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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #91 
Azadi,

Your criteria seem completely ad hoc and arbitrary. Because Gibraltar is small, its people don't deserve self-determination? What nonsense. There also doesn't seem any principled, relevant difference between expulsion and just swamping native peoples with outsiders: the point you are making is that outsiders, even if they have dwelt somewhere for centuries, shouldn't have a say in the place.

Of course, there are no clean lines. All we can say is wrongs of centuries ago shouldn't be a matter for modern international relations to set right, whereas those of the last few decades are still live and should be set right if possible.* Where the line is hard to say, but that doesn't obscure the fact there is a relevant difference. It would be a sorites fallacy to suggest otherwise.

* Although, alas, in this fallen world, international relations can't simply be a matter of setting right eve recent wrongs. There are other factors that do need to be taken into account.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #92 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
Referring to the last paragraph of your #86, the Chagos Islanders, who were never even called that until they became a Cause, are not in any sense of the term an 'indigenous population'. The islands had none, being entirely uninhabited until their discovery by Europeans, and the islanders are descendants of contract labourers shipped in for plantation work. Comparatively recently, the longest-settled families had been there three generations at most, and the status of even those born on the islands remained workers accommodated in company housing, not a permanent, resident population. I point this out not to deny their human rights or dignity and not to deny either that Britain treated them wrongly and inhumanely. I do so because you are using an emotive term that does not apply.

One does wonder how even in your mind three generations and a population numbering barely over 1,000 obtain rights and after fourteen generations or so the 30,000-strong Gibraltarians do not. But it's simple, attributing rights to the islanders and denying them to the Gibraltarians suits your Britain-bashing cause in each case. And it will do no good to deny yet again that you are an Anglophobe, as in that case why do something like 8 out of every 10 of your posts attack Britain?

It's true, that the Chagos Islands were uninhabited, when they were discovered by Europeans. I repeat, that my opinions aren't motivated by Anglophobia. If I was an Anglophobe, I would support the Argentine claim to the Falkland Islands. The difference between the Chagos Islanders and the Gibraltarians are, that the Chagos Islanders didn't replace a pre-existing native population. The Chagos Islanders are comparable to the British Falkland Islanders, because in both cases, the islands didn't have an aboriginal population.
It's true, that I dislike British imperial nostalgia, but I don't hate Great Britain because of my hatred of colonialism and imperialism. The British Empire was no worse than other European colonial empires. The Spanish Empire was actually worse than the British Empire.
Disclaimer: My dislike of British imperial nostalgia doesn't extend to the White Dominions. My dislike of British imperial nostalgia concerns India, Africa and the Middle East.
My activity on this forum isn't solely about criticizing Great Britain. A lot of my threads and posts on this forum concerns other matters. But this thread has caused far more discussion than most of my threads on this forum. In other threads on this forum, I have repeatedly condemned PKK/PYD, the Iranian regime and John Bolton. 
azadi

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Reply with quote  #93 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
Azadi,

Your criteria seem completely ad hoc and arbitrary. Because Gibraltar is small, its people don't deserve self-determination? What nonsense. There also doesn't seem any principled, relevant difference between expulsion and just swamping native peoples with outsiders: the point you are making is that outsiders, even if they have dwelt somewhere for centuries, shouldn't have a say in the place.

Of course, there are no clean lines. All we can say is wrongs of centuries ago shouldn't be a matter for modern international relations to set right, whereas those of the last few decades are still live and should be set right if possible.* Where the line is hard to say, but that doesn't obscure the fact there is a relevant difference. It would be a sorites fallacy to suggest otherwise.

* Although, alas, in this fallen world, international relations can't simply be a matter of setting right eve recent wrongs. There are other factors that do need to be taken into account.

Size doesn't matter concerning national self-determination, but Gibraltar isn't an independent nation unlike Turkey, USA and Australia. I don't support reversing ethnic cleansing, unless the descendants of the victims of ethnic cleansing currently demands the right of return. The claim, that the current inhabitants of Gibraltar aren't entitled to national self-determination, aren't merely a personal opinion of mine. It's the official policy of the Spanish government. It is however important to mention the fact, that the Spanish government currently doesn't demand the descendants of the native Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar being granted a right of return to Gibraltar. This policy weakens the Spanish claim to Gibraltar.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #94 
That seems like yet another ad hoc and arbitrary criterion. Why on earth does it matter that those are independent states? We are talking about a general principle of who gets a over the future of their territory. It isn't apparent why the qualifications you introduce are relevant.

I don't care a jot whether the Spanish government has a childish position on Gibraltar. Again, your point about demanding a right of return hardly seems to change the general point that we are talking about ancient grievances. Why exactly it is relevant is hard to see. You seem to introduce qualifications and criteria almost at random.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #95 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
That seems like yet another ad hoc and arbitrary criterion. Why on earth does it matter that those are independent states? We are talking about a general principle of who gets a over the future of their territory. It isn't apparent why the qualifications you introduce are relevant.

I don't care a jot whether the Spanish government has a childish position on Gibraltar. Again, your point about demanding a right of return hardly seems to change the general point that we are talking about ancient grievances. Why exactly it is relevant is hard to see. You seem to introduce qualifications and criteria almost at random.

I personally prefer indefinite shared sovereignty over Gibraltar, because it will take into account both the strong historical claim of Spain to Gibraltar and the desire of the current inhabitants of Gibraltar to remain under British rule. In addition, it will allow Gibraltar to remain part of the EU. Gibraltar ought to join the Eurozone.
What is most important to me concerning Gibraltar is the impact of the Gibraltar dispute on international monarchism. I don't want the Gibraltar dispute to cause hostility between the two largest current monarchies of Europe by population. British monarchists ought to support Spain as a fellow monarchy rather than whipping up anti-Spanish jingoism, and the same applies to Spanish monarchists. 
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #96 
I don't care what you prefer, to be honest. You are neither Gibraltan, nor British, nor even Spanish. More importantly, the arguments you give to support your positions are almost consistently silly and illogical. I don't see what this has to do with monarchism. Spain's position is childish and wrong. It would be problematic as a general principle of international relations. That isn't anti-Spanish jingoism. It's a basic overview of the situation that you have been entirely unable to refute, despite trying ad nauseam. It doesn't change things to suddenly try to insert monarchism into the issue.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #97 
Your disregard for ancient grievances disturbs me. It suggests, that if a sufficient number of years have elapsed, past injustices no longer matter. But that's frankly offensive to a lot of people. You ought to be guided by common sense regarding past injustices. Demanding the expulsion of all whites from North America and Australia will be ridiculous, because that will mean the dissolution of entire nations and their cultures. In those cases, granting the native peoples equal rights are sufficient. But dismissing the grievances of the descendants of victims of injustice is wrong, if the injustice still impacts them today. Despite a hundred years having elapsed since Great Britain made Kurdistan part of Iraq, we still remember that decision and suffer from its consequences. The same applies to the Chagos Islanders. Peter claims, that paying compensation to the Chagos Islanders is sufficient. That's offensive to the Chagos Islanders, who still want to return to their homeland. Claiming, that Great Britain has no moral obligation to the Kurds, and that Great Britain has no further moral obligations to the Chagos Islanders is wrong. Great Britain ought to fix the wrong decisions, it has made, and the same applies to every other nation. Russia is currently considering fixing the injustice, it committed against Japan after World War II. Great Britain ought to do the same. 
azadi

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Reply with quote  #98 
Gibraltar is different case from Kurdistan and the Chagos Islands. The descendants of the native Spanish Gibraltarians have founded a new city called San Roque, which is situated in the Campo de Gibraltar, and which kept the banner and the records of old Spanish Gibraltar, and they don't have a strong desire for returning to Gibraltar, and Spain doesn't recognize a right of return for the descendants of the native Spanish Gibraltarians. I admit, that my disregard for the wishes of the current Gibraltarians are wrong. I personally prefer Gibraltar being part of Spain because of the strong historical claim of Spain to Gibraltar, but denying national self-determination to the current Gibraltarians is wrong. The right to national self-determination entails, that you sometimes have to accept a decision, which you dislike.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #99 
Well, we see some progress there, and it would be wrong not to acknowledge it. I disagree about Spain's 'strong historical claim'; there are all kinds of territories we have given up much more recently than Spain gave up Gibraltar, and we make no claim to them whatsoever. For that matter, there are territories Spain has given up much more recently than it gave up Gibraltar that it now makes no claim to. And I don't see that contiguity makes a difference, especially in view of Spain's possession of contested exclaves in Morocco. But that you have accepted the point on the Gibraltarians is far more important.

I consider that in the particular circumstances Britain has done enough for the islanders. If they were a genuine indigenous population you would have more of a point, but they weren't. I have no opinion on the Kurdish case, having also no knowledge of it, but it seems unlikely that the whole of your nation's misfortunes derive from an unwisely drawn border all those years ago. Not that there weren't plenty of those, but there must have been a few other factors involved. Anyway, Britain is a) most unlikely to accept any responsibility in the matter and b) would not in any event be able to do anything about it, our days as a world power are far behind us. Please do give up about Russia and the wretched Kurile Islands, they have been 'considering' fixing the injustice for 63 years now without actually doing anything about it.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #100 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
Well, we see some progress there, and it would be wrong not to acknowledge it. I disagree about Spain's 'strong historical claim'; there are all kinds of territories we have given up much more recently than Spain gave up Gibraltar, and we make no claim to them whatsoever. For that matter, there are territories Spain has given up much more recently than it gave up Gibraltar that it now makes no claim to. And I don't see that contiguity makes a difference, especially in view of Spain's possession of contested exclaves in Morocco. But that you have accepted the point on the Gibraltarians is far more important.

I consider that in the particular circumstances Britain has done enough for the islanders. If they were a genuine indigenous population you would have more of a point, but they weren't. I have no opinion on the Kurdish case, having also no knowledge of it, but it seems unlikely that the whole of your nation's misfortunes derive from an unwisely drawn border all those years ago. Not that there weren't plenty of those, but there must have been a few other factors involved. Anyway, Britain is a) most unlikely to accept any responsibility in the matter and b) would not in any event be able to do anything about it, our days as a world power are far behind us. Please do give up about Russia and the wretched Kurile Islands, they have been 'considering' fixing the injustice for 63 years now without actually doing anything about it.

The misfortune of my nation actually derives from Great Britain making Kurdistan part of Iraq. We were far better off under Ottoman rule than under Iraqi rule. If Great Britain hadn't made Kurdistan part of Iraq, Saddam's attempted genocide of the Kurds would never have happened. But I admit, that Great Britain hasn't oppressed us. Great Britain opposed Kurdish independence from Iraq in 2017. The Riigikogu (parliament) of Estonia passed a resolution, which recognized the right of Kurdistan to secede from Iraq. The British parliament ought to have done the same thing. I admire Estonia, who hates Russia, for supporting Kurdish independence from Iraq despite the fact, that Russia supported it too (Russia didn't go as far as Estonia, however. Russia merely declared, that it will accept Kurdish independence from Iraq).
Concerning the Chagos Islands, considering a US military base more important than the right of the Chagos Islanders to return to the Chagos Islands is frankly disgusting. The Chagos Islanders didn't live on the Chagos Islanders before the arrival of the Europeans, but neither did the British Falkland Islanders. The Chagos Islanders are the indigenous inhabitants of the Chagos Islands, because the Chagos Islanders were uninhabited before the arrival of the Europeans, just as the British Falkland Islanders are the indigenous inhabitants of the Falkland Islands, because the Falkland Islands were uninhabited before the arrival of the Europeans. If Argentina had deported the British Falkland Islanders and refused to allow them to return to the Falkland Islands, it would have been morally wrong as well.
It's true, that Russia offered to return Shikotan and Habomai in 1956, but the negotiations have been frozen for many years. Putin restarted the negotiations last year.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #101 
The negotiations have flickered into life from time to time over the intervening years, but never got anywhere. Nor will they. The Falklands and Chagos cases are only superficially comparable. In the latter case, I consider the purpose of the removal sufficient justification for it, it was the way it was handled that was wrong. A great deal of care ought to have been taken to put the islanders into better circumstances than they had originally, paying whatever it took. Instead they were more or less driven out, which was absolutely wrong, then Mauritius sat on the money that had been paid for it to resettle the islanders for four years while the islanders suffered. In the end considerably more was paid which they did receive, and ever since they have been ignoring their side of the bargain with their endless protests and demands. Argentina did incidentally have every intention of deporting the Falklanders and shipping in mainlanders as the new population, who could then vote in a referendum for union with Argentina. No doubt the UN would have fallen over itself endorsing the outcome, but Argentina neglected to win the war.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #102 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
The negotiations have flickered into life from time to time over the intervening years, but never got anywhere. Nor will they. The Falklands and Chagos cases are only superficially comparable. In the latter case, I consider the purpose of the removal sufficient justification for it, it was the way it was handled that was wrong. A great deal of care ought to have been taken to put the islanders into better circumstances than they had originally, paying whatever it took. Instead they were more or less driven out, which was absolutely wrong, then Mauritius sat on the money that had been paid for it to resettle the islanders for four years while the islanders suffered. In the end considerably more was paid which they did receive, and ever since they have been ignoring their side of the bargain with their endless protests and demands. Argentina did incidentally have every intention of deporting the Falklanders and shipping in mainlanders as the new population, who could then vote in a referendum for union with Argentina. No doubt the UN would have fallen over itself endorsing the outcome, but Argentina neglected to win the war.

Why do you consider the purpose of the removal of the Chagos Islanders sufficient justification for it happening? To me, removing the population of the Chagos Islands for the sake of a US military base is unacceptable. I repeat, that it has nothing to do with Anglophobia. What Argentina planned to do to the Falklanders was unacceptable too.
I won't rule out Russia returning Shikotan and Habomai to Japan, because the main obstacle is Russia demanding, that the US military must be prohibited from being stationed on the islands.
https://www.policyforum.net/russia-and-japan-a-deal-is-still-possible/
If you want to help Kurdistan, you can petition your MP to propose an Estonia-style resolution on recognizing the right of Kurdistan to secede from Iraq in Parliament. 
Peter

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Reply with quote  #103 
The security of the entire region seems like an acceptable justification to me. I already said that I consider that requirement reasonable. As I understand things, the main obstacle is that Russia demands Japan recognise Russia's rights over the islands before they are returned. Remember they are only half the disputed territory. And this is like the schoolyard bully, a role Russia often plays as did the Soviet Union before, stealing your lunch money then saying you can have half of it back if you admit it was mine to start with. First, what about the other half? And second, do you trust the bully not to walk off with the lot as soon as you've admitted it's his? I wouldn't.

Russia would have a case for saying it, or rather the SU, had won the islands by conquest and was entitled to them. This case is somewhat weakened by Russia having declared war on Japan merely days before Japan surrendered, and when it was already blazingly clear that it had been defeated already, no thanks to the SU at all.
azadi

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Posts: 637
Reply with quote  #104 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
The security of the entire region seems like an acceptable justification to me. I already said that I consider that requirement reasonable. As I understand things, the main obstacle is that Russia demands Japan recognise Russia's rights over the islands before they are returned. Remember they are only half the disputed territory. And this is like the schoolyard bully, a role Russia often plays as did the Soviet Union before, stealing your lunch money then saying you can have half of it back if you admit it was mine to start with. First, what about the other half? And second, do you trust the bully not to walk off with the lot as soon as you've admitted it's his? I wouldn't.

Russia would have a case for saying it, or rather the SU, had won the islands by conquest and was entitled to them. This case is somewhat weakened by Russia having declared war on Japan merely days before Japan surrendered, and when it was already blazingly clear that it had been defeated already, no thanks to the SU at all.

I agree, that Russia ought to return all four islands to Japan, and that Russia ought to return them to Japan without demanding, that Japan recognizes them as Russian territory. But I still consider the Russian offer magnanimous. A great power voluntarily proposing to return occupied territory to a weaker country is very unusual.
I would like an explanation of, why the security of the entire region depends on the US military base on Diego Garcia in the Chagos Islands. It sounds like an exaggeration to me. You claim, that you would return the base to Mauritius, when it's no longer needed, but I doubt it will ever happen. Mauritius has actually proposed keeping the base, if the Chagos Islands are handed over to Mauritius. In addition, Jeremy Corbyn has proposed handing over the Chagos Islands to Mauritius.
Concerning Kurdistan, Boris Johnson defended Great Britain's decision to make Kurdistan part of Iraq in "The Churchill Factor". He also criticized the reunification of Crimea with Russia in "The Churchill Factor". I admire Boris Johnson for being a leader of the Leave campaign during the Brexit referendum, but he is wrong on Kurdistan and Crimea.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #105 
I will join Peter in acknowledging movement in the right direction from Azadi.

I think you will find many people, here and elsewhere, who support Kurdish independence. In international relations, though, there has long been a reluctance to recognise secession. Countries with their own secessionist movements don't want to embolden them, and there is a general fear of instability. I think you will find British official s' reluctance is shared with those of many nations, for this reason. In my opinion, the Kurds have done enough to mitigate these fears.

Crimea is different. I think it is best part of Russia, and would support no action to return it to Ukraine, but the manner in which Russia took it can't be officially sanctioned. In fifty years or so, when it is ancient history, it can be quietly recognised as Russian.
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