Redrawing borders

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Saim
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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Saim » 2013-08-25, 1:04

linguoboy wrote:My prescription as world dictator? Plebiscites for everyone what wants 'em. "Geopolitical stability" is just another convenient excuse for perpetuating an unjust status quo.

/thread

Ludwig Whitby wrote:All Serbs did was assimilation of the people of Southern Serbia, that mostly did consider themselvs Bulgarian, but had no strong national feeling which is proven by the fact that it took them only a few years to change their mind and become Serbs. They were living in the Ottoman empire and hadn't felt the wave of nationalism before Serbs arrived and Serbia took advantage of that. Oh, Serbia took Macedonia as well and what Serbia did in Macedonia was a mistake (as much you would like that, still no ethnic cleansing), but they're not Bulgarians, they're Macedonians.

So what is the difference between what was done in Macedonia to what was done in those areas of southern Serbia? That it wasn't fully succesful?

Ludwig Whitby wrote:2. They are a nation of their own, a young nation, but a nation nontheless, with a language of their own (officially since 1945) and are brutally aware of the past attempts at serbification and bulgarization. So, no to any possible union with one of those two countries.


How do you Bulgarize something that is already Bulgarian? Can you find any evidence of any Macedonian ethnic identity before Yugoslav times?

I'm tempted to see the Macedonian ethnogenesis as a Serb/Yugoslav-provoked phenomenon, just as Moldovans are just those Romanians that ended up under Russian occupation, and Valencians are just Catalans that ended up with a Hispanophile (I mean, Castilophile) bourguoisie.

That doesn't mean that Macedonians aren't now a distinct ethnic group, or that they don't have a right to their state, of course. They have every right to their identity and sovereignty, I'm just not a fan of all the denial of Bulgarian roots and erroneous assertions of ancient Macedonian origins.

Yasna wrote:1. Falkland Islands returned to Argentina.

When were the Falklands ever part of Argentina?

3. Dravidian speaking South India becomes an independent country.

4. Pakistan is dissolved and everything west of the Indus river goes to Iran and Afghanistan. Every to the east goes to India.

I'm more of a fan of dissolving both India and Pakistan, and then creating a looser South Asian (con)federation with a large number of member states. That would be for Sindh and Punjab especially, but I wouldn't be against Balochistan or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa joining in.

The Baloch I think have been fighting long enough against both Punjabi and Persian oppression, so I don't see what freeing them from Pakistan just to have them all under Iranian rule would solve - they need their own state. The Pashtuns I think could stand being united in a single state, but I don't see how nowadays given the state of Afghanistan these days.

mōdgethanc wrote:
HoItalosPhilellên wrote:1. Liberate West Bank and Gaza from Israeli tyranny for an independent Palestine.
So they can live under Palestinian tyranny. Great!


That's the same argument used by opponents of decolonisation in India, Africa and other areas. Those darkies just can't govern themselves, apparently.

What you and they are forgetting is that decolonisation is a necessary condition in development of these societies. Palestinian society doesn't have the opportunity to open up and develop precisely because of what Israel and the Western powers have been doing in the region. Israel is the biggest friend of Islamic extremism, because without an external enemy they would be toast.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-25, 5:42

That's the same argument used by opponents of decolonisation in India, Africa and other areas. Those darkies just can't govern themselves, apparently.
You can accuse me of racism by strawmanning and guilt by association, or you can listen to my actual argument. I never said the Palestinians couldn't govern themselves; I said I didn't think they would be any better off under their own government than under the occupation. Does that mean they don't deserve their own government? Not necessary, so don't be so quick to jump to conclusions about my beliefs.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby language learner » 2013-08-25, 7:20

The Cyprus-guy said he was kidding. At first I thought that you weren't that serious either, I said that your thoughts were harmless. You said that they weren't. I see no double standards.
I indeed said it isn't a "harmless nationalistic daydreaming". Yet I never said anything about invading other countries. Have you actually read the rest of that post of mine?

http://www.refworld.org/country,,HRW,ANNUALREPORT,BGR,4562d8b62,3ae6a8de3f,0.html
http://www.refworld.org/country,,,,BGR, ... b18,0.html
http://www.hrw.org/reports/1993/08/01/i ... a-bulgaria

This is the first time ever I read about violence against Romas. Do you have other sources that claim the same thing? For every source you provide of violence against romas, I can provide ten sources showing cases romas stealing, murdering and raping.

http://www.24chasa.bg/Article.asp?ArticleId=2256822
Is this the increased violence against romas? Now, google translate isn't perfect, but you can get the gist of what is said.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Saim » 2013-08-25, 10:30

Here's one interpretation of the number of national minorities in Europe:

Image

As always, you find a weird mix of historical and etnolinguistic criteria:

-Why lump the Scottish Highlands in with the Lowlands as the same "national minority" when the ethnic background of these two populations is quite different?
-Why is Silesia lumped together even though Upper Silesia is inhabited by ethnic Silesians and Lower Silesia was inhabited by Germans but has now been thoroughly Polonised?
-Why split off all the historic nations of Italy, but leave Rome and Tuscany as "Italy"? Is Corsican really more different to standard Tuscan than all the Romanesco/Central Italian varieties are?
-All of Transylvania and Vojvodina is marked as "Hungarian", why?
-What is Podlachia?

Image

This one tries to be purely ethnolinguistic, but there are a few weird things as well:

-Why is all of Silesia marked as German, when Upper Silesia is historically Silesian (West Slavic) speaking?
-Why is Tuscan split from "Italian", and Neapolitan subsumed under it?

mōdgethanc wrote:
That's the same argument used by opponents of decolonisation in India, Africa and other areas. Those darkies just can't govern themselves, apparently.
You can accuse me of racism by strawmanning and guilt by association, or you can listen to my actual argument. I never said the Palestinians couldn't govern themselves; I said I didn't think they would be any better off under their own government than under the occupation. Does that mean they don't deserve their own government? Not necessary, so don't be so quick to jump to conclusions about my beliefs.

You were implying that they shouldn't govern themselves because of the tyranny of Islamism and the Palestinian elites, and you draw an equivalence between them and the Israeli occupation. What is the difference between that and someone who says "Africa went to shit during decolonisation, the Europeans should never have left" and "partition proves India needed the British to keep peace"?
Last edited by Saim on 2013-08-25, 11:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-25, 11:00

Saim wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:All Serbs did was assimilation of the people of Southern Serbia, that mostly did consider themselvs Bulgarian, but had no strong national feeling which is proven by the fact that it took them only a few years to change their mind and become Serbs. They were living in the Ottoman empire and hadn't felt the wave of nationalism before Serbs arrived and Serbia took advantage of that. Oh, Serbia took Macedonia as well and what Serbia did in Macedonia was a mistake (as much you would like that, still no ethnic cleansing), but they're not Bulgarians, they're Macedonians.

So what is the difference between what was done in Macedonia to what was done in those areas of southern Serbia? That it wasn't fully succesful?

1.There were already involved with Serbia. Some people living there already considered themselves Serbs. The people of Southern Serbia took part in the first Serbian uprising in 1804 for example.
2.The others quickly changed their ethnicity, because as I mention before, nobody had a developed national consciousness. Serbs drove away the Turks, opened (Serbian) schools, the Serbian Orthodox Church got jurisdiction over them. In those days people thought about pros and cons. They would think along the lines of "If Serbia gives me all this, and Bulgaria gives me nothing, why should I not become Serbian?"

In Macedonia, there was a bloody confrontation between the Serbian state, Serbian Macedonians and Bulgarian Macedonians and Macedonians. There were a lot of people who didn't want a Serbian state that was forced on them. If the citizens of Southern Serbia were bribed into assimilation, citizens of Macedonia were forced. That was the main difference.
Saim wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:2. They are a nation of their own, a young nation, but a nation nontheless, with a language of their own (officially since 1945) and are brutally aware of the past attempts at serbification and bulgarization. So, no to any possible union with one of those two countries.


How do you Bulgarize something that is already Bulgarian? Can you find any evidence of any Macedonian ethnic identity before Yugoslav times?


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

Се надевам дека разбираш македонски.
http://mk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%97%D0% ... 1%82%D0%B8
http://mk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%92%D0% ... 0%B8%D0%B5)



Anyway, the official position of Serbia in those days and the Serbian history today is that Macedonians, South Serbians and West Bulgarians are bulgarized Serbs, as their language displays clear Serbian phonological traits. Just to add to the "different perception of history" pile.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby language learner » 2013-08-25, 11:41

They would think along the lines of "If Serbia gives me all this, and Bulgaria gives me nothing, why should I not become Serbian?"
As if you were there to tell what they would think.

In Macedonia, there was a bloody confrontation between the Serbian state, Serbian Macedonians and Bulgarian Macedonians and Macedonians.
Since when are there so many ethnicities there? Or do you use Macedonian as a geographical qualifier?

Anyway, the official position of Serbia in those days and the Serbian history today is that Macedonians, South Serbians and West Bulgarians are bulgarized Serbs, as their language displays clear Serbian phonological traits. Just to add to the "different perception of history" pile.

Language is a political term really. Where do you exactly draw the border between the south Slavic languages? You don't, because the whole thing is a language continuum. And if we are being nitpicky here, since when complete or almost complete lack of cases is typical of Serbian?

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-25, 12:16

азъбукывѣдѣ wrote:
They would think along the lines of "If Serbia gives me all this, and Bulgaria gives me nothing, why should I not become Serbian?"
As if you were there to tell what they would think.

Ok. I think I will use this argument more often.

азъбукывѣдѣ wrote:
In Macedonia, there was a bloody confrontation between the Serbian state, Serbian Macedonians and Bulgarian Macedonians and Macedonians.
Since when are there so many ethnicities there? Or do you use Macedonian as a geographical qualifier?

You can't know that. You weren't there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ethnic Macedonians. I don't know how big a part of the conflict they played. I would assume they would've been allied with Bulgaromans because both wanted an autonomous or idependent Macedonia.

I found an even earlier evidence of Macedonian ethnicity, btw:
Georgi Pulevski - A Dictionary of Three languages (1875) wrote:What do we call a nation? – People who are of the same origin and who speak the same words and who live and make friends of each other, who have the same customs and songs and entertainment are what we call a nation, and the place where that people lives is called the people's country. Thus the Macedonians also are a nation and the place which is theirs is called Macedonia.


азъбукывѣдѣ wrote:
Anyway, the official position of Serbia in those days and the Serbian history today is that Macedonians, South Serbians and West Bulgarians are bulgarized Serbs, as their language displays clear Serbian phonological traits. Just to add to the "different perception of history" pile.

Language is a political term really. Where do you exactly draw the border between the south Slavic languages? You don't, because the whole thing is a language continuum. And if we are being nitpicky here, since when complete or almost complete lack of cases is typical of Serbian?

Do you know what phonology means?

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Elaine » 2013-08-25, 14:58

I respect your opinion, of course. But I prefer not to redraw the countries' borders. I think nobody wants their country to be divided.
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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-25, 15:11

Lazar Taxon wrote:You mean irredentism?

I do.

boracasli wrote:I respect your opinion, of course. But I prefer not to redraw the countries' borders. I think nobody wants their country to be divided.

So then what exactly are secessionist movements?

For me, it would all depend on how it was done. I don't have any particular stake in the territorial integrity of my country. If the majority of the population in one or more subsections of it decided by popular vote in a free and open election to secede and negotiated the details in good faith (e.g. some of the national debt should go with them, especially if they want some of the armed forces for their own), then I would wish them the best. Why would I want them stay united with the rest of us against their will? How would that solve more problems that it causes?
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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby language learner » 2013-08-25, 15:24

I found an even earlier evidence of Macedonian ethnicity, btw:
This is what he writes, but many of the people lived at his time say explicitly, that he himself is Bulgarian. Besides, how many people of his time support his view? The view that Macedonians form a nation gained momentum only in the 20th century.

Do you know what phonology means?
Yes, and it's more easily changed (e.g. by borrowing words or regional influence) than grammar. And even speaking in terms of phonology, there are dialects on Serbian territory that have the ъ sound. Is this a "clear Serbian phonological trait"?

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-25, 15:38

азъбукывѣдѣ wrote:
I found an even earlier evidence of Macedonian ethnicity, btw:
This is what he writes, but many of the people lived at his time say explicitly, that he himself is Bulgarian.

Wikipedia says that at a point he called himself a Serbian patriot as well. But he was a Bulgarian officer and Bulgaria was paying him a veterans pension. Which really just underlines my claim of the low levels of national consciousness. He was just expressing loyalty to the country that fed him.

азъбукывѣдѣ wrote:Besides, how many people of his time support his view? The view that Macedonians form a nation gained momentum only in the 20th century.

Not many. I never claimed otherwise. I was asked to find any evidence of a seperate Macedonian ethnicity before Yugoslavia and I did.

азъбукывѣдѣ wrote:
Do you know what phonology means?
Yes, and it's more easily changed (e.g. by borrowing words or regional influence) than grammar. And even speaking in terms of phonology, there are dialects on Serbian territory that have the ъ sound. Is this a "clear Serbian phonological trait"?

Phonology is a part of grammar. It can't be more easily changed than grammar. I wouldn't know more about it, nor have I stated that what Serbian linguists have claimed is correct. I just mentioned that they did make that claim and I think that fact is important if you want to understand the situation.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-25, 17:33

You were implying that they shouldn't govern themselves because of the tyranny of Islamism and the Palestinian elites, and you draw an equivalence between them and the Israeli occupation. What is the difference between that and someone who says "Africa went to shit during decolonisation, the Europeans should never have left" and "partition proves India needed the British to keep peace"?
Because I never said anything about Islamism (you're just blatantly strawmanning there) or about Israeli occupation being better, or wanting it to continue. I only said I don't think independence would necessarily lead to better governance, since the PA is widely thought to be corrupt and/or ineffective (no matter which party is in charge of it). Maybe that would change if they had more sovereignty, I don't know. The point is what you said was way out of line and you misinterpreted me badly.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Saim » 2013-08-25, 18:05

Thanks Ludwig, I hadn't heard of any expressions of Macedonian ethnic consciousness before the 20th century. Interesting.

mōdgethanc wrote:Because I never said anything about Islamism (you're just blatantly strawmanning there) or about Israeli occupation being better, or wanting it to continue. I only said I don't think independence would necessarily lead to better governance, since the PA is widely thought to be corrupt and/or ineffective (no matter which party is in charge of it).

You were making fun of Michael's suggestion that Palestine should be liberated from "Israeli oppression", bringing up "Palestinian oppression". I didn't say you said anything about Islamism, for me it is an example of "Palestinian oppression" that would be better dealt with without Israeli meddling. If you don't think Islamist policies enacted by a Palestinian government count as "Palestinian oppression", I'd like to know what your justification for that is.

My point is that Israel is constantly used as an excuse to ignore human rights in Muslim-majority countries. The end of Israel's occupation and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state would surely be a moment of liberation.

Maybe that would change if they had more sovereignty, I don't know.

Then let's analyze the causes and compare with other cases, then we can get a pretty good idea. Which is what I was trying to do. I'm not trying to victimize you or claim you are a racist.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-25, 18:56

Saim wrote:You were making fun of Michael's suggestion that Palestine should be liberated from "Israeli oppression", bringing up "Palestinian oppression". I didn't say you said anything about Islamism, for me it is an example of "Palestinian oppression" that would be better dealt with without Israeli meddling. If you don't think Islamist policies enacted by a Palestinian government count as "Palestinian oppression", I'd like to know what your justification for that is.
What?

Yes, I agree Islamism is (usually) oppressive. Lots of secular (Arab and otherwise) states are/were oppressive too. So I wasn't necessarily referring to Islamism but, like I said, the perception of the PA as corrupt and ineffective. (This is just what I've been told by Palestinian Arabs, so it might not be the full story.)
My point is that Israel is constantly used as an excuse to ignore human rights in Muslim-majority countries. The end of Israel's occupation and the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state would surely be a moment of liberation.
I don't think it necessarily would be for the Palestinians, since there is no guarantee it would be a liberal democracy. But I already agreed they have a moral right to self-determination, so it's up to them to determine what their new state would look like. Let me restate for emphasis: That is my belief. There is nothing colonialist about that.

I got into a similar discussion with my friend yesterday about the Syrian civil war. I had sided with the rebels, believing they offered a better future for the country. He disagreed and argued that Assad, while a dictator, at least offered stability, and that his overthrowing would not necessarily lead to liberation for Syria since there is a real danger that the Islamist factions could hijack the revolution and turn it into another Somalia or Afghanistan. He's Iranian, so he knows all about the danger of replacing one kind of tyranny (the Shah) with another (the Islamic Republic). But I digress.
Then let's analyze the causes and compare with other cases, then we can get a pretty good idea. Which is what I was trying to do. I'm not trying to victimize you or claim you are a racist.
I'm not feeling victimized. I just thought it was a little outrageous to compare what I said to people who are apologists for colonialism, because I have never held anything like those views. Anyway, I've already said my piece, and don't feel there is anything more to discuss here. I'll let you say yours and that's it. I feel it was just a misunderstanding. (Jeez, this is why I try to avoid discussing politics these days. Everything is a potential minefield.)

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Saim » 2013-08-26, 12:37

[qote]
mōdgethanc wrote:
Saim wrote:You were making fun of Michael's suggestion that Palestine should be liberated from "Israeli oppression", bringing up "Palestinian oppression". I didn't say you said anything about Islamism, for me it is an example of "Palestinian oppression" that would be better dealt with without Israeli meddling. If you don't think Islamist policies enacted by a Palestinian government count as "Palestinian oppression", I'd like to know what your justification for that is.
What?

Yes, I agree Islamism is (usually) oppressive. Lots of secular (Arab and otherwise) states are/were oppressive too. So I wasn't necessarily referring to Islamism but, like I said, the perception of the PA as corrupt and ineffective. (This is just what I've been told by Palestinian Arabs, so it might not be the full story.)

I assumed you were referring to both (Islamism and the corrupt but "secular" government in the West Bank), as both Hamas and Fatah have some role in governing the Palestinian Territories and likely will continue to if Israel ends the occupation, and even Fatah isn't and can't be 100% secular.

I don't think it necessarily would be for the Palestinians, since there is no guarantee it would be a liberal democracy. But I already agreed they have a moral right to self-determination, so it's up to them to determine what their new state would look like. Let me restate for emphasis: That is my belief. There is nothing colonialist about that.

That's good to know. My point wasn't that a sovereign Palestine would become a liberal democracy overnight, but that Israel's presence is preventing progressive reforms in much of the Muslim world. Islamism and Zionism feed each other - hate breeds more hate in the Middle East, just as the experience of the Holocaust probably radicalized many Jews.

I got into a similar discussion with my friend yesterday about the Syrian civil war. I had sided with the rebels, believing they offered a better future for the country. He disagreed and argued that Assad, while a dictator, at least offered stability, and that his overthrowing would not necessarily lead to liberation for Syria since there is a real danger that the Islamist factions could hijack the revolution and turn it into another Somalia or Afghanistan. He's Iranian, so he knows all about the danger of replacing one kind of tyranny (the Shah) with another (the Islamic Republic). But I digress.

I'm not sure what to think about that. I think the longer the war goes on the worse it'll get, and the more the different religious denominations and etnolinguistic groups polarize and the more militarised and violent the society gets. So the priority is to end the war and have the various ethnic and denominational groups sit and talk, although I'm not sure how that can be achieved with Assad in the way.

I'm also worried about reprisals against the Alawi community if the opposition takes power. It's almost like the Alawis are digging their own graves the longer they support Assad, just look at all the post-Apartheid violence against white Afrikaans-speaking farmers (boers) in South Africa if you want to see an example of the kind of retribution that could happen...

In Syria, unfortunately, I don't think there's any easy or good solution. I mean, this kind of stuff could have been avoided in a large number of cases had there been no British, French or American meddling in the region in the past century, but woulda shoulda coulda you know.

I'm not feeling victimized. I just thought it was a little outrageous to compare what I said to people who are apologists for colonialism, because I have never held anything like those views.

That's the thing, to me Israel is practicing a form of colonialism quite reminiscent of the racist regime in South Africa. I'm not the only one who has drawn that parallel. One or two times I've explained the concept of a Bantustan to people and they've independently come to the conclusion that "hey, that's kind of like what Israel does!".

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-26, 16:28

Saim wrote:I assumed you were referring to both (Islamism and the corrupt but "secular" government in the West Bank), as both Hamas and Fatah have some role in governing the Palestinian Territories and likely will continue to if Israel ends the occupation, and even Fatah isn't and can't be 100% secular.
Yeah. I would support Fatah over Hamas any day, but there are many who would disagree.
That's good to know. My point wasn't that a sovereign Palestine would become a liberal democracy overnight, but that Israel's presence is preventing progressive reforms in much of the Muslim world. Islamism and Zionism feed each other - hate breeds more hate in the Middle East, just as the experience of the Holocaust probably radicalized many Jews.
I think you're probably right. It at least gives countries like Iran a convenient enemy to whip up nationalist feeling.
]I'm not sure what to think about that. I think the longer the war goes on the worse it'll get, and the more the different religious denominations and etnolinguistic groups polarize and the more militarised and violent the society gets. So the priority is to end the war and have the various ethnic and denominational groups sit and talk, although I'm not sure how that can be achieved with Assad in the way.

I'm also worried about reprisals against the Alawi community if the opposition takes power. It's almost like the Alawis are digging their own graves the longer they support Assad, just look at all the post-Apartheid violence against white Afrikaans-speaking farmers (boers) in South Africa if you want to see an example of the kind of retribution that could happen...

In Syria, unfortunately, I don't think there's any easy or good solution. I mean, this kind of stuff could have been avoided in a large number of cases had there been no British, French or American meddling in the region in the past century, but woulda shoulda coulda you know.
Yeah, we discussed all that. He thinks it could end in genocide, or at least the partition of the country. So basically, another Iraq. I agree this is a real danger and ending the war should be the top priority, whether Assad has a role in post-war Syria or not.
That's the thing, to me Israel is practicing a form of colonialism quite reminiscent of the racist regime in South Africa. I'm not the only one who has drawn that parallel. One or two times I've explained the concept of a Bantustan to people and they've independently come to the conclusion that "hey, that's kind of like what Israel does!".
Yes, I've heard that analogy many times before. I think it's a reasonable one, too, at least applied to the territories. Artificially keeping Israeli settlers and native Palestinians apart with barriers is not going to lead to peace, only hatred.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Johanna » 2013-08-26, 18:07

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
Johanna wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:Do you think that that trait is intrinsically Serbian?

Nope, I can see it here too, although a bit less obvious (our leaders wouldn't get away with actual ethnic cleansing, but selling out Sami land to foreign mining companies is still OK).

So what's with pointing out Serbs? I found it really annoying and ironic that after a post of a Bulgarian who laments on the treatment that his people received in their neighbouring countries and saying that is reason enough for his country to invade them and annex some of their territory you would bash on Serbs.

Firstly, I would really like to see the source that says that Serbs conducted ethnic cleansing on Bulgarians. All Serbs did was assimilation of the people of Southern Serbia, that mostly did consider themselvs Bulgarian, but had no strong national feeling which is proven by the fact that it took them only a few years to change their mind and become Serbs. They were living in the Ottoman empire and hadn't felt the wave of nationalism before Serbs arrived and Serbia took advantage of that. Oh, Serbia took Macedonia as well and what Serbia did in Macedonia was a mistake (as much you would like that, still no ethnic cleansing), but they're not Bulgarians, they're Macedonians.

Secondly, don't you know what Bulgarians have been doing to Romas? Turks? Pomaks? What did they do to the people in neighbouring countries they invaded in WWI and WWII? Couldn't you have said that Bulgarians in general don't care about them oppressing others, but that when there's a hint of Bulgarians being oppressed?

Thirdly, you do know that his line of thinking is exactly the same as the one that lead to this idea? Doesn't that bother you? Is it only Serbs (and apparently Israelis) that you have a problem with?

I think we might have "spoken around each other" on this issue.

I don't have problems with anyone as a people, just governments. And the government in particular that I was talking about was Milošević's back in the late 1990's, when it tried to drive Kosovo Albanians out of Kosovo. Which is an action a lot of Serbs defend to this day (NATO weren't nice either, bombing hospitals and similar civilian targets, but even though two wrongs don't make a right, that was a respond to that attempted ethnic cleansing).

And I have no problems with Israelis either, I know a few and they are the nicest people ever, but I still don't like they way their government handles the Palestinian issue. Heck, I don't like they way my own government acts in a number of issues, so if someone is willing to bash it on a number of points, I'm all for it. I might start to debate you on those things I do agree with it on though, but that's just the usual disagreement on political stuff.
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Ludwig Whitby
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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-26, 18:30

Johanna, I would first like to apologize. My post was too aggressive. You casually mentioned a sensitive topic and I interpreted it the wrong way. I agree that we spoke around each other.

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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Johanna » 2013-08-26, 19:37

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Johanna, I would first like to apologize. My post was too aggressive. You casually mentioned a sensitive topic and I interpreted it the wrong way. I agree that we spoke around each other.

No worries, I guess my comment was a bit misplaced, and didn't really belong to the debate.
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Re: Redrawing borders

Postby Babelfish » 2013-08-30, 23:51

Saim wrote:Israel is the biggest friend of Islamic extremism, because without an external enemy they would be toast.
Saim wrote:My point is that Israel is constantly used as an excuse to ignore human rights in Muslim-majority countries.
Saim wrote:... Israel's presence is preventing progressive reforms in much of the Muslim world. Islamism and Zionism feed each other - hate breeds more hate in the Middle East, just as the experience of the Holocaust probably radicalized many Jews.

I think you're exaggerating Israel's effect by much. The only effect it can have for the vast majority of the Muslim world is by serving as an excuse, as you said - and the recent upheavals in Arab countries show that even this isn't working very well any more.
But Islamic extremism wouldn't be "toast" without an external enemy in the form of Israel, they'd just make up another one, or rather - bring it to the front of the line, e.g. the U.S. or the "West" in general (or perhaps an "internal" enemy, as in the inter-faction wars in Iraq, formerly in Lebanon, etc). Look, it just bothers me that your wording is very similar to that used by fanatical enemies of Israel, which I don't think you are.
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