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Questions Of The Day (Politics)
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I assume nobody will object if the AEL sends a telegram to the Russian government congratulating it on its recent actions against Georgia?
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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...and why would AE produce any position on this matter? Aside from the "Librarian's" need to be a contrarian.
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Mick Harper
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Because if a contrarian position was not held there would be no point in introducing the matter. Try to keep up, Ishmael.

AE is always looking for a principle that permits us to skip the subjective stuff that we all carry around with us, and in this case it is a clear case of national self-determination. Georgia has no business in South Ossetia. The rest is flummery.

Interestingly, the AEL supports Hitler over the Sudetenland.
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
Interestingly, the AEL supports Hitler over the Sudetenland.


It does no such thing, except within the context of certain narrowly defined assumptions.
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Mick Harper
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Well that's a start. The Dictators get such a lousy press we're more or less obliged to be fascisti manqués. Though actually the real lesson is in trying to avoid going wrong on Appeasement. And one way of doing that is to support the other side at Munich rather than just trying to buy them off. It opens up quite new foreign policy vistas.

PS You have, I assume, worked out what happens to North Ossetia (and then of course Chechnya) if you hand things over to the Russkies?
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
PS You have, I assume, worked out what happens to North Ossetia (and then of course Chechnya) if you hand things over to the Russkies?


Haven't been giving it much thought. Enlighten me.
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Mick Harper
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They'll be cutely hoist on their own petard. If South Ossetia is independent of Georgia then North Ossetia must be independent of Russia (they have the same constitutional status). But if Russia allows a unified Ossetia its independence, then Chechnya (same status as Ossetia) will have to have its independence too. Then Dagestan. Then any-stan that wants it. Cue break-up of Russia.
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
Cue break-up of Russia.

Funny. I thought we already saw that performance.
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Mick Harper
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Ishmael, your ignorance of the Old World never ceases to amaze me. Are you referring to the break-up of Russia by the Mongol hordes? I know of no other.
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
Ishmael, your ignorance of the Old World never ceases to amaze me. Are you referring to the break-up of Russia by the Mongol hordes? I know of no other.


Well... breakup of Soviet Union. Georgia was part of that state. You would have us believe that the reconstitution of that state would be the first step toward the ultimate destruction of its successor? Bit of a bold prediction. "Two steps forward, one step back" I guess.
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Mick Harper
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Look, Ishmael, the Soviet Union broke up in a very deliberate way and it's not a way that the Tsars would have allowed. Any territory that had been a "Socialist Republic" as in the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics became independent countries. Administrative divisions that were 'merely' autonomous territories didn't. That's why Georgia became independent and Ossetia didn't. What you were tended to be at the whim of Stalin who couldn't give a monkeys because he couldn't conceive it would make the slightest difference. But it turned out to be absolutely vital.

But not sufficient because now we're moving on to the next stage where the 'autonomous territories' become independent. After that it will be the really bizarre parcels of land, mostly in Siberia, that are presently called something like Special Administrative Areas or something. After that....

The reason states are so nervous about anything getting independence is because once started, there's nothing much to stop the process until...until...every man is his own island.
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Hatty
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What effect would the breakup of Russia have on Europe and the rest of the world politically and economically? Presumably America's interests would be served...and China's? And presumably that would not be A Good Thing; cf. the Balkans.
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Mick Harper
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Oh, I see. You think the indefinite survival of Yugoslavia (or Greater Serbia as it is known to us students of history) would actually be a good thing? Remind me to remind the Croatians, Slovenes, Bosnians, Montenegrins, Albanians and Macedonians of your views.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Not that I have a great interest in this matter but, in my view, one's immediate interest ought to take precedence over one's long-term interest in a potential future outcome that may or may not come about, subject as it is to the uncertainty of unintended consequences.
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Hatty
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Not that I have a great interest in this matter but, in my view, one's immediate interest ought to take precedence over one's long-term interest in a potential future outcome that may or may not come about, subject as it is to the uncertainty of unintended consequences.

Whose interests should take precedence? A statesman would presumably consider the most satisfactory outome to be a settlement that placated the majority of countries involved, unless instability served his interests; less likely to lead to slaughter on a grand scale. But you're right to take a pragmatic view; not much to be learned from 'the lessons of history' even for those who aren't followers of Fomenko.
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