Laissez-faire moderating

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lagatta4

But isn't a big Russia/Canada hockey match coming up soon? Then we can all get caught up in Who is the King of the North and all go have a beer (and some shots of stronger stuff) afterwards.

I really hope our world will do better in 2017, and remember the great winds of change from 1917 - Peace! Bread! Land! remembering that these words were in the midst of the great butchery of the Great War. https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1919/01/14.htm

Oh dear, I do wish the NDP would stop sending me begging e-letters...

As for morality, while stealing is wrong, I think that someone who steals the last $10 of a very poor person is morally "worse" than someone who steals $1000 from a millionnaire. (No, I'm not excusing the latter - but the millionnaire will have supper).

MegB

Timebandit wrote:

oldgoat wrote:

One more big sleep and i'm moderating.  This Russia business, it's going to be a thing, isn't it.

 

Inescapably, yes.

Oh, it's a thing all right. Enjoy!

swallow

lagatta4 wrote:

But isn't a big Russia/Canada hockey match coming up soon? Then we can all get caught up in Who is the King of the North and all go have a beer (and some shots of stronger stuff) afterwards.

You know, considering how Russia is Canada's great historic hockey rival, it's odd how much Canadians still don't really dislike Russians. 

Then there's lacrosse, where Canada's rival is the Six Nations Confederacy. 

Welcome oldgoat, and have a good break, Meg! 

Misfit

I cheer for the Russians over the Americans in hockey all the time. i always cheer for the Russians and Canadians to do well so that they can face off in the medal rounds and carry on the old tradition. Go Russia!!! Except against Canada!!! I think that temperamentally Canadians are more like Russians than Americans. Maybe it is our shared northern cold climate and sense of isolation, but I do identify well with Russia overall.

Mobo2000

I like the Russian "attacking", east west puck possession game quite a bit.   And no one in hockey is cooler than Pavel Datsyuk.

The Canadian - Russian rivalry in hockey is great stuff, i just wish we weren't always the goons.

sherpa-finn

ETA: acknowledging that this probably belongs on the Syria thread, but responding to a comment above.

Mobo2000 wrote:

Syria is not dealing with a domestic insurgency now, and I doubt they were back in 2012.  They are dealing with a foreign power (the US) sponsoring, formenting, and accelerating a civil war and attempted coup, backed by foreign fighters. 

Opinions may vary, but IMHO, all the evidence suggests that you are misinformed. Admittedly, its difficult to know where to start when analyzing "root causes" of historical conflicts. Shall the discussion on Syria start with the Ottoman Empire? Or the ensuing French mandate? Or the assorted ethnic conflicts and cleansings of the 1920s, 30s and 40s?  (Don't dismiss these too quickly, - remember, we have Babblers on-line still re-fighting the Ukraine in the 1940s.)

In the case of Syria, I am inclined to start with the arrival of Assad Jnr as a defining moment of hope and opportunity in a hugely complex country with layer upon layer of historical baggage. There was optimism that the new young President would be a reformer. And he started out in a promising way. But the promises of change quickly evaporated when it became apparent to much of the Syrian people that Assad Jnr had no intention of really reforming anything: the old political controls and corruption were being actively re-inforced under his leadership rather than being dismantled.

When large swathes of the Syrian people took to the streets in protest, the Army was told to fire upon the people. Some in the army obeyed, - others refused and chose to turn their guns on the state, not the people.  And it all went south quickly from there as foreign powers engaged, and the various sectarian scabs of Syrian history were picked at by the different parties for their various purposes.

Simply stated, it didn't have to happen this way. The Syrian conflict was indeed a domestic conflict / rebellion that was cranked up by foreign interests. To suggest otherwise is to deny the agency of the Syrian people in their own land, and discredits the brave souls who went out in the streets en masse to denounce a domestic dictator. 

oldgoat

Don't know if this has been mentioned upthread, but a number of people are seeing global warming as one of the root contributers of the current conflict.

Here's PBS take:

 

 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/a-major-contributor-to-the-syrian-conflict-climate-change/

 

This is from the Guardian, although it somewhat jarringly uses Prince Charles as an expert:

 

 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/29/climate-change-syria-civil-war-prince-charles

 

and if your preference is not to open a link and find yourself looking at a closeup of HRH Prince Chuck, there's National Geographic

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150302-syria-war-climate-change-drought/

 

oldgoat

ok, don't know why only one of those links worked properly 

 

MegB

I don't know either but I fixed the problem. I went into edit and created links from the URLs you posted.

lagatta4

Sometimes old Cholls can be very right on climate issues, though he must have a hell of an eco-footprint, despite the Duchy's organic farms. He could have at least taken some tips from the Dutch and Danish bicycle monarchies...

Climate change has a huge influence in what is going on not only in the Levant, but also the Maghreb and the Sahel.

Mobo2000

Sherpa-finn:

"Simply stated, it didn't have to happen this way. The Syrian conflict was indeed a domestic conflict / rebellion that was cranked up by foreign interests. To suggest otherwise is to deny the agency of the Syrian people in their own land, and discredits the brave souls who went out in the streets en masse to denounce a domestic dictator."

This is well said, thank you.   I am not very informed about Syrian history or culture, at all, so appreciate the additional context and  summary you provided above as well.  

The extent to which the rebellion/protests were caused or made possible by US support is indeed not clear to me.   And as it relates to my/our support of US or Russian actions, I think it's somewhat immaterial.     It's clear at minimum US interference escalated the violence, and the level of violence would not have gotten where it has without US/western media propoganda, and the US government's money and arms.  

Regarding the agency of the Syrian people, I think it is possible to both support their right to change their circumstances, and oppose armed intervention by foreign powers.   There is some complexity here, yes, and there are circumstances where I could support it.   But in general I am very suspicious of R2P, it feels like a liberalized white man's burden.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mobo2000 wrote:

The extent to which the rebellion/protests were caused or made possible by US support is indeed not clear to me.   And as it relates to my/our support of US or Russian actions, I think it's somewhat immaterial.     It's clear at minimum US interference escalated the violence, and the level of violence would not have gotten where it has without US/western media propoganda, and the US government's money and arms.  

Regarding the agency of the Syrian people, I think it is possible to both support their right to change their circumstances, and oppose armed intervention by foreign powers.   There is some complexity here, yes, and there are circumstances where I could support it.   But in general I am very suspicious of R2P, it feels like a liberalized white man's burden.

Well said.  

On the West Coast we are likely to see mass demonstrations against Kinder Morgan.  The RCMP will be out in full force and if someone started firing at them from the crowd its tough to know whether they would return fire.  If at the same time as those peaceful protests are going on how would we like it if a foreign government armed dissidents in the remoter areas of BC to fire bomb RCMP offices and destroy critical infrastructure.  

I suspect the majority of the people in any country would not support a descent into civil war. People always want peace.

Unionist

Mobo2000 wrote:

Regarding the agency of the Syrian people, I think it is possible to both support their right to change their circumstances, and oppose armed intervention by foreign powers.

Yes.

Quote:
But in general I am very suspicious of R2P, it feels like a liberalized white man's burden.

It's intervention by foreign powers, with lipstick.

When I was young, it was: "If we don't send troops and bombers, they'll fall like dominoes to the Commies!" (Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos...)

Or: "They're shooting political opponents and expropriating our property!" (Cuba)

Then NATO bombed Belgrade, with no fig leaf of U.N. approval, because... well, I forget. But kudos to Svend Robinson who figured it out (a little late) and denounced it.

Then: "They're harbouring terrorists - and they won't let girls go to school!" We fixed that all right.

Then: "Weapons of mass destruction!!" Yeah, we know that one.

Later, it morphed into: "They're killing their OWN PEOPLE!!" That's a beautiful one. How can we let them kill THEIR OWN PEOPLE? Libya, Egypt (when the wrong party got elected after Mubarak)... now Syria.

Strangely, R2P always coincides, precisely, with the interests of the U.S., U.K., France... except when these great powers are fighting each other over the spoils.

No one says, "let's invade so we can rape, rob, pillage, and rule" any more. It's not nice. So they say, "we have a responsibility to protect" inferior racescivilians of other countries that can't work through their own problems.

ETA: Oh, I forgot their favourite one. "He's a dictator!" So he deserves to be hanged, shot, anything, and we need to help the stupid people do it. Note that "dictator" was never a word used about Stephen Harper. Or Ronald Reagan. Or Tony Blair. Or Bibi Netanyahu. Because... well, they're on our side. And they're white. And they're on our side. I really can't emphasize enough that they're on our side, so they don't deserve to be murdered by our troops.

swallow

I agree with most of that, but R2P was invented as a doctrine in the 1990s and very much opposed to US unilateralism. Its origins are with leaders like Kofi Annan and it was first entrenched as a principle not by a Western state, but by the African Union. When the UN endorsed it in 2005, every country in the world backed it, but intervention had to be approved by the Security Council - meaning no more unilateral US or NATO interventions. The goal was to prevent genocides, not to justify Western intervention. Unfortunately, it's an idea that has been much abused in practice. 

 

sherpa-finn

You are brave, swallow. I opened the can of worms on R2P here a few years back and that conversation went south in a hurry.  You can trace it here, if you (or others) are so inclined: 

http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/responsibility-p...

swallow

Thank you. That thread is the worst Christmas gift ever. 

In today's news, Senegal and other West African states are threatening to intervene in Gambia is its president does not respect the democratic vote of his people to remove him from office. 

Quote:
West African leaders will send troops into The Gambia if its longtime ruler, who lost in recent elections, does not step down next month, the president of the Economic Community of West African States said on Friday.

[url=http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/gambia-africa-bloc-vows-send-troop... African states pledge to intervene militarily if Yahya Jammeh does not step down by January 19 after election loss.[/url]

6079_Smith_W

swallow wrote:

Thank you. That thread is the worst Christmas gift ever.

Yeah, but if you follow the thread links back to other discussions of how imperialist we are you get to see some of the old faces again.

What's more sentimental and Christmassy than that? An extra dose of humbug!

 

Martin N.

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Martin N wrote:

So yes, if Russia enjoyed the same beneficial, easy to defend geography of the US, and managed to avoid the near total destruction of their country twice last century, they perhaps could have developed to become the dominant world power.   And if they did, I am prepared to believe they would have abused it as much as the US has.  

I love that logic. All countries with peace and prosperity would be the same as the most brutal empire I have seen on my 65 years on the planet. The US is bad but you know everyone in the same circumstances would be just as bad. Wow I guess there is absolutely no difference between anything. Moral equivalence for everyone and everyone's actions are the same since we can imagine they would be evil. 

Faulty format. I did not write that quote, it was Mobo. But, since I'm here,

Martin N.

The issue is Russia, not "all countries" and Russia's proven record of indiscriminate bombing and mayhem in Chechnya, Syria, Afghanistan etc etc certainly puts it at the top of the list of "most brutal empires".

6079_Smith_W

We're way drifting, but it isn't just Russia. They aren't the worst, by my reckoning. Their crimes certainly don't stand out more than that of any other empire. But then I think once you get into the millions seeing at as a competition at all is absurd.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Martin N. wrote:

The issue is Russia, not "all countries" and Russia's proven record of indiscriminate bombing and mayhem in Chechnya, Syria, Afghanistan etc etc certainly puts it at the top of the list of "most brutal empires".

At the top of the list, hmm.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It is interesting discussing the most brutal emperors and I would have to say that Leopold and Victoria are definitely in the running. However when discussing the current world situation the UK and Belgium aren't even in the running being merely middle level players in the NATO criminal organization.

Sean in Ottawa

This is an interesting drift.

I guess we can say that the moderating on babble is much better than the Nato moderating of the world.

 

oldgoat

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

This is an interesting drift.

I guess we can say that the moderating on babble is much better than the Nato moderating of the world.

 

 

thanks, but that's setting the bar pretty low.

 

6079_Smith_W

But it is another one of those great oxymorons that you often see around matters of so-called defense and so-called security.

Sean in Ottawa

oldgoat wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

This is an interesting drift.

I guess we can say that the moderating on babble is much better than the Nato moderating of the world.

 

 

thanks, but that's setting the bar pretty low.

 

I am so sorry, I did not mean the insult. Was just trying to connect the drift to the snowbank as it were.

 

 

oldgoat

No insult taken Sean, being somewhat facecious

 

Sean in Ottawa

oldgoat wrote:

No insult taken Sean, being somewhat facecious

 

Me too. I guess my joke bombed unlike recent moderation.

6079_Smith_W

Didn't bomb like NATO though...

 

Unionist

I love you folks. True confession. Ok, back to the fray.

 

MegB

Just popping in because I'm bored. No mod hat on here, but aren't there enough Russia threads? I started this thread to get some genuine feedback on how you feel about the moderation of this board.

Sean in Ottawa

MegB wrote:

Just popping in because I'm bored. No mod hat on here, but aren't there enough Russia threads? I started this thread to get some genuine feedback on how you feel about the moderation of this board.

I think you have your answer -- people seem to feel pretty good about how things are going now.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
aren't there enough Russia threads?

You could definitely step in with a firm paddle when the faux-leftists -- we know who we are! -- let our pathological Russophobia get out of hand.

oldgoat

I just like to rmember the good old days.

Misfit

That czar looks just like King George V of England. They look like twins.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Misfit wrote:

That czar looks just like King George V of England. They look like twins.

First cousins.

Tsar Nicholas II is in the uniform of the Westphalian Hussars and King George V in the uniform of the Rhenish Cuirassiers – their respective German regiments. It was pretty common for European royalty to promote each other into each other’s militaries. King George V was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the 8th (Rhenish) Cuirassiers in January 1902, during a visit to Berlin when he was still Prince of Wales. He served as such until the two countries declared war in 1914.

George and Nicky’s mothers, Alexandra and Dagmar, were sisters, which explains why they looked so alike. They were the daughters of King Christian of Denmark and his wife Queen Louise, who was of German heritage. Princess Alexandra married Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Edward. George was their son. Princess Dagmar married Tsar Alexander’s son, another Alexander. Nicky was their son.

http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/king-george-tsar-nicholas-1913/

 

swallow

MegB wrote:

No mod hat on here, but aren't there enough Russia threads? 

There are still threads that are not about Russia. Can't have that! 

[img]http://medya.todayszaman.com/todayszaman/2011/11/29/stalin-daughter.jpg[...

Sean in Ottawa

Pictures do work to humanize distant people. It is one reason why the sympathies of masses of people flow to these royals and other celebrities when little thought goes to the masses of other deaths of people much more like the viewers.

swallow

Do ther powers that be in this place feel that Trump is someone who should be normalized? That pro-Trump and anti-Trump posts are both equally acceptable? 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

swallow wrote:

Do ther powers that be in this place feel that Trump is someone who should be normalized? That pro-Trump and anti-Trump posts are both equally acceptable? 

Is everything that Trump might possibly do evil by definition? 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

swallow wrote:

Do ther powers that be in this place feel that Trump is someone who should be normalized? That pro-Trump and anti-Trump posts are both equally acceptable? 

Is everything that Trump might possibly do evil by definition? 

Well, normally I would say his dying wouldn't be evil by definition... then I stop and think about the "never encountered a piece of homophobic legislation I wouldn't defend" potential successor and I am not sure I even want to grant that exception.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Do ther powers that be in this place feel that Trump is someone who should be normalized? That pro-Trump and anti-Trump posts are both equally acceptable?

Perhaps there could be a compromise, where posters are permitted to mention him by name, but must immediately spit on the ground, like Dog River residents mentioning Wullerton.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

swallow wrote:

Do ther powers that be in this place feel that Trump is someone who should be normalized? That pro-Trump and anti-Trump posts are both equally acceptable? 

Is everything that Trump might possibly do evil by definition? 

That would be my objection too. Reminds me too much of other similar lazy ad hominems.

If you can't do the small bit of work required to point out why, probably best to just stick to facebook memes.

Besides, it is kind of amusing watching them try. I don't mind at all so long as I am free to mock them roundly for doing to.

 

 

NDPP

swallow wrote:

Do ther powers that be in this place feel that Trump is someone who should be normalized? That pro-Trump and anti-Trump posts are both equally acceptable? 

I am reminded some time ago, this 'progressive site' decreed that questioning the 'Arab Spring' was anything but a spontaneous upsurge of local and popular democratic efflorescence was not permitted. It was decreed by the PTB here,  that any suggestion, even evidence of outside intereference by USAID or CIA instigation was a thought-crime and a denigration of agency against what was considered a purely authentic uprising. People  were sanctioned and even banned for doing so, even though it was patently obvious that those in authority hadn't a clue about any of it beyond what they read in The Guardian or saw on The National.

Given the obvious errors that can be committed when those in authority presume to know when they don't and then attempt to suppress or stifle those that do, perhaps the same mistake shouldn't be repeated. During the last round of this sort of thing, we lost several good knowledgeable posters, which impoverished the board considerably, and left the reactionary right-wing types considerably stronger.

After all, given this board's experience with Libya, Ukraine and Syria, and the almost automatic support of the mainstream establishment narrative - the suppression of dissident voices, despite this being a rather well-known, long-standing and widely acceptable hallmark of the contemporary Canadian left, especially with NDP types,  should perhaps be discouraged here. After all, we mustn't forget 'Je suis Charlie', and the right to be freely and openly offensive and disgusting, which was fought for so fiercely by some here.

Oh and just curious, can you provide me with a sample of what you refer to as "pro-Trump" posts?  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
People  were sanctioned and even banned for doing so

Which specific people were banned for this?

6079_Smith_W

Are you kidding, NDPP? On Syria and Ukraine and Charlie Hebdo, I mean.There is a range of opinion here, and I don't think I need to point out which are the dominant ones.

As for Libya, I got flak too for pointing out there were some rebels who wanted air support, whether we agree with them or not. Same for pointing out that there were some people hwo didn't want to see their neighbourhoods torched in the British riots. And it is a question of whether one is portraying those parties like Arab Spring as nothing but dupes and and imperialist front.

So yeah, I agree that this should not be a matter of supporting and condemning specific parties, and rather focusing on the issues (it would be nice to follow that rule when evaluating media reports, as a matter of fact) . Also part of the reason I question the narrow focus some want on tying anti-imperialism to specific nations.

 

 

 

Unionist

NDPP wrote:

I am reminded some time ago, this 'progressive site' decreed that questioning the 'Arab Spring' was anything but a spontaneous upsurge of local and popular democratic efflorescence was not permitted. It was decreed by the PTB here,  that any suggestion, even evidence of outside intereference by USAID or CIA instigation was a thought-crime and a denigration of agency against what was considered a purely authentic uprising.

Your recollection is exactly the same as mine on this score. That was a shameful moment in suppression of democratic and legitimate debate in this important venue.

Quote:
People  were sanctioned and even banned for doing so, even though it was patently obvious that those in authority hadn't a clue about any of it beyond what they read in The Guardian or saw on The National.

No one was actually banned on this specific ground, but rather than quibble, I still want to agree with your main point.

Quote:
After all, given this board's experience with Libya, Ukraine and Syria, and the almost automatic support of the mainstream establishment narrative - the suppression of dissident voices, despite this being a rather well-known, long-standing and widely acceptable hallmark of the contemporary Canadian left, especially with NDP types,  should perhaps be discouraged here.

I'm sure you mean the "almost automatic support of the mainstream establishment narrative", not by babble or babblers, but by (for an infamous example) the NDP party establishment - most notoriously Hélène Laverdière, filling in for Paul Dewar (and Dewar himself), Nycole Turmel (on Libya), DiNovo and Peggy Nash and many others on Ukraine - and of course the party inner circle on all these matters. This is an enormous challenge for the left in Canada, and the debate here is essential - and indeed, there was no lining up here, in any way, behind the mainstream narrative on those fronts.

What I find disturbing is an effort now, by some, to peddle just about any pro-U.S. imperialist position by portraying the opposition as pro-Russia. And those few who sing the most puerile fantasies in praise of Russia - today, during the Soviet era, and under the Tsars - simply facilitate that diversionary and provocative offensive. That's why I try to stay personally far away from these threads, which get ruined the moment the word "Putin" appears. But we can't escape the reality of this offensive. The phoney dichotomy of "Trump or Clinton", like the "Russia or NATO" one, needs to be smashed. I hate fucking Trump and Clinton and Obama and all they stand for. Likewise with the ruling cliques in Moscow and Washington. But good people are being tricked into taking "sides", instead of always questioning, never following, and always being guided by the interests of the people.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

But good people are being tricked into taking "sides", instead of always questioning, never following, and always being guided by the interests of the people.

Yup. I'd agree with that. Except it isn't always just a matter of being tricked. Plenty do it with their eyes open.

But to reel it back, this is a  moderating issue only insofar as some people try to use it falsely, to railroad or shut down discussion.\

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But good people are being tricked into taking "sides", instead of always questioning

"These aren't the droids you're looking for."

NDPP

Unionist wrote:

 I hate fucking Trump and Clinton and Obama and all they stand for. Likewise with the ruling cliques in Moscow and Washington. But good people are being tricked into taking "sides", instead of always questioning, never following, and always being guided by the interests of the people.

I agree.

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