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azadi

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Reply with quote  #106 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
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.

I noticed, that the Eastern European and Scandinavian countries were more supportive of Kurdistan in 2017, than the large Western European countries were. I understand, that countries with secessionist movements don't want to embolden them, but Great Britain has no reason to oppose Kurdish secession from Iraq, when Great Britain recognizes the right of Scotland and Ulster to secede.
Even if you don't want to officially recognize Crimea as part of Russia, you ought to lift sanctions against Russia and designate Crimea as disputed territory rather than as Russian-occupied territory. The Western powers have refused to make any concessions to Russia after the end of the Cold War. Refusing to make any concessions to a defeated country creates perpetual hatred and conflict. The unfair terms of the Treaty of Versailles caused Hitler to take power in Germany. Putin is after all a moderate Russian nationalist, who don't want to start World War III, but ultra-nationalism is sadly strong in Russia. The Western powers being unfair to Russia will strengthen ultra-nationalism in Russia.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #107 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azadi

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.

What I said wasn't based on my detailed knowledge of the strategic situation in the Indian Ocean from the 1960s to now. I have no such knowledge. It does however seem a reasonable assumption that the US didn't pour a fortune into building the base and more fortunes every year since into maintaining it just to have a base. There must have been a reason, and since it clearly wasn't to launch a campaign of imperial conquest it presumably was to help ensure regional security as a part of global security.

We have made clear undertakings to transfer the islands to Mauritius once the base is no longer required. We certainly would not want to hang onto a collection of flyspeck atolls in the middle of nowhere once the base is gone, what would we do with them? If the US were agreeable to sovereignty passing to Mauritius now with an undertaking from them that the base could continue as long as required, I don't see why we would stand in the way. I doubt however that the US would be agreeable, as it would not feel that Mauritius could be trusted to adhere to its undertakings.

Mind you, with Corbyn in charge we'd not be a whit more trustworthy ourselves. If he were to visit my flat I'd count the teaspoons before and after, I certainly don't want him running the country. But hopefully no such calamity will ever befall us. Boris Johnson's opinions on historical questions don't really interest me. I'm content enough with him as Prime Minister for now, but he is far from being my most admired politician. On Crimea, I broadly agree with Wessexman and on Kurdistan I continue to have no particular view, while of course wishing the best for its people.
bator

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Reply with quote  #108 
no offence, but i think none of you peter or azazi are right. i think you peter should prefer losing gibraltar to losing the monarchy in spain. and you azazi should prefer gibraltar to remain british to lose the monarchy in britain. in my opinion both of you should be ready to sacrifice gibraltar if it was necessary in order to save a monarchy, either spanish or british. this is of course purely hypothetical. i, as a dane would be willing to lose a part of my country too, if it helped restoring the monarchy in germany, though i would do it with a sad heart of course. but we should not be selfish but rather wanting to help the common cause of monarchism. 
azadi

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Reply with quote  #109 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bator
no offence, but i think none of you peter or azazi are right. i think you peter should prefer losing gibraltar to losing the monarchy in spain. and you azazi should prefer gibraltar to remain british to lose the monarchy in britain. in my opinion both of you should be ready to sacrifice gibraltar if it was necessary in order to save a monarchy, either spanish or british. this is of course purely hypothetical. i, as a dane would be willing to lose a part of my country too, if it helped restoring the monarchy in germany, though i would do it with a sad heart of course. but we should not be selfish but rather wanting to help the common cause of monarchism. 

I agree with you on Gibraltar. I'm definitely willing to support Gibraltar remaining part of Great Britain, if it's necessary in order to save the British monarchy. My reason for supporting Spain on Gibraltar is actually, that the Spanish monarchy is far more vulnerable than the British monarchy, in addition to the fact, that Spain has the strongest historical claim on Gibraltar.
Don't worry about Schleswig. Nobody in Germany wants Northern Schleswig/Southern Jutland back. The partition of Schleswig in 1920 was in accordance with the principle of national self-determination.
bator

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Reply with quote  #110 
i must say that you are wrong. i have met german monarchists who want it back.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #111 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bator
i must say that you are wrong. i have met german monarchists who want it back.

That's very surprising. I have actually lived in Southern Schleswig before the Iraq War, because my parents fled the Saddam regime, and I'm descended from a German nobleman, who was an Orientalist, who travelled in the Ottoman Empire before World War I and who married a Kurdish woman. I have never met anybody in Southern Schleswig, who wants to change the border between Germany and Denmark. Currently, relations between Germans and Danes are amicable in the former Duchy of Schleswig, and the Danish minority of Southern Schleswig and the German minority of Northern Schleswig are both treated well. The government of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein and the four municipalities of Northern Schleswig cooperate a lot. I don't support reunification of Northern Schleswig with Germany, because the majority of the population of Northern Schleswig are ethnic Danes, and they want to remain part of Denmark. The current border between Germany and Denmark was drawn after a referendum in 1920, and I'm a strong supporter of the right to national self-determination, because I support Kurdish independence from Iraq. If Denmark had refused to respect the right to national self-determination in 1920, Germany would have lost Southern Schleswig too, because France wanted to strip Germany of all of Schleswig. 
Peter

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Reply with quote  #112 
Even Hitler refrained from making that particular territorial adjustment. I once met a Dane who wanted Scania back from Sweden, seems about as reasonable as Germans wanting the Danish portion of Slesvig handing over. Which is to say, not very.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #113 
Of course, Spain doesn't have the strongest historical claim on Gibraltar. That's just a silly claim, as this thread has shown again and again. But, anyway, I have no idea why we should treat the status of Gibraltar as a particularly pressing issue for either the British or Spanish monarchy
azadi

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Reply with quote  #114 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
Of course, Spain doesn't have the strongest historical claim on Gibraltar. That's just a silly claim, as this thread has shown again and again. But, anyway, I have no idea why we should treat the status of Gibraltar as a particularly pressing issue for either the British or Spanish monarchy

I repeat, that I accept Gibraltar remaining under British rule, because the current Gibraltarians want to remain under British rule, but that doesn't change the fact, that Spain has the strongest historical claim to Gibraltar. Gibraltar was part of Roman Hispania, Visigothic Spain, Moorish Andalus and the Kingdom of Spain until 1713. I fear, that Spain loosing a war against Great Britain will lead to the abolition of the Spanish monarchy, because the Spanish monarchy is far more vulnerable than the British monarchy.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #115 
That's a bizarre notion of historical claim. It seems only marginally relevant to who has the best moral on claim on Gibraltar today, which is what would be more normally seen as the relevant historical claim. The most relevant history would surely centre on the contemporary context and what led up to it. Britain possessing Gibraltar for longer than Spain (I mean Spain in the modern and most meaningful sense), and getting it through a legitimate agreement, seems far more important than the distant past ownership. You add to that the Gibraltans self-determination, and Spain has a very poor claim to Gibraltar. That's even if we ignore the questionable lumping together of Roman and Visigoth Iberia (which included what is now Portugal) and, especially, Al-Andalus with Spain after the reconquest.

There almost certainly won't be a war, but why would that see the Spanish monarchy fall, unless it was behind the war? Surely it's the government that would fall for such stupidity. Perhaps the instability might see the monarchy fall, but this all just seems silly speculation, hardly of the most pressing concern when discussing the central issues at stake in this question.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #116 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
That's a bizarre notion of historical claim. It seems only marginally relevant to who has the best moral on claim on Gibraltar today, which is what would be more normally seen as the relevant historical claim. The most relevant history would surely centre on the contemporary context and what led up to it. Britain possessing Gibraltar for longer than Spain (I mean Spain in the modern and most meaningful sense), and getting it through a legitimate agreement, seems far more important than the distant past ownership. You add to that the Gibraltans self-determination, and Spain has a very poor claim to Gibraltar. That's even if we ignore the questionable lumping together of Roman and Visigoth Iberia (which included what is now Portugal) and, especially, Al-Andalus with Spain after the reconquest.

There almost certainly won't be a war, but why would that see the Spanish monarchy fall, unless it was behind the war? Surely it's the government that would fall for such stupidity. Perhaps the instability might see the monarchy fall, but this all just seems silly speculation, hardly of the most pressing concern when discussing the central issues at stake in this question.

I certainly hope, that Spain and Great Britain won't go to war over Gibraltar, because it will be very dangerous for the Spanish monarchy.
The claim, that Great Britain has possessed Gibraltar for longer than Spain has is nonsense, because while it's true, that the modern Kingdom of Spain didn't exist before the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile in 1469, Gibraltar shared the fate of Spain until 1713. The history of Gibraltar isn't distinct from the history of Spain before 1713. But Gibraltar ought to remain part of Great Britain because of the right to national self-determination. The right to national self-determination is the most practical way to solve territorial conflicts, because it makes it possible to reach a final decision on the territorial dispute through a referendum, while historical claims rarely convince the other side in the dispute, as seen during this discussion.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #117 
You said it's nonsense that Britain has possessed Gibraltar longer than Spain, and then you didn't even say explicitly why. As I said, it depends what you mean by Spain. I repeat that it seems much more sensible to consider Spain to be reconquista Spain and its successors. Lumping in Al-Andalus, the enemy of Christian Spain, and various ancient polities, to create some kind of continuous Spanish control of Gibraltar for millennia makes little sense. These were quite different societies and polities. Spain in a meaningful sense ruled Gibraltar from the early 1470s to 1704. Britain has ruled it longer. You give a suggestion that Gibraltar has shared the same fate as Spain before 1713, but that's question begging, as part of the issue is what is Spain. In my opinion, Britain has a far more important historical claim, not just, or primarily, because of the longer span, but because the immediate context is Britain's rule of Gibraltar now, extending back centuries. Even if Spain had ruled Gibraltar longer, it wouldn't matter. That was in the distant past. This claim cannot be bested by your sometimes lurking background idea of essential national territory for each nation, as if there is some essential Spain that exists beyond that of the here and now. That seems dubious. Gibraltar is not part of some eternal Spain. It could and did leave Spain long ago and today is in no sense Spain's.

But, yes, I agree self-determination is more important, but the historical claim supports the self-determination because it shows the people of Gibraltar have lived long enough in Gibraltar, under British rule, to be granted self-determination. You're not wrong that self-determination shouldn't necessarily exist if an invading country brings in settlers or removes the natives. But time gives legitimacy. Once centuries go by, the settlers become as much native as anyone else.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #118 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
You said it's nonsense that Britain has possessed Gibraltar longer than Spain, and then you didn't even say explicitly why. As I said, it depends what you mean by Spain. I repeat that it seems much more sensible to consider Spain to be reconquista Spain and its successors. Lumping in Al-Andalus, the enemy of Christian Spain, and various ancient polities, to create some kind of continuous Spanish control of Gibraltar for millennia makes little sense. These were quite different societies and polities. Spain in a meaningful sense ruled Gibraltar from the early 1470s to 1704. Britain has ruled it longer. You give a suggestion that Gibraltar has shared the same fate as Spain before 1713, but that's question begging, as part of the issue is what is Spain. In my opinion, Britain has a far more important historical claim, not just, or primarily, because of the longer span, but because the immediate context is Britain's rule of Gibraltar now, extending back centuries. Even if Spain had ruled Gibraltar longer, it wouldn't matter. That was in the distant past. This claim cannot be bested by your sometimes lurking background idea of essential national territory for each nation, as if there is some essential Spain that exists beyond that of the here and now. That seems dubious. Gibraltar is not part of some eternal Spain. It could and did leave Spain long ago and today is in no sense Spain's.

But, yes, I agree self-determination is more important, but the historical claim supports the self-determination because it shows the people of Gibraltar have lived long enough in Gibraltar, under British rule, to be granted self-determination. You're not wrong that self-determination shouldn't necessarily exist if an invading country brings in settlers or removes the natives. But time gives legitimacy. Once centuries go by, the settlers become as much native as anyone else.

I disagree with the idea, that time gives legitimacy. Gibraltar was originally part of Spain, but was stolen by Great Britain in 1713. Great Britain has no legitimate historical claim to Gibraltar. 
My reason for recognizing the right to self-determination of the current Gibraltarians is, that Spain don't claim a right of return of the descendants of the expelled Spanish Gibraltarians. That makes Spain's denial of the right to national self-determination of the current Gibraltarians wrong. In addition, the descendants of the expelled Spanish Gibraltarians have founded a new city called San Roque in the Campo de Gibraltar, so demanding, that the descendants of the expelled Spanish Gibraltarians must return to Gibraltar doesn't make much sense. 
I prefer Gibraltar being part of Spain, but sometimes the right to national self-determination leads to decisions, which I dislike. In order to consistently defend the right to national self-determination, I must accept the decisions, which I dislike. I'm used to the right to national self-determination resulting in decisions, which I like. In 2017 most Kurds voted in favour of independence from Iraq as I did, and in 2014, most Crimeans voted in favour of reunification with Russia, which has a stronger historical claim to Crimea than Ukraine has. I wanted Crimea to become part of Russia again, because of the magnificent Tsarist legacy of Crimea. Crimea ought to be part of the homeland of the Tsars.
I hope, that the current Gibraltarians will accept joining Spain in the future. Most current Gibraltarians are after all not of British origin, and they speak Spanish as well as British. A lot of current Gibraltarians are descendants of Spanish immigrants. Spain ought to offer making Gibraltar an Autonomous Community of Spain. I suspect, that a lot of Gibraltarians oppose reunification with Spain, because they want Gibraltar to keep its autonomy. They fear Gibraltar being merged into Andalusia, if Gibraltar is reunified with Spain. I don't believe, that most Gibraltarians actually consider themselves British. I suspect, that they identify as Gibraltarians first and foremost, and that they support remaining under British rule, because Great Britain gives Gibraltar a better deal than Spain does. But 96 % of the Gibraltarians voted Remain during the Brexit referendum, and they may reconsider their decision to be loyal to Great Britain after Brexit. By joining Spain, Gibraltar will remain part of EU. 
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #119 
Yes, but your disagreement is silly and, here, unargued for. If three hundred years of basically unbroken ownership doesn't confer legitimacy, what on earth does? As I have said, lurking behind many of your positions, here and elsewhere, is some idea of inviolable, eternal nationhood and territory for each nation, which is highly dubious. Any, the idea that long possession doesn't convey legitimacy, usually, as general principle, would make a lot of the earth's territory illegitimately held. Is England, then, legitimately Welsh or Cornish territory? If three hundred years can't confer legitimacy, why should twelve or fifteen hundred?

Your speculations on how Gibraltans see themselves, like parallel ones you have indulged in for other peoples, seem to lack any deep foundation or experience in the views of the Gibraltans themselves. A few stats from Wikipedia and your own strange ideas about what ethnic origin means about present identity, hardly make up for true knowledge here. My understanding is the Gibraltans are proudly and strongly British, and this isn't simply a matter of autonomy.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #120 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
Yes, but your disagreement is silly and, here, unargued for. If three hundred of basically unbroken ownership doesn't confer legitimacy, what on earth does? As a general principle, such a position would make a lot of illegitimately held. Is England, then, legitimately Welsh or Cornish territory? If three hundred years can't confer legitimacy, why should twelve or fifteen hundred?

Your speculations on how Gibraltans see themselves, like parallel ones you have indulged in for other peoples, seem to lack any deep foundation or experience in the views of the Gibraltans themselves. A few stats from Wikipedia and your own strange ideas about what ethnic origin means about present identity, hardly make up for true knowledge here. My understanding is the Gibraltans are proudly and strongly British, and this isn't simply a matter of autonomy.

I support the right to national self-determination, including for the current Gibraltarians. All territorial disputes ought to be resolved through national self-determination. I'm merely explaining, why I personally prefer Gibraltar becoming part of Spain. Why do you want me, a Kurd of German descent, to prefer Gibraltar being part of Great Britain? I know, that this forum is very Anglophile, but it's after all meant to be an international monarchist forum, not an Anglophile forum, despite Theodore being an Anglophile. Isn't me accepting the right to national self-determination of the current Gibraltarians not sufficient for you? 
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