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Old May 1st, 2014, 01:27 AM   #24821
Kanadzie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Which is your prerogative. Actually, my main issue is this thinking-we're-the-world's-policeman mode. I see no reason this should be more important to us than it is to countries that are a lot closer to the situation. (And more important to us than any number of other messes going on right now.) If we must get involved in this at all (which I'm not convinced of), we should let European countries take the lead and back them up. That's it.
But, the US let Europe handle its own affairs in the past and that did not work at all. It is probably better and cheaper to let American taxpayers handle basically all the defense of "good Europe", even for those taxpayers themselves... a prevention instead of cure issue. You have to admit, the whole NATO thing has been really effective in fostering peace and prosperity at basically no cost compared to previous "adventures".

The EU might be able to become useful to defend itself but it is too fragile IMO, maybe in another 100 years...

Anyway just to mention, the countries close to the situation are freaking out, just to confirm, but, the countries who can do something about it are not so close and not so concerned...
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Old May 1st, 2014, 02:20 AM   #24822
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Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
But, the US let Europe handle its own affairs in the past and that did not work at all. It is probably better and cheaper to let American taxpayers handle basically all the defense of "good Europe", even for those taxpayers themselves... a prevention instead of cure issue. You have to admit, the whole NATO thing has been really effective in fostering peace and prosperity at basically no cost compared to previous "adventures".

The EU might be able to become useful to defend itself but it is too fragile IMO, maybe in another 100 years...

Anyway just to mention, the countries close to the situation are freaking out, just to confirm, but, the countries who can do something about it are not so close and not so concerned...
NATO keeps peace only when it's concerned, when Western countries do have interests. In that case they don't act to bring peace to Ukrainian citizens but to prevent the expansion of the rival power (Russia). It's just a strategical\economical game concealed behind the human right issue, to get legitimation. Same with the hypotesis about mass-destruction weapons in Saddam's Iraq, it would never have happened if Iraq was oil-free.
If they really want to bring peace in the world for free, why they don't do anything against the brutal Saudi regime? Why they don't push China to improve freedom of expression and workers' rights? Or why they don't care about some territoral disputes like Cyprus, Nagorno Karabakh, Tibet...?
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 02:28 AM   #24823
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I think Cyprus was cared about, my father almost got sent there for peacekeeping when that was going on in late 1970's, but then it calmed down

It's probably impossible to save everything, and NATO by definition can't care about stuff outside of northern, western countries (after all it is north - atlantic). But at least, Western countries have done pretty well with it, especially since around 1990 to today. I mean, Western Europe has had a surprisingly and historically unprecedented long length of peace since forming of NATO.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 02:55 AM   #24824
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10 years in EU. It was better outside (cause I was younger). Well, at least I hope we'll stop being referred to as new EU members.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 03:08 AM   #24825
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That would only have happened if there were EU members newer, but as Putin shows, that ain't gonna happen, newbie Maybe once is realized Croatia is a EU member, then they can be the new ones, which should take approx 9 years more
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Old May 1st, 2014, 03:10 AM   #24826
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2007: Romania, Bulgaria
2013: Croatia
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Old May 1st, 2014, 04:31 AM   #24827
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Quote:
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10 years in EU. It was better outside (cause I was younger). Well, at least I hope we'll stop being referred to as new EU members.

It will take a generation for that to happen.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 12:04 PM   #24828
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Austria, Sweden and Finland joined only 9 years before the "oldest new" members, and were never referred to as a new members. ok, maybe for couple of months.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 03:11 PM   #24829
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Western Europe-Central Europe-Eastern Europe...It takes some generations to erase those statements in a political point of view.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 04:03 PM   #24830
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
But, the US let Europe handle its own affairs in the past and that did not work at all. It is probably better and cheaper to let American taxpayers handle basically all the defense of "good Europe", even for those taxpayers themselves... a prevention instead of cure issue. You have to admit, the whole NATO thing has been really effective in fostering peace and prosperity at basically no cost compared to previous "adventures".

The EU might be able to become useful to defend itself but it is too fragile IMO, maybe in another 100 years...

Anyway just to mention, the countries close to the situation are freaking out, just to confirm, but, the countries who can do something about it are not so close and not so concerned...
But from the American point of view (or one American's point of view), what are we preventing? Our government's - any national government's - first duty is to protect our citizens on our soil. What Putin does in the Ukraine, in Estonia, in Poland, in France*, is no threat at all to us. It only becomes a threat if our leaders get into a war with Russia [shudder]. Fortunately, they don't seem interested in doing that. And that'd be my argument for getting out of NATO: our NATO obligations might lead us to do something inconsistent with our own safety. (Sorry to be so dark here, but this whole thing brought up my Cold War baggage - I was very worried a month or so ago...and there was enough talk along those lines from serious people in the media in mid- to late March.) Conversely, what do we get out of NATO - Estonia will protect us if Mexico invades? So....

With all due respect to the EU and our European friends, I see the EU as much as a rival of ours as an ally. As detestable as Putin is, I don't think we need to take sides in a commercial competition between the EU and Russia, which is what this started out as, as far as I could see. Let alone in the EU's quest for expansion. And the EU has been talking a good game for some time about developing its own foreign policy and even defense independent of NATO. Now would be a very good time for them to do that.



*Yes, France. A friend of mine two months ago...a knowledgeable friend who's not in the habit of being hysterical...said to me "What if Putin invades France?" Okay, this was at the end of a series of questions about invading Poland and so on and he was trying to push me to the point where I'd say, okay, we go to war with him, but still....
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Last edited by Penn's Woods; May 1st, 2014 at 04:12 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 04:05 PM   #24831
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf View Post
NATO keeps peace only when it's concerned, when Western countries do have interests. In that case they don't act to bring peace to Ukrainian citizens but to prevent the expansion of the rival power (Russia). It's just a strategical\economical game concealed behind the human right issue, to get legitimation. Same with the hypotesis about mass-destruction weapons in Saddam's Iraq, it would never have happened if Iraq was oil-free.
If they really want to bring peace in the world for free, why they don't do anything against the brutal Saudi regime? Why they don't push China to improve freedom of expression and workers' rights? Or why they don't care about some territoral disputes like Cyprus, Nagorno Karabakh, Tibet...?
Yep.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 04:27 PM   #24832
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Greetings from Bled, Slovenia
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Old May 1st, 2014, 04:47 PM   #24833
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Greetings from Jelgava, Latvia!
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NORDIC & BALTIC FORUMJELGAVA PROJECTS THREAD

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Old May 1st, 2014, 05:07 PM   #24834
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Greetings. And in view of what I was just talking about, good luck with your neighbors.

New subject: map of the day (in this article) -

http://www.vox.com/2014/4/30/5668588...igration-rates
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Old May 1st, 2014, 05:31 PM   #24835
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Greetings from the City of Thessaloniki, Region of Central Macedonia, Greece.
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http://www.pepkm.gr/web/guest/en_home
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Old May 1st, 2014, 07:06 PM   #24836
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10 years in EU. It was better outside (cause I was younger). Well, at least I hope we'll stop being referred to as new EU members.
I remember quite well that day, I was in Piazza Transalpina in Gorizia. There have been a huge ceremony the previous night when the border fence was torn down. I wasn't well informed about the political situation, so I though that the border would have completely opened that day (then an Italian cop told us that probably border controls would have lasted till 2006 or 2007). Between 2004 and 2007, free pedestrian movement was allowed only within the square. However that day the Slovenian half was closed for a concert and we couldn't walk into it. I remember people putting hands and feet across the border line to touch the foreign territory.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.

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Old May 1st, 2014, 07:09 PM   #24837
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Conversely, what do we get out of NATO - Estonia will protect us if Mexico invades?
We've been serving your interests in Iraq and Afghanistan (should be none of our business), and now that Europe needs you for a change, you wanna get out of NATO? So sweet.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 07:14 PM   #24838
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I remember quite well that day, I was in Piazza Transalpina in Gorizia. There have been a huge ceremony the previous night when the border fence was torn down. I wasn't well informed about the political situation, so I though that the border would have completely opened that day (then an Italian cop told us that probably border controls would have lasted till 2006 or 2007). Between 2004 and 2007, free pedestrian movement was allowed only within the square. However that day the Slovenian half was closed for a concert and we couldn't walk into it. I remember people putting hands and feet across the border line to touch the foreign territory.
I wasn't in the EU that day. At midnight I hung out the EU flag at the Slovenian embassy in Bern.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 07:21 PM   #24839
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Please. Plenty of NATO members stayed out of Iraq. (And they were right to, in my opinion.) Even Afghanistan. (More debatable.) I'm speaking personally, not as a representative of my country.

But for 60-odd years, we've been funding your defense (well, the defense of some of you) giving you all (some of you) the luxury of sitting on the sidelines condemning us in your media and in forums like this one for our foreign policy and everything else from the way we eat to race relations to the metric system to our supposed stupidity. I could just as easily say "now that you need us*," you'll suddenly stop treating us like ignorant children or the evil empire? "Sweet." But I'm not holding my breath on that one. And I'm not going to be incinerated in my own home for Simferopol, Donetsk, Khark[o/i]v, Tallinn or even Ljubljana or Paris.

You all think, as you have forever (notwithstanding ample evidence to the contrary), that you're the only civilized part of the planet? Well, then you can prove it by growing a pair and taking care of yourselves.

*"for a change"? Please. Since 1945.
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Last edited by Penn's Woods; May 1st, 2014 at 07:31 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 07:34 PM   #24840
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NATO is nothing without the U.S. armed forces. I agree most NATO members in Europe have become complacent with low defense spending because the mighty U.S. would protect them. It's a two-way street here, Europe needs to increase defense spending for its own interests, and to meet NATO obligations.

I don't think Europe (EU) has any business in the pro-Russian unrest in eastern Ukraine. It's an internal affair. Ukraine will not be able to join the EU in the foreseeable future (if ever) so EU shouldn't make it look like that.
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