're referring to is a relative measure. I'm talking absolute poverty. Which means you have to worry about things such as starvation, dying of disease, no education, etc. on a daily basis. Also going to throw out most of those Latin American Presidential systems have collapsed into dictatorship at some point (we, meanwhile, have pretty much remained democratic, and no, it's unfair to say we weren't "really democratic" since no one was by that metric up until the recent century). The key exception as memory serves is Costa Rica, which abolished its army because it wisened up to the fact the military tends to overthrow the government. Anyway, this isn't about America or Presidential systems or English as an official language. This is about Ukraine.

 

I'm talking about principles and not practice with regards to a Tatar state. Of course Russia's not interested in a Tatar state. I acknowledged this. I still say the Tatars should have their own country if they desire one, same as any ethnic group.

 

We're arguing completely different things at this point.

 

Russia's military incursion is wrong. Ukraine shows no evidence of being a failed state (yet, anyway; I imagine that could change if they go bankrupt) and it looks like a lot of Russian Ukrainians didn't really want him there either. I fully support the ability of Russian parts of the country to secede if they so wish, in line with the principles of democracy and self-determination. That's not what's happening here.

 

I think this invasion will benefit the West in the end, though, since I imagine it just destroyed the pro-Russian foreign policy objective a lot of Ukrainians had previously. Enmity from an invasion tends to run deep.

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Russia's military incursion is wrong.

 

No, it's not wrong. It is absolutely correct and justified, and it would have happened either way even if Yanukovich never fled.  

It is correct because Russia and Ukraine have had a shared history and culture and industry for many many centuries.

America's incursion is wrong because America has never had any cultural and historic ties with the region. It sits on another continent and always stirs turmoil and anarchy in other parts of the world. The Yankee government needs to STFU and GTFO. 

 

 

 

it looks like a lot of Russian Ukrainians didn't really want him there either

 

You obviously have an extremely limited library of news sources, because this far from the truth. You are thinking exactly the way that the Illuminati are wanting for you to think. As for my family on the other hand, we are free and resourceful and a thorn in their side. tongue.png

 

I spoke with my grandma on the phone today. She knows the real truth.

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No, it's not wrong. It is absolutely correct and justified, and it would have happened either way even if Yanukovich never fled.  

It is correct because Russia and Ukraine have had a shared history and culture and industry for many many centuries.

By that logic, America has a right to invade Canada.

Canada is a sovereign nation, that would be wrong. Similarly, the Ukraine is a sovereign nation. Russia has no place being there without Ukraine's consent.

 

America's incursion is wrong because America has never had any cultural and historic ties with the region. It sits on another continent and always stirs turmoil and anarchy in other parts of the world. The Yankee government needs to STFU and GTFO.

What about the rest of Europe?

They're just supposed to let this happen because they don't have the right "connections?"

As for America, I'm sorry, but I find it extremely inappropriate to compare monetary aid to military invasion. One involves transferring money, one involves killing people.

Countries don't invade each other anymore. Or at least they're not supposed to.

RUSSIA are the ones who need to "STFU and GTFO," as they have no place being in the area.

 

America and Europe offering diplomatic and economic support to a country that's been attacked is not comparable to Putin having his troops roll in. It's the principle of helping another in need at work. If there was a man trying to kill you, and I had a gun on me, would it be proper to just sit it out because I don't know you and have no ties to you? No. The proper course of action would be to shoot the guy so that you can live.

America and Western Europe form NATO. We are an alliance. We help each other out. Putin, on the other hand, just ordered the invasion of a sovereign country.

 

You obviously have an extremely limited library of news sources, because this far from the truth.

 

I spoke with my grandma on the phone today. She knows the real truth.

An anecdote is not the "real truth."

Look at what Vophied posted. Is that all "the Illuminati?" No, there are plenty of Ukrainians who do not want this, pure and simple. There are plenty of RUSSIAN Ukrainians who do not want this.

After all, if they really wanted to be part of Russia... why are they not IN Russia? They most likely left for a reason. People don't leave their homelands lightly. Even the Russians who were born and raised in Ukraine - if their real connection was to Russia, why would they remain in the area?

Finally, Ukraine has been a separate country for over 20 years. If it really wanted to be part of Russia, it would be part of Russia.

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After all, if they really wanted to be part of Russia... why are they not IN Russia? They most likely left for a reason. People don't leave their homelands lightly. 

 

For the sake of history; I believe it was during Stalin's reign that he deported the indigenous Tatars out of Crimea, and colonized Russians there. This was in 1944 sometime after Holodomor.

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For the sake of history; I believe it was during Stalin's reign that he deported the indigenous Tatars out of Crimea, and colonized Russians there. This was in 1944 sometime after Holodomor.

Indeed, though that's what I'm getting at - if these Russian Ukrainians really felt ties to Russia, they presumably would have left for Russia. They are most likely staying in Ukraine for a reason.

Jobs are one thing, but if I'm not mistaken Eastern Europe isn't exactly prosperous economically. I know a lot of foreign workers leave the United States whenever there's a downturn; they were here for a job and didn't really plan on staying. It sounds like a fair number of people of Russian ancestry feel loyalty to Ukraine despite their cultural heritage. I was wrong to assume they identified as Russians, rather than Ukrainians who just happen to be very Russian in background.

Edit: Indeed. Russia has a better economy than Ukraine's at the moment. It makes little sense that Russians without loyalty to Ukraine would stay, barring difficulties in moving.

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Hold the damn phone...

No, it's not wrong. It is absolutely correct and justified, and it would have happened either way even if Yanukovich never fled.  

It is correct because Russia and Ukraine have had a shared history and culture and industry for many many centuries.

America's incursion is wrong because America has never had any cultural and historic ties with the region. It sits on another continent and always stirs turmoil and anarchy in other parts of the world. The Yankee government needs to STFU and GTFO. 

Under what grounds does a shared history and culture justify a goddamned military intervention of a sovereign nation? Seriously, explain to me the logic in that.

 

You'd think if that was even slightly the case, Russia wouldn't need to resort to an armed intervention in the first damn place and be more peaceable about it. The US has done some pretty stupid stuff over the years, but this double standard you're pulling is no different to how our government justified their shit either.

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You'd think if that was even slightly the case, Russia wouldn't need to resort to an armed intervention in the first damn place and be more peaceable about it. The US has done some pretty stupid stuff over the years, but this double standard you're pulling is no different to how our government justified their shit either.

This was more or less my thoughts.

Yes, America has done a lot of bad things in its time. We stick our nose where it's not wanted or needed quite often.

However, it looks like there are just as many, if not more, Ukrainians who want nothing to do with Russia as there are those who do. They have been invaded, and so Europe and America are offering help.

It might be for the wrong reasons of self-interest, but I think it's a good gesture either way. It's helping a country that's been blatantly invaded.

We helped Kuwait. We helped South Korea. We even debated helping Georgia and if I recall we did give them some token assistance. Why can't we help Ukraine, too?

To hell with Russia's "ties" to Ukraine. They don't have any more right to invade places than we do. Russia is the thug that is trying to mug a defenseless person on the basis the stolen money will be used for their benefit, and we're the people with a concealed weapon just down the street. Helping Ukraine is the right thing to do.

I mean, to run with my original comparison. Let's look at Canada. Do I support the idea of a union between America and Canada? Fully. Would I force it on the Canadians? No. They get to decide what happens to their own country.

Governments must rule with the consent of the governed, or they are doomed to fail. If Russia occupies Ukraine, I hope the local resistance give them Hell.

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What about the rest of Europe?

They're just supposed to let this happen because they don't have the right "connections?"

 

What the hell can we do? Sanctions would heavily damage our economies we rely on Russian trade a great deal over here that could lead to mass protests/riots and war would most likely kill us all even without nukes. Russia would batter our crap weak armies without American support whom we rely on to wipe our arses for the last 65 years.

 

Very easy for an American to say this when its not on your Continent then again with all the military bases you have there and influence over it, it probably is yours now.

 

Whenever I hear William Hague or John Kerry go on about sovereignty I laugh my arse off.

 

Iraq was a sovereign nation, but everybody glosses over that. Not saying what Russia is doing is right, its wrong but politicians deliberately forget their own history. They ignore history because it wouldn't give them a leg to stand on.

 

Grenada or Panama were sovereign nations.

 

Like during the debate about the chemical attacks Hague completely glossed over the chemicals the United States used in Vietnam or white phosphorous the Americans recently used in Iraq. Isreal used white phosphorous as well on Palestinians.

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I'm not a politician. I don't gloss over America's abuses like they do.

Even if we do the right thing for the wrong reasons, I think we should still do it. America may do a poor job of respecting sovereignty, but if we can at least make sure other countries respect it, I think it's a net gain.

So that in mind, I'm all in favor of making Putin's incursion into Ukraine as difficult as possible. War and sanctions may be off the table, but we won a Cold War against a much more powerful Russia before without open confrontation. If we really put our minds to besting Russia, we can do it again.

They have made their own Hell. Russia's government has decided it wants the West as an enemy. We should oblige them until they come to the table and discuss things diplomatically like adults.

This whole situation is illustrating the shortcomings of democracy, though, given that very few politicians actually want to put their foot down since it could cost them their office.

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On the question of "if these people are Russian, why aren't they in Russia"; I would emphasise that despite Europe having borders, there are lots of regions with people of differing backgrounds, that the borders in terms of people are much more fluid. For example there are several regions of the Czech Republic that used to be part of other countries, mostly Poland and Germany (Sudetenland, anyone?). The idea of a nation state in Europe is pretty recent (last century) and before then people did not define themselves by their borders. This is what leads to struggles like that of the Basque and Catalan peoples of France and Spain, for example. The situation is likely the same with Crimea; it was chopped up and "given" to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev but for a long time the whole area was seen as one "block" anyway.

 

As for the situation, I don't think there is enough information out there to decide what "side" I would take. However I am fearful of the far Right sticking their fingers in the pie, in particular the group known as Svoboda ("freedom").

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I'm not a politician. I don't gloss over America's abuses like they do.

Even if we do the right thing for the wrong reasons, I think we should still do it. America may do a poor job of respecting sovereignty, but if we can at least make sure other countries respect it, I think it's a net gain.

So that in mind, I'm all in favor of making Putin's incursion into Ukraine as difficult as possible. War and sanctions may be off the table, but we won a Cold War against a much more powerful Russia before without open confrontation. If we really put our minds to besting Russia, we can do it again.

They have made their own Hell. Russia's government has decided it wants the West as an enemy. We should oblige them until they come to the table and discuss things diplomatically like adults.

This whole situation is illustrating the shortcomings of democracy, though, given that very few politicians actually want to put their foot down since it could cost them their office.

 

I could say the same for the West. No one involved in this is on the "right" side of history.

 

Also if another Cold War happened I don't think the rest of world could and shouldn't tolerate being Russia and America's Bitch again and die for their petty ideologies.

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Deflecting criticism of Russia's armed intervention on the basis of "well, everyone else is just as bad!!!" is a classic tu quoque fallacy, especially in the context of talking to citizens who may or may not agree with the things their own countries have done. The fact is simply this: Russia is rushing into an area with split national identity and is forcibly trying to take them back. This is wrong, and it would be wrong no matter what countries could hypothetically be involved in such a scenario because it ignores the autonomy of the citizens completely, and the fact that people were even arguing about whether it was right or wrong boggles the fucking mind. The actual question up for debate should be "what should anyone do about it, if anything?" and that is a question whose answers also cannot be appropriately reached with "Well, you fucked up too!"

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It is correct because Russia and Ukraine have had a shared history and culture and industry for many many centuries.

America's incursion is wrong because America has never had any cultural and historic ties with the region. It sits on another continent and always stirs turmoil and anarchy in other parts of the world. The Yankee government needs to STFU and GTFO.

I don't think the US should have anything to do with this shit as a matter of course, mostly because I don't give a shit about the Ukraine; but there is an absurd logical leap of faith being displayed here to justify outright Russian invasion due to government unrest. Russia and the Ukraine's shared history, culture and industry has largely (not entirely, but for the most part) been the result of the Ukraine being suborned by the more powerful Russian interests. To say nothing of comparing the refusal of money and aid to an armed incursion.

 

 

Following this line of thought to its conclusion, the United States would be justified invading the various former Banana Republics (or even Mexico) due to their rampant problems with government stability. I'm sure plenty of rich white people would love vacation alternatives to Florida and Hawaii. The UK would be justified invading half of Africa to clean up those messes. Greece is in a financial freefall, so let Italy move in and take things over. Those various communist dictatorships in Southeast Asia? Let's get Japan to move in and mop them all up.

 

 

 

Why not go full 1930s? Very few of the former Soviet Bloc countries are doing that well, all things considering. Germany and Russia can split them up.

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Deflecting criticism of Russia's armed intervention on the basis of "well, everyone else is just as bad!!!" is a classic tu quoque fallacy, especially in the context of talking to citizens who may or may not agree with the things their own countries have done. The fact is simply this: Russia is rushing into an area with split national identity and is forcibly trying to take them back. This is wrong, and it would be wrong no matter what countries could hypothetically be involved in such a scenario because it ignores the autonomy of the citizens completely, and the fact that people were even arguing about whether it was right or wrong boggles the fucking mind. The actual question up for debate should be "what should anyone do about it, if anything?" and that is a question whose answers also cannot be appropriately reached with "Well, you fucked up too!"

 

I never said that. I did say that I think Russia is in the wrong here but were not helping the situation either.

 

Everyone else is just as bad in some way we just don't admit it. Really sad that we as people feel contempt to live with the lies and corruption of our own governments and distract us with the failures of others. 

 

Well what can we do to solve this mess?

 

What if Sanctions don't work. Do we go back to pointing nuclear missiles at each other for fifty years and fight pointless proxy wars to fund the military-industrial complex over two ageing has been empires of the last century?

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You completely missed the point I made. The fact that other governments are "just as bad" (which is a gross simplification of things and something I'm not willing to take seriously) doesn't say anything about the ethics of Russia's actions. You are deflecting from the actual issue here whenever you complain about the US or Europe or anyone else somehow having the audacity to say the obvious: "Hey Russia, this shit isn't cool for x, y, and z reasons."

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