Reality: What a Concept!

Uncle Volodya says, "Your friends are getting tired, Misha. Maybe it's time to call them a cab; what do you say?"

It’s not often that I write in support of a particular article or post. In fact, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say it’s pretty rare. Okay, okay, you’re right; I’ve never done it before, at least not in this forum. And if you’d suggested I’d ever write in support of something I read on Open Democracy/Russia, I’d have told you…well, never mind. You probably couldn’t do it, anyway, unless you had a hinge in your spine. And maybe a snorkel.

No, I’ve been pretty consistent in utilizing mockery or disdain as a formula and, as long as I confine myself to analysis of pieces that are manifestly stupid or mendacious, it’s served me very well. However, I find myself endorsing some of the conclusions arrived upon in “Get Real About ‘Enlarging Europe'”, published in Open Democracy. That’s not to say I agree with everything in it, but we’ll get to that.

The authors are impressively credentialed; all former ambassadors to Georgia, as well as to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. All are academics, and two continue in academic posts. However, that doesn’t count for much, as sometimes the smartest and best-educated individuals say and do the stupidest things.

As suggested in the introduction, the authors favour “arrangements short of full membership” for Eastern European countries, and for Turkey. Most significant to the interests of this blog are Georgia and Ukraine. From the viewpoint of the authors, such arrangements would offer economic and security benefits, and doubtless they would.  Something short of full membership might be seen by some, however – such as Georgia’s current president and his ideological backers – as analogous to the difference between civil unions and marriage, and it’s true that the two situations have in common certain limitations in the degree of influence they allow you to exercise under the law.

Right away, unfortunately, we run across something that inspired a spasm of teeth-grinding for me: that bit about President Medvedev “urging a pan-European security treaty that could legitimize the coercion of neighbours.” I suppose it could, but the manner of its wording suggests that was his purpose and intention; sort of like saying, “President Obama announced an improved highway-safety policy that could result in thousands of Americans dying in road accidents”. The anti-Russian bias of the authors is right up front, which is part of the reason for my amazement to find myself in agreement with some of the piece’s sensible conclusions. I suppose Russia could offer no suggestions at all, and pronounce itself satisfied to let things go on as they are. In which case, detractors like these authors would be quick to suggest Russia was a lousy world citizen who contributes nothing to global modernization.

Anyway, I’ll try to get over it; let’s move on.

Okay, eventually we’ll get to the things I agree with, I promise. But first, we run straight into another spike belt of bullshit that forces us to stop. The tortuous wording of “Georgia remains eager to join but lost most of its support after president Mikheil Saakashvili unwisely gave Russia a pretext for its August 2008 invasion” is an exercise in trying to clean the egg off of Georgia’s face that is a little like saying, “because the rake was in an unfamiliar horizontal position, it made me step on it, unwisely giving the handle the reason it was looking for to smash me right in my stupid face”. For what I hope will be the last time – but probably will not – Russia showed no signs of preparing to invade Georgia prior to Saakashvili’s full-scale attack, and sought earnestly through international intermediaries to defuse the situation before it got out of hand. Moreover, for somebody who is supposedly smart as a whip and speaks five languages fluently, Saakashvili made no plans at all for a retaliation. What kind of tool lives under a daily threat of invasion, and makes no self-defense plan? If you’re going to suggest he did make and practice a defense plan, then there’s a guy who needs to stay away from organizing anything involving the military that’s more complicated than a Freedom of the City Parade. Because he’s a military genius like Tiger Woods is a marriage counselor.

"Mmmmmm...tastes like being number 12 on the Freedom Index."

I swear, I can’t remember what it was now that made me think I supported this article. Here we go again with Transparency International and their Corruption Perceptions Index road show. I’ll bet if you looked around a little; say, like at the Streetwise Professor, you could find an article that chuckles indulgently at the practice of blunting ugly statistics by saying the country under discussion is “not the worst”. Oh, you crazy russophiles. Well, what would you call this? “Georgia ranks high in ease of doing business (12) and better than others in corruption perceptions (66)…” Yes, Georgia did better than Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso (the poorest country in the world, if memory serves) and Iran, to name a few – there’s a ringing endorsement. Not the worst, you might say. Just as an aside, can you remember how much money has been spent on Iraq, in an ongoing effort to turn it into a prosperous western-leaning democracy? Don’t bother to look it up: $738 Billion, or it was when I checked this interactive site. Where’d it come in on the corruption index? 176. Out of 180. Not the worst, you might say.

Oh, and about Georgia being ranked 12th for ease of doing business? That poll result comes from a survey conducted in Georgia by a Georgian polling company that is (allegedly) controlled by Saakashvili, who once famously predicted the Georgian economy would grow by better than 39% per year over the next 5 years. Companies were (allegedly) polled selectively according to loyalty to the government.

You know something? I’m liking this piece less and less as we go along. Let’s move swiftly to the conclusion, shall we, before I decide I hate it just like the rest of the russophobic rectal efflux that appears on Open Democracy Russia. I still haven’t forgotten that piece where the author offered an in-depth psychoanalysis of Vladimir Putin’s deepest id, based on an article on Mr. Putin that he had read in a newspaper, which was not even written by Putin. They’ll be seeing Rorsach blots in his breakfast cereal next.

The authors suggest the “Association Agreements” they describe in the introduction could include better access to EU markets, improved support for investment and visa-free travel, contingent on serious reforms and border controls meeting Schengen standards. All good stuff, with which I agree. The subject of Ukraine is not discussed in detail, save for a dry “NATO is a divisive issue in Ukraine and it no longer seeks admission.” This is a face-saving way of saying, “In spite of a great deal of perfectly good meddling and stirring up of insurrection, a plurality of Ukrainians don’t want it, and only the liberal agitators keep on talking about it”. Oh, and there’s the gratuitous suggestion that Ukraine will plummet on the Wordwide Freedom index next year, as Yanukovych “rolls back liberties”. I wasn’t aware that was his plan, but I suppose Open Democracy and its stable of authors just somehow “know things”, the way Donald Rumsfeld “knew” where the Weapons of Mass Destruction were hidden in Iraq. Remember? “…In and around Baghdad and Tikrit, and North, South, East and West somewhat”, thereby ruling out only deep space and international waters. Anyway, I must say “rolling back liberties” sounds like a vote-getter: Yanukovych must have decided he doesn’t like running Ukraine, after all.

The lines that rang truest to me in the entire piece were from Konstantin Kosachyov: “…Or is it that Russia in principle isn’t suitable as a NATO member, and even after it resolves all these current problems will you say “no” anyway because that can never be under any circumstances?”

Now that the initial excitement of agreeing with what turns out to be pretty damned little about this piece has passed, it sounds more and more to me like the authors are urging that some kind of agreement be concluded with what they refer to as the “post-Soviet 12″…before Medvedev’s treaty proposal is formally presented, with the possible result of these states falling under increased Russian influence. Half a loaf is better than none, so to speak. In fact, the interest in NATO membership for Georgia especially is principally to stick a thumb in Russia’s eye, and NATO is no more interested in taking responsibility for a few million impoverished Georgians than is Russia. After all, authors like these have spent considerable effort convincing us that Russia wants to invade it. If so, why didn’t they just take it in 2008? Because of resistance by the Georgian army? Ha, ha…stop it.

Okay, here’s the part that I really liked. “The Strategic Concept which NATO will unveil should not just reiterate the bromide of an ‘open door.'”

Yes, cut that out, will you, Mrs. Clinton? And watch out for that rake.

This entry was posted in Georgia, Government, Investment, Russia, Saakashvili, Ukraine and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Reality: What a Concept!

  1. kovane says:

    “Because of resistance by the Georgian army? Ha, ha…stop it.”

    You’ll take it back!

    quote: “In general I am satisfied with the Georgian army; our army fought heroically and stopped the advance of the Russian army before the international community actively intervened;
    95% of combat capable army of the Russia Federation was fighting against Georgia;”

    I hope you’re not implying that Saakashvili lied!

  2. Yalensis says:

    @Mark, your writing skill gets better with every post – you had me chuckling so many times. Particularly those bits about the snorkel and the rake! Thank you for elevating my mood!
    @kovane, speaking of comedy, did you ever watch that British film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”? Saakashvili reminds me of the knight who gets all his limbs chopped off one by one, but still can’t admit he was beaten; and he keeps screaming to his opponent: “Come back and fight me some more, you coward!”

    • kovane says:


      I’ve tried to watch “Monty Python” several times, but on every occasion found it not especially funny. I don’t know, maybe my sense of humour isn’t compatible with it.

      I’m sure that Saakashvili will grant us more than one precious moment, like the one with a tie.

      • Yalensis says:

        I understand! Monty Python is an acquired taste, like olives or escargots. I personally love them. All I know is that anyone who has ever watched their “Holy Grail” movie can never again think the same way about the Arthurian legend or the knights of the round table!

        • marknesop says:

          I liked Monty Python’s Flying Circus when it was a regular feature on television, but a lot of its humour was far from subtle and I can see why some would find it stupid or not funny. Humour is like art, and while you can find fairly large groups that like a particular brand of humour, it’ll never be funny for everyone. My wife doesn’t get Seinfeld at all, and doesn’t see anything funny about it. I don’t watch much TV any more, and we rarely go to movies, but I’ve noticed in the last few years that situation comedies are getting steadily stupider. I think the last one I really liked was Everybody Loves Raymond.

  3. Misha says:


    For now, the EU appears limited from what some were hoping of it. This view has been picked up by others, besides the pro-EU sources you reference.

    You hit home on a consistent and reality challenged bias point in some circles.

    There’s a recent Eurasia Daily Monitor (EDM) article claiming the Ukrainian government’s domestic and foreign policies are controlled by the Kremlin.

    This explains why Yanukovych (among some other issues) doesn’t recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, while not seeking Ukrainian entry into the Russian involved CSTO.

    Unlike that EDM article, Yanukovych is more in sync with the overall mood in Ukraine, whereas Yushchenko has carried on like someone doing the bidding of outside forces, as well as a minority one in Ukraine.

    Elsewhere, the limited Russian military presence in the former disputed former Moldavian SSR territory of Pridnestrivie is suggestively presented in a negative way, unlike the larger NATO led force in Kosovo.

    Never mind that there doesn’t seem to be much if any opposition to the Russian troop deployment in Pridnestrovie. In comparison to Kosovo, Pridnestrovie looks to be a more peaceable territory with a smaller foreign military force.

  4. Giuseppe Flavio says:

    IMO, the article on opendemocracy is a mess. It may reach reasonable conclusions, but I fail to see the logic behind those results. Actually, it seems to me that the authors are out of touch with reality. Does it make sense to speak about the post-Soviet 12? This group includes Turkmenistan and Ukraine, an Asiatic, energy-rich, tech-less autocracy and an European, energy-hungry, industrialized “mess-ocracy”.
    As for EU expansion, many regrets it already and there is a de facto backtracking, e.g. the expulsion of Gypsies from France shows that some EU countries are more equal than others.
    Along with the economic crisis, that’s one serious reason, the EU won’t expand in the near future, but the authors fail to mention it.
    Finally, I would like to mention this passage They should also mandate adherence to the Energy Charter Treaty, to reassure investors.
    Keep dreaming, no energy exporter will adhere to that Treaty. It’s fine for energy consumers, not for producers. Unsurprisingly, Norway has not yet ratified the Treaty but investors are not leaving.

    • mraz says:

      The Energy Charter Treaty is what Khodorkovsky’s lawyers are using in their lawsuit against Russia. It was signed by Yeltsin, probably after Mr. Clinton told everyone that you can get anything out of Russia if you ply Yeltsin with enough alcohol. However, Norway does not even abide by that, and it is the second largest energy supplier in Europe.

  5. Misha says:

    That “mess” concerns a certain way of seeing things as promoted by that venue.

    One of several examples is this recent piece:’s-next-image-problem

    Highlighting Svoboda as an anti-Western and anti-Jewish org. without noting its anti-Rusian slant – perhaps even suggesting that Svoboda isn’t anti-Russian – which is a crock.

  6. AJ says:

    “some eu countries are more equal than others” your implying that what France did was wrong or undemocratic? The EU is European, get it? Gypies arent indigenous Europeans. The EU is a de facto alliance of White countries. non-Europeans who commit crimes or preach racial hatred against indigenous Europeans should be expelled.

    • Giuseppe Flavio says:

      Are you serious?

      • Yalensis says:

        Yike! This AJ person just opened a can of worms about Europe, gypsies, etc., and that discussion would also touch on Islamisation, etc. We need to discuss all this eventually, because there are real issues involved, and I am guessing my opinions are maybe not identical to those of some other people on the forum whom I have grown to respect. But maybe NOT discuss now, because this AK sounds like a racist (unless he or she is joking). And I would prefer an intelligent discussion free of a racist tinge. So maybe we should wait for a future post and then go at it?

  7. AJ says:

    what did I say thats racist? im an anti-racist. What color are Europeans? We are not black, red, yellow, or brown, we are white. Duh. Strict immigration is a must for a nation that wants to maintain demographic control. What happened to the Hawaiins, and the Native Americans when they were overwhelmed by European immigrants? They were taken over. Geert Wilders is right, no more Muslims, they are trying to take over Europe. In Copenhagen and Malmo they commit many gang-rapes against white girls. Islam OUT! It is not compatiblewith Europe.

    • marknesop says:

      I’m afraid I can’t agree with you there; there’s no such thing as a religion being incompatible with a geographical region, and the concept is just silly. There’s nothing wrong, fundamentally, with Islam just the same as there’s nothing wrong, fundamentally, with Christianity – and let me know when the murders committed in the name of the former catch up with the latter. However, nuts and extremists in any faith who get the notion that every other religion is a false faith can and do ruin everything. I hated what America did to Iraq to the marrow of my bones, but if I heard this afternoon that somebody ran over that Islamic fundamentalist preacher in England who was raving on about radical Islamists taking out the White House, it certainly wouldn’t spoil my appetite for supper.

      Geert Wilders’ views are directly influenced by his affinity and advocacy for Israel, and his perceptions of the world are coloured by his beliefs. If that’s the way he feels, why doesn’t he go start his own country somewhere, with nobody but pure white people of the Jewish faith permitted entry? He may not have noticed, but not all Jews are white. Not everybody who supports Geert Wilders’ philosophy is a racist, but most racists agree with his position.

      There’s also nothing wrong, fundamentally, with strict immigration control. “Demographic control” is skating right up to the edge of racism, and no court would uphold it as national policy – but there’s nothing wrong with carefully screening everyone admitted for residency, and rejecting troublemakers merely on the basis of their potential to foment unrest and civil disobedience; not because of their faith or their colour or because you don’t like the way they dress.

      France picked a bad time to get tough – that should have happened years ago, with all the rock-throwing in the streets and rioting and burning cars. France’s response then was to suggest high unemployment among Muslim youth was responsible, and to huddle to try to come up with social-program solutions. If you plan to emigrate to a country, it is your responsibility to research your decision, and part of the process is assessing – realistically – your potential for employment based on the employment climate in the desired country and your job skills. It isn’t up to France to create jobs it really doesn’t need so angry youths won’t burn cars in the street, and doing it is a recipe for fiscal quicksand. Send them (individually, not them and their family and everyone who knows them) right back where they came from, based on their having broken the law of the land – not because of their faith or colour. Western Canada – Vancouver, mostly, has a problem with Asian gangs, a lot of them Vietnamese. There are plenty of Vietnamese-Canadians who have never been caught so much as jaywalking, who pay their taxes on time and contribute to the economy. Nobody should be deported for being Vietnamese. Nobody should be deported for being Muslim, and the traditional dress of Muslims is no more a matter of non-Muslim concern than those dorky Abraham-Lincoln suits and ratty-looking beards (that make it look like their head’s on upside down) that Hasidic Jews favour. Strict immigration control based on how many people you can gainfully employ, who have the skills you need and who have no record of stirring up trouble so that they intrude upon civic peace is fine, sensible and in no way unfair. If a wealthy country has no more room for immigrants because it has no jobs for them, it makes sense to invest in other countries so their citizens can do meaningful work for decent wages in their own country, thereby promoting trade.

      Countries that deliberately overpopulate themselves beyond what their food supply and employment potential can bear are not the responsibility of other nations, and will continue to do it as long as everyone else picks up the slack. It sounds hard, but you can only do so much.

      • Giuseppe Flavio says:

        To my knowledge, the rioters in France weren’t immigrants, but the children of immigrants that went to France in the post-colonial period (’50-’60) mainly from Maghreb but also from sub-Sahara Africa. France gives citizenship according to ius soli, i.e. if someone is born in French territory he/she is a French citizen, so the rioters are mostly French citizens. As noticed, these guys didn’t engage in riots because they wanted Sharia law or a French Emirate, maybe many of them don’t even know what is Sharia or an Emirate. There wasn’t anything Islamic in those riots, no matter what demagogues like Wilders say. I would say there wasn’t a clear goal at all.
        I think that the riots were the result of the assimilation to European culture (and especially French culture) of the second-generation immigrants. They acquired a sense of entitlement their parents lacked; they compare their relative and worsening poverty with the well being they see around them, while their parents compared the abject misery of the home country with the relative and increasing well being acquired in France.
        There wasn’t (and isn’t) a cultural/religious/racial shift toward Francarabia (my reduction of Eurabia to France), “just” the worsening of the living standard for the average Frenchman, which reacts with protests, pointless violence (especially the poors), or by blaming a scapegoat that demagogues are always very willing to provide.

  8. AJ says:

    europe is more than a geographic expression, it is a group of peoples. If Europeans are replaced by muslims, it will no longer be Europe, it will be Eurabia. Islam has killed more than Christianity. Geert is an anti-racist. “NO court will uphold demographics control as a national pollicy”? really? Mexico does. The point of a nation-state is to protect its people, not invite the world. Muslims are ruining Europe. Geert never said all jews are white. Race-replacement immigration is ethnic cleansing, period. Anybody who supports the importation of the Third World into Europe is a racist, period. Especially because the native European birth rate is low. I like Japan’s immigration policy. Thats how Europe should be. Why do you blog about Russia if you want to see ethnic Russians decline and be replaced by “superior” brown people? this is not in Russia’s best interest. I think ethnic minorities should be treated equally in Russia, but Russia shouldnt try to become *more* multucultural in the future, because it will only lead to ethnic tensions and a fractured society. Honestly, i got pretty upset when I was called a racist, because I hate racists. I just think every nation has the right to control immigration, and Third World people are going to be a nuisance in the future if Russia keeps importing them. Look what happened in the UK, and France. The immigrants arent exactly fitting in, are they? Cheap labour isnt what makes a nation great, and its time Europe(including Russia) realize that and work on reviving the native birth rate instead of ethnically cleansing themsleves out of existance. Geert Wilders is part-Indonesian, by the way. I like him because he stresses the cultural incompatibilty of Islam and European style liberal democracy.

  9. AJ says:

    oh, and btw, about your comment that Geert Wilders should go start his own country, that is just silly. His country is the Netherlands, why should he leave his country of birth? He simply wants the Netherlands to remain Dutch, what is wrong with that?

    • marknesop says:

      Do they all have to be white Dutch? I don’t think our philosophies are too far apart – I believe immigrants should adapt and learn the language, not force concessions to their own culture in their new country. But it’s silly to suggest that if you aren’t the right colour and religion, you don’t belong in Europe. White Europeans did and do stand on their right to come and go as they please and live where they wish anywhere in the world. Why shouldn’t everyone else? You might note also that white Christians conquered large swaths of the world with the express purpose of colonizing it and bending it to their religion.

      It might have been OK for everyone to stay in their own country hundreds of years ago, when intercontinental travel was the work of months instead of hours and populations were small. Progress has changed everything, and I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed if your position is zero immigration.

  10. Nils says:

    As a Dutchman I feel compelled to say something about Geert Wilders, it will probably clarify a lot. Indeed, what I read from you is that you understand the ideas and ideology of Wilders. However, this anti-islam thing does not have a lot to do with his popularity. Actually it shows that in small villages Wilders is very popular (a lot of those villages don’t even know the concept of immigrant because they have never seen one). But they are just “afraid” because they “see” and “hear” a lot of “things” on the tv and newspapers and that partly causes his popularity, makes me think about Russia)). The main reason of him being popular is that people are fed up with the usual political spectrum in the Netherlands. The usual centre parties which used to govern the Netherlands are losing ground to populist parties like Wilders and the Socialist party (former Maoists). People think “why do immigrants who come to the Netherlands get a lot of money (welfare state) and why do the elderly live in a worse condition than those people”?
    Addionally, when we brought the people from Turkey etc. to our country we thought that they would leave eventually. They obviously did not (speech of Merkel) and the Dutch political elite (Wilders always talks of the “leftist/left-wing church”) always has denied that our country had a problem with integration.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s an excellent point, Nils, and the propensity of those who hold radical or extremist views to seek a base among low-information voters has plenty of illustrative examples – Saakashvili outside the cities, the Tea Party in America, and many others.

      I’m afraid I’m not clear, though, on why you (meaning the Dutch) would think that if you admitted Turkish immigrants, that they would later just spontaneously leave. Most people immigrate to find better jobs and a higher standard of living for themselves and their future generations – most come meaning to stay.

      AJ is partly correct, in that the first generation seldom do assimilate, at least not very well, and adult immigrants often find fluency in the language unachievable. It is their children who become fluent in both languages, or sometimes only in Dutch, or English or whatever. However, proper law enforcement (as long as it doesn’t turn the country into a police state) with deportation for lawbreakers and restriction of immigration to keep pace with economic expansion (so that you don’t import thousands who promptly go on welfare because there aren’t enough jobs) should be enough for stability.

  11. AJ says:

    “the children of immigrants” so what? they still arent native, sorry. white christians conquered lots of land? so what? this is the 21st century, and white people are NOT evil. i smell Europhobia. i dont see anybody clamoring for mass immigration into japan or asia, why the racial double standard? your position is this:africa for the africans, asia for the asians, europe for EVERYBODY. culture is tied to ethnicity, and race. if you import millions of jamacains to UK, its not going to british anymore, its going to be jamacain. nations should admit immigrants of a First world background who are assimilable. do you honestly believe in the Utopian vision of multiculturalism? get real. no nation has the obligation to let itsellf be destroyed by immigration. people should accept the fact that certain groups just wont assimilate. french civic nationalism is suicidal.

    • marknesop says:

      You don’t see anyone clamoring for mass immigration into the Netherlands, either. Simply the right to live there for those who choose to move there, abide by its laws and can find a job. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, and am certainly not advocating for any nation to let itself be destroyed by immigration.

      According to this reference, only a little better than half the population of the Netherlands is Dutch. Have you considered what it might mean to lose nearly half your population, considering that (according to the same reference) about a quarter of Dutch males are single? Could you afford it, do you think?

      Maybe when everyone adopts Geert Wilders’ policies and kicks all the Dutch out of their countries, it’ll top up the Netherlands.

    • marknesop says:

      Sorry, that link doesn’t work, it’s a pdf file. If you do a Google search for “ethnic composition of the Netherlands Garssen socioeconomic inequalities”, it should come up first or pretty close to it.

  12. AJ says:

    your source is inaccurate. about 80% of the Netherlands is ethnically Dutch.this is ok. Also, the Dutch *were* kicked out of Indonesia. You stated that white europeans can go anywhere we please? source please? so i can just waltz into japan, or China? False. I googled your phrase, I cant find whatever it is your talking about. My source is the CIA world factbook. However, Netherlands is already overpopulated, they dont need MORE immigrants. Especially minorites who have proven difficult to assimilate. Ddmographics is destiny, my friend. When the English took over Australia, they didnt adopt Aboriginal culture, they imported English culture. Now Australia is a majority Euro-descent nation that is 1st world and considered Western, despite it being south of China. Same story with the entire New World. The Chinese and Ukrainians in Canada, many of them speak their own language, dont they? Because Quebec was demographically French, it is still culturally unique from the rest of Anglo-Canada. I think 80% is hovering around a decent level for a nation. thats the same percentage for ethnic Russians in Russia. However, if it drops below that, than that nation is going to lose its identity. This is just the opinion of a Soviet-born Canadian citizen.

    • marknesop says:

      Okay, never mind; the source was an academic study by Garssen and another author, but the cutoff was 2000, so it’s outdated anyway. The CIA World Factbook is usually a solid source, and it does indeed say 80.7 % Dutch. Perhaps the Netherlands could survive with an overnight drop of 20% in its population.

      I’m not talking about the Dutch being kicked out of Indonesia a gazillion years ago; I’m talking about everybody of Dutch descent being evicted from everywhere they’ve settled, right now – Pennsylvania would be wiped out, for example. Anyway, it’s just a hypothetical. There’s no particular reason to evict the Dutch from wherever they’ve settled, because in the main they are probably solid citizens who cause no trouble. The point I was trying to make is that it’s wrong to deport an entire race or ethnic group simply because of who they are.

      Probably European settlement in China is tricky; I don’t know. But you’re telling me there are no Europeans living in Japan? The European colonial model was conquest, followed by domination followed by colonization; in India, in Australia, in North America. Australia might be a prosperous democracy now thanks to the English, but you won’t find any Australians eager to do it. Thank the English, I mean. The English conquered and subjugated India, but English certainly isn’t the national language now, nor does much of English culture remain.

      In any case, by your own standards, the Netherlands is hovering around a decent level nation-wise, with better than 80% of the population native Dutch. I can’t imagine Arabic is going to replace Dutch anytime soon. I maintain that strict law enforcement would eradicate the trouble element, and as long as the prosecution was just, they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. I can’t support giving an entire ethnic group the boot just because of their ethnicity – the Jews would go mad if anyone suggested deporting all the Jews from Canada, for example, because some of them are troublemakers. People who have marketable job skills and aren’t interested in causing trouble should be able to live where they want. If the country is overpopulated, then that goes to job skills: you can’t get into the country if there are no jobs.

      I can see you feel strongly about the issue, and you’ve done a good job substantiating your position. I just don’t completely agree with it.

  13. russiawatching says:

    haha u would love the wife of our future king: she said during a speech that the “Dutchman” does not exist nor the Dutch identity. Ofcourse: a lot of angry people in parliament because in the Dutch system, when someone of the royal family says something it is actually the government talking. As a Dutchman I find it hard to comment on these things, one should never study his/her own country (I know a LOT more about Russian than about The Netherlands).

    I do remember reading a comment on the 1st/2nd generation thing. Wrong. The second and third generation of people from Arab countries actually perform a lot worse than their parents did, at least in the Netherlands. This is partly due to a bad education system and to typical Dutch attitude of tolerance “treating immigrant differently” etc.

    Did u know that Geert Wilders is in court now? He is also in a row with the highest judge of our country because he commented on the judicial system (Soviet-Union, dissidents etc.). The other day there was one of the “victims” reading her experiences in Dutch society because of him: she said that she went to the reception of her university to ask about how do get to a certain room etc. and they sent her to the utility room (with the cleaning stuff). That is why, according to her: he should be convicted lol. Find it very funny, I do not understand this trial at all.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, I did read that Wilders’ case is before the court. It’s unfortunate they chose such a stupid example to cite of his “victims”, because it has the effect of making him look reasonable when he is advocating barring an entire ethnic group from legal immigration because he doesn’t like them, and accepting his viewpoint is acknowledging that it’s OK.

      If Arabs are causing problems in the Netherlands and a significant amount of crime is attributable to them, they should be arrested, tried and jailed or deported on an individual basis. It’d be expensive, but it’d set an example. I’m certainly not arguing for unrestricted immigration, or letting an ethnic group run wild and do as it pleases. Western Canada does something similar with the homeless who flock to the west because you can live on the street more or less year round, owing to the typically mild winters. Aggressive panhandling is illegal; break the law, and you get a bus ticket back to where you came from. That’s not a perfect example, because they can just make their own way back, whereas with deportation you could prevent them from entering the country again.

      • mraz says:

        Britain restricts and scrutinizes immigrants based on their countries of origin. One of those countries is Russia.

        Then there is the whole “spying” thing in the United States. I don’t believe some of those people were spies – especially the ones straight out of university using their real identities. But the FBI had followed them since they arrived in the US.

        Yes, it is not fair. But Wilders is correct that the Netherlands can place restrictions on immigrants based on their origins.

        • marknesop says:

          The whole Russian spy thing has been done to death, but without revisiting it in detail, the whole idea was just nonsense. As I and many others better-qualified have pointed out, they had no access whatsoever to classified material, and had much more in common with lobbyists than spies. Lobbying is so far from a crime in the USA that a good part of presidential teams in the past have consisted of lobbyists. The best the FBI could come up with was failing to register as a foreign agent – which includes lobbyists of foreign governments.

          The Netherlands does not currently restrict potential immigrants based on their ethnicity; it – and many other countries, including mine – screens applicants differently based on their country of origin. That’s completely different, and although it sometimes results in an application being denied, I believe it is based on something verifiable in the applicant’s background (which might not have turned up without additional screening) rather than a knee-jerk refusal based on ethnicity.

          As an amusing aside, there used to be a table on the Government of Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship website (it has since been removed, but I still have a print copy) entitled, “Persons of the Inadmissible Class Admitted to Canada”. You’d think “Inadmissible” meant what it said. Au contraire. There was a lengthy list of categories, including such headings as “Persons requiring ministerial approval for admission, who were admitted without such approval” , and the like, but the one that really got me was “Persons for whom there is reason to believe they have committed or may commit a terrorist act”. I may not be quoting that exactly, but you’ll have to trust me that the intent was nearly exact – as well as that (for the year I was researching) there were 2 people of that category admitted. Overall there were several thousand people of the “Inadmissible” class admitted that year, as best I remember; I don’t have the actual document with me right now. I researched the subject as a result of immigration difficulties I had getting my wife admitted after we married (in Russia). I’m afraid I was pretty contemptuous in my references to that table in my protests to the government. Although it’s probably coincidence, it was shortly after that the table was removed from the website, but I’d be willing to bet the policy still exists.

  14. AJ says:

    check out Dinesh D’Souza. Hes an Indian(dot, not feather) writer who argues that white colonization has been good for the planet. Especially his home country of India. And its not the official language, but English is still widely used, and some English traditions remain. Dinesh D’Souza does a great job arguing against anti-colonial attitudes. Too bad hes a Republican, though. Well, you kinda came around to my point of view, for the most part. Every nation has the right of demographic dominance via immigration control. Also, some ethnicites are simply never going to catch up. Sub-Saharan African people, for example have zero written languages, and zero great civilizations. Africa has actually gotten *worse* since decolonization(Zimbabwe). Im not saying this to pick on blacks, but its just something that I noticed. White people(native Europeans) and East Asians are the only people who have built and sustained first-world nations.

    • Giuseppe Flavio says:

      Just out of curiosity, has Mr. D’Souza ever heard about a far away country called Japan?

      • marknesop says:

        As long as I’ve known who D’Souza is, which has been a few years, I’ve thought he was a moralizing, self-righteous twit who would eat a dead rat on prime-time TV if the Republicans told him it would serve the cause of Greater Republicanism. But the limit for me was his addled blathering on Obama’s supposed “Kenyan, anti-Colonial worldview”, which was quickly jumped upon by the padded-cell posterboy, Newt Gingrich. According to D’Souza, Obama is “the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history”. Really? I can think of 3 major automobile companies who would be in receivership or on the soup line right now if they hadn’t been bailed out by the “antibusiness” president. Obama has not added “Trillions” to the national debt – D’Souza apparently cannot count, as well as suffering from other delusional beliefs. D’Souza is not an economist, but those who are agree the stimulus prevented a complete financial collapse – quite far from “not helping at all”. Besides that, “Deficits Don’t Matter” is a Republican mantra – when Republicans are in power. Read the referenced article, just so you’ll know what dung looks like when it’s rearranged into letters.

        D’Souza’s views on immigration are likely to mirror what the Republicans think of immigration. Since they’re running on an anti-immigration platform, they’re about as likely to say anything positive about it as the Mona Lisa is to leap from the painting and execute a breakdancing routine.

  15. Yalensis says:

    Okay, I still find AJ’s positions to be racist, so I hesitate to jump in out of fear of seeming to agree with some of his/her points. But let me lay out my position: I don’t care about skin color or even culture, that’s all irrelevant. Multiculturalism is great, EXCEPT when it interferes with social order and progress. Mark has already discussed the whole issue of law and order, and I agree wtih his positions 100%. But there is another issue, and that is: education, enlightenment, and scientific progress, all of which are threatened by Islamisation of Europe (and Russia too).

    Noted scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins adduced the following true story: In a Muslim elementary school, one day “science class” consisted of the teacher quoting a verse from the Koran to the effect that “fresh water and salt water cannot mix.” Any child in this schoolroom could have peformed a simple experiment, mixing two bowls of water, one fresh, one salt, to prove that they do indeed mix quite well, thus proving the Koran factually wrong on this issue. However, in Islamic societies, scientific experimentation is forbidden in any case where the results would contradict the Koran. Forget about teaching evolution — that’s heresy. Much “Islamic” schooling seems to consist of children memorizing the Koran and reciting this gibberish for hours at a time, instead of learning math and science. I know, I know: back in the dark ages, when Europe wallowed in darkness and ignorance, the Muslim Arabs were the advanced ones, who invented Arabic numerals and made tremendous progress in mathematics, architecture, and engineering. But that was then, this is now. In today’s world, the religion of Islam is an impediment to science and technological progress.
    One final point about France, which is the European country I am most familiar with: the French people fought a long battle (since the time of Voltaire) to get out from under the dark yoke of the Catholic church and develop a secular political system and public education; and also to raise the status of women, which is a crucial component of any technologically modern society. But, having won this long war against the Catholic Church, now the French are facing another challenge to their cultural secularism, in the form of Islam. Hence, I believe the French government had every right to ban the burqa, since it is a symbol of non-secular sharia law and female subjugation.
    And this has nothing to do with skin color, or even culture: it’s all about religion.

    • Misha says:

      “Multiculturalism is great, EXCEPT when it interferes with social order and progress. ”


      As advocated by some, “multiculturalism” has been culturally biased. This point relates to some of the neolib to neocon leaning commentary about Russia and Serbia.

      • marknesop says:

        When I’m not an expert in a field (and I’m not an expert on multiculturalism or immigration, with the added disadvantage to perspective of not living in France or the Netherlands, to name two we were discussing), I like to search opinions expressed by experts. A great book on immigration and crime is “Ethnicity, Crime and Immigration: Comparative and Cross-National Perspectives”. The book contains nine essays by national experts in the field who have data to support their conclusions. Pierre Tournier of France points out in this abstract that the great majority of crime committed by immigrants (in France) relates directly to the immigration process itself (as opposed to property crime, robbery and violence, for example), and that when such offenses are discounted the disparity is much reduced. Also, France makes no distibction between residents and non-residents in terms of crime and ethnicity, and any disparity would likely be reduced yet further by discounting crimes commited by non-residents.

        From the same reference, this abstract regarding ethnic crime in the Netherlands suggests disparities in crime rates based on ethnicity “appear to result largely from the unfavourable economic, social and legal position of ethnic minorities”. This is a comment that broadly applies in every country with a large immigrant population, and I find it less compelling than the French example, although some of the same conditions may well apply.

        It would also be well to consider that the book was published in 1997, although the rapid rise in immigration to the Netherlands reached a peak in the late 70’s. Anyway, the point is that a belief which suggests “the immigrants are all criminals, and we didn’t have a crime problem before they came” is usually exaggerated, sometimes deliberately. Immigrants probably do tend to feature disproportionately in petty crime, which might be explained by employment inequity, but countries could hardly commit to a policy of handing all the high-paying jobs to immigrants just from pity, and in progressive countries you can still advance rapidly through study and application. But in Canada, many of our most horrific crimes were committed by white born-and-bred Canadians. I agree with AJ that there’s absolutely no reason to accept known criminals as immigrants, but disagree that there should be a prejudgment of potential criminality based on ethnicity. The French fought hard for ethnic fairness and equality, too.

    • Giuseppe Flavio says:

      Hello Yalensis, at the risk of appearing schoolmarmish, I have to contradict your arguments.
      First of all, Sunni Islam isn’t organized into a centralized church like Catholicism or Orthodoxy, it’s more like Judaism or Protestant Christianity. So, it’s not always easy to say what Islam forbids or allows, because there are many “Islams” around and I wouldn’t exclude that some Islamic scholars agree with Darwin’s theory. Besides, Islamic scholars have no authority like the Pope, only authoritativeness in their community.
      Second, to my opinion you give too much importance to religion. Christianity during middle ages wasn’t neutral toward politics (European middle ages monarchies were of divine right), economy (interests on loans were forbidden) and science (e.g. Galileo), but when the need arose, we put religion aside or reinterpreted it. Do you think that Iranians would renounce their achievements on missile and nuclear technology if the Koran forbade it? I think their Imams would reinterpret the sacred book to adapt to modern realities.
      Still, there are and will be Muslims that wouldn’t accept evolution or some other scientific theory. Just like there are and will be Christians that do the same, like creationists.
      The most serious threat I see for education doesn’t come from a scarecrow Islamization, but from those idiotic pedagogues-demagogues that proposes “new” and “revolutionary” teaching methods that are a giant step back to stone age. Have you heard about the “learning by examples only” method? Instead of learning the proof of the theorem “the sum of two sides of a triangle is bigger than the third side” (a classic in Euclid’s geometry), pupils are given three little stick that can form a triangle and move them to realize the thesis of the theorem. It’s like learning basic arithmetic through examples, as ancient Egyptians.
      One last note. Arabic numbers weren’t invented by Arabs. The concept of place value was invented much earlier, and was widely used in Mesopotamia during the Hellenistic period. Also, Archimedes of Syracuse used a sort of exponential notation in the Arenarius.

    • marknesop says:

      I suppose it’s possible, but I’d view that incident with a good deal of skepticism. If his name was Richard Dawkins-al-Muhammad and he spoke fluent Arabic, I might lean a bit more toward it being accurate, but so many of these things go south because of tiny misunderstandings in translation. Perhaps the teachers was explaining that both are water, but that you cannot drink salt water, or something of that nature. It’s very difficult to believe that all those children would grow up believing that some cataclysmic Koranic event would occur if you deliberately did what happens every time it rains. To me, it panders to the notion that Muslims are stupid and that their religion keeps them stupid. Also, I’m reminded of the deliberate push to misquote Ahmadenijad as having said that Israel must be wiped off the map, when any number of Arabic scholars have provided the correct translation over and over. The misquote is just something that serves an agenda, and this incident sounds like something similar.

      How many Christians today actually believe Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt? That God’s voice literally came out of a burning bush? I suppose there might be a few – the American midwest is full of otherwise rational (mostly) people who believe that when The Rapture arrives, all the faithful will be gathered up and sped off to heaven in a divine spacecraft or something like that, and I view that prospect as a little farfetched. But the Christian religion is brimming with other-worldly events that most agree did not happen exactly as described, and are probably allegorical. It doesn’t prevent rational Christians from functioning normally in a modern world.

      France is paying a price for not laying down the conditions for residency up front, and in that respect AJ is right. Muslims should have complete freedom of worship and should be able to follow their customs to a point, including in public. But the vast majority of Muslims are not radicals preaching hatred on the street corner, and those who are should be arrested immediately. I don’t understand the significance of the burqa in Islam well enough to argue it, but it was my impression that France wished to ban wearing of the headscarf as well, and Islam proscribes that the hair of the woman should be covered for modesty. It has nothing to do with being subordinate to her husband; unmarried women of a certain age are to do it as well. Muslims find gratuitous displays of naked skin, such as micro-mini skirts, offensive – but so do conservative Christians. They just don’t typically quote scripture to back up their opinion that it looks slutty.

      I’m not opposed to Muslims – and other faiths – doing as they like among their own. Islam is a huge religion with millions upon millions of followers, and if it really was all about “kill all de white people”, we’d all be dead by now. There is absolutely no danger that any democratic government is going to force its population to adopt sharia law, or that all women will be forced to wear headscarfs just because women of the Islamic faith do, demographic balance notwithstanding – any more than the Canadian west coast believes that our military is going to adopt Bushido and the air force will all become kamikazes because so many Japanese live here. We make certain concessions to accommodate, like offering television channels in alternative languages, because we want immigrants to be comfortable. But we have no intention of being taken over. If immigrants wanted to turn their new country into a mirror image of their former home, there’d be no reason for them to have left it in the first place. I doubt Islam would accept many westerners in any case. There are exceptions, but they’re relatively rare. Religions that preach violent intolerance of other religions eventually die out anyway. If someone can show me where Islam teaches that Islam cannot coexist with any other religion, I’ll consider changing my mind; but it shouldn’t be anything like the Christian commandment, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me”, because that plainly applies to Christians only. It doesn’t mean those who are not Christian cannot have their own faith, and only a fundamentalist nut would interpret it to mean that other religions should be wiped out.

      • Giuseppe Flavio says:

        That incident is reported here, see the comment posted on August 22, 2010 8:08:20 AM, there is also a link to the video. The relevant part is Back in class another pupil explains how science and Quran are completely compatible –but apparently not including evolution– by explaining how the mountains secure the earth and that fresh water and salt water cannot mix. It’s an interpretation given by a pupil of a Koran verse, more precisely verse 53, sura 25 AND HE it is who has given freedom of movement to the two great bodies of water – the one sweet and thirst-allaying, and the other salty and bitter – and yet has wrought between them a barrier and a forbidding ban.
        Other interpretations are possible, see here.

        • marknesop says:

          Thanks for that. The alternative explanations clearly suggest there remains a degree of interpretation, and that the verse may not be specifying literal impossibility of mixing two bowls of water. As I mentioned, this happens whenever it rains, and even the dumbest scholar of any faith must have thought of that. Since the Koran predates most science, its creation could not have taken science into account – but again, the physical possibility of salt and fresh water mixing is a natural event that cannot be denied, so it stands to reason the Koran’s passage means something else. As I mentioned, there is plenty in the Bible that would make scientists laugh out loud, but plenty of scientific professionals are graduates of religious schools, without any apparent conflict. I can’t accept it as substantiation that strict observance of Islam makes people stupid, although I realize that’s an oversimplification of what you said.

  16. AJ says:

    has Dinesh heard of Japan? What the hell does Japan have to do with anything? Also, multiculturalism is national suicide. Japan is a first world nation, the second biggest economy on the planet, and 99% ethnically Japanese. This proves that a nation doesnt need to be multicultural. Also, studies prove that even adjusted for income, blacks commit more crime than whites, who commit more crime than Asians. See “The Color of Crime”. You said ethnic minorites commit more crime becuase of their immigration status or poverty? what total BS. Thats the perfect reason not to let them in, then. Also, poverty doesnt cause crime. Poor white rednecks in West Virginia commit way less crime than ghetto black people. FACT. Also, their is no inconclusive evidence that shows that different ethnicites all have the same IQ, adjusted for class and education. IQ is related to race and genetics. Even Dr James Watson, the discoverer of DNA, has stated thet IQ is linked to race and human evolution. However, political correctness censors this. In fact, a poll of psychologists show that the majority of them realize that part of the reason for the black-white IQ gap is genetics. IQ, as The Bell Curve shows, is directly correlated with success in life. Thilo Sarrazin is right, Turkish immigrants are dumbing down Germany. I like Japan’s immigration model, which is almost zero. See? Japan proves a nation doesnt need immigrants, or diversity, to be an economic powerhouse. Why should Europe Islamisize itself? Look who commits the majority of racist gang-rapes in Australia, and Malmo, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark. Low IQ Arabs and Africans, thats who. In California, there are many diverse immigrants, but its blacks and Mexicans who commit the most crime, (and yes, even adjusted for income and education) and Whites and Asians who commit the least crime. Nobody can prove me wrong because I speak the truth. Even the German Chanceller admitted recently that multiculturalism is a failure. Europe is a great continent, an influential people, and for most of its history, is has been all-European. Magna Carta, the Industrial Revolution, The Renaissance, Science, democracy, etc. China as well, is over 90% percent Han Chinese, and over its great history, has proven to NOT need multiculturalism, instead, there is one dominant culture. They have a high average IQ, so its no surprise they have been a successful people. Look at Sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand. Not very impressive, is it? I dare someone to prove me wrong on anything I said.

    • marknesop says:

      Actually, I didn’t say ethnic minorities commit more crime because of their immigration status or poverty – Josine Junger-Tas did. And considering the basketful of awards, leadership positions and educational achievements she’s racked up in the study of criminology, I’d submit – with the greatest respect – she knows more about the specifics than you do. You’ll note in any case that I suggested that neither poverty or immigration status is an excuse for committing crimes, which is the way you seem to have interpreted it.

      Dinesh d’Souza has nothing to inform his opinion on immigration except, well, his opinion. Aside from a year-long stint as Domestic Policy Analyst to the Reagan government (1987-1988), he has a BA in English Literature. He knows nothing that qualifies him as an authority on European immigration. Certainly not an academic rival to the authors of “Ethnicity, Crime and Immigration”. He knows what he doesn’t like, but so do you.

      Japan’s immigration policy has no direct effect on its status as an “economic powerhouse” – unless you’re willing to stipulate it was Japan’s immigration policy that was responsible for Japanese economic disaster through the 1990’s, known in Japan as the “lost decade”. Or that the USA’s status as the largest economy on the planet is due to its multiculturalism. In fact, demonstrably, economic power has little to do with multiculturalism.

      What about Dr. Watson’s research qualifies him as an expert in human intelligence? Although he was a director of a research facility that was a world leader in genetics research, his own background was in medicine. He was 79 when he propounded the race-vs.-intellect theory, a time when people are known to get a little dotty. It also squares with some of his other theories, such as that a woman should be allowed to abort her child if tests could show it would be homosexual, that there is a provable link between skin colour and sex drive (blacks – surprise! – have higher libidos; maybe that’s why they’re always running around raping white women), and that physical beauty can be genetically manufactured.

      Comments by the gang rapists in the Australian cases you describe suggest they identified much more strongly with their nationality (Lebanese) than their religion, and that they only trotted out the “you all hate us because we’re Muslim” as a defense in court because they though they might as well try anything that had a chance of working. A significant majority of rapes in Australia were committed by non-Muslims, including the serial rapists Harry Barkas and John Xydias, whose familes were originally from Greece. It appears you cited those particular rapes to create an impression that Muslims are majority offenders in this subset, and that it has something to do with their religion. Neither is true.

      Indeed, China is a juggernaut in every sense of the word – economic, technological and industrial. The Chinese are the oldest society on earth, and had a comprehensive written pharamacoepia when there wasn’t much in North America except trees and animals. The population is overwhelmingly ethnic Chinese.

      And 20 million of them are Muslims.

  17. AJ says:

    you still didnt disprove anything I said. And you just proved my point about those Lebanese gang-rapists, that they identified more with their Arab background and did not assimiliate. You also didnt disprove anything Watson said. 20 million Muslims in china? So what? Its a nation of over a billion. I mentioned Japan because a successful nation doesnt need immigrants. Period. You said a majority of rapes in Australia are commited by non-Muslims? Thats intellectually dishonest, dont you think? Australis is a majority non-Muslim nation, so that makes sense. Thats like saying the majority of rapes in Canada are commited by non-Nigerians. Wow, way to go! I didnt mention the Arab gang rapists as a swipe against Islam, but rather to illustrate my main point, which is that certain ethnic minorites are impossible to completely integrate in a first world nation, and thus any given nation has the right to exclude, and or screen intensively any wishful immigrants. I dont know why you threw in that bit about blacks raping white women, but since you mention it, yes they rape white women at a disproportionate rate. Although women of any race are *most* likely likely to be raped by men of the same background, in the US over 30,000 white women are raped by blacks annually, while 0-10 black women are raped by white men. Kinda disproportionate, dont you think? Even during Slavery in the Deep South in the US, blacks raped white women, and black women, at a higher rate than white men raped black women. As far as your swipe at Native Americans, I have to admit you have a point. The Chinese have always been much more advanced than them. American Indians, or “First People”, didnt have a written language, and did not have the concept of a nation-state. They were pretty uncivilized and violent, as well. I dont really care what Junger-whatever her name is, what her crdentials are, shes jsut being politically correct. Shes part of the censoring apparatus. America was a success when it was still 90% white. Multiculturalism never brought success to any country. Right-wing stooges such as yourself and their capitalist cronies simply love bringing in uneducated Third World immigrants to serve as cheap labor, while destroying the nation. They lower wages for the working class. In the last several decades in the US, the only class of people to have seen their real wealth increase are the top 1%. Real wages for the middle class and working class, however, went down. Yay neo-liberalism! Yay cheap labour and outsourcing! Yay scewing the poor and the working class!

    • marknesop says:

      Well, we could go around in circles forever, with you saying of every point introduced, “that just proves what I said is correct”. I don’t see how it does anything of the kind. I respect your right to your opinion – but since I haven’t convinced you and you haven’t convinced me, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  18. Yalensis says:

    Okay, here’s the bottom line: since Day #1, human beings have wandered all over the planet and inter-married with each other, and have shared languages and cultures, etc etc., and it’s all good. I am all for immigration — the more the better! Let’s mix everybody up and drive racists like AJ to despair!

    I am still down on religion, though. @Giuseppe, thanks for finding that link to the bit about mixing fresh/salt water. I mean, obviously, somebody back in the 6th century wrote something down, and it’s either poetry, or metaphor, or maybe they meant it literally, who knows? But the problem is, these so-called “holy books” are just made-up shit, and the power structures hold these books over the heads of the masses and beat them down with ignorance and won’t allow their children to receive a proper education and learn REAL stuff, like science and math.
    Let me finish my rant with a swipe at the Mormon church: the “Book of Mormon”, which is supposedly a divine revelation, dictated by God Himself to His prophet, Joseph Smith — this book claims that the native American Indians are the “lost tribe of Israel”. Supposedly, after Israel was dismembered by the Assyrian empire, this one lost tribe hopped into a submarine and sailed to North America, where they became native Americans. I’m not making this up! DNA evidence proves that this account is factually inaccurate. The upper hierarchy of the Mormon church knows that this story is bullshit. But they still cram this misinformation down the throats of Mormon kids anyhow. Religion doesn’t necessary make people stupid, but it sures makes them ignorant!

  19. AJ says:

    Im actually a committed anti-racist. your ad hominem attacks are out of place here. Your “bottom line” is retarded. There are plenty of places on the planet which are not “mixed up”. Also, if you advocate unlimited immigration to any nation just to “drive me to depsair” then maybe you should rethink why you want the things you do. Policy suggestions shouldnt be made at a whim. Most of the planet, and most cultures actually, discourage “mixing up” with foreigners. Biracial men arent even allowed in the South Korean military, for instance. In fact, if you want to destroy languages, cultures, and nations and ethnicites, than *you* are the racist, deal with it. Also, since you want all borders erased and unlimited immigration, why not set an example for all of us and open your home to an unlimited amount of strangers? After all, if you lock your doors and dont want trespassing, its racist according to your logic. OK, marknesop agree to disagree. Ill be waiting for your next blog post. Im Russian and like to read about non-Russians opinions on my nation of birth, its enlighteneing, I like your blog for the most part;)a

    • grafomanka says:

      AJ you are not familiar with scientific debate around differences in intelligence and I doubt you are interested in this topic beyond confirming your own bias ( there is a LOT of prominent scientists and research that disagree with Watson, the Bell Curve etc) . You stated your opinion, fine, but it is far cry from what science stance is.
      By the way do you know that many people in your ‘white western world’ think that Russians (and Serbs) are inherently rapists, they have a “rape gene” , which has been ‘proved’ by certain historical events. Nice, eh?

      • Yalensis says:

        Good point, Grafomanka! We don’t hear from you enough, because you usually have something very pertinent to say. To continue your point, many “white westerners” also believe that all Slavs are racially inferior. Russians in particular because they interbred with Central Asian peoples such as Huns, Polovtsi, and Tatars. I am ethnic Russian myself, and even though my skin is very pale, people have told me that they detect certain “oriental” features on my face, like almost no eyelids, thus proving that my ancestors’ DNA has been on long journeys across the steppes. To this day western Ukrainian/Galician nationalists, like the ones who voted for Yushchenko, call Russians derogatory names like “katsapi” and “Mongoloids”. So, AJ, you should take a look in the mirror before you start standing in judgement over people with a different skin pigmentation or different facial features. Bottom line, dude: every human being on the planet today is related to every other human via a small group of common ancestors (who looked kind of ape-like). If you don’t believe this fact, then you need to hit the books and study some biology and what scientists have learned about the human genome.

        • grafomnka says:

          Thank you Yalensis. We know that Old Rus was very ethnically diverse, inhabited by many ethnic groups Ugro-Finnic people, Slavs, the Norse people, Turks, Balts. From what I underestand the bulk of Russian population was Slavic, but it mixed with all those other ethnic groups. Their aristocracy was mostly Norse but soon they became assimilated into the wider population. And later on there was some Mongol – Tatar addition.
          In my opinion ethnic diversity, mixing of different genes, has been good for Russia – Russia has achieved considerable success compared to it’s neighbours. I doubt Russians would build such a powerful country and culture if they stayed 100% Slavic.
          You mention journeys across the steppes – many of people living in the steppes would journey miles and miles to ‘kidnap’ a wife – Bashkirs would go to Kazahstan and the other way round – to bring some diversity to their gene pool – they knew that it is ‘in breeding’ that dumbs down the population.
          Also immigrants have contributed to Russian culture and economy – somehow all of my favorite Russians artists are half – Gruzins, Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews etc
          As Sean Guillory mentioned in his blog Russians didn’t even have a concept of ‘white race’ for a very long time – (they categorized people based on whether they were slavs, tatars, etc) this idea came from the West. As did fascism. I can’t help being very disappointed when I hear about neo facist leanings in Russia, or Russians talking about white race superiority. I always associated such bollocks with Germans, Nordic and Anglo-Saxon people thinking themselves better than anybody else, and for them Russians have always been nothing more than ‘savage barbarians from the north who just play at civilisation’
          I heard about those Ukrainian nationalists you mention and I think what they say is so much crap (as usual some dubious ‘science’ hijacked, munched up, twisted and spat out as racist insults)
          By the way how ironic that Nazis while believing in their ubermensch ideology were also killing Jews, who according to hardcore IQ pundits – are more intelligent than any other ethnicity.

      • Misha says:

        “By the way do you know that many people in your ‘white western world’ think that Russians (and Serbs) are inherently rapists, they have a ‘rape gene’, which has been ‘proved’ by certain historical events. Nice, eh?”


        “Many people” in that same “white western world’ have readily accepted the blatant lies put out by some Bosnian Muslim nationalists which included grossly exaggerated fatality and even more grossly trumped up rape figures during the Bosnian Civil War. Moreover, the non-Serbs in that conflict did their comparative share of actual rapes that can be reasonably premised on what is and isn’t clearly established.

        If the Serbs were so evil, there would be no need for considerable segments of English language mass media to distort what actually happened.

  20. AJ says:

    practically zero. name even one. I do however think there is alot of anti-Russian bias in the Western world.

    • Misha says:

      There sure is. Moreover, those opposing such manner are prone to receiving diatribes against them.

      It’s very important for pro-Russian advocacy to be simultaneoulsy intelligent and responsible.

      That kind of pro-Russian position can still get distorted or simply ignored. The latter response takes the out of sight, out of mind approach.

      There’s a good deal of foolish bully pulpit activity out there, which shouldn’t be confused with subject related point-counterpoint exchanges.

  21. AJ says:

    Yalensis, please point out when I said that.

  22. AJ says:

    Russia wouldnt be as great of a country if it was 100% Slavic? Thats an extremely racist position, wow. So here we go with the Slav-bashing again. Considerable more success than its neighbors? Depends what you mean by neighbors. Is Japan a neigbor? Their population is nearly homogenous and 99% percent ethnically Japanese, not very diverse at all. Yet Japan is a great country, the 2nd biggest econmy in the world, and is renowned for technology, digital media, robots, healthy living, pop culture, pushing the high-tech envelope. What about the EU? Theyre a neighbor, and their econmy is way bigger than Russia’s. The EU is nearly homogenous as well, with only pockets of racial diversity in large cities like London and their surrounding areas. Russia isnt better than any of its neighbors except maybe Mongolia. Must diversity be a fetish? History shows it only to ethnic conflict. I dont think Russia should try to be *more* multicultural, that would only weaken it. That being said, minorites in Russia should be treated equally. Please show me how Russia is so much better than its neighbors. Russian population is falling, and Russia is dying and decaying. Russia will never catch up to the West’s economic prowess, face it.

    • marknesop says:

      “The EU is nearly homogenous as well, with only pockets of racial diversity in large cities like London and their surrounding areas.”

      Huh? How did we get here from yesterday, when the Arabs were about to absorb the Netherlands? That’s quite a jump for one chapter. And the United States, with the biggest economy on the planet – a standard of measure you’re fond of referring to – is home to more than 100 distinct ethnic groups. Diversity is not a fetish, in the context of something we seek out for its own sake, but a necessary eventuality driven by economic and social realities. We don’t have to “embrace it”, get down on the floor and roll in it, like the extreme-left social worker types, but we do have to acknowledge it and it is a wise society that looks for its benefits – and encourages them – rather than weeping over its detriments.

      The Russian population decline stabilized in 2009, and has begun to reverse itself. It will be slow work, but there’s every reason to believe it will recover, and its economy has also reached pre-crisis levels while the EU and United States remain in crisis. Did you see the Russian government announce sweeping austerity measures recently, like France and the UK?

      As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    • grafomanka says:

      AJ europe is not homogeneous – the fact that somebody has white skin color doesn’t mean that they are the same ethnic group – only that they inhabit similarly cold climate. In face of recent economic crisis French made comments about how all this debt crisis is an Anglo-Saxon disease and Germans newspapers told stories about how Greeks have defects in their characters 😉
      Sorry I didn’t mean to bash Slavic people, I only meant to say that diversity and immigration contributed to Russia’s success as they do contribute to America’s success. And what success? I think both Russian Empire and USSR were world powers, no?

    • kovane says:

      Wow, no one continues to astonish me as much as some Soviet emigrants do. Is it OK that Japan has more than 60 years of continuous development, while Russia has only 10? You’re absolutely correct, saying that that mono-ethnic countries can develop perfectly fine, but the same is true for multi-ethnic countries also. Russia is certainly better than any country in the post-Soviet region, except maybe for Baltic states, moreover, it’s better than China in the terms of GDP per capita.

      “Russian population is falling, and Russia is dying and decaying. Russia will never catch up to the West’s economic prowess”

      You see, you shouldn’t confuse your wet dreams and reality. 2010, if I remember correctly, will be the first year after 1990 when small natural population growth is achieved. The most likely scenario is that population will be hovering around 140 mil for a while. And how is stable economic development is “decaying”?

      I constantly meet this very specific type of Soviet emigrants, desperately looking for anything bad in Russia and savoring doomsday predictions, in order to justify their choice. They also often blame Russia for all the bad things happened to them in their new country. Really could use psychiatrist’s help, in my opinion.

      Please, tell me, that you’re not one of them.

  23. AJ says:

    I never said the Arabs were about to absorb the Netherlands, you were the one argueing Dutch are only less the population than they actually are. did you forget? Im aware that the US is multicultural, I was simply pointing out that a nation doesnt *have* to be multicultural to be successful and dynamic. I agree with you about acknowledging diversity without “rolling around in it” like left-wing social workers, LOL. As for Russia, the standard of living is significantly lower than that of Western Europe. Siberia is losing population, and slowly the Chinese will take over the Far East, As for the Russian birth rate, it is only “recovering” because of the Tatars. They have a super high birth rate, and are slowly taking over Russia and Islamifying it. You should check out Canadian coloumnist Mark Steyn, he talks about this extensively. Russia will be majority-Muslim in just a few decades. If you only look at the birth rate for ethnic Russians, you will see it is much lower than the Tatar birth rate. This means while the population may stabilize, it is only because of more Muslims and less Slavs.

    • marknesop says:

      Almost 20% of the Dutch population, if I recall, after you corrected the erroneous figures (which might have been accurate when they were taken in 2000, but I don’t see how, as that would indicate the Dutch component is increasing rather than decreasing). That’s not homogeneous, strictly speaking, and France is supposedly overrun with Arabs.

      If we’re not careful, the Chinese will take over everything, never mind the Far East. But they won’t be taking over Russia in the next couple of decades, nor will the Muslims. Russia as of the 2002 census was 80% ethnic Russian. The next-largest group was the Tatars, you’re correct, but they form only 3.8% of the population, and the Ukrainians are right behind them at 2%. Chechens and Armenians are less than 1% each.

      You’re quite right that a nation doesn’t have to be multicultural to be successful and dynamic, but it’s also true that it can be, and the deciding factors are attitude and engagement. I understand you read authors like Mark Steyn and Dinesh d’Souza because they appear to confirm what you believe; we all do that. However, just as was the case with d’Souza, Mark Steyn has nothing in his background that compels belief when he suggests Islam is taking over the world and bending whole demographics to accept sharia law. That’s his perception, but he has no education to back it up, and those who do say he’s wrong. His bio informs the reader he’s a regular guest host on Rush Limbaugh (who assured the world that the BP oil spill was nothing to worry about because “oil is as natural as the ocean water, and if left alone, the ocean will take care of itself”) and Sean Hannity, both of whom are hardcore conservatives with a common thread, in that they are entertainers who thrive on promoting controversy but often know nothing whatsoever about the subject.

      I like having you around, AJ, because confronting viewpoints with demonstrable facts keeps our wits sharp, and forces us to research subjects that may not have interested us earlier. You’re welcome, and I hope you enjoy yourself while you’re here.

      I’d love to stay and chat, but my in-laws arrive this evening from Vladivostok, and I have a million things to do before their arrival. I leave you in the capable hands of the regular readers, and am confident they will challenge your views more effectively than I could do myself. As long as we stay polite, there shouldn’t be a problem, and remember citations make your argument more than just an opinion.

      For all, I’ll look in later, and if your comment went into the spam filter I’ll move it back out; too many hyperlinks often makes Akismet perceive a comment as spam. Remember, comments are nested 8 levels deep; any more than that, and a comment is a mile long and a half-inch wide. If your comment is going to be the ninth in a series, you’ll have to start a new thread. Later!

  24. Yalensis says:

    Just one quick note about Japan: It’s true that they are fairly mono-cultural (albeit with a handful of Ainu minority) and it’s also true that they have constructed a fantastic civilization. However, the Japanese are not as racially “pure” as they would like to believe: both linguistic and DNA evidence have recently proved that the Japanese people are genetically a branch of the Korean ethnos. (I can provide citations if needed.) Hence, it is ironic that some Japanese people still look down on Koreans as inferior. @Mark: enjoy your in-laws. I am sure your wife will be very pleased with their visit!

    • Giuseppe Flavio says:

      Hi Yalensis,
      I think that all ethnic groups today are the result of the mixing of several different ethnicities, besides perhaps some marginal group like Inuit or Pygmys. The reason I mentioned Japan before, is that it has been never colonized, it was so poor, underdeveloped and distant that the colonial empires may have thought it wasn’t worth the required efforts. Mono-ethnic Japan didn’t work so well until the second half of XIX century.
      But the lack of a colonial period in Japanese history didn’t prevent its development, quite the opposite. I think it’s the reason behind Japanese impressive development after the 1868 Meiji restoration.

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