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[OFF TOPIC] Politics Thread

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6 hours ago, LDOG said:

From a legal point of view, what happened in Bolivia is a coup, can't be called anything else. Even if you think that Morales can't run for another term, his current term was supposed to end in january and he's been forcefully ousted before that term ended.

 

I think what lies in the background of this conflict is the big racial/class fracture of Bolivia, between the white bolivians and the amerindians. With varying degrees and local differences, the same class fracture is present in many countries of the continent.  As usual in latin america, "defending democracy" is just an excuse to act. Both sides would be happy to have a dictatorship in place as long as it represents their class interests.


I totally agree. Besides ethnic and racial tensions, we also have internal conflicts when it comes to income, gender, religion, sexuality and so on. When I visited Bolivia, before reaching La Paz I went through the city of El Alto, and I was shocked at how poor they were. I was not able to see any white people around El Alto, only Amerindians and native Bolivians. Then I reached La Paz and I needed to eat something, so I asked around the hotel for a nice place to eat and they pointed me to an Italian restaurant. When I reached the place, there were only white customers. No native people there. I was told the place was considered too expensive for most Bolivians, so poor people never went there (but it still cost me around only 50% of what I would pay in Rio for the same type of food, for example). 

I'm not a supporter of Morales, but it baffles me that any leftist politician with strong opinions about how income should be shared with the poor is immediately seen as a communist threat, or how he/she will turn the country into a bloody and ruthless dictatorship. And it's usually the poor (who need state-funded services the most) who go around throwing these kind of rants. Democracy in Chile, Bolivia and Brazil is very vulnerable right now, but it seems to me that a big number of people, as you said it, would be happy to live in a dictatorship now as long as it is commanded by white, dominant people, or white personnel from the military. I mean, they accuse people like Morales to be a dictator, but they would be okay to live in a dictatorship if the dictator was white. It's almost hopeless.

 

Edited by thiago_simoes

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5 minutes ago, thiago_simoes said:

 but it seems to me that a big number of people, as you said it, would be happy to live in a dictatorship now as long as it is commanded by white, dominant people, or white personnel from the military. I mean, they accuse people like Morales to be a dictator, but they would be okay to live in a dictatorship if the dictator was white. It's almost hopeless.

 

To be fair, he also pointed out the other side: it seems as though the other 'side' as well would be perfectly happy with a dictator, as long as they're not a white guy. From an outside point of view the whole thing seems like an even stronger 'extremization' of the already sort of extreme 'two sides' thing we have in many things here (as in, you can't be in the middle or have any sort of nuance, because if you do, both sides accuse you of being on the wrong side).

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7 minutes ago, heywoodu said:

To be fair, he also pointed out the other side: it seems as though the other 'side' as well would be perfectly happy with a dictator, as long as they're not a white guy. From an outside point of view the whole thing seems like an even stronger 'extremization' of the already sort of extreme 'two sides' thing we have in many things here (as in, you can't be in the middle or have any sort of nuance, because if you do, both sides accuse you of being on the wrong side).


In Bolivia's case, the white guys were the ones who accused the non-white person to be a dictator (even when the person was elected in a democratic process). It's very clear to me that this is more about racism and far right politicians taking the control by force than it is about "restoring democracy".

And I agree that political polarization is in vogue these days. I believe it's the result of: 1) new people (mostly young folks) becoming interested in politics (and they usually adhere to a side as if their lives depended on it); and 2) since most people are not too patient to read and discuss politics, they just go with the flow. I'm a leftist and I have strong opinions about what an ideal form of (democratic) government should be, but I'm also open to read about new (and even opposing) ideas. 

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Just now, thiago_simoes said:


In Bolivia's case, the white guys were the ones who accused the non-white person to be a dictator (even when the person was elected in a democratic process). It's very clear to me that this is more about racism and far right politicians taking the control by force than it is about "restoring democracy".

And I agree that political polarization is in vogue these days. I believe it's the result of: 1) new people (mostly young folks) becoming interested in politics (and they usually adhere to a side as if their lives depended on it); and 2) since most people are not too patient to read and discuss politics, they just go with the flow. I'm a leftist and I have strong opinions about what an ideal form of (democratic) government should be, but I'm also open to read about new (and even opposing) ideas. 

 

About Bolivia I agree, although I'm afraid it'll be a matter of time (months, years, who knows) until the opposite side will do the same and so on...I hope cycles of coups and semi-coups end at some point, but I doubt it.

 

A current Dutch example about your second part is about the children of Islamic State wives. Women who left the Netherlands to go to Syria and marry some jihadist/terrorist, had their children and then the husband ended up being killed because, you know, war. Many of these women are now in refugee camps, including their children, and the big question is: should the children (or children + women) be brought back to the Netherlands? I think this is a legitimate question, even though many of them threw away their Dutch passports. The answer is very hard though and in my opinion it's not a simple yes or no. More and more reports show that a ton of these children are heavily brainwashed by the ideologies in those camps, up to the point where 7-year olds are talking about how they'll slaughter the non-believers. Anyone with a normal mind can understand it's not the fault of those children, but it's also really hard to just bring them back and think a bit of psychological help (for which there already aren't a lot of resources here) will make them all fine...especially considering in the end, they'd normally end up staying with relatives who wouldn't exactly hammer out those rather dangerous thought processes.

 

Thing is, if you add some of the nuances (like the fact the children are not to blame for being brainwashed), people will call you a leftist social justice warrior or someone who commits treason or betrays their country, whatever kind of bullshit they think of. On the other hand, if you raise your concerns and say it might not be the best idea to just bring everyone over, sad as it may be, people on the other side will call you a nazi, racist and so on. 

 

It's just one example, but there are plenty more in the Netherlands alone and I'm sure all over the world, more and more every year it seems. That sucks.

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Bit of interesting news: the European Court of Justice has decided that items made in the territories occupied by Israel can no longer be labelled as 'Made in Israel', since technically, they're not. If items made in the illegal settlements are being sold, it has to say so on the labels.

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2 hours ago, heywoodu said:

More and more reports show that a ton of these children are heavily brainwashed by the ideologies in those camps, up to the point where 7-year olds are talking about how they'll slaughter the non-believers. Anyone with a normal mind can understand it's not the fault of those children, but it's also really hard to just bring them back and think a bit of psychological help (for which there already aren't a lot of resources here) will make them all fine...especially considering in the end, they'd normally end up staying with relatives who wouldn't exactly hammer out those rather dangerous thought processes.

 

Pretty much the same with what happened with Indonesian ex-ISIL fighters and their families. Some has returned with their own effort are accepted but excluded by the society, end up in certain regions known to be conservative and started "a new life" there. No matter what they do to be back in society, whether it is trimming beard for men or stop wearing niqab for women, no one wants to be near them. Even the children are worse, sometimes they got bullied (which I think might be setting of a new bomb).

 

And recently it is reported around 700 Indonesians who joined ISIL is still in Syria, hoping the government will help and fund their way back home :wacko:

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12 minutes ago, Griff88 said:

 

Pretty much the same with what happened with Indonesian ex-ISIL fighters and their families. Some has returned with their own effort are accepted but excluded by the society, end up in certain regions known to be conservative and started "a new life" there. No matter what they do to be back in society, whether it is trimming beard for men or stop wearing niqab for women, no one wants to be near them. Even the children are worse, sometimes they got bullied (which I think might be setting of a new bomb).

 

And recently it is reported around 700 Indonesians who joined ISIL is still in Syria, hoping the government will help and fund their way back home :wacko:

Which is all sad, but also - to be fair - understandable. I mean, I can definitely understand people don't want to live near people who fought for something that is so evil and so rotten as the so-called Islamic State. I know I wouldn't.

 

As for the children: yes, it is terribly sad they've been brainwashed. Innocent minds have been turned into minds that think it's ok to outright slaughter people who don't share your belief, and that in itself is one of the worst crimes in human history. It is, however, also a very dangerous thing to bring those children into one's country (where they, in many cases, have never been before)...one tiny mistake in the way society and psychological help deals with these highly traumatized children, and it can turn into a matter of national security. I can't understand people are just outright screaming 'Yes!' or 'No!' to a question like this, without realizing both sides have their pretty serious pros and cons.

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I was watching a documentary about how the UN had sent teachers to try and, in some ways, un-brainwash some of the youngest ISIS fighters (10-16 year olds). Those kids were so fucked up. There was a 14 year old talking about how great it felt to hold a kolisnikov machine gun, and to fire it at the enemy. Plus, they had all been taught ISIS’s crazy beliefs. The teacher said it’d take months just to get them to believe one thing he said.

 

I do think we should take the kids back, but as @heywoodu, it’s going to take a lot of resources to insure their safety, and everyone else’s safety.


“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair” - Nelson Mandela

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2 minutes ago, Olympian1010 said:

I was watching a documentary about how the UN had sent teachers to try and, in some ways, un-brainwash some of the youngest ISIS fighters (10-16 year olds). Those kids were so fucked up. There was a 14 year old talking about how great it felt to hold a kolisnikov machine gun, and to fire it at the enemy. Plus, they had all been taught ISIS’s crazy beliefs. The teacher said it’d take months just to get them to believe one thing he said.

 

I do think we should take the kids back, but as @heywoodu, it’s going to take a lot of resources to insure their safety, and everyone else’s safety.

 

But ensuring everyone's safety also involves for example making absolutely sure they don't end up in certain environments in the country where they'll go to (like in this case, the Netherlands). For example the Belgian Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, home to an alarmingly large number of people who think ISIS ain't all that bad. If one of those kids ends up there, people will make sure they don't forget what they were taught in Syria and that is very, very dangerous.

 

The other side of all that is that people are going to protest and say it's inhumane and so on, if you put them in an entirely different kind of life than they've ever had, even when that might be exactly what's needed for their and everyone's safety.

 

It's an incredibly tricky issue and politicians are understandably careful with their words, because whatever you say, there's always going to be people who get extremely mad because of it.

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Uh-oh, Looks like Trump’s team has an email problem. It’d be a real shame if the democrats open multiple useless court processes about them, and then led congressional hearings right up until the election. It’d be a shame if the Democratic candidate brought it up during the debates. :p

 

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“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair” - Nelson Mandela

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