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Selective morality of geopolitics & Man's Inhumanity to Man

TechTalk

Active member
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)
You should do whatever you feel is right for you. Just to nit-pick a few more irrelevant facts, I didn't say that you asserted anything about me, though someone else has in this thread. Your assertions were about "others" (Ukrainians) and what they were doing with regard to "outlawing" the Russian language or enforcing those laws. Also, I've drawn zero conclusions about you and stated none. I simply took a different point of view on a topic, offered a different perspective, and corrected some misinformation.

And as you appear to me to have a serious interest in the topic; I'll leave a link to an academic and fairly balanced discussion of the law's background; its educational, psychological, and cultural aspects; the implementation roadmap for teachers, students, and schools; and some thoughtful commentary and insightful recommendations from the author of the report. As an academic paper, it is filled with numerous links to citations and references, but is worth reading on its own merits for anyone that may be interested. The publisher of the paper is the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.

https://ukrainian-studies.ca/2020/08/01/Ukraine’s Russian-language secondary schools switch to Ukrainian-language instruction: A challenge

I enjoyed the discussion; a bit more than you did, it appears. I wish you well.
 
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TechTalk

Active member
Thanks for the advice. It's too vague to be of any value, but I'm sure you had good intentions.

For those interested in what an actual ban of a language would look like, one could look at the multiple attempts made by Russia over centuries to eliminate use of the Ukrainian language within Ukraine itself. The Ems Ukaz (or Ems Ukase), a decree issued in 1876 by Emperor of Russia Alexander II, is only one example in the long history of the Russification of Ukraine from the Russian Empire of the 1700s thru the end of the Soviet Empire. The Ems Ukaz decree of Alexander II:
  • banned the importation of all Ukrainian-language publications into the empire
  • prohibited the publication not only of religious text, grammar, and books in Ukrainian for the common people but also les belle lettres for the upper echelons of society, intended to inhibit the development of Ukrainian literature on all levels of society
  • existing Ukrainian-language publications were to be removed from school libraries
  • prohibited theatrical performances, songs and poetry readings in Ukrainian (Lost Kingdom : a history of Russian nationalism from Ivan the Great to Vladimir Putin. — Serhii Plokhy, 2017)
Now, that's the way you ban a language. Another of the many interesting books on the history of Russia and Ukraine, by distinguished historian Serhii Plokhy, is The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, 2015. That book is included in the introduction and interview with Professor Plokhy discussing the long road of Russian and Ukrainian history leading to the current war: Ukraine: Echoes From History | Serhii Plokhy - interview at the Ukrainian Institute London uploaded to YouTube on June 3, 2022.

Another scholarly perspective on Putin's invasion of Ukraine is available from Fiona Hill. She was interviewed by Politico Magazine at the start of the invasion.
 
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TechTalk

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.
That's utterly absurd. Of course there are bad guys and villains. There have been, and there are today; malevolent, violent, sociopathic, psychopathic, and sadistic people in the world who posses NO conscience, shame, guilt, empathy, or remorse and who will murder, torture, starve, and enslave others in pursuit of nothing more than their own personal narcissistic goals and desires.

Are the rest saints without sins, transgressions, or incapable of abhorrent, even horrific, deeds? Of course not! But that does NOT mean that there is no differentiation possible among individuals, groups, leaders, followers, or nations.
There is no moral high ground when countries with Imperial aspirations kick off. One Imperial aspiration is no better than another.
World War II... the British Empire vs the Nazi German Reich. Yes, the British Empire committed atrocities, exploited people and nations, and deserved to have their empire dissolve and crumble (and are certainly not alone in that regard)... BUT, "one... no better than another"? Hogwash. I'll take the flawed and exploitative democracy please, as I'm less likely to end up dead or in a concentration camp when engaging in criticism, protest, and political efforts to reform it into something more admirable.

Democracies, even imperfect ones with imperial histories containing horrible acts, are capable of relatively peaceful progress toward justice, equity, and enlightenment over time — or at least hold that hope as a possibility. The atrocities and evil deeds of maniacal dictators and authoritarian regimes are usually brought to an end with violence and destruction either thru war or revolt.
The media is there to spread propaganda by telling you fairy tales, over simplifying some things and omitting others.
There is media and quite a variety of it. It's up to individuals to find their way thru the overgrown forest of media that exists.

THE media is a myth. There's no such thing as THE media.

As for "over simplifying some things and omitting others", your quote at the top regarding the absence of "good guys, bad guys" and there being "only victims" seems to suggest, within the context of your observations on imperialism which immediately followed, that one is either an imperialist or a victim of imperialism. If that was your intended suggestion, it would be a gross oversimplification which omits a great deal to the point of sounding much like propaganda.
 
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TechTalk

Active member
This speech by Professor John Mearsheimer at University of Chicago is still, 7 years later, the best and most relevant I have heard about the conflict in Ukraine:

That's a serious point of view worthy of serious consideration. It's not the only point of view that is worthy of consideration, however, but it is one worthy of serious debate and discussion. For those that are interested in hearing that kind of serious discussion which incorporates and examines multiple points of view, I would recommend this debate between: John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, Radosław Sikorski, and Michael McFaul from May 12, 2022 and presented by Munk Debates in Toronto, Canada. The debate resolution is : Be it resolved, ending the world’s worst geopolitical crisis in a generation starts with acknowledging Russia’s security interests.

I'm not really interested in whether anyone changes their point of view by listening to this debate. I actually don't expect many will watch it; but if anyone does, they will have a broader understanding of the range of seriously considered viewpoints that exist on this topic.

 
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TechTalk

Active member
...P.S. Just a few additions cos' it can't be ignored...

Guess who Ukranian president Zelesnky is funded by and heavily associated with...

Guilt by association is one of the oldest smear tactics around. Here's a place to start for a fuller picture of the Kolomoyskyi-Zelenskyy relationship over time.

They don't seem to be very friendly these days...

https://www.post-gazette.com/2022/07/24/Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky stripped of Ukraine citizenship

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Michael Sallah, Ashley Murray, and Tanya Kozyreva - July 24, 2022 [Excerpts Below]

Years after he was accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in Ukraine and secretly amassing a real estate fortune in the United States, oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky was stripped of his Ukraine citizenship in a stunning move that could remove his protections in the event he’s charged in one of the largest U.S. money laundering cases of its kind.

The order by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy could potentially open the way for prosecutors to move for extradition against the billionaire -- the target of a federal grand jury investigation -- for allegedly siphoning the money from Ukraine’s largest bank and buying steel mills and skyscrapers in the American heartland.

"They are taking serious measures," said John Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. "It may be a response to this latest expression of concern about corruption in Ukraine. If this is true, this is a big deal. Ukraine, of course, is fighting for its life."

Mr. Zelenskyy’s order in the midst of the war with Russia comes after years of legal battles by prosecutors to seize U.S. properties they say the oligarch and his partners bought with money stolen from his former bank -- the losses large enough to cripple the country's economy -- and moved into the United States between 2008 and 2015...

...Paul Pelletier, a former federal prosecutor and fraud chief at the U.S. Department of Justice, said one of the reasons that Mr. Zelenskyy is taking action against Mr. Kolomoisky is to answer any criticism of the United States for its efforts to help a country known for corrupt leaders.

"I think this is showing in a very tangible way that Zelenskyy is not your typical Ukrainian leader and he is not going to tolerate corruption," he said. "It's purposeful and he's [messing] with the most powerful people in his country."...

...Former Ukraine General Prosecutor Ruslan Ryaboshapka, who met with U.S. law enforcement agents in Kyiv in 2020, said he discussed extradition terms with them and that he favored finding a way to send the oligarch to the U.S. if charges are filed.

Because Mr. Kolomoisky was a Ukraine citizen, it would have been difficult, but this lifts a hurdle...

...Despite any legal efforts by Mr. Kolomoisky, who has filed hundreds of lawsuits to gain control of his former bank, the president's order is critical in letting the world know where he stands, said Kenneth McCallion, a former federal prosecutor who once represented former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

It will "break the stranglehold that the oligarchs such as Kolomoisky have had over politics and the economy," he said. "Zelenskyy and his advisers have finally come to the realization that even if they can successfully fend off the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the victory will be a pyrrhic one unless the country can function as a true democracy, rather than an oligarchy with only the trappings of democratic structures."

[The above are excerpts from a much longer article linked above]
 
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