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catalonia-referendum-2017-results

Final results:
YES: 90.1%
NO: 7.9%
Turnout: ~42% of those counted (2,262,424), ~56% if including the confiscated ballot boxes (~770,000) out of 5,343,358 registered voters.

Assuming that the vote in “repressed” polling stations was similar, you can turnout * YES = ~51% support for independence, which tallies exactly with the last poll on the basis of which turnout was expected at 62% * expected 83% for YES = ~51%.

The police violence must have merely lowered turnout by around 7% points while raising the YES share of the vote by an analogous amount. That is, it accomplished precisely nothing, while generating horrific headlines and almost certainly hardening Catalan attitudes towards Madrid (which will be expressed soon enough).

Though the competition is certainly stiff, could Rajoy be the single most feckless Western leader?

I will defend Rajoy’s widely-panned “tone-deaf” speech. While the heavy-handed response to the referendum was a very bad idea, his speech, with its clear and unequivocal expression of support for the Guardia Civil, was not.

50% of all Catalan voters were already going to vote Yes, and after today’s events, they must have gained another 10% or 20% points. The local police refuse to obey central commands. They are for all intents and purposes now “lost” to Spain, at least for the time being.

Very soon the time will come when the Catalonian parliament declares independence. At that point, if Spain wishes to remain whole, there will have to be mass arrests of their government and replacement with a caretaker administration. The security forces tasked with carrying this out must be absolutely loyal for the operation to be successful. The sense that the political elites have their backs is a prerequisite of police loyalty. If they feel that they are going to be stabbed in the back by weak politicians concerned at the first signs of pressure, then they are not going to be able to fulfill their orders with the requisite degree of decisiveness and ruthlessness. They are instead going to fold once their encounter serious resistance and Madrid will have no choice but to make its peace with an independent Catalonia.

This is what happened with Yanukovych in the Ukraine in 2013-14, who stabbed the security men charged with keeping his regime in power in the back by refusing to provide them support once things got too hot. This totally demoralized them and ensured the triumph of the Euromaidan.

In opinion polls, Spaniards consistently tie with Swedes for the most liberal positions in areas like LGBT and immigration in Europe. But today it’s as if they’ve all gone hardcore Falangist on Catalan separatism, at least judging from the Spanish responses to the Catalonia discussion on /r/europe. Not really much to say here, just an observation. I assume there remain “triggers” such as seeing the prospect of rebellion that awaken primal reflexes in even the most derooted peoples.

So far as Western countries go, I suppose Spain deserves this far less than most. It was the only major Western country not to recognize Kosovo, even though in most other respects it toed the American line on bombing Serbia, the embargo, no-fly zone, etc. Still, credit where it’s due.

Eurocrats and Globalism Inc. are predictably unanimous in opposing Catalan separatism. This is perfectly understandable. Spain is part of NATO. The loss of Spain’s biggest donor region will hit its revenues and perhaps reignite its simmering debt crisis.

Curiously, the Alt Right (Spencer wing) is also skeptical about Catalonia. As with their opposition to Brexit, they decry the indulgence of petty nationalisms as obstacles to global white unity; besides, as they point out, Catalonia is liberal-leftist even by Spanish standards, so why should nationalists support them anyway? So that they can invite in refugees even faster? This is, of course, in their eyes buttressed by Catalonia’s historical role as the heartland of the Republican government during the Spanish Civil War.

Leaving aside the merits of their ideological slant, this begs a couple of counter-arguments. First, does this mean that only “based” nations should have a right to national self-determination? Because there are very few such European countries left, anyway. Second, as Alt Left points out, getting rid of political dead weight (e.g. California in the US) would actually raise the ability of the rest of the country to push forwards the sort of political change that the Alt Right advocates.

At a formal level, it need hardly be said that Russia needs to maintain the principle of absolute state sovereignty with respect to Madrid. However, it is also evidently in its interests for its soft power interests to approach the Catalan referendum with “understanding.” After all, if the Catalonia referendum does carry a certain legitimacy, then how are the repeated referendums for greater autonomy and/or independence any less so? Who are Westerners who shut down a peaceful vote with rubber bullets to lecture Russia about democracy anyway?

Besides, the one certitude in our age of Russian Hackers and Fake News is that Russia is going to be held responsible anyway. Putin is no longer just the God of the Ukraine, responsible for all its mishaps and zradas; he is now Lord and Master of the American Empire and its satellites, puppetting everything and everyone from Drumpf and the Alt Right to BLM and Take the Knee and Catalan separatists. Since it’s doing time anyway, Russia might as well start doing the crime.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Color Revolution, Spain 
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  1. Since it’s doing time anyway, Russia might as well start doing the crime.

    If that’s supposed to mean that Russia should seriously meddle in the internal affairs of EU countries, it’s a rather unwise stance imo. The public in Westen Europe isn’t unanimously anti-Russia; this could change if Russia did indeed sponsor subversive activities like the Soviet Union did.
    As for the Catalonia issue, seems pretty dumb behaviour on both sides imo, if this escalates and people get killed over such nonsense it will be beyond tragic.

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  2. inertial says:

    Aren’t the country code top-level domains supposed to be two letters?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Yes, you're right, I assumed that they'd just move .cat into the country code category, didn't realize they're all 2 letters.
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  3. inertial says:

    The public in Western Europe isn’t unanimously anti-Russia; this could change if [....]

    I’m afraid the Russian public opinion (and possibly the government too) no longer cares about this as much as it used to. Perhaps not all Western Europeans are anti-Russian but it has absolutely no effect on European policies toward Russia.

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  4. One final and perhaps best argument for Catalonian independence: There will be a .cat country code top-level domain.

    There’s already .cat domain, use for Catalan organizations in Spain, Andorra and Italy. Top level country domains use two letters, so it would probably be .ct.

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  5. Mr. Hack says:

    This is what happened with Yanukovych in the Ukraine in 2013-14, who stabbed the security men charged with keeping his regime in power in the back by refusing to provide them support once things got too hot. This totally demoralized them and ensured the triumph of the Euromaidan.

    Yanukovych was a thug of major proportions, whose demise was a welcome relief to the vast majority of Ukrainians. Even his most loyal fellow supporters ditched him like rats on a sinking ship at their earliest convenience. Trying to shed alligator tears for him now is a useless affair – he betrayed everybody’s best interests, not only his own security men.

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    • Replies: @Gerard2

    Even his most loyal fellow supporters ditched him like rats on a sinking ship at their earliest convenience.
     
    errr......he comfortably won a Rada vote against removing him in December 2013. He comfortably polled higher during the height of the western-sponsored Euromaidan than Poroshenko has at any time in the last 3 years

    Calling him a thug is perjorative gibberish. He was bad and rippedoff Russia on the navel lease agreements.....but he was still comfortably Ukraine's best ever president.

    Funny how Ukraine were never offered EU Association Agreement during Yushchenko's time. Obviously the timing of the agreement was EU blackmail...but still.
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  6. inertial says:

    This is what happened with Yanukovych in the Ukraine in 2013-14, who stabbed the security men charged with keeping his regime in power in the back

    Yanukovich was stabbed by Europe. He was given to understand that in case of even a mild crackdown against the “peaceful” protesters (who were already murdering police officers) he will be considered to be the new Milosevic.

    Rajoy doesn’t have to face this choice.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Yanukovich had already cracked down violently on protesters and had initiated the violence when he tried to break up the dwindling Euromaidan protests (the violence backfired, because it turned a protest that had been shrinking into a massive one).

    If Spaniards are going full nationalist, than Rajoy is in a much better position than was Yanukovich. Anti-Rajoy Catalonia is only 16% of Spain's population. The Basque region (which presumably isn't pro-Madrid) is another 6.5%. If the rest of Spain rallies around the central government Catalonia is heavily outnumbered and has no chance.

    In contrast, support for rebellion against Yanukovich was not 16% or 21% of the country but over 40% of it - including in the capital, which was hostile territory for him. And the other 60% didn't rally behind him, but mostly didn't like him either and were indifferent to his fate. He only had the support of 20% of the country, and his support was far from the capital, in peripheral regions like Donbas or Crimea. Given this situation, maybe Yanukovich could have crushed the mass revolt. Or maybe he would have ended up like another deeply unpopular strongman trying to hold onto power - Nicolae Ceaușescu. He didn't want to take the chance.
    , @Mr. Hack

    Yanukovich was stabbed by Europe. He was given to understand that in case of even a mild crackdown against the “peaceful” protesters (who were already murdering police officers) he will be considered to be the new Milosevic.
     
    How and when was Yanukovich given such assurances? This is pure nonsense.
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  7. I’ve take a passing interest in such issues, being an Anglo-Quebecker. I remember the 1995 referendum as a young lad. So I grew around a near uniform hostility against the idea of an independent Quebec.

    But as grown older, I’ve expanding my horizons and evolved my views. While I would probably vote NON in another referendum (or spoil my ballot), due to the economic percussions that would follow. But unlike some people, I don’t consider it a complete and utter evil, for Quebec and (Anglo)-Canada are two different nations and ones are as foreign to another as another except for sharing a similar government. While this shared arrangement has its benefits (a big country in land and people), it comes with a downside that it makes governing harder (devolving powers to local governments that ought be federal, for example).

    That’s what the late Jacques Parizeau realized while going to a conference in Banff – that things would easier for both Quebec and Canada if they went their separate ways. It’s a compelling argument, not just for Canada but also Scotland and the UK, the UK and the EU and Catalonia and Spain. But it does require that the larger entity give a substantial amounts of land and resources, something people are generally loathed to do, particularly the power-hungry politicians who run those countries.

    So I’m ambivalently to Catalonia’s quest for independence. I think Rajoy’s legal position seems rock solid, as the Spanish Constitution declares Spain to be invisible, so the referendum is completely illegal. But session is an extra-legal matter, determined by political and military factors, and it does seem like a large fraction of the Catalan want their own sovereign state (well, as ‘sovereign’ as an EU state can).

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    • Replies: @jim jones
    I assume you mean "indivisible" rather than "Invisible"
    , @Tsar Nicholas
    @Hieronymus of Canada

    The referendum also appears to have been illegal under the Catalan parliament's own rules, which required the measure to get 90 votes, as opposed to the actual 72 it garnered.
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  8. AP says:
    @inertial
    This is what happened with Yanukovych in the Ukraine in 2013-14, who stabbed the security men charged with keeping his regime in power in the back

    Yanukovich was stabbed by Europe. He was given to understand that in case of even a mild crackdown against the "peaceful" protesters (who were already murdering police officers) he will be considered to be the new Milosevic.

    Rajoy doesn't have to face this choice.

    Yanukovich had already cracked down violently on protesters and had initiated the violence when he tried to break up the dwindling Euromaidan protests (the violence backfired, because it turned a protest that had been shrinking into a massive one).

    If Spaniards are going full nationalist, than Rajoy is in a much better position than was Yanukovich. Anti-Rajoy Catalonia is only 16% of Spain’s population. The Basque region (which presumably isn’t pro-Madrid) is another 6.5%. If the rest of Spain rallies around the central government Catalonia is heavily outnumbered and has no chance.

    In contrast, support for rebellion against Yanukovich was not 16% or 21% of the country but over 40% of it – including in the capital, which was hostile territory for him. And the other 60% didn’t rally behind him, but mostly didn’t like him either and were indifferent to his fate. He only had the support of 20% of the country, and his support was far from the capital, in peripheral regions like Donbas or Crimea. Given this situation, maybe Yanukovich could have crushed the mass revolt. Or maybe he would have ended up like another deeply unpopular strongman trying to hold onto power – Nicolae Ceaușescu. He didn’t want to take the chance.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Or maybe he would have ended up like another deeply unpopular strongman trying to hold onto power – Nicolae Ceaușescu.
     
    At the end the security forces started abandoning him. That was when the game was up.

    But why? I think that the crucial factor was in Yanukovych refusing to unequivocally support his siloviks. Instead, he actually condemned them for excessive violence (even though the situation clearly warranted a strong response by the time you got to the stage of Molotov cocktails and weaponized heavy construction equipment). Ultimately, nobody wants to end up a scapegoat just so that some corrupt, backstabbing thug and his cronies could avoid ostracism in the West and retain access to their offshore bank accounts.

    The situation in Ukraine and Spain are cardinally different, I don't want to make any comparison between the two. But the importance of supporting your siloviks is common to both.
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  9. A couple of thoughts in no particular order of importance.

    The proper response of the Spanish government to the Catalonian secession might be along two lines. First, a referendum in the rest of Spain on whether Catalonia should be allowed to leave. Second, introduce proposed amendments to the Spanish Constitution that set forth the proper procedures for regional secession. That would recognize the possible legitimacy of the Catalonian secession but give the rest of Spain a say in how it’s accomplished. It would also buy time with the inevitable wrangling about the form that such a constitutional amendment should take. Ideally, it might result in higher regional autonomy within Spain. And, yes, I know the Basques are next–so be it. But violently preventing people from voting was the worst response.

    The second point is the refusal of the Catalonian police to obey orders from Madrid. Suppose they had received conflicting orders from Catalonian officials to resist the national police forces? If they obeyed those orders, there would be near, or actual, civil war. (Spain had one not that many years ago.) When people critique “white nationalism” in the U.S., they assume that a secessionist struggle will be hillbillies with hunting rifles versus the 82nd Airborne. I agree that’s no contest. But a considerable amount of military strength in the U.S. is based in state national guard units. These units answer to a state governor unless the President “federalizes” it. Suppose a state national guard unit resists federalization (nationalization) and follows the orders of a state governor of a seceded state, along with the support of state and local police forces. That would be a much tougher nut for Washington to crack. And I don’t think a call for volunteers to put down the rebellion would meet with much response. Large portions of America would be happy to part company with other large portions.

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    • Replies: @AP

    First, a referendum in the rest of Spain on whether Catalonia should be allowed to leave.
     
    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.
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  10. Brabantian says: • Website

    What is over-riding here ‘legally’, is self-determination for Catalan or other peoples as per the much-ignored UN Charter, which Spain & most nations of the world have signed … leading one to also ‘stand with Israel’ in support of the rights of Kurds to have their own contiguous nation where they live, carved from the colonial-arbitrary-boundary Iraq, Syria, Turkey & Iran

    However corrupt, tied to evil parties etc., people still have a right to sort out their own affairs, the right to ruin themselves under their own mafias. Am reminded here of Israeli Uri Avnery’s story of when Russian-Jewish oligarch Boris Berezovsky, appeared on Israeli television boasting

    That Berezovsky caused the war in Chechnya, in which tens of thousands have been killed & a whole country devastated. He was interested in the mineral resources & a prospective pipeline there. In order to achieve this he put an end to the peace agreement that gave Chechnya some kind of independence. The oligarchs dismissed & destroyed Alexander Lebed, the popular general who engineered the agreement.

    The Catalans showing ‘how it is done’ are making all the big powers nervous. China with its Uighurs & Tibetans under Han domination; Russia with its Chechens chafing, who are one day certainly to be free of Moscow.

    Catalonia is giving a full-bore exposure of Putin’s hypocrisy in Donbass / East Ukraine, where after the Anschluß with Crimea, Putin invited the Donbass to have their own referenda as well, whilst the blood was still drying from the anti-Russian Odessa massacre by the Kiev Ukrainians … the Donbass people voted, but then Putin sabotaged & restricted the Igor ‘Strelkov’ Girkin etc efforts to liberate them, allowing the killing of many by Nato goons

    Bibi Netanyahu in Israel is immensely clever by aligning Israel with the secessionist / nationalist movements in many places, over against his Jewish rivals in the George Soros globalist camp

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    • Replies: @melanf

    Putin invited the Donbass to have their own referenda as well
     
    Putin openly (in public speaking) recommended that the Donbas not to hold a referendum
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSVhr1MLhwo

    In your post, a fantastic number of factual errors
    , @Anon
    If my cousins and I buy up a block and declare ourselves a people, do we have a right to self-determination?
    , @notanon

    Bibi Netanyahu in Israel is immensely clever by aligning Israel with the secessionist / nationalist movements in many places, over against his Jewish rivals in the George Soros globalist camp
     
    that's the most interesting aspect of this imo
    , @Tsar Nicholas
    "The Catalans showing ‘how it is done’ are making all the big powers nervous."

    The Catalans "showing how it is done" are looking an awful lot like the Ukrainian Maidanists showing how it is done.

    The Catalans - sorry, that's an over statement - the Catalan separatist party did not have the required number of votes in the Catalan parliament. They needed 90, but garnered just 72. They went ahead anyway but somehow it's all the fault of the (admittedly woeful) Mariano Rajoy.

    Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya justified this illegal referendum - they described it as a birth that was "delivered with forceps" - on the grounds that the other parties in Catalonia would not agree!

    Aside from the Leninist flavour of this justification, can anybody explain how Catalans can have "freedom" when the political parties they voted for in free and fair elections are overriden? Catalonia has a Catalan parliament which rejected the referendum, and it still went ahead!

    Maybe we should start looking at the US and NATO for some sort of explanation of recent events. After all, they have "form" in breaking up larger countries, as many Yugoslav dead would testify if they could speak from beyond the grave.

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  11. Randal says:

    First, does this mean that only “based” nations should have a right to national self-determination?

    The issue is, as usual, what counts as a nation? When does a region (such as Kosovo, Crimea, Scotland, Catalonia, Northern Ireland, the Basque country, Quebec, etc) with differing culture, history and/or language count as a nation and therefore acquire the supposed collective right of self determination?

    This question, I submit, is not open to a simplistic answer in either direction. In practice it probably comes down to the same issue as most international questions do – might makes right. A group becomes a nation with the right to self-determination if it is willing and able to fight hard enough to get it, and to defend it thereafter. Of course, this does not really help us to determine in advance whether a particular national self-determination cause is “right” or “wrong”.

    But it certainly seems as reasonable as anything else to ask what reason there might be to support a putative “nation” whose people have no intention of defending their true nationhood against mass immigration, and evidently no collective understanding even of the need and reasons for doing so.

    Second, as Alt Left points out, getting rid of political dead weight (e.g. California in the US) would actually raise the ability of the rest of the country to push forwards the sort of political change that the Alt Right advocates.

    This is an old argument, much used in relation to the question of Scottish secession, which would (if you assume existing voting patterns would be largely maintained) pretty much ensure that there would never be another Labour Party government in England and Wales. Though what that is worth these days is questionable, when the “Conservative” Party hierarchy has become fully left liberal globalist, in its abject support of mass immigration, normalisation of homosexual behaviour, interventionism, and all the political correct nonsense on race and sex the left has managed to impose over the past few decades.

    In reality, most likely, there would be shifts in attitudes, voting patterns and political positions in response to the change and any change in overall national position would not be particularly great.

    Eurocrats and Globalism Inc. are predictably unanimous in opposing Catalan separatism. This is perfectly understandable. Spain is part of NATO. The loss of Spain’s biggest donor region will hit its revenues and perhaps reignite its simmering debt crisis.

    It’s not really an issue for NATO, whose revenues are not greatly dependent upon the Spanish contribution anyway. It is an issue for the EU, because of the conflict between Eurocrat who see breaking up the big countries into more easily bullied regions as the long term strategy for the creation of a United States of Europe, and Eurocrats whose own powerbase is in the existing nation state governments.

    Personally, I’m ambivalent on the Catalan secession. I see it as having advantages and disadvantages if it goes ahead, with the advantages being in the disruption it will cause to the EU short term (with due recognition of potential long term issues that could help the EU elites suppress the nations). If Catalonia were to secede, the Basque country, Scotland etc will all be watching. There will be as much need for the national governments of Spain, Germany, Italy and France to ensure the Catalans are made to suffer, and seen to suffer, as there has been for the EU elites to ensure Britain is seen to “pay a price” for Brexit. That will create a degree of healthy chaos in the EU, for certain.

    Otherwise, it’s doubtful the creation of a much more leftist and likely globalist wealthy enclave of SJW types will do much to advance the cause of real nationalism – the breaking up of big nations into smaller and less powerful ones must be a double edged sword, at best (other than in the case of those nation states whose very excessive power is itself the cause of major world problems, namely the US).

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    • Replies: @notanon

    It is an issue for the EU, because of the conflict between Eurocrat who see breaking up the big countries into more easily bullied regions as the long term strategy for the creation of a United States of Europe, and Eurocrats whose own powerbase is in the existing nation state governments.
     
    Although I assume there is genuine national feeling in Catalonis as well the underlying dynamic of this is farcical. The constituent EU nations send money to the EU and it comes back in the form of bribes to those members of the political class who will betray their nation and swear loyalty to the EU instead and what we have here is two sets of greedy eurocrats competing over their share of that bribe money.

    I agree the EU wants to break Europe up into smaller and more controllable pieces however I don't think they want to do it on a national scale. I think their model will be what Tito did to Yugoslavia and merge bits of the existing nations together for more effective divide and rule - so for example make a Pyrenees region that includes part of France and part of Spain, add bits of Germany to bits of France, bits of France to bits of Italy etc - dismember everything.
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  12. melanf says:
    @Brabantian
    What is over-riding here 'legally', is self-determination for Catalan or other peoples as per the much-ignored UN Charter, which Spain & most nations of the world have signed ... leading one to also 'stand with Israel' in support of the rights of Kurds to have their own contiguous nation where they live, carved from the colonial-arbitrary-boundary Iraq, Syria, Turkey & Iran

    However corrupt, tied to evil parties etc., people still have a right to sort out their own affairs, the right to ruin themselves under their own mafias. Am reminded here of Israeli Uri Avnery's story of when Russian-Jewish oligarch Boris Berezovsky, appeared on Israeli television boasting


    That Berezovsky caused the war in Chechnya, in which tens of thousands have been killed & a whole country devastated. He was interested in the mineral resources & a prospective pipeline there. In order to achieve this he put an end to the peace agreement that gave Chechnya some kind of independence. The oligarchs dismissed & destroyed Alexander Lebed, the popular general who engineered the agreement.

     

    The Catalans showing 'how it is done' are making all the big powers nervous. China with its Uighurs & Tibetans under Han domination; Russia with its Chechens chafing, who are one day certainly to be free of Moscow.

    Catalonia is giving a full-bore exposure of Putin's hypocrisy in Donbass / East Ukraine, where after the Anschluß with Crimea, Putin invited the Donbass to have their own referenda as well, whilst the blood was still drying from the anti-Russian Odessa massacre by the Kiev Ukrainians ... the Donbass people voted, but then Putin sabotaged & restricted the Igor 'Strelkov' Girkin etc efforts to liberate them, allowing the killing of many by Nato goons

    Bibi Netanyahu in Israel is immensely clever by aligning Israel with the secessionist / nationalist movements in many places, over against his Jewish rivals in the George Soros globalist camp

    Putin invited the Donbass to have their own referenda as well

    Putin openly (in public speaking) recommended that the Donbas not to hold a referendum

    In your post, a fantastic number of factual errors

    Read More
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  13. Randal says:

    While the heavy-handed response to the referendum was a very bad idea,

    This assumes the availability of an alternative and better approach that is not obviously in evidence.

    As I noted yesterday, my main interest in the Catalan issue is in the opposing approaches to the secession question adopted by the Spanish and British governments, in that the British government essentially conceded the right of self-determination to the Scots and risked a referendum in which a majority of Scots voting for independence would have seen the breakup of the British state. That gamble proved to have been correct, at least in the short term, in that they won the referendum (though what the longer term consequences will be of having conceded the issue to the Scottish people alone remains to be seen).

    The Spanish government, on the other hand, has denied this principle, maintaining that regional secession is a matter for the wider nation and not the region alone – the same position in effect the US regime held to when they bloodily suppressed their own regional secession in the C19th.

    Both these positions have merit and can be argued for (which is one reason why it is so desperately important to get Britain out of the EU before it makes further progress towards becoming a United States of Europe).

    That being the case, when would it be appropriate for the Spanish state to use force to enforce the law? Now, or after a referendum in which most likely a narrow majority would have voted for independence? This way, they can dismiss the result as the outcome of an illegal and illegitimate process, and they will do so. If the turnout was as you say, then less than half of Catalan voters would appear to be strong supporters of secession.

    The Spanish government seems unlikely to blink now – the stakes are too high, and if there is a declaration of independence then those who sign up to it will likely find themselves in prison within hours. Collaborators will be found to speak bold nationalist words whilst selling out their supporters for some kind of autonomy deal compromise, much as the anti-”austerity” left in Greece was sold out by their supposedly radical firebrand leaders a few years ago. The national governments in the rest of the EU and around the world might be a bit embarrassed by criticism of Spanish “police violence” and alleged human rights infringements, but they certainly aren’t going to make a big issue of it when the last thing any of them want to see is the kind of precedent set that Catalan independence now would create.

    So how was the Spanish government’s stand a mistake? Yes, it has no doubt pushed some moderates into the other camp, but how would standing by and letting the referendum go ahead unopposed have been better for Spain’s central government in the long run? Clearly the Spanish government had the option to follow the choice made by the British government and risk all on a regional referendum, but unlike Scotland Catalonia is a wealthier region than average. Can it be said with certainty that the Spanish government was wrong to view that approach as too risky? I don’t think so. Perhaps they were correct (from their perspective) to grasp the nettle now.

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    • Replies: @5371
    The referendum was eminently winnable for unionists. The Spanish government made a very unwise decision from their own point of view - and fortunately from the EU's as well.
    , @LondonBob
    There was never any risk of Scotland voting yes as there is of Catalonia. In the end the dreadful 'project fear' no campaign conspired to bump the yes vote up to around 45%, on the plus side the dreadful Cameron clique saw this as success and adopted the same tactics for the EU referendum, thus enabling a narrow yes victory.
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  14. 5371 says:
    @Randal

    While the heavy-handed response to the referendum was a very bad idea,
     
    This assumes the availability of an alternative and better approach that is not obviously in evidence.

    As I noted yesterday, my main interest in the Catalan issue is in the opposing approaches to the secession question adopted by the Spanish and British governments, in that the British government essentially conceded the right of self-determination to the Scots and risked a referendum in which a majority of Scots voting for independence would have seen the breakup of the British state. That gamble proved to have been correct, at least in the short term, in that they won the referendum (though what the longer term consequences will be of having conceded the issue to the Scottish people alone remains to be seen).

    The Spanish government, on the other hand, has denied this principle, maintaining that regional secession is a matter for the wider nation and not the region alone - the same position in effect the US regime held to when they bloodily suppressed their own regional secession in the C19th.

    Both these positions have merit and can be argued for (which is one reason why it is so desperately important to get Britain out of the EU before it makes further progress towards becoming a United States of Europe).

    That being the case, when would it be appropriate for the Spanish state to use force to enforce the law? Now, or after a referendum in which most likely a narrow majority would have voted for independence? This way, they can dismiss the result as the outcome of an illegal and illegitimate process, and they will do so. If the turnout was as you say, then less than half of Catalan voters would appear to be strong supporters of secession.

    The Spanish government seems unlikely to blink now - the stakes are too high, and if there is a declaration of independence then those who sign up to it will likely find themselves in prison within hours. Collaborators will be found to speak bold nationalist words whilst selling out their supporters for some kind of autonomy deal compromise, much as the anti-"austerity" left in Greece was sold out by their supposedly radical firebrand leaders a few years ago. The national governments in the rest of the EU and around the world might be a bit embarrassed by criticism of Spanish "police violence" and alleged human rights infringements, but they certainly aren't going to make a big issue of it when the last thing any of them want to see is the kind of precedent set that Catalan independence now would create.

    So how was the Spanish government's stand a mistake? Yes, it has no doubt pushed some moderates into the other camp, but how would standing by and letting the referendum go ahead unopposed have been better for Spain's central government in the long run? Clearly the Spanish government had the option to follow the choice made by the British government and risk all on a regional referendum, but unlike Scotland Catalonia is a wealthier region than average. Can it be said with certainty that the Spanish government was wrong to view that approach as too risky? I don't think so. Perhaps they were correct (from their perspective) to grasp the nettle now.

    The referendum was eminently winnable for unionists. The Spanish government made a very unwise decision from their own point of view – and fortunately from the EU’s as well.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    The referendum was eminently winnable for unionists.
     
    And also eminently losable.

    It's a judgement call, and my suspicion is that the Spanish government types who made it put at least as much expertise, experience and wisdom into making it as you did into making your comment.

    The Spanish government made a very unwise decision from their own point of view
     
    In your opinion, obviously.

    In reality, only time will tell us if the outcome will be favourable to the Spanish central government. We will never know, of course, if whatever alternative approach you might have taken in their place would have worked better for them, but if the result is an independent Catalonia then you might have a case at least.

    – and fortunately from the EU’s as well.
     
    Perhaps, though I suspect there's a strong element of wishful thinking there.
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  15. @inertial
    Aren't the country code top-level domains supposed to be two letters?

    Yes, you’re right, I assumed that they’d just move .cat into the country code category, didn’t realize they’re all 2 letters.

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  16. Randal says:
    @5371
    The referendum was eminently winnable for unionists. The Spanish government made a very unwise decision from their own point of view - and fortunately from the EU's as well.

    The referendum was eminently winnable for unionists.

    And also eminently losable.

    It’s a judgement call, and my suspicion is that the Spanish government types who made it put at least as much expertise, experience and wisdom into making it as you did into making your comment.

    The Spanish government made a very unwise decision from their own point of view

    In your opinion, obviously.

    In reality, only time will tell us if the outcome will be favourable to the Spanish central government. We will never know, of course, if whatever alternative approach you might have taken in their place would have worked better for them, but if the result is an independent Catalonia then you might have a case at least.

    – and fortunately from the EU’s as well.

    Perhaps, though I suspect there’s a strong element of wishful thinking there.

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    • Replies: @5371
    It's hard for irreversible change to get over the top in a close race, as Scotland and Quebec (twice) have shown.
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  17. jim jones says:
    @Hieronymus of Canada
    I've take a passing interest in such issues, being an Anglo-Quebecker. I remember the 1995 referendum as a young lad. So I grew around a near uniform hostility against the idea of an independent Quebec.

    But as grown older, I've expanding my horizons and evolved my views. While I would probably vote NON in another referendum (or spoil my ballot), due to the economic percussions that would follow. But unlike some people, I don't consider it a complete and utter evil, for Quebec and (Anglo)-Canada are two different nations and ones are as foreign to another as another except for sharing a similar government. While this shared arrangement has its benefits (a big country in land and people), it comes with a downside that it makes governing harder (devolving powers to local governments that ought be federal, for example).

    That's what the late Jacques Parizeau realized while going to a conference in Banff - that things would easier for both Quebec and Canada if they went their separate ways. It's a compelling argument, not just for Canada but also Scotland and the UK, the UK and the EU and Catalonia and Spain. But it does require that the larger entity give a substantial amounts of land and resources, something people are generally loathed to do, particularly the power-hungry politicians who run those countries.

    So I'm ambivalently to Catalonia's quest for independence. I think Rajoy's legal position seems rock solid, as the Spanish Constitution declares Spain to be invisible, so the referendum is completely illegal. But session is an extra-legal matter, determined by political and military factors, and it does seem like a large fraction of the Catalan want their own sovereign state (well, as 'sovereign' as an EU state can).

    I assume you mean “indivisible” rather than “Invisible”

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  18. 5371 says:
    @Randal

    The referendum was eminently winnable for unionists.
     
    And also eminently losable.

    It's a judgement call, and my suspicion is that the Spanish government types who made it put at least as much expertise, experience and wisdom into making it as you did into making your comment.

    The Spanish government made a very unwise decision from their own point of view
     
    In your opinion, obviously.

    In reality, only time will tell us if the outcome will be favourable to the Spanish central government. We will never know, of course, if whatever alternative approach you might have taken in their place would have worked better for them, but if the result is an independent Catalonia then you might have a case at least.

    – and fortunately from the EU’s as well.
     
    Perhaps, though I suspect there's a strong element of wishful thinking there.

    It’s hard for irreversible change to get over the top in a close race, as Scotland and Quebec (twice) have shown.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    Maybe so, but the Brexit vote shows it's certainly not impossible for it to do so. I suspect the Spanish authorities were by no means as relaxed as you seem to be about the supposed certainty of a win for the status quo, and for very good reason.

    Polling support for Scottish independence in the runup to the referendum was markedly lower than support has been for Catalan independence. Most polls gave support for independence in the 30-40% range, rising to the mid-40% range only in the last two weeks of the campaign, with no poll that I can recall ever giving it majority support. Polling for Catalan independence, on the other hand (given a binary choice) has for some time been in the 40-50% range with several polls giving outright majorities for independence.

    In the end the vote in Scotland was 55%-45% against independence. That precedent combined with the significantly higher background polling support for Catalan independence would imo make anybody responsible for Spanish national unity rightly extremely nervous about risking a Scottish-style regional referendum.
    , @notanon
    I think that is generally true although i think it depends a bit on how sure the population is that they are a net contributor to the larger body or not.

    IIRC Catalonia definitely is a net contributor while in the case of Scotland and Quebec it was a lot less certain (not 100% sure on that).
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  19. AP says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    A couple of thoughts in no particular order of importance.

    The proper response of the Spanish government to the Catalonian secession might be along two lines. First, a referendum in the rest of Spain on whether Catalonia should be allowed to leave. Second, introduce proposed amendments to the Spanish Constitution that set forth the proper procedures for regional secession. That would recognize the possible legitimacy of the Catalonian secession but give the rest of Spain a say in how it's accomplished. It would also buy time with the inevitable wrangling about the form that such a constitutional amendment should take. Ideally, it might result in higher regional autonomy within Spain. And, yes, I know the Basques are next--so be it. But violently preventing people from voting was the worst response.

    The second point is the refusal of the Catalonian police to obey orders from Madrid. Suppose they had received conflicting orders from Catalonian officials to resist the national police forces? If they obeyed those orders, there would be near, or actual, civil war. (Spain had one not that many years ago.) When people critique "white nationalism" in the U.S., they assume that a secessionist struggle will be hillbillies with hunting rifles versus the 82nd Airborne. I agree that's no contest. But a considerable amount of military strength in the U.S. is based in state national guard units. These units answer to a state governor unless the President "federalizes" it. Suppose a state national guard unit resists federalization (nationalization) and follows the orders of a state governor of a seceded state, along with the support of state and local police forces. That would be a much tougher nut for Washington to crack. And I don't think a call for volunteers to put down the rebellion would meet with much response. Large portions of America would be happy to part company with other large portions.

    First, a referendum in the rest of Spain on whether Catalonia should be allowed to leave.

    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.
     
    Not like the former, because the EU is not [yet] a state, but like the latter, indeed. And arguably that is what should have been done. The case can be argued both ways - a pretence that the citizens of the wider state are not profoundly affected by a major secession is clearly false. To argue that they have no right to be consulted on the affairs of another nation is the beg the question at issue in the first place - namely whether or not the people of the region in question constitute a nation that has a "right of self-determination".
    , @Gerard2

    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.
     
    tutututut. The Good Friday agreement involved referendum voting in both Northern Ireland (in the UK) but also in the Republic of Ireland...over a british/UK territory. That just shows what a lack of grasp you have on any issue.

    Then there is the same problem in reverse...countries like Montenegro would never in a million years under a fair referendum vote to join NATO, but their stooge authorities don't permit them this right. Same thing with Latvia and Estonia....with the non-estonian/latvian soviet population and the normal latvians/estonians...under a fair fight it would have been a struggle to get past 50% voting to join NATO and definitely impossible to get a 2/3rd's majority...which should be the necessary number on big events like that.

    As any non-dimwit knows...the same thing would have occured in favour of the Eurasian economic Union in Ukraine (which had majority supporting it)...even though most of the bought-off media and politicians in extremely-corrupt Ukraine were pushing for EU membership prior to Yanukovich's removal in a coup

    Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.
     
    OR....a referendum in Holland about whether failed state Ukraine should be offered an Association Agreement. Sadly the EU has no interest in democracy...and the comfortable victory in that excellent referendum was not implemented
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  20. Randal says:
    @5371
    It's hard for irreversible change to get over the top in a close race, as Scotland and Quebec (twice) have shown.

    Maybe so, but the Brexit vote shows it’s certainly not impossible for it to do so. I suspect the Spanish authorities were by no means as relaxed as you seem to be about the supposed certainty of a win for the status quo, and for very good reason.

    Polling support for Scottish independence in the runup to the referendum was markedly lower than support has been for Catalan independence. Most polls gave support for independence in the 30-40% range, rising to the mid-40% range only in the last two weeks of the campaign, with no poll that I can recall ever giving it majority support. Polling for Catalan independence, on the other hand (given a binary choice) has for some time been in the 40-50% range with several polls giving outright majorities for independence.

    In the end the vote in Scotland was 55%-45% against independence. That precedent combined with the significantly higher background polling support for Catalan independence would imo make anybody responsible for Spanish national unity rightly extremely nervous about risking a Scottish-style regional referendum.

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    • Replies: @5371
    The wikipedia page shows a couple of polls with independence ahead in Scotland, and the overall picture at the end of the campaign better for yes than the actual result, once undecideds are divided up. So it suggests that some potential yes voters did shrink back at the last moment.
    Your Brexit comparison is a good point, but it's not quite the same, because most leave voters could actually remember the UK outside the EU, not the case in Catalonia. And in some important ways the UK had never adopted EU institutions, decreasing the sharpness of the change.
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  21. Mr. Hack says:
    @inertial
    This is what happened with Yanukovych in the Ukraine in 2013-14, who stabbed the security men charged with keeping his regime in power in the back

    Yanukovich was stabbed by Europe. He was given to understand that in case of even a mild crackdown against the "peaceful" protesters (who were already murdering police officers) he will be considered to be the new Milosevic.

    Rajoy doesn't have to face this choice.

    Yanukovich was stabbed by Europe. He was given to understand that in case of even a mild crackdown against the “peaceful” protesters (who were already murdering police officers) he will be considered to be the new Milosevic.

    How and when was Yanukovich given such assurances? This is pure nonsense.

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  22. Randal says:
    @AP

    First, a referendum in the rest of Spain on whether Catalonia should be allowed to leave.
     
    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.

    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.

    Not like the former, because the EU is not [yet] a state, but like the latter, indeed. And arguably that is what should have been done. The case can be argued both ways – a pretence that the citizens of the wider state are not profoundly affected by a major secession is clearly false. To argue that they have no right to be consulted on the affairs of another nation is the beg the question at issue in the first place – namely whether or not the people of the region in question constitute a nation that has a “right of self-determination”.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    And it was just this sort of a process was absent in Ukraine and the Crimea that would have legitimized the whole affair. Also, For Quebec to secede from the rest of Canada, a referendum would need to be conducted in all of the provinces. I'm not sure about how such a process would proceed within the Unite Kingdom and Scotland?...
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  23. 5371 says:
    @Randal
    Maybe so, but the Brexit vote shows it's certainly not impossible for it to do so. I suspect the Spanish authorities were by no means as relaxed as you seem to be about the supposed certainty of a win for the status quo, and for very good reason.

    Polling support for Scottish independence in the runup to the referendum was markedly lower than support has been for Catalan independence. Most polls gave support for independence in the 30-40% range, rising to the mid-40% range only in the last two weeks of the campaign, with no poll that I can recall ever giving it majority support. Polling for Catalan independence, on the other hand (given a binary choice) has for some time been in the 40-50% range with several polls giving outright majorities for independence.

    In the end the vote in Scotland was 55%-45% against independence. That precedent combined with the significantly higher background polling support for Catalan independence would imo make anybody responsible for Spanish national unity rightly extremely nervous about risking a Scottish-style regional referendum.

    The wikipedia page shows a couple of polls with independence ahead in Scotland, and the overall picture at the end of the campaign better for yes than the actual result, once undecideds are divided up. So it suggests that some potential yes voters did shrink back at the last moment.
    Your Brexit comparison is a good point, but it’s not quite the same, because most leave voters could actually remember the UK outside the EU, not the case in Catalonia. And in some important ways the UK had never adopted EU institutions, decreasing the sharpness of the change.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    The wikipedia page shows a couple of polls with independence ahead in Scotland
     
    Which Wikipedia page? But assuming you mean ahead but less than an outright majority, yes there were a couple of those. But nothing like the Catalan situation where a series of polls in recent years have showed results above 50% in favour of independence, and up to 57% in some polls in 2012-13.

    and the overall picture at the end of the campaign better for yes than the actual result, once undecideds are divided up. So it suggests that some potential yes voters did shrink back at the last moment.
     
    Rather it appears to have been a case of the undecideds breaking strongly for no, which makes sense if they were nervous at committing to irrevocable change as you argue. Very few polls gave the vote for independence more than what they actually got, and certainly not by more than the typical margins of error.

    Certainly the case for your position can be argued strongly, on the basis that support for Catalan independence in the Spanish government CEO polls seems to have fallen back after 2013 to 44-46% and the don't knows/abstainers firmed up to 45-50%, so on the basis that the remaining 5% or so of don't knows would probably break against irrevocable change, you can argue that a referendum would likely go in the government's favour. The risk of a vote for independence might seem low.

    But that's a risk it's only easy to take when you aren't profoundly and catastrophically affected by the outcome, as would be the case for Spanish central government figures.
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  24. Mr. Hack says:
    @Randal

    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.
     
    Not like the former, because the EU is not [yet] a state, but like the latter, indeed. And arguably that is what should have been done. The case can be argued both ways - a pretence that the citizens of the wider state are not profoundly affected by a major secession is clearly false. To argue that they have no right to be consulted on the affairs of another nation is the beg the question at issue in the first place - namely whether or not the people of the region in question constitute a nation that has a "right of self-determination".

    And it was just this sort of a process was absent in Ukraine and the Crimea that would have legitimized the whole affair. Also, For Quebec to secede from the rest of Canada, a referendum would need to be conducted in all of the provinces. I’m not sure about how such a process would proceed within the Unite Kingdom and Scotland?…

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    • Replies: @Randal
    Well, my position is that the case can be argued either way. Certainly it's easy to argue that it should be no business of outsiders how the people of a well defined region choose to be governed - that, after all, was the position adopted by the British and other colonists in the US in 1776, and generally accepted as legitimate subsequent to their military victory.

    We are unlikely to agree on the Crimea example because you have Ukrainian nationalist assumptions which I do not share.

    My view is not fundamentally that the inhabitants of the Crimea are a nation with a right to self determination (though I accept that a case can be made for that), but rather that Crimea is a region that was only part of the modern Ukrainian state in any case as a result of recent historical accident, and therefore there is no good reason to oppose the evident preference of the majority of the people living there to be part of the Russian state. The vote was not therefore determinative of how Crimea should go, imo, but merely confirmed that the people living there had no strong collective objection to the actions of the Russian government, which were undertaken for realpolitik reasons of necessary self-defence and not any kind of theoretical principle of national self-determination.

    Objectively it is clearly better for the world that Crimea is in Russian hands than in Ukrainian, provided it is not against the will of the people living in the Crimea to such an extent that violence will result.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Perhaps some kind of compromise, e.g. secession would require a majority vote in Quebec AND secession could be vetoed by a 2/3 popular vote in the rest of Canada outside Quebec.

    Could unionists muster 2/3 of voters in Ontario, BC, Alberta, etc., to the polls against Quebec secession?

    For that matter, could unionists in the USA muster 2/3 of voters outside California to vote against California secession?
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  25. Randal says:
    @5371
    The wikipedia page shows a couple of polls with independence ahead in Scotland, and the overall picture at the end of the campaign better for yes than the actual result, once undecideds are divided up. So it suggests that some potential yes voters did shrink back at the last moment.
    Your Brexit comparison is a good point, but it's not quite the same, because most leave voters could actually remember the UK outside the EU, not the case in Catalonia. And in some important ways the UK had never adopted EU institutions, decreasing the sharpness of the change.

    The wikipedia page shows a couple of polls with independence ahead in Scotland

    Which Wikipedia page? But assuming you mean ahead but less than an outright majority, yes there were a couple of those. But nothing like the Catalan situation where a series of polls in recent years have showed results above 50% in favour of independence, and up to 57% in some polls in 2012-13.

    and the overall picture at the end of the campaign better for yes than the actual result, once undecideds are divided up. So it suggests that some potential yes voters did shrink back at the last moment.

    Rather it appears to have been a case of the undecideds breaking strongly for no, which makes sense if they were nervous at committing to irrevocable change as you argue. Very few polls gave the vote for independence more than what they actually got, and certainly not by more than the typical margins of error.

    Certainly the case for your position can be argued strongly, on the basis that support for Catalan independence in the Spanish government CEO polls seems to have fallen back after 2013 to 44-46% and the don’t knows/abstainers firmed up to 45-50%, so on the basis that the remaining 5% or so of don’t knows would probably break against irrevocable change, you can argue that a referendum would likely go in the government’s favour. The risk of a vote for independence might seem low.

    But that’s a risk it’s only easy to take when you aren’t profoundly and catastrophically affected by the outcome, as would be the case for Spanish central government figures.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    and the don’t knows/abstainers firmed up to 45-50%
     
    Should read: "and the don’t knows/abstainers firmed up in opposition to independence to give 45-50% opposed".

    Proof-reading negligence.
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  26. Randal says:
    @Mr. Hack
    And it was just this sort of a process was absent in Ukraine and the Crimea that would have legitimized the whole affair. Also, For Quebec to secede from the rest of Canada, a referendum would need to be conducted in all of the provinces. I'm not sure about how such a process would proceed within the Unite Kingdom and Scotland?...

    Well, my position is that the case can be argued either way. Certainly it’s easy to argue that it should be no business of outsiders how the people of a well defined region choose to be governed – that, after all, was the position adopted by the British and other colonists in the US in 1776, and generally accepted as legitimate subsequent to their military victory.

    We are unlikely to agree on the Crimea example because you have Ukrainian nationalist assumptions which I do not share.

    My view is not fundamentally that the inhabitants of the Crimea are a nation with a right to self determination (though I accept that a case can be made for that), but rather that Crimea is a region that was only part of the modern Ukrainian state in any case as a result of recent historical accident, and therefore there is no good reason to oppose the evident preference of the majority of the people living there to be part of the Russian state. The vote was not therefore determinative of how Crimea should go, imo, but merely confirmed that the people living there had no strong collective objection to the actions of the Russian government, which were undertaken for realpolitik reasons of necessary self-defence and not any kind of theoretical principle of national self-determination.

    Objectively it is clearly better for the world that Crimea is in Russian hands than in Ukrainian, provided it is not against the will of the people living in the Crimea to such an extent that violence will result.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner. I think that this is a good thing, to help defray military confrontations. Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
    'Little green men' sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation, followed by a 'referendum' basically at the point of a gun orchestrated within a few weeks of an invasion? Absolutely, no consultations with the Ukrainian government? And why? Was Russian language usage within the isthmus in any real danger? Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged? No, what I think that we saw played out in the Crimea was pure naked Russian aggression of the worst uncivilized sort, harking back to the beginning of time of the sort described in the Bible in the story of Cain and Abel.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.

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  27. Brigadas Internacionales when?!!

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  28. Randal says:
    @Randal

    The wikipedia page shows a couple of polls with independence ahead in Scotland
     
    Which Wikipedia page? But assuming you mean ahead but less than an outright majority, yes there were a couple of those. But nothing like the Catalan situation where a series of polls in recent years have showed results above 50% in favour of independence, and up to 57% in some polls in 2012-13.

    and the overall picture at the end of the campaign better for yes than the actual result, once undecideds are divided up. So it suggests that some potential yes voters did shrink back at the last moment.
     
    Rather it appears to have been a case of the undecideds breaking strongly for no, which makes sense if they were nervous at committing to irrevocable change as you argue. Very few polls gave the vote for independence more than what they actually got, and certainly not by more than the typical margins of error.

    Certainly the case for your position can be argued strongly, on the basis that support for Catalan independence in the Spanish government CEO polls seems to have fallen back after 2013 to 44-46% and the don't knows/abstainers firmed up to 45-50%, so on the basis that the remaining 5% or so of don't knows would probably break against irrevocable change, you can argue that a referendum would likely go in the government's favour. The risk of a vote for independence might seem low.

    But that's a risk it's only easy to take when you aren't profoundly and catastrophically affected by the outcome, as would be the case for Spanish central government figures.

    and the don’t knows/abstainers firmed up to 45-50%

    Should read: “and the don’t knows/abstainers firmed up in opposition to independence to give 45-50% opposed”.

    Proof-reading negligence.

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  29. @AP
    Yanukovich had already cracked down violently on protesters and had initiated the violence when he tried to break up the dwindling Euromaidan protests (the violence backfired, because it turned a protest that had been shrinking into a massive one).

    If Spaniards are going full nationalist, than Rajoy is in a much better position than was Yanukovich. Anti-Rajoy Catalonia is only 16% of Spain's population. The Basque region (which presumably isn't pro-Madrid) is another 6.5%. If the rest of Spain rallies around the central government Catalonia is heavily outnumbered and has no chance.

    In contrast, support for rebellion against Yanukovich was not 16% or 21% of the country but over 40% of it - including in the capital, which was hostile territory for him. And the other 60% didn't rally behind him, but mostly didn't like him either and were indifferent to his fate. He only had the support of 20% of the country, and his support was far from the capital, in peripheral regions like Donbas or Crimea. Given this situation, maybe Yanukovich could have crushed the mass revolt. Or maybe he would have ended up like another deeply unpopular strongman trying to hold onto power - Nicolae Ceaușescu. He didn't want to take the chance.

    Or maybe he would have ended up like another deeply unpopular strongman trying to hold onto power – Nicolae Ceaușescu.

    At the end the security forces started abandoning him. That was when the game was up.

    But why? I think that the crucial factor was in Yanukovych refusing to unequivocally support his siloviks. Instead, he actually condemned them for excessive violence (even though the situation clearly warranted a strong response by the time you got to the stage of Molotov cocktails and weaponized heavy construction equipment). Ultimately, nobody wants to end up a scapegoat just so that some corrupt, backstabbing thug and his cronies could avoid ostracism in the West and retain access to their offshore bank accounts.

    The situation in Ukraine and Spain are cardinally different, I don’t want to make any comparison between the two. But the importance of supporting your siloviks is common to both.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Ultimately, nobody wants to end up a scapegoat just so that some corrupt, backstabbing thug and his cronies could avoid ostracism in the West and retain access to their offshore bank accounts.
     
    So, how else will history judge Putin, allowing Yanukovich a safe harbor by currently allowing him to live in Russia?

    'Birds of a feather flock together.'
     
    :-)
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  30. Mr. Hack says:
    @Randal
    Well, my position is that the case can be argued either way. Certainly it's easy to argue that it should be no business of outsiders how the people of a well defined region choose to be governed - that, after all, was the position adopted by the British and other colonists in the US in 1776, and generally accepted as legitimate subsequent to their military victory.

    We are unlikely to agree on the Crimea example because you have Ukrainian nationalist assumptions which I do not share.

    My view is not fundamentally that the inhabitants of the Crimea are a nation with a right to self determination (though I accept that a case can be made for that), but rather that Crimea is a region that was only part of the modern Ukrainian state in any case as a result of recent historical accident, and therefore there is no good reason to oppose the evident preference of the majority of the people living there to be part of the Russian state. The vote was not therefore determinative of how Crimea should go, imo, but merely confirmed that the people living there had no strong collective objection to the actions of the Russian government, which were undertaken for realpolitik reasons of necessary self-defence and not any kind of theoretical principle of national self-determination.

    Objectively it is clearly better for the world that Crimea is in Russian hands than in Ukrainian, provided it is not against the will of the people living in the Crimea to such an extent that violence will result.

    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner. I think that this is a good thing, to help defray military confrontations. Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
    ‘Little green men’ sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation, followed by a ‘referendum’ basically at the point of a gun orchestrated within a few weeks of an invasion? Absolutely, no consultations with the Ukrainian government? And why? Was Russian language usage within the isthmus in any real danger? Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged? No, what I think that we saw played out in the Crimea was pure naked Russian aggression of the worst uncivilized sort, harking back to the beginning of time of the sort described in the Bible in the story of Cain and Abel.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner.
     
    All that went out the window with the Kosovo war. You can't eat your cake and still have it afterwards.

    Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
     
    In the circumstances, yes, broadly. It was a remarkable display of the proportionate, disciplined and competent, controlled use of force.

    Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged?
     
    Yes, of course it was, in the long run. In fact, if the Ukraine ever manages to get itself into the EU and subsequently NATO (the latter will follow the former, as night follows day), then the attempted repossession of the naval base would be inevitable, and almost impossible to resist effectively. The record of Ukrainian nationalist influenced governments attempting to get the Russians out of the base is clear.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.
     
    On the former, many would disagree and forgive me for suggesting you are in no way objective in your assessment of the record. On the latter, yes that's exactly what it was, as I noted above.
    , @melanf

    Was Russian language usage within the isthmus in any real danger? Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged?
     
    Yes. Beyond any doubt.
    , @melanf

    followed by a ‘referendum’ basically at the point of a gun
     
    Why repeat the obvious propaganda? Residents of Crimea voted in full accordance with their desires (just as they voted against Ukraine in 1991 and 1994). "Point of a gun" to the results of the referendum is irrelevant. You can consider the referendum illegal, a criminal, whatever....
    But it's pointless to deny that the vast majority of the population of Crimea voted for joining to Russia
    , @notanon

    Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
     
    In the context of a CIA for hire staging a coup as a stealth annexation of Ukraine for the benefit of a pack of greedy billionaire sociopaths, yes

    ‘Little green men’ sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation,
     
    as far as i could tell the "invasion" was getting the tens of thousands of Russian troops already there legally to stand on the grass outside their barracks. The media reporting was a dishonest joke - as usual.

    Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged?
     
    yes obviously.

    No, what I think that we saw played out in the Crimea was pure naked Russian aggression of the worst uncivilized sort, harking back to the beginning of time of the sort described in the Bible in the story of Cain and Abel.
     
    Israel wants to annex the Golan heights permanently and they want the US to kill hezbollah for them - both of which make sense from a realpolitik point of view.

    The crazy part is the belief that when other people block it (in this cases Russia) they're doing it out of spite rather than out of their own interests.
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  31. Mr. Hack says:

    ‘Little green men’ sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation, followed by a ‘referendum’ basically at the point of a gun orchestrated within a few weeks of an invasion?

    Taken straight from Hitler’s own playbook regarding Germany’s ‘anschluss’ of the Sudetenland!

    Read More
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  32. Randal says:
    @Mr. Hack
    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner. I think that this is a good thing, to help defray military confrontations. Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
    'Little green men' sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation, followed by a 'referendum' basically at the point of a gun orchestrated within a few weeks of an invasion? Absolutely, no consultations with the Ukrainian government? And why? Was Russian language usage within the isthmus in any real danger? Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged? No, what I think that we saw played out in the Crimea was pure naked Russian aggression of the worst uncivilized sort, harking back to the beginning of time of the sort described in the Bible in the story of Cain and Abel.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.

    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner.

    All that went out the window with the Kosovo war. You can’t eat your cake and still have it afterwards.

    Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?

    In the circumstances, yes, broadly. It was a remarkable display of the proportionate, disciplined and competent, controlled use of force.

    Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged?

    Yes, of course it was, in the long run. In fact, if the Ukraine ever manages to get itself into the EU and subsequently NATO (the latter will follow the former, as night follows day), then the attempted repossession of the naval base would be inevitable, and almost impossible to resist effectively. The record of Ukrainian nationalist influenced governments attempting to get the Russians out of the base is clear.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.

    On the former, many would disagree and forgive me for suggesting you are in no way objective in your assessment of the record. On the latter, yes that’s exactly what it was, as I noted above.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    On the former, many would disagree and forgive me for suggesting you are in no way objective in your assessment
     
    I do not ‘forgive you’. This is the second time in just two posting from you to me, that you’ve inferred that somehow my opinions are flawed by some sort of Ukrainian nationalist leanings? I might be so careless to infer that your own opinions are somehow flawed by an awkward leaning towards Russian nationalist feelings, but I don’t! :-(

    In the circumstances, yes, broadly. It was a remarkable display of the proportionate, disciplined and competent, controlled use of force.
     
    So, would it be safe to say that you have the same feelings towards Germany's anschluss of the Sudetenland in 1938? After all, there really wasn't much difference in the two operations that I can see?
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  33. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Or maybe he would have ended up like another deeply unpopular strongman trying to hold onto power – Nicolae Ceaușescu.
     
    At the end the security forces started abandoning him. That was when the game was up.

    But why? I think that the crucial factor was in Yanukovych refusing to unequivocally support his siloviks. Instead, he actually condemned them for excessive violence (even though the situation clearly warranted a strong response by the time you got to the stage of Molotov cocktails and weaponized heavy construction equipment). Ultimately, nobody wants to end up a scapegoat just so that some corrupt, backstabbing thug and his cronies could avoid ostracism in the West and retain access to their offshore bank accounts.

    The situation in Ukraine and Spain are cardinally different, I don't want to make any comparison between the two. But the importance of supporting your siloviks is common to both.

    Ultimately, nobody wants to end up a scapegoat just so that some corrupt, backstabbing thug and his cronies could avoid ostracism in the West and retain access to their offshore bank accounts.

    So, how else will history judge Putin, allowing Yanukovich a safe harbor by currently allowing him to live in Russia?

    ‘Birds of a feather flock together.’

    :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    So, how else will history judge Putin, allowing Yanukovich a safe harbor by currently allowing him to live in Russia?
     
    For all his manifold faults, Yanukovych turned to Russia at the end, and it would be unseemly to abandon your allies - even unwilling, last-minute ones.

    As for how history will judge Putin, probably harshly, though not for the reasons you imagine.
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  34. Mr. Hack says:
    @Randal

    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner.
     
    All that went out the window with the Kosovo war. You can't eat your cake and still have it afterwards.

    Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
     
    In the circumstances, yes, broadly. It was a remarkable display of the proportionate, disciplined and competent, controlled use of force.

    Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged?
     
    Yes, of course it was, in the long run. In fact, if the Ukraine ever manages to get itself into the EU and subsequently NATO (the latter will follow the former, as night follows day), then the attempted repossession of the naval base would be inevitable, and almost impossible to resist effectively. The record of Ukrainian nationalist influenced governments attempting to get the Russians out of the base is clear.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.
     
    On the former, many would disagree and forgive me for suggesting you are in no way objective in your assessment of the record. On the latter, yes that's exactly what it was, as I noted above.

    On the former, many would disagree and forgive me for suggesting you are in no way objective in your assessment

    I do not ‘forgive you’. This is the second time in just two posting from you to me, that you’ve inferred that somehow my opinions are flawed by some sort of Ukrainian nationalist leanings? I might be so careless to infer that your own opinions are somehow flawed by an awkward leaning towards Russian nationalist feelings, but I don’t! :-(

    In the circumstances, yes, broadly. It was a remarkable display of the proportionate, disciplined and competent, controlled use of force.

    So, would it be safe to say that you have the same feelings towards Germany’s anschluss of the Sudetenland in 1938? After all, there really wasn’t much difference in the two operations that I can see?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    I do not ‘forgive you’. This is the second time in just two posting from you to me, that you’ve inferred that somehow my opinions are flawed by some sort of Ukrainian nationalist leanings? I might be so careless to infer that your own opinions are somehow flawed by an awkward leaning towards Russian nationalist feelings, but I don’t!
     
    Well I'm not Russian, whereas I've received an impression - please do correct me if I'm wrong - from your regular past posts on this topic that you are Ukrainian, or have Ukrainian connections or loyalties.

    Generally I find that your opinions on events in the Ukraine are not ones I agree with, and that they consistently err on the Ukrainian nationalist side.

    So, would it be safe to say that you have the same feelings towards Germany’s anschluss of the Sudetenland in 1938? After all, there really wasn’t much difference in the two operations that I can see?
     
    Anschluss is usually used in English historical accounts to refer to the union with Austria, not the annexation of the Sudetenland.

    While there are similarities in the contexts and operations of each with the Crimea operation, they are in either case dwarfed by the differences.

    And anyone who thinks Putin and Russia today bear the slightest significant similarity to Hitler and to Germany in the late 1930s respectively is either profoundly stupid, profoundly ignorant, or lying.
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  35. My Yugo friends tell me this is exactly how their troubles started. But I have my doubts: Cats appear to be extremely pacifistic, and this is where it differs. Cats lose.

    Read More
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  36. Randal says:
    @Mr. Hack

    On the former, many would disagree and forgive me for suggesting you are in no way objective in your assessment
     
    I do not ‘forgive you’. This is the second time in just two posting from you to me, that you’ve inferred that somehow my opinions are flawed by some sort of Ukrainian nationalist leanings? I might be so careless to infer that your own opinions are somehow flawed by an awkward leaning towards Russian nationalist feelings, but I don’t! :-(

    In the circumstances, yes, broadly. It was a remarkable display of the proportionate, disciplined and competent, controlled use of force.
     
    So, would it be safe to say that you have the same feelings towards Germany's anschluss of the Sudetenland in 1938? After all, there really wasn't much difference in the two operations that I can see?

    I do not ‘forgive you’. This is the second time in just two posting from you to me, that you’ve inferred that somehow my opinions are flawed by some sort of Ukrainian nationalist leanings? I might be so careless to infer that your own opinions are somehow flawed by an awkward leaning towards Russian nationalist feelings, but I don’t!

    Well I’m not Russian, whereas I’ve received an impression – please do correct me if I’m wrong – from your regular past posts on this topic that you are Ukrainian, or have Ukrainian connections or loyalties.

    Generally I find that your opinions on events in the Ukraine are not ones I agree with, and that they consistently err on the Ukrainian nationalist side.

    So, would it be safe to say that you have the same feelings towards Germany’s anschluss of the Sudetenland in 1938? After all, there really wasn’t much difference in the two operations that I can see?

    Anschluss is usually used in English historical accounts to refer to the union with Austria, not the annexation of the Sudetenland.

    While there are similarities in the contexts and operations of each with the Crimea operation, they are in either case dwarfed by the differences.

    And anyone who thinks Putin and Russia today bear the slightest significant similarity to Hitler and to Germany in the late 1930s respectively is either profoundly stupid, profoundly ignorant, or lying.

    Read More
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  37. Mr. Hack says:

    Well I’m not Russian, whereas I’ve received an impression – please do correct me if I’m wrong – from your regular past posts on this topic that you are Ukrainian, or have Ukrainian connections or loyalties.

    I do indeed have Ukrainian roots, but in no way do I see this as an impediment to my expressing a valid opinion. If you feel that this somehow disqualifies me from voicing a valid opinion, please explain to me why? I, do not discount anybody’s opinions about any subject matter, based on their ethnicity, race, etc; Everybody gets their two cents worth with me.

    While there are similarities in the contexts and operations of each with the Crimea operation, they are in either case dwarfed by the differences.

    The differences ‘dwarf’ any similarities? I’m all ears…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    Regardless of similarities or dissimilarities, what exactly was the problem with annexation of the Sudetenland?

    And what about the Soviet annexation of Galicia and Volhynia in 1939 - was that another great injustice, or was it justified? And if it was indeed a great injustice, should it be now rectified by returning these territories to Poland?
    , @Randal

    I do indeed have Ukrainian roots, but in no way do I see this as an impediment to my expressing a valid opinion.
     
    It in no way impedes you from expressing an opinion. Whether the opinion is valid or not is another matter.

    If you feel that this somehow disqualifies me from voicing a valid opinion, please explain to me why? I, do not discount anybody’s opinions about any subject matter, based on their ethnicity, race, etc; Everybody gets their two cents worth with me.
     
    Your opinions stand or fall on their own merits, as do all opinions expressed on an anonymous discussion forum. But in my opinion, your past expressed opinions on matters close to Ukrainian nationalist interests have been consistently wrong (or over-stated) in a manner consistent with their having been distorted by your national loyalty. Such as, for instance, the comical attempt to portray Putin and Russia as in some way equivalent to Hitler and 1930s Germany, respectively.

    What is important, of course, is that those opinions are in general wrong (imo, obviously), not your motivation for holding them, which is a collateral matter.

    , @LondonBob
    Putin is interested only in reuniting the parts of Russia taken away when the Soviet Union disbanded, unfortunately Hitler wished for the old German dream of an empire in the east, or lebensraum. If only Hitler was interested solely in ein volk, ein reich.

    Are there going to mysterious gunmen shooting protestors like there were in Kiev, or Taksim square back in the day. Don't ever accuse the CIA of being original

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taksim_Square_massacre
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  38. melanf says:
    @Mr. Hack
    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner. I think that this is a good thing, to help defray military confrontations. Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
    'Little green men' sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation, followed by a 'referendum' basically at the point of a gun orchestrated within a few weeks of an invasion? Absolutely, no consultations with the Ukrainian government? And why? Was Russian language usage within the isthmus in any real danger? Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged? No, what I think that we saw played out in the Crimea was pure naked Russian aggression of the worst uncivilized sort, harking back to the beginning of time of the sort described in the Bible in the story of Cain and Abel.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.

    Was Russian language usage within the isthmus in any real danger? Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged?

    Yes. Beyond any doubt.

    Read More
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  39. melanf says:
    @Mr. Hack
    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner. I think that this is a good thing, to help defray military confrontations. Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
    'Little green men' sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation, followed by a 'referendum' basically at the point of a gun orchestrated within a few weeks of an invasion? Absolutely, no consultations with the Ukrainian government? And why? Was Russian language usage within the isthmus in any real danger? Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged? No, what I think that we saw played out in the Crimea was pure naked Russian aggression of the worst uncivilized sort, harking back to the beginning of time of the sort described in the Bible in the story of Cain and Abel.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.

    followed by a ‘referendum’ basically at the point of a gun

    Why repeat the obvious propaganda? Residents of Crimea voted in full accordance with their desires (just as they voted against Ukraine in 1991 and 1994). “Point of a gun” to the results of the referendum is irrelevant. You can consider the referendum illegal, a criminal, whatever….
    But it’s pointless to deny that the vast majority of the population of Crimea voted for joining to Russia

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  40. Ah the Russian connection, I have been wondering if Catalonia is tricksy enough to pursue it. Russians want ports in the Mediterranean don’t they? NATO has it all locked up. Catalonia is currently NATO. Catalonia has Med ports. Uncle Vlady likes to support independence movements in western NATO powers…

    If I was Catalonia it would be my preferred strategy. They plainly lack for aircraft carrier groups.

    As for Spain going full falangist… who does not see this coming (besides maybe Catalonian leftists)? I fear Madrid has not yet even begun to Falange. What do people think Spain is? What do they think it’s been doing for 600+ years? What do you think made Franco and the Falangists go Falange in the first place?

    This is why aircraft carrier groups in Barcelona is so much more material than dingbat popular support. Meat superiority has not mattered since 1914. You cannot clog a meat grinder with meat.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Franco never really went Falange; he co-opted it and the FET y de las JONS mostly lost the associations of the old Falange.
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  41. @Mr. Hack

    Well I’m not Russian, whereas I’ve received an impression – please do correct me if I’m wrong – from your regular past posts on this topic that you are Ukrainian, or have Ukrainian connections or loyalties.
     
    I do indeed have Ukrainian roots, but in no way do I see this as an impediment to my expressing a valid opinion. If you feel that this somehow disqualifies me from voicing a valid opinion, please explain to me why? I, do not discount anybody's opinions about any subject matter, based on their ethnicity, race, etc; Everybody gets their two cents worth with me.

    While there are similarities in the contexts and operations of each with the Crimea operation, they are in either case dwarfed by the differences.
     
    The differences 'dwarf' any similarities? I'm all ears...

    Regardless of similarities or dissimilarities, what exactly was the problem with annexation of the Sudetenland?

    And what about the Soviet annexation of Galicia and Volhynia in 1939 – was that another great injustice, or was it justified? And if it was indeed a great injustice, should it be now rectified by returning these territories to Poland?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Regardless of similarities or dissimilarities, what exactly was the problem with annexation of the Sudetenland
     
    In and of itself, nothing. There was a historical German majority there, who wanted to be part of Germany. It was legally agreed to by all parties (including the Czechs, under pressure) and the territorial adjustment occurred after the agreement was made, not through an invasion.

    The problem was context - it was the springboard for the later annexation of the Czech lands, which was inexcusable. And the guy doing the annexation was a monster.

    So this was quite different from Crimea. On the one hand, Crimea unlike Sudetenland was clearly illegal. It was not a result of a deal cut with various countries and signed by Kiev. There was an actual invasion. There were fewer Russians as a % of the population in Crimea (60%) than Germans in Sudetenland (over 80%). Russians weren't a plurality in Crimea until around 1900 and weren't a majority until the 1940s when the native Tatars were all expelled; Germans had been the majority in Sudetenland since at least the 14th century.

    On the other hand, Russia hasn't followed up Crimea by annexing the rest of Ukraine, and Putin is no Hitler.

    And what about the Soviet annexation of Galicia and Volhynia in 1939
     
    Different circumstances. Galicia and Volynia became part of Poland due to an invasion, and Polish rule was eventually officially recognized by the League of Nations in exchange for local autonomy (which never happened) a promise that a referendum be held in 1939. Poland naturally had no plans and did not run this referendum. So Poland's legal claim was somewhat tenuous.
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  42. Randal says:

    A shifting tone?

    Three months ago:

    Catalonia will declare independence from Spain within 48 hours if voters back secession in an October referendum, according to a draft bill proposed by secessionist parties on Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether the vote will go ahead.
    ….
    If “Yes” wins, the regional government plans to declare independence within 48 hours. If “No” wins, an early election would be called to form a new regional government.

    Sunday night:

    “The citizens of Catalonia have won the right to have an independent state,” Puigdemont said in a televised statement, flanked by members of his regional administration.
    ….
    Before the government crackdown began, separatist leaders said they would be comfortable declaring independence with about 1.8 million votes.

    Monday:

    At a news conference on Monday, Mr Puigdemont said: “We don’t want a traumatic break… We want a new understanding with the Spanish state”.

    Puigdemont described the crackdown as an “unjustified, excessive and irresponsible use of violence.”

    “The European Union can no longer look the other way,” he said after the polls had closed. “It must act swiftly to maintain its moral authority inside and outside the continent when these abuses are scandalizing good men and women all around the world.”

    Good luck with that one mate. Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.
     
    Why, let's be fair: they might organize a committee with five subcommittees that will be analyzing all the aspects of the situation for the next 20 years or so. And it will eventually issue a report.
    , @notanon

    Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.
     
    The EU is looking the other way while the spotlight is fully on the issue. I think that's what has shook the Catalan leadership - they expected the EU to restrain the Spanish government from going too far and didn't realize that only sociopaths could have created an EU in its current form. The Eurocrats would happily let Spain mow them down with machine guns if it suited them and they thought they could get away with it.
    , @Randal

    A shifting tone?

    Three months ago:
    ....
    Sunday night:
    ....
    Monday:
     
    Perhaps not? Today:

    Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC.

    Is Puigdemont bluffing in the hope of extracting some autonomy concessions out of Madrid with some brinkmanship? Or is he going to go through with it?

    Seems likely to me he will be making a mistake if he does go ahead with a UDI. Contrary to some suggestions here it looks to me as though Rajoy might prove to have played it well. The referendum was clearly established as having been illegal and uncondoned, real support for independence looks well below 50% even in Catalonia, and if some Catalans might have been pushed towards it by the rather tame "police brutality" they experienced when they broke the law and tried to obstruct the police in the performance of their duties, there seems little real sympathy (beyond a bit of virtue signalling and hand-wringing crocodile tears) in the wider world from anyone of any importance, and almost zero sympathy in the rest of Spain.

    Had he instead allowed the referendum to proceed uncontested, it would have had a much higher turnout with probably still a big majority for independence and the secessionists would be on a roll and untarnished, instead of looking pretty ragged and mobbish in the eyes of most of the rest of Spain. And the crisis point where independence will have to be either suppressed by force or allowed to proceed by default would still be looming anyway (assuming the separatists do go for it).

    Still, these are risky and uncertain issues and there is plenty of room for a misstep by either side to swing things dramatically, either way.
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  43. Randal says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Well I’m not Russian, whereas I’ve received an impression – please do correct me if I’m wrong – from your regular past posts on this topic that you are Ukrainian, or have Ukrainian connections or loyalties.
     
    I do indeed have Ukrainian roots, but in no way do I see this as an impediment to my expressing a valid opinion. If you feel that this somehow disqualifies me from voicing a valid opinion, please explain to me why? I, do not discount anybody's opinions about any subject matter, based on their ethnicity, race, etc; Everybody gets their two cents worth with me.

    While there are similarities in the contexts and operations of each with the Crimea operation, they are in either case dwarfed by the differences.
     
    The differences 'dwarf' any similarities? I'm all ears...

    I do indeed have Ukrainian roots, but in no way do I see this as an impediment to my expressing a valid opinion.

    It in no way impedes you from expressing an opinion. Whether the opinion is valid or not is another matter.

    If you feel that this somehow disqualifies me from voicing a valid opinion, please explain to me why? I, do not discount anybody’s opinions about any subject matter, based on their ethnicity, race, etc; Everybody gets their two cents worth with me.

    Your opinions stand or fall on their own merits, as do all opinions expressed on an anonymous discussion forum. But in my opinion, your past expressed opinions on matters close to Ukrainian nationalist interests have been consistently wrong (or over-stated) in a manner consistent with their having been distorted by your national loyalty. Such as, for instance, the comical attempt to portray Putin and Russia as in some way equivalent to Hitler and 1930s Germany, respectively.

    What is important, of course, is that those opinions are in general wrong (imo, obviously), not your motivation for holding them, which is a collateral matter.

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  44. Mr. Hack says:

    Such as, for instance, the comical attempt to portray Putin and Russia as in some way equivalent to Hitler and 1930s Germany, respectively.

    These opinions are widely held throughout the world and were not the invention of ‘Ukrainian nationalists’ as you would infer.

    The prince then said ‘And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler’.
    “I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do. I was very surprised that he made the comment as I know they [members of the Royal Family] aren’t meant to say these things but it was very heartfelt and honest.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-charles/10845309/Prince-Charles-compares-Vladimir-Putin-to-Adolf-Hitler.html

    US reports said Merkel phoned Barack Obama on Sunday evening after speaking to the Russian president to press him to back down from his invasion of Ukraine and occupation of the Crimean peninsula.

    “She was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. ‘In another world,’ she said,” the New York Times reported.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/03/ukraine-vladimir-putin-angela-merkel-russian

    You know, everybody can express an opinion, and to boldly come out and label mine as ‘generally wrong’ is highly presumptuous and arrogant of you. I’m still waiting to hear from you your own summation as to why the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea was significantly different than the German anschluss of the Sudetenland.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    These opinions are widely held throughout the world
     
    By the stupid, the ignorant and the dishonest, as you have highlighted with your examples.

    You know, everybody can express an opinion
     
    Yes, that's what I did.

    to boldly come out and label mine as ‘generally wrong’ is highly presumptuous and arrogant of you.
     
    OK.

    I’m still waiting to hear from you your own summation as to why the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea was significantly different than the German anschluss of the Sudetenland.
     
    Too lazy, frankly. It requires more motivation than just setting the record straight yet again on an aside to a discussion on an anonymous forum to make me bother trying to discuss history with a zealot in relation to his particular zealotry. I've done it many times before when I have been more motivated to bother with it - a number of times on this very topic - and it's not a very productive use of time.

    The history is out there. Go and try reading it without your distorting lenses in place.
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  45. @Randal
    A shifting tone?

    Three months ago:

    Catalonia will declare independence from Spain within 48 hours if voters back secession in an October referendum, according to a draft bill proposed by secessionist parties on Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether the vote will go ahead.
    ....
    If “Yes” wins, the regional government plans to declare independence within 48 hours. If “No” wins, an early election would be called to form a new regional government.
     
    Sunday night:

    “The citizens of Catalonia have won the right to have an independent state,” Puigdemont said in a televised statement, flanked by members of his regional administration.
    ....
    Before the government crackdown began, separatist leaders said they would be comfortable declaring independence with about 1.8 million votes.
     
    Monday:

    At a news conference on Monday, Mr Puigdemont said: "We don't want a traumatic break... We want a new understanding with the Spanish state".
     

    Puigdemont described the crackdown as an “unjustified, excessive and irresponsible use of violence.”

    “The European Union can no longer look the other way,” he said after the polls had closed. “It must act swiftly to maintain its moral authority inside and outside the continent when these abuses are scandalizing good men and women all around the world.”
     
    Good luck with that one mate. Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.

    Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.

    Why, let’s be fair: they might organize a committee with five subcommittees that will be analyzing all the aspects of the situation for the next 20 years or so. And it will eventually issue a report.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    ...and that's if they are pushed into moving fast on it.
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  46. Randal says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Such as, for instance, the comical attempt to portray Putin and Russia as in some way equivalent to Hitler and 1930s Germany, respectively.
     
    These opinions are widely held throughout the world and were not the invention of 'Ukrainian nationalists' as you would infer.

    "


    The prince then said 'And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler'.
    "I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do. I was very surprised that he made the comment as I know they [members of the Royal Family] aren’t meant to say these things but it was very heartfelt and honest.
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-charles/10845309/Prince-Charles-compares-Vladimir-Putin-to-Adolf-Hitler.html

    US reports said Merkel phoned Barack Obama on Sunday evening after speaking to the Russian president to press him to back down from his invasion of Ukraine and occupation of the Crimean peninsula.

    "She was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. 'In another world,' she said," the New York Times reported.
     

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/03/ukraine-vladimir-putin-angela-merkel-russian


    You know, everybody can express an opinion, and to boldly come out and label mine as 'generally wrong' is highly presumptuous and arrogant of you. I'm still waiting to hear from you your own summation as to why the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea was significantly different than the German anschluss of the Sudetenland.

    These opinions are widely held throughout the world

    By the stupid, the ignorant and the dishonest, as you have highlighted with your examples.

    You know, everybody can express an opinion

    Yes, that’s what I did.

    to boldly come out and label mine as ‘generally wrong’ is highly presumptuous and arrogant of you.

    OK.

    I’m still waiting to hear from you your own summation as to why the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea was significantly different than the German anschluss of the Sudetenland.

    Too lazy, frankly. It requires more motivation than just setting the record straight yet again on an aside to a discussion on an anonymous forum to make me bother trying to discuss history with a zealot in relation to his particular zealotry. I’ve done it many times before when I have been more motivated to bother with it – a number of times on this very topic – and it’s not a very productive use of time.

    The history is out there. Go and try reading it without your distorting lenses in place.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I’ve done it many times before when I have been more motivated to bother with it – a number of times on this very topic – and it’s not a very productive use of time.
     
    'Many times'eh? What's the matter, you're not aware of cut and paste? Should be n easy matter. Whose lens is really the one fogged up with 'distortion'?
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  47. Randal says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.
     
    Why, let's be fair: they might organize a committee with five subcommittees that will be analyzing all the aspects of the situation for the next 20 years or so. And it will eventually issue a report.

    …and that’s if they are pushed into moving fast on it.

    Read More
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  48. “why the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea was significantly different than the German anschluss of the Sudetenland.”

    The Anschluss was of Austria, not the Sudentenland. As for why Russian annexation of Crimea is different, from which one, Austria or Sudentenland?

    It is more similar to the Anschluss of Austria. If we compare to what Hitler did with the Sudentenland, first Russia would have to have gotten NATO approval for taking the Crimea, then they would have to have taken the whole the Ukraine instead.

    And even that means nothing, the annexation of Czechloslovakia did not start WWII. If Hitler had stopped there he may have gotten away with it.

    If we want to compare Putin to Hitler just for rhetoric’s sake we certainly can, but between Hitler’s annexation of Austria and Putin’s annexation of Crimea, we might ask how either differs from America’s Anschluss of the Philippines. Then, the answer would be, the takeover of the Philippines had not even a fig leaf of a pretext of being democratic. It did however, work and the US still has bases in the Philippines.

    We’ll know Putin is recapitulating Hitler when NATO agrees to give him the Donbass and he takes Gallicia-Volhynia instead, and then invades Poland.

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  49. I gotta say, I’m pretty shaken by the Las Vegas thing. When that shooting in Orlando happened I wasn’t happy but I didn’t care because all the victims hated white people and supported mass immigration, but this was a country music concert so it was probably all Trump supporters that got killed. Just nothing good came out of this at all.

    Usually this kinda stuff doesn’t bother me but this one is bothering me a lot.

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  50. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Brabantian
    What is over-riding here 'legally', is self-determination for Catalan or other peoples as per the much-ignored UN Charter, which Spain & most nations of the world have signed ... leading one to also 'stand with Israel' in support of the rights of Kurds to have their own contiguous nation where they live, carved from the colonial-arbitrary-boundary Iraq, Syria, Turkey & Iran

    However corrupt, tied to evil parties etc., people still have a right to sort out their own affairs, the right to ruin themselves under their own mafias. Am reminded here of Israeli Uri Avnery's story of when Russian-Jewish oligarch Boris Berezovsky, appeared on Israeli television boasting


    That Berezovsky caused the war in Chechnya, in which tens of thousands have been killed & a whole country devastated. He was interested in the mineral resources & a prospective pipeline there. In order to achieve this he put an end to the peace agreement that gave Chechnya some kind of independence. The oligarchs dismissed & destroyed Alexander Lebed, the popular general who engineered the agreement.

     

    The Catalans showing 'how it is done' are making all the big powers nervous. China with its Uighurs & Tibetans under Han domination; Russia with its Chechens chafing, who are one day certainly to be free of Moscow.

    Catalonia is giving a full-bore exposure of Putin's hypocrisy in Donbass / East Ukraine, where after the Anschluß with Crimea, Putin invited the Donbass to have their own referenda as well, whilst the blood was still drying from the anti-Russian Odessa massacre by the Kiev Ukrainians ... the Donbass people voted, but then Putin sabotaged & restricted the Igor 'Strelkov' Girkin etc efforts to liberate them, allowing the killing of many by Nato goons

    Bibi Netanyahu in Israel is immensely clever by aligning Israel with the secessionist / nationalist movements in many places, over against his Jewish rivals in the George Soros globalist camp

    If my cousins and I buy up a block and declare ourselves a people, do we have a right to self-determination?

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  51. Mr. Hack says:
    @Randal

    These opinions are widely held throughout the world
     
    By the stupid, the ignorant and the dishonest, as you have highlighted with your examples.

    You know, everybody can express an opinion
     
    Yes, that's what I did.

    to boldly come out and label mine as ‘generally wrong’ is highly presumptuous and arrogant of you.
     
    OK.

    I’m still waiting to hear from you your own summation as to why the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea was significantly different than the German anschluss of the Sudetenland.
     
    Too lazy, frankly. It requires more motivation than just setting the record straight yet again on an aside to a discussion on an anonymous forum to make me bother trying to discuss history with a zealot in relation to his particular zealotry. I've done it many times before when I have been more motivated to bother with it - a number of times on this very topic - and it's not a very productive use of time.

    The history is out there. Go and try reading it without your distorting lenses in place.

    I’ve done it many times before when I have been more motivated to bother with it – a number of times on this very topic – and it’s not a very productive use of time.

    ‘Many times’eh? What’s the matter, you’re not aware of cut and paste? Should be n easy matter. Whose lens is really the one fogged up with ‘distortion’?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Well I've been discussing wars and interventionism online since there was an online to do so on. I've got thousands of comments on Unz and on Disqus and on now defunct newspaper forums just since 2014, and the stupid attempt to smear Putin/modern Russia as the new Hitler/1930s Germany has been tried repeatedly since probably 2008, so I'm not going to go digging through all that just to argue with you. You've made your assertion and I've made my disagreement clear. Maybe another time I'll be less lazy.
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  52. Mr. Hack says:

    I meant the incorporation of the Sudetenland, and how that act violated the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia.

    the annexation of Czechloslovakia did not start WWII. If Hitler had stopped there he may have gotten away with it.

    And the Russian annexation of the Crimea has not started WWIII. A similarity?

    the takeover of the Philippines had not even a fig leaf of a pretext of being democratic. It did however, work and the US still has bases in the Philippines.

    Russia’s ability to maintain its naval base in Sevastopol was not an issue before 2014. And a majority of Ukraine’s citizens expressed no interest in joining NATO at that time. There are several other countries within the EU that are not NATO members, and until the Russian annexation of the Crimea, showed no interests in cozying up. The Ukrainian government was content in receiving rents from Russia for its base there, and discounts on energy credits. Of course, this has all changed now.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Russia’s ability to maintain its naval base in Sevastopol was not an issue before 2014.
     
    You see, this is the kind of outright falsehood you often seem to come out with on this particular topic. Even if you are ignorant of the history, I can clearly recall all the noise from Yuschenko about not renewing the original lease when it expired in 2017 (and all his noise about joining NATO), only finally ended when Yanukovch fortunately was elected in 2010 and negotiated an extension (at an extortionate price).

    Here are the well known Kremlin stooges at the New York Times discussing the matter back in 2009:

    Russia and Ukraine in Intensifying Standoff

    After the Soviet fall, Russia reached a deal with Ukraine to maintain the base in Sevastopol, under a lease that ends in 2017. The Ukrainian president, Viktor A. Yushchenko, has declared that it will not be renewed, though his successors may not concur.
     
    And note, by the way, the unusually honest description of the situation in the Crimea (which would not be repeated in the NYT today, of course - the shift of propaganda gears is a bit like watching The Beast of War followed by a modern US sphere film about the Taliban):

    The situation is particularly uneasy because the population in Crimea is roughly 60 percent ethnic Russian and would prefer that the peninsula separate from Ukraine and be part of Russia. (Sevastopol has an even higher proportion of ethnic Russians.)
     
    And here's the BBC back in 2005 talking about the threats made by Orange politicians to the long term status of the base:

    Russian fleet in Crimean doldrums

    The Black Sea Fleet was divided up between Russia and Ukraine following the collapse of the USSR. A bilateral agreement means that Russia is allowed to have a naval base here until 2017.

    Some Ukrainian politicians are now saying that it must withdraw after that date.
    ......
    Crimea used to be part of Russia; it was only in the 1950s that became part of what is now Ukraine. Many people here still feel Russian and speak Russian.

    "The Russian Black Sea Fleet belongs in Crimea. It should be able to stay here," says Oleg, a 19-year-old sailor.

    But Ukrainian students who want to see an end to the Russian military presence held small protests in Crimea last month.

    Less influence

    President Viktor Yushchenko also appears unhappy about Ukraine's agreement with Russia. His election following the "Orange Revolution" dramatically altered his country's relationship with Moscow.

    Mr Yushchenko favours closer ties with Nato and Europe.

    "The Black Sea Fleet's situation has become a problem for the Ukrainian government," says Valentin Badrak, a military analyst in Kiev.

    "The new authorities are considering whether there should be a withdrawal of the Russian Black Sea Fleet because the base could stand in the way of Ukraine joining Nato."
     
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  53. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Lars Porsena
    Ah the Russian connection, I have been wondering if Catalonia is tricksy enough to pursue it. Russians want ports in the Mediterranean don't they? NATO has it all locked up. Catalonia is currently NATO. Catalonia has Med ports. Uncle Vlady likes to support independence movements in western NATO powers...

    If I was Catalonia it would be my preferred strategy. They plainly lack for aircraft carrier groups.

    As for Spain going full falangist... who does not see this coming (besides maybe Catalonian leftists)? I fear Madrid has not yet even begun to Falange. What do people think Spain is? What do they think it's been doing for 600+ years? What do you think made Franco and the Falangists go Falange in the first place?

    This is why aircraft carrier groups in Barcelona is so much more material than dingbat popular support. Meat superiority has not mattered since 1914. You cannot clog a meat grinder with meat.

    Franco never really went Falange; he co-opted it and the FET y de las JONS mostly lost the associations of the old Falange.

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    • Replies: @Matra
    Franco ran an authoritarian conservative or bureaucratic regime, not a fascist one, despite what most mainstream commentators seem to believe today. The Falange got less than 1% of the vote in the 1936 elections. They never had much influence with Franco.
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  54. Mr. Hack,

    I think a comparison to the Anschluss of Austria is more apt for the Crimea.

    Not least because they both covered it with democratic votes showing majority support for annexation. The Czech annexation was a deal Hitler brokered with outside powers. There was no agreement between Britain and France and Russia to part out the Crimea, nor an agreement with Poland to share it.

    Also the ethnic component. Czechloslovakia was not majority German, Austria was. And Crimea is majority Russian.

    If the point is mere violation of sovereignty, we have a lot more comparisons to make. Practically every conflict ever fought has included those. That does not make them all tantamount to Hitler.

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    • Replies: @AP

    I think a comparison to the Anschluss of Austria is more apt for the Crimea
     
    As in Sudetenland, the invader took a slice of another country's territory. The majority population of this seized territory was the same ethnicity as that of the invader, and supported this annexation. However, in the case of Sudetenland, the invader got "permission" from the invaded country's supposed allies and the invaded country itself agreed (under duress) to accept the theft of its territory. German troops did not enter Sudetenland until after everything was officially agreed to. In this sense, the seizure of Sudetenland was more above board than was the Russian seizure of Crimea.

    Of course, this is a strict comparison of the two events, ignoring the broader context. Seizing Sudetenland was the first step in the annexation of the entire invaded country. Russia has not followed the seizure of Crimea with an annexation of the rest of Ukraine. Sudetenland was seized by Hitler. Putin is no Hitler. Etc.

    But the two acts themselves are comparable and, indeed, Crimea is even worse as there was not even a semblance of legality involved, it was a military invasion, the seized territory was less Russian (about 60%) than Sudetenland was German (over 80%) and Russian historical presence was much less substantial in Crimea than the German one was in Sudetenlend; Russians weren't even a majority in Crimea until the Tatars were expelled in the 1940s, while Sudetenland had been majority-German since probably the 14th century.
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  55. Randal says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I’ve done it many times before when I have been more motivated to bother with it – a number of times on this very topic – and it’s not a very productive use of time.
     
    'Many times'eh? What's the matter, you're not aware of cut and paste? Should be n easy matter. Whose lens is really the one fogged up with 'distortion'?

    Well I’ve been discussing wars and interventionism online since there was an online to do so on. I’ve got thousands of comments on Unz and on Disqus and on now defunct newspaper forums just since 2014, and the stupid attempt to smear Putin/modern Russia as the new Hitler/1930s Germany has been tried repeatedly since probably 2008, so I’m not going to go digging through all that just to argue with you. You’ve made your assertion and I’ve made my disagreement clear. Maybe another time I’ll be less lazy.

    Read More
    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I appreciate your honesty, and if you recall, I started our dialogue by giving your first comment at this thread a thumbs up. I didn't appreciate your subsequent insinuations that somehow somebody with a Ukrainian affiliation has somehow an invalid or tainted opinion. Let's try to keep our dialogues in the future civil, and not try to see something into our opinions that is somehow dishonest or invalid because of our ethnicity, etc;
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  56. notanon says:
    @Brabantian
    What is over-riding here 'legally', is self-determination for Catalan or other peoples as per the much-ignored UN Charter, which Spain & most nations of the world have signed ... leading one to also 'stand with Israel' in support of the rights of Kurds to have their own contiguous nation where they live, carved from the colonial-arbitrary-boundary Iraq, Syria, Turkey & Iran

    However corrupt, tied to evil parties etc., people still have a right to sort out their own affairs, the right to ruin themselves under their own mafias. Am reminded here of Israeli Uri Avnery's story of when Russian-Jewish oligarch Boris Berezovsky, appeared on Israeli television boasting


    That Berezovsky caused the war in Chechnya, in which tens of thousands have been killed & a whole country devastated. He was interested in the mineral resources & a prospective pipeline there. In order to achieve this he put an end to the peace agreement that gave Chechnya some kind of independence. The oligarchs dismissed & destroyed Alexander Lebed, the popular general who engineered the agreement.

     

    The Catalans showing 'how it is done' are making all the big powers nervous. China with its Uighurs & Tibetans under Han domination; Russia with its Chechens chafing, who are one day certainly to be free of Moscow.

    Catalonia is giving a full-bore exposure of Putin's hypocrisy in Donbass / East Ukraine, where after the Anschluß with Crimea, Putin invited the Donbass to have their own referenda as well, whilst the blood was still drying from the anti-Russian Odessa massacre by the Kiev Ukrainians ... the Donbass people voted, but then Putin sabotaged & restricted the Igor 'Strelkov' Girkin etc efforts to liberate them, allowing the killing of many by Nato goons

    Bibi Netanyahu in Israel is immensely clever by aligning Israel with the secessionist / nationalist movements in many places, over against his Jewish rivals in the George Soros globalist camp

    Bibi Netanyahu in Israel is immensely clever by aligning Israel with the secessionist / nationalist movements in many places, over against his Jewish rivals in the George Soros globalist camp

    that’s the most interesting aspect of this imo

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  57. Matra says:
    @Anon
    Franco never really went Falange; he co-opted it and the FET y de las JONS mostly lost the associations of the old Falange.

    Franco ran an authoritarian conservative or bureaucratic regime, not a fascist one, despite what most mainstream commentators seem to believe today. The Falange got less than 1% of the vote in the 1936 elections. They never had much influence with Franco.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    No, but they provided a good safety valve for people who were previously uncommitted or hostile to be included in the Movimiento; including ex-anarchists and other ex-leftists to the point it became known to some as the FAI-lange.
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  58. AP says:
    @Lars Porsena
    Mr. Hack,

    I think a comparison to the Anschluss of Austria is more apt for the Crimea.

    Not least because they both covered it with democratic votes showing majority support for annexation. The Czech annexation was a deal Hitler brokered with outside powers. There was no agreement between Britain and France and Russia to part out the Crimea, nor an agreement with Poland to share it.

    Also the ethnic component. Czechloslovakia was not majority German, Austria was. And Crimea is majority Russian.

    If the point is mere violation of sovereignty, we have a lot more comparisons to make. Practically every conflict ever fought has included those. That does not make them all tantamount to Hitler.

    I think a comparison to the Anschluss of Austria is more apt for the Crimea

    As in Sudetenland, the invader took a slice of another country’s territory. The majority population of this seized territory was the same ethnicity as that of the invader, and supported this annexation. However, in the case of Sudetenland, the invader got “permission” from the invaded country’s supposed allies and the invaded country itself agreed (under duress) to accept the theft of its territory. German troops did not enter Sudetenland until after everything was officially agreed to. In this sense, the seizure of Sudetenland was more above board than was the Russian seizure of Crimea.

    Of course, this is a strict comparison of the two events, ignoring the broader context. Seizing Sudetenland was the first step in the annexation of the entire invaded country. Russia has not followed the seizure of Crimea with an annexation of the rest of Ukraine. Sudetenland was seized by Hitler. Putin is no Hitler. Etc.

    But the two acts themselves are comparable and, indeed, Crimea is even worse as there was not even a semblance of legality involved, it was a military invasion, the seized territory was less Russian (about 60%) than Sudetenland was German (over 80%) and Russian historical presence was much less substantial in Crimea than the German one was in Sudetenlend; Russians weren’t even a majority in Crimea until the Tatars were expelled in the 1940s, while Sudetenland had been majority-German since probably the 14th century.

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  59. notanon says:
    @Randal

    First, does this mean that only “based” nations should have a right to national self-determination?
     
    The issue is, as usual, what counts as a nation? When does a region (such as Kosovo, Crimea, Scotland, Catalonia, Northern Ireland, the Basque country, Quebec, etc) with differing culture, history and/or language count as a nation and therefore acquire the supposed collective right of self determination?

    This question, I submit, is not open to a simplistic answer in either direction. In practice it probably comes down to the same issue as most international questions do - might makes right. A group becomes a nation with the right to self-determination if it is willing and able to fight hard enough to get it, and to defend it thereafter. Of course, this does not really help us to determine in advance whether a particular national self-determination cause is "right" or "wrong".

    But it certainly seems as reasonable as anything else to ask what reason there might be to support a putative "nation" whose people have no intention of defending their true nationhood against mass immigration, and evidently no collective understanding even of the need and reasons for doing so.


    Second, as Alt Left points out, getting rid of political dead weight (e.g. California in the US) would actually raise the ability of the rest of the country to push forwards the sort of political change that the Alt Right advocates.
     
    This is an old argument, much used in relation to the question of Scottish secession, which would (if you assume existing voting patterns would be largely maintained) pretty much ensure that there would never be another Labour Party government in England and Wales. Though what that is worth these days is questionable, when the "Conservative" Party hierarchy has become fully left liberal globalist, in its abject support of mass immigration, normalisation of homosexual behaviour, interventionism, and all the political correct nonsense on race and sex the left has managed to impose over the past few decades.

    In reality, most likely, there would be shifts in attitudes, voting patterns and political positions in response to the change and any change in overall national position would not be particularly great.


    Eurocrats and Globalism Inc. are predictably unanimous in opposing Catalan separatism. This is perfectly understandable. Spain is part of NATO. The loss of Spain’s biggest donor region will hit its revenues and perhaps reignite its simmering debt crisis.
     
    It's not really an issue for NATO, whose revenues are not greatly dependent upon the Spanish contribution anyway. It is an issue for the EU, because of the conflict between Eurocrat who see breaking up the big countries into more easily bullied regions as the long term strategy for the creation of a United States of Europe, and Eurocrats whose own powerbase is in the existing nation state governments.

    Personally, I'm ambivalent on the Catalan secession. I see it as having advantages and disadvantages if it goes ahead, with the advantages being in the disruption it will cause to the EU short term (with due recognition of potential long term issues that could help the EU elites suppress the nations). If Catalonia were to secede, the Basque country, Scotland etc will all be watching. There will be as much need for the national governments of Spain, Germany, Italy and France to ensure the Catalans are made to suffer, and seen to suffer, as there has been for the EU elites to ensure Britain is seen to "pay a price" for Brexit. That will create a degree of healthy chaos in the EU, for certain.

    Otherwise, it's doubtful the creation of a much more leftist and likely globalist wealthy enclave of SJW types will do much to advance the cause of real nationalism - the breaking up of big nations into smaller and less powerful ones must be a double edged sword, at best (other than in the case of those nation states whose very excessive power is itself the cause of major world problems, namely the US).

    It is an issue for the EU, because of the conflict between Eurocrat who see breaking up the big countries into more easily bullied regions as the long term strategy for the creation of a United States of Europe, and Eurocrats whose own powerbase is in the existing nation state governments.

    Although I assume there is genuine national feeling in Catalonis as well the underlying dynamic of this is farcical. The constituent EU nations send money to the EU and it comes back in the form of bribes to those members of the political class who will betray their nation and swear loyalty to the EU instead and what we have here is two sets of greedy eurocrats competing over their share of that bribe money.

    I agree the EU wants to break Europe up into smaller and more controllable pieces however I don’t think they want to do it on a national scale. I think their model will be what Tito did to Yugoslavia and merge bits of the existing nations together for more effective divide and rule – so for example make a Pyrenees region that includes part of France and part of Spain, add bits of Germany to bits of France, bits of France to bits of Italy etc – dismember everything.

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  60. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Matra
    Franco ran an authoritarian conservative or bureaucratic regime, not a fascist one, despite what most mainstream commentators seem to believe today. The Falange got less than 1% of the vote in the 1936 elections. They never had much influence with Franco.

    No, but they provided a good safety valve for people who were previously uncommitted or hostile to be included in the Movimiento; including ex-anarchists and other ex-leftists to the point it became known to some as the FAI-lange.

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  61. notanon says:
    @5371
    It's hard for irreversible change to get over the top in a close race, as Scotland and Quebec (twice) have shown.

    I think that is generally true although i think it depends a bit on how sure the population is that they are a net contributor to the larger body or not.

    IIRC Catalonia definitely is a net contributor while in the case of Scotland and Quebec it was a lot less certain (not 100% sure on that).

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  62. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    Regardless of similarities or dissimilarities, what exactly was the problem with annexation of the Sudetenland?

    And what about the Soviet annexation of Galicia and Volhynia in 1939 - was that another great injustice, or was it justified? And if it was indeed a great injustice, should it be now rectified by returning these territories to Poland?

    Regardless of similarities or dissimilarities, what exactly was the problem with annexation of the Sudetenland

    In and of itself, nothing. There was a historical German majority there, who wanted to be part of Germany. It was legally agreed to by all parties (including the Czechs, under pressure) and the territorial adjustment occurred after the agreement was made, not through an invasion.

    The problem was context – it was the springboard for the later annexation of the Czech lands, which was inexcusable. And the guy doing the annexation was a monster.

    So this was quite different from Crimea. On the one hand, Crimea unlike Sudetenland was clearly illegal. It was not a result of a deal cut with various countries and signed by Kiev. There was an actual invasion. There were fewer Russians as a % of the population in Crimea (60%) than Germans in Sudetenland (over 80%). Russians weren’t a plurality in Crimea until around 1900 and weren’t a majority until the 1940s when the native Tatars were all expelled; Germans had been the majority in Sudetenland since at least the 14th century.

    On the other hand, Russia hasn’t followed up Crimea by annexing the rest of Ukraine, and Putin is no Hitler.

    And what about the Soviet annexation of Galicia and Volhynia in 1939

    Different circumstances. Galicia and Volynia became part of Poland due to an invasion, and Polish rule was eventually officially recognized by the League of Nations in exchange for local autonomy (which never happened) a promise that a referendum be held in 1939. Poland naturally had no plans and did not run this referendum. So Poland’s legal claim was somewhat tenuous.

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  63. notanon,

    Judging by the history of global imperialism, that sounds like a much better idea to go Sykes-Picot on dozens of little EU statelets. If they can manage… I see no path for that at the moment.

    I am aware there is a branch of the EUcrats that thinks it is a good idea to break the whole of Europe back into medieval statelets because this would make them “easier to control”. These people are called “Idiots” and people opposed to the EU can only hope they get what they ask for.

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    • Replies: @notanon

    I see no path for that at the moment.
     
    Agreed. I see it simply as a possible explanation for why the EU is reluctant to support Catalans, Basques, Scots etc.
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  64. notanon says:
    @Mr. Hack
    All of which you say makes sense to some degree, however, in the post WWII world precedents have been put into place to help resolve border/autonomy issues in a less militaristic and in more of a legalistic manner. I think that this is a good thing, to help defray military confrontations. Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?
    'Little green men' sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation, followed by a 'referendum' basically at the point of a gun orchestrated within a few weeks of an invasion? Absolutely, no consultations with the Ukrainian government? And why? Was Russian language usage within the isthmus in any real danger? Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged? No, what I think that we saw played out in the Crimea was pure naked Russian aggression of the worst uncivilized sort, harking back to the beginning of time of the sort described in the Bible in the story of Cain and Abel.

    There was no serious agitation within Crimea for separation before the Russian invasion, It was a fait accompli orchestrated and supported within the Kremlin.

    Do you feel that the way things were handled by Russia regarding the Crimea was handled in a civilized manner?

    In the context of a CIA for hire staging a coup as a stealth annexation of Ukraine for the benefit of a pack of greedy billionaire sociopaths, yes

    ‘Little green men’ sent to the isthmus with a mission of outright annexation,

    as far as i could tell the “invasion” was getting the tens of thousands of Russian troops already there legally to stand on the grass outside their barracks. The media reporting was a dishonest joke – as usual.

    Was the recently negotiated agreement to extend Russian naval basing in Sevastopol in any sort of danger of being reneged?

    yes obviously.

    No, what I think that we saw played out in the Crimea was pure naked Russian aggression of the worst uncivilized sort, harking back to the beginning of time of the sort described in the Bible in the story of Cain and Abel.

    Israel wants to annex the Golan heights permanently and they want the US to kill hezbollah for them – both of which make sense from a realpolitik point of view.

    The crazy part is the belief that when other people block it (in this cases Russia) they’re doing it out of spite rather than out of their own interests.

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  65. The difference between 1938 Czechoslovakia and 2014 Ukraine is that Ukraine self-liquidated on Feb 22, 2014. It had a coup (or revolution, if you prefer); a flagrant breach of the constitutional order that clearly rendered any legal claim to sovereignty or territorial integrity by the new (usurper) regime null and void. And that’s all there is to it.

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    • Replies: @AP
    So in your world every time a country undergoes a revolution or technically illegal handover of power its borders become null and void and its territory is there for the taking?

    Is this rule enshrined in the UN charter? How long is the official window for the free-for-all?

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  66. notanon says:
    @Lars Porsena
    notanon,

    Judging by the history of global imperialism, that sounds like a much better idea to go Sykes-Picot on dozens of little EU statelets. If they can manage... I see no path for that at the moment.

    I am aware there is a branch of the EUcrats that thinks it is a good idea to break the whole of Europe back into medieval statelets because this would make them "easier to control". These people are called "Idiots" and people opposed to the EU can only hope they get what they ask for.

    I see no path for that at the moment.

    Agreed. I see it simply as a possible explanation for why the EU is reluctant to support Catalans, Basques, Scots etc.

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  67. notanon says:
    @Randal
    A shifting tone?

    Three months ago:

    Catalonia will declare independence from Spain within 48 hours if voters back secession in an October referendum, according to a draft bill proposed by secessionist parties on Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether the vote will go ahead.
    ....
    If “Yes” wins, the regional government plans to declare independence within 48 hours. If “No” wins, an early election would be called to form a new regional government.
     
    Sunday night:

    “The citizens of Catalonia have won the right to have an independent state,” Puigdemont said in a televised statement, flanked by members of his regional administration.
    ....
    Before the government crackdown began, separatist leaders said they would be comfortable declaring independence with about 1.8 million votes.
     
    Monday:

    At a news conference on Monday, Mr Puigdemont said: "We don't want a traumatic break... We want a new understanding with the Spanish state".
     

    Puigdemont described the crackdown as an “unjustified, excessive and irresponsible use of violence.”

    “The European Union can no longer look the other way,” he said after the polls had closed. “It must act swiftly to maintain its moral authority inside and outside the continent when these abuses are scandalizing good men and women all around the world.”
     
    Good luck with that one mate. Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.

    Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.

    The EU is looking the other way while the spotlight is fully on the issue. I think that’s what has shook the Catalan leadership – they expected the EU to restrain the Spanish government from going too far and didn’t realize that only sociopaths could have created an EU in its current form. The Eurocrats would happily let Spain mow them down with machine guns if it suited them and they thought they could get away with it.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    I think that’s what has shook the Catalan leadership – they expected the EU to restrain the Spanish government from going too far and didn’t realize that only sociopaths could have created an EU in its current form. The Eurocrats would happily let Spain mow them down with machine guns if it suited them and they thought they could get away with it.
     
    If the Catalan leadership thought that then they are even more stupidly naïve than most leftist politicians (who aren't outright corrupt).

    I don't think you need to regard the EU-crats as sociopaths (or at any rate, as being any more sociopathic than most political and business leaders tend to be by nature) to understand why they can't afford to support secessionism in the major EU countries. The EU is still run by the europhile elites in national government positions in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, primarily. Any of those supporting a right of secession for any region that can get a majority to vote for it would be like the proverbial turkeys voting for Christmas. And any of the EU-crats going off reservation to support it will find their soul-brothers ensconced in positions of real power coming down on them like the similarly proverbial ton of bricks.

    A few of the lesser figures amongst the EU-crats might do it in the hope of generating some populist notoriety, but none of the big players will.

    That said, maybe a few hints from HMG that Britain could afford to support that principle now, having gotten its own secessionist threat out of the way, might help to stop the major Euro nations' governments being such arses over Brexit.
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  68. Randal says:
    @Mr. Hack
    I meant the incorporation of the Sudetenland, and how that act violated the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia.

    the annexation of Czechloslovakia did not start WWII. If Hitler had stopped there he may have gotten away with it.
     
    And the Russian annexation of the Crimea has not started WWIII. A similarity?

    the takeover of the Philippines had not even a fig leaf of a pretext of being democratic. It did however, work and the US still has bases in the Philippines.
     
    Russia's ability to maintain its naval base in Sevastopol was not an issue before 2014. And a majority of Ukraine's citizens expressed no interest in joining NATO at that time. There are several other countries within the EU that are not NATO members, and until the Russian annexation of the Crimea, showed no interests in cozying up. The Ukrainian government was content in receiving rents from Russia for its base there, and discounts on energy credits. Of course, this has all changed now.

    Russia’s ability to maintain its naval base in Sevastopol was not an issue before 2014.

    You see, this is the kind of outright falsehood you often seem to come out with on this particular topic. Even if you are ignorant of the history, I can clearly recall all the noise from Yuschenko about not renewing the original lease when it expired in 2017 (and all his noise about joining NATO), only finally ended when Yanukovch fortunately was elected in 2010 and negotiated an extension (at an extortionate price).

    Here are the well known Kremlin stooges at the New York Times discussing the matter back in 2009:

    Russia and Ukraine in Intensifying Standoff

    After the Soviet fall, Russia reached a deal with Ukraine to maintain the base in Sevastopol, under a lease that ends in 2017. The Ukrainian president, Viktor A. Yushchenko, has declared that it will not be renewed, though his successors may not concur.

    And note, by the way, the unusually honest description of the situation in the Crimea (which would not be repeated in the NYT today, of course – the shift of propaganda gears is a bit like watching The Beast of War followed by a modern US sphere film about the Taliban):

    The situation is particularly uneasy because the population in Crimea is roughly 60 percent ethnic Russian and would prefer that the peninsula separate from Ukraine and be part of Russia. (Sevastopol has an even higher proportion of ethnic Russians.)

    And here’s the BBC back in 2005 talking about the threats made by Orange politicians to the long term status of the base:

    Russian fleet in Crimean doldrums

    The Black Sea Fleet was divided up between Russia and Ukraine following the collapse of the USSR. A bilateral agreement means that Russia is allowed to have a naval base here until 2017.

    Some Ukrainian politicians are now saying that it must withdraw after that date.
    ……
    Crimea used to be part of Russia; it was only in the 1950s that became part of what is now Ukraine. Many people here still feel Russian and speak Russian.

    “The Russian Black Sea Fleet belongs in Crimea. It should be able to stay here,” says Oleg, a 19-year-old sailor.

    But Ukrainian students who want to see an end to the Russian military presence held small protests in Crimea last month.

    Less influence

    President Viktor Yushchenko also appears unhappy about Ukraine’s agreement with Russia. His election following the “Orange Revolution” dramatically altered his country’s relationship with Moscow.

    Mr Yushchenko favours closer ties with Nato and Europe.

    “The Black Sea Fleet’s situation has become a problem for the Ukrainian government,” says Valentin Badrak, a military analyst in Kiev.

    “The new authorities are considering whether there should be a withdrawal of the Russian Black Sea Fleet because the base could stand in the way of Ukraine joining Nato.”

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  69. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    The difference between 1938 Czechoslovakia and 2014 Ukraine is that Ukraine self-liquidated on Feb 22, 2014. It had a coup (or revolution, if you prefer); a flagrant breach of the constitutional order that clearly rendered any legal claim to sovereignty or territorial integrity by the new (usurper) regime null and void. And that's all there is to it.

    So in your world every time a country undergoes a revolution or technically illegal handover of power its borders become null and void and its territory is there for the taking?

    Is this rule enshrined in the UN charter? How long is the official window for the free-for-all?

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    How long is the official window for the free-for-all?
     
    Until the ensued civil war ends, and the resulting new entities/borders stabilize and get accepted by each other. 1917 to 1922 for the Russian empire, for example. But sometimes it can be much longer, see Georgia, for example: 25 years and counting.
    , @Gerard2

    So in your world every time a country undergoes a revolution or technically illegal handover of power its borders become null and void and its territory is there for the taking?

    Is this rule enshrined in the UN charter? How long is the official window for the free-for-all?

     

    errr..........you mean like the dissolution of the Soviet Union, that created the pseudo-state of "Ukraine"? You really are a

    technically illegal handover of power
     
    ...'technically" FFS- illegally removed Constitutional Court judges, illegally appointed Constitutional court judges in 2014, Azarov being in fear of getting assassinated, Azarov's wife getting her car shot at, Yanukovich being in fear of his life, Berkut guys killed by the Maidan scum, uninvestigated murders ( obviously by the US/UkroNazi vermin) of 100+ at the Maidan, the "fleeing" Yanukovich still actually being in Ukraine when these dickheads took over power,, a government that is only able to exist because the IMF illegally breaks its OWN rules in giving loans to it..I could go on and on.

    its borders
     
    ...."it's borders" that's it's people don't have any historic connection to a big proportion of it..."it's borders" that are there largely a result of their creation by this nations two fathers......Stalin and Lenin...and also Yeltsin
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  70. Randal says:
    @notanon

    Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.
     
    The EU is looking the other way while the spotlight is fully on the issue. I think that's what has shook the Catalan leadership - they expected the EU to restrain the Spanish government from going too far and didn't realize that only sociopaths could have created an EU in its current form. The Eurocrats would happily let Spain mow them down with machine guns if it suited them and they thought they could get away with it.

    I think that’s what has shook the Catalan leadership – they expected the EU to restrain the Spanish government from going too far and didn’t realize that only sociopaths could have created an EU in its current form. The Eurocrats would happily let Spain mow them down with machine guns if it suited them and they thought they could get away with it.

    If the Catalan leadership thought that then they are even more stupidly naïve than most leftist politicians (who aren’t outright corrupt).

    I don’t think you need to regard the EU-crats as sociopaths (or at any rate, as being any more sociopathic than most political and business leaders tend to be by nature) to understand why they can’t afford to support secessionism in the major EU countries. The EU is still run by the europhile elites in national government positions in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, primarily. Any of those supporting a right of secession for any region that can get a majority to vote for it would be like the proverbial turkeys voting for Christmas. And any of the EU-crats going off reservation to support it will find their soul-brothers ensconced in positions of real power coming down on them like the similarly proverbial ton of bricks.

    A few of the lesser figures amongst the EU-crats might do it in the hope of generating some populist notoriety, but none of the big players will.

    That said, maybe a few hints from HMG that Britain could afford to support that principle now, having gotten its own secessionist threat out of the way, might help to stop the major Euro nations’ governments being such arses over Brexit.

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    • Replies: @notanon

    If the Catalan leadership thought that then they are even more stupidly naïve than most leftist politicians
     
    yes - the sheer scale of moral hypocrisy among EU politicians creates mistaken impressions.

    I don’t think you need to regard the EU-crats as sociopaths
     
    I'd say it was self-evidently and necessarily so.

    The EU is still run by the europhile elites in national government positions in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, primarily.
     
    I think that's a fundamental misreading of the situation. It's true the EU was initially created to be that way and it still partly is but once the eurocracy was formed it became an independent actor as well.
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  71. @Hieronymus of Canada
    I've take a passing interest in such issues, being an Anglo-Quebecker. I remember the 1995 referendum as a young lad. So I grew around a near uniform hostility against the idea of an independent Quebec.

    But as grown older, I've expanding my horizons and evolved my views. While I would probably vote NON in another referendum (or spoil my ballot), due to the economic percussions that would follow. But unlike some people, I don't consider it a complete and utter evil, for Quebec and (Anglo)-Canada are two different nations and ones are as foreign to another as another except for sharing a similar government. While this shared arrangement has its benefits (a big country in land and people), it comes with a downside that it makes governing harder (devolving powers to local governments that ought be federal, for example).

    That's what the late Jacques Parizeau realized while going to a conference in Banff - that things would easier for both Quebec and Canada if they went their separate ways. It's a compelling argument, not just for Canada but also Scotland and the UK, the UK and the EU and Catalonia and Spain. But it does require that the larger entity give a substantial amounts of land and resources, something people are generally loathed to do, particularly the power-hungry politicians who run those countries.

    So I'm ambivalently to Catalonia's quest for independence. I think Rajoy's legal position seems rock solid, as the Spanish Constitution declares Spain to be invisible, so the referendum is completely illegal. But session is an extra-legal matter, determined by political and military factors, and it does seem like a large fraction of the Catalan want their own sovereign state (well, as 'sovereign' as an EU state can).

    The referendum also appears to have been illegal under the Catalan parliament’s own rules, which required the measure to get 90 votes, as opposed to the actual 72 it garnered.

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  72. @AP
    So in your world every time a country undergoes a revolution or technically illegal handover of power its borders become null and void and its territory is there for the taking?

    Is this rule enshrined in the UN charter? How long is the official window for the free-for-all?

    How long is the official window for the free-for-all?

    Until the ensued civil war ends, and the resulting new entities/borders stabilize and get accepted by each other. 1917 to 1922 for the Russian empire, for example. But sometimes it can be much longer, see Georgia, for example: 25 years and counting.

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    • Replies: @AP
    So 1989-1991 for all of Eastern Europe? Did China miss it chance to grab a chunk of Siberia in 1991? When Yugoslavia fell apart did Albania have the right to grab Kosovo? If there's upheaval after Putin dies does China get another shot? Interesting rule in your world - whenever there's no official legal handover of power in a country, the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.
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  73. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    How long is the official window for the free-for-all?
     
    Until the ensued civil war ends, and the resulting new entities/borders stabilize and get accepted by each other. 1917 to 1922 for the Russian empire, for example. But sometimes it can be much longer, see Georgia, for example: 25 years and counting.

    So 1989-1991 for all of Eastern Europe? Did China miss it chance to grab a chunk of Siberia in 1991? When Yugoslavia fell apart did Albania have the right to grab Kosovo? If there’s upheaval after Putin dies does China get another shot? Interesting rule in your world – whenever there’s no official legal handover of power in a country, the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.

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    • Replies: @Gerard2

    the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.
     
    ...errr...again lie upon lie upon lie. The legal Crimean government (following the dissolution of the Ukrainian state) gave Russia the green light to help reunify it ("land grab" is just fantasist BS)


    Did China miss it chance to grab a chunk of Siberia in 1991?
     
    errr....quite clearly ,since the inception of the UN-China has never had any part of Siberia so, again, your point is nonsensical. Same thing with the gibberish on Albania. Any land disputes could only be valid if arise from after the creation of the UN...or at the very earliest...League of Gentlemen. Hence why the spirit ( and strict rule) of law shows that Crimea and Donbass should be part of the Russian Federation as they had the reason to join Russia ( and fully in line with the reason of why that clause in the UN Charter was created in the first place) ....and the vote was clearly fair.Under strict rule of law ,the borders between Russia and Ukraine have never been fully defined, the Kharkov agreements almost finalised this put not quite. Under strict rule of law the dissolution of the Soviet Union was illegal and certainly the creation of the pseudo-state of Ukraine is illegal...a game which Russia should play considering the disgraceful behaviour and the 26 years of constant failure from these morons in Kiev.
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Interesting rule in your world – whenever there’s no official legal handover of power in a country, the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.
     
    All I said was that the regime that comes to power by unconstitutional means (coup/revolution) has no grounds for claiming sovereignty or territorial integrity. It seems perfectly obvious.

    If 'antifa' seizes WH tomorrow and installs pres Clinton because pres Trump's insane, and the next day Texas (including 80% of the US military stationed there) secedes and joins Mexico, then pres Clinton's denunciations of blatant violation of sovereignty and sanctity of the borders will sound comical.
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  74. notanon says:
    @Randal

    I think that’s what has shook the Catalan leadership – they expected the EU to restrain the Spanish government from going too far and didn’t realize that only sociopaths could have created an EU in its current form. The Eurocrats would happily let Spain mow them down with machine guns if it suited them and they thought they could get away with it.
     
    If the Catalan leadership thought that then they are even more stupidly naïve than most leftist politicians (who aren't outright corrupt).

    I don't think you need to regard the EU-crats as sociopaths (or at any rate, as being any more sociopathic than most political and business leaders tend to be by nature) to understand why they can't afford to support secessionism in the major EU countries. The EU is still run by the europhile elites in national government positions in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, primarily. Any of those supporting a right of secession for any region that can get a majority to vote for it would be like the proverbial turkeys voting for Christmas. And any of the EU-crats going off reservation to support it will find their soul-brothers ensconced in positions of real power coming down on them like the similarly proverbial ton of bricks.

    A few of the lesser figures amongst the EU-crats might do it in the hope of generating some populist notoriety, but none of the big players will.

    That said, maybe a few hints from HMG that Britain could afford to support that principle now, having gotten its own secessionist threat out of the way, might help to stop the major Euro nations' governments being such arses over Brexit.

    If the Catalan leadership thought that then they are even more stupidly naïve than most leftist politicians

    yes – the sheer scale of moral hypocrisy among EU politicians creates mistaken impressions.

    I don’t think you need to regard the EU-crats as sociopaths

    I’d say it was self-evidently and necessarily so.

    The EU is still run by the europhile elites in national government positions in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, primarily.

    I think that’s a fundamental misreading of the situation. It’s true the EU was initially created to be that way and it still partly is but once the eurocracy was formed it became an independent actor as well.

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  75. Mr. Hack says:
    @Randal
    Well I've been discussing wars and interventionism online since there was an online to do so on. I've got thousands of comments on Unz and on Disqus and on now defunct newspaper forums just since 2014, and the stupid attempt to smear Putin/modern Russia as the new Hitler/1930s Germany has been tried repeatedly since probably 2008, so I'm not going to go digging through all that just to argue with you. You've made your assertion and I've made my disagreement clear. Maybe another time I'll be less lazy.

    I appreciate your honesty, and if you recall, I started our dialogue by giving your first comment at this thread a thumbs up. I didn’t appreciate your subsequent insinuations that somehow somebody with a Ukrainian affiliation has somehow an invalid or tainted opinion. Let’s try to keep our dialogues in the future civil, and not try to see something into our opinions that is somehow dishonest or invalid because of our ethnicity, etc;

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    • Replies: @Randal
    Please don't think I think any less of you for being (imo, obviously) swayed by national loyalty. Imo that's a normal and very healthy thing to be. It's only really a problem when it is allowed to acquire disproportionate influence on national policy, as happens most obviously over Israel for various reasons. But even then the fault is not really with the dual loyalty types themselves (except where they are obviously dishonest or stupid), but rather with the ruling elite of the country affected for allowing itself to be manipulated so obviously.

    In many cases of course your points are entirely or substantially correct, regardless of loyalty, and on many issues we might discuss national loyalty is not an issue for either of us.
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  76. @Mr. Hack
    And it was just this sort of a process was absent in Ukraine and the Crimea that would have legitimized the whole affair. Also, For Quebec to secede from the rest of Canada, a referendum would need to be conducted in all of the provinces. I'm not sure about how such a process would proceed within the Unite Kingdom and Scotland?...

    Perhaps some kind of compromise, e.g. secession would require a majority vote in Quebec AND secession could be vetoed by a 2/3 popular vote in the rest of Canada outside Quebec.

    Could unionists muster 2/3 of voters in Ontario, BC, Alberta, etc., to the polls against Quebec secession?

    For that matter, could unionists in the USA muster 2/3 of voters outside California to vote against California secession?

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  77. TheJester says:

    One cannot understand what is going on in Catalonia and Madrid without understanding that Madrid, London, and Paris colonized what passes as Spain, Britain, and France before they moved overseas to colonize the rest of their empires. After the decolonization of their overseas empires, the imperial capitals were left as capitals of rump states that also demanded internal decolonization … or decentralization. Hence, Scotland, Catalonia, Ireland, and Corsica.

    Hence, the “center” — the capital — has always had magical meaning to the imperialists at the center. It was the centralized and unilateral control of the police, the military, the country’s finances, and the country’s tax re-allotments to the provinces. Controlling the center also meant controlling the country’s universities and (this is important) the bureaucratic assumption that the dialect spoken in the “center” was indeed the national language. Centralization was everything … and it could be enforced. It constituted the spoils of winning power in what passed as democracies. Regional dissent in any of these categories was anathema. It would bring down the wrath of the “center” via the police power of the state.

    So, Madrid has decided to suppress the rebellion in Catalonia with the Guardia Civil. We’re familiar with the Guardia Civil. We toured Spain in the 1970s when Franco was still in power. We ran across teams of Guardia Civil roaming the countryside with German Shephard dogs and submachine guns looking for dissent. We were told not to talk to the waitresses serving us meals in the paradores. This was Franco’s Spain. A small message, but we got the message. We didn’t.

    So, the idiots in Madrid have unleashed the Guardia Civil on Catalonia (again) looking for and suppressing dissent. One thing that has changed is that the Guardia Civil no longer wear funny hats. The other is what the Guardia Civil do as they go about their business can now be filmed and posted on social media on a global basis.

    The reality is that the Guardia Civil are and always have been a colonial police force to keep the internal natives in line. The language of Spain is Castilian, the center is Castilian, the country is Castilian. Didn’t Franco make that clear in 1939? The reference to the Guardia Civil as a throwback to Franco’s Falangists is inevitable and effective … because is it true.

    The reality is that Catalonia has already won its independence. The Basques tried and failed. The lesson is that, in today’s world, passive resistance and videos of oppression from the colonial “center” are much more effective than bombs.

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    • Replies: @Anon

    We ran across teams of Guardia Civil roaming the countryside with German Shephard dogs and submachine guns looking for dissent. We were told not to talk to the waitresses serving us meals in the paradores. This was Franco’s Spain. A small message, but we got the message. We didn’t.
     
    Ay dios mio. Do you even speak Spanish let alone Catalan?

    The reality is that the Guardia Civil are and always have been a colonial police force to keep the internal natives in line.
     
    There is some truth to this. They replaced the Inquisition which was much more popular.
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  78. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @TheJester
    One cannot understand what is going on in Catalonia and Madrid without understanding that Madrid, London, and Paris colonized what passes as Spain, Britain, and France before they moved overseas to colonize the rest of their empires. After the decolonization of their overseas empires, the imperial capitals were left as capitals of rump states that also demanded internal decolonization ... or decentralization. Hence, Scotland, Catalonia, Ireland, and Corsica.

    Hence, the "center" -- the capital -- has always had magical meaning to the imperialists at the center. It was the centralized and unilateral control of the police, the military, the country's finances, and the country's tax re-allotments to the provinces. Controlling the center also meant controlling the country's universities and (this is important) the bureaucratic assumption that the dialect spoken in the "center" was indeed the national language. Centralization was everything ... and it could be enforced. It constituted the spoils of winning power in what passed as democracies. Regional dissent in any of these categories was anathema. It would bring down the wrath of the "center" via the police power of the state.

    So, Madrid has decided to suppress the rebellion in Catalonia with the Guardia Civil. We're familiar with the Guardia Civil. We toured Spain in the 1970s when Franco was still in power. We ran across teams of Guardia Civil roaming the countryside with German Shephard dogs and submachine guns looking for dissent. We were told not to talk to the waitresses serving us meals in the paradores. This was Franco's Spain. A small message, but we got the message. We didn't.

    So, the idiots in Madrid have unleashed the Guardia Civil on Catalonia (again) looking for and suppressing dissent. One thing that has changed is that the Guardia Civil no longer wear funny hats. The other is what the Guardia Civil do as they go about their business can now be filmed and posted on social media on a global basis.

    The reality is that the Guardia Civil are and always have been a colonial police force to keep the internal natives in line. The language of Spain is Castilian, the center is Castilian, the country is Castilian. Didn't Franco make that clear in 1939? The reference to the Guardia Civil as a throwback to Franco's Falangists is inevitable and effective ... because is it true.

    The reality is that Catalonia has already won its independence. The Basques tried and failed. The lesson is that, in today's world, passive resistance and videos of oppression from the colonial "center" are much more effective than bombs.

    We ran across teams of Guardia Civil roaming the countryside with German Shephard dogs and submachine guns looking for dissent. We were told not to talk to the waitresses serving us meals in the paradores. This was Franco’s Spain. A small message, but we got the message. We didn’t.

    Ay dios mio. Do you even speak Spanish let alone Catalan?

    The reality is that the Guardia Civil are and always have been a colonial police force to keep the internal natives in line.

    There is some truth to this. They replaced the Inquisition which was much more popular.

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  79. sflicht says:

    Completely off-topic, has Karlin (or any non-”mainstream” Russian blogger) read and/or reviewed the Red Sparrow spy novels? I’ve only just discovered them, based on recommendations from the Blob (whose Russia analysts apparently love them). They’re not as well-written as Le Carre, but they’re not terrible, even if the sex is a bit over the top at times. But the basic premise of a synaesthetic SVR double agent is pretty compelling. I have a perhaps exaggerated inclination to interpret all American spy fiction (written and filmed) in terms of the propaganda war between the FBI and the CIA and to a lesser extent the Pentagon, so I have been reading these novels in the context of recent entries in the genre such as Covert Affairs and Shooter (the latter more relevant to Langley-DoD animosity). From a geopolitical perspective, the series Salvation is also vaguely relevant (glorifies FBI, vilifies DoD, based upon pretty hilarious premise that Chelyabinsk was a kinetic “mote from God’s eye” weapon test).

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  80. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    This is what happened with Yanukovych in the Ukraine in 2013-14, who stabbed the security men charged with keeping his regime in power in the back by refusing to provide them support once things got too hot. This totally demoralized them and ensured the triumph of the Euromaidan.
     
    Yanukovych was a thug of major proportions, whose demise was a welcome relief to the vast majority of Ukrainians. Even his most loyal fellow supporters ditched him like rats on a sinking ship at their earliest convenience. Trying to shed alligator tears for him now is a useless affair - he betrayed everybody's best interests, not only his own security men.

    Even his most loyal fellow supporters ditched him like rats on a sinking ship at their earliest convenience.

    errr……he comfortably won a Rada vote against removing him in December 2013. He comfortably polled higher during the height of the western-sponsored Euromaidan than Poroshenko has at any time in the last 3 years

    Calling him a thug is perjorative gibberish. He was bad and rippedoff Russia on the navel lease agreements…..but he was still comfortably Ukraine’s best ever president.

    Funny how Ukraine were never offered EU Association Agreement during Yushchenko’s time. Obviously the timing of the agreement was EU blackmail…but still.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    errr……he comfortably won a Rada vote against removing him in December 2013.
     
    Stacked by his own loyal cronies. Again, they abandoned the old s.o.b. as soon as he left Ukraine and it no longer seemed expedient to support the bloody killer.

    but he was still comfortably Ukraine’s best ever president.
     
    I don't see anything good about him at all. An unimaginative crook, who absconded with millions of ill gotten gains to Russia. Perhaps, it was his ultra lavish lifestyle that has you still entranced? The ostrich farm, or was it his gold plated toilet that has you blinded to reality?
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  81. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    First, a referendum in the rest of Spain on whether Catalonia should be allowed to leave.
     
    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.

    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.

    tutututut. The Good Friday agreement involved referendum voting in both Northern Ireland (in the UK) but also in the Republic of Ireland…over a british/UK territory. That just shows what a lack of grasp you have on any issue.

    Then there is the same problem in reverse…countries like Montenegro would never in a million years under a fair referendum vote to join NATO, but their stooge authorities don’t permit them this right. Same thing with Latvia and Estonia….with the non-estonian/latvian soviet population and the normal latvians/estonians…under a fair fight it would have been a struggle to get past 50% voting to join NATO and definitely impossible to get a 2/3rd’s majority…which should be the necessary number on big events like that.

    As any non-dimwit knows…the same thing would have occured in favour of the Eurasian economic Union in Ukraine (which had majority supporting it)…even though most of the bought-off media and politicians in extremely-corrupt Ukraine were pushing for EU membership prior to Yanukovich’s removal in a coup

    Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.

    OR….a referendum in Holland about whether failed state Ukraine should be offered an Association Agreement. Sadly the EU has no interest in democracy…and the comfortable victory in that excellent referendum was not implemented

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    • Replies: @AP

    Same thing with Latvia and Estonia….with the non-estonian/latvian soviet population and the normal latvians/estonians…under a fair fight it would have been a struggle to get past 50% voting to join NATO
     
    Thanks for sharing your strange opinion.

    Eurasian economic Union in Ukraine (which had majority supporting it)
     
    There have been times when 1%-2% more people supported Eurasian Union than supported closer links to EU but Eurasian Union was not supported by over 50%.

    a referendum in Holland about whether failed state Ukraine should be offered an Association Agreement. Sadly the EU has no interest in democracy…and the comfortable victory in that excellent referendum was not implemented
     
    Holland referendum had 32% turnout with 61% voting against Ukraine. That 19.5% of Dutch voters.
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  82. Gerard2 says:
    @AP
    So in your world every time a country undergoes a revolution or technically illegal handover of power its borders become null and void and its territory is there for the taking?

    Is this rule enshrined in the UN charter? How long is the official window for the free-for-all?

    So in your world every time a country undergoes a revolution or technically illegal handover of power its borders become null and void and its territory is there for the taking?

    Is this rule enshrined in the UN charter? How long is the official window for the free-for-all?

    errr……….you mean like the dissolution of the Soviet Union, that created the pseudo-state of “Ukraine”? You really are a

    technically illegal handover of power

    …’technically” FFS- illegally removed Constitutional Court judges, illegally appointed Constitutional court judges in 2014, Azarov being in fear of getting assassinated, Azarov’s wife getting her car shot at, Yanukovich being in fear of his life, Berkut guys killed by the Maidan scum, uninvestigated murders ( obviously by the US/UkroNazi vermin) of 100+ at the Maidan, the “fleeing” Yanukovich still actually being in Ukraine when these dickheads took over power,, a government that is only able to exist because the IMF illegally breaks its OWN rules in giving loans to it..I could go on and on.

    its borders

    ….”it’s borders” that’s it’s people don’t have any historic connection to a big proportion of it…”it’s borders” that are there largely a result of their creation by this nations two fathers……Stalin and Lenin…and also Yeltsin

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  83. Gerard2 says:
    @AP
    So 1989-1991 for all of Eastern Europe? Did China miss it chance to grab a chunk of Siberia in 1991? When Yugoslavia fell apart did Albania have the right to grab Kosovo? If there's upheaval after Putin dies does China get another shot? Interesting rule in your world - whenever there's no official legal handover of power in a country, the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.

    the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.

    …errr…again lie upon lie upon lie. The legal Crimean government (following the dissolution of the Ukrainian state) gave Russia the green light to help reunify it (“land grab” is just fantasist BS)

    Did China miss it chance to grab a chunk of Siberia in 1991?

    errr….quite clearly ,since the inception of the UN-China has never had any part of Siberia so, again, your point is nonsensical. Same thing with the gibberish on Albania. Any land disputes could only be valid if arise from after the creation of the UN…or at the very earliest…League of Gentlemen. Hence why the spirit ( and strict rule) of law shows that Crimea and Donbass should be part of the Russian Federation as they had the reason to join Russia ( and fully in line with the reason of why that clause in the UN Charter was created in the first place) ….and the vote was clearly fair.Under strict rule of law ,the borders between Russia and Ukraine have never been fully defined, the Kharkov agreements almost finalised this put not quite. Under strict rule of law the dissolution of the Soviet Union was illegal and certainly the creation of the pseudo-state of Ukraine is illegal…a game which Russia should play considering the disgraceful behaviour and the 26 years of constant failure from these morons in Kiev.

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  84. @AP
    So 1989-1991 for all of Eastern Europe? Did China miss it chance to grab a chunk of Siberia in 1991? When Yugoslavia fell apart did Albania have the right to grab Kosovo? If there's upheaval after Putin dies does China get another shot? Interesting rule in your world - whenever there's no official legal handover of power in a country, the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.

    Interesting rule in your world – whenever there’s no official legal handover of power in a country, the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.

    All I said was that the regime that comes to power by unconstitutional means (coup/revolution) has no grounds for claiming sovereignty or territorial integrity. It seems perfectly obvious.

    If ‘antifa’ seizes WH tomorrow and installs pres Clinton because pres Trump’s insane, and the next day Texas (including 80% of the US military stationed there) secedes and joins Mexico, then pres Clinton’s denunciations of blatant violation of sovereignty and sanctity of the borders will sound comical.

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    • Replies: @AP

    If ‘antifa’ seizes WH tomorrow and installs pres Clinton because pres Trump’s insane, and the next day Texas (including 80% of the US military stationed there) secedes and joins Mexico, then pres Clinton’s denunciations of blatant violation of sovereignty and sanctity of the borders will sound comical.
     
    This scenario is different from "the next day Mexico seizes Texas" or "China seizes California."
    , @Ivan K.

    the regime that comes to power by unconstitutional means (coup/revolution) has no grounds for claiming sovereignty or territorial integrity.
     
    Some of the countries created by such means are USA, USSR and PRC.
    Regarding other recent comments, I'm very happy with the arguments you make.
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  85. @Brabantian
    What is over-riding here 'legally', is self-determination for Catalan or other peoples as per the much-ignored UN Charter, which Spain & most nations of the world have signed ... leading one to also 'stand with Israel' in support of the rights of Kurds to have their own contiguous nation where they live, carved from the colonial-arbitrary-boundary Iraq, Syria, Turkey & Iran

    However corrupt, tied to evil parties etc., people still have a right to sort out their own affairs, the right to ruin themselves under their own mafias. Am reminded here of Israeli Uri Avnery's story of when Russian-Jewish oligarch Boris Berezovsky, appeared on Israeli television boasting


    That Berezovsky caused the war in Chechnya, in which tens of thousands have been killed & a whole country devastated. He was interested in the mineral resources & a prospective pipeline there. In order to achieve this he put an end to the peace agreement that gave Chechnya some kind of independence. The oligarchs dismissed & destroyed Alexander Lebed, the popular general who engineered the agreement.

     

    The Catalans showing 'how it is done' are making all the big powers nervous. China with its Uighurs & Tibetans under Han domination; Russia with its Chechens chafing, who are one day certainly to be free of Moscow.

    Catalonia is giving a full-bore exposure of Putin's hypocrisy in Donbass / East Ukraine, where after the Anschluß with Crimea, Putin invited the Donbass to have their own referenda as well, whilst the blood was still drying from the anti-Russian Odessa massacre by the Kiev Ukrainians ... the Donbass people voted, but then Putin sabotaged & restricted the Igor 'Strelkov' Girkin etc efforts to liberate them, allowing the killing of many by Nato goons

    Bibi Netanyahu in Israel is immensely clever by aligning Israel with the secessionist / nationalist movements in many places, over against his Jewish rivals in the George Soros globalist camp

    “The Catalans showing ‘how it is done’ are making all the big powers nervous.”

    The Catalans “showing how it is done” are looking an awful lot like the Ukrainian Maidanists showing how it is done.

    The Catalans – sorry, that’s an over statement – the Catalan separatist party did not have the required number of votes in the Catalan parliament. They needed 90, but garnered just 72. They went ahead anyway but somehow it’s all the fault of the (admittedly woeful) Mariano Rajoy.

    Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya justified this illegal referendum – they described it as a birth that was “delivered with forceps” – on the grounds that the other parties in Catalonia would not agree!

    Aside from the Leninist flavour of this justification, can anybody explain how Catalans can have “freedom” when the political parties they voted for in free and fair elections are overriden? Catalonia has a Catalan parliament which rejected the referendum, and it still went ahead!

    Maybe we should start looking at the US and NATO for some sort of explanation of recent events. After all, they have “form” in breaking up larger countries, as many Yugoslav dead would testify if they could speak from beyond the grave.

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  86. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Interesting rule in your world – whenever there’s no official legal handover of power in a country, the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.
     
    All I said was that the regime that comes to power by unconstitutional means (coup/revolution) has no grounds for claiming sovereignty or territorial integrity. It seems perfectly obvious.

    If 'antifa' seizes WH tomorrow and installs pres Clinton because pres Trump's insane, and the next day Texas (including 80% of the US military stationed there) secedes and joins Mexico, then pres Clinton's denunciations of blatant violation of sovereignty and sanctity of the borders will sound comical.

    If ‘antifa’ seizes WH tomorrow and installs pres Clinton because pres Trump’s insane, and the next day Texas (including 80% of the US military stationed there) secedes and joins Mexico, then pres Clinton’s denunciations of blatant violation of sovereignty and sanctity of the borders will sound comical.

    This scenario is different from “the next day Mexico seizes Texas” or “China seizes California.”

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  87. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard2

    Even his most loyal fellow supporters ditched him like rats on a sinking ship at their earliest convenience.
     
    errr......he comfortably won a Rada vote against removing him in December 2013. He comfortably polled higher during the height of the western-sponsored Euromaidan than Poroshenko has at any time in the last 3 years

    Calling him a thug is perjorative gibberish. He was bad and rippedoff Russia on the navel lease agreements.....but he was still comfortably Ukraine's best ever president.

    Funny how Ukraine were never offered EU Association Agreement during Yushchenko's time. Obviously the timing of the agreement was EU blackmail...but still.

    errr……he comfortably won a Rada vote against removing him in December 2013.

    Stacked by his own loyal cronies. Again, they abandoned the old s.o.b. as soon as he left Ukraine and it no longer seemed expedient to support the bloody killer.

    but he was still comfortably Ukraine’s best ever president.

    I don’t see anything good about him at all. An unimaginative crook, who absconded with millions of ill gotten gains to Russia. Perhaps, it was his ultra lavish lifestyle that has you still entranced? The ostrich farm, or was it his gold plated toilet that has you blinded to reality?

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    • Replies: @Tsar Nicholas
    @Mr Hack

    I agree that Yanukovic had many defects and shortcomings, both as a leader and as a human being.

    However, he was elected in an election that was deemed to be fair by international observers and there was going to be another election the year after he was overthrown.

    Only a hooligan (I'm being kind) with no respect for order and freedom would justify a coup d'etat such as happened on February 22nd 2014, with consequent bloodshed.
    , @Gerard2

    Stacked by his own loyal cronies. Again, they abandoned the old s.o.b. as soon as he left Ukraine and it no longer seemed expedient to support the bloody killer.
     
    Absurd drivel. By loyal cronies do you mean Poroshenko? Or do you mean the few ex MP's who when not beaten up by the Euromaidan scum...have received flying lessons off the top of buildings in the last couple of years?

    I don’t see anything good about him at all. An unimaginative crook, who absconded with millions of ill gotten gains to Russia. Perhaps, it was his ultra lavish lifestyle that has you still entranced? The ostrich farm, or was it his gold plated toilet that has you blinded to reality?

     

    From the Ukraonazi vermin perspective he extorted Russia over the naval lease extension, he never made enough effort to implement his promise to make Russian an official language, he directed Ukraine towards the EU and against Russia throughout most of his presidency, he also never recognised South Ossetia as part of Russia.

    It doesn't need any comparison of the Ukrainian economy before the Euromaidan farce....to the cesspit it is in now. It was already moronic beyond belief when he was cheated out of becoming President in 2004 (by the US) at a time when the failed state of Ukraine was actually the fastest growing economy in Europe for the year ( because of economic ties with Russia)

    Lvov and Ivano-Frankivsk..whilst still overrated dumps...received decent funds for infrastructure improvement....and Donetsk and Kharkov noticeably improved as places to work and live during his time and attracted foreign investment. Euro 2012 football tournament....all the stadia were built on time and ( by western standards) within a sensible budget
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  88. If the Catalans are showing how it’s done we must all be worried about tiki-torch white nationalists who are doing it the same way. They both get their ass kicked on TV by the cops and then complain about it. #WINNING.

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  89. @Mr. Hack

    errr……he comfortably won a Rada vote against removing him in December 2013.
     
    Stacked by his own loyal cronies. Again, they abandoned the old s.o.b. as soon as he left Ukraine and it no longer seemed expedient to support the bloody killer.

    but he was still comfortably Ukraine’s best ever president.
     
    I don't see anything good about him at all. An unimaginative crook, who absconded with millions of ill gotten gains to Russia. Perhaps, it was his ultra lavish lifestyle that has you still entranced? The ostrich farm, or was it his gold plated toilet that has you blinded to reality?

    @Mr Hack

    I agree that Yanukovic had many defects and shortcomings, both as a leader and as a human being.

    However, he was elected in an election that was deemed to be fair by international observers and there was going to be another election the year after he was overthrown.

    Only a hooligan (I’m being kind) with no respect for order and freedom would justify a coup d’etat such as happened on February 22nd 2014, with consequent bloodshed.

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    • Replies: @AP

    However, he was elected in an election that was deemed to be fair by international observers
     
    Correct. The problem is what he did afterwards, which was nondemocratic. Flipping the parliament without new election, capturing the court system, changing the election rules so that in the next parliamentary election his party retained control despite losing the popular vote...He won the election legitimately. He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.

    Chavez also won an election.

    there was going to be another election the year after he was overthrown
     
    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible. The next most popular opponent was already under investigation, with his offices raided. The very widespread consensus within Ukraine was that there was no way he would give up power, the only question was what trick will he use. Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)? Will he jail everyone but the far right nationalist Tiahnybok, the only Opposition guy who wasn't easily beating Yanukovich in the polls? Will he turn the Presidency into a ceremonial role, making himself PM and retaining real power? The election was a year away, those were the possibilities.

    He had a proven track record of stifling democracy. He had very high stakes to hold onto power (all the opposition leaders were saying they would investigate him). And he was losing by double digits in polls. You really think he would have relinquished power and volunteered to go on trial?

    coup d’etat
     
    Mass uprising isn't a coup.
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  90. AP says:
    @Tsar Nicholas
    @Mr Hack

    I agree that Yanukovic had many defects and shortcomings, both as a leader and as a human being.

    However, he was elected in an election that was deemed to be fair by international observers and there was going to be another election the year after he was overthrown.

    Only a hooligan (I'm being kind) with no respect for order and freedom would justify a coup d'etat such as happened on February 22nd 2014, with consequent bloodshed.

    However, he was elected in an election that was deemed to be fair by international observers

    Correct. The problem is what he did afterwards, which was nondemocratic. Flipping the parliament without new election, capturing the court system, changing the election rules so that in the next parliamentary election his party retained control despite losing the popular vote…He won the election legitimately. He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.

    Chavez also won an election.

    there was going to be another election the year after he was overthrown

    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible. The next most popular opponent was already under investigation, with his offices raided. The very widespread consensus within Ukraine was that there was no way he would give up power, the only question was what trick will he use. Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)? Will he jail everyone but the far right nationalist Tiahnybok, the only Opposition guy who wasn’t easily beating Yanukovich in the polls? Will he turn the Presidency into a ceremonial role, making himself PM and retaining real power? The election was a year away, those were the possibilities.

    He had a proven track record of stifling democracy. He had very high stakes to hold onto power (all the opposition leaders were saying they would investigate him). And he was losing by double digits in polls. You really think he would have relinquished power and volunteered to go on trial?

    coup d’etat

    Mass uprising isn’t a coup.

    Read More
    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Tsar Nicholas
    @AP

    You are making out that the Maidan was a genuine uprising? Lol!

    Even the CIA subsequently conceded (in December 2014) that it was "the most egregious coup in history."

    I doubt that Yanukovic had the state and security apparatus in order to hang on to power. But really, you are just surmising. You could make the same charge against virtually any political leader you don't like. I heard Americans say George W Bush would not allow another election. They said it about Obama too.

    And you are completely ignoring that conversation between Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and US Ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt. You know, the one where three weeks before February 22nd, they discuss installing their friend, "Yats."

    Ukraine had a fragile political system before February 2014, with the country delicately balanced between east and west, with Bandera hooligans in the west, and ethnic Russians in the east. The "genuine mass uprising" unleashed forces that cannot be put back. Thousands dead in the Donbass, the economy being plundered by the likes of Hunter Biden, son of the former Vice-President, and the gold being carted off to Washington.

    Did people really put their lives on the line at the Maidan to benefit American plunderers like Biden? Seriously?
    , @Gerard2

    The problem is what he did afterwards, which was nondemocratic. Flipping the parliament without new election, capturing the court system, changing the election rules so that in the next parliamentary election his party retained control despite losing the popular vote…He won the election legitimately. He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.
     
    Ridiculous garbage. Lie from start to finish.

    errrmmm...you mean he (not individually but with a group of people) changed the rules to match the much vaunted "democratic" British and German system where most of the time no party reaches above 50%? Given the chaotic and farcical nature that the Rada has always been,never functioning properly or getting results, facing pressure from idiotic Soros-sponsored protests and revolutions every 5 seconds...then there was nothing remotely undemocratic or autocratic in legally changing the structure of the misfiring and failing Ukrainian political structure.... and giving the elections some practical value.Russia changed their election set-up after the idiotic protests in 2011-12 ...mixing proportional representation with single-mandate seats and doing everything to accommodate liberasts..and not let United Russia be so dominant....the inadvertent result (mainly because of the idiotic US/Ukrop behaviour) was that United Russia got 75% of all MP's even though they got only just over 50% of the vote! you ignorant _________

    capturing the court system
     
    ..again meaningless,meandering BS. Ukraine's court system was not more corrupt under Yanukovich than it was before. The same people manipulating the court system before did it then and continue to do it now (with American assistance)

    He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.
     
    Again this witless BS lie from the cretins of Gromadske that there was an increase on "limited" powers, or that what went on in Ukraine before him was even remotely democratic or this BS that he "usurped" power (again with no actual example of him doing this...just Nazi dickheads moaning about the naval-base lease extension- even though he extorted Russia massively on it)

    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible
     
    This really is comedy....You mean the guy who can barely tie his own shoelaces and is frequent victim of videos on the internet displaying how thick as pig-shit he is with his numerous faux-pas? Klitschko had spent most of the last 15 years living and training in Germany...of course he should never have been allowed to run. Most Ukrainian would have more faith in a bag of potatoes representing Ukraine as President than the dimwit Klitschko. Asking him to live in Ukraine for a period of time before allowed running for President is proper procedure.

    Timoshenko had criminal proceedings initiated against her during YUSHCHENKO's time. All Ukronazis and russophiles agree that she was guilty of the charges and is a very corrupt politician. Again you lie and create ridiculous fantasies.

    He was actually had a perfectly normal level of popularity, even during the height of the Euromaidan farce.Throughout most of his time he was polling at a level to easily win the 1st round but a struggle to win a second round. Going in a fully russophile direction, or the EU offering him a good Association deal would probably have got him a second round win. Anyway so what if he was polling at 30%? Hollande of France and numerous leaders have that type of numbers during the middle period of their term. The catastrophic failure of Yushchenko's term didn't result in lunatics seizing power in a coup.

    Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)?

     

    Will his troops commit a hypothetical mass rape , so can we now declare a no-fly zone and annihilate his country?
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Mass uprising isn’t a coup.
     
    In reality, the 'mass uprising' made a deal with Yanukovych, and signed an official agreement legitimated by some EU bigwigs. Once the agreement was signed, security forces defending the government quarters left. And then neonazi paramilitary units entered and took over.

    If that's not a coup, I don't know what is.
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  91. Ivan K. says: • Website
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Interesting rule in your world – whenever there’s no official legal handover of power in a country, the neighbors get a green light to grab some land.
     
    All I said was that the regime that comes to power by unconstitutional means (coup/revolution) has no grounds for claiming sovereignty or territorial integrity. It seems perfectly obvious.

    If 'antifa' seizes WH tomorrow and installs pres Clinton because pres Trump's insane, and the next day Texas (including 80% of the US military stationed there) secedes and joins Mexico, then pres Clinton's denunciations of blatant violation of sovereignty and sanctity of the borders will sound comical.

    the regime that comes to power by unconstitutional means (coup/revolution) has no grounds for claiming sovereignty or territorial integrity.

    Some of the countries created by such means are USA, USSR and PRC.
    Regarding other recent comments, I’m very happy with the arguments you make.

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  92. LondonBob says:
    @Randal

    While the heavy-handed response to the referendum was a very bad idea,
     
    This assumes the availability of an alternative and better approach that is not obviously in evidence.

    As I noted yesterday, my main interest in the Catalan issue is in the opposing approaches to the secession question adopted by the Spanish and British governments, in that the British government essentially conceded the right of self-determination to the Scots and risked a referendum in which a majority of Scots voting for independence would have seen the breakup of the British state. That gamble proved to have been correct, at least in the short term, in that they won the referendum (though what the longer term consequences will be of having conceded the issue to the Scottish people alone remains to be seen).

    The Spanish government, on the other hand, has denied this principle, maintaining that regional secession is a matter for the wider nation and not the region alone - the same position in effect the US regime held to when they bloodily suppressed their own regional secession in the C19th.

    Both these positions have merit and can be argued for (which is one reason why it is so desperately important to get Britain out of the EU before it makes further progress towards becoming a United States of Europe).

    That being the case, when would it be appropriate for the Spanish state to use force to enforce the law? Now, or after a referendum in which most likely a narrow majority would have voted for independence? This way, they can dismiss the result as the outcome of an illegal and illegitimate process, and they will do so. If the turnout was as you say, then less than half of Catalan voters would appear to be strong supporters of secession.

    The Spanish government seems unlikely to blink now - the stakes are too high, and if there is a declaration of independence then those who sign up to it will likely find themselves in prison within hours. Collaborators will be found to speak bold nationalist words whilst selling out their supporters for some kind of autonomy deal compromise, much as the anti-"austerity" left in Greece was sold out by their supposedly radical firebrand leaders a few years ago. The national governments in the rest of the EU and around the world might be a bit embarrassed by criticism of Spanish "police violence" and alleged human rights infringements, but they certainly aren't going to make a big issue of it when the last thing any of them want to see is the kind of precedent set that Catalan independence now would create.

    So how was the Spanish government's stand a mistake? Yes, it has no doubt pushed some moderates into the other camp, but how would standing by and letting the referendum go ahead unopposed have been better for Spain's central government in the long run? Clearly the Spanish government had the option to follow the choice made by the British government and risk all on a regional referendum, but unlike Scotland Catalonia is a wealthier region than average. Can it be said with certainty that the Spanish government was wrong to view that approach as too risky? I don't think so. Perhaps they were correct (from their perspective) to grasp the nettle now.

    There was never any risk of Scotland voting yes as there is of Catalonia. In the end the dreadful ‘project fear’ no campaign conspired to bump the yes vote up to around 45%, on the plus side the dreadful Cameron clique saw this as success and adopted the same tactics for the EU referendum, thus enabling a narrow yes victory.

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  93. LondonBob says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Well I’m not Russian, whereas I’ve received an impression – please do correct me if I’m wrong – from your regular past posts on this topic that you are Ukrainian, or have Ukrainian connections or loyalties.
     
    I do indeed have Ukrainian roots, but in no way do I see this as an impediment to my expressing a valid opinion. If you feel that this somehow disqualifies me from voicing a valid opinion, please explain to me why? I, do not discount anybody's opinions about any subject matter, based on their ethnicity, race, etc; Everybody gets their two cents worth with me.

    While there are similarities in the contexts and operations of each with the Crimea operation, they are in either case dwarfed by the differences.
     
    The differences 'dwarf' any similarities? I'm all ears...

    Putin is interested only in reuniting the parts of Russia taken away when the Soviet Union disbanded, unfortunately Hitler wished for the old German dream of an empire in the east, or lebensraum. If only Hitler was interested solely in ein volk, ein reich.

    Are there going to mysterious gunmen shooting protestors like there were in Kiev, or Taksim square back in the day. Don’t ever accuse the CIA of being original

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taksim_Square_massacre

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  94. Mr. Hack says:

    Are there going to mysterious gunmen shooting protestors like there were in Kiev,

    I think that with Yanukovych gone from the scene, you have nothing to worry about.

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  95. @AP

    However, he was elected in an election that was deemed to be fair by international observers
     
    Correct. The problem is what he did afterwards, which was nondemocratic. Flipping the parliament without new election, capturing the court system, changing the election rules so that in the next parliamentary election his party retained control despite losing the popular vote...He won the election legitimately. He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.

    Chavez also won an election.

    there was going to be another election the year after he was overthrown
     
    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible. The next most popular opponent was already under investigation, with his offices raided. The very widespread consensus within Ukraine was that there was no way he would give up power, the only question was what trick will he use. Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)? Will he jail everyone but the far right nationalist Tiahnybok, the only Opposition guy who wasn't easily beating Yanukovich in the polls? Will he turn the Presidency into a ceremonial role, making himself PM and retaining real power? The election was a year away, those were the possibilities.

    He had a proven track record of stifling democracy. He had very high stakes to hold onto power (all the opposition leaders were saying they would investigate him). And he was losing by double digits in polls. You really think he would have relinquished power and volunteered to go on trial?

    coup d’etat
     
    Mass uprising isn't a coup.

    You are making out that the Maidan was a genuine uprising? Lol!

    Even the CIA subsequently conceded (in December 2014) that it was “the most egregious coup in history.”

    I doubt that Yanukovic had the state and security apparatus in order to hang on to power. But really, you are just surmising. You could make the same charge against virtually any political leader you don’t like. I heard Americans say George W Bush would not allow another election. They said it about Obama too.

    And you are completely ignoring that conversation between Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and US Ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt. You know, the one where three weeks before February 22nd, they discuss installing their friend, “Yats.”

    Ukraine had a fragile political system before February 2014, with the country delicately balanced between east and west, with Bandera hooligans in the west, and ethnic Russians in the east. The “genuine mass uprising” unleashed forces that cannot be put back. Thousands dead in the Donbass, the economy being plundered by the likes of Hunter Biden, son of the former Vice-President, and the gold being carted off to Washington.

    Did people really put their lives on the line at the Maidan to benefit American plunderers like Biden? Seriously?

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Did people really put their lives on the line at the Maidan to benefit American plunderers like Biden? Seriously?
     
    Don’t highlight one questionable incident and try to use it with a broad paintbrush to explain why the EuroMaidan took place. Ukrainians were generally fed up with the corrupt Yanukovich regime and all that it stood for and were afraid that just one more year of his authoritative rule would spell doom for any form of remaining democracy, as AP so aptly points out above:

    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible. The next most popular opponent was already under investigation, with his offices raided. The very widespread consensus within Ukraine was that there was no way he would give up power, the only question was what trick will he use. Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)? Will he jail everyone but the far right nationalist Tiahnybok, the only Opposition guy who wasn’t easily beating Yanukovich in the polls? Will he turn the Presidency into a ceremonial role, making himself PM and retaining real power? The election was a year away, those were the possibilities.

     

    , @AP

    You are making out that the Maidan was a genuine uprising? Lol!
     
    41% support among the population (vs. 20% or so for the government), 100,000s of people on the streets is a mass uprising. Some generals taking over would be a coup.

    Even the CIA subsequently conceded (in December 2014) that it was “the most egregious coup in history.
     
    You're not getting your story straight. That was the claim of one guy.

    I heard Americans say George W Bush would not allow another election. They said it about Obama too.
     
    I didn't hear it. That certainly wasn't a widespread belief. Unlike what people in Ukraine thought about Yanukovich.

    And you are completely ignoring that conversation between Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and US Ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt. You know, the one where three weeks before February 22nd, they discuss installing their friend, “Yats.”
     
    I heard them discussing whom they preferred and trying to bring people together. At any rate, Yatseniuk led the party that had the most voted among the Opposition parties in the 2012 election, run under Yanukovich. So it was logical for him to become PM. Was Yanukovich also a CIA spy in your world?
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  96. Mr. Hack says:
    @Tsar Nicholas
    @AP

    You are making out that the Maidan was a genuine uprising? Lol!

    Even the CIA subsequently conceded (in December 2014) that it was "the most egregious coup in history."

    I doubt that Yanukovic had the state and security apparatus in order to hang on to power. But really, you are just surmising. You could make the same charge against virtually any political leader you don't like. I heard Americans say George W Bush would not allow another election. They said it about Obama too.

    And you are completely ignoring that conversation between Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and US Ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt. You know, the one where three weeks before February 22nd, they discuss installing their friend, "Yats."

    Ukraine had a fragile political system before February 2014, with the country delicately balanced between east and west, with Bandera hooligans in the west, and ethnic Russians in the east. The "genuine mass uprising" unleashed forces that cannot be put back. Thousands dead in the Donbass, the economy being plundered by the likes of Hunter Biden, son of the former Vice-President, and the gold being carted off to Washington.

    Did people really put their lives on the line at the Maidan to benefit American plunderers like Biden? Seriously?

    Did people really put their lives on the line at the Maidan to benefit American plunderers like Biden? Seriously?

    Don’t highlight one questionable incident and try to use it with a broad paintbrush to explain why the EuroMaidan took place. Ukrainians were generally fed up with the corrupt Yanukovich regime and all that it stood for and were afraid that just one more year of his authoritative rule would spell doom for any form of remaining democracy, as AP so aptly points out above:

    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible. The next most popular opponent was already under investigation, with his offices raided. The very widespread consensus within Ukraine was that there was no way he would give up power, the only question was what trick will he use. Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)? Will he jail everyone but the far right nationalist Tiahnybok, the only Opposition guy who wasn’t easily beating Yanukovich in the polls? Will he turn the Presidency into a ceremonial role, making himself PM and retaining real power? The election was a year away, those were the possibilities.

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  97. @Mr Hack

    “Don’t highlight one questionable incident and try to use it with a broad paintbrush to explain why the EuroMaidan took place.”

    Hunter Biden being appointed Tsar over Ukrainian fuels and minerals is hardly one questionable incident. However, it’s not the worst incident.

    You ignore the extreme austerity imposed on the Ukrainian people; you ignore the EU Association agreement which was essentially a take-it-or leave it document, with NATO shackles attached. You ignore the disappearance of Kiev’s gold, flown out under cover of darkness to Washington DC. Then the burning alive of trade unionists in Odessa, the shelling of civilian populations in Donbass.

    But above and behind all this is the supreme questionable incident. I refer to the phone conversation between Mrs Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, in which the new government’s personnel appointments were discussed, weeks before the coup! That’s the reason the CIA described it as “the most egregious coup” in history.

    Still, those of us in the west should be thankful – the idea of Ukraine being in the EU (or NATO) is now dead, deader than the dodo.

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  98. Randal says:
    @Randal
    A shifting tone?

    Three months ago:

    Catalonia will declare independence from Spain within 48 hours if voters back secession in an October referendum, according to a draft bill proposed by secessionist parties on Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether the vote will go ahead.
    ....
    If “Yes” wins, the regional government plans to declare independence within 48 hours. If “No” wins, an early election would be called to form a new regional government.
     
    Sunday night:

    “The citizens of Catalonia have won the right to have an independent state,” Puigdemont said in a televised statement, flanked by members of his regional administration.
    ....
    Before the government crackdown began, separatist leaders said they would be comfortable declaring independence with about 1.8 million votes.
     
    Monday:

    At a news conference on Monday, Mr Puigdemont said: "We don't want a traumatic break... We want a new understanding with the Spanish state".
     

    Puigdemont described the crackdown as an “unjustified, excessive and irresponsible use of violence.”

    “The European Union can no longer look the other way,” he said after the polls had closed. “It must act swiftly to maintain its moral authority inside and outside the continent when these abuses are scandalizing good men and women all around the world.”
     
    Good luck with that one mate. Looking the other way is exactly what they are going to do as soon as the spotlight is off them and off the issue.

    A shifting tone?

    Three months ago:
    ….
    Sunday night:
    ….
    Monday:

    Perhaps not? Today:

    Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC.

    Is Puigdemont bluffing in the hope of extracting some autonomy concessions out of Madrid with some brinkmanship? Or is he going to go through with it?

    Seems likely to me he will be making a mistake if he does go ahead with a UDI. Contrary to some suggestions here it looks to me as though Rajoy might prove to have played it well. The referendum was clearly established as having been illegal and uncondoned, real support for independence looks well below 50% even in Catalonia, and if some Catalans might have been pushed towards it by the rather tame “police brutality” they experienced when they broke the law and tried to obstruct the police in the performance of their duties, there seems little real sympathy (beyond a bit of virtue signalling and hand-wringing crocodile tears) in the wider world from anyone of any importance, and almost zero sympathy in the rest of Spain.

    Had he instead allowed the referendum to proceed uncontested, it would have had a much higher turnout with probably still a big majority for independence and the secessionists would be on a roll and untarnished, instead of looking pretty ragged and mobbish in the eyes of most of the rest of Spain. And the crisis point where independence will have to be either suppressed by force or allowed to proceed by default would still be looming anyway (assuming the separatists do go for it).

    Still, these are risky and uncertain issues and there is plenty of room for a misstep by either side to swing things dramatically, either way.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    I think a lot still depends on the King. Granted people don't think in terms of the Prince of Catalonia rebelling against his liege lord the King of Aragon and therefore Spain (which would be pretty stupid, because they're the same person), a lot of Spanish conservatives and regular people still look to him as their most natural leader.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Is Puigdemont bluffing in the hope of extracting some autonomy concessions out of Madrid with some brinkmanship?
     
    I've read a bit about him.

    In the 1990s, Puigdemont traveled extensively to South-East Europe to study, among other things, "Yugoslavia's Nations Without a State".
     

    "There are no times for cowards!" The leader of the Liberal-separatist alliance, Junts pel Sí (Joint for Yes), who was elected with the support of the small left-wing party CUP, promised that the road to independence would be undisturbed. And he kept his word. A year and a half later he called the vote.
     
    He is totally for real.

    The referendum was clearly established as having been illegal and uncondoned, real support for independence looks well below 50% even in Catalonia...
     
    Actually it is 51% at the very minimum (56% turnout * 90% YES). After the past couple of days, it's almost certainly overwhelmingly pro-independence.
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  99. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Randal

    A shifting tone?

    Three months ago:
    ....
    Sunday night:
    ....
    Monday:
     
    Perhaps not? Today:

    Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC.

    Is Puigdemont bluffing in the hope of extracting some autonomy concessions out of Madrid with some brinkmanship? Or is he going to go through with it?

    Seems likely to me he will be making a mistake if he does go ahead with a UDI. Contrary to some suggestions here it looks to me as though Rajoy might prove to have played it well. The referendum was clearly established as having been illegal and uncondoned, real support for independence looks well below 50% even in Catalonia, and if some Catalans might have been pushed towards it by the rather tame "police brutality" they experienced when they broke the law and tried to obstruct the police in the performance of their duties, there seems little real sympathy (beyond a bit of virtue signalling and hand-wringing crocodile tears) in the wider world from anyone of any importance, and almost zero sympathy in the rest of Spain.

    Had he instead allowed the referendum to proceed uncontested, it would have had a much higher turnout with probably still a big majority for independence and the secessionists would be on a roll and untarnished, instead of looking pretty ragged and mobbish in the eyes of most of the rest of Spain. And the crisis point where independence will have to be either suppressed by force or allowed to proceed by default would still be looming anyway (assuming the separatists do go for it).

    Still, these are risky and uncertain issues and there is plenty of room for a misstep by either side to swing things dramatically, either way.

    I think a lot still depends on the King. Granted people don’t think in terms of the Prince of Catalonia rebelling against his liege lord the King of Aragon and therefore Spain (which would be pretty stupid, because they’re the same person), a lot of Spanish conservatives and regular people still look to him as their most natural leader.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    Possibly so - this is just the kind of situation in which a monarch ought to have influence. As you presumably are aware, the King has come out with a clear condemnation of the behaviour of the separatists as "putting themselves outside the law" and an appeal for unity. That might have resonance in the rest of Spain, if not so much in Catalonia itself, at least outside leftist circles where people are likely to oppose the government whatever it does just because it isn't a radical leftist government. I don't know enough about Spanish popular attitudes towards the monarchy to judge with any confidence, though.
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  100. Randal says:
    @Mr. Hack
    I appreciate your honesty, and if you recall, I started our dialogue by giving your first comment at this thread a thumbs up. I didn't appreciate your subsequent insinuations that somehow somebody with a Ukrainian affiliation has somehow an invalid or tainted opinion. Let's try to keep our dialogues in the future civil, and not try to see something into our opinions that is somehow dishonest or invalid because of our ethnicity, etc;

    Please don’t think I think any less of you for being (imo, obviously) swayed by national loyalty. Imo that’s a normal and very healthy thing to be. It’s only really a problem when it is allowed to acquire disproportionate influence on national policy, as happens most obviously over Israel for various reasons. But even then the fault is not really with the dual loyalty types themselves (except where they are obviously dishonest or stupid), but rather with the ruling elite of the country affected for allowing itself to be manipulated so obviously.

    In many cases of course your points are entirely or substantially correct, regardless of loyalty, and on many issues we might discuss national loyalty is not an issue for either of us.

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  101. Randal says:
    @Anon
    I think a lot still depends on the King. Granted people don't think in terms of the Prince of Catalonia rebelling against his liege lord the King of Aragon and therefore Spain (which would be pretty stupid, because they're the same person), a lot of Spanish conservatives and regular people still look to him as their most natural leader.

    Possibly so – this is just the kind of situation in which a monarch ought to have influence. As you presumably are aware, the King has come out with a clear condemnation of the behaviour of the separatists as “putting themselves outside the law” and an appeal for unity. That might have resonance in the rest of Spain, if not so much in Catalonia itself, at least outside leftist circles where people are likely to oppose the government whatever it does just because it isn’t a radical leftist government. I don’t know enough about Spanish popular attitudes towards the monarchy to judge with any confidence, though.

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  102. @Randal

    A shifting tone?

    Three months ago:
    ....
    Sunday night:
    ....
    Monday:
     
    Perhaps not? Today:

    Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC.

    Is Puigdemont bluffing in the hope of extracting some autonomy concessions out of Madrid with some brinkmanship? Or is he going to go through with it?

    Seems likely to me he will be making a mistake if he does go ahead with a UDI. Contrary to some suggestions here it looks to me as though Rajoy might prove to have played it well. The referendum was clearly established as having been illegal and uncondoned, real support for independence looks well below 50% even in Catalonia, and if some Catalans might have been pushed towards it by the rather tame "police brutality" they experienced when they broke the law and tried to obstruct the police in the performance of their duties, there seems little real sympathy (beyond a bit of virtue signalling and hand-wringing crocodile tears) in the wider world from anyone of any importance, and almost zero sympathy in the rest of Spain.

    Had he instead allowed the referendum to proceed uncontested, it would have had a much higher turnout with probably still a big majority for independence and the secessionists would be on a roll and untarnished, instead of looking pretty ragged and mobbish in the eyes of most of the rest of Spain. And the crisis point where independence will have to be either suppressed by force or allowed to proceed by default would still be looming anyway (assuming the separatists do go for it).

    Still, these are risky and uncertain issues and there is plenty of room for a misstep by either side to swing things dramatically, either way.

    Is Puigdemont bluffing in the hope of extracting some autonomy concessions out of Madrid with some brinkmanship?

    I’ve read a bit about him.

    In the 1990s, Puigdemont traveled extensively to South-East Europe to study, among other things, “Yugoslavia’s Nations Without a State”.

    “There are no times for cowards!” The leader of the Liberal-separatist alliance, Junts pel Sí (Joint for Yes), who was elected with the support of the small left-wing party CUP, promised that the road to independence would be undisturbed. And he kept his word. A year and a half later he called the vote.

    He is totally for real.

    The referendum was clearly established as having been illegal and uncondoned, real support for independence looks well below 50% even in Catalonia…

    Actually it is 51% at the very minimum (56% turnout * 90% YES). After the past couple of days, it’s almost certainly overwhelmingly pro-independence.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Actually it is 51% at the very minimum (56% turnout * 90% YES).
     
    Presumably that's based upon accepting the Catalan separatists' estimate of "up to 770,000 ballots" seized by the government and applying the same percentage pro rata.

    After the past couple of days, it’s almost certainly overwhelmingly pro-independence.
     
    We shall see.

    He is totally for real.
     
    So iyo he will go for it, then. Will Madrid blink or will they suspend the regional government and arrest those declaring independence, and ride out the strikes and mobs that might follow?

    If Madrid blinks, Rajoy's government is out and he and his party go down in history as the idiots who lost Spain, no question. Seems unlikely he'll be enthusiastic about that.
    , @Randal

    He is totally for real.
     
    Is this, then, not an indication of a dawning fear that he might have talked himself onto a corner?

    Rajoy was responding to a call for mediation by Puigdemont made earlier during a televised address.

    "This moment calls for mediation. We have received various offers in the last hours and we will receive more," Puigdemont said. "But we have never received a positive response from the state."
     
    Catalan independence: Spain rejects calls for mediation by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont

    Perhaps it's just shaping the context for future blame-casting, though.

    But it does seem likely the separatists will have rather had their delusions about the EU riding to the rescue shattered over the past 48 hours:

    European leaders have so far sided with Spain and have called on both sides to talk with each other.

    European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, however, said on Wednesday there was a "general consensus that regional government of Catalonia has chosen to ignore the law when organizing the referendum."

    During an emergency session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, leaders from the two biggest party groups warned Catalan leaders not to forge ahead with independence.

    Germany said on Wednesday that it hoped tensions between Madrid and Catalonia would soon calm down, but emphasized the conflict was an internal Spanish matter.
     
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  103. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    errr……he comfortably won a Rada vote against removing him in December 2013.
     
    Stacked by his own loyal cronies. Again, they abandoned the old s.o.b. as soon as he left Ukraine and it no longer seemed expedient to support the bloody killer.

    but he was still comfortably Ukraine’s best ever president.
     
    I don't see anything good about him at all. An unimaginative crook, who absconded with millions of ill gotten gains to Russia. Perhaps, it was his ultra lavish lifestyle that has you still entranced? The ostrich farm, or was it his gold plated toilet that has you blinded to reality?

    Stacked by his own loyal cronies. Again, they abandoned the old s.o.b. as soon as he left Ukraine and it no longer seemed expedient to support the bloody killer.

    Absurd drivel. By loyal cronies do you mean Poroshenko? Or do you mean the few ex MP’s who when not beaten up by the Euromaidan scum…have received flying lessons off the top of buildings in the last couple of years?

    I don’t see anything good about him at all. An unimaginative crook, who absconded with millions of ill gotten gains to Russia. Perhaps, it was his ultra lavish lifestyle that has you still entranced? The ostrich farm, or was it his gold plated toilet that has you blinded to reality?

    From the Ukraonazi vermin perspective he extorted Russia over the naval lease extension, he never made enough effort to implement his promise to make Russian an official language, he directed Ukraine towards the EU and against Russia throughout most of his presidency, he also never recognised South Ossetia as part of Russia.

    It doesn’t need any comparison of the Ukrainian economy before the Euromaidan farce….to the cesspit it is in now. It was already moronic beyond belief when he was cheated out of becoming President in 2004 (by the US) at a time when the failed state of Ukraine was actually the fastest growing economy in Europe for the year ( because of economic ties with Russia)

    Lvov and Ivano-Frankivsk..whilst still overrated dumps…received decent funds for infrastructure improvement….and Donetsk and Kharkov noticeably improved as places to work and live during his time and attracted foreign investment. Euro 2012 football tournament….all the stadia were built on time and ( by western standards) within a sensible budget

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  104. AP says:
    @Tsar Nicholas
    @AP

    You are making out that the Maidan was a genuine uprising? Lol!

    Even the CIA subsequently conceded (in December 2014) that it was "the most egregious coup in history."

    I doubt that Yanukovic had the state and security apparatus in order to hang on to power. But really, you are just surmising. You could make the same charge against virtually any political leader you don't like. I heard Americans say George W Bush would not allow another election. They said it about Obama too.

    And you are completely ignoring that conversation between Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and US Ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt. You know, the one where three weeks before February 22nd, they discuss installing their friend, "Yats."

    Ukraine had a fragile political system before February 2014, with the country delicately balanced between east and west, with Bandera hooligans in the west, and ethnic Russians in the east. The "genuine mass uprising" unleashed forces that cannot be put back. Thousands dead in the Donbass, the economy being plundered by the likes of Hunter Biden, son of the former Vice-President, and the gold being carted off to Washington.

    Did people really put their lives on the line at the Maidan to benefit American plunderers like Biden? Seriously?

    You are making out that the Maidan was a genuine uprising? Lol!

    41% support among the population (vs. 20% or so for the government), 100,000s of people on the streets is a mass uprising. Some generals taking over would be a coup.

    Even the CIA subsequently conceded (in December 2014) that it was “the most egregious coup in history.

    You’re not getting your story straight. That was the claim of one guy.

    I heard Americans say George W Bush would not allow another election. They said it about Obama too.

    I didn’t hear it. That certainly wasn’t a widespread belief. Unlike what people in Ukraine thought about Yanukovich.

    And you are completely ignoring that conversation between Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and US Ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt. You know, the one where three weeks before February 22nd, they discuss installing their friend, “Yats.”

    I heard them discussing whom they preferred and trying to bring people together. At any rate, Yatseniuk led the party that had the most voted among the Opposition parties in the 2012 election, run under Yanukovich. So it was logical for him to become PM. Was Yanukovich also a CIA spy in your world?

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  105. Randal says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Is Puigdemont bluffing in the hope of extracting some autonomy concessions out of Madrid with some brinkmanship?
     
    I've read a bit about him.

    In the 1990s, Puigdemont traveled extensively to South-East Europe to study, among other things, "Yugoslavia's Nations Without a State".
     

    "There are no times for cowards!" The leader of the Liberal-separatist alliance, Junts pel Sí (Joint for Yes), who was elected with the support of the small left-wing party CUP, promised that the road to independence would be undisturbed. And he kept his word. A year and a half later he called the vote.
     
    He is totally for real.

    The referendum was clearly established as having been illegal and uncondoned, real support for independence looks well below 50% even in Catalonia...
     
    Actually it is 51% at the very minimum (56% turnout * 90% YES). After the past couple of days, it's almost certainly overwhelmingly pro-independence.

    Actually it is 51% at the very minimum (56% turnout * 90% YES).

    Presumably that’s based upon accepting the Catalan separatists’ estimate of “up to 770,000 ballots” seized by the government and applying the same percentage pro rata.

    After the past couple of days, it’s almost certainly overwhelmingly pro-independence.

    We shall see.

    He is totally for real.

    So iyo he will go for it, then. Will Madrid blink or will they suspend the regional government and arrest those declaring independence, and ride out the strikes and mobs that might follow?

    If Madrid blinks, Rajoy’s government is out and he and his party go down in history as the idiots who lost Spain, no question. Seems unlikely he’ll be enthusiastic about that.

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  106. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    That would be like a referendum in the rest of the EU about whether or not UK had the right to leave. Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.
     
    tutututut. The Good Friday agreement involved referendum voting in both Northern Ireland (in the UK) but also in the Republic of Ireland...over a british/UK territory. That just shows what a lack of grasp you have on any issue.

    Then there is the same problem in reverse...countries like Montenegro would never in a million years under a fair referendum vote to join NATO, but their stooge authorities don't permit them this right. Same thing with Latvia and Estonia....with the non-estonian/latvian soviet population and the normal latvians/estonians...under a fair fight it would have been a struggle to get past 50% voting to join NATO and definitely impossible to get a 2/3rd's majority...which should be the necessary number on big events like that.

    As any non-dimwit knows...the same thing would have occured in favour of the Eurasian economic Union in Ukraine (which had majority supporting it)...even though most of the bought-off media and politicians in extremely-corrupt Ukraine were pushing for EU membership prior to Yanukovich's removal in a coup

    Or a referendum in all of the UK about whether Scotland had the right to leave.
     
    OR....a referendum in Holland about whether failed state Ukraine should be offered an Association Agreement. Sadly the EU has no interest in democracy...and the comfortable victory in that excellent referendum was not implemented

    Same thing with Latvia and Estonia….with the non-estonian/latvian soviet population and the normal latvians/estonians…under a fair fight it would have been a struggle to get past 50% voting to join NATO

    Thanks for sharing your strange opinion.

    Eurasian economic Union in Ukraine (which had majority supporting it)

    There have been times when 1%-2% more people supported Eurasian Union than supported closer links to EU but Eurasian Union was not supported by over 50%.

    a referendum in Holland about whether failed state Ukraine should be offered an Association Agreement. Sadly the EU has no interest in democracy…and the comfortable victory in that excellent referendum was not implemented

    Holland referendum had 32% turnout with 61% voting against Ukraine. That 19.5% of Dutch voters.

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    • Replies: @Gerard2

    Holland referendum had 32% turnout with 61% voting against Ukraine. That 19.5% of Dutch voters.
     
    That's the 19.5% of Dutchmen who can locate Ukraine on a map. It's a hugely impressive turnout for a referendum on a foreign country that the average dutchman has no connections to . It is triple the turnout that the UK had for a referendum on whether to switch to a proportional-representation system of governance. The result is even more impressive and interesting given the MH-17 incident and that Holland is a country from the EU that Ukraine has a rare good trading relationship with.
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  107. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    However, he was elected in an election that was deemed to be fair by international observers
     
    Correct. The problem is what he did afterwards, which was nondemocratic. Flipping the parliament without new election, capturing the court system, changing the election rules so that in the next parliamentary election his party retained control despite losing the popular vote...He won the election legitimately. He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.

    Chavez also won an election.

    there was going to be another election the year after he was overthrown
     
    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible. The next most popular opponent was already under investigation, with his offices raided. The very widespread consensus within Ukraine was that there was no way he would give up power, the only question was what trick will he use. Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)? Will he jail everyone but the far right nationalist Tiahnybok, the only Opposition guy who wasn't easily beating Yanukovich in the polls? Will he turn the Presidency into a ceremonial role, making himself PM and retaining real power? The election was a year away, those were the possibilities.

    He had a proven track record of stifling democracy. He had very high stakes to hold onto power (all the opposition leaders were saying they would investigate him). And he was losing by double digits in polls. You really think he would have relinquished power and volunteered to go on trial?

    coup d’etat
     
    Mass uprising isn't a coup.

    The problem is what he did afterwards, which was nondemocratic. Flipping the parliament without new election, capturing the court system, changing the election rules so that in the next parliamentary election his party retained control despite losing the popular vote…He won the election legitimately. He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.

    Ridiculous garbage. Lie from start to finish.

    errrmmm…you mean he (not individually but with a group of people) changed the rules to match the much vaunted “democratic” British and German system where most of the time no party reaches above 50%? Given the chaotic and farcical nature that the Rada has always been,never functioning properly or getting results, facing pressure from idiotic Soros-sponsored protests and revolutions every 5 seconds…then there was nothing remotely undemocratic or autocratic in legally changing the structure of the misfiring and failing Ukrainian political structure…. and giving the elections some practical value.Russia changed their election set-up after the idiotic protests in 2011-12 …mixing proportional representation with single-mandate seats and doing everything to accommodate liberasts..and not let United Russia be so dominant….the inadvertent result (mainly because of the idiotic US/Ukrop behaviour) was that United Russia got 75% of all MP’s even though they got only just over 50% of the vote! you ignorant _________

    capturing the court system

    ..again meaningless,meandering BS. Ukraine’s court system was not more corrupt under Yanukovich than it was before. The same people manipulating the court system before did it then and continue to do it now (with American assistance)

    He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.

    Again this witless BS lie from the cretins of Gromadske that there was an increase on “limited” powers, or that what went on in Ukraine before him was even remotely democratic or this BS that he “usurped” power (again with no actual example of him doing this…just Nazi dickheads moaning about the naval-base lease extension- even though he extorted Russia massively on it)

    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible

    This really is comedy….You mean the guy who can barely tie his own shoelaces and is frequent victim of videos on the internet displaying how thick as pig-shit he is with his numerous faux-pas? Klitschko had spent most of the last 15 years living and training in Germany…of course he should never have been allowed to run. Most Ukrainian would have more faith in a bag of potatoes representing Ukraine as President than the dimwit Klitschko. Asking him to live in Ukraine for a period of time before allowed running for President is proper procedure.

    Timoshenko had criminal proceedings initiated against her during YUSHCHENKO’s time. All Ukronazis and russophiles agree that she was guilty of the charges and is a very corrupt politician. Again you lie and create ridiculous fantasies.

    He was actually had a perfectly normal level of popularity, even during the height of the Euromaidan farce.Throughout most of his time he was polling at a level to easily win the 1st round but a struggle to win a second round. Going in a fully russophile direction, or the EU offering him a good Association deal would probably have got him a second round win. Anyway so what if he was polling at 30%? Hollande of France and numerous leaders have that type of numbers during the middle period of their term. The catastrophic failure of Yushchenko’s term didn’t result in lunatics seizing power in a coup.

    Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)?

    Will his troops commit a hypothetical mass rape , so can we now declare a no-fly zone and annihilate his country?

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    • Replies: @AP

    you mean he (not individually but with a group of people) changed the rules to match the much vaunted “democratic” British and German system where most of the time no party reaches above 50%
     
    He changed to first past the post in individual districts, which naturally favored his team because it consisted of two parties whereas the Opposition had three large parties. So if in a district his party got 35% of the vote and his opposing parties got 30%, 25% and 10% his party won the district despite 65% of voters voting against him.

    In Britain such a system has existed for generations. Everyone knows it, and adjusts accordingly. In Ukraine this was implemented soon before the election. And so, the Opposition got over 50%of the vote but still didn't control the parliament. The people, denied the ability to express their political wishes through elections, did so on the streets.

    Ukraine’s court system was not more corrupt
     
    Review my words. I did not mention corruption. I wrote capturing.

    You mean the guy who can barely tie his own shoelaces and is frequent victim of videos on the internet displaying how thick as pig-shit he is with his numerous faux-pas? Klitschko had spent most of the last 15 years living and training in Germany
     
    Yanukovich was so hated that Klitschko was beating him by double digits in the polls.

    So Yanukovich's parliament made a special law that one couldn't run for president if one lived abroad too long.

    Timoshenko had criminal proceedings initiated
     
    I didn't mention her. Are you hallucinating?

    Throughout most of his time he was polling at a level to easily win the 1st round but a struggle to win a second round.
     
    He was losing by double digits in the second round. The only reason he was leading the first round was because there were three Opposition candidates.

    The catastrophic failure of Yushchenko’s term didn’t result in lunatics seizing power in a coup.
     
    You are slow, aren't you?

    Under Yushchenko people didn't widely believe that Yushchenko would hold onto powers. There was faith the the electoral process would be normal. And it was. There was no such faith, given Yanukovich's actions, that Yanukovich would voluntarily relinquish power.
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  108. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Same thing with Latvia and Estonia….with the non-estonian/latvian soviet population and the normal latvians/estonians…under a fair fight it would have been a struggle to get past 50% voting to join NATO
     
    Thanks for sharing your strange opinion.

    Eurasian economic Union in Ukraine (which had majority supporting it)
     
    There have been times when 1%-2% more people supported Eurasian Union than supported closer links to EU but Eurasian Union was not supported by over 50%.

    a referendum in Holland about whether failed state Ukraine should be offered an Association Agreement. Sadly the EU has no interest in democracy…and the comfortable victory in that excellent referendum was not implemented
     
    Holland referendum had 32% turnout with 61% voting against Ukraine. That 19.5% of Dutch voters.

    Holland referendum had 32% turnout with 61% voting against Ukraine. That 19.5% of Dutch voters.

    That’s the 19.5% of Dutchmen who can locate Ukraine on a map. It’s a hugely impressive turnout for a referendum on a foreign country that the average dutchman has no connections to . It is triple the turnout that the UK had for a referendum on whether to switch to a proportional-representation system of governance. The result is even more impressive and interesting given the MH-17 incident and that Holland is a country from the EU that Ukraine has a rare good trading relationship with.

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    • Replies: @AP
    The 19.5% vote was mostly anti-EU in general and not anti-Ukraine in particular.
    , @Gerard2

    It is triple the turnout that the UK had for a referendum on whether to switch to a proportional-representation system of governance.
     
    .......mistype......it is not triple but concurrent with the turnout for the UK proportional representation vote...or their regional/European elections
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  109. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    Holland referendum had 32% turnout with 61% voting against Ukraine. That 19.5% of Dutch voters.
     
    That's the 19.5% of Dutchmen who can locate Ukraine on a map. It's a hugely impressive turnout for a referendum on a foreign country that the average dutchman has no connections to . It is triple the turnout that the UK had for a referendum on whether to switch to a proportional-representation system of governance. The result is even more impressive and interesting given the MH-17 incident and that Holland is a country from the EU that Ukraine has a rare good trading relationship with.

    The 19.5% vote was mostly anti-EU in general and not anti-Ukraine in particular.

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  110. Gerard2 says:
    @Gerard2

    Holland referendum had 32% turnout with 61% voting against Ukraine. That 19.5% of Dutch voters.
     
    That's the 19.5% of Dutchmen who can locate Ukraine on a map. It's a hugely impressive turnout for a referendum on a foreign country that the average dutchman has no connections to . It is triple the turnout that the UK had for a referendum on whether to switch to a proportional-representation system of governance. The result is even more impressive and interesting given the MH-17 incident and that Holland is a country from the EU that Ukraine has a rare good trading relationship with.

    It is triple the turnout that the UK had for a referendum on whether to switch to a proportional-representation system of governance.

    …….mistype……it is not triple but concurrent with the turnout for the UK proportional representation vote…or their regional/European elections

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  111. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    The problem is what he did afterwards, which was nondemocratic. Flipping the parliament without new election, capturing the court system, changing the election rules so that in the next parliamentary election his party retained control despite losing the popular vote…He won the election legitimately. He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.
     
    Ridiculous garbage. Lie from start to finish.

    errrmmm...you mean he (not individually but with a group of people) changed the rules to match the much vaunted "democratic" British and German system where most of the time no party reaches above 50%? Given the chaotic and farcical nature that the Rada has always been,never functioning properly or getting results, facing pressure from idiotic Soros-sponsored protests and revolutions every 5 seconds...then there was nothing remotely undemocratic or autocratic in legally changing the structure of the misfiring and failing Ukrainian political structure.... and giving the elections some practical value.Russia changed their election set-up after the idiotic protests in 2011-12 ...mixing proportional representation with single-mandate seats and doing everything to accommodate liberasts..and not let United Russia be so dominant....the inadvertent result (mainly because of the idiotic US/Ukrop behaviour) was that United Russia got 75% of all MP's even though they got only just over 50% of the vote! you ignorant _________

    capturing the court system
     
    ..again meaningless,meandering BS. Ukraine's court system was not more corrupt under Yanukovich than it was before. The same people manipulating the court system before did it then and continue to do it now (with American assistance)

    He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.
     
    Again this witless BS lie from the cretins of Gromadske that there was an increase on "limited" powers, or that what went on in Ukraine before him was even remotely democratic or this BS that he "usurped" power (again with no actual example of him doing this...just Nazi dickheads moaning about the naval-base lease extension- even though he extorted Russia massively on it)

    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible
     
    This really is comedy....You mean the guy who can barely tie his own shoelaces and is frequent victim of videos on the internet displaying how thick as pig-shit he is with his numerous faux-pas? Klitschko had spent most of the last 15 years living and training in Germany...of course he should never have been allowed to run. Most Ukrainian would have more faith in a bag of potatoes representing Ukraine as President than the dimwit Klitschko. Asking him to live in Ukraine for a period of time before allowed running for President is proper procedure.

    Timoshenko had criminal proceedings initiated against her during YUSHCHENKO's time. All Ukronazis and russophiles agree that she was guilty of the charges and is a very corrupt politician. Again you lie and create ridiculous fantasies.

    He was actually had a perfectly normal level of popularity, even during the height of the Euromaidan farce.Throughout most of his time he was polling at a level to easily win the 1st round but a struggle to win a second round. Going in a fully russophile direction, or the EU offering him a good Association deal would probably have got him a second round win. Anyway so what if he was polling at 30%? Hollande of France and numerous leaders have that type of numbers during the middle period of their term. The catastrophic failure of Yushchenko's term didn't result in lunatics seizing power in a coup.

    Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)?

     

    Will his troops commit a hypothetical mass rape , so can we now declare a no-fly zone and annihilate his country?

    you mean he (not individually but with a group of people) changed the rules to match the much vaunted “democratic” British and German system where most of the time no party reaches above 50%

    He changed to first past the post in individual districts, which naturally favored his team because it consisted of two parties whereas the Opposition had three large parties. So if in a district his party got 35% of the vote and his opposing parties got 30%, 25% and 10% his party won the district despite 65% of voters voting against him.

    In Britain such a system has existed for generations. Everyone knows it, and adjusts accordingly. In Ukraine this was implemented soon before the election. And so, the Opposition got over 50%of the vote but still didn’t control the parliament. The people, denied the ability to express their political wishes through elections, did so on the streets.

    Ukraine’s court system was not more corrupt

    Review my words. I did not mention corruption. I wrote capturing.

    You mean the guy who can barely tie his own shoelaces and is frequent victim of videos on the internet displaying how thick as pig-shit he is with his numerous faux-pas? Klitschko had spent most of the last 15 years living and training in Germany

    Yanukovich was so hated that Klitschko was beating him by double digits in the polls.

    So Yanukovich’s parliament made a special law that one couldn’t run for president if one lived abroad too long.

    Timoshenko had criminal proceedings initiated

    I didn’t mention her. Are you hallucinating?

    Throughout most of his time he was polling at a level to easily win the 1st round but a struggle to win a second round.

    He was losing by double digits in the second round. The only reason he was leading the first round was because there were three Opposition candidates.

    The catastrophic failure of Yushchenko’s term didn’t result in lunatics seizing power in a coup.

    You are slow, aren’t you?

    Under Yushchenko people didn’t widely believe that Yushchenko would hold onto powers. There was faith the the electoral process would be normal. And it was. There was no such faith, given Yanukovich’s actions, that Yanukovich would voluntarily relinquish power.

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  112. @AP

    However, he was elected in an election that was deemed to be fair by international observers
     
    Correct. The problem is what he did afterwards, which was nondemocratic. Flipping the parliament without new election, capturing the court system, changing the election rules so that in the next parliamentary election his party retained control despite losing the popular vote...He won the election legitimately. He was elected as a president with limited powers facing an opposition-controlled parliament. His later total usurpation of power was neither legitimate nor democratic.

    Chavez also won an election.

    there was going to be another election the year after he was overthrown
     
    The parliament that he controlled had already made a special law that made his most popular opponent ineligible. The next most popular opponent was already under investigation, with his offices raided. The very widespread consensus within Ukraine was that there was no way he would give up power, the only question was what trick will he use. Will his parliament change the election law, cancelling the second round runoff so that if he gets a higher % than any individual Opposition candidate he becomes president (say, with 30% of the vote)? Will he jail everyone but the far right nationalist Tiahnybok, the only Opposition guy who wasn't easily beating Yanukovich in the polls? Will he turn the Presidency into a ceremonial role, making himself PM and retaining real power? The election was a year away, those were the possibilities.

    He had a proven track record of stifling democracy. He had very high stakes to hold onto power (all the opposition leaders were saying they would investigate him). And he was losing by double digits in polls. You really think he would have relinquished power and volunteered to go on trial?

    coup d’etat
     
    Mass uprising isn't a coup.

    Mass uprising isn’t a coup.

    In reality, the ‘mass uprising’ made a deal with Yanukovych, and signed an official agreement legitimated by some EU bigwigs. Once the agreement was signed, security forces defending the government quarters left. And then neonazi paramilitary units entered and took over.

    If that’s not a coup, I don’t know what is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    In reality, politicians urged by the EU made a deal with Yanukovych that the Ukrainian mass protesters were opposed to, and he was overthrown anyways. While various young far right protesters spearheaded the overthrow, they were not the ones who came to power.

    Do you think the 1989 revolutions in eastern Europe were coups?
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  113. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Mass uprising isn’t a coup.
     
    In reality, the 'mass uprising' made a deal with Yanukovych, and signed an official agreement legitimated by some EU bigwigs. Once the agreement was signed, security forces defending the government quarters left. And then neonazi paramilitary units entered and took over.

    If that's not a coup, I don't know what is.

    In reality, politicians urged by the EU made a deal with Yanukovych that the Ukrainian mass protesters were opposed to, and he was overthrown anyways. While various young far right protesters spearheaded the overthrow, they were not the ones who came to power.

    Do you think the 1989 revolutions in eastern Europe were coups?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    politicians urged by the EU made a deal with Yanukovych that the Ukrainian mass protesters were opposed to
     
    Not true. Protesters' representatives signed the agreement, made the announcement, and the protesters left. Except for the ultra-right paramilitary.

    Do you think the 1989 revolutions in eastern Europe were coups?
     
    It depends. In Hungary, for example, it was a peaceful and orderly transition. In Romania, revolution with a civil war. What of it?
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  114. @AP
    In reality, politicians urged by the EU made a deal with Yanukovych that the Ukrainian mass protesters were opposed to, and he was overthrown anyways. While various young far right protesters spearheaded the overthrow, they were not the ones who came to power.

    Do you think the 1989 revolutions in eastern Europe were coups?

    politicians urged by the EU made a deal with Yanukovych that the Ukrainian mass protesters were opposed to

    Not true. Protesters’ representatives signed the agreement, made the announcement, and the protesters left. Except for the ultra-right paramilitary.

    Do you think the 1989 revolutions in eastern Europe were coups?

    It depends. In Hungary, for example, it was a peaceful and orderly transition. In Romania, revolution with a civil war. What of it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Not true. Protesters’ representatives signed the agreement, made the announcement, and the protesters left. Except for the ultra-right paramilitary.
     
    There was no widespread dispersal of protesters after the agreement was signed. Klichko was booed by masses of people after the signing. And the refusal involved non only right-wing activists but the
    Democratic Alliance.

    I realize that you get most of your information about Ukraine from Yanukovich-linked sources. Yanukovich described it as a "coup."

    It depends. In Hungary, for example, it was a peaceful and orderly transition. In Romania, revolution with a civil war. What of it?
     
    So in your world was Romania a coup, or was only Ukraine a coup, because that's what Yanukovich called it.
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  115. @Mr. Hack

    Ultimately, nobody wants to end up a scapegoat just so that some corrupt, backstabbing thug and his cronies could avoid ostracism in the West and retain access to their offshore bank accounts.
     
    So, how else will history judge Putin, allowing Yanukovich a safe harbor by currently allowing him to live in Russia?

    'Birds of a feather flock together.'
     
    :-)

    So, how else will history judge Putin, allowing Yanukovich a safe harbor by currently allowing him to live in Russia?

    For all his manifold faults, Yanukovych turned to Russia at the end, and it would be unseemly to abandon your allies – even unwilling, last-minute ones.

    As for how history will judge Putin, probably harshly, though not for the reasons you imagine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    As for how history will judge Putin, probably harshly, though not for the reasons you imagine.
     
    What's the matter? Not enough of a megalomaniac for your tastes?
    , @Dan Hayes
    Anatoly,

    Could you kindly expand on why you believe that history will judge Putin "probably harshly".

    Thanks.
    , @Gerard2
    This has been the greatest ever of Putins 3 terms so far...look at every single measure of how Russia is performing, except economic...which has still managed to recover from the massive sanctions and restructure in several sectors.

    Russia has risked everything on Donbass and Crimea (not to mention Syria) at stopping the deranged,evil Uncle Scumbag modus operandi all over the world....whilst always trying to be as constructive as possible. He has done everything possible on Donbass to help and save these people and back their justified cause........there is simple nothing more that can be done when dealing with a braindead,gutless international community, a Kiev-Nazi scumbag government and the idiotic/evil but very powerful and wealthy US foreign policy structure

    On top of that on his public visits in Russia he has "opened up" and his likeability is now more than ever.

    History will judge VVP as the very best President
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  116. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    So, how else will history judge Putin, allowing Yanukovich a safe harbor by currently allowing him to live in Russia?
     
    For all his manifold faults, Yanukovych turned to Russia at the end, and it would be unseemly to abandon your allies - even unwilling, last-minute ones.

    As for how history will judge Putin, probably harshly, though not for the reasons you imagine.

    As for how history will judge Putin, probably harshly, though not for the reasons you imagine.

    What’s the matter? Not enough of a megalomaniac for your tastes?

    Read More
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  117. Dan Hayes says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    So, how else will history judge Putin, allowing Yanukovich a safe harbor by currently allowing him to live in Russia?
     
    For all his manifold faults, Yanukovych turned to Russia at the end, and it would be unseemly to abandon your allies - even unwilling, last-minute ones.

    As for how history will judge Putin, probably harshly, though not for the reasons you imagine.

    Anatoly,

    Could you kindly expand on why you believe that history will judge Putin “probably harshly”.

    Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Totally depends on who writes the history books; Ivan the Great or Ivan the Terrible - take your pick.

    Peace.
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  118. Talha says:
    @Dan Hayes
    Anatoly,

    Could you kindly expand on why you believe that history will judge Putin "probably harshly".

    Thanks.

    Totally depends on who writes the history books; Ivan the Great or Ivan the Terrible – take your pick.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Greasy William
    I think "the Terrible" moniker was actually meant as a compliment. Russians like brutal leaders which is why they still love Stalin.
    , @melanf

    Totally depends on who writes the history books; Ivan the Great or Ivan the Terrible – take your pick.
     
    Ivan III (Ivan the Great) and Ivan IV (in English language - Ivan the Terrible) different rulers
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  119. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    politicians urged by the EU made a deal with Yanukovych that the Ukrainian mass protesters were opposed to
     
    Not true. Protesters' representatives signed the agreement, made the announcement, and the protesters left. Except for the ultra-right paramilitary.

    Do you think the 1989 revolutions in eastern Europe were coups?
     
    It depends. In Hungary, for example, it was a peaceful and orderly transition. In Romania, revolution with a civil war. What of it?

    Not true. Protesters’ representatives signed the agreement, made the announcement, and the protesters left. Except for the ultra-right paramilitary.

    There was no widespread dispersal of protesters after the agreement was signed. Klichko was booed by masses of people after the signing. And the refusal involved non only right-wing activists but the
    Democratic Alliance.

    I realize that you get most of your information about Ukraine from Yanukovich-linked sources. Yanukovich described it as a “coup.”

    It depends. In Hungary, for example, it was a peaceful and orderly transition. In Romania, revolution with a civil war. What of it?

    So in your world was Romania a coup, or was only Ukraine a coup, because that’s what Yanukovich called it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    I realize that you get most of your information about Ukraine from Yanukovich-linked sources. Yanukovich described it as a “coup.”
     
    Look, do you also realize that you're embarrassing yourself? In "your world" (to borrow a phrase) of IQ essentialism, you're currently performing at the intelligence level of 'below the baseboard', as they say in Russia. Or (in "my world") you're just being childish.

    If would be perfectly fine to just say that you disagree and stop there.

    But even if we take your claim seriously, and assume that, say, a million people enacted the 'regime change' in Kiev, it's still less than 5% of the adult population. You can call it 'coup', or 'revolution', or 'divine providence', none of this affects my main point: unconstitutional transition of power -> the new ruler has no claim to sovereignty, borders, etc. of the entity that existed before the regime change... It has to be sorted out with weapons and with diplomacy. So, Crimea got sorted out the way it did.
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  120. @AP

    Not true. Protesters’ representatives signed the agreement, made the announcement, and the protesters left. Except for the ultra-right paramilitary.
     
    There was no widespread dispersal of protesters after the agreement was signed. Klichko was booed by masses of people after the signing. And the refusal involved non only right-wing activists but the
    Democratic Alliance.

    I realize that you get most of your information about Ukraine from Yanukovich-linked sources. Yanukovich described it as a "coup."

    It depends. In Hungary, for example, it was a peaceful and orderly transition. In Romania, revolution with a civil war. What of it?
     
    So in your world was Romania a coup, or was only Ukraine a coup, because that's what Yanukovich called it.

    I realize that you get most of your information about Ukraine from Yanukovich-linked sources. Yanukovich described it as a “coup.”

    Look, do you also realize that you’re embarrassing yourself? In “your world” (to borrow a phrase) of IQ essentialism, you’re currently performing at the intelligence level of ‘below the baseboard’, as they say in Russia. Or (in “my world”) you’re just being childish.

    If would be perfectly fine to just say that you disagree and stop there.

    But even if we take your claim seriously, and assume that, say, a million people enacted the ‘regime change’ in Kiev, it’s still less than 5% of the adult population. You can call it ‘coup’, or ‘revolution’, or ‘divine providence’, none of this affects my main point: unconstitutional transition of power -> the new ruler has no claim to sovereignty, borders, etc. of the entity that existed before the regime change… It has to be sorted out with weapons and with diplomacy. So, Crimea got sorted out the way it did.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Words ought to be used with precision and accuracy, not with doublespeak, or with a postmodernist approach to language. A coup is a violent illegal seizure of power by a small group of people such as some military officers, some politicians, etc. Here is the definition from Webster:

    a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially :the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group a military coup d'état of the dictator

    a sudden attempt by a small group of people to take over the government usually through violence

    Wiki:

    A coup d'état (/ˌkuː deɪˈtɑː/ About this sound listen (help·info); French: [ku.de.ta]), also known simply as a coup (/kuː/), a putsch (/pʊtʃ/), golpe de estado, or an overthrow, is the illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military or other elites within the state apparatus

    The attempted removal of Gorbie by the people he had brought in was a coup. The fall of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe were not coups.

    If some generals overthrew Yanukovich and established military rule, this would have been a coup. When his government was toppled by mass street protests accompanied by declarations by local elected regional councils and representatives of popular vote winners in recent elections, this was not a coup.

    Do you understand the difference?

    But even if we take your claim seriously, and assume that, say, a million people enacted the ‘regime change’ in Kiev, it’s still less than 5% of the adult population.
     
    See above. The result of mass protests in Ukraine is akin to what occurred in 1989 elsewhere in Eastern Europe. It does not meet the definition of a coup.

    You are pushing (probably because you are stupid enough to take Yanukovich's teams' claims at face value) the idea that this was not the result of a popular mass movement driven from below.

    unconstitutional transition of power -> the new ruler has no claim to sovereignty, borders, etc. of the entity that existed before the regime change

    We've already established that in your world it would have been open season on Russian territory in 1991 (or again if the post-Putin transition gets messy).
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  121. Randal says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Is Puigdemont bluffing in the hope of extracting some autonomy concessions out of Madrid with some brinkmanship?
     
    I've read a bit about him.

    In the 1990s, Puigdemont traveled extensively to South-East Europe to study, among other things, "Yugoslavia's Nations Without a State".
     

    "There are no times for cowards!" The leader of the Liberal-separatist alliance, Junts pel Sí (Joint for Yes), who was elected with the support of the small left-wing party CUP, promised that the road to independence would be undisturbed. And he kept his word. A year and a half later he called the vote.
     
    He is totally for real.

    The referendum was clearly established as having been illegal and uncondoned, real support for independence looks well below 50% even in Catalonia...
     
    Actually it is 51% at the very minimum (56% turnout * 90% YES). After the past couple of days, it's almost certainly overwhelmingly pro-independence.

    He is totally for real.

    Is this, then, not an indication of a dawning fear that he might have talked himself onto a corner?

    Rajoy was responding to a call for mediation by Puigdemont made earlier during a televised address.

    “This moment calls for mediation. We have received various offers in the last hours and we will receive more,” Puigdemont said. “But we have never received a positive response from the state.”

    Catalan independence: Spain rejects calls for mediation by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont

    Perhaps it’s just shaping the context for future blame-casting, though.

    But it does seem likely the separatists will have rather had their delusions about the EU riding to the rescue shattered over the past 48 hours:

    European leaders have so far sided with Spain and have called on both sides to talk with each other.

    European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, however, said on Wednesday there was a “general consensus that regional government of Catalonia has chosen to ignore the law when organizing the referendum.”

    During an emergency session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, leaders from the two biggest party groups warned Catalan leaders not to forge ahead with independence.

    Germany said on Wednesday that it hoped tensions between Madrid and Catalonia would soon calm down, but emphasized the conflict was an internal Spanish matter.

    Read More
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  122. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    I realize that you get most of your information about Ukraine from Yanukovich-linked sources. Yanukovich described it as a “coup.”
     
    Look, do you also realize that you're embarrassing yourself? In "your world" (to borrow a phrase) of IQ essentialism, you're currently performing at the intelligence level of 'below the baseboard', as they say in Russia. Or (in "my world") you're just being childish.

    If would be perfectly fine to just say that you disagree and stop there.

    But even if we take your claim seriously, and assume that, say, a million people enacted the 'regime change' in Kiev, it's still less than 5% of the adult population. You can call it 'coup', or 'revolution', or 'divine providence', none of this affects my main point: unconstitutional transition of power -> the new ruler has no claim to sovereignty, borders, etc. of the entity that existed before the regime change... It has to be sorted out with weapons and with diplomacy. So, Crimea got sorted out the way it did.

    Words ought to be used with precision and accuracy, not with doublespeak, or with a postmodernist approach to language. A coup is a violent illegal seizure of power by a small group of people such as some military officers, some politicians, etc. Here is the definition from Webster:

    a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially :the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group a military coup d’état of the dictator

    a sudden attempt by a small group of people to take over the government usually through violence

    Wiki:

    A coup d’état (/ˌkuː deɪˈtɑː/ About this sound listen (help·info); French: [ku.de.ta]), also known simply as a coup (/kuː/), a putsch (/pʊtʃ/), golpe de estado, or an overthrow, is the illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military or other elites within the state apparatus

    The attempted removal of Gorbie by the people he had brought in was a coup. The fall of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe were not coups.

    If some generals overthrew Yanukovich and established military rule, this would have been a coup. When his government was toppled by mass street protests accompanied by declarations by local elected regional councils and representatives of popular vote winners in recent elections, this was not a coup.

    Do you understand the difference?

    But even if we take your claim seriously, and assume that, say, a million people enacted the ‘regime change’ in Kiev, it’s still less than 5% of the adult population.

    See above. The result of mass protests in Ukraine is akin to what occurred in 1989 elsewhere in Eastern Europe. It does not meet the definition of a coup.

    You are pushing (probably because you are stupid enough to take Yanukovich’s teams’ claims at face value) the idea that this was not the result of a popular mass movement driven from below.

    unconstitutional transition of power -> the new ruler has no claim to sovereignty, borders, etc. of the entity that existed before the regime change

    We’ve already established that in your world it would have been open season on Russian territory in 1991 (or again if the post-Putin transition gets messy).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    We’ve already established that in your world it would have been open season on Russian territory in 1991 (or again if the post-Putin transition gets messy).
     
    1991 was okay, but there was a coup, most certainly, in 1993, and, as I remember, at that point several provinces (especially in the far east) weighted their options. But the putschists were smart enough to sort it out without violence (except for Chechnya, of course).

    The result of mass protests in Ukraine is akin to what occurred in 1989 elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
     
    Tsk. I have to disagree; it was nothing of the kind. Transition from planned socialist economy to predatory capitalism vs. the coup in which one group of oligarchs wrenched the power away from another group of oligarchs. 'The third cycle of redistribution within the oligarchy', as I heard Yermolaev calling it recently.
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  123. @Talha
    Totally depends on who writes the history books; Ivan the Great or Ivan the Terrible - take your pick.

    Peace.

    I think “the Terrible” moniker was actually meant as a compliment. Russians like brutal leaders which is why they still love Stalin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    I think “the Terrible” moniker was actually meant as a compliment. Russians like brutal leaders which is why they still love Stalin.
     
    “the Terrible” - only English nickname.
    In Russian it is Ivan Grozny. Rough translation - Ivan Thunderstorm, or Ivan Dangerous-for-enemies
    , @Talha
    I agree with melanf here. This is the name known in the West - because we don't like strong Russian leaders.

    But no arguments here - dude was pretty brutal, even by Russian ruler standards. By Central Asian horde warlord standards - maybe minor leagues.

    Peace.
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  124. But it does seem likely the separatists will have rather had their delusions about the EU riding to the rescue shattered over the past 48 hours:

    I have a former Au Pair who lives in Barcelona and is big on Catalonian independence. She is going crazy on Facebook about how the EU has abandoned them. The level of delusion these people have is insane.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    There seems to be a truly bizarre kind of pseudo-nationalist internationalist EU-worship in the Catalan secessionist movement and amongst its supporters.

    It's noticeable that lots of people who hysterically condemn any kind of conservative (genuine) nationalism as "populist" new Hitlerism are quite happy to support the lefty pro-EU Catalans against the Spanish government.

    , @notanon
    consciously globalist Leftists are all on the side of Spain but the media-brainwashed soft Leftists believe the spin that the EU is a liberal democrat organisation dedicated to saving the world from fascism - which they generally define as police hitting people.

    the best part of this from an outsider's point of view is it helps to unmask the EU as the closet totalitarian force it actually is.
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  125. Gerard2 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    So, how else will history judge Putin, allowing Yanukovich a safe harbor by currently allowing him to live in Russia?
     
    For all his manifold faults, Yanukovych turned to Russia at the end, and it would be unseemly to abandon your allies - even unwilling, last-minute ones.

    As for how history will judge Putin, probably harshly, though not for the reasons you imagine.

    This has been the greatest ever of Putins 3 terms so far…look at every single measure of how Russia is performing, except economic…which has still managed to recover from the massive sanctions and restructure in several sectors.

    Russia has risked everything on Donbass and Crimea (not to mention Syria) at stopping the deranged,evil Uncle Scumbag modus operandi all over the world….whilst always trying to be as constructive as possible. He has done everything possible on Donbass to help and save these people and back their justified cause……..there is simple nothing more that can be done when dealing with a braindead,gutless international community, a Kiev-Nazi scumbag government and the idiotic/evil but very powerful and wealthy US foreign policy structure

    On top of that on his public visits in Russia he has “opened up” and his likeability is now more than ever.

    History will judge VVP as the very best President

    Read More
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  126. Randal says:
    @Greasy William

    But it does seem likely the separatists will have rather had their delusions about the EU riding to the rescue shattered over the past 48 hours:
     
    I have a former Au Pair who lives in Barcelona and is big on Catalonian independence. She is going crazy on Facebook about how the EU has abandoned them. The level of delusion these people have is insane.

    There seems to be a truly bizarre kind of pseudo-nationalist internationalist EU-worship in the Catalan secessionist movement and amongst its supporters.

    It’s noticeable that lots of people who hysterically condemn any kind of conservative (genuine) nationalism as “populist” new Hitlerism are quite happy to support the lefty pro-EU Catalans against the Spanish government.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Greasy William
    The Lefties on the sites that I read are all backing the Spanish government. They realize what a threat Catalan independence is to Globalism.
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  127. @Randal
    There seems to be a truly bizarre kind of pseudo-nationalist internationalist EU-worship in the Catalan secessionist movement and amongst its supporters.

    It's noticeable that lots of people who hysterically condemn any kind of conservative (genuine) nationalism as "populist" new Hitlerism are quite happy to support the lefty pro-EU Catalans against the Spanish government.

    The Lefties on the sites that I read are all backing the Spanish government. They realize what a threat Catalan independence is to Globalism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Not sure how the creation of yet another EU-worshipping dependent statelet run by globalists is a "threat to globalism". It's very much a double edged sword for the nationalist resistance to globalism, creating small breakaway states out of established large ones.

    Granted turmoil over Catalonia is an advantage in the short run, in a "the worse the better" sense, for those who seek the end of the EU, but in reality there seems to be no plausible route forward that does not end in defeat for the separatists here anyway.

    And in the long run that failure might be the trigger for the rise of a healthier nationalism that does not worship the EU.
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  128. melanf says:
    @Talha
    Totally depends on who writes the history books; Ivan the Great or Ivan the Terrible - take your pick.

    Peace.

    Totally depends on who writes the history books; Ivan the Great or Ivan the Terrible – take your pick.

    Ivan III (Ivan the Great) and Ivan IV (in English language – Ivan the Terrible) different rulers

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Oh - I know the difference between the two (the feared oprichniki and all that stuff) - I'm just saying, those who write history will place the titles. If you don't believe me, just watch what's happening in the US right now to historical figures.

    Kemal "Father of the Turks":
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axXo7uAc99E

    To some, not so much.

    Peace.
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  129. melanf says:
    @Greasy William
    I think "the Terrible" moniker was actually meant as a compliment. Russians like brutal leaders which is why they still love Stalin.

    I think “the Terrible” moniker was actually meant as a compliment. Russians like brutal leaders which is why they still love Stalin.

    “the Terrible” – only English nickname.
    In Russian it is Ivan Grozny. Rough translation – Ivan Thunderstorm, or Ivan Dangerous-for-enemies

    Read More
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  130. Talha says:
    @melanf

    Totally depends on who writes the history books; Ivan the Great or Ivan the Terrible – take your pick.
     
    Ivan III (Ivan the Great) and Ivan IV (in English language - Ivan the Terrible) different rulers

    Oh – I know the difference between the two (the feared oprichniki and all that stuff) – I’m just saying, those who write history will place the titles. If you don’t believe me, just watch what’s happening in the US right now to historical figures.

    Kemal “Father of the Turks”:

    To some, not so much.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  131. Talha says:
    @Greasy William
    I think "the Terrible" moniker was actually meant as a compliment. Russians like brutal leaders which is why they still love Stalin.

    I agree with melanf here. This is the name known in the West – because we don’t like strong Russian leaders.

    But no arguments here – dude was pretty brutal, even by Russian ruler standards. By Central Asian horde warlord standards – maybe minor leagues.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    dude was pretty brutal, even by Russian ruler standards
     
    The standards were about the same as in Western Europe. The victims of the terror of Ivan (total) - approximately 4,000 people. In Batholomew night the number of dead "the low end are figures of about 2,000 in Paris and 3,000 in the provinces"
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  132. Randal says:
    @Greasy William
    The Lefties on the sites that I read are all backing the Spanish government. They realize what a threat Catalan independence is to Globalism.

    Not sure how the creation of yet another EU-worshipping dependent statelet run by globalists is a “threat to globalism”. It’s very much a double edged sword for the nationalist resistance to globalism, creating small breakaway states out of established large ones.

    Granted turmoil over Catalonia is an advantage in the short run, in a “the worse the better” sense, for those who seek the end of the EU, but in reality there seems to be no plausible route forward that does not end in defeat for the separatists here anyway.

    And in the long run that failure might be the trigger for the rise of a healthier nationalism that does not worship the EU.

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  133. @AP
    Words ought to be used with precision and accuracy, not with doublespeak, or with a postmodernist approach to language. A coup is a violent illegal seizure of power by a small group of people such as some military officers, some politicians, etc. Here is the definition from Webster:

    a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially :the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group a military coup d'état of the dictator

    a sudden attempt by a small group of people to take over the government usually through violence

    Wiki:

    A coup d'état (/ˌkuː deɪˈtɑː/ About this sound listen (help·info); French: [ku.de.ta]), also known simply as a coup (/kuː/), a putsch (/pʊtʃ/), golpe de estado, or an overthrow, is the illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military or other elites within the state apparatus

    The attempted removal of Gorbie by the people he had brought in was a coup. The fall of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe were not coups.

    If some generals overthrew Yanukovich and established military rule, this would have been a coup. When his government was toppled by mass street protests accompanied by declarations by local elected regional councils and representatives of popular vote winners in recent elections, this was not a coup.

    Do you understand the difference?

    But even if we take your claim seriously, and assume that, say, a million people enacted the ‘regime change’ in Kiev, it’s still less than 5% of the adult population.
     
    See above. The result of mass protests in Ukraine is akin to what occurred in 1989 elsewhere in Eastern Europe. It does not meet the definition of a coup.

    You are pushing (probably because you are stupid enough to take Yanukovich's teams' claims at face value) the idea that this was not the result of a popular mass movement driven from below.

    unconstitutional transition of power -> the new ruler has no claim to sovereignty, borders, etc. of the entity that existed before the regime change

    We've already established that in your world it would have been open season on Russian territory in 1991 (or again if the post-Putin transition gets messy).

    We’ve already established that in your world it would have been open season on Russian territory in 1991 (or again if the post-Putin transition gets messy).

    1991 was okay, but there was a coup, most certainly, in 1993, and, as I remember, at that point several provinces (especially in the far east) weighted their options. But the putschists were smart enough to sort it out without violence (except for Chechnya, of course).

    The result of mass protests in Ukraine is akin to what occurred in 1989 elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

    Tsk. I have to disagree; it was nothing of the kind. Transition from planned socialist economy to predatory capitalism vs. the coup in which one group of oligarchs wrenched the power away from another group of oligarchs. ‘The third cycle of redistribution within the oligarchy’, as I heard Yermolaev calling it recently.

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  134. melanf says:
    @Talha
    I agree with melanf here. This is the name known in the West - because we don't like strong Russian leaders.

    But no arguments here - dude was pretty brutal, even by Russian ruler standards. By Central Asian horde warlord standards - maybe minor leagues.

    Peace.

    dude was pretty brutal, even by Russian ruler standards

    The standards were about the same as in Western Europe. The victims of the terror of Ivan (total) – approximately 4,000 people. In Batholomew night the number of dead “the low end are figures of about 2,000 in Paris and 3,000 in the provinces”

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Good point - but does that violence belong in the same category? Those were the first shots in the communal madness of the European religious wars. I guess one can make the argument that it is the same.

    And we also have how he dealt with the Tatar Khanate, I think brutal is not inaccurate.

    Peace.
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  135. Talha says:
    @melanf

    dude was pretty brutal, even by Russian ruler standards
     
    The standards were about the same as in Western Europe. The victims of the terror of Ivan (total) - approximately 4,000 people. In Batholomew night the number of dead "the low end are figures of about 2,000 in Paris and 3,000 in the provinces"

    Good point – but does that violence belong in the same category? Those were the first shots in the communal madness of the European religious wars. I guess one can make the argument that it is the same.

    And we also have how he dealt with the Tatar Khanate, I think brutal is not inaccurate.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @melanf

    Good point – but does that violence belong in the same category?
     
    Ivan (mainly) destroyed the feudal clans that were dangerous to the throne. Sadist and paranoid, but talented ruler who has made much for the state (for example, created the Parliament to combat the aristocracy ).

    And we also have how he dealt with the Tatar Khanate, I think brutal is not inaccurate.
     
    ????
    An analogue of the Kazan Tatars (in Western Europe) - Spanish Moriscos. At this point Ivan was a humanist (in comparison with the Spanish Kings)
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  136. melanf says:
    @Talha
    Good point - but does that violence belong in the same category? Those were the first shots in the communal madness of the European religious wars. I guess one can make the argument that it is the same.

    And we also have how he dealt with the Tatar Khanate, I think brutal is not inaccurate.

    Peace.

    Good point – but does that violence belong in the same category?

    Ivan (mainly) destroyed the feudal clans that were dangerous to the throne. Sadist and paranoid, but talented ruler who has made much for the state (for example, created the Parliament to combat the aristocracy ).

    And we also have how he dealt with the Tatar Khanate, I think brutal is not inaccurate.

    ????
    An analogue of the Kazan Tatars (in Western Europe) – Spanish Moriscos. At this point Ivan was a humanist (in comparison with the Spanish Kings)

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    • Replies: @Talha

    At this point Ivan was a humanist (in comparison with the Spanish Kings)
     
    Damn bro - that's probably true - LOL!

    Sadist and paranoid
     
    Even Sweden had a couple of those.

    Peace.

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  137. My Russian history isn’t great, but wasn’t the deal with Ivan that he was mostly brutal to the boyars, not the common people? And didn’t at one point he abdicate over frustration with those same boyars who proceeded to beg him to return?

    Randal: secessionism anywhere in the West for any reason is a threat to Globalism. Remember how nuts the Left was going over Scotland potentially leaving the UK?

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    • Replies: @melanf

    My Russian history isn’t great, but wasn’t the deal with Ivan that he was mostly brutal to the boyars, not the common people?
     
    The main blow fell on the nobles, because they were closer to the throne and more dangerous. But Ivan was a misanthrope, he equally despised the aristocracy and the common people.

    And didn’t at one point he abdicate over frustration with those same boyars who proceeded to beg him to return?
     
    It was a political maneuver to get a free hand to crack down with the feudal aristocracy
    , @Randal
    The Scottish Nationalists are the Left (and they are globalists as well):

    The SNP's policy base is mostly in the mainstream European social democratic tradition. Among its policies are commitments to same-sex marriage, reducing the voting age to 16, unilateral nuclear disarmament, progressive personal taxation, the eradication of poverty, the building of affordable social housing, government-subsidised higher education, opposition to the building of new nuclear power plants, investment in renewable energy, the abolition of Air Passenger Duty, and a pay increase for nurses
    ...
    In its economic and welfare state policies, the party has in recent years adopted a markedly feminist profile, influenced by thinkers such as Ailsa McKay.[51][not in citation given] The SNP is against the renewal of Trident and wants to continue providing free university education in Scotland.[52]

    The SNP is also a Pro-European party, which would like to see an independent Scotland as a member of the European Union.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_National_Party#Party_ideology
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  138. Talha says:
    @melanf

    Good point – but does that violence belong in the same category?
     
    Ivan (mainly) destroyed the feudal clans that were dangerous to the throne. Sadist and paranoid, but talented ruler who has made much for the state (for example, created the Parliament to combat the aristocracy ).

    And we also have how he dealt with the Tatar Khanate, I think brutal is not inaccurate.
     
    ????
    An analogue of the Kazan Tatars (in Western Europe) - Spanish Moriscos. At this point Ivan was a humanist (in comparison with the Spanish Kings)

    At this point Ivan was a humanist (in comparison with the Spanish Kings)

    Damn bro – that’s probably true – LOL!

    Sadist and paranoid

    Even Sweden had a couple of those.

    Peace.

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  139. melanf says:
    @Greasy William
    My Russian history isn't great, but wasn't the deal with Ivan that he was mostly brutal to the boyars, not the common people? And didn't at one point he abdicate over frustration with those same boyars who proceeded to beg him to return?

    Randal: secessionism anywhere in the West for any reason is a threat to Globalism. Remember how nuts the Left was going over Scotland potentially leaving the UK?

    My Russian history isn’t great, but wasn’t the deal with Ivan that he was mostly brutal to the boyars, not the common people?

    The main blow fell on the nobles, because they were closer to the throne and more dangerous. But Ivan was a misanthrope, he equally despised the aristocracy and the common people.

    And didn’t at one point he abdicate over frustration with those same boyars who proceeded to beg him to return?

    It was a political maneuver to get a free hand to crack down with the feudal aristocracy

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  140. Randal says:
    @Greasy William
    My Russian history isn't great, but wasn't the deal with Ivan that he was mostly brutal to the boyars, not the common people? And didn't at one point he abdicate over frustration with those same boyars who proceeded to beg him to return?

    Randal: secessionism anywhere in the West for any reason is a threat to Globalism. Remember how nuts the Left was going over Scotland potentially leaving the UK?

    The Scottish Nationalists are the Left (and they are globalists as well):

    The SNP’s policy base is mostly in the mainstream European social democratic tradition. Among its policies are commitments to same-sex marriage, reducing the voting age to 16, unilateral nuclear disarmament, progressive personal taxation, the eradication of poverty, the building of affordable social housing, government-subsidised higher education, opposition to the building of new nuclear power plants, investment in renewable energy, the abolition of Air Passenger Duty, and a pay increase for nurses

    In its economic and welfare state policies, the party has in recent years adopted a markedly feminist profile, influenced by thinkers such as Ailsa McKay.[51][not in citation given] The SNP is against the renewal of Trident and wants to continue providing free university education in Scotland.[52]

    The SNP is also a Pro-European party, which would like to see an independent Scotland as a member of the European Union.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_National_Party#Party_ideology

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    • Replies: @Greasy William
    They are Left but there is no question that the overwhelming majority of Globalists opposed Scottish independence. Just like most Globalist currently oppose Catalan independence.

    Scotland is such a beautiful country. It would be great if the Scots could be liquidated so the land could be given to a people more deserving of it.

    If we are talking about beautiful countries, no question that New Zealand is the most beautiful. But I think you could make a case for Scotland as 2nd most beautiful.

    What do you guys think?
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  141. notanon says:
    @Greasy William

    But it does seem likely the separatists will have rather had their delusions about the EU riding to the rescue shattered over the past 48 hours:
     
    I have a former Au Pair who lives in Barcelona and is big on Catalonian independence. She is going crazy on Facebook about how the EU has abandoned them. The level of delusion these people have is insane.

    consciously globalist Leftists are all on the side of Spain but the media-brainwashed soft Leftists believe the spin that the EU is a liberal democrat organisation dedicated to saving the world from fascism – which they generally define as police hitting people.

    the best part of this from an outsider’s point of view is it helps to unmask the EU as the closet totalitarian force it actually is.

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  142. @Randal
    The Scottish Nationalists are the Left (and they are globalists as well):

    The SNP's policy base is mostly in the mainstream European social democratic tradition. Among its policies are commitments to same-sex marriage, reducing the voting age to 16, unilateral nuclear disarmament, progressive personal taxation, the eradication of poverty, the building of affordable social housing, government-subsidised higher education, opposition to the building of new nuclear power plants, investment in renewable energy, the abolition of Air Passenger Duty, and a pay increase for nurses
    ...
    In its economic and welfare state policies, the party has in recent years adopted a markedly feminist profile, influenced by thinkers such as Ailsa McKay.[51][not in citation given] The SNP is against the renewal of Trident and wants to continue providing free university education in Scotland.[52]

    The SNP is also a Pro-European party, which would like to see an independent Scotland as a member of the European Union.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_National_Party#Party_ideology

    They are Left but there is no question that the overwhelming majority of Globalists opposed Scottish independence. Just like most Globalist currently oppose Catalan independence.

    Scotland is such a beautiful country. It would be great if the Scots could be liquidated so the land could be given to a people more deserving of it.

    If we are talking about beautiful countries, no question that New Zealand is the most beautiful. But I think you could make a case for Scotland as 2nd most beautiful.

    What do you guys think?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Scotland is wasted on the Scottish.
    , @Anon

    They are Left but there is no question that the overwhelming majority of Globalists opposed Scottish independence. Just like most Globalist currently oppose Catalan independence.
     
    Because both are/were threats to the established Washington/Brüssel-dominated order in Europe.
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  143. Did the SNP even unanimously support “Leave”? I’m pretty sure J.K. Rowling supported Remain.

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    • Replies: @notanon
    SNP were solidly for remain
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  144. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Greasy William
    They are Left but there is no question that the overwhelming majority of Globalists opposed Scottish independence. Just like most Globalist currently oppose Catalan independence.

    Scotland is such a beautiful country. It would be great if the Scots could be liquidated so the land could be given to a people more deserving of it.

    If we are talking about beautiful countries, no question that New Zealand is the most beautiful. But I think you could make a case for Scotland as 2nd most beautiful.

    What do you guys think?

    Scotland is wasted on the Scottish.

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  145. notanon says:
    @Greasy William
    Did the SNP even unanimously support "Leave"? I'm pretty sure J.K. Rowling supported Remain.

    SNP were solidly for remain

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  146. Jobs says: • Website

    J.K Rowling. Why she is in here?

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  147. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Greasy William
    They are Left but there is no question that the overwhelming majority of Globalists opposed Scottish independence. Just like most Globalist currently oppose Catalan independence.

    Scotland is such a beautiful country. It would be great if the Scots could be liquidated so the land could be given to a people more deserving of it.

    If we are talking about beautiful countries, no question that New Zealand is the most beautiful. But I think you could make a case for Scotland as 2nd most beautiful.

    What do you guys think?

    They are Left but there is no question that the overwhelming majority of Globalists opposed Scottish independence. Just like most Globalist currently oppose Catalan independence.

    Because both are/were threats to the established Washington/Brüssel-dominated order in Europe.

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  148. Der Kerl says:

    Eurocrats and Globalism Inc. are predictably unanimous in opposing Catalan separatism.

    Well, it seems that Mr. Karlin is not aware that in fact the globalists like George Soros are pushing for the catalan secession.

    ‘ George Soros is funding the independence of Catalonia ‘ Source: http://www.voltairenet.org/article198106.html

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