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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #76 
Gibraltar is not going to returned to Spain, and I think that I speak for most here when I say we don't give much credence to your notions of what should happen in international affairs. They're just silly. I am sympathetic to the Kurds and would support their independence, but your carrying on would make me less so, if anything. I also think that if you want to bang on and on about the Kurds, you should make a thread about them specifically, and not use this on Gibraltar to do so.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #77 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
Gibraltar is not going to returned to Spain, and I think that I speak for most here when I say we don't give much credence to your notions of what should happen in international affairs. They're just silly. I am sympathetic to the Kurds and would support their independence, but your carrying on would make me less so, if anything. I also think that if you want to bang on and on about the Kurds, you should make a thread about them specifically, and not use this on Gibraltar to do so.

In my last post, I was actually trying to be fair to Great Britain, because I admit, that I have appeared to be an Anglophobe during this discussion. I admire modern Great Britain for granting the Scots and the Ulstermen the right to national self-determination, while Spain denies it to the Catalans and the Basques.
I agree, that despite Spain having the strongest claim to Gibraltar, British rule of Gibraltar is hardly unacceptable, because the current inhabitants of Gibraltar are satisfied with living under British rule. 
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #78 
Spain only has the strongest right to Gibraltar in a bizzaro world where what happened over three hundred years ago, and was agreed by treaty no less, trumps both self-determination and territorial integrity today. By any sensible metric, Gibraltar is rightfully British, at least so long as Gibraltans wish to be. As I said, no one gives the slightest credence to your claims on the matter, being so poorly argued and supported, and quite frankly ridiculous. Or, to put it another way, you have not moved anyone here the slightest distance to accepting your claims. I would think, in fact, quite the reverse. I would therefore very much rethink your arguments and your tact for the future, if I were you.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #79 
The people of Gibraltar do not want to be handed over to Spain. They are exercising their democratic right to maintain the status quo.

The Kurds' case is not comparable to this and to suggest that it is would be absurd.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #80 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidV
The people of Gibraltar do not want to be handed over to Spain. They are exercising their democratic right to maintain the status quo.

The Kurds' case is not comparable to this and to suggest that it is would be absurd.

Recognizing the right to national self-determination of the current inhabitants of Gibraltar will legitimize ethnic cleansing. That's why the UN doesn't grant transplanted populations of colonies the right to national self-determination.
In February, the International Court of Justice ruled, that Great Britain must return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius. Great Britain separated the Chagos Islands from the colony of Mauritius, to which they formerly belonged, without the consent of the Chagos Islanders, and Great Britain expelled the Chagos Islanders in order to make room for a US military base.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #81 
I have looked into the complex and murky history of the Chagos Islands dispute. I am not going to rehearse the details, people can look into it for themselves if they wish and form their own judgement. My feeling is that wrongs undoubtedly were committed by Britain but those who suffered them have been amply compensated, which compensation was accepted as full and final settlement. I am not therefore greatly moved by demands for 'more, more' (which if met would undoubtedly be followed by further demands for yet more) or by resettlement demands. Mauritius' case is weak, and the ICJ ruling wasn't a ruling, it was an advisory opinion and so non-binding. The important base at Diego Garcia will continue in use until such time as it is no longer required, and the islands will remain under British sovereignty until then. As long agreed, the entire archipelago will then be transferred to Mauritius, which can do as it pleases with regard to resettlement.

An awful lot of very much worse things have happened in recent history with immensely greater numbers of people affected, and far more gravely so. However, as there is no way of blaming Britain for them these events naturally will not interest you. Here's something which hasn't happened yet, and it's in your own backyard too. All sounds pretty terrible to me, why don't you see if you can do something about it? But no, Turkey's doing it, so it must be OK. If only it had been Britain instead, eh?
azadi

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Reply with quote  #82 
Concerning Gibraltar, the best option is shared sovereignty, which the Spanish government currently proposes. Shared sovereignty will satisfy both Spain's strong historical claims to Gibraltar and the desire of the current inhabitants of Gibraltar for remaining under British rule. After all, Spain doesn't support a right of return for the native Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar, and the descendants of the native Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar, who live in the city of San Roque in Andalusia, don't have a strong desire for returning to Gibraltar. The city of San Roque keeps the banner and records of old Spanish Gibraltar. Reconciliation between the two largest current European monarchies by population is very important to me.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #83 
That option was decisively turned down by the Gibraltarians a number of years ago, and is unlikely to be revived.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #84 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
That option was decisively turned down by the Gibraltarians a number of years ago, and is unlikely to be revived.

It was rejected, because it would have entailed full transfer of sovereignty to Spain at a later date. I'm proposing permanent shared sovereignty over Gibraltar.

Peter

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Reply with quote  #85 
You are right that that was one of the stumbling blocks back then. The stumbling blocks with your proposal would be 1) the Gibraltarians' merited distrust of Spain and unwillingness to allow it any part in their government and 2) Spain's refusal to contemplate never obtaining full sovereignty. How about we just leave things as they are? That would leave everyone concerned but you and Spain satisfied, and 1) you are not actually concerned, not being British, Spanish or above all Gibraltarian and 2) I couldn't care less about either of you anyway.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #86 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
You are right that that was one of the stumbling blocks back then. The stumbling blocks with your proposal would be 1) the Gibraltarians' merited distrust of Spain and unwillingness to allow it any part in their government and 2) Spain's refusal to contemplate never obtaining full sovereignty. How about we just leave things as they are? That would leave everyone concerned but you and Spain satisfied, and 1) you are not actually concerned, not being British, Spanish or above all Gibraltarian and 2) I couldn't care less about either of you anyway.

I admit, that a lot of the opinions, which I have expressed in this thread, appear to be motivated by Anglophobia. But that's a misunderstanding. They are motivated solely by a desire for justice. Otherwise, I wouldn't have expressed support for the British claim to the Falkland Islands in this thread. I agree, that relitigating past injustices makes no sense, unless the past injustices currently impact somebody. I'm condemning Great Britain for making Kurdistan part of Iraq after World War I because of its current opposition to Kurdish independence from Iraq. Great Britain has a moral obligation to support Kurdish independence from Iraq because it made Kurdistan part of Iraq.
It's understandable, that you Brits are opposed to handing over Gibraltar to Spain without the consent of the current inhabitants of Gibraltar. I agree, that British rule of Gibraltar hardly is intolerable, because the descendants of the expelled native Spanish Gibraltarians don't want to return to Gibraltar, and the current inhabitants of Gibraltar are satisfied with living under British rule. The main reason for my opposition to recognizing the right to national self-determination of the current inhabitants of Gibraltar is, that I fear it will legitimize demographic changes resulting from ethnic cleansing.
My support for the right of return of the Chagos Islanders is definitely not motivated by Anglophobia. I consider the human rights of the Chagos Islanders far more important than a US military base in the Indian Ocean. If any other country did the same to the indigenous population of a disputed territory, I would condemn it as well. My reason for not comparing other cases of displacement of people, such as the flooding of Hasankeyf, is that they don't occur in disputed territories and don't remove an entire ethnic group from its homeland. 

Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #87 
I know by now it is pointless to point such things out, but, for the umpteenth time, respecting Gibraltans self-determination and British territorial integrity wouldn't legitimise ethnic cleansing because we are talking about events that happened over three hundred years ago. It is quite possible to accept the illegitimacy of such practices now, or within the recent past, without having to dig into the distant past. This literally is basic to modern international relations: ths history of geopolitics from the dawn of history is full of conquest, displacement, atrocity, yet we don't try to right ancient wrongs. For example, by your standards it is likely that only Aboriginal Australians or Native Americans would have a legitimate say in those lands. Turkey perhaps should be disbanded, and Anatolia become Greek again (why stop at three hundred years?). And so on.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #88 
Also, this thread is in the wrong subforum. It should be in the Britain and Commonwealth one.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #89 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
I know by now it is pointless to point such things out, but, for the umpteenth time, respecting Gibraltans self-determination and British territorial integrity wouldn't legitimise ethnic cleansing because we are talking about events that happened over three hundred years ago. It is quite possible to accept the illegitimacy of such practices now, or within the recent past, without having to dig into the distant past. This literally is basic to modern international relations: ths history of geopolitics from the dawn of history is full of conquest, displacement, atrocity, yet we don't try to right ancient wrongs. For example, by your standards it is likely that only Aboriginal Australians or Native Americans would have a legitimate say in those lands. Turkey perhaps should be disbanded, and Anatolia become Greek again (why stop at three hundred years?). And so on.

I agree, that trying to reverse ethnic cleansing is a bad idea for practical reasons in most cases.
Demanding the disbandment of an entire nation, because it's founded on ethnic cleansing, is wrong. In addition, Australian Aboriginals and Native Americans still live in their original homelands as minorities. But a small disputed territory is a different matter. According to the Spanish government, the current inhabitants of Gibraltar aren't entitled to national self-determination, because the native Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar were expelled.
Which time limit do you propose concerning reversing ethnic cleansing? To me, the most important is whether the descendants of the victims of ethnic cleansing still demand a right of return. If the descendants of the victims of ethnic cleansing doesn't demand a right of return, supporting reversing ethnic cleansing is pointless.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #90 
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?
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