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Selective morality of geopolitics & Man's Inhumanity to Man

TechTalk

Active member
Dear Mr. Tech Talk,
This post just proves that you are only interested in current headlines of western media.
It proves absolutely nothing about me, my interests, or what I read or think. My how eager you seem to be to jump to conclusions about people.

I chose to take a couple of years of Russian as an elective language as a teenager. Though my spoken Russian is abysmal, as proven by my attempts to converse with Russian friends and acquaintances in their language, my ability to read Russian at least rises to the level of mediocrity.

None of which, including my post to which you refer, proves anything about: what I read; how critically I judge secondary sources or how often I seek out primary sources; my gullibility; or my ability to recognize pure propaganda and manure when I see it being spread, as I also spent a little time working on a farm in my youth.
Do they limit the number of media that you can read at the space station?
Whatever...
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
It proves absolutely nothing about me, my interests, or what I read or think. My how eager you seem to be to jump to conclusions about people.

I chose to take a couple of years of Russian as an elective language as a teenager. Though my spoken Russian is abysmal, as proven by my attempts to converse with Russian friends and acquaintances in their language, my ability to read Russian at least rises to the level of mediocrity.

None of which, including my post to which you refer, proves anything about: what I read; how critically I judge secondary sources or how often I seek out primary sources; my gullibility; or my ability to recognize pure propaganda and manure when I see it being spread, as I also spent a little time working on a farm in my youth.

Whatever...
We can at least agree on one thing, only primary sources, are of real value.
 

TechTalk

Active member
Yes, the war in Ukraine is a disaster. Yes, Putin is responsible. No, it is not the most catastrophic event on earth this century.
It has been for some Ukrainians. Especially for the ones that died and their grieving loved ones.

That would be the western lead and western supported wars in the Middle East where at least 37 million people have lost their livelihoods and more that a million people their lives, and where entire nations have been reduced from relatively modern, functional societies to failed states.
Is it a contest? It seems that the criminal dictator in Russia has happily meddled about in the Middle East as well. Then again, the Middle East has its own very long, tangled, and very complicated history of ethnic, sectarian, cultural, and political factions, rivalries, and clashes which are separate and distinct from Ukraine.

So, how do you score or assign points in this contest of who does the most damage in the world? Or are you scoring this regionally? I can't really tell. It would seem logical to me that every situation needs to be evaluated within the entirety of its historical background, current situation, and likely trajectory going forward.

I'm not certain that comparing bad acts provides very much value or leads to a clearer understanding of any situation, much less a resolution. That seems more akin to how children try to rationalize and justify their bad behavior on the playground than it does to a useful framework for how complex geopolitical events should be assessed.
 

TechTalk

Active member
We can at least agree on one thing, only primary sources, are of real value.
Sorry. We can't agree on that either, as primary sources are not always accessible or reliable. They need critical scrutiny as well. Sometimes you only have secondary sources and additionally, they could have a more honest or balanced perspective.

Life is sure complicated ain't it? No matter how simple some try to make it out to be.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
It has been for some Ukrainians. Especially for the ones that died and their grieving loved ones.


Is it a contest? It seems that the criminal dictator in Russia has happily meddled about in the Middle East as well. Then again, the Middle East has its own very long, tangled, and very complicated history of ethnic, sectarian, cultural, and political factions, rivalries, and clashes which are separate and distinct from Ukraine.

So, how do you score or assign points in this contest of who does the most damage in the world? Or are you scoring this regionally? I can't really tell. It would seem logical to me that every situation needs to be evaluated within the entirety of its historical background, current situation, and likely trajectory going forward.

I'm not certain that comparing bad acts provides very much value or leads to a clearer understanding of any situation, much less a resolution. That seems more akin to how children try to rationalize and justify their bad behavior on the playground than it does to a useful framework for how complex geopolitical events should be assessed.
No, it's not a contest, but the western world's reaction to the war in Ukraine compared to reactions to the wars in the Middle East are extremely different. There were no sanctions against NATO countries, there was no "Bush must be stopped" or "Obama must be stopped". And no, the western wars in the Middle East are not complicated. It's USA with or without NATO support going unprovoked to war against sovereign countries in the Middle East, but only against countries with leaders who won't cooperate with The West. Yes, they are mostly authoritarian leaders, but most leaders in that part of the world are, also those whose arses you lick.

Western countries have been sanctioning Syria for more than 10 years, and USA is occupying roughly a third of the country, the part where they grow their wheat, the part where the oil is. They have established something they call The Syrian Democratic Forces there. Who elected them? The government of USA elected them. Guess who is suffering from all this. No, not Assad. The people of Syria is suffering, from not having enough food, from not having access to fuel, from not having access to medication. And while the theory behind these actions are that they will help people raise against Assad, they are doing the opposite. Assad, once a disliked and controversial figure in Syria has more support than ever, and would easily have won a democratic election there. But he's an enemy of the United States of America, so that can't be allowed.

And it doesn't stop there. The sanctions against Russia are causing enormous damage all over the world, without doing much to stop the war. Western countries are expecting countries around the globe, countries that have been colonised and mistreated by the west for centuries, to participate in sanctions against Russia because the Russians started a war in Europe.

I know people who have lost their jobs, or parts of their businesses, because of western sanctions against Russia or Iran or Myanmar. People around the globe are tired of western leaders telling them what to do and how to run their countries. People mostly want to live in peace. We are seeing it again now with Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. Here in Asia, maintaining status quo is what people mostly strive for, and maintaining a friendly relationship with big nations like China and India. China is the largest trade partner of all countries in East and Southeast Asia. 49% of Taiwan's export goes to China. A serious conflict between Taiwan and China will ruin the whole region, Taiwan in particular.

But western countries don't care about that. They want to dominate like they did in the past. And if they don't, they'll ruin things. Yes, China is not democratic, yes, they discriminate against their minorities, yes, they are guilty of environmental crimes. But compare China today with China before the revolution, or even China 30 years ago, and you'll see that the current version is heaven for most people compared to then, and that includes most of their minorities. And then I'm not even considering the fact that parts of China was colonised by Japan and western countries back before WWII.

And now you want these people to help The West with the war in Ukraine, a war that was 100% avoidable? Keep on dreaming. People outside Europe and North America are not as stupid and uninformed as you think.
 

TechTalk

Active member
Russian language has been banned as primary language in schools in Ukraine, also in predominantly Russian speaking areas. Minorities in Ukraine now has to learn their own language as a foreign language. This mostly affects Russian speaker. The law was voted on in 2017 and became effective in 2020. What would happen if Canada did the same to their French speaking minority?

Later, and number of Russian language TV-stations, political parties etc. have been banned. This started long before the war.
Absolutely nothing in the quotation that I posted, nor the article in which it appeared and to which I provided a link for more information, suggested that Ukrainian language laws were exempt from criticism. In fact if you read the linked fact-checking article, it discusses valid criticism of certain aspects of the language law. The false assertion made here, to which I replied, was "Ukraine...outlawing the Russian language" and the article addressed false Russian propaganda which also misrepresented the law.

Nothing that I've seen represented here regarding the language issue discusses the historical background of Russian, and later Soviet, suppression of Ukrainian language and culture for centuries, the backlash to a Russian backed corrupt government (which mirrored and intersected Putin's corrupt criminal enterprise which poses as a government) which sparked a revolt, and the resulting cultural backlash this created. I would quickly add — before anyone jumps to conclusions — that this does not exempt any language laws from criticism nor excuse excess or retribution, but is intended only to expose their historical roots. Care should be taken when seeking to protect, encourage, and re-establish a once oppressed cultural heritage and language, as in Ukraine, to also balance and protect minority rights. To do otherwise merely encourages continuing a cultural battle and petty revenge — not to mention cultural demagogues and dictators like Putin.

https://www.france24.com/New law stokes Ukraine language tensions

https://www.youtube.com/France 24 - New law stokes Ukraine language tensions [Brief video news report as supplement to article]
 
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TechTalk

Active member
People outside Europe and North America are not as stupid and uninformed as you think.
I see that you assume you know what I think. I can assure you that you do not know what I think, regardless of your presumptions.

With regard to your words, I have quoted them accurately. I have not made assertions as to where your interests "only" reside regarding media and I have certainly not presumed to make assertions regarding what you think. If you could extend to me the same courtesy, I would appreciate it.

I'm quite happy to discuss matters of disagreement and to hear from others what their thoughts and opinions may be. As for my own thoughts, I would prefer to speak for myself rather than have thoughts attributed to me by others.
 
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Abstraction

Active member
All of you guys seem to think that there are good guys, bad guys, heroes and villains. There aren't. There are only victims. There is no moral high ground when countries with Imperial aspirations kick off. One Imperial aspiration is no better than another.

The media is there to spread propaganda by telling you fairy tales, over simplifying some things and omitting others.

As with any such situation, the resulting tragedy has no winners among the regular people and whatever Imperial ambitions get fulfilled, the regular people don't get to taste the fruits.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
The false assertion made here, to which I replied, was "Ukraine...outlawing the Russian language" and the article addressed false Russian propaganda which also misrepresented the law.
I'm sorry, that's not a false assertion in my mind. If you look at the 2017 language law concerning the language used in school it forbids to use the Russian language for more than 20% of the time and prohibits to use any other language than Ukranian for the remaining 80% of the time and also prohibits the use of any other language than Ukranian in the "small talk" between teachers and pupils. Anybody who doesn't comply with this law can be subject to fines. So the Russian language is "outlawed" for 80% of the time and for informal discussions in the education system. It isn't banned because it's still allowed in the 20% remaining school time. I think there's a subtle difference between "banned" and "oulawed" you should not overlook.
 

TechTalk

Active member
I've made them already. I think that the Ukrainian government made an understandable decision to promote and re-establish their own language — which had been repressed for centuries by Russian and Soviet governments — as the official language in their own country. It was prompted by a backlash of historical nature and proportions, but has been rightfully criticized and valid objections made to specific restrictions within the law.

I think that I've already made clear that it is a subject worthy of a more nuanced discussion than claims that Ukraine has "outlawed" or "banned" the Russian language. Those one word descriptions of the law could easily be misunderstood or misinterpreted as to its intention and extent. The one word descriptors "outlawed" or "banned" are incapable of reflecting the lengthy and rather complicated law, which the Ukrainian government has available online in English, Russian, and Ukrainian. In short, it's painting with a broad brush and grossly oversimplified. But, for some, a broad brush may be what's desired to rapidly paint an impression or to apply a wide (but thin) cover.

Additionally, at least some consideration should be given to changes as they occur in the law thru revisions, its implementation, and current government attitude and openness to further revision. By the way, there have been various references to dates, such as your reference to the 2017 Education Law. The 2017 Education Law was criticized by the Venice Commission (European Commission for Democracy through Law) which recommended several amendments, many of which were adopted under the current 2019 law On Supporting the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language which was signed into law by President Poroshenko during his final week in office just days before President Zelenskyy — who was critical of measures in the language law during the campaign — took office.

So, do I think a simple one word description like yours is a gross oversimplification of something more nuanced and complex? Yes, I do.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
Despite all the revisions you speak of the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Hanna Novosad, is currently still enforcing the 80% rule in all state schools. Wether you call this "banning" "outlawing" or "limiting" the use of Russian in regions where mainly Russian is spoken is a matter of opinion. And in my opinion we should not make a country that passes such laws limiting the language of ~30% of their population a candidate member of the EU. While they deserve all the support they're getting to kick out the Russian aggressor we should not close our eyes for their failing on a multitude of aspects that need to be embraced before becoming a (candidate) member.
 
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TechTalk

Active member
...Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Hanna Novosad, is currently still enforcing the 80% rule in all state schools...
How is she doing that? She resigned as Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine on 4 March 2020. If you're interested in what she's doing now, she's been attending a fellowship program at Vanderbilt University in the United States. In the United States she's known as "Anna" rather than "Hanna", but you'd have to ask her why.

https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2022/06/15/Vanderbilt Humphrey Fellow witnesses human toll of war in Ukraine, hopes for peace as atrocities continue
 

pegelli

Well-known member
Well, she started the effort in oktober 2019 when she was still in office, so her successor will have taken this over. I've read nowhere in the "revisions" that this 80% rule has been dropped or relaxed.
 

TechTalk

Active member
When asserting something as a current fact, it's helpful to check those assertions before you make them. Otherwise, the gullible may simply parrot your assertions to others and risk their own credibility and those that discover your "facts" are incorrect and more than two years out of date may lose some of their confidence in your reliability as a conveyor of accurate information. Just a suggestion.

It seems that there are folks anxious to jump to conclusions and make assertions about me, others, and various situations in the world. There's no rush. Take a moment to consider what you're asserting. The world isn't so anxious for my opinion, or that of most people, that it isn't willing to wait a bit to hear them.
 
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pegelli

Well-known member
It seems that there are folks anxious to jump to conclusions and make assertions about me, others, and various situations in the world. There's no rush. Take a moment to consider what you're asserting. The world isn't so anxious for my opinion, or that of most people, that it isn't willing to wait a bit to hear them.
I've never asserted anything about you, while you draw wrong conclusions about me or nit-pick irrelevant facts. Grow up man, I'm back to photography which is the main purpose of this forum (fortunately) but my discussion with you on this topic ends here (for me)
 
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