Monday, 3 March 2014

Fun Online Polls: Ukraine & Syria/radicalisation

The results to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

What's the less-bad option for Ukraine?

Remain a satellite of Russia - 72%
Align itself with the EU - 28%

Henry Law suggested: "Have a referendum and split the country." which appears to be what is now happening anyway, only as per usual the Russians have pre-empted a referendum and are just occupying the bits they think they can hold on to.
Two articles on Syria and radicalisation caught my eye this morning:

From the BBC:

An ex-member of al-Qaeda has said the UK government must clearly explain why it has not intervened in Syria - or risk more Muslims becoming radicalised.

Woah dude! The 'west' has a terrible record for interfering in/invading Islamic countries, which the Islamists have used as a pretext for radicalisation and pointless terrorist attacks. Now this man is trying to tell us that the fact we are not interfering in Syria will lead to even more radicalisation? You can't win with these people.

Also from the BBC:

Muslim children who risk radicalisation by their parents should be taken into care, Boris Johnson has said.

Writing in his weekly Daily Telegraph column, the London mayor said such children were victims of child abuse. Mr Johnson said they should be removed from their families to stop them being turned into "potential killers or suicide bombers".

I'm not really sure what level of reality he is operating on here, so what does everybody else think?

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.


L fairfax said...

I think he doesn't go far enough.
We should
a) Temporarily stop Muslim immigration until we have worked out how to stop terrorism
b) Make an law banning enforcement of Sharia with stricter penalties.

L fairfax said...

Oops I should have written "strict penalties"

DBC Reed said...

Rather a strange reading of the situation in Ukraine: the American (see Nuland transcript) and the EU gives the heave-ho to a legitimate government and instals a lot of militia leaders who have suspect sources of funds and fascist agendas.You blame the Russians.I would have thought the examples of Jugoslavia , Libya, Egypt etc would have occasioned doubts in the reasonable mind that
the West's pissing about in other countries is really all that conducive to peace and prosperity.

Bayard said...

"Now this man is trying to tell us that the fact we are not interfering in Syria will lead to even more radicalisation?"

I think he has a point. It's not that we are not interfering, but that our non-interference is being put down to the "wrong" reasons, e.g. global Jewish conspiracy, passive crusading or general anti-islamism, rather than a desire not to stir up yet another hornets' nest.

Bayard said...

DBCR, so the Russians are freeing the Ukrainians from their western oppressors, are they, just like they did to the Czechs, all those years ago, and the Estonians, the Latvians, the Lithuanians, the Poles, the Romanians, the Bulgarians and the East Germans before them?

DBC Reed said...

The USSR did free Eastern Europe from Nazi oppression all those years ago.Left to Churchill, who dragged his feet over the Second Front,the Soviets would have been polished off and the Nazis would have the free run of the land mass from Vladivostok to Bordeaux. The Hess flight is the suspect turning point: funny he committed suicide the moment he might have been released.

Bayard said...

DBCR, I supposed your strange view of the Second World War has no room for the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or is that simply American propaganda and never really happened?

Mark Wadsworth said...

LF, fair enough, but which pol dares say that?

DBC, the Yanks have quite venal and selfish motives as per usual, but that's not the question. The question is, if you were a Ukrainian living in Ukraine, would you rather be in the EU or in the USSR (or whatever Russia's Empire is called this week)?

B, OK, maybe he has a point, but if we did interfere, then the self-same mass murderers would simply "put it down to the "wrong" reasons, e.g. global Jewish conspiracy, covert crusading and general anti-islamism, as well as a desire to dampen down yet another hornets' nest."

DBC, B, as an aficionado of WW2 documentaries and books, it is quite clear that Roosevelt and Churchill between them were far too soft on Stalin and let him get away with all sorts of nastiness, because their #1 priority was get rid of Hitler.

They quite happily signed over Eastern Europe to him just to keep him onside, for example.

Bayard said...

"but if we did interfere"

we'd deserve all the flak we would get. The XAQT is not suggesting we do interfere, he's suggesting we should give a better spin to our reasons for not interfering. I'm sure we're not interfering for all the wrong reasons, but that's no cause not to put it about that we are not interfering for all the right ones.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B: " I'm sure we're not interfering for all the wrong reasons, but that's no cause not to put it about that we are not interfering for all the right ones."

Masterful use of the double negative there, I must say.

With a bit of luck Putin will get distracted and forget to send Assad all the lovely weapons and then it will get interesting.

DBC Reed said...

Churchill was hardly soft on Stalin: he left him dangling for the best part of three years while Churchill deployed our army in a desert on a different continent. Once Russians had won the war for us (they had been up against 100+ German divisions: in the desert we were up against three),he carried on attacking them by fomenting a Cold War with help of the nasty Truman.In the meantime the Americans screwed us over economically, making us pay in gold and technical information (jet engine ,radar, nuclear fission)for equipment we needed to fight the Germans.The Allies all had different war aims: the Americans to stop our Imperial Preference which they took immensely seriously ;Churchill to eliminate Communism once he realised he could n't defeat Nazis.

Bayard said...

"he left him dangling for the best part of three years",

for the best part of which, Stalin was an ally of Germany, so Churchill wasn't exactly going to rush him troops and arms, was he? and during which Russia invaded Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Perhaps we should have given him a hand beating up the Finns or was the Winter War something else that Never Happened?

Kj said...

Looking over DBCs perspective, it´s quite clear he shares something that the "lenient towards russia because we hate america/it´s all a big capitalist ploy"-crowd (mostly leftwards tilting); intentions are all that matters, what happens on the ground, and how people fare in relative wealth, whether they live under relative political freedoms, well who gives a fuck.

DBC Reed said...

My apologies to Bayard:Churchill did not leave Stalin dangling for three years ,losing 10,000 men a day.It was more like four years: Operation Barbarossa (June 1941) to Yalta (Feb 1945).Stalin asked for a Second Front in the West in December 1941, having halted the Nazi advance.Roosevelt and Marshall were keen and the USSR was promised a landing in 1942.Churchill was the stumbling block: he preferred to piss about in North Africa while the Russians and Nazis killed each other off.
The foolish KJ casts his usual crass aspertions.In fact my view of WW2 is informed ,not only by veteran lefties who lived through it and I met while campaigning against the Common Market (which they thought we were being parked in by Americans who had stolen our Imperial Preference Commonwealth markets)but also right -wing Conservatives who thought much the same thing particularly Enoch Powell who had it in for the Americans big time.
Powell in a 1981 review of a bio of Eden: "It was knowable both before and after the defeat of Germany that Russia is not an aggressive power,nor less still,the natural and pre-destined enemy of England".
I would rather trust the views of these great men than listen to re-gurgitated neo-liberal propaganda from the likes of KJ who believes that all of Europe
should be liberated by fucking great property crashes leading to mass emigration as in Latvia, Poland....

Kj said...

DBC: I haven´t said a word about your knowledge of WW2. But again, you totally ignore the facts about real life in the russian dominated sphere, past and present, and have previously regurgitated what journalist-killing russian media is claiming about Ukraine; that it´s all a western ploy to insert a fascist regime.

DBC Reed said...

I do not know what the Russian media is saying, not living in Russia.Neither do you. I do watch Russia Today which is obviously pro Russian but not off the scale.If you think that the Americans (see Nuland phone transcript) and EU (drew up plans to push out Yanukovich) were not meddling in Ukraine to bring about regime change then you are a fool.Whether the changed regime turns out to be fascist we'll have to wait and see but identity issues like not recognising Russian as an official language in Ukraine and disobliging remarks about the Orthodox Church are not a good start.

DBC Reed said...

I do know some charming Poles who had to emigrate to our street when the wonders of neo-liberalism econo-bombed out their economy.

Kj said...

DBC: again and again, it doesn´t matter if the US/EU is meddling and propping up someone; life outside the Russian dominated sphere, without Yanukovich which a considerable amount of Ukrainan people have been rallying for, is pretty damn nice in comparison to within, except if you are one of the lucky few. Not because the EU is so bloody great, but because the alternative is worse. Recurring housing bubbles haven´t destroyed this advantage.

DBC Reed said...

I thought you were the one saying :economics be hanged:; you must not sell your political freedom.And here you are saying the complete opposite.Even the Nazis assured the Aryans in vassal states they would be better off.Britain has not done well by being in hock to the Americans and shoved into the EU.
It is odd that MW, once such as vocal opponent of the EU and member of an anti-EU organisation ,should now be so keen on consigning people into its maw while hoping that we keep a distance.

Also it is not a done deal that selling your soul to Western meddlers is going to pay off.Jugoslavia ,Egypt,Libya and Latvia (at least, of the Baltic States) have been seriously damaged by whatever the west now calls aggressive help/ interference.
NB The essence of international Homeownerism is a fascist split between a state-sponsored privileged group (homeowners) and a despised underprivileged group ( private tenants and tenants of the State).Not everybody is going to do well under Homeownerist domination: the underprivileged Out group may well do worse.Only the state sponsored In group will do alright.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, do you not understand the concepts of "not as bad as" or "geopolitics"?

The poor old Ukrainians don't have much of a choice - it's either EU or Russia. In which case the EU is clearly "not as bad as".

We on the Western European fringe have a far more pleasant choice - either in the EU or at the fringes thereof. And being at the fringes is "better", or at least "not as bad as".

There are lots of things worse than being a European country in the EU (USSR, Islamism, Africa, China, vassal of USA etc) and there are some things which are better (being a free market liberal Georgist style country out of reach of lunatic ex-Communist dictators or indeed Ukrainian neo-fascist).

End of.

Kj said...

You and me DBC, let´s go over to Moscow and start up a land reform group. Let´s start a blog, where we haphazardly spout the same reverence for the country´s leadership as we do for our own hereabouts. No, by the way, you go, I´ll drop in later.

Bayard said...

"Stalin asked for a Second Front in the West in December 1941,"

So let me get this straight. Russia is an ally with our enemy, Germany, until 1941. That makes Russia our enemy, too. Germany then does the dirty on Russia and then we are supposed to suddenly be best buddies with Stalin and his murderous crew. Hardly surprising that Churchill left him well alone for a few years.

"he preferred to piss about in North Africa"

Instead of handing the Suez canal over to the Germans, which would have been a great help to our war effort, but never mind, what matters that we lost the war in the rest of the world, there were mass-murderers in need of help.

"I do know some charming Poles who had to emigrate to our street when the wonders of neo-liberalism econo-bombed out their economy."

I used to work with a Pole who had to emigrate to the UK because, after the Russians deported him and his parents to a prison camp as part of a policy to depopulate that part of Poland where he lived, they let them go on condition they went to the UK. Even then they gave the Poles no food for the journey. They were the lucky ones. Many of their neighbours were simply taken into the forest and shot.

DBC Reed said...

Its not "end of".The process is ongoing.
You are ignoring the whole legal aspect of this.It does n't matter if a lot of Ukrainian people think being in the EU (plus the inevitable NATO) would be just fab.If they get their way by a coup with extraneous help from the usual Western suspects and depose an elected government, this is NOT GOOD.Because somebody else will come along a month later and have a reverse coup and so on.It would be anarchy and not in the good sense. I'm afraid Putin is playing a good straight bat over this legally.
@B Many of the strange alliances
that you scoff about did take place.You really need to read a plain history of the period
without getting into the hard core stuff like the recent book by Padfield(?)which claims that Churchill was given a peace treaty from Hitler via Hess in May 1941 in which we got to keep the Emire and so on.Rather less controversial
is Laurence Rees's "Behind Closed Doors" which has a frightening story of Churchill meeting Stalin in Moscow in October 1944 to be taken to task by Stalin for the Hess flight which he thought had been arranged by the British Secret Service.
Details: Germany and USSR were in a non-aggression pact not a military alliance pre Barbarossa June 41( Hess flight late May 41)
There were n't m(any) Germans in North Africa just a lot of Italians who took an admirably worldly attitude to having their balls blown off.

DBC Reed said...

PS Apparently Padfield also believes ,with some evidence, that Hess was conned by Britsh Secret Services to fly on a peace mission. So Uncle Joe was right in 1944 ,not surprisingly, given the number of Red spies in Brit Intelligence.